The stay in Nashville was as expected, very nice. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Nashville-Vanderbilt, 1919 West End Ave. in downtown Nashville. The hotel was once again, very nice, and clean with friendly staff, and on site parking for a $25 fee.
It was remarkably easy to get to, (which we did not expect arriving to a big city on a Monday), and their service was excellent, to include an excellent breakfast. Peach and I, although not really fancy, ate at Halls Chophouse, which was a short walk away from the hotel and it was EXCELLENT. Definitely, not something we are used to, as it was pretty fancy, and pricey, but it was worth every penny! The steak was the best I’ve had any place, ever, and the atmosphere perfect.
We will stay here again, if we come this way and probably eat at the same place.
Next, it was off to Columbia, Missouri, where we stayed at the Country Inn and Suites, 817 N Keene St. The hotel was very nice, and the staff friendly.
We did not eat breakfast there. We ate at Cracker Barrel instead. Never a complaint there from us! And then we were off again.
Our quick visit to Nashville was just right! The hotel was charming, and the staff very kind! But, Halls Chophouse was an unexpected pleasure, to be sure! Live music, quite the classy ambiance, wait staff who are extremely professional and good at what they do, which is help you navigate their offerings of delicious beef and wine!
Our waiter was a gentleman and the dessert (chocolate cake with fudge icing, and raspberry sauce) was scrumptious and more than Batman and I could eat together!
I loved that we could walk to it from the hotel!
Missouri was a quick shot and off again, as the travel ran long that day. More on that in another post!
Because the world can’t make enough British Murder Mysteries (of the sort we both like) we from time to time watch our ‘Rob Squad Reaction’ Channel, and take a Bee-Bop down memory lane.
Then every once in awhile, we go on an all out Rock and Roll binge of (mostly) 80s rock.
And as a completely sold out, Biblically rooted Jesus loving girl, I know we are not to be ‘stuck’ in the past. But, can I just ask if we can we just have the 80s back? I mean, the movies, the music, the vibes, everything was so hopeful! *Sigh*
I know the dissatisfaction we are all feeling is serving a good purpose. To cause us to search for The Only Real One, in a world of decidedly UNREAL.
But, I digress! I’m going to just leave some links to fun videos. Nothing new, all oldies AND goodies!
Eddie Rabbit – ‘I Love a Rainy Night’
Joan Jett ‘I Love Rock and Roll’
Stevie Wonder ‘Signed, Sealed and Delivered’
Pretenders ‘Brass in Pocket’
Def Leopard ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’
While those times were simpler by far, and I can’t see, or hear a video from back then, or watch a movie from the 80s, without feeling the tug of the sheer, wide open, hopefulness and the ‘sky was the limit’ that that age was saturated in, I do know the times we are in, here and now, are an absolute privilege to be in.
As the story the Lord is telling, of the age we are in, begins to draw to a climax, there is a growing awareness we live in significant times and there is so much to be done! It can feel overwhelming and quite daunting really. But, if we take heart, and draw strength and wisdom from the One Who Made Us, each day, one day at a time, there is grace, so much grace to do more than we imagine!
With God, all things are possible, and the sky isn’t even the limit! Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him! (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, and 2 Corinthians 2:9)
“…I PLEAD WITH YOU TO WALK holy, IN A WAY THAT IS SUITABLE TO YOUR HIGH RANK, given to you in your divine calling. WITH TENDER HUMILITY AND QUIET PATIENCE ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE GENTLENESS AND GENEROUS LOVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, especially toward those who may try your patience. BE FAITHFUL TO GUARD THE SWEET HARMONY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AMONG YOU in the bonds of peace…” — Ephesians 4:1b-3
A wise woman who I miss very much, taught me when I was very young, that when we become elderly, and are at or near the finish line, we can at times, become sort of caricatures of ourselves, depending on the choices we make in our lives.
Sometimes, as the end is in sight, we may not have all the strength of our reasoning in its normal state. Our reasoning, or our governing of ourselves, I should say, may be a bit relaxed or off balance from in our younger days.
Whatever we have fed in our lives may end up holding the larger sway. All the more reason to each day, walk in the Spirit, because when we do, then we do not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh”, Galatians 5:16b, as each decision makes a path in our heart and in our mind. The Word tells us, to not to be “conformed to this world” but instead to be “transformed by the renewing” of our mind(Romans 12:2).
The wise woman I knew, she worked in healthcare, and had seen a lot of this latter stage of life for people, who were not feeling themselves. It was a cautionary tale for sure.
I guess I have had some cause to think about the culmination of the daily little choices we make, and what those choices do to us in the inside of us, the most real part of us. Those things we choose to think about, and either appreciate or fester over. I don’t want to be one who festers. I want to be one who appreciates. The sunshine, my husband, our good health, our children and grandchildren, our siblings, that we have had good parents, greatest of all our salvation and relationship with Jesus!
I don’t want to waste time on the real (hurts) or imagined (worries). I want to process them, somewhat like laundry, learn from them, forgive myself or others, give it to Jesus, move on. —“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” — 1 Peter 5:7
I know some hurts are monumental, and it’s easy to say. “But, you don’t know how badly they have hurt me” and to that, I say you are right. But, I also know you deserve to live and love, and enjoy what is here right now. Don’t let them rob you, not one more day. Not one more minute.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this ONE THING I do, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, and REACHING FORTH unto THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” — Philippians 3:13-14
Love either near (those in your now circle) or from afar (those in your past), pray for them all, every day, but that doesn’t mean they get to sit in prime real estate in your head carving their initials. Evict them from your heart, as well as the well rehearsed pain.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” — Philippians 4:8
Remember, our Father God sees our end from our beginning (Isaiah 46:10) He has good for us, if we will accompany Him to the future He has yet ahead for us!
“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. BUT THEN I WILL COME TO YOU AND DO FOR YOU ALL THE GOOD THINGS I HAVE PROMISED, and I will bring you home again. For I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” says the Lord. “They are PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR DISASTER, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE. In those days when you pray, I will listen. IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME. I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU,” says the Lord. “I WILL end your captivity and RESTORE YOUR FORTUNES.” — Jeremiah 29:10-14
What inspired this? The passing of time, the loss of relationships, the finality of the passing of a good and precious life and the vacuum that has made. The choices we who remain make now, to hopefully live leaving a trail of love, hope, joy, affirmation, faith, and much grace, for our loved ones to follow. May our trail be clear, filled with good things to help them along their way!! — “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 11:1
Thank you for stopping in!! It means so much to share these thoughts in hopes it might encourage you along your way!!
I leave you with the closing of a favorite poem of mine, by Robert Frost, who I so enjoy!
“Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special.” — 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, The Message
We lost my Daddy on 1 January this year.
He and my Mom had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my youngest brother and his wife and their daughters, and I am pretty sure that my Baby Sis and her family made it there as well.
In our family we did not have a set routine to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, each year we all did our own things, sometimes some of us connecting in various ways at various times.
A few scant days after, he took ill. It happened horribly fast, no time to adjust at each step of decline, before another step overtook us.
We are all walking with a limp now, I guess you could say. Walking it out, figuring it out, praying it out, talking it out, loving it out, faithing it out, sometimes crying it out.
Questions. So many questions. Memories. Unaccomplished wishes. Things to hold onto that make you feel close to him. Like he can live on in your lives and be instilled in your family dna.
Beyond the thousand little cuts where you can’t hug him, can’t introduce him to great grandkids, can’t text him, can’t call him, or drive the backroads to visit him, beyond all this hangs the question, ‘What’s he experiencing? What’s Heaven like for him right now? What is he doing?’
I don’t doubt it’s beyond our ability to conceive. Far, far richer, far sweeter, far deeper. But, I want to know. And I feel the Lord encouraging the question. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. — Proverbs 25:2
Yesterday afternoon, all the way through last night, my thoughts and pondering peaked in this regard. Jesus taught during His time on earth, through the rabbinical style of asking questions, and still does today.
I found myself the last week or so wondering if my Father in law had met up with Daddy yet, for a cup of coffee and ‘catching up’, welcoming him to the place. We lost my Father in law in December 2014. I think of him every day. Miss him very much. See him in his son, my Batman, everyday.
Then I realized likely my Granddaddy would be at that table for coffee. We lost him in late March of 1983. I picture the men on the outside of a wooden building, under an overhang, as to a porch on an old style of a General Store.
I picture them smiling, talking, sipping, contemplating. The question came ‘Do you really think so?’ Yeah, I really kinda do. ‘Ok. Can you think of what you know from The Word that can help support that?’
I can. God is very relational. He created us for relationship with Him. He designed us not only in His image to have relationships, but also that we need one another, and each have different parts and pieces that only work best in collaboration with each other. The Church (Body of believers) is designed for us to work and be in relationship with each other. He designed us so that some friends are like family and some family are like friends. Yeah, I think that continues at a higher level in Heaven.
He let me steep in that picture for a little while and then took me around the table to what they might be saying:
My FIL, (sweet smile he had when he’s tickled): “I tell ya, I never imagined how much I would like it here. How welcome I would be. How much at home I would feel. I had no idea how good this would be!”
My Daddy, with eyes in wonder: “It’s more than everything I ever dreamed! I did not realize or expect to be so near to the Father and His Son, to be so near to Jesus, to see where all the prayers are kept! It’s absolutely overwhelming! It makes all the hell seem trivial in comparison to this!”
My GrandDaddy, looking at his coffee cup, kinda smiling: “You boys haven’t seen the half of it! Wait until you see what they’re working on!”
“Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.
One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. TODAY you will join me in PARADISE.” — Luke 23:32-43, KJV
First apologies, profusely, for being so late! Life is so very full right now! Jerry put out a fantastic group of sunrise photos! ‘Morning’s Glory’! We are both so glad to get some of the glorious beauty of the Lord into people’s hands, in order for people to appreciate the hand of God at work for us.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” — Psalm 19:1
So, how are y’all doing so far this year? We are running our race this year strong and steady, counting the literal work days and until Batman retires! And counting the months and weeks until each two grand babies are born!
Not gonna lie, having a hard time processing all the emotion of joy of this year and the work to make time for writing or making podcasts. But, my heart is so here every day, looking for opportunities. I am sure we all struggle with that juggling thing though.
What are you listening to lately? This year has brought some wonderful praise and worship music and just uplifting music in general. My sound track this year has included Dante Bowe and his album Circles. All. Of. It. What I loved about this album is he is a devout Christian artist writing and singing with so many in the current Praise and Worship circles, like a bee from one group to the next, cross pollinating from one part of the Body of Christ to the next, which I think is one aspect of the epitome of healthy Christian living. The kicker though for this project, in my mind, is it is a Christian singing his faith as it looks in his every day life, like we ought to live every day, not as a praise and worship project but just reflections on life, naturally reflecting his faith. Totally relatable to anyone, whether they care for Christian music or not. Every song has a reason to choose it. I think ‘Joyful’ and ‘Family Tree’ are great choice to give a listen.
The Maverick City, Elevation Worship project called ‘Old Church Basement’ is a whole experience!! There is no skip song at all, on this or any of the great albums I’m digging this year! Some faves? ‘Wait on You’, ‘Shall Not Want’, ‘Million Little Miracles’, ‘Come Again’, and ‘Build Your Church’. It just transports you.
And can I just say I am superrrrr late to the Crowder party???? The Crowder ‘Milk and Honey’ album is a whole entire planet of wonderful!! A Southern Rock girl to my core, this music feeds my soul because it magnifies Jesus AND gives me that bit of the South sound that makes my heart happy. Again, no skip songs! Listen to it all…twice or thrice!
Also, I forgive y’all for not telling me about ‘We The Kingdom’. Did I mention I’m a Southern Rock girl? Yes! These people are making music that just isn’t out there, Jesus and the Kingdom and sung in Southern! ♥️♥️♥️ My heart sings and my windows rattle as I’m driving down the road! ‘Don’t Tread on Me’! Kicks the devil in his teeth and EXALTS our Jesus!! All the while making my Southern roots tingle! ‘Take Me on a Ride’ is such a great picture of the adventure our faith walk is supposed to be. What a great witness and joyful song!
An extraordinary experience I had one Friday before work, back in early May, was impulsively purchasing an old album by Pastor Clint Brown, from about 12-15 years ago.
Background: The church I spent 20 years in, and raised our boys in, sang so much of his music! He visited a good number of times and preached with fire and he’s just a work horse for the Kingdom of God. Good man. Super anointed. Well, I had been missing Praise and Worship from my old days at Family Worship Center. Which inspired me to get ‘Fall Like Rain’ that fateful Morning.
WOW! It lifted my spirits so much. I had not realized how VERY MANY songs we did of his until that day! It blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined, because I knew literally every song, and it was such a wonderful, joyful experience to get to sing these songs at the top of my lungs, while also remembering Sunday after Sunday and Thursday after Thursday doing the same, and it took me back, in the best way, to service after service of knowing that the Holy Spirit had just done surgery in my heart before the preaching even had begun! Again, no skip songs, some of my faves being ‘Awesome God’, ‘I Can’t Get Enough’, ‘I Will’, ‘I’m Forgiven’, and ‘Fall Like Rain’. He’s from Louisiana. And it shows!! Fan-flippin-tastic!! Music is such an incredible gift of God.
What brought me here tonight though, was Batman discovered a YouTube channel by the sweetest, most fun young couple, it’s called ‘Rob Squad Reactions’ . Not only are their music choices SUPERB! But, their heart shows through every upbeat amazed reaction, as they discover old music that Batman and I just love because it’s music from the soundtrack of our lives as younguns. They are all about the joy of musical craftsmanship and it’s a lot of fun to watch them discover and/or just enjoy it with us. Like us, they see music as a unifying element that people across all groups can appreciate and take pleasure in. We all need more of this!
Tonight as we sat listening to Stevie Nicks signing ‘Landslide’, I actually was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion that made my eyes tear, which is not a reaction I have to music hardly ever. So many thoughts about appreciation for Batman, and our life together. It was like a wave washed over me. Or maybe bubbled out of me is better expressed.
I met him 5 March 1982 with friends on the way to an Alabama concert in a neighboring city. Our journey amazes me. It’s not that we have a flashy story. Nope. We are not flashy people. But, we were kids. Born to people who were extremely working class. Salt of the earth people. Our parents were born to people born and raised during the Great Depression. They had some wisdom to live by. And we had things to learn beyond that. Like every generation does. Just very grateful how the Lord has helped us to learn and grow and GROW TOGETHER. What a gift.
I think listening to these old songs and the memories and joy and the tears and the MILES the Good Lord has brought us through just has really moved me tonight! So, I wanted to jump on here and talk about what the gift of music is doing in my life this summer!
Quietly sitting on the bank intently staring at the “homemade” cork float as it wiggles and shakes then finally disappears under the muddy water. Reacting too soon I jerk the cane pole up but no fish, my uncle “Russy” says “too soon knot head let him take it a bit longer and I lower the hooked worm and “bobber” back into the pond…
My oldest memory of fishing was that one, I’ve made hundreds since, but that one I remember, and hope I always do. It was simple pond fishing with a stick, some line, and a hook and it was to me the best way to fish, and still may be. Fishing is an activity that anyone can participate in that wants to, just add water and you never know what you may catch. I have since early childhood loved fishing, pretty sure this love came from my Dad, who when he was young loved to fish also.
And by the looks of it, was pretty good at it. I have fished lots of places, sometimes I catch something, other times not so much, but all times I have a good time. Fishing is one of those things that to me is always fun, catch anything or not, I am outdoors and away from people, and fishing.
Part of the fun is finding new places to fish. Peach and I when we were dating used to tromp all over the river and it’s feeder creeks up to our knees without ever a care, she has always been a lil trooper. Catching and releasing the little bream or sunfish we would sometimes get. We would ride down CR13 and wherever a creek crossed it, we would get out and wander the banks and fish or wade out in the creek itself. We used prolly my favorite fishin pole and reel setup in the world (next to a cane pole and bobber) a Zebco 202 rod and reel set. Easy to use, can cast under hand, over hand, sidearm, anyway You want. Pretty good rod came with the set, and it was all we needed. I cannot tell you how much fun that was to do.
Fishing does something few things can, it causes you to let go of silly things and stresses, the longer you stick at it. The longer you fish, the more you see how relaxing it is to be away from work and worry. Fishing should be a legitimate medical reason as to why you took a day off work, instead of using vacation or sick days, you should also accrue fishing days (I may have stumbled onto a genius idea). I have no doubt in my mind that if a study was done, it would prove me right, one fishing day a month would make a happier more productive employee (squirrel ran by).
I recall one summer my sister and I spent the time with my aunt and uncle who lived in Georgia, somewhere just outside of Atlanta. I had an awesome time there as when they were working we had free run of the place. There was a perfect creek down below their house and my sister and I played in it for hours, it also led to a bigger creek that eventually fed a lake (try as I might I cannot remember exactly where this was, getting old robs too many memories) and there was a dock there. My sister and I would fish from the dock for hours on end and I honestly cannot remember if I ever caught anything, I do remember my sister catching a beautiful colored fish which we later found out to be a rainbow trout!! (We let it go, but that’s what my uncle said we were describing). Up the road a very short walk, past stands of blackberry bushes (more thorn than bush but I have no idea what it’s called if it is not a bush) which we later that summer went back to and picked buckets full of and my aunt made blackberry cobbler (sorry another squirrel). Anyways, up the road was a pond, looked like coffee with creamer in it and we went there just once that I recall but we caught catfish, oh my did we ever, it was probably the most fun fishing I remember from that whole trip, cast a line out and wait and eventually without fail a catfish would take the bait. These are memories that leave an impression on a young person and I am glad I experienced it.
I am the kind of person that likes pretty much all fishing and I carry poles in my truck on the off chance I spot a “fishin hole” along my way that may require my fishing assistance. Yes, I have actually been late to things due to stopping at a promising looking creek along the way to see if there are any fish.
I have deep sea fished, worked on a charter boat, fished in lakes and rivers, but my most favorite is fishing in small creeks and ponds I can walk around. Be it with a cane pole or fishing rod, I’ve even used a fly rod (I am really horrible with it but I have caught fish with it) and I like them all.
(That’s me in my flooded yard learning a bit about fly casting)
I remember being in Ft Eustis, Virginia in the military and fishing in a lake there, not sure if I caught anything, does not matter, I do remember I had fun in doing so and that’s all that matters. Fished again in Honduras while there in the military, in the Caribbean and in fast flowing ice cold rivers coming straight off the mountains, again not sure if I caught fish, do not remember doing so, but I remember the fun I had just fishing.
Peach and I over the years have fished all over in lakes ponds rivers and oceans, we have creek fished and sat in the side of the road and fished in ditches, simply because we love being and doing things together, and we love fishing. It’s cool that we have this like in common, would be sad if it was not something we both liked.
As we grew older and we got more and more responsibilities, fishing was pushed aside. But as things often do when you like doing them, fishing kept popping up and we still went off and on. Through the years we have gone times that we totally forgot about fishing and all the sudden one day we are headed out to fish.
Most days we kinda want to catch fish but rarely do we really ever want to keep them so we go and if we catch any we usually release them quickly. The fun is in the trip not the actual keeping.
So many times we have caught and released fish after fish and I cannot think of a time we regretted any of it.
Fishing takes patience, which most of us adults no longer have lots of. But in order to enjoy fishing you are forced to slow down and be patient, while waiting for the fish to bite. If you cannot make yourself be patient, slow down, wait for the fish to bite, you will probably never really catch many.
Being patient, waiting at times for hours is not easy when you are really young, or older (and have lost your patience from years of aggravation) but in fishing it’s a “have to have” to be successful, if you are counting the day a success by catching fish. If you’re like me and no longer think the day is a failure if you do not catch anything, then you are well on your way to being “successful”
In today’s hurry up and make all the money you can world, a world where you can not seem to slow down for a few minutes much less a whole day, I in my humble opinion wish everyone that wanted could come sit in the shade on a creek or pond bank with me and watch a bobber dance on the water while no thoughts or sounds of man or being in a hurry intrude, trust me my friend, for a brief moment in time you would be so much happier.