Goodbye to Spring & Summer

Spring & summer have come and gone in 2013. I just want to thank the Lord for a beautiful flowering season. Below are some of the flowers I photographed this year. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia

Rose of Sharon Lil' KimOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrepe MyrtleIris & AzaleaRose of Sharon - WhiteRose of Sharon Lil' KimThe good Lord blessed my bloomers this year! Why not plan to teach your grandchildren about flower gardening this fall and next spring. Together you can sit on the porch, look with pride, and talk about how beautiful they are. This is one simple way to open conversation and build a lasting bond, one they will cherish in the future.

Even the squirrels enjoyed the bounty! Laughing Squirrel-2<

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Peep In The Night!

     My grandfather answered to the name, Papaw. He loved to sit in solitude on the porch swing with a hot cup of coffee and just reflect. To enjoy the wakening of each morning was one of many things I learned from him. He said that a man’s time alone was given by God to gather his heart and make peace with the past. He was a man of charisma and pride, yet those who knew him admired his strength and standard of dignity. I believe that of all who knew him, I was his biggest admirer. For me, he is always my favorite among men.

      Memories of Papaw are many; for now, I will tell you of only one. My family lived two blocks from Papaw’s house. On Saturday’s I loved to walk to his house, eat supper with him and climb into the big feather bed found in the guest room. It snuggled against you as you sank into a cavern of feathers and fresh crisp sheets.

      My two brothers usually joined me on our weekly trek. Following a bowl of vanilla ice cream covered in Heresy’s chocolate syrup, and Gunsmoke we went to bed. Papaw tucked us in and kissed us goodnight. As he walked toward the door, he paused, turned to look at us and say, “Now, I don’t want to hear a peep out of you.”

      That phrase was the signal to squeak out, “Peep!” A smile grew on our faces knowing he turning around and running back to our bed to tickle us until we were in tears. He laughed right along with us. Papaw did this at least a couple of times before he closed the door a final time. We continued to “peep” until we realized we had, had our fun and drifted into the world of calm sleep and security he provided. One Saturday we enjoyed the usual supper, ice cream and Gunsmoke. When we were tucked into bed and told not to make a “peep,” Papaw closed the door without returning to tickle us. Puzzled, all three of us began to yell, “Peep!” We paused and yelled, “Peep, peep!” Where was our tickle? We wanted to be tickled.

      Finally a smile grew on our faces as the door opened. To our horror, Papaw came in with a belt and spanked us across the legs and yelled, “I told you I don’t want to hear a peep!” In a split second of frustration and anger years of tradition and fun exploded into a million splinters of hurt and tragic memories. Physical pain was only temporary; disappointment that Papaw was angry at us for no apparent reason is what lingers.
Sunday morning, Papaw gathered us in his arms and told us how sorry he was about his actions last night. He had some things at work that were upsetting him and he was sorry he took his frustrations out on us.
“Will you forgive me?” He asked.

 

James 1:19,20 Know this, my  beloved brothers:

let every person be quick to hear,

slow to speak, slow to  anger; for the anger of man

does not produce the righteousness of  God.

 

      Of course we forgave him. Even though we were confused about his response to our play, we never held a moment’s anger, or resentment, against him.
     

     The following Saturday we stayed with him again. We ate ice cream, watched Gunsmoke, and snuggled into the feather bed. He kissed us goodnight and as he walked to the door, he turned and said, “Now I don’t want to hear a peep.” Nothing needed to be discussed among us. We did not make a peep and Papaw did not reenter.

Papaw is gone now, and I have often wondered if he was standing on the other side of the door that night, waiting for our “peep.” I will never know the answer to that question. Today I am still saddened by his mistake. Oh, I know that as I grew older I would eventually outgrow this childhood fun. Why did it have to end this way? Understanding Papaw, and the kind of man I knew him to be, I know that he regretted his actions that night. I also know in my heart that the end of this adolescent play hurt him as much as it did us.
     

Like Papaw, each of us will have our moments of frustration. I use this hallmark as a guide in dealing with my grandchildren. What matters is that we are careful to control our response to childhood antics that leave lasting impressions. Memories should be those of love, and not regret for either of us.
     

Oh, and when we do lose control, remember like Papaw to ask, “Will you forgive me?”

     I really miss you Papaw & Mamaw!

 

Charles & Inez Boze

 

Rumors of War

By: Andy Oldham

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you

may have peace. In the world you have tribulation,

but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Syria is on our lips. Anxiety hammers the heart with uncertainty about our families, our communities, and our nation. Confusion and skepticism grab a hold of the fear within and shake it in our face like a rabid dog. Indecision makes its mark on the mind of our leaders while others assure us that an attack on Assad’s régime is necessary and the right thing.

I will never intentionally make this blog political. However, we must realize, during this time of misgiving, that what we think, what we say, and what we impose through oral and unreserved exhortation—and, yes non-verbal communication—affect those around us.

If you have any age on you at all you will know that war is not accomplished without loss of sleep. The Viet-Nam War mandated itself on my young life. That grueling war had a profound impact upon who I was and would become. I am speaking of my teenage years when trepidation entered through the eyes of a wary boy who watched the national news each night. I saw men my age dying and getting limbs blown off. In my senior year of high school, friends spoke of death until I was no longer worried, but scared. With each passing day my draft number grew closer to the proverbial call to duty. I did not want to go, and I did not want to die.

I hit my knees and the Lord blessed my prayers. I was stationed in Minot, ND all four years. The anxiety of receiving orders to the war zone several times kept me on edge. The chatter of so many I had known who would not be returning to their home broke my heart. There were no words of consolation, only words delivering a helpless forecast resulting a sensitve spirit and a sorrowful heart.

Have you entered the throne room of our Father and prayed for our leaders? Have you prayed for God to calm your heart and that of your family and friends? Don’t stop now! Continue as Daniel, if you must; he prayed twenty-one days before the answer came.

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when

you lie down, our sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24

Our children and grandchildren soak up our conversation when we speak on aggression against Syria and often process our words as insecurity in their mind and heart. Children listen when we speak. Little ones sit in quiet and absorb the alarm and fearfulness in our voice. Teenagers want to feel mature but still worry themselves over what is said by family and friends. Be careful that our words do not speak fear. We do not want our grandchildren to arrive at an impasse of unrest and instability. I pray that you will take time to notice if your children and grandchildren are disturbed by what they hear and what their emotions convey in our home. Discuss their thoughts on Syria if you feel comfortable doing so. Leave politics out of the discussion. Instead reflect on scripture for assurance.

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that

is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard

from me in the presence of many witnesses, these

entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach

others also.”   2 Timothy 2:1-2

While our leaders are debating the merits of new conflict in the Middle East we as grandfathers should hit our knees in prayer for our leaders. Most importantly we should pray not only for but with our grandchildren. If you have not already started this cycle of prayer with your grandchildren, why not use this as a time to do so, and then continue the tradition. Entrust the Truth to your ancestry so they will teach it to others. Set the example they will never forget!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or

terrified because of them, for the LORD your

God goes with you; he will never leave you nor

forsake you. ”   Deuteronomy 31:6