Thursday, December 23, 2010

This Christmas

Aaliyah is spending this Christmas with her family in California.  Raymond and I are at home in Newport having a blast; but missing our little songbird.  These are two pics that her Aunt took of her.  Isn't she just adorable.  (sniff, sniff!!)
We call everymorning to sing her our "Goodmorning!" song and she sounds like she is adjusting well.  Who am I kidding...Aaliyah is having a blast; please pray for her mother and father!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The Cousins

Friday, December 10, 2010

December meeting - Godly Roles

Here is a copy of our Ladies Bible Study for December.   I just wanted to share this lesson to maybe be a blessing and encouragement to you.  Remember; God, our Designer, knows what is best for us.

December 6, 2010

Godly Roles : A Woman’s place

What exactly should a woman’s place be in the world today?

The world  (media, professors, etc.) tells us...

Scripture tells us.....

1 Timothy 3 (emphasis on verse 11,12)
Titus 2:1-5, 12 - 15
Ephesians 5:21 - 33
Proverbs. 31:10-13

From this, we summize that... (application)

“The Woman is the Holy Spirit of the Home.”

What does this statement mean to you?

“The woman wasn’t created from the man’s head or heel; but from his rib.”

What does this statement mean to you?

“The man was created in-complete; not the woman.”

What does this mean to you?

“She doesn’t rule the world, she rules the ones who rule the world.”

What does this statement mean to you?

“Followers make leaders more easily than leaders make followers.”

What does this statement mean to you?

“A follower follows even when he/she doesn’t have the right kind of leader.”

What does this statement mean to you?

This meeting was more a question and answer session than most.  I basically wanted to give the ladies some food for thought.  Most of what we discussed was foreign to them; but I think they have a desire to live for God, so they were open to what the scripture had to say to us.

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  We did!  Raymond, Aaliyah and I went home to Oklahoma to visit my mom and family.  It was an extra special blessing to be able to see my brother's only daughter (he died in May 2006, she was born in June 2006).  I can't believe how time flies.  She is a beautiful, tall little four year old who is the spitting image of my brother.  (pictures soon to follow...I forgot my camera at home)

For Christmas Raymond and I will be alone.  Aaliyah is going to California to visit her grandparents and Raymond's sisters and brother and fam.  As the day approaches for me to fly with her to drop her off in California, I think to myself..."who's bright idea was this!?!"   I am going to miss my little songbird.  I am trying not to miss her now.  She is getting tired of my hugs and kisses.  Yesterday she told me to STOP!  Funny...It's time for number two.  When they are newborns you can hug and kiss them as much as you want with no complaints!

Until next time,


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ladies Bible Study

In September I began to have a ladies Bible study the first Monday night of every month.  The first meeting covered the basics of Christianity (Biblical Salvation, Baptism, Giving, Fasting, etc.).  I have twelve topics I would like to discuss with our ladies including the following:

1.  Christianity 101
2.  I'm Glad I'm a woman (Our role as defined in the Bible)
3. Child Rearing 101
4.  Women's issues (what does the Bible say about abortion, birth control, bitterness, etc.

For some reason the Lord just kept putting it on my heart to go directly to the importance of eating together as a family.  We watched the majority of the video about (The Family Meal Table with Nancy Campbell) and discussed the benefits of eating together as a family.  We didn't quite finish all the material, so this past Monday we completed the study.  We discussed table setting and the importance of what you put on the plates of those you love.  To be honest with you; I was quite shocked to find out the lack of knowledge that we as women  - including myself - have about basic nutrition.  A couple of months back I did a post about reading food labels.  This was the beginning of my "official" study of nutrition.  To be honest, I have had a lot of fun with this. I hope to share some of what I learned with you all; but for now I just wanted to recommend Mrs. Nancy's video.  You can purchase it from her website .  Between this post and the next, what are some benefits that you can think of to support eating together as a family around the table?

I copied this quote from the Above Rubies  website.  Thought it might be a blessing to you all!


There is no more demanding work in all the world,

no more awe-inspiring job description than raising godly seed.

It will challenge all the genius, talent and grace

that any human being could possess…

It is the highest calling any woman can enter.

Walter J. Chantry

Until next time,


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home Alone!

Praise the Lord!!!  We came home Saturday night to an empty church.  It felt good...until about 10:30.  I felt a little strange to be in bed reading alone.  Raymond was studying, Aaliyah was asleep, and my two little friends who liked to bring me a HUGE pile of books to read to them right before bedtime were in their own home.  Then I got a huge smile on my face imagining them taking the books to their mom instead!  I rolled over and finished reading my own book.   Life is great!!! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Guests part three

So they found a home, have signed the lease, moved their furniture in; but still are with us.  Why?  Because the electric company turned off the electricity and won't be able to come out until Tuesday or Friday to turn it back on.  Let's hope it is Tuesday; but if it's Friday....I will be quoting a lot of scripture to myself about loving our neighbors and such!  Not that I haven't enjoyed our guests; but too many women in the kitchen is never good!  Praise the Lord for my Beloved who is making the most of this opportunity to be a blessing to others.  I need to be more like him!

Until next week,


Friday, October 22, 2010

Guests continued...

The first day they showed up we quizzed them about thier salvation and such.  The young man - let's call him Bob-  was just saved about a month before.  The wife has been saved for about four years.  He had been unemployed for one year and a half; and she has been unemployed for about a year.  Their parent had just bought them a van a week before to help them out; but promised this was it.  So here is where we come into the picture.

As I mentioned before, they came to us as a couple with one on the way; but later that evening they told us about two other children they had who were staying with a "friend" until they found a home.  They didn't know that my husband had met the lady on visitation about three weeks before and she was preparing to adopt the children she was keeping and the one child that the mother was carrying as well.

Both of us found out that this "friend" had not recieved the parents consent to this adoption. The day after the couple found out they weren't going to get the house, the lady gave them an ultimative, "Sign over the kids or come and pick them up."  Well, she decided to drop them off at the church instead.  (Honestly, I can't say that I side with either couple on this issue.  A complete understanding should have been make at the very beginning of this arrangement  - signed on paper by all involved, especially if DHS was involved or aware.  This would have cleared up things a bit and maybe saved a friendship.

Anyway...We were excited about the kids coming; especially Nikitta and Alliyah.  They both have a new best friend.  (Niki's is the dad, Allys is the younger of the two children.)

To make a long story shorter (once again!) The Lord has done marvelous things for this young family.  In one months time:

1.  He cut his hair!
2.  He has found a job that pays great with good benefits.
3.  He has found a good friend and mentor in my husband.  He loves to just tag along with Raymond, no matter what Ray is doing. (Raymond put him to work around the church!)
4.  We have been offering advice on just about everything from finances, marriage issues, and child rearing.
5.  Just yesterday they found a home.  They should be able to move in in about a week and a half. - I noticed this townhouse was vacant and took the wife (we will call her Sally) by.  She took a tour and fell in love with it.  It comes furnished and has a refrigerator, washer and dryer, a stove, and a dishwasher.  I will try not to be jealous!
6.  Their youngest child has began signing.  Ray and I sign with Alliyah (something I recommend for every parent of young children) and he has caught on!
7.  They have become a more loving and peaceful family.  We read the Bible with them at the dinner table and they read together as a couple in the evenings.  We encouraged them in this when they first arrived and they caught on. 

To sum everything up, please pray for this young couple.  I am sure it is a lot easier to do right when you live in the church with the Pastor and his wife.  The real challenge will come when they are on thier own. 
(In order to protect thier privacy as much as possible I have changed thier names and will be offering no pictures at this time.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


So much has been going on in Newport that I don't quite know where to begin.  I guess the most dramatic thing that has happened thus far is that we have guests.  Yes, guests in our home in the church!  About a month ago, a young couple stopped by because they needed some gas money to get to a nearby town to look at and hopefully get a home.  They had been on the streets for weeks and were excited to finally get a breakthrough; but they were out of money.  My husband, who is probably the most tenderhearted man I know, of course forked up $30 (which we don't normally have - sometimes God blesses you so that you may bless others) and told them to call him when they got back in town.  

We went and bought an air mattress and set up my Sunday school classroom (it has it's own bathroom; and the young lady is pregnant) as a temporary home for them.

Well, to make a long story somewhat short (especially because my husband is waiting for me!); they didn't get the a temporary two night stay has turned into a month.  AND, they already had two children that were staying with a friend.  So now our home has four adults and three little children running around in it!  What a change!!!   I'll fill you in with more details later.  Until then,  PLEASE pray for us!!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

How We Met

I am sorry I have been away for so long.  Something was wrong with our connection, so I was not able to get online.  All is well again!  Anyway, here is our "How we met story".  I love reflection on how I met the love of my life!

In July of 2005, I went with a group from Jacksonville Baptist Temple (Jacksonville, Arkansas) to the

annual COEBA conference. I was so excited about everything I had heard about what was going at
Crossroads that I decided that I would attend the conference that year, no matter what. The Devil put many obstacles in the way ( someone broke into my car, I ran into a pole and made a big dent in the front of my bumper, didn't recieve my paycheck from my paper route, etc, etc.); but with a little encouragement from Mrs. Patterson, I went. Contrary to popular opinion I was not on a man hunt. I even considered wearing a fake engagemnet ring to cause everyone to think I was taken; but I didn't. (aside from the fact that would have been lying, Bro. Avant strongly encouraged me not to:) Anyway...we went to Raleigh, NC for the conference and had a blast!

On Tuesday ( or Wednesday) there was a singles luncheon planned at the Mayflower. I had decided that I was not going to attend; but being that my car was the other girls' mode of transportation, I had no choice. Just before we left, my friends and I were introduced to a group of gentlemen whom we would be following to the restaurant. Once we arrived, this tall, dark, and handsome guy in a marine uniform (from the afore mentioned group) opened my car door and escorted me into the restaurant. At this point I was reconsidering my determination to leave the conference single. We sat together at a group table and chatted. Or should I say...he chatted. Nice guy; but we didn't click. After a while I left the table to go speak with my girlfriends and use the ladies room. A few moments later it was time to go. Right before we left, this other guy (who was standing right in front of Mr. Marine uniform) ask if he could speak to me after the service that night. I said sure and walked on. (I found out later that we had been introduced earlier that day, but I didn't recognize him. He told me later that when we were introduced that I didn't even look at him.)

That evening we talked after the service. He was a friend of a guy who was engaged to my friend Heidi from Texas. He said he had heard about me from him and we sort of told our testimonies to each other. Then he asked me to lunch. I told him he would have to talk with Bro. Patterson, as he was acting as my pastor for the week I was away from home. No problem. We (Bro. and Mrs. Patterson, Raymond, myself, and about six other ladies) went out for chineese the next afternoon. We had a good time. I like to eat and he paid, or at least tried to- Bro. Patterson paid for the meal for everyone - so it was fun. As we were leaving he asked if we could have lunch again the next day - just the Pattersons and us. I said sure; but he never showed up to pick us up. I thought he must have changed his mind; so I had lunch with everyone else and didn't think a thing about it.

Come to find out, his car (Red nisaan truck of many years which he called Esperanza) died. According to him, it had never broken down before. That day it broke down on the way to the conference, and the battery in his phone was dead. So he just sat on the side of the road for hours until his pastor came by. He was able to wave him down and hitch a ride with them to the evening service. This was Thursday - the last night of the meeting and the next morning we were scheduled to leave. We were running late, so we sort of rushed into the service. About five minutes into the service I realized I should have used the restroom. about two and a half hours later - no exaggeration- the service was over and I ran to the restroom. Just as my hand touched the door to the womens restroom, I heard someone call my name ( or at least try to!) To this day I can't remember how he pronounced it. I turned around and it was him. I went over to him and he quickly explained what had happened and ask for my phone number. I very rapidly wrote it down for him while telling him that if he was not going to be a preacher that he shouldn't bother wasting his time or mine; and I went to the restroom.

Well, I didn't hear from him for about two weeks, then he called me. He also sent a picture of himself ( in his best suit) to our house. He said he wanted to give me time to get settle back in before he called. Anyway, we continued to talk. I moved to Louisiana to teach, and we continued to talk. The weekend of hurricane Katrina, he said he was going to come and visit me. It was also the weekend that Heidi, my friend from Texas, and her fiance were getting married. We said we would go to their wedding together. I didn't think he would be able to make it because the weather was so bad; but he made it (we weren't able to go to the wedding though). We had a good time - this was also the weekend of our birthdays - they are four days apart - so we celebrated them together. At Christmas I flew to NC to visit him. His mother and sisters also flew to NC from CA for the visit. We had a blast. On this trip we pretty much solidified that we loved each other and wanted to continue our relationship. In February, he came to see me again. We drove to OK to visit my family and attend the Sweetheart Banquet at OBC. Feb.9th we were engaged. July 28th, 2006 we were married. Today we are still very happily married and expecting our first. THAT'S ALL FOLKS!

Hope you enjoyed my version.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Walking!

This Sunday we had our first baptism (Praise the Lord!!!)  It was a teenage girl who was saved about three weeks ago. Everything went smoothly; but the water was ice cold!  My husband stayed up until about two in the morning trying to fix the water heater; but he needed a part to finish the job.  It was hilarious to see her face when she came out of the water;  but I must tell you about another funny incident that also happened Sunday.  Our van route came in and attendance was a little low.  One boy was up and ready; but took one look at the van and didn't see his friend on it and decided not to come (what he didn't know was that his friend came in with his mother and sisters later in their family car).  Another boy came in and I noticed that he looked a little sad so I began to talk with him.  He followed me around and we chatted and he ended the conversation with, "I'm just gonna walk home!".  (His mother - who he and the rest of his siblings live with on most weekends - was supposed to come and pick him up later that day and he didn't want to miss her.)  I thought he was joking so I said, "Happy Walking!"   I didn't realize he was serious!!!  I heard the door open and close behind me; but our youth worker had been standing outside so I thought it was him coming back in for the morning service.  I went to the piano and we began the service as usual.  We sang the morning song, and my husband noticed that Brian was not in the service, so after the song was finished he asked, "Where is Brian?"  Everyone started looking around; but  not me.  I gasped!  I told my husband about our conversation and he sent our youth worker to go and get him.  He was half-way home!  Praise the Lord nothing happened to him.   I am sure he would have said, "Mrs. Beckles said it was OK." 

I learned a very important lesson.  Take everything a nine year old says seriously!!!

The Modern Woman

In preparation for our next ladies meeting I have been doing a lot of reading.  I dug out some of my old college books from my Christian womanhood class and found this piece in one of them.  Hope you all enjoy!

Proverbs 31 - Revised For Today
(by Mrs. Patricia Brown)

  • Who can find a modern woman? for her price is equal to that of a man.
  • Her husband had better appreciate her, or she will find a man who will.
  • She will look out for herself and not him all the days of her life.
  • She works willingly with her hands-as long as she gets adequate pay and an appropriate title.
  • She is like the merchant's ships, and eateth only gourmet food.
  • She riseth also while it is yet morning, puts herself first, and then if there is any time left, she will consider others.
  • She considereth a new house and buyeth it (no matter what her husband says).
  • She maketh up her mind and abideth stubbornly by her success manual.
  • She perceiveth that she is good, and that her wants and needs are of number one importance.
  • She worketh hard at the things that are important to her, and sacrificeth all upon the altar of career.
  • She looketh down on those whose priorities are not the same as hers; and vieweth them with disdain.
  • She is not afraid of the snow her her household, that is their problem; and besides, let her husband take his turn.
  • She maketh herself  coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple, whether they can afford it or not.
  • Her husband may be known in the gates, but no one heareth it form her. In fact, she hath not taken his last name because she is a person in her own right.
  • She maketh fine linen and selleth it, and delivereth her wares to the merchant, who, unlike her husband, appreciates her hard work.
  • Selfishness and greed are her clothing, and she shall be happy right now, no matter what it costs in time to come.
  • She openeth her mouth with feminist propaganda, and in her tongue is the law of sarcasm.
  • She looketh out for herself and stays too busy to worry about her family.
  • Her children love the lady at the day care, and her husband also hath a special lady friend he can talk to.
  • Many daughters have made many mistakes, but thou exceedest them all.
  • To her, rights are all important and beauty is vital, but a woman who disregards the Lord and His plan shall be totally unfulfilled.
  • Give her of the fruit of her hands. and let her own works leave her completely frustrated
  • all the days of her life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Your Crowning Glory 101 - Introduction

Just A Note

My inspiration for going natural is primarily my husband. He is the one who supported and even encouraged me to go natural. I began my journey almost three years ago and have had many ups and downs; but now that I have experienced a measure of success; I will never go back!!! I would like to say to all of you who are permed - (a.k.a. relaxed); I am not anti-perm. I do not believe that every Black woman who has a perm is trying to be White. I also do not believe that natural hair is for everyone. Going natural requires time, patience, and a thick skin. I simply want to be an encouragement to those who are natural and need some help and a good word. I want to be an encouragement to those who want to go natural and for some reason feel like they can’t; and for those women who are parents of biracial children with kinky, nappy hair; I would like to let them know how their child may feel and how they can care for their child’s hair. I also would like to say that I am not a professional anything! I do love to learn and have put in a lot of time and research into this project. I also have a new motivation for learning more about caring for hair. My daughter Aaliyah was born with more hair on her head than I had two years ago! I want to teach her to take good care of herself. This book is a conglamoration of things I wish I had known about hair many years ago.

The day I decided to write this book was the day I was holding my five-month-old, beautiful daughter in an office where two other young, Black mothers of beautiful daughters were. One of the babies was 18 months old and had a perm. The mother of this child admitted to me that she found the baby’s natural hair easier to manage. Later stated that she would not go back to natural hair. The other baby was only one year old and had very little hair; but her mother had a very negative spirit about the texture of the hair her daughter did have. According to her, her daughter did not have “good hair.” My heart was broken. Some may say, “It’s just hair!”, but it isn’t. A woman’s hair is a reflection of her.

My hair has grown significantly since I have been natural. One day I two-strand twisted my hair when it was dry so that it would show some of its length. I wore it like that to church and I felt some people staring at me. Two children asked me if it was all mine. Of course I said yes, and one of them said, “I don’t understand.” To which I replied, “I know.” Our children, at a very young age, are being permed and/or given the idea that the hair God gave them is not good enough if it is “nappy.” We are being taught that Black women can only grow their hair to about shoulder length, and in order to do that they must be bi-racial, they must have a perm, or they must grow dredlocks. These statements simply are not true. We must stop this maddness! If you are an adult and you choose to wear your hair relaxed, natural, in braids, locs, weaved, or to wear wigs for the rest of our life; it is your choice; but no eighteen-month-old child needs a perm! God does not make any mistakes! The texture of hair we have is a gift to us from the Lord and it is good, no matter what type it is. I find it hard to believe that our Creator said that a woman’s long hair is her glory (1 Corinthians 11:15) and then He would give every race the ability to grow their hair long except one; or that He would expect that one race to chemically change their “glory” in order for it to be considered beautiful. Whatever God has given you, Accept it. Love it. Learn to take care of it !!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Today, when I entered the grocery store I immediately recognized the song playing over the store's sound system.  It was one of my favorite groups when I was in my early teens (Boyz II Men - for anyone who would recognize them.)  I used to be so "in love" with this group and thought I would just "die" if any one of them ever spoke to me.  Today, I had a very different reaction to their music. 

As always when I hear a song I recognize, I ask the Lord to help me to tune it out and keep my mind centered on Him and focused on the task at hand.  He helped me do that; but he also helped me to realize something.  The guy singing sounded like he was whining!  Who wants to be around a whining man!!!  Certainly not me, or any other woman in her right mind.  The only lyric I can remember from  the song said, "Won't somebody tell me how to get things back the way they used to be..." 

Well, my husband  ( he is so wise) and I were recently having a discussion about this very topic.  Often many people "fool around" before they get married  - if they even bother with matrimony - then after the wedding and a little bit of time; they complain that things just aren't the same.  Why is this?  Could it be because sin is pleasurable for a season; but afterward it yeilds fruit that is unpleasant.  The Bible tells us in Proverbs 9 that "
Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell." - verses 17,18

(I personally have noticed that there is just something about a candy bar eaten in secret that makes it taste extra good; but when your husband finds the wrapper and asks, "Where did this come from?"; it doesn't feel so good.  I should know.  -We are trying to drop a few extra pounds so we have a no sweets until Sunday rule.  Oops!)

My husband just preached about this subject Yesterday.  He just doesn't believe that God would give the same blessings to a couple who honored Him and waited to enjoy the "pleasures" of marriage until they were married and those who "eat stolen waters" and then marry.  Please understand that I am not saying that God won't forgive and bless; but I am saying that there will be added blessings for those who wait to enjoy the "act of marriage".

I am so glad that the Lord has opened my eyes to the foolishness of worldly music.


Psalm 40:1-3
 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

This is a recipe I adjusted slightly and am passing it on to you.  My husband absolutely loved it and I am sure your family will as well.  Also, feel free to "jazz" it up with carrots, onions, or celery if you like!


4 chicken thighs
4 cups of water
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (or 1 large can)
3 tortillas (yes, white flour tortillas you would use for burritos!) Cut them into strips - mine were about 2 
inches long and once inch wide.
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs. pepper
1 Tbs. garlic
2 Tbs. butter

1.  Remove skin from chicken and boil in 4 cups of water (with or without veggies) until fully cooked.
2.  Remove chicken from "broth". De-bone and shred.
3.  Add chicken with salt, pepper, garlic and let simmer for about 15 minutes
4.  Add butter and return to boil.
5.  Once the soup has returned to a rolling boil, add tortilla slices.
6.  Let boil for a few minutes (just long enough for the tortillas to become dumplings).
7.  Turn off heat and stir.
8.  Voila!  That is it.  Beware, it will be hot!!! (My honey likes his food that way, but Aaliyah preferred hers with an ice cube in it.

Serves 4


P.S.  I am no professional cook.  I tried it this way.  It was a hit! I will absolutely do it again!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Things First, sort of...

Last Night we held our first ladies meeting.  It went well; but our attendance was low.   I decided to give the purpose for the meetings then have sort of a woman to woman talk with the ladies.  The most important (and most enjoyable) part of the session for me was listening to
 the ladies give their testimonis and giving the ladies my salvation testimony. 

I went out to dinner with a missionary lady a few years back, and we began to talk.  I should say I began to talk; but she reprimanded me a little bit with this statement, "So often I ask people to tell me about themselves and they tell me about everything; but how they got saved."  She then proceeded to tell me her salvation testimony and I told her mine.  I never forgot this important lesson.

Now I would like to share my testimony with you.

I grew up in Oklahoma City the oldest of four siblings.  My mother raised us with the help of my grandmother, Miss Ollivet Ceasar.  Many times we would live with my mom for a while, then we (my mother included) would move back in with my grandmother for a while until mom was ready again to branch out on her own.  We continued this pattern until I was twelve years old.  This was the last time we ever lived with my grandmother.  My mother found a home on the south side of town and we moved in; but not before my grandmother joined Windsor Hills Baptist Church.  She had just began faithfully attending right when we moved. 

Once the move was complete, she gave our address to her bus captain, who in turn gave it to our soon to be bus captain, Bro. Tyrone Jackson (he and his family are now missionaries to Trinidad).  They visited our family and invited us all to ride the bus with them on Sunday morning.  My mom said it was fine for us to go; but she didn't care to.  (Let me pause here long enough to say that I love my mom, and she has professed to me that she was saved at the age of twelve and was very active in church until she experienced a tragedy at the age of fifteen.  After this incident, she sort of "fell away" from church.  If you think of her, please pray that she will realize the Love and grace of God in her life and come back to Him.)

I went to church the next Sunday with my brothers (2) and sister and had a great time!  The thing that most impressed my about church was the difference I saw in Bro. Ross (our youth director) from all the other men I had known in my life.  I came back the next Sunday, and the next just to find out what that difference was.  To make a long story short. I became so faithful in church that I was invited to attend the Christian school my eighth grade year.  I don't remember even asking my mom, I just said, "Yes!".  I told my mom I was going to Windsor Hills Baptist School on Monday, and she agreed that it would be ok. 

Christian school was a big change for me.  I got up at about five in the morning in order to catch the city bus across town at six and make it to school on time.  I learned a lot; but the most important lesson for me was realized on January 30, 1996.  The was the first night of the Annual Missions conference at WHBC.  We began the service with a song, then a missionary's wife gave a testimony.  In her testimony she stated that she had grown up in a Christian family, been home schooled or went to a Christian school all her life, and was now on deputation; but had never received the Lord as her Savior.  She came to this realization one day as she was driving on her way to a service on a mountain top.  She pulled the vehicle over and prayed to receive the Lord.  This got me thinking.  If she wasn't saved after all that, then maybe I wasn't either.  I had made a profession of faith when I was about nine years old (ironically after riding the bus to WHBC after spending the night with some friends); but this time was different.  This time I didn't care whether my friends went forward or not, or what people would think of me if I went to the front of the church.  I thought that there was going to be an earthquake or something right in the middle of church and all of us were going to die, and I was going to split Hell right open!  I rushed to Mrs. Jackson during hand shaking time and told her I needed to talk with her NOW!; but she said I had to wait until after the service.  Two preachers and much apprehension (on my part) later, the invitation finally came and I rushed down to pray and receive the Lord.

What a relief!!!  Since that day, I have never doubted my salvation.  I praise the Lord for faithful bus workers and for so many people who have invested in my life!  Now I have an opportunity to invest in the lives of others.  What a good God we serve!!!

Until next time,


Monday, September 6, 2010

My New Home

Since May, we have been living in Jacksonville Sunday night through Thursday morning and staying in the church Thursday evenings through Sunday after service (Our midweek service is on Thursday evening so that we can travel if need be.)  Well, we have been praying for the Lord to open a door for us to move to Newport officially for some time.  It seems that door has been opened- at least for now.  Instead of just staying in the church for half the week, we decided to just go ahead and move in.  My new home is the fellowship hall!  It seems quite strange; but I am actually excited about it.  It will feel great to be living in just one place instead of two and I have already begun "discovering Newport".  One of the most exciting facts about Newport is that it was where Sam Walton (the founder of Wal-Mart) got his start.  (So everytime you go to Wal-mart, if you think of it, say a little prayer for us - for some of you this may be several times a day!) When we get everything moved I will take photos.

P.S.  Aaliyah really loves our new bath tub - The baptistry!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A New Experience

Beginning September 6th I will be starting a new ministry at Lighthouse Baptist Church.  The idea sort of sprang up from a lady I met in Wilson.  The women of her church were in charge of decorating the church, preparing for weddings and funerals, etc.  The money that they used for these things did not necessarily come from thier pockets, they did three or four fundraisers a year to cover their expenses.  I combined this idea with the fact that about every other month (in Wilson) we attended ladies meetings in and around NC for fellowship and encouragenment. I merged these two ideas and presented it to my husband and thus began what I call the W.I.S.D.O.M. ministry of Lighthouse Baptist church. (Proverbs 14:1) Once a month, the ladies of the church will meet and enjoy a time of food, fun, and fellowship.  Of course each meeting will begin with a devotion - given by myself or a guest - from God's word.  Our key passages or thoughts will be based from Proverbs 31, Titus 2, and Women mentioned in the New and Old Testament. (Mrs. Ross will be glad that I am using my college notebook)  The age group will be 15 and up.
I am writing this blog to ask all who read to be faithful to pray.  There are many obstacles that will  have to be overcome for this to be a success. Some of them include: 

My lack of experience -  I have only spoken to women once in my life (and that was only for about 15 minutes!)

My age - I am close to the ages of most of the women in our church.  I want to be careful to befriend them; but keep the relationship such that when hard things have to be said they will listen. Also, a few of the ladies are older than me and have much more life experience than I have.  They will need grace to allow the "younger to teach the older".

Our Demographics - I am not sure if this is the best word to use; but I will try to explain myself.  Most of us could count the number of Black couples on our hands, who believe and follow the Word of God for salvation and practice, met and married before they had children, and have a healthy/ heavenly home (one where all parties are exercising and content to perform thier proper roles) - and still have a good number of fingers left over.  I chose the picture above to illustrate the goal of this ministry.  We want to train women who have a genuine and sincere love for Christ, who will dress in a godly fashion, have and demonstrate a godly love and submissive spirit to their husbands (who will desire husbands- not babies' daddies); and who will help bring their children up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord.  In Newport there are couples who have been/lived together for 30 plus years and have never married, there are children in the tenth grade who are pregnant with their second child, but praise the Lord!!!there is a God who loves them and desires to show them a lifestyle that will bring Him honor and glory and simultaneously give them true joy and fulfillment.  I want to show these ladies, young and old, the vision that I believe God has for them.  Please pray with me for the Lord's direction, that I will be sensitive to His leading, and that those who attend will have ears and hearts that are open to be blessed by the Lord.


Food Labels De-coded Pt. 1

It seems everywhere I look I see the terms Natural, organic, raw, vegan, etc.; but what does all this really mean.  This post has been in the works for some time.  A few years back, when I found out I was expecting; I started paying more attention to what I was putting in and on my body.  I was already exercising pretty frequently; but I decided to take my health to the next level for the sake of my baby.  It was then that I found out the benefits knowing exactly what it meant when a product labeled "organic", or "raw", or even "natural".  Here is what I found out. 

First and foremost let me say that products labeled Natural have absolutely NO   benefit to you. USDA and FDA put only a few stipulations for companies using the label "natural" on their products.  It seems that right now (especially in America) people are trying to be more "green" and conscious of what they are putting on their plates; so food industries and such are changing their labels in order to attract our attention and get us to buy their stuff.  If something is "natural" as opposed to "non-natural" then it must be good for you, Right?  Don't let them fool you!!! They (big food corporations and such) are not any more interested in your health than the man on the moon - with VERY few exceptions.   When you see
"Natural" applied to meat or poultry, it means that the food caries no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  When applied to non-meat foods; this label is meaningless.  According to Webster's new world dictionary, the word "natural" means, "produced or existing in nature; not artificial." By that definition, anything derived from plants, animals or elements found on planet Earth could earn the label  "all natural" .  It is important to realize that it is the un-natural processes that these "all natural" ingredients are going through that is changing these items (be it chemically or structurally) that make it into things that are found no where on Gods's green Earth.  A food labeled "all natural" can contain:  pesticides, herbicides, toxic heavy metals, trace amounts of PCBs (a highly toxic chemical found in transmission fluid andcoolant that has been illegal in the US since 1979), toxic fluoride, hidden MSG, high-temperature cooking by products , synthetic chemical vitamins, other non-natural substances.

Organic  labels, on the other hand carry no antibiotics or growth hormones and are free of conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, bioengineering (foods that have been genetically modified - GMO, and irradiation (I didn't know what this meant initially - it means that foods may have been treated with gamma rays, X-rays, or electron beams intended to kill potentially crop damaging insects or bacteria on beef that can cause food poisoning).  Foods can be certified 100% organic if the entire product is organic, Organic if it is 95 to 99%, labeled "made with organic ingredients" if at least 70% of the ingredients are organic.  If the product is make with less than 70% organic ingredients, then it can list the organic products on the side; but not the front.  The PLU (product look-up) code differentiates organic goods by beginning with the number "9".

I know what most of you are thinking (the same thing my husband told me), "organic food is too expensive!!!"  So, my best option was to find the foods that generally use the highest amount of pesticides and such and purchase them when I can.  Also; buy U.S. products - local is even better- as it is probably the healthiest and safest food in the world.  Foods that are high in fat (meat, poultry, dairy, and oils) should be organic whenever possible because fats hold on to pesticides.

Foods conventionally grown with the highest pesticide residues
1. peaches
2. apples
3. sweet bell peppers
4. celery
5. nectarines
6. strawberries
7. cherries
8. pears
9. imported grapes
10. spinach
11. lettuce
12. potatoes
13. and carrots

Foods with the lowest pesticide residues include
1.  onions
2.  avocado
3.  frozen sweet corn
4.  pineapples
5.  mango
6.  asparagus,
7.  frozen sweet peas
8.  kiwis
9.  bananas
10. cabbage
11. broccoli
12. papaya
13. blueberries
14. cauliflower

To Be continued...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newport News

So what has been happening in Newport?  About a month ago a man, whom we will call David, was saved!  He promised us that he would come to church;  but he didn't know when because he works a lot. When he first answered the door he didn't seem very receptive; but when my husband asked him if he wanted to know that he could go to heaven, he said yes.  They sat there and he listened.  We soon started to see tears running from his eyes.  (If you knew David, you would know that this was not normal.)  He prayed and asked the Lord into his heart that day.  Two weeks later he came to church and brought his wife.  They came back that evening, and the next Sunday, and the next Sunday evening (along with thier daughter and granddaughter).  Well, to make a long; but exciting story short, David's wife prayed to recieve the Lord last Sunday and they both plan to be baptised soon.  Isn't that wonderful!  David and his wife (we will call her Abigail) have been experiencing a lot of heart-ache lately.  He recently found out he has lukemia, he recieved a serious injury at work, they have some financial struggles, and their children (one of them and her "spouse" and child) live with them, etc, etc, etc.  I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do in their lives. 

It is great to be an instrument in God's hands to change lives and influence people.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Which Gem are you?

The majority of us have taken personality tests (ie. which color are you?, which shape are you?, which purse are you?, etc); but this style of personality test I really liked and found interesting because every gem is desirable and  posses good qualities. This information is taken from the book Grooming the Next Generation for Success by Dani Johnson.  It is a good book and offers some good insight on rearing your children to be the best they can be.

Sapphires tend to be very verbal and loud.  They are fun and wild.  They love loud music and they love to talk.  These "gems" are not usually orderly or on time, but  are very visionary.  They tend to be encouraging and natural motivators. They love to laugh and everything they do has to be fun.  They thrive on encouragement.  They love fun colors and clothes and lots of accessories.  Sapphires are major risk takers and multitaskers.  They love teamwork, popularity, and people. They usually have the most friends and are the most popular and possess strong leadership skills.  They love to help and love to be rewarded.
Weaknesses of a sapphire: They have a hard time focusing (Society would say they have ADD or ADHD) are disorganized, disorderly, late,  and have over-active brains.  Sapphires are over reactors and get their feelings hurt easily.  They commonly struggle with distrust, blame, hatred, malice, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiving.  They tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves and experience extreme highs and lows.  They want to be recognized by you and don't want to disappoints you.

Spiritual gifts:  To motivate and encourage


 Obey the first time.  They have a heart to fulfill the needs of people.  Listen well and love to help and serve. They are warm, sensitive, calm, even-keeled, compliant, honest, loyal, mellow, quiet.  Pearls don't like confrontation and are major peace keepers.  They're most comfortable alone or in small groups.  Tend to be musical and creative.  They usually wear comfortable clothes and earthy colors, or something special that was given to them.  They like the outdoors.  Pearls tend to be touchy-feely.
Spiritual gifts - to show mercy, heal,  intercede, and serve.

Weaknesses:  people-pleasers and can get themselves into co-dependent relationships.  Their feelings get hurt very easily and they are sad when things don't go right with people.  Pearls can be easily taken advantage of and need to have boundaries.

grooming - need to establish boundaries and boldness.

 Pays attention to details, facts, and figures.  Simplify complicated things and solve a lot of problems all at once. They often see solutions other people cannot see and like lists and making plans.  They love puzzles and problem solving.  Emeralds are extreme thinkers, predictable, quiet,  and compliant. Not people-pleasers and very comfortable being themselves.  They are confident and have no problem pointing out what is wrong with a situation.  They can be very direct.  Emeralds like to look nice and naturally keep things clean.  They like schedules and routines and are never late.  Prefer to be alone and like to entertain themselves.  They will do homework by themselves and will rarely ask for help.

Spiritual gifts - teaching, discernment, and wisdom.  have a heart for righteousness with a clear sense of right and wrong. 

weakness - perfectionists.  Usually take longer to finish or start something.  They are not spontaneous risk-takers. Tend to be authoritative and to put people on the defense.  If an Emerald argues with you it must be because they are right.  They are always right and will tell you so.  Usually judged as being cold hearted and insensitive.  Not naturally humble.

Grooming- weak people skills. Teach them that "it is not about perfection; its about getting the job done with results."  This helps them start things and get them done in a timely manner.

Always have to be the head of everything and the best.  They don't surround themselves with other people who are better than they are.  Leaders and have to dominate. They have to win. They are warriors, strong, passionate driven, and have strong desires.  They like to be in authority and take charge.  They are determined, confident, and bold.  Rubies are goal setters.  They have an "It's my way or the highway!" mentality.   They show initiative and take charge.  Rubies are big thinkers and fast.  They have a world shaking and history making mindset.   They want all the best clothes, shoes, and stuff.  They care about name brands and what is popular. They want to be the best in everything they do.  If they can't win, they simply won't play, and they may just say the game is stupid.

spiritual gift - leadership and governing. 

weakness - They are bossy and dominating, and get angry when things don't go right.  They can be manipulative and pushy and perceived as arrogant and cocky.  They can suffer from severe depression.  They are often unteachable and self-reliant.  Often have ego problems. 

grooming - They can become amazing leaders; but you must must reach their heart and teach them how to be teachable.  Groom them to be humble, to serve,, and to be honorable.  Teach them to pull the best out of others instead of competing with them all the time.  Character has to be developed in them.

Spiritual gifts:  to motivate and to encourage

Once again, Which Gem are you? 
(Remember most us probably posses one dominate and one secondary gem's attributes.  Also, this is a long post and I was in a hurry; so please forgive any typos and mistakes.)

Friday, July 30, 2010


Our neighbor invited us to pick figs from her fig tree.  I had never eaten figs before.  The only figs I was previously aware of were in Fig Newtons, and I don't care for Newtons very much; but my husband was so excited about going over and picking figs that I thought I must missed something. After tasting thime I decided they were pretty good.  To me they tasted like a cross between mulberries and grapes. We picked a whole bucket full. Mrs. Gae showed us which ones were the best and gave us some ideas about how to use them.  I like figs, but I think I will like my fig pie and fig preserves better.

Interesting facts about figs:
  •  Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber.
  • Dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, but they have smaller amounts of many other nutrients.
  • Figs have a laxative effect and contain many antioxidants.
  • They are good source of flavonoids and polyphenols.
  •  In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs (two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity.
  • If you pick figs and want to eat them fresh, do so within a week for maximum nutrition.

10 Tips for Incorporating Figs in your Diet

1.Eat dries figs as a healthy energy snack. For extra flavour and nutrients, stuff them with nuts and a little honey

2.Add figs to baked goods such as muffins, cakes and muesli bars.

3.Add dried or fresh figs to porridge, oatmeal or breakfast cereals.

4.Stew dried figs in fruit juice with other dried fruits to make a delicious fruit salad. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg before serving

5.Poach figs in fruit juice and serve with Greek yogurt or creme fraiche.

6.Add quartered fresh figs to a salad of fennel, rocket and parmesan cheese.

7.Stuff fresh figs with goat's cheese and chopped almonds and serve as an appetizer or dessert.

8.Make a fig butter by boiling dried figs in fruit juice until soft. When all the liquid has been absorbed, place the mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use to spread on rice cakes, toast or crackers.

9.Add chopped fresh figs to rice, quinoa or couscous dishes.

10.Make a fig tart by grinding two handfuls of walnuts in a food processor. Add one packet of dried figs, 1/2 packet raisins, 200ml apple juice, 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Process until the mixture is the texture of a sticky paste. Press into a pastry case and bake at a medium heat for 35 minutes.

                      I Got some figs!  I got some figs! (Remember singing a song like that in grade school?)
Aaliyah examines the goods

My Turn

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I wonder...

I wonder if Aaliyah will be as enthusiastic about music when she grows up and realizes that being good at it requires a lot of hard work.

Book Review

I used to read a lot, and I love to read because I love to learn!  For some reason, I just stopped reading for a while.  Last year my life was consumed by my writing, so the only books I read (other than the Bible) was about hair...(snore!).  This Summer I am trying to do better.  I went the our fabulous library and checked out a whole bunch of nutrition and cook books.  I picked up this book entirely by accident...and I am so glad I did!  The Eyres compare the characterists evident/or not evident in nine animals (for the most part) and share with us how we as parents should emmulate these characteristics in our home.  I won't tell too much of the contents of the book to you because you may want to read it for yourself.  For those of you who are curious; but feel you are too busy to read it, here are the contents in a nutshell along with some of my favorite parts:

  Commitment - Illustrated by the Canadian Geese 
I am so glad this subject was tackled first.  If any book does not grab me in the first chapter, I usually never finish it.  The stories about the geese and how they mate for life (50+ years) and how they always put family first REALLY got my attention. 

Praise, support, and positive affirmation  -  Illustrated by Crabs
   If you ever want to catch crabs, just put more than one in a box together.  The one will pull another down if one ever gets ahead.  Lesson:  learn to boost one another up instead of pulling one another down.

Responsibility  - Illustrated by the Bear
  Lesson: There are no quick fixes.  Accept family responsibility and make it a joy.

Awareness  - Illustrated by the Frog
  If you ever want some good frog legs; put the whole frog in a pot of lukewarm water and adjust the fire gradually.  He will become confortable as the water gets warmer and he won't even try to get out!  Lesson:  sin and danger sometimes enter our lives so gradually that we don't even notice it.  Learn to be aware and take notes of little things...little attitudes, "small" sins, and such and take care of it while it's small.

Communication  -  Illustrated by the Humpback Whale
  No two whales speak at the same time.  They each (members of a pod - family) patiently wait until one whale is done "singing" before they start their song.

Discipline (tough love)  - Illustrated by the Elephant
  The muscles in a mother elephant's trunk are strong enough to move a tree trunk out of the way of her baby; but gentle enough to hug and caress her baby as well. Challenge:  write a list that defines the kind of mother you would like to be and strive for it. (Be realistic!!!)

Consistency  - Illustrated by the Tortoise
  We all know the fable about the tortoise and the hare; the Eyres have an interesting take on why the tourtoise won.  Lesson: Remember your goal and patiently strive for it.

Security and identity  - Illustrated by the Redwood trees
  They stand so strongly because their roots are entertwined.  Lesson:  Family traditions are important.

Freedom and empowerment  - Illustrated by Fleas
  Ever watch a flea circus?  Look it up sometime.  Lessson:  True freedom involves protection and potential and doing the hard things that lead to both.

Hope this was a blessing to you,


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sick Princess

Aaliyah woke up Sunday morning blowing kisses....but two hours later she was "releasing" everything she ate or drank.  Please pray for her...and us!

     (She sleeps with her eyes partially open:)  If you have any ideas for natural remedies, please share.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Weeks five and six in Newport

Since we have been in Newport:

1.  Three souls have been saved!

2.  Our record number of children in attendance has beeen 23, but twelve have been coming faithfully to every Sunday and Thursday evening service.

3.  Our Sunday evening attendance has gone from four (our family included) to seven (our family not included) with a record of 27

4.  And God has shown Himself strong in the area of providing for our family.

5.  We have had 1 power and water outage

6.  We have spent 18 nights camping in Newport

7.  And last; but not least...we have come to realize that if you are going to be a preacher, missionary, or evangelist, you MUST love church.  Last week alone we went to three different churches and attended six services.

8.  Praise the Lord!!!!

Aaliyah goes to the Library!

Last Wednesday I took Aaliyah to the library and it was a big hit!!!  I loved watching her walk around like she knew just what to do.  It was also funny to see her link up with the other little children there.  She has only been walking for  a couple of weeks now; but she thinks that she is a big girl. 
She is just a little person; but she has SO much personality and I am just praising the Lord that He has allowed her to be a part of our family.  God is So GOOD!

Blossom end rot

Now is about the time when your tomato and pepper plants are fruiting, but it can be very, very discouraging when you see black spots on the bottoms of your tomatoes and find that the whole thing is ruined.  Blossom end rot is a common problem for those who grow tomato or pepper plants.  Usually the cause is not enough rain or poor oxygen in the soil.  These two issues cause a calcium deficiency in the plant which causes the fruit to be ruinned.  To fix this problem, go to walmart ( or a garden or hardware store) and find a package of BONE meal.  (not to be confused with blood meal - though both are beneficial to these plants).  Follow the recommendations on the bag.  Another good remedy is making sure earth worms are present in your soil.  They help to keep it aerated.  Hope this helps!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weeks three and four in Newport

Well, we had an exciting month in Newport!  Many firsts and many new faces and names to commit to memory.  Two souls saved -  Praise the Lord! - and one of the ladies and I finally got to plant a small garden (You will probably never see pictures of this looks kind of pitiful right now).  Last weekend I was in Oklahoma for our ten year class reunion so I missed our fourth Sunday at church; and what a Sunday to miss. Raymond and one of the men were blessed to lead a lady to the Lord and we had a record attendance (for us) of 15 children and 8 adults in the morning service.  God is good!  This past weekend - technically our fifth weekend - I experienced a huge blessing.  First, I attended my first ladies meeting in Arkansas.  Mrs. Patterson spoke and we were able to fellowship with ladies from Jacksonville, Newport (4), and Hot Springs.  Second,  I recieved a huge I Love you, Tinyla - from the Lord.  Last week I went to the grocery and I went to buy some eggs.  I saw the brown eggs and wanted them ( I hear they are healthier for some reason); but I couldn't bring myself to spend the extra to buy them; so I thought (I can't honestly say I prayed)...It sure would be nice if I knew someone with chickens and could buy some eggs from them.   Well, as I was working in our pitiful garden this past Saturday one of the men who cuts our church lawn came over to me and said..." You must really like vegetables to be doing this in the heat and amidst Bermuda grass.   I tell you what, I have a huge garden (he is a professional farmer) with banana peppers, hot peppers, zuchini, squash, tomatoes, would you liked it if I dropped some by the church for you?"  (Hallelujah!!!!   - That is what I was saying in my mind - and to top it off, he continued)  I also have some chickens who lay eggs just about everywhere. Would you eat the eggs if I brought them too?  It sure would be a shame for me to throw all those extra vegetables and eggs away. 

Of course you know my answer.  God is So Good!!!!   And to top this weekend off, we had another Sunday of  great attendence for the morning and evening services.  Morning - 18 kids and 5 adults (not including the former pastor's family) Evening service 6 adults, 3 teens and Aaliyah :)  We don't run the route on Sunday evenings.

Hoping your weekend was as blessed as mine,


Monday, May 31, 2010

Homemade pancake syrup

My husband LOVES pancakes!!! One morning I woke up early to fix my husband his favorite breakfast- like a good little wife- but, I discovered that there was only a drip of syrup left in the container.  Major letdown.  Then I remembered my favorite source - the Internet.  Sure enough, there was a recipe for homemade pancake syrup!  Praise the Lord!!!...I think.  After I made this my husband said he never wanted the store bought kind again.


1 1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)

3/4 c. water
1 tbsp. butter
Dash of salt (opt.)
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp Cinnamon  or maple flavoring (I prefer the cinnamon)
1/2-1 tsp vanilla (opt.)

Mix brown sugar, water, butter and salt in saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon. Serve warm.  Extra will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrig.


Unclog your drains...

Ever run out of draino? Well here is a do it yourself recipe for unclogging even the most stubborn drains.   I have used this recipe in my kitchen and in my bathroom.  (Most recently my took three applications; but it worked.)


1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
1 gallon boiling water

Carefully siphon all the baking soda down the drain. Pour in 1/2 of the vinegar, covering the hole so the fizz is forced down, not up (omit this for toilets, please!). Add the second half of the vinegar, following the same procedure. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so, and then flush with an entire gallon of boiling water.

Just like with the homemade Oxyclean, the power is in the fizz caused by the reaction of the vinegar with the baking soda.  You might even do this once a month or so just to keep the gunk from building up.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weeks One and Two in Newport

Now that you have read about our trip to Newport, here are a few highlights about our first two weeks.

 - Raymond has preached six sevices.
 - One soul has been saved on Saturday visitation!!!
 - We have enjoyed meeting many new people in Newport as well as Jacksonville.
 - We have unloaded and almost completely unpacked everything.
 - Aaliyah has enjoyed meeting new friends in the nursery in Jacksonville as well as Newport.
 - I have met one natural sista in transition (saved and a member of JBT) and am looking forward to  meeting many more at the meet up in August.
 - I FINALLY got to blog!

What a Trip!!!

Somehow we managed to make a 16 hour drive turn into a three day trip!

Our plan was to leave NC Friday evening and arrive in Jacksonville sometime around 3:00 p. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. We were still unloading things from the house - to put on the curb - late into the night. Raymond ran a quick errand to Lowe's and when he returned he noticed the fan on the van was still running to cool the engine down long after the had shut the motor off. Finally, it did turn off and we were glad until we found out why it turned off. We got in the car and turned the key....nothing! The battery had died. Well, our landlord made it clear that if we stayed one day longer we would have to pay another months rent, so we decided to stay in the van until we could get a jump the next day. Praise the Lord our neighbor had worked late that evening and around three in the morning he came home and Raymond flagged him down. It took about two hours; but we got the batter fully charged and officially headed out on Saturday morning around six. We gassed up and noticed the temperature signal come on in the van - it was about to overheat. Raymond removed the sensor - and everything was fine for a while (45 minutes) until we reached the Raleigh area and it started to overheat again. We made a pit stop and Raymond worked on the van for a few hours until we got everything fixed and the vehicle was again trip ready (or so we thought). ( I didn't mind because we got to go eat at a great Thai restaurant and I got to go shopping at Trader Joes:)

By this time it was late and we were tired, so we booked a hotel - that allowed pets - and headed out again next morning after church. All was well until we heard a loud BOOM! - a tire on the trailor blew. Time for another pit stop. Raymond put on the spare, then we went to the next town we saw and shopped around until we could find a place that carried the right size tire for our trailor.

On the road again, no more vehicle incidents (unless you include the top blowing off our trailor in the mountains of NC during a rainstorm!); but once we reached Nashville, Tennessee we learned that the Wolfe river had overflown its banks. We - along with hundreds of other travelors - spent the night on the side of the road hoping it would be safe to travel I-40 sometime early the next day. It wasn't. We had to take an 8 hour detour through Kentucky and down to Arkansas.

We finally made it to Jacksonville sometime around 10:00p.m. Monday evening!

What a trip!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another benefit of Spring

One of the benefits of spring that I have recently discovered is a time of hair growth.  One of the books that I read in preparation for writing my hair book stated that during the winter months you hair grows at a much slower rate.  I try not to quote anyone or anything unless it is supported by two other sources, but after looking at my hair photos from the past three years or so, I noticed that this is definitely true for me.  So...if you are planning to get a hair cut or do something drastic with your hair, now is the time to do it (if you don't like will grow back and you won't have to live with it for longer than necessary). I don't regret taking the plunge and chopping my hair off a year ago last October; but if I had known this, I may have waited until April.

Now on to hair tips

I have already given you some advice about shampooing with ACV, a moisturizing/sulfate-free shampoo, or a great sulfate/silicone free conditioner; now on to tip number two.

A healthy scalp will naturally moisturize the first three inches or so of hair that you have; but after that it will need some help.  It is commonly advised that you should brush your hair in order to stimulate your scalp and distribute the oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair strands; but I must say that this is not the best way to do either for Black hair - or anyone else who has curly or thin, brittle, dry hair.

Message your scalp for stimulation while you shampoo (you may also use hair products with rosemary or mint in them for scalp stimulation); apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner/detangler to your hair after you shampoo it, then apply  a SHEA BUTTER/COCONUT OIL MIXTURE to seal in the moisture.  (if you view the video - I do not scent my shea butter, and I recommend using one TBS of oil for every 8 oz. of shea.  I recommend watching the video primarily to show you that you can scent your mixture and this method is probaby my favorite way to heat it to make mixing very easy.)

I usually twist my hair the day I shampoo it and that helps me to lock in and distribute moisture to my hair from root to tip.  After a couple of days my hair may start to look a little dull.  No problem!  My hairs new, other best friend is Grapeseed oil.  It is non-greasy and imparts a great shine to my hair.

For more information about silicones click here or here.

Hope this information is a help!


I LOVE Family Days!!!

As I mentioned, last week we were in Revival; so I didn't get a whole lot done by way of packing and such as every evening was filled with bus route and preaching services.  Saturday we planned to make up for lost time; but our plan was altered (and I am glad!!!).  I later found out that my husband intended for us to get up at 6:00a.m. and go to the embassay sweet hotel for breakfast, then go to the arbetorum in Raleigh and enjoy a walk through their 8 beautiful acres of flowers and trees.  Well, we did all that; but we did not leave as early as planned; and we did not get back home as early as planned.  We arrived back home just in time to take a quick nap, eat a bite, then go to prayer meeting.   We had breakfast at the hotel (a wonderful spread of all-you-can-eat breakfast foods!!!), went to the arberetum, had a great time of shopping and taste testing at the Whole Foods store in Raleigh, then a time of great conversation on the ride home.  I will post pictures later for you to enjoy. 

Once again hoping your weekend was as blessed as mine,


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Revival Week

This week our church is in revival.  Dr. James Earls of Baptist Home Missions is the speaker.  Raymond and I are looking at it as our "last charge" before we head to Arkansas.  Thus far, Dr. Earls has preached on Contentment, The Gift that Nobody Wants - Suffering,  and Breaking down Barriers (taken from the account of the woman at the well); and we have truly enjoyed it.  The first message was a great encouragement as well as challenge for me.  As we pack and prepare to head to Newport , I have no idea where we are going to be living (temporarily we will be living in the parsonage of a neighboring church), who be in the church after the present pastor leaves (they are heading to Alabama to plant a church), or where our income will come from; but I am reminded that having food and clothing, I am to be content.

My favorite moment thus far in the revival has to be Aaliyah's introduction to CEF, the dummy that Dr. Earls brings with him every year. (He is a ventriliquist:)  Aaliyah was mesmorized by him; but then the funniest thing happened.  Everyone started laughing at one of CEF's jokes, and I guess Ally thought everyone was laughing at her because she got all excited and started jumping up and down and squealing (like only little girls can do).  It was hilarious!  Learn more about Dr. Earls here.




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