"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

February 28, 2018


Jon and I have been married for over twelve years, and as he ages, I see more and more of his dad's characteristics in him. The older Jon gets, the more he is displaying his father's mannerisms, speech patterns, and hand movements. "I have an idea;" "I think I may have just the thing that will work for that;" are things I heard Stan said many times over the years, and things I hear Jon say nowadays. How he says it, sounds exactly like his dad.

My sister, Janie, and I recently had a conversation about how we look in the mirror and see reflections of our uncles and aunts in our faces. The ages we are now, are the ages that we best remember our mom's siblings. It seems as if we look more like them, the older we get.

Whenever Janie is preaching on Sunday mornings, I will look at her and see the Parton's (my mom's family) in her facial expressions. It has become more prevalent as she has gotten older. I see our uncles, aunts, and many of our cousins in her as I watch her face.

I'm also beginning to see myself looking more and more like my mom's brothers and sisters whenever I look in the mirror nowadays. In their 50's and 60's is how I best remember them, and that's the ages that my sisters and I are now. That seems crazy!!

Janie and I both have the rounded chin with the dimple in the center, like many of the Parton relatives have. My eyelids are starting to kind of droop in the outer corners like some of the Parton's eyelids do. There are just many similarities in our faces that we remember in our uncles and aunts.

My oldest sister more resembles my dad's side of the family, and whenever I look at her I see similarities to my Grandma Horton and my dad's oldest sister. The other two sisters are more of a mixture of the two sides of the family.

A few days ago Janie and I were together and were sitting side by side. A lady was across from us visiting and told us, "I wish I had a camera to take your picture. You two are sitting exactly alike... your holding your hands the same... swinging the same leg."

My sisters and I have all been together in the past and will all be standing the same; both hands on our hips. We have a lot of the exact same mannerisms and characteristics.

When people spend a lot of time together, they tend to take on the nature of those whom they're with. Children take on characteristics of their parents; siblings often have a lot of similarities; and spouses tend to grow more alike the longer that they are married.

Growing up in church, there is a chorus that we used to sing from time to time: "To be like Jesus; to be like Jesus; all I ask is, to be like Him. All through life's journey, from earth to glory; all I ask is, to be like Him."

What does it really mean, to be like Jesus? It goes far beyond salvation and being a good person. It means that we take on the nature and character of Jesus.

How do we do that? We can only become like Jesus as we spend time with Him and learn what His nature is and begin to take on His characteristics.

Romans 13:14 (NIV) says, "Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."

Colossians 3:12 tells us what those items that we clothe ourselves with should be: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."

The more that we get to know Jesus and are in a relationship with Him, the more we should look like Him and act like Him and have His characteristics and nature. People should be able to look at us and see Jesus in us.

Janie and I used to get asked all the time if we were twins. (Not so much now that I have white hair and her hair is salt and pepper.) Now people will often comment, "You two must be sisters. I can tell by looking at you; you favor each other."

Our life should be so ingrained with Jesus that we are a reflection of Him; we should favor Him. He should be seen in our countenance, heard in our words, and our actions should mirror his. It should be obvious to others that we often spend time in the presence of Jesus.

A few weeks ago, some ladies from our church met at my sister's home for Bible study. We were also incorporating a "Love Your Sister" Valentine Day party in with our time together. One of the women had order pizza delivery. When the young man came to the door to deliver the pizza, my sister opened the door and he paused a minute and then asked, "Is this a ladies Bible study?" Janie told him yes and asked, "How did you know?" He responded, "When you opened the door, I felt the Spirit!"

Whenever we open the door to our home, people should be able to feel the Spirit. They should be able to see Jesus in our countenance and see him in everything we say and do. We should be such a reflection of Him that there is never any doubt but what we're a child of God. We should make sure each morning that we clothe ourselves with Christ; making kindness, compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience a vital part of our wardrobe.


Usually when Loretta points out that I do something like my dad, I'm glad to hear it. But not quite always.

I've noticed myself, that if I hang out with people with strong accents, I tend to start talking in a little of their accent, too. I probably don't do it well, though.

We all tend to pick up things from people we are around. Some good; some bad. So it's important to take care who you spend most of your time with.

We are always in God's presence, if we want to be. But we do need to be more conscious of His presence.


Garlic Cheese Bread Sticks

1 stick butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 loaf French bread, cut in half lengthways

2 (6 ounce) balls fresh mozzarella, sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Set an oven rack on the bottom position and preheat the oven to 450.

Melt the butter in a pan with the garlic and bring to a simmer. Brush the garlic butter over the top of each half of the bread. Lay slices of mozzarella on top and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Put the bread onto a baking sheet and cook on the bottom rack for about 10 minutes.


Many, many years ago when sesame seeds first started coming out on hamburger buns, one of my older uncles, Freeman, thought that they were something diet related put on the bread for weight reduction. He told someone, "I don't want those old 'ducers [reducers] on my bun!" This story still makes me laugh when I think about it!


Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;

they listen with the intent to reply. - Stephen Covey


We love you!

Loretta & Jon