National Beer Day!

Who knew? National Beer Day! We have special days for almost everything, don’t we? Not too long ago, I noticed it was National Doughnut Day…..and I missed it. I love doughnuts. I have one every now and then. They are awfully sugary and also fattening…which I don’t need in my life. All that to say, I was catching up on some news this morning and they announced it was National Beer Day and they shared several brewers who have developed their own brand. The newscasters were telling all about each one and at the same time made it clear they were not allowed to drink any. I wondered why not? If it’s so wonderful and amazing, why can’t you drink it while sharing with the world how amazing it all is. I think the only good thing I gained from the report was the entrepreneurial spirit of the “brewers.” I love seeing people that have a dream and develop it and then are passionate about it. They were definitely passionate about their “brews.”

I thanked the Lord that I wasn’t passionate about beer. I know so many are and they live for the end of the day to sit down with a “cold one.” Thank you Lord, that I had the thoughts (wisdom) to not make that a part of my life. I can honestly say, that I have ZERO curiosity of how it tastes and obviously about making it a part of my life. I try so hard to have an open mind and respect those that have a taste for it and have made it a part of their lives. I don’t shame people and I don’t say anything as they sit and sip on their alcohol. But, I have been shamed many times for not partaking. When you don’t consume alcohol you are often left out of the loop on certain get togethers, etc. Snide remarks are made in your favor of how crazy you must be to not want to sip and take in the effects of alcohol. I’ve had things said to me such as:

“Oh, you are just a good Baptist girl!”

“I guess you can’t eat Rum Cake, it has Rum in it, you know.”

“How can anyone not drink, look what you are missing!”

“Oh, a little wine never hurt anyone!”

“Beverly! Jesus turned the water into wine!”

“I get it, you don’t drink because you are afraid of being an alcoholic since it’s in your family!”

“You are such a dud!”

The list goes on and on….

But, let’s talk about National Beer Day!

From 1920 to 1933, the Prohibition was in effect. Click here to read more about it. Those pesky Protestants! -wink Seriously, it’s a quick read and explains a bit about the Prohibition.

And then, thanks to President Roosevelt….

On April 7, 1933, President Roosevelt took the major first step toward ending Prohibition and signed a law allowing people to brew and distribute beer in the United States. Upon signing the legislation, FDR famously stated, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” For the first time in thirteen years, beer drinkers celebrated and were happy to be able to purchase beer again. On that same day, 1.5 million barrels of beer were consumed, inspiring the holiday celebrated today. For all you beer lovers out there – remember, always drink responsibly and never drink and drive. So, take a toast with us by celebrating National Beer Day on April 7, Cheers!” (This is the opening article on the site for the National Beer Day. Click here to read more if interested.

You, my readers, probably know why I stand firm on my personal beliefs of alcohol. My only goal is to prevent others from the heartache that I’ve experienced first hand and the major heartache I’ve seen others go through. All I can say is, you don’t want that heartache…..trust me. It’s not as pretty as they make it out to be. Like I have said many times, no one says to themselves, “I think I’ll become an alcoholic!” “I think I’ll kill someone today while driving while drunk!” “I think I’ll abuse someone today, because I drank too much!” Those are just a tip of the iceberg of the things that happen in someones life because of alcohol.

I know, I know…it looks very cool and most importantly, it looks like so much fun! You do know that if you want people to know that you are the life of the party and are having a super good time, it is important to hold up your glass or your bottle of your drink in your photos. Now, that is proof that you are a fun person! -double wink

If you missed my recent post on this subject, you can read it here.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and I promised to write more on the subject during April and what better way to get me motivated was to hear that it was National Beer Day. Again….who knew!? I obviously didn’t!

If you would like to read some stories of people who have lost loved ones in tragic accidents due to alcohol, click here. Mother’s Against Drunk Driving is an organization that is doing an amazing work to bring awareness to the problem.

I do hope that my writing on this subject doesn’t offend anyone, I only hope that it makes you more aware of the dangers and effects that alcohol has on us and our loved ones, especially, our children.

I heard this a few years ago. When the basketball team from Utah, that is comprised of mostly those of the Mormon faith is playing in the championships etc., the alcohol sales are way down. The alcohol companies and their vendors don’t make as much money so it isn’t their favorite event. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if eventually that is how it would be everywhere…alcohol sales are way down…..beer companies going out of business……..I can almost confidentially say, that will never happen. For some reason alcohol is something that so many will never give up regardless who it has hurt. That’s just the way it is. So, I will just keep on keeping on sharing with whoever will listen of what alcohol did to my family and to so many other people.

My last statement for this post:

Alcohol must really taste great to take such a high risk of so many tragedies. I wouldn’t know……I’ve never tasted it. Well….wait a minute….when I was a little girl, my dad gave me a sip of his beer. He drank Coor’s. I can still see the cans of it in our refrigerator and sitting between his legs as he sat in his chair and yes, driving! It tasted terrible! He thought it was funny! I laughed that day too, as he laughed at me. That was the last time I laughed at alcohol….

Always remember, if you are a partaker in alcohol and we are friends, I will never disown you, I will just pray that the next drink you take tastes like something you would never want to taste again! -triple wink! I have sat at many tables while someone is drinking and I don’t think less of them….I just pray that they will eventually hate the stuff……all with a smile!

Thank you for being a reader of my thoughts today! Blessings on your Sunday and until next time…..

Drink responsibly! Whatever that means! -yes, I’m winking again!

Alcohol…No Respecter of Persons

I have been wanting to write on this subject for some time now. I am in the process of actually writing a book on this subject. My book will be an easy to read workbook that will be full of information to educate someone on all that is involved in drinking alcohol. We actually have a choice to drink or not to drink. It seems in our culture, it is a given that when you turn 21, you now get to drink. I often wonder if that 21 year old is ever sat down and discussed in detail all the risks involved in drinking. I know, you are thinking, “Beverly, do you really think young people actually wait until they are 21?” Right, I wasn’t born yesterday. I also was once a teenager as well. I can honestly say that I don’t recall anyone ever sharing with me all the risks in drinking. It was handed to me at the age of 13. Literally put in my hand. I didn’t take a drink, I just passed it back. By the time I was 13, I had seen enough of alcohol and wanted no part of it. I made up my mind in my wee little brain at a young age that it would not be a part of my life. Who would ever think that it would be a battle to…JUST SAY NO. Trust me, when you decide to say no, you will be ridiculed and challenged regularly. Saying no is not for sissies! -wink

In some of my research, I found out that April is the 33rd Annual Alcohol Awareness Month. 33rd! I am now 59 and I have never in my life heard that there was an Alcohol Awareness Month. Where have I been?!

My husband and I support two children from other countries through Compassion. Each month I print out the monthly prayer calendar. One of the prayer requests caught my eye; A prayer request for a young boy in Brazil. The request was to pray for him and his family due to his alcoholic father. It broke my heart. I thought, out of all the hardships that this young boy lives with; bad water, no food, extreme poor living conditions and education and now, this young boy has to live with the ravages of an alcoholic dad. If life isn’t hard enough, right?

When alcohol takes a hold and takes a bite out of your life, it doesn’t matter, how old or young you are, how poor or wealthy you are, how outgoing or shy you are, how likable or unlikable you are and it doesn’t even matter if you are a Believer or an Atheist. Alcohol is no respecter of persons. No one is above the perils of alcoholism.

Here are just a few statistics to get you to thinking:

*These statistics are from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Also, note these are 2015 statistics and in the United States only. Also, they use the term, Alcohol Use Disorder instead of the word, Alcoholism.

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States:

*  Adults (ages 18+): According to the 2015 NSDUH, 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older had AUD. This includes 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women.

I have to jump in here and say “Do you think that ANY of those 15 million adults said to themselves, “I think I’m going to be an alcoholic!” I would pretty much be willing to bet 15 million on the fact that “NO! Not one of them did!” Okay, back to the statistics….

»  Youth (ages 12–17): According to the 2015 NSDUH, an estimated 623,000 adolescents ages 12–17 had AUD. This number includes 298,000 males and 325,000 females.

»  An estimated 88,0008 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

»  In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths.

I will be sharing more in later posts between now and April in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month.

I do hope you will follow along with an open mind and in no way do I intend to hurt or shame anyone in their choice to drink alcohol or not. My desire is to show another side that just may save a life or prevent some not so good things that could happen to you or your family.

I’ve lived the life of that little boy in Brazil. I know first hand how it feels to have a daddy that is addicted to alcohol. My dad began drinking at the age of 14. He has shared the story of how his parents were having a party and he and a friend sat under the table where it was being served and hid while partaking in the drinks the adults were having. He gained an appetite for more and he loved it. What I would give, if someone had reached him before he took that first drink. My life would have been much different than what I lived through for many years. It wasn’t pretty and it leaves many scars. My dad and many others had no idea they would become a slave to alcohol and it would change the entire course of their life.

One thing to remember is:

“It’s not about us!”

What we do and partake in will effect others, especially, our children and grandchildren.

Until we get together again on this subject, I have a challenge for you.

Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the center of your paper. On one side put a heading that says, “Positives of Alcohol.” On the other side, write, “Negatives of Alcohol.” Begin writing everything you can think of under each column. This is just for you, so you can begin thinking and deciding what stand you will take on the consumption of alcohol.

Heavy subject, I know. It is something that I know way too much about and yes, I have strong opinions on it. But, I am mature enough to only want the best for you and to share another side than what the world is pouring for you. Get it…” pouring.” That just popped in my head as I was typing. Seriously, I hope you will follow along and we can learn some things together.

Until next time,


Dirty Little Words

Is it just me or have you noticed the questionable language that is rampant right now. Yes, I know people have been using foul language for a long time, but, it just seems that now it’s even cool to use words that you don’t expect to hear even on a news cast. It’s a common thing to hear a beep when interviewing people at a scene of an accident or rioters in the street. I can’t help but be curious when the beep goes on for a long time, what they are saying! I always think how can they say that many curse words in one long sentence. Or a famous “movie star” or “rock star” accepts his award and as he is talking, the silence button is on and you see his mouth moving for several seconds and wonder, what in the world is he saying that lasts that long. I’m guessing we probably don’t want to know.

I can hear someone saying, “oh no, poor Beverly, she is so fragile, she can’t stand to hear curse words.” I had someone tell me once, “Beverly, cover your virgin ears!” My virgin ears? What does that mean?

I grew up in a home where I heard plenty of questionable words. Granted, I didn’t know they were questionable words. I thought they were normal words. Words you use when you are happy, excited, mad or sad and especially when you are in trouble. I remember a few times my younger brother trying some out and he got his mouth washed out with soap. Yes, literally with soap. And back then we used a soap called, LAVA. Ouch! Needless to say, I didn’t want to try any words out. I really didn’t think about it. It was just life and that what grownups do.

I was in Jr. High and a group of girls were picking on me. We call it “bullying” now days. I seemed to be a pretty good target for bullies in jr. high. Anyway, one day, I was hurt and I was mad and someone asked me what was wrong. I let out a string of words that I had no idea I even knew how to say. I remember being embarrassed and almost ashamed by what I said. I didn’t like the way I felt. I felt ugly and I felt dirty. I also didn’t like the idea that people would think I talked that way. I made a choice that day…. I would not say ugly words like that ever again.

Today, I am 59 years old and I can still hear in my head the words that were used towards me and around me while growing up. I can still hear the dirty jokes that were told in my ear shot while at school. I’m almost pretty sure that it’s safe to say that, I’ve heard it all.

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I am very picky about the movies I watch and the music I listen to. I can be watching a very good movie with an actor that I really like and when the language starts, I am done. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Hollywood can’t make a movie without bad language. I just don’t think it’s possible anymore. I recently watched a 30 minute program because someone I knew was starring in it. This show featured kids and of course, bad language is used. I think it’s sad that we now know that it’s a normal thing to hear bad language even in a program that is primarily about young kids. If you say anything, then you are the strange one. Everyone knows that bad language is just a part of life. You can’t protect your children from it and if you try to, you are, well…..let’s just say…..strange…..out of it………miss goody two shoes (that was always my go to name from others)….the list goes on and on.

Now, we have politicians, newscasters, comedians, speakers and writers who just use whatever word they choose for the day, taking no consideration of who it will offend. Because, obviously when you can use bad words you are powerful and tough. You mean business when you can throw in a choice word or two. As one speaker I listened to at a conference said and I quote, “I’m a bad*** for Jesus!” Yea, she got a round of applause! So cool, right? Nah!

If you are like me and you made a choice that bad language would not be part of your world, you may find it a bit difficult sometimes. If you choose to not be around people that use bad words, write bad words, make fun of those that don’t use bad words, watch movies without bad words….well, let’s just say, you may find yourself alone and even thinking….”What is wrong with me?” “Why can’t I tolerate all of this?”

That’s when you go to God’s Word and hear what He has to say. You know, the one who created all of this. He gave man the free will to do whatever he wants to do. The problem is, if you chose to give your life to Christ and make Him Lord of your life, there are a lot of things that you may choose not to do and one of those are the words that we choose to say and think. When the Holy Spirit moves into your heart….thoughts, words and actions change. You have a total life change! And, oh am I so thankful for that!

When I was 13 years old, I made the choice to not use bad words because of the way it made me feel inside and how I thought others would view me. I didn’t want to be the kid with a dirty mouth.

When I was 14, I gave my life to Christ. I knew that He died for me and my sin and I then wanted to live my life for Him. I had a new reason not to talk ugly and dirty. I wanted my life to reflect that of my Heavenly Father. Oh, my, yes, there were a few times I slipped and I can actually remember one and I thought, where in the world did that come from. When your mind is full of junk, it will eventually come out. My mind had listened to it for a long time. 12 years in the public school system plus life outside of school, trust me, you will get more of an education than you bargained for.

When we set our children in the movie house or in the movie room and let them sit and watch whatever is popular and let their minds fill up with dirty words, it will come out. We buy them the latest music hit that is filled with choice words and let it fill their minds…it will come out eventually.

I know I have shared this so many times. There is a site called Plugged In. I challenge you to search the latest movie and read all about it. Then ask yourself if this what you want to put in my children’s minds. Or better yet, is this what you want to fill YOUR mind with. Two hours of 45 s words, 60 F words, the list goes on and on. We are just talking language now, not all the other.

I think it’s comical when we as adults do, say and participate in things that we don’t want our children doing. I haven’t figured out the logic of that one yet.

So, when we watch the news and wonder what has happened to our young people…what has happened to our culture? Take a look at what we fill our minds with. Newsflash…as parents we are responsible for what we let them fill their minds with. WE are responsible for what we fill OUR minds with.

In our Christian culture, I’ve noticed it has become popular to come as close to using bad language as possible. It always gets an easy laugh. I’ve heard preachers use language that I remember my brother getting his mouth washed out for and we laugh and say, “Isn’t he the coolest, he can use risky language all in the name of Jesus!” The one that is the rage right now is a word that is used for someone going to the bathroom, yea, that one. “Now, when they use that, they are seriously upset about something and yet so with it and cool!” What I wonder is, what is the next step for the next cool word that as Christians we can use and not think anything of?

Oh, Beverly, you better stop now. You are really a peculiar one, aren’t you? Yes, I am and thank you. I will take that as a compliment.(-wink)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” – I Peter 2:9

Love that verse….I have been called out of the darkness! So very thankful!

Are you wanting help in cleaning up your language? Fill your mind with good things. Make a point to delete things from your life such as movies, music, books, etc. that are filled with bad language. Ask the one who loves you so much that He died for you to give you strength and to renew your mind. I know you can do it!

Thanks so much for following along on my blog and all of my latest thoughts. I sincerely do not intend or want to offend anyone. My goal is to encourage and edify. My other goal is to give you something to think about. I’m always anxious to hear your thoughts and challenges.

I’m linking this post with the blog, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

What Can We Do?

This was a tough post to give a title to?  Do we call them Beggers?  Street People? Homeless People? Con Artists?  I don’t know.  All I know is,  they are there.  Men, Women, young, old, all races and some are handicap.  It’s not pretty, no matter who it is.  It has really become more noticeable in the city I live in.  Several years ago, we never saw these type of people on the streets unless we visited a larger city.  Now, they are on almost every major street corner in my city.

It’s a normal day when  running errands and stop at a red light and look over and there is someone standing there looking at me as they hold a sign that usually says, “Homeless, need money for my family.  God Bless You.”  Whew!  It’s a killer.  Do I  look straight ahead and pretend they aren’t there?  Do I get mad, that they have messed their lives up so that I have to feel guilty and give them money to eat?  Do I have pity on them and go on about my way?  Do I give them money?  If so, how much?  A dollar?  Five dollars?  I don’t know.  If I do, will they just spend it on drugs or alcohol?

I was talking to a deputy in our city recently and she said to not ever give them anything.  They are mostly con artists.  Our local Sheriff’s department has food and toiletries that they give to people on the street.  Our city also has homeless shelters and organizations that help people in need.

I always feel compelled to do something.  I do feel that I am wise enough to know when it is a dangerous situation or a really dishonest person standing on the corner begging for money.  I recently have seen a certain man in different locations around town with a small oxygen tank and a tube in his nose.  I do know that those small oxygen tanks don’t hold enough air for him to be on the street all day.  Is that judging?  We recently had a lady that had one leg.  Her sign read,” I’m on my last leg.”  It does catch your attention, but someone told me that she walks on that one leg to her very nice car at the end of the day.  I don’t know….maybe someone loaned the car to her, maybe she is a millionaire, I don’t know.  All, I know is it’s hard not to have compassion on these people. One time I saw a young lady with a baby in a carrier with a sign that said, “I need a job to feed my baby.”  I called one of our managers at our place of business to see if they would like to check on her to see if she really needs a job.  They said they had already seen her and asked and she said, “No, I don’t have time to work.”  So go figure that one out.

I make large bags with toiletries and various items in them.  I keep them in a bag in my car and when I feel safe, I will hand one of my bags to one of the street people.  Recently, I handed one to a lady on the corner and she said “Thank you so much, I so hope there is soap in this.  I need soap so bad.”  As I drove off I thought, “how can this be?”  In the bags I made, I included  a list of local places to go to for help.  Maybe she will go to one of those places and be able to get clean.  I don’t know.  I then have to erase it all from my mind and not worry about her.

Another time,  I handed a man a bag and he said, “God bless you, thank you so much!  Be careful out there.”  He was telling me to be careful?  Wow, all I could think  was, “how do these people stay safe with all the cruel people out there?”

If you missed my post on how I made my bags, you can click here to read about it.

When I drive away from a street person, my mind is flooded with thoughts.  Here is a list of things going through my mind:

  1.  What would make a person be so low that they are on a street corner asking for money?
  2. Are they alcoholics?  Have they messed their life up on drugs?  Are they mentally disabled and don’t know any better?
  3. They are somebody’s son or daughter.  Where are their parents?  How were they raised?  Does their family know where they are?
  4. Do they have children of their own?  When I see an older man, I think, “He is someones Daddy.”  Heart wrenching!  How does that child feel to know their dad is out there begging?  Or do they know where they are?
  5. How in the world can they get a job?  No home, no car, no nothing!  How could they take a job anyway?  People complain that they aren’t working.  When they get that low, it’s a miracle if someone will take a chance on them.  What a terrible cycle to be in.
  6. As I’ve looked in the faces, I pray for them.  There have been many times I’ve driven off and actually cried.  I’ve even cried out to God asking, “Help them, Lord!  Send someone that can help them!  Keep them safe!”
  7. And finally, I think…..But…by the grace of God………I could be that person.  I’ve never thought of myself so highly that I don’t think I could have never been in that same spot.  When I look back on my childhood and where I’ve been and what I’ve seen…….I know that I could have easily went another way.  I praise my Savior every single day for making a difference in my life.   It didn’t look to promising  for a little girl who was obviously at risk.  He rescued me in the nick of time at the age of 14.   May I never think so highly of myself that I would look down on those that are caught in a horrible web of hopelessness.  Many times I see some situations and it breaks my heart that they would let themselves get into the situations that would cause them to fall to the bottom of the pit.

One more thing; the next time you pass a homeless person on the street corner, smile at them and pray for them as you pass by.  I have a feeling many of them never receive a smile in a day.  We all need a smile, don’t you think?  We all need someone to pray for us.  They especially need prayer.

I felt I needed to write this post for myself more than anything.  I do hope that it inspires you somehow, someway.  If it did, I would love to hear about it.

I also wrote a post about having compassion.  Click here if you would like to read that post.  I never want to lose my compassion for others.  I have a feeling you don’t either.

In this day and time, safety is very important.  Discernment and wisdom are needed, too.  I’m very careful who I give the bags to and I never put myself in a situation that would be dangerous.  Just felt like I needed to clear that up.  It’s never dangerous to pray for those you see on the street as you drive or walk by.  Anyone can do that, don’t you think?

 

5 Year Anniversary with Compassion

I just reached my five year anniversary in sponsoring a child through Compassion International.

*This is not a picture of the little girl that I sponsor.

When I first began sponsoring a little girl in Guatemala, she was only 5 years old.  I do have dreams of going to her country and meeting her some day.  I have never really had a desire to go to Guatemala, so it will really be waaaaaay out of the box for me.  For now, I will continue to support her with my monthly support and letters.  Speaking of letters; I love receiving her letters and seeing her drawings while reading what is on her heart.  I’ve received several pictures of her with her family. When I see the pictures with the things that she was able to purchase with the money that we send her, I always get tears in my eyes.  Some of the items that she has purchased are, shoes for herself and shoes for her mother, material to make dresses, large pots to wash clothes in, a backpack and my favorite was an armoire to store their clothes in.  They bought a couple of chairs, too.  Not fancy chairs, they were like what we would use as lawn chairs.  In one of her pictures, I noticed they had a dirt floor.  I also have noticed that she never has a smile on her face.  I’m sure it’s awkward having your picture taken when you aren’t used to it.  I pray that she is happy and safe and learning wonderful things in school and most of all, that she is learning about an amazing Savior that loves her so very much.  I’m trusting that she will one day make a difference in the world that she is in and reach others with the message of Christ.

Have you ever thought about sponsoring a chid in a poverty stricken country?  If so, visit the Compassion International website by clicking here and take a look around.  There are other ministries that do the same thing, but I am only familiar with Compassion International.

If you feel led to go ahead and sponsor a child, I would love for you to go to my campaign that I have going to begin your new journey of sponsoring a child.  Click here to go to that campaign and read more about how it works.  I have set a goal of 5 new sponsors for 5 children.  I would love to see the goal far exceed what I had set.  I’m so excited to see who all begins to sponsor a new child.

If you are already sponsoring a child, I would love to hear about it.  If you decide to begin sponsoring a child, please share that, too. I’m thankful that we can do something to help a less fortunate child in another land with money and by praying for them and their family.  It may seem so small and just a tiny way to help change a little girls life, but I am very thankful that I can have a little part in helping.

There are so many things going on in our world and I have wondered, “why?”  We don’t understand God’s ways, but someday it will all make sense.  But, for now I do know this…I don’t want to be asked why I didn’t do what I could when I knew of a need and that there was something that I could have done to help whether small or large

Here is a picture of the sweet girl that I have the honor to sponsor:

I’m praying for you little one!  I have loved getting to know you over the past five years.  You are growing up to be a beautiful young lady.  I’m so thankful that you were put into my life and I look forward to many more years of doing whatever I can to see that you never go without food, clothes and most of all sharing with you how much you are loved by our Heavenly Father.

 

Time to Pray for America!

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I have a dear friend; Donna Watson.  She is rallying everyone she knows to pray for our country each day.  She and her husband have been encouraging others for several months now to set their alarms for 8:00 p.m. each day.  When your alarm goes off, stop and pray for 1 minute for America.  If you are with family and friends and your alarm goes off, you can stop whatever you are doing and pray together.

Red alarm clock on isolated background show time 8:00

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Click here and you will find some great resources, ideas and examples of ways to pray for our country.

If you decide to begin this practice each day, I would love for you to leave a comment below or send me a note.  I know it will be an encouragement to Donna to know that others are joining in.

*8 p.m. may not be a time that works for you at all.  If not, you can always choose a time that will work better for you.  I think the point is a concentrated effort to spend one minute a day in prayer for our country.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people-for kings and all those in authority” I Timothy 2:1-2, (NIV)

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Remembering, On Memorial Day!

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Memorial Day is a holiday for many; kids are out of school, banks are closed, mail doesn’t run and some stores close early.  This day calls for a cookout with family and friends, right?

That is what we did and what fun it was to get together with everyone and catch up and just enjoy one another with some delicious food and fun.

As I was preparing for the day, I couldn’t help but think about all of those that have sad memories on this day as they remember someone  special that never returned home from a war or while serving in our military.  When I was homeschooling my kiddos it was always on the agenda to discuss and learn of the men and women that never returned while protecting our freedom.  This past Monday, the mom/teacher in me began looking up facts and history on our military and the number of deaths that have occurred over the 200 plus years of America!  (click here to read some stats on past wars) Aren’t you thankful for the internet?  How easy things would have been when we were schooling to do research on so many interesting things!

I have a sweet friend, Allison.  I met Allison in Nashville at a writer’s conference.  We hit it off right away and became far away friends as she lives in Kansas and I, in Texas. (She was born and raised in Cape Cod, my hope to be vacation spot, someday) I’ve heard bits and pieces of her story about her dad over the years.  I asked her for more details and she graciously shared them with me and said I could share with you.  I cried as I read her story and saw her pictures.  This is a story of a girl who was born two months after her daddy was lost at sea.  Well, I’ll let Allison tell you her story……

My father’s name was Bryce Moody. He entered the United States Marine Corps upon graduating from college in 1957. He was one who always loved adventure: he was in the Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout), loved sailing, camping, hiking and so on. It had always been his dream to fly, so he opted to be a fighter pilot.

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Bryce Moody

He and his new bride (my mother) went to F-8U pilot training in several places: Pensacola, Florida; Memphis TN; and Kingsville, TX. His first official assignment as a pilot after all that training was to Beaufort (pronounced BOW-fort) Naval Air Station in SC.

By this time my brother David was on the scene and mom was already pregnant with me. They were much in love and had a strong group of friends. Many of the pilots were still single, but some were married, so mom had girlfriends too. They also had a dog named Woofie. It was a good life.

On February 29, 1960, my father, now a 1st lieutenant, and another pilot, Captain Bill McCurdy had a routine mission out over the Atlantic Ocean. This was a low-level, high speed mission over the water and, as can happen it was a cloudy day. Captain McCurdy became disoriented in the clouds and radioed to my father what was going on. He had lost his bearings and couldn’t tell “up from down,” so to speak. So my dad said he would come up underneath Captain McCurdy’s plane and fly near him where McCurdy could see my father’s plane and give him some visual awareness of where he was and then they could proceed with the mission.

Unfortunately, the wings of the planes clipped one another and my father’s plane lost control and went into the Atlantic. This all happened in a matter of seconds. The plane hit the water at a high rate of speed, slamming into the ocean as if hitting a brick wall. There were no remains, and all that was found after several days of searching was a small piece of the plane’s wing.

In those days, the military did not want the other pilots to be reminded of its “failures.” My dad’s plane went down on a Monday. There was a Memorial Service for him on Thursday, and by Saturday, Mom, my brother and her belongings were back in her parents’ home in New Jersey. She once told me, “I even had to get rid of my dog,” although I found out much later that some of her friends graciously took Woofie so he had a good home.

From what I have pieced together, Mother had a breakdown. She was 7 months pregnant with me, so my 2-year-old brother went to live with my father’s parents for several months. They weren’t really equipped for having a toddler in their home. My father’s sister was 15 at the time and they were all grieving of course. Yet here was this precocious little one, running all over their home. One story is that he spent most days turning the knobs of all the 3-way lamps the “wrong” way. My poor grandmother… By the time my teenage aunt got home from school, guess what SHE got to do?!

Two months to the day after my father’s death, I was born on April 29, 1960. My mother was not interested in me whatsoever, so my maternal grandmother did most of the caregiving for me in that time. My mother’s mental and emotional withdrawal had long-term consequences, as she and I never developed a proper “mother/daughter” relationship. I believe my “mother/daughter” bond was with my grandmother, but she died when I was 13, so things have been complicated in my family for my entire life.

One other thing that was always odd to me was that my father’s family chose to never put any sort of grave marker or head stone up for him. I do not know why they made this choice. I never asked; talking about him was just simply “not done.” It was “understood” as painful and so we avoided the topic. I didn’t think this was right, but I was always the child and understood my role to not ask questions.

I am no longer a child, and my grandparents and mother have passed away. This year, I contacted the Veterans’ Administration and as is his right, had a grave stone made for my father. It is now in the South Chatham Cemetery on Cape Cod in Chatham Massachusetts. I could have requested that it be placed in a military cemetery, but my father loved Chatham. It was where he and my mother met. Our families loved the Cape. It is the obvious and perfect place.

This Memorial Day weekend, I had the joy and privilege of going to that cemetery and not only seeing the grave stone, but also putting a flag and laying flowers there. It was 56+ late, but I am so thankful I was the one who was able to do all this for him. – Allison M. Woods, Memorial Day, 2016

Gravestone and flag

 

Thank you, Allison.  We are all grateful for men like your father!

My grandfather, dad, husband and father-in-law all  served in the U.S Navy. My brother served in Desert Storm as a  U.S. Marine.  (click here to read about my brother) I’m thankful they all returned safely.

May we fly our flags proudly each Memorial Day, as we remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in securing our freedom.

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Too Close for Comfort!

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Yesterday, I shared tips on being informed on the child abduction issue that is going on in our country/world!

Today, I wanted to share with you three episodes that happened to me as a child and as a  young teen. When I hear of the latest tragedy of a child being harmed, I always go back in my mind to these events and I know by the grace of God, it could have turned out in a very bad way.

#1 –

At the age of 10, (1969) I was waiting in the car with my baby brother while my mom took my other brother in the barber shop.  Our car was parked on the side of a grocery store in Clinton, Oklahoma.  All I remember was a very long white brick wall.  The barber shop was down the sidewalk and quiet a distance.  I was sitting in the front seat and my little brother was playing and going back and forth from the front to the back.  As I was sitting there, I heard a very loud radio all of the sudden.  I turned to look out my window and there was a green Volkswagon with a young guy  (mid 20’s) in it.  I can still see his face.  He waved and smiled and turned his radio down.  I waved and turned back around and was a bit scared.  I used my elbow and locked the door.  He then, turned his radio up again and said,  “Hey, roll your window down.”  I shook my head, “no.”  He then got out of his car and motioned for me to roll my window down.  I rolled my window down about 1/4 of the way.  He asked me my name and what my brother’s name was.  He asked me if he was a boy or a girl.  I told him a boy and proceeded to roll the window up.  I was shaking at this point and was very scared.  I didn’t know what to do or what to say.  He then got back in his car and I heard him say, “Hey, look at this!”  He held up a magazine with pictures on it.  He asked if I liked that and I shook my head “no.”  I didn’t really see what was on the magazine because I was so scared I didn’t really look.  About that time, I saw my mom coming!  I was so glad.  I felt safe again!  As she was opening her door, the man started his car and drove off.  My mother asked if I wanted to continue waiting in the car because she was going to run in the grocery real quick.  I said, “NO! We are coming with you!”  As I got out of the car I noticed he was parked in a spot behind our car.  My legs turned to jelly.  All through the grocery store I could barely concentrate or walk.  I was so afraid he was in the store following us.  When we came out, I didn’t see his car anywhere.  I never told my mother for some reason.  I wanted to forget about it.  During this time, the singer, Glen Campbell, had a variety show on television and my mom loved watching that show.  I couldn’t stand to watch it because the man that tried talking to me that day looked just like him.  My mother asked me one day why I didn’t like Glen Campbell; I proceeded to tell her the whole story.  She was not happy and told me that I should have told her as soon as she got to the car.

#2 –

I was in Jr. High; 1972.  I was walking from our house to the beauty shop where my mother was getting her hair done.  I’m not sure how far it was, but it was a pretty good walk.  I walked straight down our street then took a short cut through a pasture that would lead to into the main road where the beauty shop was.  There was a trail that went diagonal through the pasture.  In West Texas, this is a normal sight, a pasture with weeds and  small mesquite bushes.  When I was approaching the center of the pasture, I noticed a car that had circled the pasture a couple of times.  The car stopped at the end of the trail and sat there as if he were waiting for me to approach.  I stopped and turned and started walking back the other way.  He then sped to the other side to where I was walking toward.  I walked a bit more and then turned and ran as fast as I could the other way.  The car sped around to where I was running.  I beat him to the other side.   There was a house on the next block and I ran to the house and started knocking on the door.  A man came to the door and about that time the car sped off.  I explained that a car was following me and he said, “Well, it looks like he is gone now, you should be okay.”  He even asked if I wanted to come in and call someone.  I said, “No, thank you!”  and ran the rest of the way to the beauty shop.  Did I tell my mom?  I don’t even remember!  I do remember sitting down while waiting for her and shaking and being glad that I was safe!

#3 –

I was in the 9th grade. (1974)  I had caught the late bus because I stayed for a newspaper staff meeting after school.  When the bus dropped me off at the bus stop, I was several blocks from our house.  I started walking home.  Since it was later in the day, the streets were empty of the usual children walking home. Walking along, I noticed the same car kept passing me.  I pretended to not notice when he came by the 4th time.  It was an old car and the man driving looked like he was in his 50’s or so.  When I approached the corner, he came up on the side of me and his window was down.  He asked me if I wanted a ride.  I said, “No!” and kept walking!  He turned in front of me very slow and I was afraid he was coming back.  I saw a lady in her front yard 1/2 a block away.  I ran to her and told her about a car following me.  He actually drove by while I was telling her.  She asked where I lived and I told her.  She took me home.  She said, “go in your house, lock the door and call your mother and tell her what happened.”  I did as she said.  My mother came straight home from work. She told me to get in the car and she drove all through the area and told me if I spotted the car to tell her.  I was praying the entire time that we wouldn’t find the car because I was afraid of what might happen.  My mom was pretty mad.  I would pity the man if she found him.  We never found the car.

Those are my stories.  I can recall each one vividly.  I see the car and the faces.  I only hope and pray that no one ever fell prey to these people.

I share the stories to show how easy this happens.

There are many resources out there that will help you teach your child about these types of situations.  Don’t leave it to someone else to teach them.  YOU, teach them! TODAY!  Not in fear, but by empowering them!

I was fearful for a very long time and these were the scripture’s that I memorized and they brought comfort to me:

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

 Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;

 For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.” -Proverbs 3:24-26 (NKJV)

 

Amber Alert! What Can I Do!?

 

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Yesterday, while I was out shopping, the emergency signal went off on my phone and the radio.   At first, I thought it was a weather alert due to the interesting weather we were having.   When it finally stopped, I read what the details were; 15 year old girl kidnapped!  The crazy part was, she was in the very area I was in. I then began to pray for this girl.  I prayed that she would be rescued and that no harm would be done to her and this person that had taken her would be caught!

I was very thankful the next morning when I read that the girl had been found right after the Amber Alert was put out.  She was safe.  Thank you, Lord for protecting her and for the law enforcement officials who rescued her.

Each time I get the alert or I read or hear something on the news about a child or person kidnapped and is missing, I pray for that person by name.  I pray that someone will see them, report it and then be rescued and that no harm will be done to them.  I can’t even comprehend how this is even an issue in our country!

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How thankful I am for the country we live in and for the beauty and blessings we have in our lives.  I also know that there is an enemy who is out to destroy lives.  We must be vigilant and aware of what is happening in our world and fight.  Fight on our knees and fight with our wisdom and teaching.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” -I Peter 5:8

A couple of years ago, I put the Amber Alert App on my phone.  It is crazy how many children are missing in this country.  It makes my heart hurt!  If you feel helpless in this epidemic that is going on and wonder what you can do, here are some tips to get started in helping to save children.

  1. Download the Amber Alert App on your phone.
  2. Review as many of the cases that you can and pray for each one.
  3. When an alert goes off, immediately pray for the situation.
  4. Be alert when traveling.  Keep a discerning eye out for possible children/adults that may look like there is a problem.  Have the phone numbers on your phone to the authorities if you have a sighting of a missing person.
  5. Get involved with the organizations that deal with missing children and human trafficking.  Go to the websites and sign up for newsletters.  Like their FaceBook page and read their feed and become aware of all they are doing to educate and help.
  6. Get involved in the legal aspect of what is going on to stop human trafficking and prosecuting these people that prey on women/children.  When you know a certain bill is coming up in the Senate/Congress; make phone calls to your Congressmen/Senators!
  7. Don’t think someone else is taking care of this problem and do nothing.  We all can do something.  Maybe, pray!  Maybe, donate money to organizations that are in the field!  Maybe, educate others!  Maybe, actually rescue someone!  There is something we all can do.
  8. Teach your children how to stay safe and safe on social media.  Don’t assume that they know how to protect themselves while out of your care or online.

Here is a list of organizations that you can start with to gain knowledge of the issue and learn how to protect your own and others.

Missing and Exploited Children

Shared Hope

She’s Somebody’s Daughter

Traffic Stop

Amber Alert

I know this wasn’t a fun subject.  I would much rather share decorating tips, but, each time I read or hear of an abduction, I am livid.  This must be stopped…..today!   Don’t wait until it hits close to home before you teach, share, donate or pray.  The time is now!

“She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” -Proverbs 31:27

 

10 Ways to Make Voting Day Special for Your Children

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We are in the middle of the season of choosing the next President of the United States of America. What a perfect time to teach our children how the political process works.  I’ve listed 10 ways that we can make voting day a fun teaching day for our children.

  1. Pray for our country and the leaders of our country with your children.
  2. Share with them who you are voting for and why.
  3. As you watch the candidates during a debate or while they are being interviewed on news programs, explain to your children who the candidates are and what they do or do not stand for.
  4. Don’t make rude comments about the candidates that you don’t care for.  Our children need to learn how to disagree with someone in a healthy way.
  5. Print out a sample ballot and let them vote.  Hold your own election in your home for fun.
  6. If possible, take your children to the polls with you when you vote.
  7. Pray with them before you go to the voting center.  Pray for wisdom to vote for the most qualified candidate and that God would continue to bless our country.
  8. If you take your children to the polls, explain how everything will work from the beginning where you show your voter’s registration card all the way to  how you cast your votes on the ballot.  Remind them to hold their questions until after you leave.
  9. Express how excited you are about the day when they will be able to vote.
  10. Go for a special treat to top off voting day.  You want them to remember this as a special day.  This could be a fun time to try and memorize the Presidents of the United States or some other game that teaches the great things of America.

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The day will soon be here when we learn who our new President of the United States will be. You may be excited that your chosen candidate won. You may be sad, angry and maybe even fearful if someone won that you didn’t vote for. What an opportunity to show your child that God is in control despite what the outcome is. We are to lean on Him for our comfort and understanding. Even if we are pleased with the outcome, pride can set in. Our job is to show grace and love. We now have a new President to begin praying for.

Is there a way that you have or will make voting day a special day for your children or grandchildren?