Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday’s here! A Fresh Start

“Do  not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a  new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness And  rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NKJV)

Don't look back

Don’s sermon this morning, “A Fresh Start,” was highlighted by an acrostic. He loves acrostics.  He found this last year and preached this sermon at The Tip, but I missed it because I was in Georgia with Mama Trudy.  So, he preached it again today, only, I’m sure it was different.

The word is: START

S -- Stop making excuses!  Take responsibility for yourself.  Stop “passing the buck.”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3

        Prov. 28:13. The one who conceals his sins will not prosper,  but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 HCSB)

T -- Take inventory of our life, also known as learning from the trials and troubles of your past and then move forward. The door to your future is only big enough for you, not you and your baggage.
        A. Personal experiences (school of hard knocks)
        B.  Education (formal)
        C.  Spiritual experiences: church, retreats, Bible studies, prayer groups, mission trips, personal study and quiet time
        D.  Painful experiences of life

        Gal. 3:4. Did you suffer so much for nothing — if in fact it was for nothing? (Galatians 3:4 HCSB)

A -- Act in faith; step out AND WATCH GOD WORK.

      Matt. 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “Let it be done for you        according to your faith! ” (Matthew 9:29 HCSB).

Gen.12... Acts 3.....

R -- Refocus.. Leave the stinkin' thinkin' behind. Change your attitude. Make the positive choice. Our thoughts control our life.

Prov. 4:23.  Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:23-27 TNIV)

        Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this age,  but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will  of God. (Romans 12:2 HCSB)

T -- TRUST in God, in Christ alone.

      Zechariah.4:6. So he answered me, “This is the word of the  Lord  to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit,’ says the  Lord  of Hosts. (Zechariah 4:6 HCSB)

[Excellent material to meditate on and put into action in 2013! From my sermon notes.]

Please join us in A New Year Prayer:

Holy Father,
God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.
Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.
Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.
To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.
To teach others to love by loving them.
Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.
So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.
That we could share Love with others.
Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,
in the chirping of sparrows in our backyards,
in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.
Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,
so that we may know You better and better.
We rejoice in the world You loved into being.
Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.
We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.
Forgive us for falling short this past year.
We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.
We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what's ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..
I say it again, we rejoice!
In Jesus name,

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chili Day

Just remembering my morning with little Maggie, yesterday. I had to take 5 pictures before I got one where she wasn’t kissing me!2012-12-029IMG_2093[1]

Don has been sneezing and I just didn’t feel up to par, so we started our morning today with a little preventiveness.IMG_2116[1]

Yesterday, I picked up our mail here in the park and we had a box from Stephanie.

Don is hungry for chili today.  A few days back, Don had said something to the effect of, “I can’t find my favorite chili seasoning out here,” and being the observant daughter that she is….IMG_2120[1]

purchased said seasoning and sent it to her dad for Christmas!IMG_2121[1]

So, my chef begin playing, getting ready for chili and football watching.IMG_2123[1]

And the cooking began!IMG_2127[1]It was the best chili I have ever eaten!!

Stephanie also sent gift cards!  The nook for Don and the iBooks for me! IMG_2125[1]

Also, in the mail was this card from our dear friends that we miss so much, Dennis and Sally.  We love this, y’all!!StarThumbs upIMG_2151[1]

Our kids, Leslie, Khalil, Pook and Diesel are on their way to Florida today, driving, so I did my best to entertain them with jokes posted on FaceBook.  Here’s one: (if you click on it, it might be larger and easier to read.)IMG_2143[1]

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Surgery day

Barb’s surgery was scheduled at 7:30 AM, so we arrived before 7:00 to see her and pray with her before she left for the operating room.

When we arrived, the desk clerk said it would be a few minutes until we could go back where Barb and Darrell were. 

I walked around while waiting and took a few pictures of the beautiful paintings and artwork that adorn the walls in The Cancer Treatment Center of America here in Goodyear, Arizona.painting in the Cancer Treatment Center of AmericaP1000441P1000442P1000443

Don waited in the waiting lounge.P1000444

In just a bit, we were summoned and went back to see Barb and Darrell.  This is the room where they were waiting.  Barb wouldn’t let me take her picture and I respected that even though she looked great. You can see the top of her sweet head.P1000445

This mural is beautiful.P1000446

Darrell was so tired. They didn’t sleep much last night, what with their bathroom door being locked and having to get someone to get it unlocked and just the general pre-surgery stuff.Darrell was so tired.

We had not been back in the waiting lounge long when an attendant came and informed Darrell that Maggie, their little Yorkie, was having a fit back in the hotel room. I wasn’t about to allow Darrell to leave the hospital, so I drove across the street and stayed with Maggie until the guys came when Barb was in recovery, about four hours.

When I got to the hotel room, I stood outside the door and could not hear a thing and when I opened the door, the cute little thing just looked at me… didn’t even bark. The desk clerk said that the people next door said she had barked all night long, which was a lie (Barb and Darrell were with her all night), and that they were so concerned for her. (Yeah, right.) Sounds like they were looking for a free night!

Maggie and I went for a long walk outside and then we played and played with her toy. I even made a video of her!

Maggie is a star!!! (The muffled talking you hear is the the TV.)

P1000449After all the playing, Maggie was tired.Maggie played hard and was very tired.

I am thrilled to report that Barb’s surgery went great and the surgeons are almost 100% certain that she will not even require follow-up treatments.  The biopsy will be ready after the 1st of the year.

Don and I enjoyed a date night at the Black Angus in Goodyear.  We are just so happy for Barb and Darrell and praying for her speedy recovery.P1000450

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Full Moon over the Desert Valley


Barb & Darrell…

We are headed to Goodyear to see friends, Barb and Darrell Howard. Barb has been diagnosed with cancer and is going to have surgery at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Goodyear.  Today and tomorrow will be testing and lab work and surgery is scheduled for next week. We are certainly praying for a very successful surgery.

Enroute to Goodyear on the 202, we went through a long tunnel.P1000331

It is a beautiful day today.P1000327

The Cancer Treatment Center of America is an amazing place.Cancer Treatment Center of America, Goodyear, AZP1000333P1000334

I found Geneviève, the giraffe, in the gift shop.P1000336

And Guiseppe, her friend.P1000337

The cafeteria prepares very healthy meals.P1000340

Darrell, Don and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch.  We felt really bad eating when Barb couldn’t join us because of tests she’s having this afternoon.Lunch with Barb & Darrell Howard00

Update:  Picture of Don & I that Barb recently posted on FaceBook… lunch with Barb & Darrell at The Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Goodyear, AZ

They took us on a tour of the second floor.P1000342



Darrell and Don, catching up.P1000349

It’s always a joy to see Barb and Darrell, but we are not a fan of the circumstances that surround their visit here. Following all the tests today, the prognosis for Barb is very good and we are all very thankful.P1000351

Pictures around the campus.P1000352P1000353

Headed back to the Q.P1000357

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

Christmas Day started with me bounding out of bed to get on Skype with Pook and Diesel. (I was so excited to see our grandkids, I forgot to weigh.. it’s Tuesday, my weighing day) Seeing Pook and Diesel was so fun and they are so excited about their coming trip to Disney World in a few days!

I love their excitement… well, Pook is excited… Diesel is hilariously so male.

The rest of the day we spent quietly and went to the park club house/hall at 4:00 PM for Christmas dinner.  This is our table.P1000412

Jerry, activity director, is directing the activity.P1000413

Don is about to ask the blessing before eating begins. I took this picture and bowed my head; as you can see by the slight blur, I was in a hurry. In loveP1000414

All of the placemats were made by one lady in the park during the summer.  Everyone gives her old Christmas cards and she cuts them out and cuts out the colored paper to make these:P1000415


There was a hall full of folks, but not as many as at the Thanksgiving dinner as some have gone home for the holiday.  This picture shows only a portion of the attendees.P1000417

One of my favorite buddies, Russ.  He’s such a cut-up. He’s got knee replacement surgery coming up in January, so all prayers are appreciated.Russ

Can you believe it?  I won a door prize!!I won a door prize!!It was this cute Christmas mug full of candy!P1000463