Sunday, October 30, 2011

Leaves of gold

Words are powerful things and they can do wonderful things, but they can also do hurtful things. Words well spoken can be like leaves of gold. I hope and pray I can stand on these words, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45)

When one is worried about something he is afraid, apprehensive, bothered, concerned, distracted, distraught, distressed, disturbed, fearful, frightened, uneasy, uptight, upset…and my Thesaurus goes on and on.

I fool myself if I tell myself I am not worried about such-and-such – my health, my children, grandchildren, my finances, family matters, friends, and all sorts of things – and if I say I have faith that every thing is going to work out the way it should – but still talk about the situation to people around me all the time, saying “I am not worried, but – “.

So why am I talking about it? If I turn it over to God, why do I still have to talk about it?

I was just thinking, why do I do that and why do I hear people talk that way? Words are so important, they can either be positive or negative.

I guess it is because we lie to ourselves that we trust God. I think it a negative thing, to always talk about things that are worrying us…oh, I am not worried…I am just bothered…uptight…upset…concerned.... same thing, isn't it?

So after all these years of worrying, fretting, being distraught, etc, I have learned not to talk about those things that are “worrying” me. If I really trust that God is going to work everything out for good, I don’t want to speak those negative things out into the air, words that go on forever and ever, negative words that pierce the heart.

I want to be an encourager, to speak words that uplift, lighten the hearts and give people hope and I want to see the person as God sees them.

Jonathan Edwards, a theologian in the 1700’s, said in a sermon called “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks” said “Words not thought out before spoken can cause you to veer off the path of righteous ways of being and doing. Often times, words are spoken in relation to observations made about circumstances and situations you encounter. Just because something looks one way on the surface doesn’t mean it is as it seems or that it has to stay the same. Choose not to come into agreement with visible negative facts but release the truth of My Word (God’s Word) over the situation or person. Let the inherent power of My Word (God’s Word) have its way. Agree with Me (God) and not supposed facts.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A message from God

I always wake up feeling expectant and hopeful. Sometimes the day turns out not good, but at least I was hopeful and kept on expecting something good will happen. Better than having fear and negative thoughts. I always read a devotional and my bible, some times two, and this morning I read this!
"Up to this time you have not asked a single thing in My Name as presenting all that I AM; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete." John 16:24
So I will do that. and another thing I saw...the word 'hitherto" which is OLD King James for "up to this time". So hitherto I will ask God for wisdom, joy, love, in JESUS name,and hitherto I will go forth with joy.
Then I looked out in the back yard and saw my giant Esperanza shining like gold in the morning dew and sunlight...and I knew God was still talking to me. Esperanza (Spanish word) "hope" of course in English.
I always encourage people to look for God in everything! Sunday church was an awesome time of worship, praise, and preaching. I will come in and expect to hear from the Lord ...talking to me...just me...sometimes I don't get a word from the praise and worship or the preacher, which is always good, but sometimes He wants to talk to me personally. So Sunday I got a Word from God...from a banner that hung on the come I didn't see that before? Was it always there? Or was it new? I don't know. But it said "Encounter God". What does that mean really I thought? Encounter means to come to, arrive at, get to, reach, attain, come up with, join, or rejoin...etc...etc..So God was telling me that we need to come to, get to, attain, come up with, join, or reach up to God....
I want to encounter God today and everyday, and hitherto I will have hope...Don't you just love life, God and people?
And of course I just love the Texas Rangers who won that game in the World on to St. Louis. You know I like the St. Louis Cardinals too...if they were not playing the Rangers I would be cheering for them to win the Series...but not this time...
These pictures are of the Banner in church on Sunday and my Esperanza this morning ... a giant message of HOPE.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Remembering other Friday nights

Well, last night was a lonely night for me. I remember the days when Friday night football was the highlight of my week...high school football that is. When I was a teenager, then when I was a young married girl and Eddie loved high school sports too, we still went to the high school games, like Robert E. Lee High in San Antonio, who we followed all the way to state one year, going to San Angelo for the Final Game, which Lee lost..that was a sad trip back home!!
Then in later years we always played bridge on Friday nights, first with Patty and Charles Flocke our best friends, and also with good friends in our church, St. Marks Methodist in San Antonio.
It was always the day, Fridays, that we always went out to eat too. The only day of the week we went out to eat. If it was payday...
When Eddie would come home from work, especially when we moved to Hurst, we would head to a local restaurant to eat...C.A.'s Restaurant on Pipeline Rd was a favorite, or Chow Soon across the street from them. When we were in Hurst last weekend, we drove down that street and all the good old restaurants are gone. It made me nostalgic going down that street. Or maybe we would go to Wyatt's Cafeteria in the Bellaire shopping center near the Bellaire Theater. I think that was the name of it...I know it was a cafeteria...
Not many place to eat then, so it was easy to pick one that was our favorite.
Then in late 70's and until August 1982, we would play bridge with Mike and Julie on Friday nights, either at their house in Roanoke or our house. Mike loved to play bridge almost as much as Eddie. Julie and her daddy always played against me and Mike. I think they beat us quite often! Duh! Eddie always beat everyone at card games. Especially bridge and gin rummy!!
Then in the 90's on Friday nights we were going to a Community Group meeting at somebody's house or an all night prayer meeting at the church, led by Wanda and R.D.'s group, they were our best friends then, and we were always together, at our house or their house. Praying together, or praying for someone, we never knew when someone would show up at our house or their house asking for prayer. We sometimes would spend half the night praying ...lots of people were saved, delivered, or healed on Friday nights. I looked forward to Friday nights back then.
So, now I have all these memories and I am so glad. I focus on the good times and not the bad times...and there were many of those too...but I always look for a silver lining in the darkness. I focus on that.
So now it is Saturday morning and the darkness is over and I look forward to a wonderful sunny day and wonder what the Lord has for me today.
Rocia is here with Julie and I am going to Curl Up and Dye to get a perm, and then afterward maybe I will just start driving...and wind up some place fun, awesome, and never know...just follow Holy Spirit...and He will lead me to some place interesting...I just know it!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A family that plays together stays together

It is so good to be home again! We came home yesterday afternoon after being gone to Ft.Worth (the DFW area) for six days. Last night our house felt so good. Sitting in the living room watching the World Series, Julie said, “I just love my house don’t you? It feels so comfortable”. And it did feel so good. Even when the Rangers lost, we still felt blessed to be alive…and home.

The week was awesome. Every day was filled with family, fun, and fellowship! We tried to cram as much in each day as we could, and I wanted to make memories that every one could keep forever..good memories. So I took lots of pictures so I could look at them in the years to come and remember that time!

Friday after we had checked into the LaQuinta Hotel in Hurst, we met my kiddos at a little restaurant near the ball park, called Rosa’s. We sat out on the patio/porch and ate, while the kids frolicked on the patio.

Then we all went over to the ballpark nearby, where the whole family plays on a co-ed softball team. Nine of them!!! Only two people on the team were not family! Haven’t you heard the saying, “A family who plays together stays together?” Well, I believe that.

They kept most of the their kiddos in the dugout with them! Some played at the nearby playground, and Liz and I tried to make baby Allie happy but I think she was tired and wanted her mommy! At about the middle of the game Kendall had to come out and hold her. It was such fun to watch them play. They are all good players, but when Jessica missed the fly ball in right field, she fell on her face and tumbled in a somersault as every one laughed. She took a long time getting up and I was worried about her. But she couldn’t get up for laughing so hard! That girl!

I know Kristi is so happy playing with all her kids on that team, and also her fiancé Chuck plays too.

I asked them who was the coach, and they all looked at each other and said, “I don’t know. Who is the coach? Taylor? She did the line up. We don’t know. Just whoever…”

I guess it is sort of like we used to do in the olden days. You just get together and play baseball. No one argues, no one fights, no one fusses when someone misses the ball, just have fun!

Later we went back to the hotel and crashed about 10:00 PM. We were tired after the long day, but my heart was full of love and contentment. I thanked God before I fell asleep­ -for my family and for keeping me alive to enjoy them.

I was looking forward to the next day and what He had planned for us on Saturday. All I knew was were going to watch the Rangers play Detroit for the American League pennant Saturday night over at Brad and Kendall’s house. The bed felt so good as I drifted off to sleep.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What will unforgiveness do to you?

What does unforgiveness do to you? Well, it makes you sad, angry, sick, and you think about that person who hurt you or your loved one all the time. It eats at you and makes you so unhappy. You think about them more after you have been hurt or taken up an offence for some one else that they have hurt, than you did before the incident happened.

Some people are not very forgiving. Some people forgive easily. I don’t know why that is. But it is so. When I see someone who has gone through life with all kinds of heartaches and tragedies and “bad luck”, and they are happy, friendly, even to the person that hurt them, I am so amazed. I have known people who had a child murdered, and then later was able to forgive that person, and even go to the prison and face-to-face tell him that he was forgiven. And then the man became almost like a son to them. Now that is forgiveness. I don’t know if I could forgive like that.

I have always been told if you think about a person that you have held an offense against, and say you have forgiven, but you still get angry when you think of them, you have not forgiven in your heart. Sometimes you have to forgive yourself more. Sometimes you have to forgive God. If you haven’t forgiven God, talk to Him and tell him how you feel, out loud. He knows! Even before you tell Him. I did that many years after the stroke happened to my daughter. I didn’t even know I was mad at God. But during a women’s retreat, I realized I was so mad at God. I knew I had to forgive GOD. When I finally released the anger and unforgiveness I was so free!

Do you know harboring unforgiveness makes you ill? I remember when my mother was visiting us one time, and we took her to a Full Gospel Business Men’s meeting in Ft. Worth, and she went for prayer for pain from arthritis. She couldn’t even kneel at altar she told the evangelist that was the main speaker that night. He prayed then asked her if she had any unforgiveness for someone. She told him no that she had forgive everyone in her life. He insisted she must have. She told me later that she was so irritated at him, and he prayed for her. Later that night after she went to our house, she went back over the people she had forgiven, and remembered a person who had hurt her so much, my aunt who had taken me when I was 5 years old and refused to bring me back, after 4 months, said she wanted to adopt me because Mother and Daddy had too many kids anyway. She finally brought me back after Mother threatened to get the sheriff after her. Then she wrote my mother a letter telling her to let her adopt the next baby who was in my mother’s womb! Mother said after all those years she thought she had forgiven my aunt. But she had not! That night she was able to forgive her. The next morning when she went to church with us, she was able to kneel at the altar without any pain.

And maybe you will have to forgive someone over and over again. Doesn’t Jesus say we need to forgive not seven times but seventy-times-seven? That is almost 500 times!

And God doesn’t distinguish between big sins and small sins. They are all the same in His eyes. A sin is a sin is a sin.

Offenses most often occur in families and churches! So sad isn’t it? I have seen families that have gone almost 20 years not speaking to someone. I say life is too short to hold offenses against loved ones or friends and people in your family. Think of all the years that were wasted. But if you do forgive or are forgiven, God will make up the time that was lost. He will restore the years the years.

If someone has offenses against someone in the church or in their family, read this and be assured it is from God!

How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!
It's like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron's beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It's like the dew on Mount Hermon
flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that's where God commands the blessing,
ordains eternal life.

Psalm 133 – The Message Bible

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Don't rain on my parade!

After the parade, the Royal Court doesn't look very happy do they? They want someone to help them take off those hot clothes. It was hot, and the humidity was about 99%... Later they all got casual in shorts and the King was very hungry!

Since I moved back to Floresville I have been going to the Peanut Festival Parade here. When I was little I loved the parade every October. I even wrote a story about that is in my book, Rainy Days and Starry Nights. But since I have grown up and gotten "old", I don't like parades much. But I love the marching band music and also people watching. So I go when I am in town.
This morning I signed up to work for the Historical Society to give tours in the Jail House Museum which is next to the courthouse downtown. I had to be there at 9:00. The parade started at 10:00. The downtown area was swarming with people. Some had been there before the sun came up, to get a good spot. They staked out their places with chairs and little canopies or tents.
There was a sense of excitement in the air.
I talked to a man sitting in his chair with an umbrella. He was very comfortable. His son was on the Floresville Tigers football squad, and their float had not come yet. All I remember was his name was Erickson. Wilson County has many trail riders' associations and there were lots of children riding horses. What fun for them. I remembered when my granddaughter Stephanie was in elementary school and she rode in the Lovelady Parade on a horse. She was sooo excited. Now she is 29 years old!!
The last picture is of Ralph Gerhardt who likes playing sheriff and giving tours at the jail, talking to a friend who was holding his granddaughter.
I saw our good friends, Eric and Karen Travieso and their kiddos (he is Pastor Jeanette and Pastor Benny's son who is the Chaplain for Nurses in Touch.) And I saw several other friends. But I didn't get a funnel cake! A tradition of mine. Next year maybe.
Julie, who does not like parades at all, never did, informed me last night she was going to the parade this morning! I asked why in the world would she want to go now! She said, because she loved being with Rocha family (her caregiver and children). So I told Rocia this morning, I hoped she knew what she was in for. She nodded yes.
Well, the parade started at 10 and I didn't see them anywhere. I had told them where to park and where do find me (Julie was going to be in her wheelchair). I told Rocia to get there early, because even an hour before the parader, I had to park a block away, and pay $5 in the American Legion Halls parking lot.
But everyone know what it is to get Julie to hurry. I found out later they arrived 20 minutes late for the parade, had to park 3 blocks away in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church, and then got there too late to get a good place, they couldn't see, they were on a back row, somewhere, and then Julie fell asleep during the parade! And they left the parade for home, after staying only 45 minutes, they missed half of the parade. When I got home about 12Pm, Julie was asleep, taking a nap. I had to say, "I told you!"

But I had fun talking to people and taking pictures of people parade watching and of interesting people going by. It is so fun to people watch. That is my parade.
And it didn't rain on my parade. There was a dark cloud when it was all over, and a few minutes ago, it came a hard rain shower. Supposed to get showers all today.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the day for the Peanut festival events and the carnival and the food booths, but I wouldn't care if it rained all afternoon, because I love rainy days and starry nights.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I love a small town

It’s time to get to work on a story. I have many notes, and a tape to listen to this morning. Yesterday I decided to stop by Lillie & Liborio Ortiz house in the old Lodi neighborhood near here. I had met them when Liz Lopez and I tried to find the gravesites of the Trial family in Old Lodi. (Remember we found it and took pictures?). My grandparents used to live in the old Trial home for about 10 years in the early 1900's.

She took me by to meet the Ortiz family that day. They have been in the El Mesias Methodist church all their lives! They are in their sixties. They were so happy to see me! They remembered me. They are so sweet and friendly! I just love them. I wanted to interview Lillie by herself, so we went into their living room. Periodically she had to call Liborio in there to ask a question. That was such a sweet visit, and I found out her aunt and uncle live on the Business loop 181 (which we live on), farther north from here, and they are in their 90’s. I have to visit them and interview them sometimes.

I spent over 2 hours with the sweet couple and even got to meet a man who had come to visit them, who is 85 years old and still goes to El Mesias Methodist church and is very active in it. Then Liz Lopez came by to visit, and I got to visit with her some more. She is the historian of the church (which was founded by my grandfather Zook in 1908). Also she works with the youth in the church! She is a very busy woman, with several children and grandchildren!

In my quest for how her life was when she was little, I found out Lillie’s mother died when Lillie was 1 year old. She had a sister 2 yrs. and a brother 3 yrs. Her mother was only 21. She was raised by her grandparents. She said she doesn’t know how her mother died. She was told she was very depressed and didn’t get out of bed and didn’t want to eat. Probably post-partum depression. How sad! In those days they didn’t know what to do for that. It breaks my heart to think about that. So, I got her whole story, and now I am going to listen to the tape and write it today.

A few minutes ago, Julie and Liz and I had a prayer meeting for Angel Herrera, the pastor’s daughter. They now know that it is a staph infection and she still is in great pain and now has started throwing up. Jeanette is asking everyone to pray …and pray at 7 PM tonight in unity for her. I think she is very scared. So anyone who reads this will you please stop and pray for Angel? My heart hurts for Jeanette, because I know what it is like when your daughter is critically ill in a hospital. You are in shock.

On a brighter note: I’m going to Poth to meet Bob tonight to watch the Poth girls play volleyball. Yay. They are still undefeated in district play. We are hoping they make it to State again. I am praying for a safe trip there and back…even if it is only 5 miles to Poth!! I don’t drive at night very often!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1 - Saturday driving in the slow lane

I love October. And when it is cool like today it is a wonderful Oct. 1. Good things keep happening starting with talking to my sweet granddaughter on the phone at 8:15. All the way from the Dominican Republic where she is a missionary for Makarios International. We had so much to talk about, so I asked her questions first. The first 2 weeks were hard for her with the impact of another country, a culture change, a climate change (it is hot and humid there all the time) and moving into her own place and having to buy appliances and furniture... and all kinds of challenges. She is still sleeping on a mattress on the floor. But she will be writing her blog in a couple of days and then everyone can read first hand, what her life is like down there. But It was so good to hear her voice. I feel so much better now.

Then Rocia and her daughter Damariz came to help Julie today,since Liz is off. Rocia made us fresh corn tortillas for breakfast. So I had delicious breakfast tacos with homemade tortillas!!!!

I asked Rocia if she would make us some more salsa, since the jar she made last, was eaten up by all of us at the Family Reunion! And it was soo good. Wasn't it? I had everything but the cilantro, so went to HEB to get it, and I asked Damariz to go with me. It is so fun having a teenage girl hang around with me. Reminds me of Sierra when she was living with us.

We passed by a large yard sale on 4th St, and of course turned in. There was furniture scattered all over that property. Old furniture and stuff. We stayed there a long time, getting to know the ladies there as I asked a lot of questions. Yes, I asked a lot of questions. I was taking notes too. I think maybe they were suspicious, so I told them I loved to get people's stories and hear about their history, especially if they were from Floresville. Mary Esther was the lady having the sale, and I met her two sisters and her mother, Crisanta, who is 85 years old. Crisanta married a Flores, but was born in Canada Verde in north Wilson County. I had such a good time talking to them and getting to know them. I insisted on taking pictures of them. When one sister learned my name, she exclaimed that she knew who I was, because she read the paper all the time and loved to read my columns.

But then she said laughing loudly, "You better not put these pictures in paper!!"

I said I would not, but I didn't promise them I wouldn't put them in my blog! So here they are.
I bought two items. I was excited. I bought a tall wrought iron plant stand for $10 ( she was asking $15)...and a wicker footstool for the patio/deck for $5. Damariz loaded them up for me and we went to HEB for the cilantro and to the Farmers Market for more tomatoes to make Tomato Preserves next week and some fresh okra.

We stopped by two more yard sales but didn't find anything interesting, so came home. Rocia had made the salsa. And it was heavenly!

So then, this afternoon Julie asked her to make quesadillas. She asked if we wanted soft tortillas or crisp. We decided on crisp. Omy Goodness! We were in heaven as we ate them later, covered with the fresh salsa, we ate every bite. I never ate anything that good in an expensive restaurant. We are so blessed.

Pictures are of my great yard sale finds, Crisanta and her 3 daughters, Rocia's quesadillas and salsa.

So it is almost 6:00 and the sun is getting low in the western sky, and think this day was just about perfect. I love driving in the slow lane of life.