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2015 in a Nutshell

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been almost a full year since I have posted anything here. I have got to get more regular with that!!

A lot has happened over the past year and I’ll not bore you with all of it, just a few highlights.

At this time last year, our church was still seeking a pastor. I am so happy to report that we have found our guy and he has been with us about 6 months now, and we are starting to see a lot of people returning who had left, as well as seeing many new faces! It’s really very refreshing to look around and see filled pews, and smiling faces greeting one another with hugs and handshakes. Bro. Gary Weaver and his wife Carrie have brought a lot of eye openers to Peachtree! And I, for one, am so thankful to have them there!

I have a new granddaughter! Her name is Elizabeth Grace and she is the red head that I prayed for when I was having children. I’m so thankful to God for giving her to us! She makes #8!!

IPAD pics January 2016 1031

That’s our little angel. She just rolled over and has started sitting up by herself over the past couple of days.

I guess the next big thing in our lives would be my husband’s job. He is currently serving as the Interim Police Chief in our town, and we do have hopes of him getting the position permanently. God’s will be done.

I started my own business back in August!! Well, I became a consultant with Scentsy and I am loving it!! I’ve done fairly well, earned my first trip on them! I’m going to Nashville in July for a week, all expenses paid!!! I am so very excited about that!!

A little background on the whole ‘Scentsy thing’. This is something that I had thought about doing for years, but the time just never seemed right. Well, this time when the opportunity presented itself, I prayed. I asked God to open a door if this was something he wanted me to do. Then I texted my husband and told him I was thinking about doing it. His reply to me was “if it’s something you want to do, go for it. If nothing else, it might give you a little spending money.” He is usually against things like this, but something this time was different. We also, like so many Americans these days, live paycheck to paycheck, with very little extra between. Add in that my husband, the very AVID hunter, was preparing for hunting season, and basically, we had no extra money. So I asked him in my reply how I was going to pay the $99 for my starter kit. We have one credit card that we try to only use for emergencies and the occasional frivolous item or two. I had no idea how far from our limit we were, but my husband’s reply came and nearly knocked me out of my chair!! “Use the credit card”. WHAT?? He was actually TELLING me to use the card. Then it hit me. OK God. I see the open door now!! THANK YOU!!!

Well, since signing on, I have made and reached goal after goal. I signed on in mid-August and currently hold a title that on the average takes almost four years to reach!! Tell me God’s not in the details!! You better believe He has been in every detail of this wild journey!! Well, shortly before Christmas, I slowed down for the holidays, and am just now getting back into the swing of things! And now I’ve been hit with a horrible upper respiratory bug that just won’t let go!!

When I received my paycheck for the month of December, I was seriously disappointed. But, it was no one’s fault but my own.  I took time off for the holidays and didn’t work my business like I needed to. But most importantly, I forgot who was actually leading this business. Not ME!! I wasn’t depending on God to send my my customers and lead me in the way I was to go. I was trying to do it myself. I realized today that if I am going to have a business that is fully dedicated to the Lord, I have to FULLY depend on Him to lead me. So today I begin anew, rededicating my business to God. His will be done!!

A few other things that happened over the year were not so good.

One of my sons went to jail. We knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time and his dad and I both agreed that he needed to go. Hopefully this would be the straw that would wake him up so he would turn his life around. Thankfully, he was not involved in drugs. He stole money from an employer. Initially, he had been put on probation and ordered to pay so much for fines, restitution, etc. Well, he decided that the probation system wasn’t working to suit him, so he stopped paying his fees. He stopped reporting to his probation officer. Next thing we know, he is listed as one of Jasper County’s top 10 most wanted!! Yep. His dad caught a lot of flack over that, but our reply has been the same to everyone. He’s a grown man (27 years old) and he knew what he did was wrong and now he was going to have to pay the penalty. I cried my eyes out many times over the thought of him possibly going to prison, but God prevailed and he was allowed to stay at the county jail. He is due to be released next month. I took his son to visit him last weekend, and when my son turned the corner and saw HIS son, he did something I have never seen this “tough” guy do. He got tears in his eyes. There’s a long story behind the relationship of him and his son, but I won’t go into that. As we talked though, at one point I pointed at my grandson and told my son, “This is your reason.” At first he didn’t understand what I was talking about, but when I repeated it and added that this (my grandson) was his reason to change and improve his life, he agreed. It amazed me that he could not take his eyes of his little boy the entire time we were there. I have begged, cried, and ached for him to have that kind of relationship with his son, and it looks like God is stepping in once again. I have really been praying for this boy!!

Then came August 30. This was my twins birthday, one of them is the above mentioned son. They were turning 27 years old! WOW!! Where had the time gone? My husband and I were getting ready for church. Well, I had just gotten out of the shower and I had a message on my phone from my mother’s number. I listened to the message and heard my brother’s voice on the other end telling me my mother had passed away. We live 3 hours from them. So, with what little strength I could muster, I woke my husband from his morning nap and told him we had to go and why. He went to get his shower and I began to notify my kids. As I was doing this I realized that there was one that I could not call, and I felt I HAD to let him know! My kids were not close to my parents, partly due to the distance we lived apart, and partly due to other things I won’t go into, but I wanted them all to know. So, when he got dressed, my husband made a phone call and we were granted a special early visit with my son. (It was visitation day) Normally, our visits were in a room with 5 other people visiting their loved ones with a glass wall between us and our loved ones and we have to talk on these awful phones. You can usually only hear about half of what is being said. But on this day, the jailer, knowing my husband and what was going on, was kind enough to grant us a contact visit. As I grabbed my son, I couldn’t speak for the tears flowing that quickly turned to sobs as he was wondering what the heck was going on! I told him his grandmother had passed away and we were going to where she had lived. I told him I wouldn’t be there to visit today and all I had wanted to do today was wish him a happy birthday!! We were allowed to visit and hug as long as we wanted, and I thanked the jailer and God for that because I so desperately needed that at that time!

Then on October 20 my uncle Skeeter passed away. He was the last of my mother’s brothers. She still has one sister living, but we live about a 15 hour drive apart! My uncle’s funeral was tough, but I did get to spend some time with some cousins that were not able to make it to my mom’s funeral. I think we all needed that time to visit.

So….that is my 2015 in a nutshell! Or at least most of it. There were good times and bad, happy, joyful times and sad ones. But through it all, I know that God was, and is, in control. He carried me when I couldn’t carry myself. He has lead me to an opportunity to contribute to our family finances and our dream of building a home.

Whatever happens in 2016, I know that God’s will, will be done!! To Him be all glory and honor, always!!

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ALL MY BLOGS

THIS POST ORIGINATED ON ONE OF MY OTHER BLOGS, http://POSITIVELY-PINK-DAISIES.BLOGSPOT.COM/ , AND I WANTED TO SHARE IT WITH ALL POSSIBLE READERS. I HOPE YOU ENJOY!! ALL MY BLOGS…… I have more than just this blog that I SHOULD be writing on. I always have good intentions of keeping my writing up and then something happens and I just let it go. I am going to attempt to be much better at keeping at least this one up this year! With that in mind, I am going to provide a link to my other blogs, both in this post as well as a more permanent location on one of my sidebars! I have so many different things that I like to talk about that I easily confuse myself! With that in mind, I think I will attempt to keep each blog going, and have each one with a certain topic ‘focus’. For example, this one would be more about the aspect of my life related to any kind of work or job. Now, since I am presently unemployed, I will have to be creative with this. I won’t be including only discussion about a job in which I am being paid! (Although, if that does occur, I will most certainly be telling you all about it!) I have a couple of things in the works so hopefully you will be seeing, and enjoying, more written works from me in the very near future! In the mean time, I invite you to take a look at my other blogs as well! Please, feel free to like or follow each one! I can certainly use all the followers I can get!! Isn’t that one of the reasons that bloggers write in the first place? So people can read their words?? I know it is for me. I do hope you enjoy them and will provide me with some feedback through the comments!! I will be sharing stories of my family life on http://fghallfamily.wordpress.com/ . Please, check us out and, yes, you can go ahead and tell me just how crazy you think my family truly is!! Trust me. I already know this!! My walk of faith and belief in Jesus Christ will be documented (for the most part) here: https://simplewordsofachristianmom.wordpress.com/ . I am most certainly not a Biblical scholar, in fact I consider myself a mere infant when it comes to Biblical knowledge, but I do have bits and pieces that I have learned that I like to share. I am also typically very anxious to share when I learn something new! So, beware!! LOL I am always excited to read other people’s opinions or interpretations of God’s word. However, I will NEVER tolerate anyone bashing my Christian beliefs. While I do believe in religious freedom, to me that means that if you do not believe in Jesus Christ, you are free to express that fact elsewhere other than on MY blog! Thank you very much!! One of my hobbies is scrapbooking. I love to document special moments and occasions through the decorated pages that hold my precious photos! I also love to share those pages and ideas. Of course, I am also always looking for new ideas! So feel free to let me know what you think about what I am presently working on, as well as to share your ideas on http://msjsscrappin.wordpress.com/ . If you visit this blog today, you will notice that it is in dire need of work! In fact, it is in need of more than just a title!! Please check back, or subscribe, so that you will know as soon as I get some stuff posted there!! You may be asking what is going to happen to this blog, other than to be a relay site for my others. Well, this blog will be my ‘everything else’ blog. I have always wanted to write, (and preferably be paid for it!), so hopefully something that I write about, or say here will be noticed by someone in the publishing world, or even just a small paper or magazine! Who knows? It sure doesn’t hurt to dream now does it? Please leave words of encouragement, advice, or just share bits of your dreams here. I truly don’t mind. But know that if you get selected to be published through my blog, I will expect an autographed copy of whatever you have published!! So, with all that being said, I look forward to staying busy with these various blogs in different aspects of my life. Will all these blogs have new posts each day, or week? I honestly don’t know! That depends on what I have to say, and how busy I am in other areas of my life. Just know that if I haven’t posted on your favorite recently, you are welcome to respond on my most recent post on one of the others and let me know that you miss me!! Trust me. You won’t hurt my feelings telling me that!! God bless and have a beautifully blessed day!!

School it is! Now, how to pay for it!

As I posted a little while back, I am planning to return to school and FINALLY get a degree. I have spent 20 years of my life working as a nurse, (received my training through a vocational nursing program which included no college credit.)

I have been slowly taking a few classes here and there over the years with the intention, at that time anyway, of gaining my Associates degree in nursing and become an RN, but it just never felt right. Oh, I loved taking the classes, loved going to school! But, going for my degree in nursing just never satisfied me or felt right. So, over the past probably about a year now, I have been praying and asking God for guidance and wisdom in making a decision of what to do with my life.

You see, I retired from nursing about 4 years ago because of some health issues. I possibly could have returned but then I had cervical spine surgery to fuse a couple of vertebrae followed several months later by another spinal surgery all the way on the other end of the spectrum! I had to have two fusions and some titanium screws and plate installed on my S1-T4 vertebrae. Since having those procedures done, I have tried, really tried to get back to normal and be able to exercise, stand for lengthy times, do some light lifting, walking up and down stairs, but each and every one of these attempts has resulted in pain. Pain that very often is so severe, I have to take medication in addition to sitting or laying on my heating pad. Finally, I became convinced that I don’t think I will ever be able to do nursing again, at least not in the forums available in my area. I know I can’t work in a hospital setting, doctors office, or prison setting because of the standing, walking, and various other back breaking activities that are involved in those work positions. (Yes, I worked in a prison. Yep, it had scary moments.) I can’t handle lengthy drives so home health nursing is out of the question. I can’t do any heavy lifting so sitting with patients or anything that might cause me to have to lift someone is out. That doesn’t really leave a lot of choices in the nursing field.

So, as I said, I prayed, and prayed, asking God for direction and guidance about my career. I have had a couple of different things I have thought about and I just could not decide what I should do. During this time, I started volunteering with a wonderful organization, The East Texas Pregnancy Help Center, and through my volunteering there, I have grown closer to God each and every day. I believe it is greatly in part due to the strong faith of the people responsible for opening this center. There has never been a time that I entered those doors and did not feel the glory of God and know, without a doubt, that the Holy Spirit is present there.

At first, as I began volunteering there, I started thinking maybe I should go ahead and finish my nursing degree, but still, it did not feel right. I also thought about obtaining a degree in psychology. I felt like either of these degrees would help me to be better at what I do at the center. But, again, it did not feel quite right! So, I prayed and prayed and finally I got an answer.

I can distinctly remember hearing God tell me “write the story”. Huh? What story? What are you talking about God? And again, I heard “write.” I have always loved writing, especially since winning a competition in high school!! Yep, long time ago! But, I said “Okay God. If you want me to write, show me what to write.” God always follows through! He sent me to a very precious lady who had a wonderful story that I was just itching to write about! Doesn’t it just amaze you how God’s timing is always so PERFECT? It sure amazes me!

Because of God’s perfect timing, I was able to speak to the young man I was going to write about the day before he would be leaving for several weeks for various rodeo competitions. I was able to obtain assurance from the editor of our local paper to print the story when I finished it! Talk about being excited!! I was very excited!!

Well, I met with the young man and his fiancee’, wrote and submitted the story, and was super excited and a bit overwhelmed to see it published in not only my small town paper the following week, but also in a larger regional paper (the parent company of our local paper). I was PUBLISHED!!! That is so amazing and absolutely huge in writing circles!!

So, I said okay God, obviously you want me to write, so I guess I better check on job openings and requirements. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was going to have to go back to school!! I need a degree in journalism/mass media. I know I’m weird but I look forward to getting started with my writing assignments!!

But, not so fast. College courses do not come free. I’ve found that, depending on which school I choose, I will be paying anywhere from almost $200 per credit hour and up significantly, with each class being at least 3 credit hours! So, I’m looking at about $2000 per semester! We can’t afford that!

I applied for a Pell Grant through FAFSA but when you are empty nest parents, you don’t qualify. Actually, we make too much. I wish they would show me where all this excess $$ they think we have is hidden!!! But, I know my God! If God wants me to go to school this fall, things will fall in place!

So, I am checking out any and all possible scholarships or grants that I can find. Trying to avoid student loans if at all possible.

So, as I work on a follow up story to my first one, and writing what I hope will be my first magazine story, I will be researching financial aid opportunities for school! I will also be working on some other story ideas I have, sending out queries to various print sources to see if anyone is interested in actually paying me for a story! Yep, my first one was a freebie, but I was just so excited to get published I didn’t care!!

So, wish me luck, pray for me. Ask God to lead me to the sources to pay for my education. I know with your prayers and mine, God will provide the clarification I need as well as whatever resources I need so that I can obtain this degree I need to be considered a “real writer”. That is something that doesn’t make a world of sense to me.

I mean, you either have a talent for writing, or you don’t, at least that’s what I think. I may not have the talent I believe I do, but I want to find out! But, if you have the talent, why is a college (four year) degree required? Oh well, I guess I’ll find out!!

Thank you God for the guidance you give me on a daily basis. You have blessed me beyond measure already, yet you are faithful to continue to bless me. I thank you for that! Please forgive me Father, for things I may have said or done that disappointed you. I ask these things in Jesus precious name! I love  you Lord! Amen

When the music stopped….

I received this as a fwd email and I felt that it needed to be shared on a broader spectrum! I have three sons who have all served in the military, served in Iraq and seen more in their young lives than most of us will see our entire lives. Please always keep ALL of our military personnel and their families in your prayers. You have no idea what daily life is like for them, or their families!!

When the Music Stopped…
(For those who are unaware: At all military base theaters, the National Anthem is played before the movie begins.)

This is written from a Chaplain in Iraq:

I recently attended a showing of ‘Superman 3‘ here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and

 other large gatherings. As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was   going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude 

comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here in Iraq, 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again and the Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. But again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect 1000 Soldiers standing at attention to do?? Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.

But No!!… You could have heard a pin drop, while every Soldier continued to stand at attention.

Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off: 

 

   

“And the rockets’ red glare, 
the bombs bursting in air, 
gave proof through the night 
that our flag was still there. 
Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, 
o’er the land of the free, 
and the home of the brave.” 


It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq and I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you. Remember them as they fight for us!

Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. Many have already paid the ultimate price.

Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins.
LSA Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq , north of Baghdad .

All I can add is AMEN!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR PROTECTORS OF OUR FREEDOM!!!

Extended Family

So often when someone talks of extended family they are referring to cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, etc. We tend not to consider friends as extended family, but in so many cases they are just that. When you have known someone for 30 years, been friends with them, been to dinners, prayed with them, had them preach at relatives funerals, had them marry your children, then I think you become extended family.

Last week we lost a very dear member of our extended family. You see, my husband and I met Thomas Brown and his wife Jean on our wedding day! From that day on, they were members of our family, and I always have felt that they were members of our family. I had the special priviledge of becoming friends with both of their daughters, Vicki and Liz, and later son Paul. As the time passed I met other members of their family and each and every one always treated me as if I had been a member of their family my entire life. I never had anyone in that family treat me with anything less than love, grace, and compassion.

I have learned so much about love and grace and compassion from each and every member of the Brown family. Anytime that you see any of them, be ready because they have a hug ready for you! They are always ready and willing to pray with you, or for you. If you ever had a need in your life, whether for you or a family member, or even just someone you knew, whether it was a physical, mental, or financial need, they were ready to do whatever they could to help.

As owners of the Christian Book & Supply Store in Jasper, I can’t begin to tell you how many Bibles I saw Bro. or Sis. Brown give to whomever the customer might be. Or in many cases, they would hear a story of someone in need, someone struggling and their first response would be to give…whether it was a Bible they would give or some other material item, or even a financial gift, they gave. They gave because they knew that God had already given them so much and they delighted in sharing their blessings. They truly enjoyed helping someone in need and it didn’t matter to them what color someone’s skin was, or where they grew up. It didn’t matter to them what someone’s address was. All that mattered to them was if the person had a need and God led them to help.

You see, unlike so many of us, this family listened to the Holy Spirit. In each and every thing that they did, every decision they made, every gift they gave, they listened to what God told them. They would always pray and listen. So many of us fail to do that and then we wonder why our decisions or our actions don’t go the way we think they should.

We pray, oh BOY do we pray! We ask God to give us this or do that for us. We rarely ask what we can do for someone else or how we can do something for someone else. If we would simply pray with our hearts and ears open, pray humbly, and pray seeking God’s will, we would see that things would turn around and be so much better for all around us.

That is what the Brown family does. When they pray, they trust that God is going to answer. They don’t know if God’s answer is going to be yes, no, or not right now, but they knew WITHOUT A DOUBT that God was going to answer. And they knew that He was going to answer in His own time, not in our time. The faith that family has is so inspiring and encouraging to me.

Oh, they have had their difficulties, their downs and disappointments, but through them all they maintained their faith. They always KNEW that God was going to take care of things. They KNEW that He was going to supply what was needed, open the hearts that they encountered, and they had no doubt that “All things are possible with God.”

And, because of the beautiful and wonderful Brown family, I also know that “With God, all things are possible.” I will always, always love each and every member of that beautiful family, and I am so eternally grateful that God introduced us almost 30 years ago.

Brother Thomas Edgar Brown, Jr., I will always love you and miss you. You now know what a profound affect you have had on my life, on the lives of all my family members, and on the lives of all those you have touched in one way or another. You have had a hand in leading so many to come to know and accept Jesus, too many to count! But God knows, and that is what is important. You are now there in Heaven walking the streets of gold, enjoying reunions with family and friends that have gone before you, but most importantly, you are in the presence of Jesus! I am so thrilled for you! Yes, we miss you here on this cold, hard-hearted earth, but we look forward to the day when we can celebrate with you there with Jesus. Until that time, thank you for being a guardian angel for me, and the many others that you are. We love you so very much!

To write, to go to school, to return to my former type of work, or what?

For several weeks now, I have been contemplating what the next step in my life should be. My choices consist of going to college and actually finishing to get a Bachelor’s Degree, ( I already have all but 6 hours of my freshman year done!), to return to my former type of work, which was nursing as a Licensed Vocational Nurse, or just stay home and write, hoping and praying that I can start to get some articles or stories placed in newspapers or magazines who will agree to pay me for my work!

My dilemma is that I love to write, and I want to finish school. I have spent over 20 years working as a nurse and honestly, if I don’t get in just the right job, I wouldn’t be able to stick with it for long. Most of the time in nursing you have extended periods of standing, usually lifting, lots of bending over; all of these are things that really bother my back and put me in pain!

I don’t really want to go to work where I am in pain for the entire shift and then come home and stick myself to the heating pad! I would rather find a nursing job, if that is the way I decide to go, that is at least 75% computer or sitting in some way, and there just aren’t too many jobs like that out there. I have high hopes of something that is going on in our town which is an extension of a ministry I currently work with, East Texas Pregnancy Help Center. I just don’t know if it would pan out to be a paying job or not. I am at the point in my life that I need at least a part time job, with pay.

I want to finish school, but I’m not sure whether I want to major in Psychology and minor in communications, or major in communications and minor in psych or even English. I know with the psych or English degrees, I would be able to teach if I chose. The communications degree would give me some clout behind my name as I attempt to get my stories published. I love both subjects so I am really torn about this. I am leaning towards majoring in communications with a minor in Psych, if I can handle a minor as well!

The bottom line is the fact that I HAVE TO GET A JOB! At least on a part-time basis. I have to do something making my own money so I can stop feeling guilty when I ask my husband for money for gas or groceries, because I know that usually to do either one, we are having to push payment of one of our bills back. When I say we live from paycheck to paycheck, it really should be more like we live from paycheck to praying for a check!

Thing is, we went from a two person income a few years ago when I was really having some health problems, to a single income. Now this single income was sufficient to pay the bills and allow us to put food on the table as well as cover some of the unexpected things, like a flat tire or working on our well, etc. But now, since my husband was demoted last year, his pay was cut. Many people who know of the demotion, do not realize that his pay was cut as well. That has made for a very tough year for us! We are hoping that things are finally settling down and he will soon begin to get his pay at the same level that he was prior to the demotion. Don’t know if he is going to get his title back or not, but we will worry about that when it comes time. Right now our priority is to get his pay back to “normal.” This cut in pay is a huge part of the reason I am looking for a job.

I know that many of you are aware that I volunteer at our local pregnancy help center, and I love it! Ideally, I would be able to go to work there, even on a part-time basis, and at least making myself some pocket change as well as perhaps grocery money. I just don’t think that is going to happen. I love working there, but it has come time for me to find a paying job. Hopefully, I will find a job that will still allow me to volunteer at the center.

I really want to write. I love newswriting, in fact I won an award for newswriting in high school and qualified to participate in the state competition, but I let a boyfriend convince me to stay home that weekend, so I didn’t go to the competition. Looking back, I think “if only I had gone to that competition, maybe I would have won a scholarship!” But, I stayed home for the weekend instead.

I have already written one story for our local paper which also appeared on our regional paper, and yes, I have copies of both articles!! Talk about excited! I was so excited to see my name in print as the author of an article I almost could not contain myself. But, there was no pay involved in writing that article.

I have several ideas for additional articles, but I think it is only fair that if I am chasing these stories down, gathering the info, and then compiling a story, I should be getting paid! I know of some paid reporters that sit at their desks and try to think of things to write about, while they are on the payroll! It is strictly my opinion, but I believe if you are  being paid to write news stories, then you should be chasing down the good stories and writing them, and writing them well! But that doesn’t appear to happen much any more. It seems reporters would rather sit at their desk, maybe make a phone call or two and ask someone else to basically write the story for them, by sending the reporter all the facts and information regarding the subject and then the reporter takes the info received and creates a story out of it. I’m not saying that is a bad thing! I have done it myself. But you can’t do it that way all the time! Sometimes you have to get off your hindend and go chase a story down! I want the opportunity to do that! But not for free!

Am I wrong in wanting to be paid for my work? There are some things that I do for other people that most freelancers would charge heftily for, but I do it for free. Should I put a stop to the freebies and explain that I need to be paid to do this work? Or should I just leave the places that I so dearly love to enable me to find a job that will provide me with a paycheck? That just seems like a greedy way of looking at things, but it is really more of a survival thing. If I don’t start bringing in some money to our family finances soon, we are going to be seriously in pain!

Now, mind you, we have not hit the hottest summer months as of yet, but my electric bill already doubled last month!! I just don’t konw how we are going to pay these enormous electric bills, along with all the others, and have anything left for food! I know God will provide, but I also know that He does not expect us to just sit back and wait for Him to drop a fish in our lap!! I believe He expects us to work for the blessings He gives us. I don’t believe God created us to be people who just sit around and do nothing all day and just wait for God to pull us up out of our chairs, off the couch, or wherever, and send us to a job that he just dropped in our laps. I believe that He wants us out in the world working so that we can help others to see how He loves us and provides for us.

I am praying that God will grant me wisdom to make the right decision to stay or go at the center, to go to school, and where do I need to go to work at. If at a local paper, (there’s only one), do I continue to send them free stories to publish for free? My, and my husbands concern is that as long as I am giving them something for free, they are not going to offer to pay for it! But I do enjoy it so much!

In fact, I have an interview tomorrow (well today now) for a possible position as a sports statistics ‘reporter’ of sorts. If hired, I will gather stats on games and other activities and post them to a website for all the fans to have immediate access to their favorite teams progress.

Please pray for me to make the right decisions, in all areas. Do I continue to volunteer, which I so dearly love? Do I go ahead and start back to school for the f all semester? And how hard to I pursue my writing career? Do I write letters to the editors of a couple of local newspaper, as well as regionals, and pitch my writing ability for pay? Believe me, that is what I really want to do, but I know He is not going to just drop it on me. He expects me to get out and locate and apply for that position that is just right for me.

I just love to write, or can you tell? Have a wonderful day everyone!

Precious friend – Time to say goodbye….For now.

On November 20, 1982, I met a couple that would inspire and bless me for many years to come, but I had no idea just how much they would come to mean to me at that time. That was the day of my wedding at Nedville.

November 21, 1982, the next day, was the first ‘official’ day for Bro. Thomas Brown to be the pastor of Nedville Missionary Baptist Church. I don’t remember what he preached about that day, but I remember thinking about how powerful his words were and how he really seemed to know what he was talking about. He made me want to hear more.

You see, I didn’t grow up in church, didn’t know much about God or Jesus, heaven or hell. I was baptized at 16 at the urging of a friend during a revival at her church, but I couldn’t have answered any questions for anyone about how to be saved, or even what it meant, other than that I was going to get to go to heaven because I was saved. I remember because I didn’t know any better, that I really hoped I hadn’t done anything too bad that would keep me from getting through those pearly gates!

Many services I sat and listened to Bro. Brown preach and teach about God, Jesus, heaven, and hell, and what being a Christian was all about. I learned so much from listening to him over the years, and I can only hope that he knows now, just how much of a blessing he has been to my family.

Bro. Brown baptized each of my children. I remember when Crystal was baptized, she was so scared he was going to let her fall under the water and not help her up! She thought he was just going to drop her or something! But he didn’t, of course, and when he raised her from that water the smile on her face could have been seen for miles! I know it was a huge smile because I could see it through my tears.  And when Justin was baptized, he was such a big boy and Bro. Brown was such a small man, there were several, including myself, that were concerned that he might not be able to lift Justin back up and would indeed drop him! But he didn’t. It just amazes me how God gives strength to those in need, when they need it.

I can practically hear Bro. Brown right now telling all of us that he really wishes we wouldn’t make such a fuss over him, “I’m just an old preacher”. “Awe now, y’all don’t have to do that.” “Don’t go to all that trouble”, “Don’t be shedding those tears over me. If you have Jesus as your savior, we will see each other again soon.” I can plainly hear him saying all of those things.

I don’t think he, or Ms. Jean, realize just how much they mean to so many, or how many lives they have touched in a positive way, how many lives they have had a hand in turning around. I do believe though, that just because he is no longer with us here on this earth physically, does not mean that Bro. Brown is finished blessing our hearts, or asking the Lord to help us. He had two things he always said during a prayer that will forever stand out in my mind and I will always hear these words when someone is praying out loud. “Lord help” and “Lord bless”. Right now it is my prayer that the “Lord help” the Brown family and all of us who are mourning our loss, and that the “Lord bless” each and every one of the lives that Brother Brown has touched. I pray for peace and comfort for Ms. Jean, Vicki, Liz, and Paul, and all of his family and friends. I pray that we all rejoice in the fact that he is never, ever going to hurt again, never, ever going to have any pain, never again will he have to have any needles stuck into him, or tests of any sort. But he will always, each and every day, be singing and praising our Lord, and so should we. Bro. Brown, we love you and we miss you so very much, but we are so grateful to have the assurance of where you are right now. We are indeed blessed in knowing that you are right there with Jesus right now. Rest well my friend. You have worked hard and earned a good rest.