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March 2021
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Joy

 

I choose joy, but it isn't that hard on most days because there are always God's blessings to lift me and remind me of his great love.

I remember when Sean be-bopped into the balcony of First Baptist Plainview. I knew he was one of those joy-to-me kids. Then, he married Rachel, who was another of those joy-to-me kids. Both of these young adults made me smile and often laugh with their dry and quick wit.

Then they moved. I was excited to see the plans God had for their lives in Idaho. I am so thankful that I get to be a part of their lives long-distance via Facebook. 

I was honored to get this in the mail today. It brought the joy-joy-joy-joy deep into my heart. I'm so very proud of Sean and his accomplishment of his Master of Arts from the University of Idaho. Rachel has been a great support during his "thesis" days! :)

 

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God blesses me over and over again!!!

 


Out of the Ashes

 

Isaiah 61:3, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

 

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Joy does come in the morning! God is alive, and miracles are being performed!

 


Blame

 

I will always place the blame on myself in every situation if an issue arises. It is easier to blame and forgive myself over waiting for an apology that will never come. God allows me to renew and refresh to move forward through His redeeming grace over my sweet spirit; yes, sweet, it is God's, and the Holy Spirit dwells here.

Not all who think they will get into heaven actually will. Mathew 7:11 reads, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven."

I do not believe that works get you into heaven. I believe the teaching of Jesus Christ and find it foundational and true. John 3:16 is where I started..."For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life."

It is this simple. God loves me, He sacrificed for me, and I am eternally His. Love is not one-sided. Love is relational. It is giving, action. It is listening and becoming submissive to the Love that knows what is best. I am woman; hear me roar...Praises to my King, my Savior, my Father!

He tends to my needs. He created me fully and with great passion to follow and lead, for following and leading, with great Light. This is my goal each day. I am willing, and that is a start. I must move into and through my willingness as he leads. 

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good ... oh, Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood. I am often misunderstood, and very often, my words are misinterpreted. I think one thing and a listener shares something totally different from what my processor was sharing. I blame myself. I go to God, and he assures me. He heals my brokenness. He will do the same for you.

When we have hurt in our hearts, there is no room for God. Some way, we need to empty that out. God will wash it clean. God will make a way when we see no way. When I focus on Him and allow Him to fill my cup, the aroma is sweet and surrounds me with perfect peace and rest. This must be a daily pattern, a Him Habit. The more we are walking and talking with Him, the more our little light can shine.

This is what I desire, to love others more than myself. I know my worthiness and from whom it comes. To blame myself is freeing. Don't hold grudges. I'm big enough to take it, work through it and overcome because I have a Father who listens in love. 

Praying for your very personal and deep hurt. May we stand fiercely forgiving of ourselves because there are only two in the Holy relationship; me and God, you, and God ...

Let's find ourselves "cracked" open in worship in God's house on Sunday. It starts the week off with humble gratitude. Every week, we return to the cross into the resurrection and as messengers of Goodness.

 

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Retirement

 

Thomas Ray retired after 38 years of lighting the way for Wayland Baptist University students and staff as a history professor. There was a wonderful retirement reception and Clinton and I were honored to be a host and hostess.

Here are a few pictures that another hostess took...

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Drizzle ~ Snow ~ Rain

 

This morning, I needed to be in Lubbock for a medical appointment. I was on the road at 6:30 a.m. If you know me, then you know that being out early morning is not my thing, nor is driving in the dark OR driving on potentially slick roads. But, here I was owning it!

On the way, I drove through snow for about half a mile. Most of the way there and back, it drizzled and was low visibility. I made it to Lubbock and back home in time for the beautiful rain shower we had here!

Blessed Thursday!

 

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Figure Me Out

 

Not many people know the real me. Very few have invested the time to try and figure me out...and stick around. There are ones who do give me their time, and I value it deeply within my being. I see your struggles to attempt to understand who I am and to love me anyway. I do not often see some of these people, but I know they are as close as me reaching out to them. Others I see more frequently, but not so often that I might annoy them. Less is best!!!

Aspergers and my particular traits are an interesting mix of matching emotions with reality and hoping for an acceptable score. I was in a meeting with two ladies yesterday who kind of get me but also, I work not to annoy, not because they expect it but because I respect them. (I think I sometimes fail, LOL). One of my Asperger's traits is interrupting. I try really hard not to. If I am tired, it is harder to have the energy to control. I told them that one of them talks right through my interrupting, which is the correct thing to do. It is not rude. I am rude...I simply can't retain my thought and need to get them out there. There are a few others that respond the same way with me. I respect that. My heart knows that conversation is not about me, and yet, my wiring is sending a different message. It is an impulse "tic." I pray about how people see me in that I want people to find kindness, respect, and a deep abiding love when God brings us together. Lessons are always taught through who God delivers to my day.

God direct my path...

I'm a note-taker. I'm gonna listen and glean from what the Holy Spirit delivers. A friend who tolerates me well and blesses my life, someone I look to for joy, presented these journals to me. We are both "vintage" and blessed!

 

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Yes, we wore clothes like this!!! How fun was the 60s and 70s??? My childhood was carefree, and I love that. 

Thanking God for friendships that I don't deserve but cherish through the Glory of God's precious gifts to my life!

 

 


Jeanie's Scrapbook

 

And now, the last of the pictures to share from Jeanie's "Chrissa" scrapbook.

 

These two had a special bond that was as much mother-love as it was coach!

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Practicing fishtails. I never understood how she could make them go forever. It was a game.
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Oh, my, look at that driver. LOL Here I am, Phyllis Wall, driving and Tommy Billington riding shotgun with Jeanie Pennell in the back waving along with a few younger students riding in the car. The older ones were twirling down the street in front of the parade vehicle.
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I worked at the studio store, The Little Chic, while Chrissa took lessons. This is one of my favorite pictures of daughter and mom!
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One of the few times that Chrissa ever competed in show twirl. She was more of a fundamentals twirler!

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Oh, I remember. This is the sweetest picture of twirler friends! Joanna, Heather, Chrissa, Erica, Pepper, and Cerissa!!!
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PHS JV Cheerleaders ... after twirling with the band did not work out.
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Chrissa as a North Texas Dancer, captain of the team, University of North Texas.
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Coach Pennell and her former student, Chrissa Wall-Brotherton, with Miss A. Jeanie, taught both of Chrissa's girls on several occasions when they were twirlers.
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Well, it was fun to reminisce! We sure have loads of great memories!

 


Ballet

 

More of Jeanie's "Chrissa" scrapbook...

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(From the Barnyard Academy: Tiffany Balderas, Erica Estes, Megan Harder, Chrissa Wall)

 

 

Chrissa had the opportunity to dance at Lubbock Ballet. The Barnyard Academy is her dance, twirl, and gymnastics foundation. Jeanie Pennell owned the Barnyard Academy. Chrissa started taking classes there at age four and a half and took them into her high school years. It offered her other opportunities for performance because of her skill level. She trained under Victor Moreno at Lubbock Ballet and danced several roles, including Clara in the Nutcracker performances in Roswell, New Mexico, and Plainview. 

 

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Our little dancer now has her own little beautiful and skilled dancers.


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Sunday Thoughts

 

When I enter the Sanctuary of Worship, I seek to be the vessel He fills. These are my Sunday thoughts as I entered and listened to the Holy Spirit.

 

When I enter, I read the scripture for the day's message.

Everyday Victory: Be Kind, Luke 24:28-35

Jesus approaches two men on the walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus...

v28 ... he went further, continued on

v29 ... they urged him to stay; they asked, considered

v30 ... the "guest" took the bread, a hostesses obligation

            gave thanks, broke it, and gave (Lord's Supper)

v31 ... their eyes were opened and what remained in view was a heart change to share the experience of kindness he offered

 

Where is our mind the moments before we are teachable? 

 

Pinocchio is a childhood story where a living puppet can prove himself worthy of becoming a real boy with the help of a cricket as his conscience. He has a problem. He tells lies, and with each of the thirteen lies he tells, his nose grows longer. 

Let's imagine ourselves as Pinocchio. Each time we look down our nose at someone different than us, and there are too many differences to mention here, and we ignore them, look away, are not kind, our nose grows. Soon our nose is so heavy with disdain that the weight keeps our heads, our eyes constantly looking at the ground, looking down on others until our eyes are no longer able to see above the differences in a kind and loving way. God wants us to accept others as he accepts us, and it starts with recognizing, seeing the individual as worthy.

 

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We must find ourselves in the Word, in prayer, and our actions should demonstrate Holy. We all have a splinter, a plank, and a victory. We must ask ourselves in every relational situation, "What if this person was Jesus." The two men on the Emmaus walk did not recognize the man they called Master. What if this person was led into our presence by God (and I believe they all are), and what if God wanted to use us in his plan for this person's salvation or renewal? Be alert, be available, be kind.

What is our story? What have we overcome?  The victory that transcends anything is available to the one who chooses to overcome. Be a part of the story!

The two on the road did not recognize Jesus along the road. Maybe their adrenaline was still rushing through them from the week of unbelievable experiences. Maybe they were sad because they wanted to see Jesus themselves, and maybe they felt unworthy for him to show himself to them, but he said he would come after the resurrection. They might have been disappointed that they did not see Jesus when and where they thought they should, but he showed himself to them when they were unexpecting. I believe they did not recognize him because the time had not yet come for them. It came later, after the kindness, the invitation to the table. They might have missed him had they not included him in kindness. Jesus was still the "buzz" word in their conversations, yet, they did not sense his presence. They made it home, Jesus joins them, and they have some time together to reflect on the last week's experiences. The next thing they know...a promise revealed, timely, through eyes to see, Jesus.

I love how Jesus blessed them with his presence. He still does this today. He is alive and continues to reveal his glory among us.

The enemy is always in waiting for the desire of our heart song ~ the same as Jesus! We are with one or the other in every choice we make. The stronger we are in the Lord, the less likely we will fall into the web of the evil one.

They walked a dirty road for seven miles with idle chatter about this and that until He came beside them and directed their thoughts to the visualization realization of what was right before their eyes. The Resurrected Jesus, He is alive!

Peace be with you ~

We cannot know earthly peace without a lead-in conflict ~ what we do with it ~ where we store it ~ or not ~ determines our ability to love in kindness ~ only through the redeeming grace of salvation will we find perfect peace and rest and the ability to love as Jesus does.

The moral of Pinocchio's story is that if you are brave and truthful, and you listen to your conscience, you will find salvation. The story of Jesus is found in John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting/eternal life. No strings attached!

 

There is a song, Victory in Jesus, written by Guy Penrod ...

I heard an old, old story
How a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented of my sins and won the victory
 
Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me 'ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.
 
I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing
How He made the lame to walk again and 'caused the blind to see
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit."
And somehow, Jesus came and brought to me the victory.
 
Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.
He sought me, and He bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me 'ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
 
Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.
He sought me, and He bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me 'ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
 
 

On Being Famous

 

On being famous, if only briefly. This costume was an idea I had that went viral before we had viral. When Chrissa walked in, heads turned, and everyone was trying to take pictures (which was "illegal" at any contest). It was a two-piece black and white cracked ice with a black iridescent skirt, top trim, and flat hat.

It was a winning costume, a winning year, a beautiful X-strut, on a beautiful young champion!

I love what Jeanie Pennell, her coach wrote in her scrapbook under this picture!

 

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