Hey friends, it seems we have put another month behind us; April and Easter are almost here (April 16th). Trees are blooming and plants are coming up out of the cold ground a little early; but don’t get too excited, ‘ole grandpap black walnut’ has yet to don any spring clothes (leaves) so still the possibility of a frost and/or freeze is with us.
My roses were all leafed out before that last bout of cold weather but it doesn’t seem to have bothered them any (no, I didn’t cover them – they either make it on their own or they don’t). The magnolias are another story though – the lavender blooming one’s buds all turned black and the star magnolia that was covered with thousands of beautiful white blooms now have fuzzy looking ‘mud balls’ all over it. The peach tree is in full bloom and the other fruit trees’ buds are swelling getting ready to open, even the clematis leaves are appearing. I live in hope.
Melissa Park’s sister, Donna, came in from Maine for a short visit; Melissa and Marty had all of the family (those that could make it) in for a reunion and family get-together at their house. They brought Rosalie home for the day from Swiss Villa and everyone had a great time. Rosalie was really worn out from all the excitement but is back to normal now. Donna got back safely to Maine and while I know she enjoyed the visit I am equally sure she was glad to get home.
Ran into Glenn Crandall at the IGA last week; he had brought his mother in town to shop. Glenn told me his mom would be 94 years old next month and she still liked to mow grass; so he bought her a new John Deere lawnmower. Their old one had a console in the middle of the deck that was difficult for her to maneuver her legs over but she liked the new one really well. In just a few minutes of conversation, you could tell he was really proud of his mom and loved her a lot (every mother’s hope).
My youngest son Frank is an alcoholic and at the end of a substance abuse program, he wrote a poem:
“Recovery Is An Effort”
Recovery is an effort, full of struggle and strife.
It has no quick fix; it has no end in sight
Recovery is an effort that spans an entire life.
It affects not only the addict but also many others alike.
Recovery is an effort, to set things back to right.
The things and lives I messed up, when all I got was high.
Recovery is my effort, the effort to better myself;
To rise up and out of my own personal hell.
Yes, my recovery is an effort. And as I look around, it sometimes seems impossible and void of love. But then I am reminded that the effort for my recovery comes not, from around, but from above.
Frank graduated from the program with honors but as every addict is aware, it takes a lifetime to complete, even with God’s help. Naturally I am proud and happy he has made the commitment to live a sober life.
It is not easy and as I read the poem, I thought of other things that require an ‘effort’ to achieve: leading a good Christian life, following a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise, keeping good relationships with family and friends, etc. (you get the idea, anything worthwhile takes a committed effort).
Cyndi Carr’s mom, Fern Barrett, is having serious medical problems; she is in and out of the hospital and nursing homes in Hamilton; please remember her to the Lord in your conversations with him this week, don’t forget to mention the family to the Lord also. Families suffer when loved ones are afflicted but are sometimes left out of our prayers.
Patty Miller returned from Tennessee, niece Amy picked her up, and they traveled down to visit family. I saw Patty coming our of CVS last Monday and she told me they had a good time but she was really glad to be back home. I told her to put on the coffee pot, I would be down Friday with a doughnut and the Rummykub game. She said, “Good!” (The actual truth is that she loves the doughnut; she just likes me).
Mary and Jessi Martin with boys (Elijah, Weston, and Landon) traveled to Texas over spring break to visit family and see the sights. They drove straight through, a long trip, but they made it safely and were having a wonderful time; however I spoke to Mary Saturday evening and she said they would be back a day later than planned as they had all come down with the flu. First Landon, then Mary, and then Weston, and so on through the family all the way to Mike. Jessi was feeling bad Saturday night but Mary thought they could make it home safely by leaving a day later. (Not to be mean but I do hope they leave the flu in Texas, not to wish anything bad on Texas but there are some things I really don’t want to share – even with family).
MBC had our bi-monthly pitch-in fellowship dinner and business meeting this past Sunday (April 2nd) and I took two new recipes; depending on how they were received, if good, I will share the recipes in my next column. If they didn’t turn out well (meaning no one really liked them), I will keep the recipes to myself, haha. The first is a chicken/rice/vegetable casserole and the other is an apple cake that sure smelled good baking. I’ll let you know how it turned out.
Last Tuesday, Cyndi took me to the doctor’s office for a heart echo test. I asked the technician how my it looked; she said, “Your heart is still beating!” Actually I could see that (and hear it too) on the screen (really awesome) but I know they are not supposed to tell patients anything only wait for the doctor to interpret everything and then let the patient know what is going on. I see him (God willing) on the 21st. Cyndi took me to lunch so I wasn’t too sad.
Melissa Park and Jeni Scudder went to Chattanooga for a Bible seminar but should be returning Monday.
April birthdays are: Kristi Skidmore (6th – and she is expecting a brand new baby boy this fall – congratulations Kristi and Curtis), Juanita Brown (8th), Pat Miller (8th – 77 this year and I think I will stay 77 for several more years – I like the numbers), Kris Parker (26th), and William Carr on the 27th. Happy Birthday to each of you and as the Irish say, “May you be in heaven two days before the Devil knows you are dead.”
We were talking in Sunday School about how important it is to speak to people at their level of understanding, especially young people, i.e. what some children thought they heard at church: Moses died before he ever reached Canada, Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption, Saint Paul cavorted to Christianity and he preached holy acrimony which is another name for marriage, Moses went up Mt. Cyanide to get the 10 amendments. It is important that everyone understand what you are saying and what you mean, especially children.
Markland Baptist Church will have Sunrise Service (outside, weather permitting) at 7 a.m. followed by a fellowship breakfast (prepared by the men, mostly); there will be no Sunday school and the regular Worship Service will begin at 10:45 a.m. followed by an Easter Egg Hunt on the church grounds (weather permitting.)
There are two more sessions of Bible study on the book of Ruth at the Lantern Coffee Shop on Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m. Melissa Park does a great job leading this study; I don’t know where she gets the time and energy for all she does: conducts a prison ministry (evening at the women’s prison in Madison), Tuesday morning Bible study in Vevay, works a job, active in church, and keeps her family going, among other things. God bless you Melissa.
The Prayer Concern list was kind of lengthy Sunday morning: Joy Hazeldean, Robert Brundige (Pastor Bobby’s father having medical problems), Roger Garvey (healing), Pat Miller (blood pressure concerns), Patty Miller, Frank and Donna Miller, Baker Harcrow and Kent Garrett (military), unsaved family and friends, our church, our country, Emmett Church and his son (wise decisions), all the folks suffering from weather catastrophes, unspoken requests, Fern Barrett and her family, the Martin family and all our travelers.
Several ladies from MBC will be going to the State Hospital Monday afternoon on their regular bi-month outing there. The patients (ladies) really enjoy the time our girls spend with them.
Until next time, may God bless you and cause His face to shine on you and give you peace, keeping you under the protective shadow of His wings, amen.