"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

September 4, 2013


I read something recently that I thought was great, and I'd like to share it with you:

"A house becomes a home when you can write 'I Love You' on the furniture.

"I can't tell you how many countless hours I have spent cleaning! I used to spend at least eight hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect "in case someone came over". Then I realized one day, that no one came over because they were all out living life and having fun.

"Now when people visit, I find no need to explain the conditon of my house. They are more interested in hearing about the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun.

"If you haven't figured this out yet, please hear this advice:


"Dust if you must... but wouldn't it be better, to paint a picture, bake a cake, or plant a seed; ponder the difference... between what you want and what you need?

"Dust if you must... but there's not much time, with rivers to swim and mountains to climb; music to hear, books to read, friends and family to cherish and a life to lead!

"Dust if you must... but the world's out there with the sun your eyes and the wind in your hair; a flutter of snow or a shower of rain, this day will not come back again.

"Dust if you must... but bear in mind; old age will come, and it isn't always kind.

"And when you go -- and go we all must; you, yourself.... will make more dust!" - author unknown

Rick Warren, who wrote "The Purpose Driven Life" has this to say:

"You may be under a lot of stress right now because of the economy, but God still wants you to enjoy life. He doesn't want you to live without fun. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not want to let God into their lives because they fear God will make them give up anything that is fun. The way you fight fear is with truth and the truth says God 'richly provides us with everthing for our enjoyment' (1 Timothy 6:17b NIV). God wants you to enjoy life!"

Ecclesiastes 5:18 says, "Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage."

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says, "So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God."

Yes, we do all have work that needs to be done and every day can't be all about having fun; but we can still have those moments where we put those chores aside and enjoy ourselves and our family. We should make people a priority over mundane chores that can wait. As long as we live, we will always have housework and yardwork; but we may not always have our loved ones with us. So enjoy the moments we do have and don't let a little dust bother you!

When that child or grandchild ask to be held and have a story read to them or want you to play a game or go outside, is it really so important that you dust or wash dishes instead? That child will grow up and those opportunities will be gone, so take advantage of them while you can. Make memories!

When your spouse wants to take a walk or spend time with you, make that a priority over laundry or vacuuming the floor or mowing the lawn. None of us know what life holds in store for us or how many healthy years we will be blessed to spend together, so make the most of today.

This past weekend we went to Lampe, MO for a family reunion. Jon had to work in Rogers, AR on Friday so had left the house at 6:40 AM to drive there, put in a full day of work, then drove on to Lampe. After arriving there, the yard around the family home was overgrown, so he decided to mow. He had just made one pass around the house and decided to move the car back to get it out of the way. It was only when he got inside the car that he realized a rock had flown through the passenger front window and shattered it. So he had to stop mowing and clean up all the glass.

My sister, niece, nephew, and I arrived at the house around 9:00 PM or so. We had a pre-reunion family singing at a local church that evening. My other three sisters had stayed longer to visit. We have a homemade firepit built in the yard and Devin really wanted a fire. Even though Jon had had a busy day and was tired, he got his shoes on to go out and build a fire for Devin. He mentioned that the grass was really tall around the firepit and I told him to forget it because we wouldn't be able to go out there and sit. Devin was so disappointed when Jon told him that I had said not to build a fire because of the tall grass! He found a battery powered lantern and asked if he could take that outside.

Jon felt bad because Devin really wanted a fire, so he had Devin hold the lantern up and walk in front of the mower so he could see how to mow around the firepit area in the dark. Devin thought that was great! After Jon got the fire built, we took lawn chairs outside and all sat around the firepit and visited. When my other three sisters arrived, they joined us and we visited until we all got sleepy. Devin had a wagon and would occasionally go to the wood pile and put some small pieces in the wagon and made it his job to keep the fire burning for us.

When we first sat down around the fire, Devin sat on the ground (sweat pouring off his face from the heat!) and was softly humming and enjoying it so much. Even though Jon was tired, he put forth the effort to make an 11 year old boy happy; and Jon, as well as all us girls, find sitting around the firepit relaxing, also.

There are times when the important things in life are mowing in the dark and building a fire, or having lunch with a friend, or reading a story to a child, or taking a walk in the park with your spouse; not dusting the furniture.


I had heard many times that the Bible says, somewhere, "Moderation in all things." But now that I've tried to find it, I don't know that it's in there at all. Philippians 4:5 says, "Let your moderation be known to all men.", and that's the closest I could find.

Loretta does keep our house clean. Even in the rooms and closets we don't go in much, there isn't enough dust to write "I love you" on the furniture. But she doesn't let it rule her life. The garage is my space, and that definitely does have enough sawdust.

Loretta also spends a lot of her time helping family with their homes and kids. But again, she doesn't let it take over her life. She cooks me great meals, but also takes an evening off at least one night each week to go out with me. She's very good at letting her moderation be known.

Moderation is a good thing, even if I didn't find the verse I'd always thought was in the Bible. Maybe it's in the same chapter as "Thou shalt not swim less than one hour after eating", and "Thou shalt not wear white after Labor Day and before Memorial Day."


Gooey Butter Cake

1 yellow cake mix

1 (1 lb.) box powdered sugar

1 stick butter

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Preheat oven to 350.

Bottom layer: Mix dry cake mix, 2 eggs, and 1 stick of melted butter. Spread in bottom of pan. Thihs will be thick.

Topping: Mix the (1 lb.) box of powdered sugar with the softened cream cheese and 2 eggs. Combine until thoroughly mixed. Spread over bottom layer and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. While hot, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Keep leftovers in refrigerator.


When my step-grandma got older, she started ordering stuff from Fingerhut. Gertie never used anything she bought, but she loved getting the packages. She once wrote Fingerhut a letter and told them if they would send her things that she could use that she would order from them. I remember going to visit and she would have several opened boxes of stuff sitting around in her bedroom and living room of Fingerhut products she had bought. Basically at that time, all she did was spend her days sitting in her chair either watching TV or watching the cars passing by her house, so she had no need of anything she bought.

In the 1970's we were on the same telephone party line as Gertie. Daddy made a living hauling rock for contractors that they used for building fireplaces or placed on the outside of houses. They would call Daddy to order a load of rock and if we weren't home, Gertie would answer the phone and tell them that we weren't there; which meant these men had to pay for the long distance calls. In Lampe, almost everywhere is long distance -- and it's still like that today. She would always listen in on all our phone calls -- and we knew that because we could hear her breathing into the phone or hear her TV -- and she would cough or clear her throat right into the telephone receiver. When someone on your party line got a call, your phone would viberate and kind of make a buzzing noise, but you knew it wasn't for you because it wasn't ringing! Mama first of all tried talking to Gertie and told her that if she didn't stop answering the phone when someone called us and we weren't home, that she was going to call the phone company and have her phone disconnected. That didn't work! Daddy's business contacts were getting upset, so Mama finally did call the phone company and had Gertie removed from our party line -- but they put her on the same party line as Mama's brother, which I'm sure he and his wife were really happy about!!


Never be ashamed of the scars that life has left you with.

A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed, you endured the pain and God has healed you.

- from GodVine


We love you!

Loretta & Jon