My Father is Perfect

My earthly father fell short of being perfect – maybe you can relate.  Possibly you don’t have good memories of sitting in your Dad’s lap, or feeling safe and secure.

My heavenly father is perfect.  He is my refuge and fortress, my protector, confidant, supporter, encourager. I can crawl into his lap and be comforted and strengthened. He’s a good, good father.

Psalm 18:30

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

He’s a good, good father.
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We can find that comfort and security we need by seeking the loving arms of our heavenly father and resting in him.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

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Praise God, my husband has been a good father to our two sons.  As they saw modeled in their father, they are good fathers to their children.

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May their legacy continue to the next generations.

 

 

 

 

Walk in the Way of Love

 

“What was your favorite Easter basket or Easter candy?”

Really?  A Christian radio station talking about Easter candy.  Is that what Easter is about?

My husband did have a memory of Easter candy.  His mom required him to take his younger brother and sister to  a community egg hunt.  He was walking around looking cool and stopping occasionally to eat a candy egg.  He picked up a plastic egg and opened it – he read $1.00 and put the prize in his pocket.  Several hard candy eggs later – he heard over the loud speaker, “The prize egg has not been found.  Look around for the $100 prize egg.”

He looked again in his pocket– and he had misread the note.  He went to the announcer and returned the contents of the plastic egg for a $100 check.   When asked what he planned to do with the money – he responded, “I will give it to my mom to pay for my summer school bill.”

Easy come, easy go!

I watched The Passion of the Christ recently for the second time.  Incredible the suffering Jesus experienced for us.  I remember a retreat and the speaker giving a physical description of Jesus’s crucifixion – this did not include the beatings and scourgings from Roman soldiers and the rejection of his own countrymen before being nailed on a cross.

I don’t remember ever receiving a basket.  Maybe when I was very young??

My best memories of Easter are attending church with my Dad.  Christmas and Easter were the few days we attended church as a family.

Unlike the casual attire today, people dressed up for church in those days. Dad could wear his dress Army military uniform. Mother used her limited funds to make sure her children wore nice Sunday clothes, especially at Christmas and Easter, which left no money for an appropriate outfit for her.

It was kind of ironic my Dad always looked so proud and got so many compliments for his uniform and bringing his children to church.  While my mother was the one who sacrificed and covered for him and his drinking problem which caused her to squeeze every penny out of his paycheck to pay bills.

One of my best memories of Easter was the weekend my husband and I were married.

Other family Easter memories:

My brother & his children attended with us one year.

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Easter.1972

 

 

 

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Our Teen Ranch Familyr

 

The cute blue suit is what Timmy wore when he quickly said his part on stage, popped his bow  tie and jumped off the stairs.

 

 

 

In the early years of our marriage the tradition continued of having new clothes at Easter.   I made a yellow dress for the special day.  I found a pair of yellow pumps to match and squeezed the luxury out of my paycheck.

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Can you believe lady I sat by in church this Easter had on a yellow dress and yellow shoes?

It seemed the Lord was saying to me, “You could return them and give the $20 to missions.”  I leaned over to John and said, “we can give $20.”

A few weeks before Easter, we attended a missionary banquet and the speaker, Rev. Jimmy Lentz, a powerful advocate for missionaries, made an appeal.  He realized there was only a small group of people and we were most likely giving to our church.  He asked if we would give sacrificially. My yellow shoes popped up before my mind.  I didn’t really need them I just wanted them to wear with my new dress.

Now that doesn’t seem like a lot of money – but to us in the 1960’s it was a – a car payment or electric bill???? This began our love of missions and desire to give.

New clothes are not a priority for Easter to me now.  I do cherish family attending services with us and cooking for them to enjoy.

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Little Timmy full grown with his family.

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Our son Johnny and his children and their friends.  We are still surrounded by young people.

 

Now Easter is a wonderful celebration of our faith as the highlight of the year when we commemorate our Lord’s resurrection.  As our pastor said this year, “Without Easter we would not celebrate Christmas!”

Why would we? The purpose of the coming of the babe in the manager was for God to be with us in human form so that he could show us the Father and then die for our sins and leave the Holy Spirit to be our counselor, advocate and guide.

Thank you Lord for Easter memories in my life.  May I share with my children and grandchildren that Easter is more than baskets, bunnies and egg hunts.

It’s all about the glorious resurrection of our Lord – King Jesus.

Behold our King!  Come let us adore Him!

 

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kissing Cousins

The three quarter length sleeves on the red dress were flattering as was the fitted waist.  Even though it was a warm day in September I could not resist wearing the new dress on my date.  Johnny picked me up and said, “I’d like to stop by my house – there are some people I’d like you to meet.”

We were greeted by a friendly crowd of all ages.  Picnic tables were spread with what looked like old sheets and it seemed like every one was bringing food to the tables.  Johnny disappeared in the crowd and was kissed by several beautiful young ladies.  I knew his two sisters and they were not the ones kissing him.

Later in the car I asked about the pretty young ladies kissing him.  He said, “Oh those were my cousins!”  Kissing cousins I thought.  Ummmmm.

Those kissing cousins, Sue, Lee and Betty would become lifelong friends.

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Sue, Betty and Sue’s daughter Kim

 

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Lee and daughter Melodie

 

That was my first introduction to a family reunion.  My boyfriend’s mother was one of seven children; six girls and one boy.  Virginia, Lenora, Zora, I.V., Jessie, Ethel, and Cleo.  When they all got together on the fourth Sunday in September there was feasting, fun and pictures.

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The original gang minus Aunt Lenora

Now that handsome young man is no longer called Johnny but John and my husband of 52 years and I did not wear a red dress but a dark blue dress which detracted from my not so small waist.

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John with Benny and Gene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many gatherings have been enjoyed over the years at family houses until the crowd grew too large and then church halls, recreation centers and once at Vogel State Park.  The last several years we have meet in my sister-in-law Gayle’s church basement.

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Gayle, Tommy and Uncle Dutch

 

All the original seven sisters and one brother are gone but we still meet in their memory and in their honor for what they taught us – to love God, love our family and our neighbors.  The crowd has dwindled a bit but the food was still good and we try to keep up with each other’s lives – the babies born, growing children, those graduating from high school and happenings in our lives.

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Nana Pat, Cameron & Chalonda

 

 

 

Our almost seventeen-year-old grandson drove us to the gathering and our son and his daughter led the way in another car.

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed the food and fellowship.

A few years ago, we gathered around the keyboard and sang old hymns as our cousin Keith played.

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Sanders Family Singers

 

I couldn’t help but shed a tear thinking about how John’s mom and dad and all the others who are gone now would have loved to hear that singing.

But I imagine the original gang is having their own reunion in heaven!

Exodus 20:12New International Version (NIV)

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

 

Fill in the Blanks

How many times have you heard people say “I wish I had asked my parents……………..”  You fill in the blanks.  Shekinah Lane is our story of those blank spaces.  We want future generations of our family and your family to realize that God can use us in our weakness if we dare to dwell in the secret place (the Shekinah glory) of the most High God. 

That glory is only found as we step out in faith, out of our comfort zone, and out of preconceived restrictions.  We experienced the freedom of serving God with people from various backgrounds as well as those who had no religious background to restrict their faith journey. 

 Join us for a book signing of Shekinah Lane

at Union County Library on Friday, May 19, 2:30 – 4:30 pm

 

 When we are young children we depend on our parents.  As teens we tolerate our parents.  Young adults depend on parents again to help with their children.  Midlife finds us busy with our teens – ball games, school activities, and before we know it – we are the grandparents.

Many times only in the later years of our lives do we start to reflect and wish we had spent more time talking to our parents and asking those questions to pass down to future generations.

My family a few years before my parents died.

My parents died in the midst of our sons’ teen age years.  My mother suffered a major heart attack and died a few hours after I arrived at the hospital.  Two years later my father died of lung cancer.  Since I was in that midlife time, I had not asked those questions about my parent’s lives to fill in those blanks.

 

John’s parents both lived long lives.  They moved close to us here in the north Georgia Mountains.  For eleven years we shared them with our sons and their families.

First great-grand child

Second great grand-child

Cha and Cam enjoyed their Mee maw and Great Pa paw

 

Having four generations interact was a delight.

 

 

We enjoyed the twinkle in Great Pa paw’s eye and the smile on Me maw’s face as he shared the story about their wedding night.  Every December 23 he disclosed, as if it was the first time he told it, about when he and Me maw were married and the house caught on fire.  We made them an anniversary DVD one year and the background music was Johnny Cash’s song “We got married in a Fever.”

Third great grand child (Mitchell) with hands raised.

Even though we shared many years with John’s parents, there are still some blanks.  We wish we could talk to them just once more and ask the lyrics to so many jingles that Great Pa paw loved to recite or his secrets for successful crappie fishing 

and also to ask Me maw about her faith journey, her visions, her determination to teach without a formal education.

Shekinah Lane is our attempt to complete many blanks for our children, grandchildren and future generations.  We want them to know the joys as well as the struggles we experienced in our lives.  Our spiritual journey is the train that drives all the adventure.

 Psalm 102:18Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.

Celebration

She’s a celebrity now!

After all, her pictures are displayed on the big screen. Pictures ranged from kindergarten to her wedding, small children, family group photos, the wedding of her oldest daughter and then the first grandchild to an intimate scene with her husband as her health was waning.

Not the theatre marquee for this saint but on the big screen in the sanctuary, the one that holds words of songs and Scripture for Sunday services. She would be embarrassed with all the focus on her as the lines of family and friends streamed past her five precious daughters, only son and loving husband. This celebration is of the life of a godly lady who lived a quiet, reverent life.

Reeda Fay was known as a woman of faith and prayer and a proclaimer of God’s truth from His word. She lived in the Shekinah Glory of God. She was of the old school, “God said it and I believe it!” Continue reading

What is Beautiful?

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Ms. Pat, your house is so beautiful. 

People who don’t have kids have beautiful houses. 

Our house is not pretty” Jada said.

I responded, “Well you should have seen my house when our boys were your age we had toys and shoes and stuff all around and it was not beautiful.”

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I thought of my house a few weeks ago with the pantry stuff all over the living room. That was not beautiful.

Out of the mouths of babes!  This precious seven year old observed the lack of toys and kid stuff and saw beauty.

The beauty I saw was the love and security this little girl and her sister were experiencing in their Grammy and Pappy’s home.  The girls came to live with their grandparents several years ago because of their parents’ problems.

Each February we have a reunion gathering of friends from a Bible Study group.   Seven years ago, Jerry and Lois brought their three month old grandbaby Jada and her five year old sister Natalie to the gathering.

Over the years we have watched the girls grow not only physically and socially but also spiritually.   We observe them at church sitting with their Pappy as their Grammy sings in the choir.

 That is true beauty to sacrifice your lives for others.

Now Jerry and Lois have custody of the girls
and are blessed to be raising them in a godly home.

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Jerry & Lois with Jada (sitting)
My husband John and I ( standing)

I love to have nice things and am privileged to have friends who help me decorate my home.   (Thanks Jo!)

However, there is nothing as beautiful as a child who feels loved and secure and knows that God loves them.

Prayer:  Lord please help me to sacrifice myself for others and spread your beauty to those in need of love.

A Living Sacrifice
Romans 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Ecc. 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. –
Isaiah 52:7 
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  

Unlimited Data Plan

“I love my phone.”  “I hate my phone.”  How can one be so fickle?  When you upgrade to a new cell phone it is easy! 
 
After using an android smart phone for several years, I upgraded to a newer version.  At the same time my husband changed from a flip phone with no data plan to an android.  I convinced him it was time to join the “smart phone” generation. 
 
My son and his family were at our house for Sunday dinner and we were all trying to help Papaw with his phone.  His new phone has a speaking capability and you must use the words exactly to activate the service.  He needs to say, “OK Google now,” wait for the beep and then give a command.  He was frustrated trying to remember the exact words and shouted, “Go Google.”  We all exploded with laughter. 
 
Today we went to the store and the lovely, patient sales lady gave him more lessons in using his new phone.  He is making progress – he has fourteen days to make a decision about joining the “smart phone” generation.
 
It is amazing how the cell phone can pull up contacts and make a call or access your calendar or information on the internet with just saying, “Go Google Now” and then making your request.  It even tells you who is calling and asks if you want to talk or send back a text message.  Amazing stuff.
 
Aren’t you glad we don’t need a smart phone or APP to contact God.  He is always available even without Wi-Fi.  Not necessary to remember a password or pay for a data plan.  We don’t need to pay for an upgrade because he is constantly transforming us.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
God’s smart phone equivalent – a vehicle for information and communication – is the Bible. 
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.
The password is Jesus. 
Jesus answered, “I amthe way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The data plan is unlimited
Ephesians 1:11-14
11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
 and the upgrade is Glory. 
2 Corinthians 3:18(NIV)
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Go God!!!