Markland News 4-18-13

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Hey friends, how are you doing this month, things are beginning to ‘look up’ a little. We have had some warmer weather and a few days of sunshine – the light of the end of winter’s dark gray tunnel is definitely brightening.

The daffodils are fading but the magnolias and other flowering trees are making the landscape a sight to behold; do take time to pause a moment and enjoy the sight. The peach trees are blooming (got to get some fertilizer on them) and roses are leafing out. The sound of mowers is replacing the buzz of chain saws…and ‘wonder of wonders’, gas prices are dropping a bit. Come on spring.

I am still somewhat apprehensive as ‘old grandpa walnut’ has not yet put out the first sign of a leaf; in the 40 years I have been here, he has never been caught in a frost. Lots of folks have gardens started (my ground is still too wet to till) and I hope ‘Pap Walnut’ is just being slow this year and doesn’t know something we don’t. No doubt, time will tell.

Wish a Happy Birthday to all the April celebrants, me included; last Monday I became closer than a frog’s hair to my three quarters of a century benchmark. Haven’t heard from Juanita & Jack Brown lately (her birthday is the same as mine) and I hope you guys are doing as well as the last time you wrote. Best wishes go out to Juanita, Margie Edwards, grandson William Carr, and Jordyn Hemingway; hope your special day was/is/will be simply great – Happy Birthday.

A couple of weeks ago, we (Ana, Carolyn, I) gathered at Rita Green’s home for our weekly Bridge game. Rita made one of the best tasting potato soups I have ever tasted; I had two big bowls (I would have had a third but I was afraid I would burst) and I asked for the recipe to share with you all. This soup had a ‘bite’ that you wouldn’t expect in potato soup. We all thought it was great (I wasn’t the only one that had more than one bowl.)

Panera Potato Soup: 6 cups chicken broth, 6 cups peeled (and cubed) potatoes, one-quarter cup minced onion, one-half tsp. seasoning salt, one-quarter tsp. white pepper (Rita said she just used regular black pepper, she didn’t have any white in her pantry), one-quarter tsp. ground red pepper (if you don’t like a spicy ‘bite’ you might want to cut that down or out – but it sure tasted good), 1 eight oz. package of cream cheese, and four slices of bacon.

Combine broth, potatoes, onion, & spices; boil on medium heat until the potatoes are tender then ‘smash’ a few of the potatoes to thicken the soup. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream cheese, stirring occasionally to incorporate the cream cheese.

Rita said cooking it on the stove would probably help the cream cheese melt better but she cooked it in a crock-pot; I don’t really see how it could be any better but if it concerns you, you could probably melt the cream cheese in the microwave before adding it to the soup. We all agreed, it tasted great; hope you will give it a try.

Last week, Bridge was here and we had a ‘gaggle’ of girls (I say ‘girls’ – ok, let us be kind and say ‘senior girls’) present; along with our regulars (Ana, Rita, Carolyn, and me), Karen Nickell and Patty Miller joined us. I made a coconut cream cake for dessert; it was awfully ‘rich’ but it didn’t seem to bother any one, haha.

We would like to get enough players for two tables (four to a table) or at least a couple of spares, players for ‘subs’, but haven’t managed it yet – we live in hope. We have fun (I am sure a really good Bridge player would be appalled the way we talk during the game and maybe even the way we play but we really enjoy it and highly doubt we will change – besides the food and fellowship is great.)

Rita shared a joke that had us all laughing: An older gentleman that was ‘hard of hearing’ (deaf as a stone) finally gave up and went to the doctor for hearing aids. The doctor put them in and told the man to come back in two weeks for a check-up.

The gentleman came back to the doctor two weeks later and the doctor asked him how his hearing was. The man told the doctor it was great; he could hear everything, even whispers. The doctor commented that he thought the patient’s family must be delighted with his great improvement.

The gentleman said, “Oh doc, I haven’t told my family yet; I have just been listening to what they talk about – I’ve already changed my will three times.”

Sam came over and picked me up (remember I had to give up my car) for dinner Monday evening; Cyndi always makes me her very special pot roast for my birthday dinner. As usual, it was delicious.

Cyndi takes me to town once a week to do my ‘business’ (bank, library, grocery store, etc.) chores and if Sam is not with us, we usually stop at Patty’s to visit before leaving town. Mike or Mary picks me up for church and Wilma stops by when she goes to East Enterprise, just in case I need anything or want to go. The impact on the quality of my life of not having a car (and living in the country) is greatly modified by caring family and good friends. I thank God for each one of them (yes, I do remember to thank them too.)

Mike & Mary took me out to dinner after church Sunday for my birthday and Marci Leap joined us. Marci and family have been visiting with niece Kali Carfield who was in town (she had a weekend pass from her Naval studies); Marci said she looked great and they had a nice visit.

Melissa Park has been in Chattanooga with some other Christian ladies from our community at a Christian seminar.

Wilma was down one day this week and told me that Marjorie Ford had taken a bad fall and really hurt her leg; Wilma said Marjorie’s leg was black from the knee to the toes. Her daughter Karen took her to Emergency Care and had the leg X-rayed and fortunately no bones were broken but Marjorie is not comfortable walking yet.

Joy & Eldric Hazeldean were able to attend Easter service with us at Markland Baptist Church and it was so wonderful to see them. They went on to dinner at Howard and Julie’s house with several family members. Howard told us that the long day and festivities just totally wore Joy & Eldric out.

Vandora Bennett had a bad fall but I don’t have any of the details yet (us ‘senior girls’ do have a problem with falling.) In your prayers this week please remember: Marjorie, Joy & Eldric, Vandora, Chuck Byrum & his family, and Denny Brown.

 Peggy Eckerty has been taking radiation treatments and is doing well with them but says that sometimes they just totally drain her of energy. Peggy is always full of concern for others and always has time to give a kid a hug and a smile.

Peggy wanted us to be sure to remember Joy Briggs and her daughter Brenda Briggs who are both having some medical problems; also remember her sister’s husband Phillip Eaves for medical issues.

Jan Rayles and Betty Williams are both having medical tests/procedures done this week in Louisville.

Pastor Bobby Brundige has been sick this week (stomach virus) but he made it in to preach Sunday and had a great sermon (he lives in Louisville); wife Mel stayed home with baby Emma who was sick.

Remember also Eric Dunning, Ashley Works, Emmett Church, Karen Wooten & family, unsaved family & friends, several members of our community that are looking for work (they need our prayer support also), Mary Davenport, and Service Personnel serving all over the world.

There were several ‘praises’ mentioned by different members of the congregation, for the provisions God has made for us, the beauty of His creation, and His grace in forgiving us our trespasses; thank you Lord.

As you talk to the Lord this week, please mention these folks and others you know that may be ‘standing in the need of prayer’; remember it is written that, “The prayer of a righteous person has much power.”

All our ‘righteousness’ comes through the person of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross; through Him only are we made righteous, put in right standing with God. Those that accept Christ as Savior, puts on Christ’s perfect righteousness; in other words, when God looks at a believing Christian, He sees us through the ‘image’ of His Son Jesus, forgives our confessed & repented sins, and accords righteousness to us.

In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me.”

In Romans 3:23 Paul quotes an Old Testament Psalm that says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of the Lord.” Everyone of us screws up and sins.

Even so, In John 3:16 Jesus explains that He will accept anyone who sincerely accepts Him no matter what they have done, what sins they have committed; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

Until we talk again, as it says in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope.” Amen.