Fear Or Faith In God — Pure Glory

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by Hazel Straub Fear or faith develops where we make the biggest investment. When we believe a negative word, fear grabs and pulls us down. Our faith and trust in God must grow bigger than fear. In the natural, we have tests and due to a failure, think that devastation is our portion. We have to decide […]

via Fear Or Faith In God — Pure Glory

What Is Your Strongest Influence? — Pure Glory

by Apostle Gabriel Cross When the strongest influence on your life, is public opinion, then your success will always be predicated,on what people think of you. However, when God is the strongest influence in your life, then your success is secured, based on what God thinks of you. © Crown of Glory International Ministries. Unauthorized […]

via What Is Your Strongest Influence? — Pure Glory

My Life: Transition/ Diabetes/ Turning 64

He Knows My Name

Transition:

noun:

the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.“students in transition from one program to another”:

synonyms: change, passage, move, transformation,conversion, metamorphosis, alteration, handover, changeover; segue, shift, switch, jump, leap progression, progress, development, evolution, flux.
From the time we are born into this world until the time we leave it, we are always in a state of transition or flux (continuous movement, instability, inconstancy; going from one circumstance, moment, situation, to another). During childbirth, the transition period when the contractions start and the baby begins to move through the birth canal can be and usually is the most painful time. This can be true in life too. Looking at the state our world is in right now, there is no denying that there has been a shift, and we are in transition, the Bible calls it ‘birth pangs.’ (Matthew 24)
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I just turned 64 years old, on August 23rd. It felt like any other day, to be honest, and though we celebrated, I felt like I was 25 years old again, questioning God about the ‘purpose of my life.’ Quite frankly, I had been feeling like the baby who is ‘stuck’ in the birth canal, perhaps more like the ‘mom’, wondering when the baby is going to be birthed, and tired or weary of waiting. It’s not pleasant, and though I had two C-sections, our first was stillborn: I was induced and the contractions were excruciating! I know full well, that God is faithful, and He is a God that fulfills and keeps His promises, but as the word says, ‘the flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing.’  So, I continue to wait, pray and believe, that what He has promised He will do.
One of the areas I find myself struggling in is my health: Diabetes. I’m used to being a little more in control, and now I’m floundering. I  manage to keep myself up most of the time through worship, prayer, the Word, and a sense of humor, but there are certain days, my health affects my outlook. It’s been called the ’emotional’ disease. I have been visiting my diabetic nurse educator almost every week, and soon will see my doctor again also. I’m in transition when it comes to my health. I have had some bad experiences with very low blood sugars (which put me in the hospital two times since the end of December), and have caused me to panic when they start to drop, because I’m never sure how low they are going to go, so most of the time my sugars are elevated (not good long term). I am soon to get a Continuous Glucose Monitor (Dexcom) which will help me monitor when my sugars are going up/down/ and how fast or slow. This should help tremendously. It will set off alarms when and let me now either way. I’m blessed to be able to have this kind of technology available to me.
Our family is also going through transition right now. In recent years we have experienced the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s and my father-in-laws passing, then my mother 6 months later. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced, saying good-bye to my mother. Over the last few months, my mother-in-law has had to give up driving, and we are now in process of looking for assisted living which is very difficult to find, and the waiting lists are very long. We are confident God has this, and that she will find a good fit, but it is very stressful for her as well as for us. There are times I think about what she is going through, look at what she is giving up and I can’t help but put myself in her shoes down the road. There have been times I have wanted to weep for her as we have walked through this process with her, and the struggle for her to let go. It’s made me want to ‘lighten the load;  just start tossing and getting rid of stuff I don’t need…all the unnecessary junk we tend to accumulate through the years. I’m letting go…things just don’t mean as much as they used too. When I start to go inward, I think about friends and family who have had to let go of loved ones, forced to evacuate due to fires or flooding, sink holes, dealt with health issues worse than mine and the list goes on.Transition can be very painful and life altering, but it can have it’s rewards too. I’m very thankful for the Presence of God in my life, and that I do not have to walk this walk alone.
I don’t think this is a bad thing, this transition, although it can be difficult and overwhelming at times…I fully expect the end result to be good.  Aren’t we, as Christians, going from ‘glory to glory?’ I constantly remind myself, God is IN CONTROL, He knows everything that we are going through, every heartache, every struggle, every season of our life, He is there. He was there when I was born; when I was diagnosed with diabetes, the times I almost died. He was and is there during my greatest joys, my deepest sorrows, when I was overwhelmed with fear, when I was full of doubt and when I was full of faith. He will be with me when I transition to ‘glory.’ He knows us intimately…and during these days of transition, our time on earth, He will not forget us nor abandon us…those of us, called according to His name. ❤

The Good. The Bad. The Squirrely! ;)

A few years ago, we tried desperately to find the best ‘squirrel-resistant’ bird feeder we could. As most of you know, who have had experience with these creative and persistent critters, this is almost impossible! They just DO NOT give up, but alas, most of us humans DO! When we first moved into this house, we had a wooden frame around the front door (which we eventually replaced along with a double door); squirrels were attempting to eat away at the wood (paint and all). I had never seen anything like that, was beyond irritated, and tried rubbing different smells on the exposed wood, including Tabasco Sauce! Absolutely, nothing worked!

We were beyond excited when we moved to this house, envisioning all kinds of birds flocking to our bird feeders. We were going to become avid bird watchers, but alas, that was not to be, for after a few years of trying, we quit calling our bird feeders, ‘bird feeders’, and started calling them ‘squirrel feeders!’ Once we tried hanging one such ‘squirrel feeder’ on the end of a tall plant hook next to the tree, thinking surely they could not maneuver the metal hook with their claws. Wrong!! We did have a good laugh when a friend of ours was visiting and decided to spray the pole with a vegetable spray. We watched in glee, as that wily squirrel tried to scamper up the slippery pole, then slowly slide down. He attempted this several times. The shocked look on it’s squirrely little face gave me a some satisfaction that we had finally got the upper hand, if only but for a few sweet moments! Eventually, though, we gave up, and now have no ‘squirrel feeders’ out front; we moved them to the back of our house, where we have less of an issue, though we still see them hanging occasionally, peering into our living room window, with a look of defiance. Boy, can they jump! Truth be told, when it comes to these critters, it’s a love hate relationship, and I have been known to throw out scraps of bread or such during the winter. I’m seriously thinking of placing another ‘squirrel feeder’ out front again. If nothing else, it was pure entertainment, and sometimes, one would jump on the ledge of my office window, look in and check me out, and of course, I started putting little tidbits on the ledge. Yeah, birds are great, but not at all as entertaining…;)

The first video, “The Good, the Bad and the Squirrely,”  came about randomly, as I was still trying my hand at simple video’ making. The song just happen to fit musically, and I just went with it. The song of course is, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  It’s up to the viewer to decide who is who…;)

The Good, The Bad and the Squirrely

This second video, was actually an Albino squirrel, that came around for a couple of years. I named him ‘Sugar,’ and caught him raiding the feeder. I did not discourage him at all, and was in fact, amused and fascinated by this ‘BIG’ fella. I chose two favorite songs of mine, “Sugar, Sugar,” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Sugar: Our White Albino Squirrel

Published on Jan 22, 2014

(heehee, I think the Fed Ex guy is going in circles)!The White Squirrel (an albino, 1 in 100,000 chance), a big fella, at first I was going to call him Frosty, but decided to call him ‘Sugar’, because he is white and sweet (kinda/ sorta as long as I don’t make him get off the bird feeder). Since this video was taken (and I may redo this at a later date, just don’t have time right now) Lee brought the bird feeder in. I asked him why? and He said because until he fixes it, it is a ‘Squirrel Feeder! ‘ HA! He is right…poor birds have to fight to get any seeds. I decided to put up songs that would not NORMALLY be seen on a Squirrel Video or animal video…and the Archies: Sugar Sugar just made me ‘smile’, and made me happy and brought back so many memories. Got my foot tapping, and then Don’t Worry be Happy was to remind myself what the Bible says about worrying…God says worry is a sin…because it is the opposite of Faith, and as a Christian we are to trust God to take care of us. I KNOW He has everything under control…I hope you all enjoy our White Sugar Squirrel :). He’s chubby…lol. And ANYONE notice the Fed Ex guy? lol, I think he was lost or maybe he noticed our SUGAR!!! He IS Quite Spectacular….;)

Memory Bouquet : Pieces Of April

Pieces of April

Published on Apr 7, 2015 (revised from my original post on Youtube)

I originally made this video for a dear friend, a free spirit of sorts, and a nature lover. I loved this song as a young teen/adult, though I was limited to mostly country in our home, there were times, when I was finally able to drive, that I would, as soon as I left the driveway, crank the music up, and it wasn’t usually country. It seems like yesterday I was driving the folks Chevy and headed down the highway…listening to this song, ‘Pieces of April’ . I am thinking a lot about family these days, my family of origin mostly, and how fast time is slipping away. So, as I look through picture albums and video’s lately, I am making ‘memory bouquets’. When I come across a video of my mama’s grin, laugh, mannerisms, or beautiful face and/ or  a video of my daddy laughing and teasing, well…sometimes the tears threaten to come to the surface; other times  I catch myself smiling or laughing…but always I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

So, over the years, I’ve become a collector. A collector of memories, through pictures, video’s and more. I have a Memory Bouquet…full of life, love and laughter. Times of joy and laughter, times of pain and sorrow…but through it all  a wonderful ‘bouquet’ of memories. I’ve learned through the years how, to pray, to forgive, to push forward, to endure, to love, to sing, to overcome, to speak my mind, to break through intimidation and fear and to fight for what I believe in. I’ve learned to laugh through the pain, I’ve wept in times of joy,  praised God in the storm, stood on His Word, and sat at His feet in worship and surrender. God is constantly working in my heart…pruning, watering, breaking up the shallow ground, and shining His light in the dark places. I am ever so grateful He knows how to love me to life, picks up the broken pieces, looks beyond my faults and sees my needs. He tends to me like a well watered garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That we might know Him

I love to worship. There is a lot of ‘ego’ in my opinion, in the worship industry, but as I listened to this song and read Hayley’s blog. I am greatly encouraged. There is a depth and a humility in her words and her lyrics that draw me in and make me want to go higher. Please take the time to read, and to listen…

Hayley Boden

There was a very difficult period in my life when I felt so incredibly lost and lonely and I didn’t know which direction to turn.

I was suffering from acute anxiety that was crippling me in areas of my everyday life.

To look at me I was the picture of health but inside I was a mess and completely lost.

It wasn’t until I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour that I truly discovered who I was and ‘found myself’ and found fulfillment in Him.

Jesus desired for me to know Him in the same way that He knew me.

Below are lyrics to part of the chorus of the song ‘Know you’:

I was lost but you came to find me

Leaving the many you would come to draw me back to you

I was empty but you came and filled me

In love you opened up my…

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View From the Bottom Rung (the life of a scribe)

By Vander H. Atwell.  August 20th, 2016

Hmm. View From The Bottom Rung must be running nigh onto five years to date. Let’s see now, how does one express his heartfelt gratitude for the chance to appear here on this page every other Saturday? Welst, the well-worn old phrase, it’s an honor and a privilege pretty well nails it. A lot of water under the bridge since it began but still ambling along despite the roiling of rivers. Not always easy but we manage.

I do have the best, most approving critic a man could ever hope to have review the final draft before sending over to the good folks at the ’Courier. Each time an article is finished my gal reads it, graciously nods her approval and asks what the next will be about.

You wouldn’t know what a tough question that is to answer most time, and invariably the reply is “I don’t know.” It’s hard for an old guy with only a couple of stories to tell when it all began five years ago to come up with fresh material every two weeks, what with distractions so numerous and interesting that he postpones scribing long as he dares, or simply extends the current project out by making it a bit wordier than perhaps it should be.

Oh, you noticed, eh? The great cowboy philosopher Will Rogers (not to be confused with my friend, local sage and musical entrepreneur Mr. Bill Rogers) once said “Never miss a good chance to shut up,” wise advice one supposes after all rambling on and on means more likelihood of wandering off onto sidebars and less time to began and finish the next text. Despite the uncoupled and misarranged prose we do manage to persist despite an arthritic neck and shoulder compliments of my long career as a logger; hunching over this infernal word processer only serves to agitate and exacerbate a condition brought on by 45 years using myself as a pack animal, forcing the keeping of the pain reliever Tylenol close at hand.

Recently the hocus pocus of politics has been a major distraction from the primary purpose of simply “jawing” with my friends and neighbors. “Hocus pocus” by the way, is a term ordinarily applied to the realm of politics and means ‘tricks used to hide what is happening, especially by distorting the situation and making it difficult to understand’; the constant buzz tends to pull the old gentleman’s focus aside from the chase like a fox hound distracted by a cotton tail rabbit.

There was a time early in life political distractions just didn’t happen, working too hard and much too tired for politics; come election time no question asked, like a loyal and dutiful son I just went to the polls and voted Democrat. And why not, my heritage was Democrat, the political landscape in my place of origin here in the South was Democrat, my grandparents were Democrat, my father, mother and three siblings were Democrat: (well, there was that one sister married to a Republican, a World War II veteran and survivor of the Battle of the Bulge). ’Just say I was “habitized” by tradition into a political philosophy, no hard choices wherewith my conscience to contend. Rather than choosing a political ride by raising its hood, kicking its tires and examining the chassis, t’was the only franchise in town and only modal on the lot.

But now, 17 years into retirement sitting beside the boulevard of humanity’s dreams, watching chariots running to and fro, observing the industry and strivings of my fellow citizens, I sit’s and ponders the debits and the credits of unquestioning obedience to “the faith.”

It’s not that my conscience or philosophy has changed all that much through the years, rather that the political landscape shifted beneath my feet, even before I walked off the job to feast on the fruits of my long labors.

My disputation with the change tends to show up in the heat of this election year battle, where the constant buzz of bizarre machinations tends to distract from sane discourse. Yes, yes, I realize that involving in the chaotic tangle makes me just as zany, but t’was born with a fiery competitive feistiness, and the embers are slow to fade.

No, there’s not a thing to be done about the folly of it all, except “to thy self be true. A song by Larry Gattlin allows that “All the gold in California is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills in someone else’s name” still, one remains “involved” even as coastal tides sweep inland consuming every sacred value and conscientious tradition that made this country and its people great.

Eventually though, we try getting back to more mundane things and focus upon the community around us; things that sustain the soul as life, love – or is that liberty – and the pursuit of happiness; take it from someone on the latter end of a long trail, “pursuit of happiness” becomes more important the less time allotted to the “pursuit.” Admittedly there’s not a whole lot of human interest in such mundane topics as lawn mowing, tree trimming, house washing and flower gardening, yet, in chaotic times we should all be happier to channel our lives in more tranquil directions and occupy ourselves with the comfort of the common and the familiar ere the last embers die and cold of darkness chills flesh to the bone.

Does not the scriptures say that ‘Man does not live by politics alone’? Well, perhaps it should, considering the distracting brouhaha seeping from every crack and corner of our own little domain these days. Then there’s the scriptural suggestion that we “eat, drink, and be merry” for tomorrow, well you get the gist.

Many retirees take up vegetable or flower gardening as a hobby, and as a relief from the tedium of idleness.

When I bought my house in Alma, the appeal of it was a large yard that would need my attention, keep me occupied all toned up and out of trouble. But the main distraction, hobby, whichever we shall call it is/ has been music, especially in the years looking forward to retirement and what to do with idle hands.

But music itself can be a distraction sometime with serious potential for hurt by drawing attention away from demanding activities at hand.

Yes son, some jobs are so dangerous that daydreaming (preoccupation with other things) can be deadly.

Early on in life I fancied myself a guitar picker playing my first gig with a Country Dance band at Susanville California ’way back in 1953. It soon became apparent that I would never become another Chet Adkins, and the fancy only distracted from the responsibility of raising a family. The bars we played were no place for a young man with a start-up family to hang out, and having a wife and child, domestic and financial stability overruled any fanciful strivings or sacrifice for fame and fortune out ’neath those neon lights. I quit my government job, left my budding musical career behind and hit the timber trail, the bluest skies, the freshest air and the most lucrative employment a kid of my humble raisings might find. In retrospect, the danger of it made it a dumb thing for a young greenhorn to do, but then a yearling is never easily advised and what the heck—I did survive.

Today with time on my hands to make music an enjoyable and satisfying hobby, it again becomes a distraction of sorts at least in relation to my uh, “literary contributions” here at the PAC. So much time and effort dedicated to musical venues, projects, practice, etc., and further, the old scribbler has recently been “domesticated” and there’s all those social activities divided betwixt two families and a passel of friends each vying for time and attention within the heart and soul of me. Not much leeway for a column written by a slow plodding thinker and one finger “typer” and no time for thumb twiddling over on social media though admittedly I’m often inclined to that direction. Some might even say addicted.

It has been said that procrastination is the thief of time and lord knows there’s been times I’ve wasted so much time there was little time left to finish an article and get it in in time for publication.

Yes, the laptop upon which I scribe, itself is a major distractor from things more important in life, but I’ve yet to reach the point of insanity: Had lunch over at Chili’s a few weeks back and watched as three different couples came in, ordered, then brought out their iphones and proceeded to ignore each other the entire meal. So much precious time lost when one becomes lost out there in the endless reaches of cyber space.

Today I finish this column five days ahead of schedule, a luxury I tell’s ya! Next due Sept. 3. Time’s a wasting.

Blogging as I Go! Lord, Help Me! lol

The last two weeks I was fighting a terrible sinus infection and am just now beginning to feel somewhat normal. What is normal for me? That’s debatable, and depends on who you talk too, some I dare say, have me in the ‘she’s really different’ category.  Suffice it to say,  in my ‘normal’ state it’s challenging enough for me to figure out the technical side of things: in a brain fog trying to get my thoughts organized and in the direction I want to go is excruciating. In fact, I am currently reorganizing some of my menus and categories which will be my main task today. It’s been helpful to me to view other seasoned bloggers and take note how they (or you) are organizing your blog site. Better I try and do this now, and backtrack a bit, than wait til I’m 100 blogs in or more! So, please bear with me as I continue to press in.

One of the changes I am going to incorporate is to change the Menu ‘blog’ (how original, right?) and relabeled it Heart2heart, because that is very much what I am all about; connecting with others. I have a desire to share my family history, but I also have many things on my heart and in my own life that I want to get ‘out there!’  It’s something that has been stirring within me for a long time; sharing my life experiences, my spiritual journey, and in doing so encouraging others along the way.

The label Vander H. Atwell, will host stories or musings and opinions my father has written over the years as a guest columnist for various local newspapers where he has lived, and lives currently. I would like to feature some of his ‘bluegrass’ videos, and blogs relating to this aspect of his life under his label also.

Precious Memories, will be mostly about my family growing up, family history; Atwells (daddy’s side) and Ramey’s (mama’s side), and the last few years after mama and daddy moved back from California to Arkansas. I have thousands of pictures and video’s…but I have to figure out how to do this in an organized way. Pray for me…;)

Well, that’s it in a nutshell, happy blogging everyone, as I can and time will allow me, I do like to come around and read what you have to share, and I have found some great and interesting bloggers. It’s beginning to come together! I’m still trying to figure this blogging thing out, but I’m closer to my goal than I was, and for that I’m grateful.  I just keep reminding myself, “You Can DO it!”

Addendum:

Just added a Love Lifted Me menu, which will feature scripture, encouragement, worship (I love to worship, and I have been and am currently a worship leader along with my husband).

Gallery was added also. I most likely will add grandparent pages to that as I go along.

 

Perfect Fit

I didn’t think I would reblog two posts today from another blogger, but this was hilarious, I started chuckling and had to hit the follow button. Funny family moment…with a teenager. 😉

Storyshucker

“Hopefully I’ll have that again someday.” my son Evan said wistfully over the phone.

“You will!” I encouraged him. “Just give it a while.”

“Best that it’s over but there were still some fun times.” he went on.

“You’ll have that with someone new.” I said. “You’re only nineteen. Plenty of time.”

“Yeah.” he said solemnly. “Just not sure it will happen again or be as good.”

“It will only be better!” I said confidently.

“But how do you know it will be better?” he asked.

Oh no. He wanted an answer.

I’m absolutely no relationship expert. I’ve been in several and calculate I’d have done things differently in every case. I’m just no fountain of good advice. Still, my son’s lamenting after his unpleasant breakup triggered memories and I searched for words of wisdom to help him through this momentary setback.

That strong parental desire to offer profound guidance washed…

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