Archive for July, 2011

The Gifted

Posted: July 24, 2011 in Candle Lights

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We often refer to gifted children as child prodigies.  They are endowed with great abilities, natural talents, or exceptional intelligence and they fascinate us.  Whether you enjoy opera or not, one cannot help but enjoy listening to eleven year old Jackie Evanko sing.  Even if you have no appreciation for art, when you look at the paintings of Akiane Kramarek, born 1996, you instinctively know that you are looking at something special. Mozart, Jackie Cooper, and Bobby Fischer were all considered to be child prodigies.

As children of the living God (Romans 9:26), we are “the gifted”.  When we are born again we receive “the gift of God [eternal life] through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).  Ephesians 2:8&9 tells us that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation.  It is a “gift of God.”  In Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 we can read about the different gifts that God’s children are given.

 The whole world is gifted, but not everyone will accept the Gift.  Just as some child prodigies squander their gifts, many folks turn their backs on the greatest gift.  “For God so loved…he gave….” (John 3:16)  Salvation through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of all.

II Corinthians 9:15  “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

Diane Padgett

7/3/2011

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Tree Limbs

Posted: July 17, 2011 in Roots by the River

We have a beautiful home on the farm where I  grew up.  Actually we have the last remaining two acres.  The rest of the farm has been sold off to developers and we are now surrounded by a very nice subdivision.    We have a neighbor on each side who also have approximately two acres each.

Ms Bradford to the north of us, was a sweet old lady who was always pleasant and cheerful.  Mr. McConkey to the south of us, was completely the opposite.  He was a frustrated old man. He never smiled and was always looking for some way to find fault with what went on in our home.

We would see him in the yard and Jim would wave and try to speak, only to be met with ill remarks and a disgusted look. Mr. McConkey would take pictures of us as we worked close to the road, I guess to use them as evidence against us for trying to improve the roadside.  We never quite new what he was up to or his motives associated with his actions.

There was no fence separating our two yards and if a ball or the children crossed the imaginary line, Mr. McConkey was quick to register his complaint.  We lived daily wondering what his next move would be to make our lives miserable.

It was the spring of the year, and as we always did, we worked feverishly to get our yard in shape.  Both Jim and I enjoy digging in the dirt, planting flowers, and creating a beautiful landscape. Located in our front yard, just inside this imaginary property line that separated our front yard from Mr. McConkey’s was a large water oak tree.  This tree was so large the canopy from the tree crossed “the line” into Mr. McConkey’s yard..  It was hard to tell who really owned the tree because we shared so much of the canopy.

One Friday afternoon when I arrived home from work, I turned into the driveway, and there it was, a huge pile of limbs from the water oak on my side of “the line.”  Immediately my blood began to boil.  I was convinced, that old man had trimmed the tree limbs that had crossed “the line” and thrown them over in my yard to be picked up.  It was the final straw.  I was fed up with his attempts to annoy me and I was going to teach him a lesson that would put to rest his meanness toward us forever. 

Still in my work suit, I got out of the car, and threw every limb on the pile back into his yard.  I thought, “that will do it, when he sees this we probably will have it out once and for all, and I would be rid of this old man forever.  He truly had become a thorn in my side and I was ready for a fight.

I headed to the house once the deed was done, and noticed Jim had returned from his weekly travels.  As I stormed into the house I found Jim and told him what that old man had done and what I had done to correct it.  I noticed Jim was not in a very supportive mood.  The expression on his face was a strange combination of humor and fear at what I had done.  He very quietly said to me, “I came home early and trimmed the limbs and was going to get you to help me clean them up when you got home.” 

It was one of those moments for me when my brain processed the consequences of my past, present and future actions, and I began to panic.  I realized Mr. McConkey was not home and I  scramble to correct my selfish mistake before he returned.  I called to Jim, “quick come help me get the limbs and put them back into our yard.”  By this time, Jim was laughing so hard, he could barely walk. 

We managed to return all the limbs to their rightful owner, and to this day Mr. McConkey never knew of the event.  Mr. McConkey has returned to Texas to be with his children, but the water oak is still there sharing its canopy with our new neighbor.  It is a daily reminder to me as I return home of how quickly we can misjudge a situation, and how quickly our selfish motives can take over.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you.”  I am grateful Mr. McConkey was not the recipient of my anger, and I am grateful my husband is a patient man.

Dear Father, please help us to remember things are not always as they appear.  Help us to see things through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, to be slow to anger, quick to forgive, and always ready to share a kind word, especially to the Mr. McConkey’s of the world.

Ann Cason

3/11/05

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Remembering what God did for you:

“I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  (Psalm 34:1)

Enables you to believe what He will do for you:

“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.”  (Psalm 138:8)

This builds your trust in Him:

“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  Oh my God, in You I trust.”  (Psalm 25:12)

Your worries flee:

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”  (Psalm 94:19)

Your joy overflows:

“My heart trusts in Him and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy.”  (Psalm 28:7)

and His Peace overwhelms:

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:7)

 

 

 

 

Our Vacation to Big South Fork!

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Videos

We had a great time discovering parts of Tennessee and Kentucky we hadn’t been to before.  Perfect weather for hiking-cloudy, in the mid 70’s.  The train ride through the mountains was nice, but we got more excitement than we were expecting on the canoe trip!  What started out as a lazy river turned into raging rapids about a mile down.  We tipped over, not once, but twice!  The pictures in this video are the last ones taken by our camera, since only the memory card survived, along with me and Sharon, thank the Lord!

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Storm Prep

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Candle Lights

sun thru rain Header5It is that time once again.  Time to stock up on batteries, get the important papers organized in the grab-n-go box, to obtain a “Hurricane Survival” pamphlet from Channel 3, and to be sure the generator works.  The hurricane season of 2011 is here, and the fear-mongering has begun.  Just yesterday, the official start of the hurricane season, a low-pressure system passed the need to remind us that hurricane season was here, and that this system had a 20 percent chance of developing into a “tropical cyclone”.

 As I get older, living in the Sunshine State has brought a certain amount of weariness during the months from June 1 through November 30 each year.  On June 1, I start trying to kick in doors that are not shut by fretting about the possibility of evacuating.  We are not even on the road, and I already do not want to go.

 How foolish of me!  I have an anchor (Isaiah 26:3&4) and a refuge (Psalm 57:1) that are available twelve months a year, not just December through May.  Psalm 37 tells us to fret not, to trust in the Lord, to delight ourselves in Him, to commit our way unto Him, and to “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him”.

Therefore, I will take refuge in “the shadow” of His wings until “these calamities” pass over (Psalm 57:1).

Diane Padgett

June 2, 2011

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