Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate on, or think about good things.
Colorado wild flowers among the rocks
An attitude of gratitude is God’s best
weapon against compulsions, hang-ups, or flaws.
self-condemnation can’t reside in the same mind. Jesus told us we can’t serve
both Him and the devil. Neither can we sincerely thank God for His goodness and
love, when we wallow in self pity.
****For several years, I was
a full charge bookkeeper. When composing a balance sheet for a business, we
must refrain from putting assets and liabilities in the wrong column.
When we fail God and dwell on
that failure, our minds count our liabilities. When we stop to thank God, we
count our assets. Assets cover up liabilities every time. Don’t dwell on your
weakness. Dwell on God’s power.
Don’t base your action on how
you feel. Base it on what you know. Give up your life, your will, your choices
each day to God, and base your decisions for all areas of your life on His
Don’t put the liabilities
where the assets should go.
After making a balance sheet of assets and liabilities for a
business, we move to preparing an income statement with columns for profit
followed by each listed expense.
I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas
and surrounding area. When our children were young, we lived in the suburb of Irving. I grouped my neighbors
and friends from my daughters’ school and day care into one circle of my life.
I worked in downtown Dallas,
and that represented a separate portion of my life. We went to church and had
old friends in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas
representing a third section.
When we moved to a smaller city (Wichita Falls, TX),
I found it amazing that I went to church with neighbors and served in PTA at
school with fellow church friends. I love it. It simplifies life.
In life as if they were expenses, we separate each area:
God, family, career, hobbies, church, friends, responsibilities.
We compartmentalize when God wants them blended under one
umbrella called God.
“It’s not even good enough to
regard God as the biggest piece of the pie. If we see Him that way, we’ll still
leave Him out of the rest of our lives. The‘piecrust’ of God’s love, power, and
truth is the foundation for everything we do.”
Extravagant by Bryan Jarrett
shouldn’t ask God to ride along in the front seat of our life. We should
request that he drive.
During the month of
Thanksgiving, this quote below makes us think:
The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than
huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless,
set aside a day of thanksgiving.
Could our lifestyle be making us gain weight? Our recent vacation with our RV got me to wondering. Most of us have the biggest problem with wanting to overeat in the evening. Why? Because we're sitting in front of the TV to rest. No activity. Nothing to stir our minds, so we turn to food. How about making an ice cream soda? Oh, that sounds good. A flash of commercial streams across the screen of Taco Tuesday. I have some tortillas and leftover chicken. I think I'll make one now. That sounds so good. How about popcorn while we're watching a movie? Perfect, isn't it? Does that sound familiar, or am I the only one? I'm old enough to remember the days before air conditioning. Neighbors met on front porches. Newcomers were never strangers for long. Kids played outside with not a face plastered to a phone or IPAD. Hot wind whipped around us, sending us scurrying for a cold lemonade or Coca-Cola, but it was too hot for food. We snapped beans or cut up okra from our gardens. Absorbing conversations swirled around us like the lightning bugs our children chased instead of eating cookies and cake. Me and my friends either walked to school or rode a bus. Few parents transported their kids. Not knowing someone on your city block was rare. In the country, where my grandparents lived, they knew everyone in town. I lived in Cockrell Hill, a small part of the Oak Cliff section in south Dallas. Red Bud Lane had its own softball team. Red Rover, Red Rover was one of favorite pastimes. We produced a circus in one of the neighbor's back yards. Everything revolved around the great outdoors. My husband grew up on South Ervay St. just to the south of downtown Dallas. That area is now all commercial. We have a picture of his old house with a huge front porch stretching over two sides. He tells of sitting out every night visiting until the families went inside for the night. They rolled out bedding into the hallway where a breeze cooled their sweaty bodies. In 2015, RVers resemble 1940s and 1950s neighborhoods. Everyone walks whether with their dog or their mate. Walkers stop by one trailer after another where people sit on their "front porches" waiting for neighbors to gather. The usual question is "Where are you folks from?"
Fire going & lanterns hanging over our "front porch."
During our trip to Red River, NM, we sat out every night, often with a fire. One neighbor came from Albuquerque. On the other side were new friends from Amarillo, TX. Tennis courts and a playground across the way beckoned children, who remained there until dark completely covered the park, Sometimes, they played by artificial light until ten, which starts quiet time in most RV camps. Fires lit the "porches" where adults visited. Grills and campfires cooked dinner, but rarely did people eat after dinner. Personally, I didn't need a snack. I had titillating conversation. I had a hypnotic fire. I had people to watch, whether they were throwing a Frisbee or backing a motor home into a small slot. RVing is a throwback to simpler times. A lifestyle clustered around the TV with air conditioning going full blast could be one of those things that's making Americans fatter? What do you think?
All my life, I've heard stories told about a ghost appearing around White Rock Lake. The lake is a small body of water bound on all sides by commercial and residential properties in North Dallas. Sail boats dot the blue waters especially on a pretty Sunday afternoon. My husband and I lived blocks from there when our oldest daughter was young, and we hadn't yet had the two younger girls. Trees circle the lake. It's one of Dallas' most scenic areas. This ghost story has many versions, but they always include a young woman in a white evening gown. She is dripping wet and asks to be taken home. Somewhere along the way while they drive this young lady to her destination, she disappears. The story dates back to at least the 1930s. In 1943, it was printed in the Texas Folklore Society's newsletter. For more information on the Lady by the Lake, go to: http://www.watermelon-kid.com/places/wrl/lore/ghost.htm
This lady is believed to have been a warning to people driving on the road around the lake when they're inching too closely to the water's edge. Some claim stopping for her saved them from plunging into the depths themselves. This will usually happen on nights with a full moon. By the way, a full moon is due on April 4, so if you're in Dallas on that day, be careful if you cruise around White Rock Lake.
Well, it's Weird Wednesday, and I'm running late. Last week I promised a post about a ghost legend from my old childhood stomping ground. The place I chose was Texas Theatre. In 1931, the Oak Cliff section of Dallas opened the largest suburban theatre in the nation.. The address was 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. Ahead of its time, it boasted a real water-cooled air system built into the ceiling.
In the late fifties and early sixties, I walked up and down Jefferson Blvd looking for some place to have fun. The Texas Theatre was a frequent weekend stop. We were told the basement was haunted. We kids believed it. Some told tales of ghosts below. I was never willing to ask to go down and double-check.
However, the Texas Theatre gained notoriety from something else besides its ghosts. On November 22, 1963, the store manager from next door spotted a man sneaking into the theatre without paying. A clerk called the police while the manager went inside and kept his eye on the criminal. That man was arrested and found to be Lee Harvey Oswald who hid in the theatre away from the police after he shot President John F. Kennedy.
I thought you might enjoy this dark piece of Dallas (Oak Cliff) history. There was suspicion about the theatre's making expensive repairs after that incident. The theatre increased in fame. In 2003, it was put on the National Registry of Historical Places. Since it's still open and functioning in 2015, employees are often asked, "Can you point out the seat where Oswald sat?"
Oak Cliff was a quiet, peaceful place to grow up. Who would have know it had a dark side? Does where you grew up have a dark side?
A new high school opened in Dallas, Texas. They named it Justin F. Kimball and drew students from two other high schools. Where I lived was designated to transfer to the new school. I was mad. I had made the drill team for my high school, but now I wouldn't get to participate. I would go to the new school. The only bright spot was that they took no seniors. With my upcoming year being my junior year, I was part of the top class at Kimball. That was fun. While sitting in my biology class, I heard tales of a boy named Charlie Brown. The song, "He's a clown, that Charlie Brown" was popular at the time. How neat that one of our students had that name. Mrs. Kyle, my biology teacher, often talked about the boy's exploits. I caught on quickly that she really liked him. "Charlie Brown drives a chartreuse Ford. He and another boy raced down the street. Brown received the first ticket ever given in front of our new school." She told us this story one day. "I would like to meet that boy," I told my best friend. A new semester began. I strolled into English class. The teacher was Mrs. Moseley. She became my favorite because she liked me. To one side of the room sat a cluster of boys, laughing, whispering, and whistling like typical sixteen-year-old boys tend to do. I took a desk on the opposite side of the room and tried to keep from looking at this one boy. His blond hair lay in waves. His beautiful blue eyes were the color of the sky. His biceps bulged against his shirt when he picked up his books. Yeah, I had a hard time not staring. Then, I learned that this good-looking guy was Mrs. Kyle's Charlie Brown. During the next few weeks, every time I passed Charlie Brown in the hall, he nodded, keeping a serious expression and said, "Hello, Janet." Others waved, grinned, yelled, "hi," but only he remained serious and used the full address. I learned later that when I walked into that English class, Charlie Brown turned to his friend, pointed to me, and said, "I'm going to marry that girl." And, so he did. He and I were in the first graduating class of Kimball High School in Dallas. By that time, we had dated for over a year. He carried my books to class and saved all the red Life Saver candies for me. At the all night party after graduation, we broke up. I went to Bethany Nazarene College near Oklahoma City. Charles joined the navy and shipped off to San Diego, California. As happens if you're meant to be together, we reunited months later just before Charles left for Japan. When he returned, I took the vows to become Mrs. Charlie Brown.
On this Valentine's Day, I salute the love of my life. He's been my sweetheart for 52 years. Since I've become a writer, he tells me he's still "carrying my books." What God puts together, let not man put asunder. I love you, Charlie Brown. That's my love story. What's yours?