Friday, February 29, 2008

Composure - Does It Matter?

The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.- Aristotle

Composure - does it matter? Maybe this (her incredible composure) is what attracted Aristotle Onassis to Jacqueline Kennedy, a woman faced with much grief and remained a tower of strength to the public eye. Throughout the infamous trial of O.J. Simpson, my husband and I were mesmerized with Johnny Cochran's impeccable composure. Other attorneys would get mad, lose their cool, and then make mistakes, but not Johnny. He was always composed. In fact, when we (my husband and I) are faced with difficult people, we will look at each other and say, "Johnny Cochran" to remind ourselves to stay cool. Throughout my life I have witnessed hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people who lost their composure. Some were in fits of rage, others were at funerals where they fell to the floor kicking and screaming, and even some were full of laughter at inappropriate moments. I always found these situations to be embarrassing. Remaining composed does not erase hurt or anger, but rather speaks of great fortitude. I like Aristotle's assessment - "high and heroic temper."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Are You Happy?

Parenting is a huge job that is often filled with stress from schedules, school, work, and more, but the rewards are so sweet. Of course I love to hear my children tell me they love me, receive an unexpected hug or kiss, read their notes to me, but I think my favorite times are when I see or hear them happy. Sometimes when we are driving, Bryn will be chattering to her brothers and they will get the giggles. I love to hear her cute little voice bossing her brothers and their silly responses. When I hear them laugh and see their smiles, it is a contagious happiness. The pictures above were taken while we were waiting to be seated in a restaurant. Bryn and Blake found happiness playing a hand game. Do you find it strange that so many adults are pursuing happiness and never finding it? I wonder why? Here's my thoughts - the reason children respond happily to hand games, blowing bubbles, and other small, seemingly insignificant things is because of their quickness to forgive and their innocence. Children can play, get mad at each other, and five minutes later are playing together again. If you want real happiness, you must let go of anger, bitterness, and forgive all offenses. Next, smile. A smile is the first step towards happiness. Give your spouse, child, friend or loved one a smile. Maybe even tickle their ribs or dance them around the kitchen. Happiness won't be found in expensive toys, jewels, homes, cars, but it will peek at you through innocent, seemingly insignificant moments.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Western District Ladies Conference

The 25th Annual Western District Ladies Conference has come and now gone with only great memories to hold. The Visalia Convention Center was accommodating and the recently renovated Marriott Hotel was beautiful. Visalia is a lovely, clean city with a quaint downtown area. There were many restaurants, shops, and even a trolley car that picked up ladies at the convention center and took them downtown and back. Trying not to set our expectations too high, we only had the convention center set up 1200 seats. We quickly realized Thursday night we must increase the seats to 1400. Praise and worship was under the direction of Karen Harding. She compiled a praise team of ladies from Southern California and Northern California which did an outstanding job. The band even had a woman drummer! Karen also conducted a ministers wives choir featuring a song written by Karen titled "Legacy of Love." Speakers included the UPCI national ladies president Gwyn Oakes, recording artist Kathy Hernandez, California ladies president Nita Hodges, and former California ladies president (and fellow blogger) Shirley Buxton. Some highlights were Nita Hodges message about "Leaving A Legacy" where grandmothers/mothers passed Bibles to their granddaughters/daughters, Shirley Buxtons message "The Audacity to Believe" where she spoke of believing in the younger generations, and Kathy Hernandez incredible skill on the saxophone. Kathy also taught a sober lesson on forgiveness. There was a "Celebration of Praise" Friday evening that featured several soloists and an awesome performance was given by Hands of Praise, a dramatic sign team from Merced, California. This year, I stepped out on a limb and sang a sassy song instead of the traditional big ballads. The conference was concluded with a brunch on Saturday morning. We laughed, cried, shopped the vendors, stayed up late, wore our feet out, ate too much, then laughed and cried some more. It was a great conference. Because of my duties, I didn't get any pictures. :~( Sorry. You can, however, visit Shirley's blog for more convention news and some photos at

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Sorry for the delay in posting, but I am currently in Visalia, California preparing for the 25th Annual Western District Ladies Conference being held at the Visalia Convention Center. It all begins tonight at 7 PM. Ladies are flying in from all across the nation and I believe we will have a record attendance. Sessions will also be held Friday morning at 9:30 and Friday evening beginning at 6 with a singspiration. I will be singing Friday evening and there will also be a ministers wives choir under the direction of Karen Harding featuring many vocalists singing an original song written by Karen. Saturday is a brunch and is limited to 1,140. The banquet sells out every year and many women wait too late to get a ticket. Maybe someday we will have a facility large enough to accommodate the entire crowd for the banquet. I should be home late Saturday and I will try to update my blog. If you are in the Visalia area, drop by and visit. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Senior Weekend

Hope you all had a wonderful week-end. It was a busy one for me. We had our annual senior citizen lunch on Saturday and this was the first year I hosted it at my house. I set up three tables to accommodate 24 people and each table had a different theme. Brian and I created a salad of mixed greens, grapes, fresh strawberries, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, walnuts and topped it with an Asian dressing served with hot sourdough rolls. It was a huge hit. Then, Brian made his famous casserole filled with rice, chicken, brocoli, bread crumbs, cheese, and more. I cooked some green beans mixed with bacon bits, onion, garlic and seasoning and carrots drenched in butter and sugar. For dessert there was a choice of apple pie, chocolate fudge cake, or my sister's renowned strawberry cake. Iced tea, hot tea, and coffee washed it all down. Bryce, Sara, my sister Paula and my assistant Karry helped serve. Everyone seemed to enjoy the afternoon and left full. We had a few seniors that were unable to attend so Bryce and Sara made deliveries to them. Our next senior event will be an evening of dessert and coffee served to them by our youth. The weekend was topped by the ministry of Sam and Lil White. During the Sunday AM service, he preached about "Keep On Keepin' On." It was full of energy and a great sermon. During the evening service, he played two songs on his harmonica then gave a message about the benefits of living an overcoming life. With all the air it takes to play the harmonica, you would never guess he is 85. Guess you could say we had a wonderful senior weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thanks to God and Hugs to You

Today I am thankful for my loving husband, beautiful kids (pictured above) and the protection of God Almighty. You probably think we live from drama-to-drama. LOL Last night, my husband and I taught a marriage seminar at The Pentecostals of Orange County. We were driving back home late last night because Brian was supposed to substitute teach today. Traveling at 75 miles an hour on I-5, our little, tin can, rental car came face to face with a huge truck tire that was nearly as tall as the car. There was nothing we could do but hit it. Somehow, the airbags did not deploy and the car did not flip. It was amazing. Immediately we heard a strange noise and pulled over as quickly as possible. The car had front end damage and the radiator was busted, the transmission cooler and air conditioner condenser were pushed into the fan. We sat on the side of the road nearly four hours waiting on a tow truck. Shortly after five this morning, we arrived home. My nerves were frazzled, my body exhausted, but I was grateful to be home safe. Things must get better. Tonight Brian and I will go out with a few other couples from our church and, knock-on-wood, relax, unwind, and enjoy being in love. Our kids and their cousin Sara will enjoy the fun antics of the Harlem Globetrotters. I pray all of you have a wonderful, love filled day. Hugs!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One Day At a Time

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Unknown

This quote struck me funny. Guess my imagination kind of ran away. I visualized a frantic lady stressing over the events of the following day and then I saw the following day - another day-as-usual. The lady proceeds through the day acting normal until she realizes tomorrow is........and the vicious cycle begins again. Worrying about the next day. Have you ever taken time to recall a day you thought would be so bad and realized it wasn't nearly as bad as your worried mind had perceived? Life is full of curves, twists, and unexpected happiness and tragedy. Beautiful days can suddenly become gloomy and dark days can suddenly receive a burst of sunshine. It is the cycle of life. So tell me, why pray when you can worry? Wait. Correction. Why worry when you can pray? Just take it one day at a time.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Believe In Miracles

First, I apologize for the delay in posting. My postassium level "bottomed" out again and I had a few rough days with my heart. I was privileged to attend a service where Lee Stoneking was speaking. He has a miraculous testimony of being raised from the dead and believes his ministry is to build faith among the people. I believe God healed me this weekend. If you have a chance, visit Stoneking's website at There are wonderful testimonies of mulitple miracles. I don't know about you, but I believe in miracles.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sequel to Character Counts

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.- Will Rogers

Count this as a sequel to my "Character Counts" post. My parents brought an African Grey parrot, named Dak, from Senegal, West Africa. He was such a smart bird and could imitate everyone in the family. When I read the above quote, I got to thinking about Dak and how we all miss him. He died a few years ago and we gave him a proper burial on the church property. Just like Dak would imitate everyone, so do children. Be mindful of your character in front of your children. Like the parrot sold to the town gossip, your children will reflect your character. Character counts.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Character Counts

Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process.- Phillips Brooks

The primary school my two youngest children attend, has six pillars of building good character. They are:
1. trustworthiness
2. respect
3. responsibility
4. caring
5. fairness
6. citizenship
Students are frequently reminded to be aware of their character with the phrase, "Character Counts." As my children grow and learn, their character is being established. The character we build does count. I pray my children establish a character that gloriously conquers.

Friday, February 1, 2008

From My Heart...

Disillusioned. Disenchanted. Disappointed. Recently, my mind has been restless and fraught with concern in regards to developing young adults. Most young people put confidence in older adults they respect. If one of these older adults commit any action that the young person would deem unethical, deceitful, or immoral, there is a sudden loss of respect and a door of disillusion can open. This has caused me to have some serious discussions with my 21 year old son. He has lived a relatively sheltered life, has never been in any trouble (not even a speeding violation), and, as most would say, a "good kid." He is very grounded in his beliefs but I want to reinforce his foundation. Now, as he seeks to follow the path God is carving for him, I want him to realize humans fail. The majority of people are good, but when one of those "good" people cause disappointment, don't become disillusioned. Know without a doubt what you believe and live your convictions. Walking through the door of disillusion will fog focus and direction. I don't want my son to be sheltered from hypocrites, but rather understand the world has many hypocritical people and how to respond. A cynical view does not help, but learn forgiveness, good ethics, honesty, strength and endurance.
Hopefully I have not been misinterpreted in a negative light but, sheltering our children too much prevents them from learning how to deal with life. Life can be tough, but I, or my children, can be tougher. Pain is inevitable. It happens. When it happens, remember this -
If you have the ability to hurt, you also have the ability to heal.