Showing posts from August, 2011


This afternoon in my backyard a common shoot of blooms suddenly caught fire with the blazing of the sun radiating through it, I couldn't help but think of the parallel between it and us when we let the light of the Son, Jesus, shine through us and common things suddenly radiate a very uncommon light.

Have you ever done something “common” in an uncommon way? 
Think about Sister Teresa. Everyday of her life she was doing the common things of life in a way that made her go down in history as one of the most compassionate and loving souls ever to have walked this planet. 
Have I let myself become discouraged that I have not accomplished notable deeds such as she? Have I become bogged down in the rut of disillusionment because of life-long dreams unrealized? Am I tired of the hum-drum of my hum-drum life? 
If you identify with these thoughts, I assure you that you are not alone. 

Oswald Chambers states, “If we do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him.  One of the most amazing revel…

Weekend Worship at First United Methodist, Hamburg, Arkansas

Last weekend my husband and I went to Hamburg, Arkansas, a little town of about 3000 people. I was thrilled to find the beautiful First Methodist Church.

Rare and Beautiful Treasures

What action will I take today that ensures my home is filled with rare and beautiful treasures?

By wisdom a house is built,   and through understanding it is established;  through knowledge its rooms  are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.  Psalm 24:3,4

A photo my granddaughter took this summer after we had been out taking pictures of sunflowers reminded me of a beautiful painting.

She did take action to position the elements in the photograph in the right way making sure her composition and lighting were good.

Lord, teach me about Your wisdom, teach me Your understanding and Your knowledge so that our home may be filled with treasures that no one can take away, no thief can remove, no rust can destroy.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,  where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,  where moth and rust do not destroy,  and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, ther…

Master Gardener

Remember on Monday when we were discussing the invasive vines? I thought of an old post I had written a couple of years ago that dealt with pruning. Maybe this would be a good day to revisit it.
"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, (For whom the Lord loves he chastens or corrects) While every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be more fruitful. (Just as a Father the son in whom he delights) You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. (For whom the Lord loves He chastens) One way He speaks today is through HIS WORD THE BIBLE--It helps to keep us clean so that we don't have to be pruned so drastically. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. Remain in me, and I will remain in you." (Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterwa…

Invasive Vines

any years ago I walked out my front door on my way to run some of the many errands that my life demanded at the time while raising three sons.

On my way down the porch steps I noticed an invasive weedy vine that had wrapped itself around one of my good plants. I told myself to rip that weed out before it did any more damage.

But somehow life got in the way and I did not take care of it. Almost overnight it seemed that the vine had gotten a strangle hold of my plant and was about to choke all life from it.

 At the time I tried to apply a spiritual truth and keep that in the back of my mind as a reminder to take care of all the "little foxes" that eat up the vineyard--

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.  Song of Solomon 2:15

Yesterday my husband and I made a 3 hour trip to Hamburg, Arkansas. We had business down there for Renewal Ranch. My husband's father is from that area of Arkansas so we decided to stop…

Weekend Worship at St. Peter's Episcopal, Conway, AR

I found this video shortly after posting and I MUST share it with you. This little girl is not associated with St. Peter's.  I think she goes to a church called Corinth Baptist.  I just couldn't save it.  Just had to post it tonight.  You just have to see it to really believe it--and the end is so worth watching ever moment of it. I hope you enjoy.

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies;  Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,  hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light;  Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
  For the joy of ear and eye,  for the heart and mind's delight,  for the mystic harmony, linking sense to sound and sight;  Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise. For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,  friends on…

What Language Do I Speak?

The heavens declare the glory of God, 
 The skies proclaim the work of His hands, 
 Day after day they pour forth speech, 
 Night after night they display knowledge. 
 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard, 
 Their voice goes out into all the earth, 
 Their words to the ends of the world. from Psalm 19

photo:  taken in Santa Fe, N.M., 2010

what do we really believe about worry and God's provision?

Do we really believe God when He states "My burden is easy and my yoke is light? (Matt. 11:30)  What about "Cast all your cares upon him for he cares for you?" (1 Peter 5:7) Are these tenents for others to believe but not for us? Are others able to incorporate them in to their daily Christian living but we have no hope that we will ever be able to successfully do this?

If my grandfather were living, he would be about 130 years old.  He did a little bit of everything for a living from itinerant preaching to sawmilling to cotton and peanut farming.  He hand-made almost every tool that he had even hand-carving the yoke that his team of oxen wore around their necks binding them together so that their strength could be harnessed and used to accomplish great things.

Does it make any sense that he would carve the yoke out of a dense, heavy wood?  No, he chose the lightest but strongest wood that he had access to.  I honestly don't know what kind of wood he used but found ou…

Everything I Need

How do I start? I don't want to be a broken record or bring you down first thing on Monday morning and yet I have a blog entitled "Everything Else Thrown In." And that is because I knew when I started keeping this journal that I would want to write about most everything that is happening in our lives. Then when I read the last sentence of Mere Christianity I knew that would tie together all of my random thoughts and my dependence upon God and belief that He does supply everything that we need.

 Those of you who know me or have read my blog for a while know that I have done numerous posts and series of posts on praying for my descendants, the men of Renewal Ranch, my extended family and their children and grandchildren and my friends' seed. I haven't been as faithful as I wanted to be in posting my prayers for them but you can read some of my heart and prayers for them on the page to the right entitled "Pray With Me."

 I say all that to tell you a ma…

My Fair Lady

Today's theme over at Kim Klassen's website is movies.  In the first picture above I am featuring a picture of my granddaughter, Noelle. She is a big ham and loves to have her photo taken.  She reminded me of Eliza Doolittle in this hat so I chose My Fair Lady as my first movie.

I only used one texture of Kim's on this and I am so sorry I lost my post and had to replace it and now I can't remember what texture I used.  It was one of her more simple textures and I am pretty sure it was "Not Too Shabby."  Sorry for my memory but I tried a lot of different ones to see which one worked the best.

The sun right over this steeple when we had just walked out of worship service at noon reminded me of the title High Noon.

On this one I used "golden" on vivid light at 80% and paper stained music on multiply at 100%.

Weekend Worship at Anthony Chapel

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
       throughout all generations.

 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.  You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.

 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
       you founded the world and all that is in it.

I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.

 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,         that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself--

 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
       establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

repost from past pages

Doing Much Better!

Yesterday afternoon the crushing blow of losing Matt lifted and I am walking lighter. I had never carried that kind of grief before and those of you familiar to loss know the suffocating and relentless pain. We will miss him beyond what words can describe, but we must go on now, pick up the pieces of our lives, let God's Holy Spirit put them back together again and do the work left here to do. I love you all and thank you so much for all your words of love and encouragement. Thank you for hanging in there with me. I am so proud of my baby sis--I went to her school and took her out to lunch yesterday. That she is working getting a classroom ready for students on Monday is an incredible miracle. Thank you for the part you have played in helping get her up on her feet and working two days after burying her son. To me that is an incredible testimony to the POWER of God. I love you all.

Would You Consider This?

Would you consider starting to keep a daily journal in honor of Matt? There are no words to describe the comfort that Matt's journal has given the family. His particular journal is the "Experiencing God" one by the Blackaby's. I have read several of the devotionals and they look very good. I have almost always used Oswald Chambers but I am going to purchase this one and start keeping it in Matt's memory.

Would you please say a special prayer for my sister today?  She is a school teacher and is going to work today two days after burying her baby boy.  That is a miracle.  I am so proud of her but she desperately needs your prayers.

My sister is assigned to a new school this year.  My husband, sister-in-law, and I took her there yesterday afternoon and I think God hand-picked the school where she needed to be this year.  I think they are going to be towers of strength for her.

My precious friend, if you are needing a tower of strength today, I pray that you will…

Bidding Farewell

Because Matt was a bachelor, L.D. was his life. I thought my heart would break when I saw him for the first time last Friday, the day after Matt passed. But when he walked in the funeral home today all dressed up in his Razorback gear ready to bid his master farewell, what was left of my shattered heart broke in to a million more pieces.

 I will smile again, dear friends. I will write something that will hopefully lift all of us up in the near future. But this has been the hardest loss of my life, harder than losing my parents. I guess because his mom is my baby sister and I always cared for her like she was my child, watching her suffer has almost been unbearable. And I was very close to Matt and he was just a downright lovable guy.

 We still do not know the cause of death which is very hard. We suspect it was heat related. He was in good health and had been out weed-eating for several hours (doing a friend a favor--no charge--please pray for this friend--his name is Josh and…

we still need your prayers

I would be so honored if you would give a moment of your time to read Matt's obituary and say another prayer for us.

We are still trying to bring the last minute details together for the service.  Would you please join me in prayer that God's perfect will is done?  There will be many young people there who need Christ.  It is our desire that no one leaves without knowing how to make Him the Lord and Savior of their lives.  We want to do this in a way that would honor Matt's life and love for Christ and ONLY bring glory to the Son.  This is our humble prayer.

 I love you all.

We Feel Your Prayers

Oh precious friends who left comments and who are praying for my family, how I thank you!

I spent the day with my sister making funeral arrangements for her son--we know no details as of yet as to cause of death or whenever we will be able to have his services.

Matt's brother, Phillip was just home on furlough from Afghanistan for two weeks and had just gone back. He is hung up in Kandahar and we don't know when he will be able to get home. He has begged us to wait. He missed the last family funeral while serving his country some years back and wants to be here so badly.

Cherish those you love today--make phone calls, go to visit, hug them long and hard, tell them you love them over and over and over again.

Oh how I love each of you. You will never know this side of heaven what your friendship means to me. Some don't understand this crazy blogging world and I don't know how God establishes so strong a bond between those of us who have never laid eyes on each other a…

Please pray!

Dear dear friends,
I desperately need your love and prayers. I lost my precious 32 year old nephew, Matthew Daniel Duke, today. Please pray for all of us, especially my sister and her family. Thank you for your prayers.
I love you,

Ablaze! Literally, well almost literally!

tIt is after 10:00 p.m. and the temperature is 94--here in Little Rock--102 in Texarkana--

My husband and I went out to dinner tonight about 5--it was 93 then--a cloud cover with a slight chance of rain that didn't materialize was the reason for the "cool down"--it was 21 degrees cooler than it had been 2 hours earlier. Yep, when I got out earlier in the afternoon to go to the doctor, it was 114 degrees--it has NEVER been that hot in Little Rock before. We set an all time record.

I say all that to say this--a substation caught on fire in Benton, AR (5000 without power) and I know there are many suffering throughout the nation and our world but would you voice a prayer for the elderly and the sickly who cannot care for themselves--also their animals--I know at least one of my readers has a sister in Benton so I am thinking about her and her family tonight. Hope they have power.

There are several churches that have opened their doors as "cooling shelters." I pra…

A Closer Glimpse

I wanted to share this video with you. It will give you an idea of what life at the Ranch is like, especially our worship service every Saturday morning coupled with a potluck afterwards and visiting without television, radio, headsets, cell phones etc. until three or so in the afternoon. It reminds me so much of life in the 1950's. Hope you enjoy.  Consider pausing the regular blog music at the bottom of the page.

Blue Lady

Day before yesterday was my anniversary. My husband gave me a dozen red roses with one white orchid. So the picture above is one of the roses I received from him over the weekend. There is a cute little story that goes with this picture. You might want to read it here--very embarrassing!!

Here is the original photo:

I placed 1 layer of Granny's cupboard, soft light at 100%

1 layer of the dream sample layer at multiply, 75%

added the text layers

Made a levels adjustment layer
brightness adjusted to +32
contrast to +13

I also made a levels adjustment enhancing the whites in the picture--

flattened layers

I am joining Kim Klassen over at her blogsite today.

Celebration Time!

Saturday morning, July 30, 2011, was a a wonderful time in the life of Renewal Ranch. We celebrated our first graduating class. From our first nine residents, four of them completed the intensive six-month long journey. The graduates are Atlas Stavely, Charles Washington, Michael Taylor and Shepherd Palmer.

As so often in the past, the Dooley's led us in praise and worship to Jesus, our King, for this incredible display of His love, faithfulness, healing and redemptive power. All praise and glory go to Him.

Hearts were touched as we watched residents lift their hands in adoration and thanksgiving. This is Atlas displaying his open surrender and praise to our God.

Our hearts were overwhelmed as we watched our Michael displaying a heart full of joy and celebration.

Dr. Larry Pillow reads words of affirmation written about and to Atlas, Charles, Shepherd and Michael. After these words, each graduate spoke and then had the opportunity to have one family member or friend speak.

Atlas' …