Monday, April 30, 2012


Yesterday after the Special Meeting at Wilmington, Jennifer and I decided to go back to the beach since we had such a relaxation tool at our disposal.  As I walked along the shoreline, my thoughts were centered on Kendra and her family.  It seemed like a fitting place to remember and think and pray.  Kendra loved the beach, and I think she would have liked knowing that I was thinking of her and those that she loved there.  There's nothing like the ocean to make you feel small and insignificant and awestruck at the One who spoke it into being and still has it under His control.


Shortly after waking up yesterday morning, I learned that my good friend, Kendra Whittington, had passed from time into eternity.  There's so much I could say, but somehow I can't find the words.  She was an inspiration to me and to many others.  She loved life and gave herself to the things that caused her life to be very rich.  She didn't have long here on this earth, but she used the time she had in a way that takes away all regret.  I'm glad for the memories I have of Kendra and would like for those memories to spur me onward in the path of never-ending life.

God gave us life
And we entered the world as a tiny baby
Helpless and innocent and full of potential

We grew
And life got bigger
And harder
And more beautiful

And at some point we realized that life was not just something that
       someone else chose for us
But something that we choose ourselves

It is a gift
But to keep it we must fight
And give ourselves to it
And take care of it
And love it

Life is a miracle
A mystery
A treasure
A wonder
A joy
And so we choose to fight

But life’s not just about living and breathing and being
Because this life is temporary
The God who gave it to us has planned that it would be that way
So we wonder
What’s the purpose

The purpose of life is deeper life
Not life in the body but life in the spirit
Life lived unto the Giver of life
Life consecrated to the will of God
Life filled with power to do the impossible
Life spent in willing and unselfish service to the Master and our fellow man
Life that is unending

And that life too is a gift
And to keep it we must fight
And give ourselves to it
And take care of it
And love it

That life is the greatest miracle
The greatest mystery
The greatest treasure
The greatest wonder
The greatest joy
And so we choose to fight

So that nothing will take away that life from us
Because that life is everything

And when that life is in us
Death cannot take it from us
It is ours forever
And we will be glad for all eternity
That we fought for life

I'm so glad that Kendra fought for life!

Thoughts from Wilmington Special Meeting

  • If we're faithful, then we're useful.
  • God called Abraham to give him a land.  God's calling to us is also with a purpose.
  • When a carpenter begins, he learns to use a rule, a square, a level.  He never gets so good at what he does that he leaves those instruments at home.  He continues to use the same standard.
  • Don't squander opportunities to lay up treasure in heaven.

Walking on the Beach

Yes, it's for real!

More beautiful flowers

A frisbee named Daisy

Jennifer and I were out tossing the frisbee around last Monday and decided to see if the granddaughters of the folks where we were staying would like to join us.  (They live just across the road.)  Jennifer called Sheri, the mother, to inquire if the girls were free.  Sheri did not answer the phone, however, so Jennifer left a message.  No answer on the house phone, so Jennifer called Joe, the girls' father.  She told him that we were out playing with the frisbee and that if the girls were free, we'd love for them to join us.  When J got off the phone, she informed me that Joe had seemed sort of strange about the whole thing.  Maybe he didn't think sister workers should be playing frisbee?  Maybe he thought it was just a silly thing to do and that his girls would not be interested?  Anyway, we continued to play, and the girls never came.  No problem. They probably had chores or homework or something.  The next night at Gospel Meeting, we got the full explanation.  Sheri and the girls had been out doing some things in the barn.  Joe had been napping in the house.  Jennifer woke him up with her phone call, so he was a bit disoriented.  However, he did deliver a message to Sheri when she got in to the house.

Joe - Did you see the girls (us) when you were outside?
Sheri- No.
Joe - Oh.  Jennifer called, and said that she and Kamela were out playing with Daisy and wanted to know if our girls wanted to join them.  (Daisy is the calf.)
Sheri - They're not playing with Daisy.
Joe - That's what Jennifer said they were doing.
Sheri - We just put Daisy in the barn.  Jennifer and Kamela are not playing with her.

(The above conversation is not verbatim but gives the gist of what was said.)

Finally, Sheri listened to the voicemail on her cell phone, and the mystery was solved.  Jennifer and Kamela were playing with the frisbee, not with Daisy.  No wonder Joe sounded a little funny when he talked to Jennifer!  My frisbee now has a new name.  :-)

Have a seat....or not

On Sunday, April 22, Jennifer and I had our last Gospel Meeting in Bishopville, SC.  Jeffrey S. volunteered to ride along with us early to the meeting to help us set up chairs, for which we were very thankful.  However, when we arrived at the room where the meeting was to be held, alas, there were no chairs!  The man who let us in informed us that he wasn't aware of our meeting and that all the chairs were being used for another event in the building next door.  He called his boss to see what could be done, and Jennifer and I started calling our friends to see if they could bring some chairs.  By this time, however, those who were coming from any distance would have already left home, so we were limited in who we could ask.  Also, most of the ones we could reach would arrive at the last minute since they now had to collect chairs before leaving home.  Finally, the men from the facility scrounged up 20 chairs for us.  We anticipated needing at least 50 or 60 for the meeting.  Some of our friends came with another 20.  We brought out all the rolling office chairs from the next room.  Then, from somewhere, they started hauling in some little chairs that had obviously been in storage for sometime.  They were quite dirty and somewhat rickety.  However, we were glad for them and set them up along with all the rest.  (Keep in mind that while all this is happening, people are coming, milling around, discussing the situation, offering help, etc.)  By now, we felt like we had plenty of seats, but more were on their way by our friends who had not gotten there yet.  Jennifer and I waited outside and intercepted them telling them that we would use their chairs in case of emergency, but for now they should just leave them in their cars.  When we finally got into the building at about 4:05 (Gospel Meeting was scheduled to start at 4:00), it took us a minute to locate our Bibles.  Even though we were running late, we stood in the back for another minute or two to catch our breath and try to remember if we had any thoughts for the meeting!  We then walked up to the front.  Jennifer went to the microphone to start the meeting, and I sat down in my nice little olive green student's chair.  What a surprise when the seat of my chair pitched forward, nearly dumping me out onto the floor!  The seat of the chair was connected to the legs with two screws in front and two in back.  The problem was that on this particular chair, the two back screws were missing.  When my weight hit the front of the chair, there was nothing to hold the back of the chair in place, so it lifted right up.  I caught myself and came down on the seat with a bang.  I saw a few smiles before I looked down and pondered my course of action.  I really didn't want to create more of a scene by going to the back for another chair, but neither did I want to get dumped out the next time I sat down on this one.  (I figured that my mind would be in no shape to be thinking about the condition of my chair the next time I went to sit down.)  All things considered, I decided that walking to the back for a new chair would probably be less distracting than falling on the floor in the middle of the meeting.  So that is what I did.  I tested my new seat in the back of the room before hauling it up to the front.  When I got back to my place and sat down, I got extremely tickled, and I could tell that Jennifer was having problems keeping it together as well by the way her voice wobbled while she sang.  I think I was finally able to join in on the third verse, but for a while I wondered if I would ever get straightened up.  The event in the next building was some sort of Gospel service as well, and while Jennifer was speaking, they got the music going.  My first thought was, "Poor Jennifer," and the thought that followed quickly on its heels was, "I hope they're done by the time it's my turn to speak!"  They were, and the rest of the meeting was uneventful.

Author's Note:
The events described in this post are in no way all-inclusive.  There is no way to describe the "feeling" of the situation in any way that could be completely understood by the reader.  No pictures were taken for reasons that are likely obvious to the reader.  If the reader feels inclined to carry a couple of extra folding chairs in the trunk the next time they attend Gospel Meeting, they should feel free to do so!  

New Rugging Tools

The tool that I had been using for my rug-making was not "just right," so when I found a pack of 5 skinny toothbrushes at the dollar store, I was delighted!  Now to turn them into the perfect tools...

Step 1 : Use a hacksaw to cut off the brush part of the toothbrush.  (No picture of this part.  Sorry.)

Step 2: File away rough edges created with hacksaw.

 Step 3: Drill a hole in one end of the toothbrush.

The final result

Kamela, the WeedEater

Have you ever eaten smilax?  How about cattails?  My answer to those questions changed a few days ago.  Alas, I have no pictures, but maybe next time!  For more information about "tasty" weeds, check out


The house was filled with freshly picked flowers when Jennifer and I arrived on April 20.  Here is what I found on my bedside dresser.

 And because I always want to try and be a little artistic...

The completed arrangement for the duration of our stay

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jennifer's Rug Debut

When Jennifer saw my rug endeavors, she caught "rug fever" and started one of her own.  Actually, it ended up as a pot holder - the prettiest pot holder I have ever seen!  I think there will be more.  :-)


Jennifer with her masterpiece

A close-up

My own rug projects are of a more secret nature, so pictures will not be shown until the recipients have received their floor adornments.  :-)

Beautiful Blooms

All from the same yard!

A Super Supper

The menu:

  • Cereal
  • Frozen blueberries with milk
  • Boiled peanuts  (Have you ever had them?  It's a southern thing.  I wasn't so sure about them at first, but then I tried them.....)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thought for the day

God doesn't have to show us the future to prepare us for the future.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Amb-Lor Acres

Homes with children are always very entertaining places to be.  Here's a pictorial record of our time with the Purcell family.

Macy and Fleece enjoy some quality time on the swingset


What a good big sister!

Sierra wouldn't go down the slide, but Fleece sure had a good time!

Flossie and Fleece

Fresh milk

Jennifer's home-made tiramisu


Trying to keep Macy from thinking about the fact that Mommy is out running an errand

Baby chicks arrived while we were here!

Due to the lights, I couldn't get a good picture of the little chicks in their swimming pool home, but this gives you an idea.

Back on the swingset

Mommy rides along


Hanging out on the Kubota

"Here, let me help!"

Out for a ride

Feeding the fish

Taking a walk