Hunter

Dear Friends,
I just wanted to update you all on Hunter’s test reports from this
past week. Before these last test were done, the cardiologist said
that he was pretty confident that they would definitely find
something. With a heart that has had as much done to it as his, it
was expected. The question would be, would they do anything about it
at this time? Well, the preliminary reports are back, and they called
to tell us that everything is fine for now. The plan is to watch him
and see if he displays any symptoms. These might be some that we can
see and some we cannot. If his heart seems to be overcompensating it
will enlarge and other symptoms will show up. Another thing is that
since he had so much done to his heart as a baby, his heart is
different than that of the average person’s etc. Also, since he has
grown so much since then, they are trying to figure out if some of
what he is experiencing is just normal for him or if it is signals
that something needs to be done. The deal is that the only surgery
for this is major by-pass surgery and they don’t want to go in there
without a really good feel for it. He has been told that he can
resume his day to day activities etc. He can do all of the “fun”
things that he loves to do. He just cannot play any organized sports.
Over the years, having two children with heart problems has in many
ways been like a roller coaster ride. Many ups and downs, many
twists and turns. Sometimes, it even felt like we were being jerked
around until we felt like tossing our cookies. It hasn’t been easy,
but God is so GOOD!!
He really has taught us so very much!!!
Most of Hunter’s “heart” story occurred when he was a baby. He has
had to continue to go to the cardiologist on a regular basis, but
that has been it, until recently. But you know, God has a purpose
and a plan for ALL things! All of this popped up several months ago,
from what seemed “out of the blue”. We all know, with God, there is
no “out of the blue”, for he knows of all of the plans he has for
us.
This is what I think: A Mother’s opinion; I think, that God wanted
Hunter to understand that he did not have to save him as a baby. I
think
God wanted to show Hunter, himself, that his story is a continuing story.
One day recently, I remember, Hunter getting a little upset in the
Doctor’s office and he said, out of frustration, “This is the way it’s
gonna be for the rest of my life, in and out of the hospital, etc.” .
He was feeling down and discouraged, understandably so. He’s a kid that
could only see the surface of things, until God showed him something else.
God wanted Hunter to see for himself something totally different. I am
filled with such emotion as I tell you that Hunter was saved through all
of this. The day of the heart catheterization, he asked the Lord into his
heart. In many, ways he has a new heart. God has renewed his heart! We are
so very thankful for God’s love and mercy! Without him….I don’t even
want to go there………
So I share this with you. We know not what tomorrow holds, but we
know God holds the future…This fact gives us immeasurable peace!
Thank you for your prayers, your concern and your hugs. It has all helped
to keep us going. The last couple of weeks have been so stressful. I know
we are not be anxious, I failed in that. I am so thankful that I
serve a God that loves me and who forgives me anyway.
It is my prayer in sharing this with each of you, that you will read
it and maybe even tuck it away in your mind. But I hope that you
will put it in a place that you can revisit it when you might be
feeling down or discouraged. Please take from it, this: God may take
us through valleys at times; but he is ALWAYS there and he has a
plan, place yourselves in the palms of his hands; IT’S THE BEST PLACE
TO BE !!!
HUMBLY HIS, Karen

———–

Hunter’s Story

On New Years Eve of the year 2008, I became a Christian. Brother Steve Harper led me to the Lord on a hospital bed. On that wonderful day, I had a heart catheterization, and Brother Steve came to see me before I went into surgery. He asked me if anything happened was I ready? I knew what he meant. I told him no. He said that I could be ready right then and there if I was willing. So I thought for a minute and asked myself if this was the time for me to get saved. I had been asking God if he would let me know without a shadow of a doubt if and when the time came that He would convict me. If I got saved I wanted to know that it was real. I asked myself if this was the time for me to get saved. Yes, it was time for me to be born again. Brother Steve asked me if I wanted to be saved. I said “Let’s do it”. So I prayed the most memorable prayer I have ever prayed. I said “Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner please forgive me of all of my sins and come into my heart.” Right then I was born again, and I knew it was real. That night Brother Steve told his grandchildren about me and he led them both to the Lord. That day was a truly wonderful day that I will never forget. The Lord has been so good to me though the years and I look forward to serving him in any way I can.

New Tradition

For the past ten years or so Christmas Eve has been a very busy time. A normal Christmas Eve for me has been going to work from 4a.m. until 2 p.m. or so, rushing home and getting ready to head to Columbus to spend time with the kids by 4:30 or so. After eating pizza and opening gifts we would rush to Church for a candle light service then back to Ricky’s house.  Hilary’s Mom and Dad and others would join us and the grandchildren would put on a skit and Ricky would read a Bible story about he birth of Christ. A few more snacks then get the kids to bed then help put out Santa. Finally, at 10p.m. or later head to bed ourselves.

This year we have decided to start a new family tradition.  Because of all the rush on Christmas Eve, trying to get off work in time to spend time with family we went down Saturday and spent about four hours just family time. It was very nice.
This year the “hit” gift was a Hannah Montana plastic guitar we gave Tennyson.  All at once all three became stars. Moreland said she was Hannah, T.K. was Miley and Eli just joined right in. They put on quite a show and we all had a good time laughing and taking pictures. T.K. would tell Morley “let us go practice”, so off to the other room they would go. When they came back in I had to introduce them “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention? Give a big hand for Hannah and Miley!” Everyone would clap as they came back into the room. They would sing and Baby Eli would dance around, always with some toy in his hands.

The Bible tells us that we should behave ourselves Christlike or become more like Him. The more that the girls played Hannah the more that wanted to look and act like their “star.”  The longer we walk with the Lord the more like the Lord we should become.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

It seems strange that Paul had to beg (beseech) Christians to at like Christ, which is a reasonable thing to expect. The more we act like Christ the greater the impact we have on those around us.
Acts 11: 26And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

If these children can be transformed into Hannah Montana with a plastic guitar, how much more should we be transformed in His image with a Bible and fellow believers.

End of The Road, Deloris Collum

My oldest sister, Betty, always lived out in the country. To get to their house you would go past the country into the sticks, then turn off the dirt road to the pig trail and they lived at the end of the road. They had a hard time making ends meet and did good just to feed their children. There were seven children and like most big families the kids missed out on a lot of events and too much love. Deloris was kind of the black sheep of the family. I always felt sorry for her the way her Dad would talk to her and call her all kinds of names. Because of that kind of treatment, she did every little thing to make herself likable. By the time she was twelve she was shipped off to a State Home, where she stayed until she turned eighteen. It was there she was raped and had a baby that was given up for adoption, she never saw the baby after that and was not allowed to know who had him. After leaving the Home she was a loner and bitter, she tried marriage, it failed. Desperate for love she decided that she would become homosexual, gay. She became the part, short hair, men’s clothes ruffer talk. The tuff outward appearance and gay life style gave her the shield that she was looking for. For some reason she always trusted me and Arlene, and we would invite her over for Christmas. In those early years of her gayness she kept her “friend” away, which was good, other wise I too would had become a stumbling stone for her. I had two little boys that did not need to see wrong being seen as right in mommy and daddy’s eyes. I would never allow that open sin in my home. Before you think I am being judgmental, I am not. The Bible calls sodomy sin and so do I. It would be no different if someone wanted to bring booze into my house. No way!

As the years passed by we saw less of Deloris, only at summer family reunions. Her friend would often come and everyone was friendly at arm’s distance. Deloris would call our house several times through out the year to check on everyone and see if anyone died.

About ten years ago she called I answered the phone. “Hello, Uncle David, guess what I did today?’ “I don’t know, Deloris. What did you do?” I asked, almost afraid of the answer. “I got saved!” she said. “Are you proud of me?” “Yes I am” I could hardly believe the news. After a few minutes we hung up and I was hoping that now she would be at peace but I had some doubts.

A few weeks later the phone rang, it was Deloris, ” Hello, Uncle David, I got baptized this morning, aren’t you proud of me!”? “Yes I am.” I said as my eyes watered up. “Keep up the good work.” She did.

A few weeks later the phone rang, it was Deloris, ” Hello, Uncle David, you know about my friend?” “Yes” I said wondering where this was headed, I ‘ve done many wedding in our family. “Well at Church this morning God told me that I could not live like that if I was going to Heaven, I told Him I was going to Heaven because He saved me.” ” That’s right.” I said wondering where this was leading. “Well I don’t have a room mate anymore, and feel good about it.” Deloris declared. “I bet you are proud of that ain’t you Uncle David?” “I sure am.”

That was years ago and Deloris has been faithful to God and her Church ever since, even singing specials. What a difference the Lord makes instead of just joining the Church.

She never lost all that ruff acting, but now it was used to tell people that they needed to be saved. She always wanted to tell people what Jesus had done for her.

A few months ago i got a phone call, it was Deloris, “Hello, Uncle David, I have cancer.” “I am sorry to hear that.” I said with a lump in my voice. “Will you and Aunt Arlene pray for me?” she said pleadingly. “We will” Over the phone we had prayer, that was one of many prayers we had with Deloris in the last couple of months. About four weeks ago she called and said she felt bad because she had missed a Sunday at Church, I assured her that God understood. She said she loved her Church and hated to miss, but knew that it would not be long before she would get to go to Church with her mother and other loved ones, in Heaven.

On Tuesday I got a phone call, it was not Deloris, but family calling to let us know that she had died. Now she can go to Church with all the loved ones that have gone on before.

Deloris’ life did make a difference.

Little Brave Eli and The Big Black Bear

Once upon a time there lived a little warrior named Little Brave Eli. Many people didn’t know Little Brave Eli is a warrior he is only fourteen months old and is thin and has blonde hair. But Little Brave Eli was very brave he would climb up on his wild wooden rocking horse and laugh. Often he would run fearlessly down the hall and jump in his tent. He would bravely climb high onto book shelve, it seemed that Little Brave Eli was afraid of nothing.
But one day Little Brave Eli went on a long journey to Palmetto. This was not his first trip to this place but he knew that in Palmetto there lived a big black bear. He had seen the big black bear on other hunting trips but always fear overcame him and he would tremble and cry.  Once he was standing in the long hall that led to the big black bear’s house and out from the door came running the big black bear and jumped on him, the big black bear was taller than Little Brave Eli. As the wagon pulled into Nana’s General Store and Eatery, Little Brave Eli’s hands got a little sweaty. He looked around to see if the big black bear was near. The coast was clear with the help of his trusted crew he safely made it into Nana’s General store and Eatery.  Something smells good he thought as he came into the main room it must be time for supper. Everything looked normal there was the big soft chair and warm playing rug on the floor, no big black bear.  Everyone wanted to hear all the stories of Little Brave Eli’s brave adventures before you knew it hours had passed.  Then the old grumpy papa asked about the big black bear, you could see the fear come on Little Brave Eli’s face, his lip would tremble.  “No! No!” Said Little Brave Eli. It seemed that he still was afraid of the big black bear. “Do not worry.” said his crew, “we will not let anything hurt you.” Little Brave Eli clapped and smiled he was safe.  There would be another time that Little Brave Eli and the big black bear would meet, but not today.

This is just a story Little Brave Eli is my fourteen month old grandson and the big black bear is my wife’s little black poodle Oreo.  In a few more months Eli will be running and playing with Oreo and all fear will be gone.
Many Christians live their life in fear of unknown things and never ask their crew for help. The Bible tells us to pray for one another and to lift on another up in times of trouble.  Sadly some will never overcome the simple fears that we all have. They see them as a big black bear. As we grow in the Lord we start to see many of these fears as little dogs.  Song of Solomon 2:15, tells us that it is the little foxes that spoil.  We must be on guard not to let the little fears in our life spoil God’s big plan for us.

2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Did You Write It Down?

To get an idea what the grandkids might want for Christmas, we decided to take them to Toy’s r Us.  As you can imagine, they wanted everything they saw.  So, Nana took T.K. around and told her to only pick out the things she wanted the most and Nana (Arlene) would write those things on a pad, to pick from.  As they walked around the store T.K. (Tennyson) would say, “I want this!”, her Mom and Nana would ask if she was sure. “I’m sure.” she would say, “Then I’m writing it down.” Nana would reply. This when on throughout the store. Finally T.K. would say,”Did you write it down?” “I did.” Nana would say. Moreland, the almost three year old, just walked around and looked.

The next day, Moreland called Nana on the phone. “Nana, I know what I want for Christmas!” “You do?”Nana asked.  “I do, I want a Wonder Pet Flying Boat.” “Okay, I put that on my pad.” said Nana. “Did you write it down?” questioned Moreland. “I did.” said Nana, “Bye.” and off when Moreland.  She was content to know, that if Nana wrote it down, she was going to get it for Christmas.

It would be great if we Christians had so much faith in what God has written down for us, The Bible.  It seems that we hardly have time to read it and then have trouble believing the words He has given us.  Many promises that he will never leave us, yet we feel all alone. Promises that the will supply all our needs, yet we seem unsatisfied.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

He wrote it down.

A Gentle Reminder

This morning I had the rare privilege of hearing my son, Alan teach Sunday School.  The lesson was from Revelation 14.

It was a gentle reminder of the grace of God and the future judgment of that same loving God.

He spoke of a new song, which was only known by the singers and how that the songs we sing come true to us as we learn the history of the song or experience the life’s lesson of the song.

We were reminded of the Gospel being proclaimed to the whole world and the futileness of a false belief system that does not focus on Christ.

I was very pleased to hear God’s Word so richly taught.

Eli’s Rules and More

MORE THAN ONE DAD COULD TAKE
Four expectant fathers were in Minneapolis hospital waiting room, while their wives were in labor. The nurse arrived and announced to the first man, “Congratulations sir, You’re the father of twins.”
“What a coincidence” the man said with some obvious pride. “I work for the Minnesota Twins baseball team.”
The nurse returned in a little while and turned to the second man, “You sir, are the father of triplets.”
“Wow, That’s really an incredible coincidence ” he answered. “I work for the 3M Corporation.” My buddies at work will never let me live this one down.
An hour later, while the other two men were passing cigars around, the nurse came back, this time she turn to the 3rd man – who had been quiet in the corner. She announced that his wife had just given birth to quadruplets.
Stunned, he barely could reply. “Don’t tell me another coincidence?” asked the nurse. After finally regaining his composure, he said “I don’t believe it, I work for the Four Seasons Hotel.”
After hearing this, everybody’s attention turned to the 4th guy, who had just fainted, flat out on the floor. The nurse rushed to his side and after some time, he slowly gained back his consciousness.
When he was finally able to speak, you could hear him whispering repeatedly the same phrase over and over again.
“I should have never taken that job at 7-Up “I should have never taken that job at 7-Up “I should have never taken that job at 7-Up…

ELI’S THIRTY TODDLER RULES
1. If it is on, I must turn it off. If it is off, I must turn it on.
2. If it is folded, I must unfold it.
3. If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
4. If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.
5. If it is high, it must be reached.
6. If it is shelved, it must be removed.
7. If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
8. If it has leaves, they must be picked.
9. If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.
10. If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.
11. If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.
12. If it is closed, it must be opened.
13. If it does not open, it must be screamed at.
14. If it has drawers, they must be rifled.
15. If it is a pencil, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.
16. If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.
17. If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.
18. If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.
19. If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest. It must be pushed by me instead.
20.  If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.
21. If Mommy’s hands are full, I must be carried.
22. If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.
23. If it is paper, it must be torn.
24. If it has buttons, they must be pressed.
25. If the volume is low, it must go high.
26. If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.
27. If it is a phone, I must talk to it.
28. If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.
29. If it is not food, it must be tasted.
30. If it is Mommy, it must be hugged.

Thankful

I am very thankful for the 38 years I have been married to the preacher. I have 2 wonderful boys, that are serving God, 2 beautiful daughter-in-laws, that I love, & 3 loving grand children, that have brought so  much love to both of us.  God has so richley blessed me. God saved me in 1975, I was lost & heading to a devils hell. God had a plan for me in His service. I truly do enjoy being a Pastor’s wife. I want to say Thank You to our church family, You have always made me feel so loved. I am looking forward to see what God is going to continue to do in our life.

THANK YOU Preacher for being the love of MY Life

Thirty Eight Years

I remember looking out of my bedroom window and telling my brother, “Looks like we got some new neighbors.” “They got any good looking girls?” he replied.  “I see one girl and her Mom and Dad.” “We’ll check it out later.” as we then returned to what we were doing.

It was a few days later that Pam and Debbie, my sisters came walking into the living room and said, “We want ya’ll to meet our new friend, Arlene.” “Hi” was the response as they went off into the back room to talk. “She’s cute but a little young.” Emmett said. “I didn’t notice.” I lied.

As the weeks went by Arlene and my sisters became very close friends, too close.  It seemed that Arlene spent as much time over at our house as her own. “You need to tell that girl to go home.” I told Mom. “She is not hurting anything over here, maybe you just like her.” said Mom.  “No way!”

All my brothers and sisters kept telling me to talk to her, I wouldn’t.  “She just needs to stay over at her house.”  She wouldn’t.

About a year after Arlene’s family had moved in next door, my brother came over and said he had two extra tickets to a Sonny James Show downtown, did I know any one who could use them. “No.” I said. “How about the girl next door?”he said.  “I don’t know about the girl next door, you’ll have to see if her boy friend will take her.” I said. “I was talking about you taking her and us going on a double date.”  said my brother.  “You must be crazy, she has a boy friend and any way I don’t like her.” “You must be crazy, she is cute and she likes you.” he said.  “What do you mean, she likes me?” I said  “Why do you think she keeps coming over here so much?” he said. “To see Pam and Debbie.” I said. “Boy you need to open your eyes, girls like that don’t come around but once in a life time.”

I was convinced, so off I went to ask Arlene to go to the show. She went and we had a good time. That was the first of many dates and finally I asked her to marry me and she agreed.

That was thirty eight years ago today. Wow, how time has flown by.  Arlene has been a very wonderful wife  and a great mother to Alan and Ricky.  Sure we have had our highs and lows, but through it all all Arlene has been there by my side.

The best advice ever given to me by my brother was to ask her out on that first date. I love Arlene and I hope we have many more great years ahead of us.

Eph. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

The top picture is our wedding day 1970.

The bottom picture is our 25th anniversary picture.

Happy Birthday T.K.

Unconditional love, that is the love a grandchild brings into a family. It was five years ago, October 3rd, that Tennyson Kyle Smith (aka T.K.) came into our life and changed who we were. Before that day, I was very happy being the son of Joe and Addie Smith, the husband of Arlene McGhee Smith and the Dad and Dad in law to Alan and Marinda,  Rick and Hil. But that day we became a Nana and Papa, and our life took on a new meaning. Today that blessing has tripled, with the addition of Moreland and Elijah.

From the moment that Ricky placed her in my arms, she had my heart. Tears filled my eyes and rolled down my face, I understood God’s unconditional love for us.

T.K. has been a blessing to me and Arlene, she brings joy into the house when she comes to visit.  I thank the Lord daily for Tennyson and the past five years of love she has given us.  Ricky and Hil have instilled a love for God in her heart by the example they set. I am sure God will do great things in Tennyson’s life and many people will see their need for Christ because of her. You may think that just grandpa talk, I tell you God wants to do great and mighty things in all of our lives.

God’ loved us, just as we were, there is nothing I could do to make Him love me, He loved me because of who He is. God commended His love toward us while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

2 Tim. 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.