Monday, December 21, 2009


The following is the testimony that I gave in church last night. A testimony is what God is doing in your life right now. If yours hasn't changed since you were first saved, wake up and look around. You're bound to have missed something.

I’ve always been a WORD person. I love words. I love to know exactly what a specific word means. I love to know where a word comes from and how its meaning has changed over time.
What do you think of when you hear the word PROVISION?
Something provided.
A means for meeting a need.
In the old west, when you were getting a wagon train together, provisions were food.
I found this definition the most interesting of all: arrangement or preparation BEFOREHAND, for the doing of something or the meeting of needs. Remember that word BEFOREHAND.
I also looked up synonyms for provision: plan, preparation and ... bread!

Last summer I was the beneficiary of the Lord’s provision in more ways than I knew at the time. On May 29th, Mr. H and I were at a restaurant for our 26th anniversary. Our main topic of discussion was my mom, who had been admitted to the hospital in Brandon that day. That day would be the last normal day for me for the next 6 weeks. Six weeks doesn’t sound very long but going through it seemed endless. And already, the provision was there.

My children were old enough for me to leave them to themselves for a while. My husband has always been understanding of my need to take care of my mom, especially after my dad passed away. My co-workers (and even some people who didn’t work at the church) were supportive and willing to take on my responsibilities while I was gone. I left to take care of Mom.

While I was gone, VBS came and went. I have led the music rotation of VBS for more years than I can remember. That year God provided a young lady still in high school as the music leader. He had been getting her ready for that role for a while.

Mom was released from the hospital, but after a few days with her, I knew she couldn’t take care of herself. So on Father’s Day, my husband graciously brought his mother-in-law to live in his house. During the time she was home with us, I didn’t eat much and slept even less. Without God’s provision, I would not have been able to care for her like she needed.

This seems to be full of “I” and “me.” When the world closes in on you at times like that, you lose perspective. You get a kind of tunnel vision, like looking through a narrow tube. You can’t see beyond yourself.

During those weeks, I don’t ever remember calling out for God. You call out for Someone who is far away. For Someone Who is right there, you don’t have to call out: you just lean on Him without thinking. And that’s what I did. You accept the comfort His presence offers, even when it doesn’t feel comfortable. You let Him lead when you’re too weary to know what to do or which way to go.

God took Mom home on a Sunday morning. She was back in the hospital, but down here in George County. God had provided an ICU nurse on that shift who was a neighbor of mine, so he knew just how long it would take us to get from home to the hospital. Dr. T was there for my brother and me. He came to the hospital to deliver some of God’s comfort in person before having to head back to the church to preach.

I left the hospital for the last time about 11:30 that morning. I knew there was no one at my house. My family was where they always are on Sunday morning. I knew exactly where I was headed: right here. Church wasn’t over yet and the hallways were mostly empty. Mark saw me come in the preschool building and went off to find Mr. H. I found El’s classroom and her teacher took me right in. That was God’s provision again. He had planned ahead for me. He had provided this church family for me to come home to.

Nothing takes Him by surprise. He has plans for it all. He has planned ahead for everything you’ll ever need. He has bread for you. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Jesus is the Bread of Life. He is the ultimate Provision, the perfect Supply for all the things we truly need. He will always be there for you. All you have to do is ask.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The definition of epiphany:

1. a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I had an epiphany (definition #3) Sunday morning in Sunday School, but since it's the Christmas season, I love the fact that there is that Other definition, too.

Our lesson was from Luke 5:33-38. It starts out with some people asking Jesus why His disciples didn't fast like those of John and the Pharisees. He compares the time to a wedding celebration. I get that.

But then He tells a parable about patches and wineskins. Usually I get the transition from the situation to the parable, but I have never understood this one...
...until Sunday. There was some word or short phrase that Mr. Jim used (and I WISH I could remember what it was) that made the light bulb go off. Here's my explanation:

The people saw John's followers and the Pharisee's followers doing what had always been done. Both groups, though different, were recognized as religious leaders. And then the people saw Jesus and His followers doing something at odds with that tradition. Jesus' comments about the bridegroom are setting the stage for a new way of doing things . . . a new kind of relationship. The parable is to illustrate that you can't use the old trappings of religion to wrap up this new relationship. It doesn't fit. Yes, some of the ideas are the same. Cloth is still cloth; wine is still wine. But the process is different.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Angel Tree 2009

There are some kid gifts that are classics: Little Red Wagon is a winner.

If this kid had been big enough for a bike, I bet she would have gotten it!

I'm not sure you can tell, but there is a fishing pole sticking out of the top of this one.
Basketball seems to be very popular this year. There was another goal kit that had to be brought in with a dolly. I hope the parents drive a truck.
The room is full of love for our community.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hand Made Christmas

I learned how to knit this summer. That was with 2 needles. Then I discovered loom knitting: no needles, just a hoop with pegs and a little hook-like tool. Making hats is incredibly easy with a loom. Socks (or Christmas stockings) are just a bit more involved, but not really hard at all.

Since Mr. H was the only one in the family that didn't have a hand-made stocking, I decided to knit one for him. (You can see part of the the one my grandmother made for me to the right.)

When Em saw the one I made for her dad, she requested a red and white striped one. I used bamboo yarn and distressed ribbon together for hers. I think it turned out quite nicely. I did get a bit carried away with the length, so it's rather long!

The stockings that my grandmother made for our eldest and El are on either side of Em's.

Now, on to non-knit hand-made Christmas stuff. Two years ago our eldest started a tradition of making a gingerbread house for Christmas. Well, that first one wasn't actually gingerbread, but the idea was the same. This year, she has improved her technique dramatically. And it's made of real gingerbread this time, too.

El and I decorated it this afternoon.

The Christmas tree on the back was my idea. We were had used lots of the other candy, but still had lots of Twizzlers left!

Hint: the "Spice Drops" or gum drops around the bottom and roof line are best used for decoration only and not for human consumption. Yuck, they are nasty! M&Ms, however, have a hard time lasting through the construction process.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Construction Techniques

The roof is all in on the back of the building. They've even started on the front. And check out the windows.

Now, here's a different section of roof, complete with colorful shingles. My girls are working on a gingerbread house, made from actual gingerbread this time! (last year's was chip-less chocolate chip cookie!) Our eldest daughter discovered that cutting out the house sections before baking made for neater (crumb-less) construction. And baking certain decorations into the gingerbread precludes the need to cement them on later with icing.

You can see where a doorway has been cut into wall of one of the sections peeking out of the stack above. The windows have been cut out, too, I think!

▼Stack of building materials covered by a section of roof.▲
The front of the new building is beginning to take shape now.

I'll have to take pictures of the gingerbread house when it takes shape.

Monday, November 30, 2009


As I was getting ready to leave the house this morning, Em came running in to say that there were horses were in the yard. Sure enough, a pony and a horse were helping themselves to a bit of breakfast. Cotton, our dog, was not particularly pleased with their presence, but I'm happy to say that she was keeping her distance.

As we were pulling out of our road, we spotted another loose horse down that way. There goes the neighborhood!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


What is it?

Here it is in place:

And here's a better view of the place:
If you look back at the first picture at the top of this page, you can see the big hook attached to the cable coming from the sky. The other end of that cable is attached to the end of the arm on the truck in this last picture. I took these pictures from the preschool playground. So far the only roofing is on the back side of the building.

Looking good!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Going Up!

The building is going up, up, up. They are starting to put some of the side supports up now. It seems like it took forever for the ground work to be done. But once the concrete was in place, it's growing by leaps and bounds.

You can see more pictures here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Odds and Ends

This morning I had to take a walk across the compound to set out some things. Along the way, I passed under at least 6 pecan trees. I stopped and picked up a handful under the first tree. They were long and narrow and had thin shells.

When I stopped under the last tree and looked down, I was surprised to see how different the pecans under my feet were from the ones in my hand. I picked up a few of the tiny pecans (which I haven't been able to crack yet--I need tools!)

On my way back, I looked closely at the other pecans I passed. One tree produced fat, round pecans and another tree made something smaller.

I don't think I ever realized that there were so many different kinds of pecans. The trees themselves look very similar, yet the fruit is so different. But even in their differences they are all still pecans. We, as Christians, are called by the same name, but our fruit is all different. And if we bear no fruit, should we even be called Christians?

While I was out, I also took more building pictures. In the first one below, the white crane is lifting a steel beam. The last one gives us an idea of the shape of things.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's Happening!

Building is happening.

Things are beginning to get vertical!!

Christmas preparation is happening!

This is our Angel Tree with kids from our community.
I'm passing out Christmas books at choir practice tonight. And we are working on stuff for our new Worship leader's appearance on Sunday. You can read about him here. Things are definitely happening here at ABC.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Camo Sunday

This past Sunday was Camo Sunday at ABC. Most of the congregation was wearing camouflage of some sort. Even the audio/visual booth resembled a duck blind. It had camo fabric draped over it. Mark took pictures all over the church that morning.

The day began with a breakfast for hunters in the fellowship hall. I am not a hunter, so I didn't go, but the decorations were still up Monday when I came in to work.

I found out that Trey Collins of The Nature Preserve Wildlife Studio (here in Agricola) had provided several pieces. These are so beautiful.

I love this pair in flight.

At first I didn't notice the female inside the box on this one.
Here's a close-up of Mr. Wood Duck...
And the Mrs....
Now, for those of you familiar with our fellowship hall: If you were wondering where all the usual equipment that inhabits the room had gone, can you find the library in this picture?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

The girls wanted to carve pumpkins for the Fall festival tonight (praying the rain stops by then). Here are their results.

El wanted hers to have the stem as a nose since it was a great stem. I'd never done one that way. Looks pretty cool.

Em saw pictures that left some of the meat of the pumpkin after taking the skin off. That produces different lighting effects. Hers has pupils in its eyes and teeth in its mouth. (She wouldn't let me touch it because she knows I would take over.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Been Happening

It's been a busy month here. I've been wondering where all my time went:

Several band competitions: These 2 pictures are from the one at Perk.

The following 3 pictures are from the competition at Theodore High. (That's Em in the black leather jacket and yellow bow!_

This is Em and her buddy getting ready for the Costume party at the band hall.

While Em was at the party, El was across campus at their last middle school game. She's playing the clarinet. Our middle school band went to every game: home and away. Way to GO (literally)
In case you were wondering how Keldon is doing, you have to look quickly to see him. He's the mascot for the Middle school, running up and down the track dressed up like a Seminole.
And, they are pouring concrete for our new building's foundation at ABC. (alas, it was being watched the whole time, so no opportunity to make handprints or scratch the date.)

It will take a few days to get the whole thing poured. It's Huge!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ozarks Trip 2

Yes, I know.

It's been a week and still no follow up on our trip.

Not to worry. Here it is.

On our way up to Harrison, we stopped off in Hot Springs (the childhood home of Bill Clinton)

The springs really are hot coming out of the ground. Mr. H read an exhibit that explained that the source of heat isn't volcanic but natural radiation. You can see the steam coming off the water in the picture above.

I have no idea why this giant grenade is outside the Ozark Bath House. But it's ... interesting.

There is a whole row of old bath houses along one street in Hot Springs. The Fordyce House is open for tours.
This looks more like a torture chamber than a place for a relaxing experience.

These are the controls for the above shower enclosure. Frightening!