Monday, December 1, 2008

House Church

In the era in which I grew up, it was not uncommon to see a HUGE family bible (free gift with purchase of encyclopedias) being displayed on the coffee table in the "living room" or the place where you would receive guests. Being there on the coffee table served as a badge of honor that (1.) the family placed high regards and was mindful of the importance of higher learning and education (it indicated encyclopedias were in the home) and (2.) the family was a bible believing Christian family. One of my weekly chores was to dust that area. I am confessing, for the first time (before God and Mama) that I NEVER removed that big bible before dusting the coffee table. I just dusted around it :-). We as a family never had family devotion using THAT bible. From time to time my parents would gather us together to review the Sunday school lesson or just share stories from the bible. There was no doubt to all friends and family that we were a staunch church going bible centered family.

The first time I entered my in-laws small home, stairing me in the face, was their wood framed family altar. On top was placed a beautiful silk scarf with gold fridge and their family bible. As a young teenager, courting their son at the time, I was truly impressed by that. It scored points towards my goal of a potential "Christian" husband which had always been my desire. I wanted someone as much like "my" Daddy as possible. As a daughter, I realize how blessed I am to be able to say that and to also have received. Since then, their home has been beautifully renovated and it's more than doubled in size. All the children are gone and the family altar as well. We have never come together as a family there without prayer and devotion of some sort.

This causes me to there a church in your house? Are family, friends, neighbors members of it, or are some still not saved? This was a desire of Philemon but yet he had a wicked servant. This servant did wrong towards his master and ran away. As the story goes the prayers of Philemon followed his servant, (as I'd hope my prayers would always follow my children). The servant eventually heard the preaching of Paul. He not only returned to his master with a changed heart but also a beloved brother and another member to the church in Philemon's house. I LOVE THIS STORY!

I realize that I can move ALL common affairs into my home with deliberate holiness, diligence, kindness, and integrity. More is expected of a church than an ordinary household. Internal love must be warmer and unbroken, and external conduct must be sanctified and Christlike.

Let us pray that He will give us grace to go forth from our "House Church" and shine in this world to the glory of His name.

"The Church In YOUR House"
__Philemon 2
God be Praised!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eat, Drink & Be Merry....

........without gaining pounds.

It's that time of the year again. So, enjoy your family and friends. Don't lose what you have gained (lost weight). Continue to make healthy choices (Fitts and Kevin) while celebrating this holiday season.

Here are some tips from dietitian Versie Larkin of Monroe, La.
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Avoid second helpings (good luck)
  • Limit alcohol (good luck to me)
  • Eat appetizers made with fresh vegetables
  • Eat something before the party or family gathering
  • Don't fast before the party; it could cause you to overeat
  • Select baked, grilled or broiled foods rather than fried
  • Remove the skin from chicken and all visible fat from meat
  • Take small bites and eat slowly
  • Drink extra water - it's an effective appetite suppressant
  • Be selective. If you don't really want it, don't eat it. Don't waste calories
  • Look at every bite of food before you eat it; that provides a mental connection to how much you are actually eating.

With a little bit of discipline and some planning, you can get through the holidays. Remember, moderation is the key.


Favorite Food Item - Calories

Cranberry Sauce ( 1/2 - inch slice) - 86

Deviled Egg - 141

Greens (with Hamhocks) - 200

Spinach Dip (2 oz.) - 246

Pound Cake (1/16 of cake) - 250

Mashed Potatoes (with gravy) - 254

Eggnog (cup) - 304

Baked Ham (4 0z.) - 307

Roast Turkey (dark and light with skin) - 344

Macoroni and Cheese - 350

Chitterlings (Cup) - 398 - 614 (depending upon preparation)

Buffalo Wings (8 oz.) - 513

Cornbread Dressing - 541

Sweet Potato Pie - 548

I have just added the calories of each item I KNOW will be on the menu that I plan to eat. One plate adds up to... 2,539 calories. Wow! I will have to compromise something.

This is the most dangerous time for gaining more weight. I hate to rain on your parade and time of festivities. As African Americans, being overweight is a major concern because it is a contributor of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer. So, take some simple steps towards eating right this season. Be careful with that Sweet Potato Pie!! Also those Chitterlings (Doc. Spoon & Me).

Have a Happy, Merry, Safe, and THANKFUL good Time.

Umm, I'm hungry now, think I'll get something to eat.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An "Obamatopia" Hopeful

First there was "Obamamania," punctured in places by naysayers crying "Nobama!" Now as President-elect Barack Obama prepares for the White House, his message of change, resounding both at home and abroad, seems to have unleashed a barrage of Barackisms. Or, maybe they should be called Obamanyms. Below is an Obama glossary culled from many sources.

OBAMAPHORIA: The post-election rapture that swept over Obama's supporter worldwide.

OBAMANATION: A twist on "abomination," expressed by evangelicals and other conservatives who oppose Obama's stance on abortion, gay marriage and other social issues.

OBAMARAMA: The celebration around the January 20, 2009, inauguration.

OBAMANOS: A play on "Vamonos," or "Let's go," among Obama fans in Mexico.

OBAMATOPIA: The political paradise that Obama's staunchest supporters hope he'll usher in.

OBAMALUJAH: Exultation shouted by his fans.

OBAMATRONS: The policy wonks who will occupy the West Wing of his White House.

OBAMASCOPE: Media scrutiny of the new leader. Everything he does will be under this scope.

OBAMANATOR: Hollywood-inspired nickname for the new president, even if he's got what California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger contends are "skinny legs" and "scrawny little arms."

OBAMALICIOUS: Complimentary term used by those who like Obama's looks.

OBAMALOHA: Goodbye, Obama-style, with a nod to Hawaii, his birthplace.

OH-BAMA: Joyful exclamation, via headlines in the Kennebec, Maine, Journal, The Register Guard in Eugene, Ore., and The Namibian, from the southern African country of Namibia.

BAMALOT: Description of his presidency, from a New York Post headline that played on the youth and freshness of John F. Kennedy's administration that came to be known as "Camelot."

OBAMERIKA: Headline from the Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija.

BARACKSTAR: Description from those who believe Obama is "the Mick Jagger of politics."

__Associated Press

Certainly, this is only the begining of things to come. We have already seen videos, special lyrics put to melody and even poems. I have never before watched or have even been interested in knowing the most intimate details of the life of the President and his family. So, bring it on. I'm ready to see more history unfold. I'm ready to study the trends that will result and become fashionable because of our President Elect Barack Obama.

May God Continue to Protect he and his family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"November Thirteenth"

As a child, anticipating November 13th drew a lot of excitment. Thoughts of who would remember that date, how many gifts would I get, if I would have a great big birthday cake with colorful candles would thrill my very soul. This was a day that was a celebration of ME. My own special observance. Well.... until my baby sister came along. She was born on November 13th eleven years later. I vividly remember only two birthdays of my youth and this is one of them. Being the only girl, the eldest of three brothers, my sister's birth was a great joy. A child under 14 years of age was not allowed to visit patients in the hospital. I could not wait until they brought her home. She was so beautiful, and she is still beautiful today (even though she was a bit of a brat growing up :-) I love her dearly.

To this day, my greatest birthday memory was my 7th birthday. My parents were a struggling young couple and my mother was attending nursing school. My father would use the family car to get to work on a swing shift at a refinary. My mother would wake at 5 a.m. to get ready and catch the bus to school each day. She would drop me off at a close friends house around 6:30 a.m. where I would stay until it was time for me to go to school.

On this particular day (11/13th) she woke me up which seemed to be in the middle of the night. I couldn't understand why she didn't turn on any lights in the darkness. We turned the corner in the small hallway and I saw a dim light coming from the kitchen. My little tiny heart begin to beat a little faster and I became very anxious. And then... WOW!! the breakfast table was filled with candlelight. I had no cake, no present, no card, no guests. But, OH!!!...I did have my Mama, her home cooked breakfast, her love, just she and I alone in the dim lite kitchen talking about what "I" wanted to talk about. Most of all I appreciated her thoughtfulness and imagination to make her little girl happy inspite of having no other means or money. After we ate, she put me back to bed for a little while longer until it was time to leave for the day. For the rest of that day my mind would relive my moments with Mama over and over. With great pride, I told all of my closest friends at school that day. This shall be my most cherished memory for as long as I live. It's remembrance ALWAYS bring tears. Thank you Mama.

As an adult I have had many wonderful gifts and celebrations. My husband never forgets and has given me priceless memories, birthday parties, trips, etc. The congregation has also been very thoughtful and generous to their First Lady. I love the happy birthday song that is sung to me by my grandchildren on the phone and hearing from my Sons and wives. Oh yes, and the birthday card my Mom sends in the mail even though we live in the same city :-) My excitement is different of that of a child. I reflect upon the blessings of God and the valley and mountaintop experiences and rejoice.

When approaching my 35th birthday I became depressed because I didn't want to be 40. In the meantime, God taught me through some hard lessons to be grateful for added life. By age 50 I had learned to rejoice. I am excited about the gifts that God has ALREADY given me. My family, my faith, salvation, contentment in mind and spirit, shelter, food, health. I could go on and on. I can truly say that I don't need a thing for my birthday as I look towards 60 but prayer.

As I close, I would like to borrow a thought from my husbands favorite scripture, Phillippians 1:21. It is my desire and pleasure to daily live for Christ. He is my greatest joy and excitement. I wait in great anticipation to "gain" my greatest gift that awaits me.....
Eternal Life.

Thank you Jesus!

Happy Birthday to my beloved Sister
on November Thirteenth
Ms. Malinda L. Francis Ward
I love you

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Barack Obama!!

Thank God for this history making event. We serve an awesome God. Truly President Elect Obama is the man chosen by God for the great task that lies before him. May God continually keep His arms of protection around he and his entire family. I pray that he adheres to the direction and voice of God at all times. God Be Praised!!!

Proverbs 3:5&6

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm Back! Did I Miss Anything?

I had a wonderful time during the weeks away from home. We had no car trouble, and each flight was relatively smooth during our vacation. We had a grand time the week of our State Convention. Each lesson, sermon, inspirational talk and presentation was outstanding. Our new Minister's Wives President did a fantastic job during her "first" annual address. I am the outgoing President that served nine years and I was in charge of our "love in action" portion of the program for our president. The ladies went beyond what was asked of them to shower her with gifts and money. Our President's recommendations during her message included electing me as President Emeritus of the Minister's Wives Auxiliary. I was surprised and honored as they carried the motion to except her request. Please be in prayer for our convention President, Dr. A.S. Johnson who at the time of the convention was in ICU suffering with the aftermath of a stroke. He is presently in a medical rehab facility. God bless 1st. vice president, Dr. K.W. Tillmon, 2nd vice president, Dr. W.L. Pullam, and 3rd vice president, Dr. R. Stewart for moving the convention forward during our session in the absence of our beloved President. We were truly blessed.

What can I say about my time in Vegas. WOW!! I had a terrific time. I didn't do anything unlawful in the state of Nevada or immoral. I did win $145 by accident (long story). There were six of us that was in fellowship there and we all agreed that it was well worth the time and money we spent. The fellowship was priceless. One tiny little arthritis in my right knee was on the rampage. The last two days I was on a walking cane and in much pain. I took advil and kept up with the group. That's all I'm saying about Vegas. What happens there, stays there. I will try to post photos soon.

Glad to know all is well here at home. Tony must have done a good job keeping you all in line. I did cheat and looked in on you all a couple of times real quick. A snitch (not Lance) told me that Fitts acted up a little bit but it all resolved itself peacefully. So glad that each sermon seemed to be dynamic as usual by each outline that I read and your comments to each other, not that I am an expert (lol).

Thank each of you for your comments on my last blog. I was pleasantly amused and drawn closer to each of you. Thank you for your prayers and can't wait to get back into your lives and giving my "two cents worth" Thank you also for being in my life. Reading the comments of my last blog, it seems as though another Brother wants to become a son of mine. It is perfectly ok with me Bro. Wilson. Although, being that you are REAL close to crossing over to age 50, we might have to settle for just being siblings instead. I will let you and my sons decide which. What do you all think? A son or a sibling?

Oh yes, the answer to the question raised in my blog subject is....Yes, YOU!

having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all
2 Corinthians 2:3b


Monday, October 20, 2008

Be Good and Behave!!

I had a fantastic weekend. I was in fellowship with the Friendship Baptist Church in celebration of Pastor Kevin Pullam's 8th pastoral anniversary. Starting with a luncheon given Saturday in honor of the First Lady, Sis. LaTonya D. Pullam that was really really nice with good food, gifts, words of appreciation and (my favorite) $$$$$$$. Saturday evening an outstanding musical was held in honor of the pastoral family. Sunday morning worship, Pastor Arthur Lane of St Matthew Baptist Church of the city was his guest preacher. I was unable to attend that service because my church was having our Annual Men's Day program. Pastor Leonard James of Austin, Texas preached in our (SJFBC) service. Pastor Kevin's final service was at 3 p.m. and we had a grand time in the Lord. Pastor Dr. C. E. Richarson Sr. of Calvary First Baptist Church of the city did an awesome job. A special tribute was given by his father Pastor W. L. Pullam (and he sure did preach). I do believe Pastor Pullam and his family was made very happy and encouraged by the acts of kindness rendered.

Well, I am going to be out of pocket for a couple of weeks. I will be attending our State Convention this week. We will leave the convention headed for our vacation in Nevada, which will be for an additional week. I am ssssooooo ready to go. We usually take this week alone but this year my husband's brother and his wife will be going with us, as well as my mother and my aunt (my mom's sister). We look forward to the fellowship.

To my Sons, you all behave yourselves while Mama is away. Play fair and share. I am leaving Tony in charge until I get back. Fitts, you and Spoon stay on your own side of the room. Lance (the tattler) will report to me everything that's going on. I already know that Mcghee, Ed, Clinton and Reggie will be neutral so don't sway them. I don't have to worry about Kevin and Kraig they NEVER get in trouble, it has always been the "other" fella's fault (Aaron & Lane). Study hard and do your homework!! I expect nothing but great reports from the congregation :-)

I am REALLY going to miss you a lot. I will be thinking of you. I might be tempted to check on you via laptop or business center. I promised the group I would just relax and stay off the computer. Keep us in your prayers and I will do the same. Be obedient. I'll be back soon. I love you.

Proverbs 25:12

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Better than Wine"

During my clinical training in nursing school I learned a lot about the benefits of what we would consider as non traditional medicine. After I got my nursing degree and met all the requirements to pass the Texas State Board Exams, I received my license to begin my nursing practice. But, after working awhile I wanted to get a promotion and a financial increase by practicing in a specialized area prior to going into OB nursing. To do this, further training had to take place. I took and passed a ten week course in pharmacology at our local college. It was there that I found out some of the benefits of an ocassional glass of red wine. With Geriatrics (the elderly) wine therapy would sometime stimulate the appetite. Wine can also be instrumental in raising your CBC (red blood count) when you are suffering with anemia. The Doctor would actually write an order for it to be given at a certain time to the patient in the hospital. A written prescription for the wine was required from the Doctor in order to administer the dose. Wine in moderation can even be used to eliminate certain stomach ailments and parasites. I wondered why no one could guess the REAL reason I wanted my CBC checked all the time with hopes of it being a little low. (LOL).

The first time I tasted wine I was a newly wed. A good friend came by our apartment to toast our new marriage with a bottle of sweet cheap red wine. I'd never tasted anything so good before. To me it was like drinking kool-aid with a kick. I couldn't drink it fast enough. I thought it was the greatest invention since the wheel. Our friend left about an hour later. What a difference a couple of hours make. I was so sick and I vowed to the Lord, "if you heal me and don't let me die", "I will never do this again". no more wine for me. Well....I kept most of the promise, I didn't do it THAT WAY again. Until I got it out of my system, I thought wine (in moderation) was pretty good. What could be better than a great refreshment that gives joy at the same time?

Nothing gives the believer more joy than being loved by Jesus Christ. Like others we enjoy the good things of life plus the added benefits of the gifts and works of God. There is nothing equal to the delight found in our Lord. I would prefer one mouthful of Christ's love and one sip of His fellowship than a whole world of carnal delights.

Speaking of carnal, all earthly pleasures are earthy, but the comforts of Christ's presence is heavenly. There is no emptiness with Jesus. There is no dregs (sediment) in His wine. The joy of the Lord is solid and enduring. The joy of the Lord in time and in eternity will be worthy to be called "the only true delight"

For nourishment, comfort, exhilaration, and refreshment, no wine can rival the love of Jesus.

"For your love is better than wine"
__Song of Solomon 1:2b__

"we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee"
__Song of Solomon 1:4b__

Drink Deeply Today!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Ear that Hears, Heart that Listens"

My third grade teacher was my favorite in elementary school. Her name was Miss. Flores. I didn't know it at the time but she was an early twenties, unmarried woman just two years into her teaching career. As young as I was at the time, she seemed to be very conscientious and she wanted her students to get as much as we could from her class, and in our learning experience with her. She was the type of teacher that was very personal. She wanted to know about our weekends, holidays, favorite colors, and if we had a visit from the tooth fairy lately. She was even interested in what we wanted to become when we grew up. It felt very genuine to me. I was an average student having a hard time with multiplication, and we developed an unacknowledged closeness. Until graduation from high school I would periodically go by to see her in room 38 at Prescott Elementary.

After getting married, having children and becoming the very thing I told her (at age 9) I wanted to be when I grew up, we would run into each other from time to time. She never married. Later in life she adopted a son who was the same age as my second son Keith. My children were very small when my husband and children had the priviledge of meeting her while eating at the same restaurant. They felt as if they already knew her because I spoke of her often. The last time I saw her was at a high school football game (1991) where both our sons, Freddie and Keith played in the same band. I didn't know it would be my last time. We moved to a different school district and we lost touch.

From time to time, I would bring up the conversation Miss Flores had with us in class one day about "hearing vs listening" with my husband and children. She told us that you can "hear" many things at the same time. We could "hear" her speaking, the birds outside singing, someone tapping on the desk, the pencil sharpener, all at the SAME time. But, you can only "listen" to ONE thing at a time and comprehend. For example: I talk to my husband all the time right in the middle of a play during the football game. After I've said what I wanted to say, I would ask "are you listening to me?" he says "yes" then I'd ask "what did I say?" he couldn't tell me because he wasn't "listening" to ME. He "heard" me (along with the tv I was watching in the other room, because he had asked me to turn it down) but he was "listening" and "comprehending" the game. He would always have the last word though by asking "can we have this conversation after the game?" But, my final last words (while leaving the room) would be... "by then it will be to late and it wouldn't matter".

As Christians, it is painful to think that this is an accusation against believers who are spiritually insensitive. We should regret that we do not hear the voice of God as we should. there are gentle motions of the Holy Spirit in the soul that often go unheeded. There are whispers of divine commands and of heavenly love that are ignored. We have been carelessly ignorant. There are situations we should have seen, iniquities that went unnoticed, sweet feelings left unattended. We missed glimpses of His divine face because our soul's windows were fogged. We did not hear or know because we were preoccupied with other sounds in our ears. As we think about it we are deeply humbled. God deals with us in mercy. Even with His awesome sacrifice He knew what we would be like. Isaiah 48:6-9

Oh redemption, how wonderfully resplendent you shine when I think of how sinful we are! Oh Holy Spirit, give us the "hearing" ear and the understanding heart that "listens".

Today, I would like to wish my Mother a very Happy Birthday!
Mrs. Louia L. Francis
I love you Mama

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Ongoing Grace Growing"

It is late and I am still up. A lengthy nap after church has caused my insomnia. As I sat in front of the television tonight flipping stations with the remote, my mind kept going back to this word "Grace". For over fifty years I have heard my Mother say... "she hopes as she ages, she will grow in grace". For about the same amount of years I have heard many prayers for our senior adults... "as they grow older may they grow older in grace". I know of the grace of God displayed towards me and its benefits. But what does it mean for us to become full grown in grace? Is it important enough to generations that follow behind us to grow in grace among other Christian qualities and character? How necessary is it?

Grow in the grace. Grow not just in one grace, but in all grace. Grow in that root grace: faith. I believe we should let faith increase in fullness.

Grow in love. Ask the Lord that your love will be more extended, more intense, more practicle, influencing your every thought word and deed.

Grow likewise in humility. Grow upward in your approach to God in prayer and a more intimate fellowship (there's that word again) with Jesus.

May the Holy Spirit enable you to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. By not doing so we are refusing to be blessed. To know Him is life eternal. If you have no desire to learn more about Christ, you know nothing of Him. If we don't want to know Him better then we simply don't love Him. The absence of Christ is hell. But the presence of Jesus is heaven.

We should not rest until we have increased our acquaintance with the Lord. Learn more of Him and of His divine nature. Learn more in His human relationship, His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present intercession, and in His second coming. We should want to know more and more of Him. This is one of the reasons I love blogging with the Ministers and other fellow Christians the most. I have learned so much in such a short time. In all practicality I know I have lived better than half my life. Still I want to know as much as I can about Him. In doing so, as I grow older I am growing in grace.

So, an increase of our love for Jesus and a more perfect concept of His love for us is one of the best ways to grow in grace.

"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ"
2 Peter 3:18

Monday, September 15, 2008

Still Searching??

Tell me where you lost your fellowship with Christ and I will tell you where you can find Him. Did you lose Christ by forgetting the prayer closet? Then that is where you go back to seek and find Him. Did you lose Christ through sinning? Then the only way to find Him is to give up your sin and ask the Holy Spirit to discipline you. Did you lose Christ by neglecting to read and study the Sciptures? Then yes, (you guessed it) you will again find Him in the scriptures. The old proverb is true, "Look for a thing where you dropped it." Look for Christ where you lost Him for He has not gone away.

It is difficult to go back and look for Christ. When you get lost in a big forest and it's getting dark, it is hard to find your way back. I know this to be true because my oldest brother Alvin got lost in the woods. It got dark and he thought all hope was gone. The road back can be the hardest to travel. Twenty miles forward is easier than one mile back. When you find the Master stay close.

How did you lose Him? One would think you would never leave a friend so precious. He is ssssooo sweet. His words are comforting. His company is no doubt desirable. Why did you not watch Him every moment? Were you not afraid of losing Him?

Even though you let Him go, what a miracle that you are now seeking Him. Keep on looking. It is dangerous to be without the Lord. Without Christ you are like a sheep without a shepherd, a tree without water. With your "Whole" heart seek Him. Give yourself fully to the search and you will discover Him to be your joy and your gladness.

I am sharing what I know to be true. I have had to seek him more than once in my life. As a young wife and mother, hard times would challenge my faith and would cause me to fall out of fellowship with Jesus. I even struggled while wading through rough waters as my husband dealt with the call into the gospel ministry. God had to "prepare" me as well to be a compatible helpmeet, viable asset and not a liability. After many ups and downs throughout this process, I finally cried unto the Lord as did David...."Lord return unto me my salvation". It was then that the Lord took me back where I first believed and restored me back into the fellowship with Him. I don't want to ever have to search for Him again. For He is truly my joy and my gladness.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ode of Dora Anderson Wilson...

Have you ever had the blessed priviledge of being loved by an extrodinary individual? I mean VERY extrodinary. It is an experience above all others. The love is so great that you see no fault and don't believe that a person that has this overwhelming ability to make you feel completely loved can do anything wrong. You can't even explain it. Hardly no one else has come close to this kind of love (except mama). It is a love and relationship like non other. It isn't a love like a mate to a mate, a sister or brother kind of love. It is very very close to the love of an exceptional mother, father, grandparents and bodyguard rolled into "one" person.

I have had this kind of love that started before I knew I ever existed and it was cut off way before I wanted it to while in middle school. Her name was Dora Anderson Wilson, affectionately known as Aunt Dora. She was double kin to me. She was the sister to my maternal (big mama) grandmother's father, which made her my great great aunt first. She later married and became the second wife of my maternal (big daddy) grandfather's father, which made her my step great grandmother. She raised my grandfather from the age of three after his mother died and was a wonderful step-mother. She was also very much in the life of my grandmother (her niece) from the time my grandmother lost her mother at age eight years old. She became an Angel to many during that time. She was very much a nurturer, teacher, role model, and mentor. Very quiet and unassuming. She was plain and average looking with dark brown, beautiful, soft skin and very soft fine hair. She stood about 5'1" and about 65 lbs over her ideal weight. To lay against her or rest on her lap was very cozy. She was a devout Methodist and Godly woman who prepared wonderful Sunday dinners and holiday meals. She had NO patience with unruly children. She knew how to put you back in check and on the strait and narrow path.

My mother was her pick of the liter out of eleven children my grandparents had, and she took her to live with she and her husband while mama was a small child. After my parents were married and had me they were still living with her until relocating to the city where they reside presently. I was about 18 months old at the time. The story goes that I became very very ill as an infant and it was she who stayed up for days after the doctor gave up. She nursed me back to health, smearing me with all kind of stuff and praying so loud that the neighbors could hear. I am not supposed to be here according to that story. She became completely deaf after a bout with smallpox as a young adult. She learned how to read lips perfectly on her own. You would not have ever suspected she could not hear anything. When I was about five years old one warm sunny summer day in the country; she and I were walking through the woods on a narrow trail. I was singing (as usual) as I skipped along behind her. Little did I know (but her instincts did) that a whipping snake was making a whistling sound coming up behind me. She grabbed me and ran to safety. Listen, I was walking behind her, the snake was behind me, she was COMPLETELY deaf, how did SHE know about the snake? The family's reply to MANY stories like this one was always...."nobody but God".

I could go on and on about her unconditional love and I'm sure she will come up again in another blog. The only other person who shares this sentiment with me and knows exactly what I mean about Aunt Dora is my own mother. She also had this kind of love from her. I'm blessed to be loved by so many other people. I have great parents, an incredible husband, loving children, grandchildren, etc. and I am truly blessed. I thank God daily that I have them.

I pray that All of you experience a "human" love like this on this side of the Jordan. I know her love was sent from the very heart of God, for He IS love. I thank God for the human touch of my loving family but especially my Aunt Dora's. Thank you God for giving exceptional love through your Son Jesus Christ. I truly loved her and I know without a doubt she loved me.

Thank you Aunt Dora!

Mrs. Dora Anderson Wilson 1882 - 1966
Proverbs 31:10-31

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Don't Worry, Be Happy"

We can all agree that we have had some good days and we have had some bad ones. Our Pastor tells us every Sunday morning that "EVERY day is a good day when you love the Lord". Each time he says this, especially when I have had a tedious week of struggle, it convicts me. I began evaluating whether I spent to much time worrying than I should have. Then I think about where would I be without God. Knowing without Him my circumstances would be fatal. There is hope in Jesus. In spite of how bad I think it is...because of Him, it is a good day.

What makes YOU happy? I know it could be a variety of things. What is the top five? The things money can't buy or do you think....more money, more happiness? Certainly, it could buy less worries... don't you think? Come on, be real. Worries out of the way could make way for happiness, right? I'll give you a minute to think about it. Are you going to answer what is politically correct or do you have a different analogy about real happiness?

The word tells us many things about having joy and contentment. There are ways to have such happiness. First of all the believer should take care that our happiness has its foundation in the Lord (Psalms 43:4). We should be happy and rejoice that He sits on the throne and He rules all things. The Christian delights not only in what God is, but also in what He has done. So let His people tell of His mighty acts. A real good and happy day for me is thinking upon His goodness and praising Him because He's God. In recent days I have been shouting about another storm he just brought me through. This feeling of great relief to a problem solved. Thank you Jesus! "It sure is a happy day" (quote from Gone with the wind).

Let us not cease from rejoicing. As new mercies flow, our gladness in the Lord's loving acts and grace should make us thankful. It should make us happy and it should make us sing (Exodus 15:1-2). Let us be glad in the Lord.

Matthew 6:31-33

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"A Charge To Keep I have"

In the process of anwering many emails and my response to some of my blog family members, I have reflected on many seasons of my life lately. I have thought about (thanks to Rev. Aaron) the very early memories of my childhood. I have also thought about my relationships with the opposite sex and its experiences, and how I came to fall in love with an incredible man. I shared with my youngest son not long ago that with life comes more and more experiences to share. I have communicated so much of my life, the good and the bad, with many who seek answers to so many questions about what they are facing. It is strange how they are drawn to me even before their own family members or parents. All I have is life's lessons to draw from along with the word of God to warn of the do's and don'ts of a particular issue. I have been approached by Pastors seeking a female's point of view ocassionally. I believe and I KNOW God has given me these life experiences and stories to share with "whomsoever" for such a time as this.

As the Pastor's wife, when "I" have questions, when "I" am in despare "WHO" (humanly speaking) am "I" to go to? To my Pastor? What if the issue at the time may be WITH my Pastor? I have had to struggle many times alone and lonely. It was only God who brought me through when I felt no one would understand and/or would make light of my concerns. Then here comes Satan. Trying to conquer my soul at it's most vunerable time. I am wide open. The struggle gets more intense because I have to deal with the discouragement tactics of the devil PLUS the problem at hand. I am grateful that I have gathered along the way some astonishing victories and praise reports.

After the ocassional conflicts life brings I have found that for me a revival has to take place within my soul. I sing songs like "Take me back where I first believed" to relive my rebirth into the life of Christ. Then I say to my soul that "I made a vow" a long time ago and I'm determined to reach my goal. As Pastor Kraig so plainly puts it..."this is just a shift in the wind" on my Christian journey. It can be all good today, then the wind shifts and I'm fighting to remain strong in the Lord. God has found favor in each of my attempts bouncing back with a greater witness and determination. It has been proven to me time after time that God does answer prayer.

And finally, I rejoice being always reminded that "A charge to keep I have and a God to Glorify an ever dying soul to save and fit it for the sky" I will take nothing for my journey thus far and gladly share what I have learned and overcome to help strengthen others for this same pilgrimage. Thank God for His amazing restoring and keeping power. I will remain steadfast until this race is over with the help of the Lord.

James 1:12

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vi's Expressionism...

Hello Blog Friends,

Since becoming a new blogger, I have been anxious to put my thoughts to blog on a regular basis. That is not always an easy thing to do. I have been hanging around you fellas for quite a while now, even before I started my own blog. I couldn't wait to see what you wanted to share and talk about each time I logged on. I always tried to hold myself back from being the first to comment. That didn't always happen.

I was itching to put my "two cents worth" in (and still do) on every subject you all talked about. So far I haven't messed around or commented on the sermon outlines. I do read them and learn a few things in the process. You had me going to my study bibles and dictionaries many times. It is a welcomed and refreshing challenge. I was really happy when my thoughts, insight, outlook, and conclusions coincided with yours. I was REALLY thrilled when Pastor H.B. Charles preached from my favorite scripture (you all know it) and placed the outline on his blog. Ocassionally, I have had a few questions (sometimes very painful) for you to answer. Thank you for your patience and sensitivity to my dilemmas even though you didn't know who I was.

So far I have been gathering my Sons blog buddies and you have been very gracious to me. If you are just humoring your Pal's Mom, don't worry, maybe the newness will wear off quickly and I will be off into a new thing. You can incorporate that request into your daily prayers (LOL). We all know God will hear and He answers.

I am not through gathering new blog constituents. So far I have been hanging out with some of you Pastors. I look forward to inheriting the Sistas, Brothas, Young People, and folks of other cultures. I anticipate learning even more and the sharing of one another's lives.

I had the need to communicate this to you since you are still getting to know me as your new blog friend. I pray that some that I am about to gain are reading this and will comment. I get sooooo excited to see you stop by. It makes my day. I really really do honor every prayer request and hope you do the same for me.

So, I can hardly wait, I want to know...."What do YOU think about "Something"? Blog me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Black is not only Beautiful But..."

I like many others have been preoccupied by the media with subjects, opinions, accusations and curiosities of the African American or Black sociological culture. Recently, I have even seen old movies resurface on just about anything that will better enlighten other ethnic groups on the subject. They give a "standing on the outside looking in" prospective on the everyday life of the African American. Almost every talk show, major television newwork special, professional panal discussions, etc. are putting it on out there. Why Now? I have my thoughts why we (blacks) are so closely analyzed at this particular time in history. I think it is a good thing to come out of darkness into the marvolous light about anything. I am just so surprised how until now, there was no initiative.

I was reading a couple of articles in my issue of Jet magazine. I came upon a headline in the communication's section entitled "CNN's Black America Report Sets Viewing Records". It goes on to say that the documentary series "Black in America" was the highest rated program in its time slot. It aired two nights "The Black Man" and "The Black Woman & Family" with over 2.6 million viewers both nights. The article did not say black viewers only. Another article: "Vogue Italia Goes Black" informs Jet readers that Vogue released an all black issue in July for the first time EVER. Featuring black related subjects, only black models, they even included an article on Ebony magazine. It sold out in the United States and England in less than 72 hours. It went back for reprint for 30,000 copies for U.S., 20,000 for Italy and 10,000 for Britain. Am I the only one amazed by this?

For some reason, NOW our diversities must be made clear. Is it because "if I am to follow you, take instructions from or let you have authority over me, I've got to completely understand you? Isn't the character of a human being and individual enough? I was young when President Kennedy campaigned. For some reason I was intensely interested for my age. I don't remember documentaries made of his ethnicity (an Irishmen) or religion (Catholic). As a people we wanted to know if he was going to be sensitive to the issues at hand. We had some serious "Negro" issues and problems in that day. We had to trust blindly that he was the candidate that could best serve the entire american society and not put blacks on the back burner. One thing I do remember. Hearing the opinions of our Pastors, Elders and seniors of the black community. They were concerned that whomever was to take office in our government, had to be saved. A person that was filled with the fear of God and would head this nation in a manner that would reflect Christian beliefs.

So, what I have heard, read and seen lately,"Black is not only Beautiful but Profitable"

This is my "two cents worth" I'd like to get yours. Be Blessed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

BonVoyage My Kwee...On to the Next

This is our first born Grandson

Kory LaQuess Pullam

Affectionately known as Kwee

by Me

Today has been a strange kind of day for me. I am feeling fine since fighting a summer cold for awhile. I have been going through some minor emotional spurts throughout the day. Because Kory leaves for college camp today before the fall semester starts. He won't be back until he has a fall break. This is his first college year and he will be off on his own without his parents and of course "me".

I have been reflecting all day of his many transitions since his birth. I was there at the hospital when he took his first breath. I could not believe I was somebody's Grandma. I was to young to be called that so, Nana it was going to be from now on. He touched my heart in a unique way. I didn't think that would happen again as lovingly, after the birth of my own sons but it did. Everything seemed as though it was a first for me all over again although I had been a mother three times already. The firsts were so exciting again.....LOOK, he smiled, he laughed, sitting up on his own, Did he say Mama or Nana? Oh boy! he took his first step. We all were so proud to see him take on each challenge like a champ. With each new conquest I felt as I always did about Kory's dad (Kevin)...there is nothing he can't do, so on to the next.

Well, it's been a lot written in your history since that first step. Grade school, sports, acne, hurt, pain, driving lessons, prom, graduation, etc. Now, it's on to the next.

Again I feel like he is about to take his first step. I know there is a possibility of falling but there is no doubt in my mind that he will get up and eventually began running. There will be some more firsts before him. May he choose always to follow Christ in all of his ways.

I know his parents are feeling much of the same way that I am, probably even more so. I pray for all of us as we settle into the idea that Kory is off and running. He has been prepared for this season in his life. I am sure he will have a safe journey.

Bonvoyage My Kwee


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Weez Here Fellow Bloggers!!

Well I finally made it to the wonderful world of Blogging. I have been snooping around for a while on many of your blogs and putting in my "two cents worth". Thought it was time for you to return the favor. I am anticipating the possibility of gaining some wonderful blog friends. I don't know if I will post daily, weekly, etc. I will however do so when my mind is stirred up to do so. I will expect your complete honesty in your comments. NO REPROBATE MINDS ALLOWED. So, Dont be shy, lets share. I have an open mind to exchange insights and ideas as long as the subject matter is decent and in order.

All I have left to say to annouce my arrival is a quote from my favorite movie

Gone With The Wind

"Weez Heah Miss Scarlett"