Friday, May 16, 2008

This is NOT Mickey-Ds

I work with folks who have a drive-thru mentality and they are driving me CRAZY!

I have a 42” plotter on which I print most of the posters posted around our building. I create the poster, click the print button, adjust to the desired size, then WAIT while the poster scrolls from my computer to the networked plotter sitting across the room. It sometimes takes 10-12 minutes for the scrolling to complete and the printer to actually begin to print. I have one particular professor who has a drive-thru mentality. He will stand in front of the plotter, doing a little “hurry-up” dance and watch the seconds count down on the screen. I reminded him the other day that we aren’t working at McDonald’s and this is not a drive-thru. He needed to learn to be patient.

Patience is so hard. Sometime back I saw on tv a study about marshmallows, children and delayed gratification. The children were given two marshmallows on the table in front of them. The researcher told them that he was leaving the room and if they didn’t eat their marshmallows while the researcher was gone, they would get two more marshmallows when he returned. Some of the children waited but several just couldn’t restrain themselves. They preferred instant gratification over the promise of the extra marshmallows. Researchers have found that children who can delay gratification by saving marshmallows until later, turn out to be happier and better adjusted later in life. The study says we “feel better when we are in control of our desires and, particularly, our behaviors.

In a devotion today, I read the following:

1. What do you want to have?
2. Can you wait?

Chances are, if you can answer yes to the second question, you will be
sure to find plenty of contentment and peace.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

What is a Random Act of Kindness? Simply put, it is an intentional act of kindness that you can demonstrate towards another person where they encounter the love of Jesus Christ through you. (

A few years ago, I was on my way to work when the lure of Burger King called my name and I wheeled into the drive-thru. I order and pulled to the rear of a line of about 4-5 cars. After sitting in line a few minutes, I noticed that a friend from church was in the drive-thru ahead of me. We waved to each other and after she paid and was handed her breakfast, she drove on off toward her job at Kemet. I pulled up to the window and started to hand the cashier my money for breakfast, she said my breakfast had been paid for by my friend who was already headed to work. What a pleasant surprise that random act of kindness was!

Christmas of 1995, Maggie and Charlie had settled into our family and Charlie was attending Northwest Middle School. He rode the school bus through Travelers Rest and past a trailer park every morning. Most mornings and afternoons he saw a bed-ridden man lying in a hospital bed and being cared for by his elderly wife. Often, she would have the curtains pulled back so the man could watch the world pass by. As Christmas neared, Charlie wanted to do something for this lady who so patiently cared for her husband. We took a little basket, filled it with fruit and Charlie and Maggie took it to her door. She had no idea who they were but they hugged her, wished her a merry Christmas and got back in the car. We will probably never know what it meant to this elderly lady to have these two visit bearing a basket of fruit. The only thing I know is that we received the bigger blessing.

I want to live a life looking for random acts of kindness share with people. I think that sometimes my eyes and heart aren't sensitive enough to see. I hope that I will begin to see the needs around me and portray to others that there is something "different" about me.

Our church's website has a few random acts listed that might help me to open my eyes. These are:

Buy some fresh fruit and vegetables and place in a paper bag with a BBC (Biltmore Baptist Church)card. Find a neighbor at home and say you saw these, thought of them and give them the bag.

The next time you're at a restaurant leave an unexpectedly large tip with a BBC card.

Mow the grass for an elderly neighbor.

Bake cookies for someone.

You’re at the post office stamp machine. Buy more than you need, and turn around and give those stamps to the person behind you.

The next time you are at a fast food drive thru, pay for the person’s meal behind you and leave the clerk a BBC card.

Dining in at a restaurant, ask the waitress for the single-mom’s (across the room) ticket. Pay and leave the waitress a BBC card to give her.

Be creative and look for ways to show kindness toward one another. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” - – Matthew 5:16

Monday, May 12, 2008

You are my Shield...

One of my favorite worship songs that we sing at church is You Are My Shield. Digging back to my days of researching the names of God in preparation to create banners of significance to a name, I did that for the Names of God in this song. I hope these scriptures bless you as much as they do me.

You Are My Shield

I will bless the Lord forever,
And I will trust Him at all times.
He has delivered me from all things,
And He has set my feet upon the Rock.

I will not be moved, and I'll say of the Lord:
You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer,
My Shelter, Strong Tower, my very present help in time of need.

Whom have I in heaven but You.
There's none aI desire beside You.

You have made me glad, and I'll say of the Lord:
You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer,
My Shelter, Strong Tower, my very present help in time of need.

My very present help in time of need.
My very present help in time of need.

My Shield…

II Samuel 22

2 He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My Shield and the horn {Horn here symbolizes strength}
of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-
from violent men you save me.
4 I call to the LORD , who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 3:3

But you are a Shield around me, O LORD ; you bestow glory on me and upon my head.

Psalm 7:10
My Shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and My Shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 84:11
For the Lord God is a sun and Shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Psalm 119:114
You are my refuge and my Shield; I have put my hope in your word.

Psalm 140:7
O Sovereign LORD , my strong deliverer, who Shields my head in the day of battle-

My Strength…

Exodus 15:2
The LORD is My Strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.

2 Samuel 22
32 For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with Strength and makes my way perfect.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.

2 Samuel 22:40
You armed me with Strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.

Psalm 18:1
I love you, O LORD , My Strength.

Psalm 22:19
But you, O LORD , be not far off; O My Strength, come quickly to help me.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is My Strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

My Portion…

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and My Portion forever.

Psalm 16:5
LORD , you have assigned me My Portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure

Psalm 119:57
You are My Portion, O LORD ; I have promised to obey your words.

Psalm 142:5
I cry to you, O LORD ; I say, "You are my refuge, My Portion in the land of the living."

Lamentations 3:24
I say to myself, "The LORD is My Portion; therefore I will wait for him."


2 Samuel 22:2
He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my Deliverer;

Psalm 40:17
Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my Deliverer; O my God, do not delay.

Psalm 140:7
O Sovereign LORD , my strong Deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle-

My Shelter…
Psalm 55
7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert; Selah 8 I would hurry to my place of Shelter, far from the tempest and storm." 9 Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city.

Strong Tower…

Psalm 61:3
For you have been my refuge, a Strong Tower against the foe.

Proverbs 18
10 The name of the LORD is a Strong Tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

My Very Present Help in Time of Need…

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother, Nannoo, Friend...

Our Mother and Nannoo was one of the most loved and loving women I have ever known. She was Bibby’s, Kathy’s, and my mother, but she was also our best friend, just as she was to many. We spent hours with her and talked to her on the phone everyday. When we needed some of her wisdom, she was always there to give it. When we needed a shoulder to cry on, she was there to lend hers. When Curt or I needed the answer to 24 across in the daily crossword puzzle, we called mama and she always knew the answer!

From my earliest memories, our mama was the strength of our family. As all people do - Mama had trials, but the most remarkable thing was that with her, it never showed. She always seemed to rise serenely above the trials and carry on in the face of adversity. When we needed anything, ever, she was the one we went to. Mama worked long hard hours for many years in a sewing hall. Her income provided everything that our family needed. I remember that she would always take us shopping just before school started in the fall to buy 5 school dresses and a pair of shoes. If we had to go to the doctor or the hospital, her income paid the bills. Her income bought furniture, a car, even a roof over our heads. I once heard her talk of Kathy’s five-week stay in the hospital when Kathy was 11 years old. The hospital bill was only $1000 for the full five weeks but in that day, that was a huge sum of money for mama to pay. But, she did it. She told us that she never even told daddy the amount of the hospital bill. She did it all by herself.

Not only did mama give us everything we needed physically, but she gave us everything we needed emotionally. We always knew we were loved. She told us often, gave us hugs, kisses and other emotional support. There was never any doubt that after God, her family was first in her life. She would have done and did do anything in the world for us. Often, when I’d pick up some groceries or medicine for her, she’d try to repay me. I told her more than once that I could never do enough for her to repay her for what she’d done for me so just to say “thanks.” We’d laugh about it, she’d say thanks and then the next time, we’d go through it all again.

The most important thing that Mama gave us was not the physical nor emotional but she shared with us a love for her Lord and instilled in us a desire to serve Him. She taught us how to pray and honor God. When we were very small, she began to teach us about God and the importance of a Christian life. She answered all our questions. How thrilled she was when the three of us were saved and baptized. What a joy it was for her when her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren began to serve Him in full-time Christian service. Kathy and Billy served God in local churches and in Venezuela and with the International Mission Board. How supportive she was when my daughter, Kristy and her husband went to Brazil to serve as missionaries. What a joy to her when David and my daughter, Diana gave up a career in computer programming to follow the Lord’s call into the ministry. She was amazed that God would call another of her own when He called Jeff and Kathy’s daughter, Amy into the pastoral ministry. Then, Missy and Chad served on the mission field in Spain. Now a great granddaughter carries on her legacy of faith as Hali and David serve in a local church. What a blessing and a legacy to a Christian mother. The remainder of us who aren’t in full-time service are active in our own churches and day-to-day live our lives bearing witness of the love of our Savior. Only God knows how many others of the grandchildren or great-grandchildren will follow God’s call on their lives. Many people could bear testimony to the fact that Nannoo led them to the Lord or influenced them to live lives devoted to Him. Only God knows the number of spiritual children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Marietta, over SC, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, over the US and around the world that are a direct result of this godly mother’s life. I think the greatest thing that can be said about mama is that she loved her Lord and she shared that love with all of us. She was a model of her Savior in displaying forgiving, unconditional love.

As I remember Mama on the eve of this Mother's Day, I think of love...her love for us, our love for her and her love of her God. She is a role-model for me and for all who knew her. I thank God for the blessing of precious memories!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A New Lease...

When Kristy first called to ask if I thought we could come to Brazil, my initial reaction was, "NO WAY." I didn't see how in the world it could work out. The more we talked, the more excited I got and then the next thing I knew, we were planning a trip to Brazil!

Ever since Maggie moved in with us, I've had a "sitting on the edge of my seat" mentality. I kept waiting for the next shoe to drop, so to speak. It seems that I never truly relaxed; never laughed or found anything funny; never had fun; never did anything much except work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep. Going to Brazil has renewed my spirit. I know that wasn't the sole reason for the trip but it is truly an added bonus as I feel like I have "a new lease on life".

Laughing with and at Maggie; playing with the grandchildren; truly vacationing; being with Kristy and Demps all have combined to help me see the grass as a little greener, the sky a little bluer and help me to think "it's worth it." I'm hoping that all this will combine to help me get in the mindset to lose some weight and to continue to maintain my lease for years to come.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Twenty-one things I've loved about my second week in Brazil

1) Pao de Queijo for breakfast
2) Rice and Beans
3) Going to the hippie fair
4) Going to Meg's English class to talk to the children in English. They understood a lot.
5) Another massage
6) Josie's wonderful cooking
7) Josie's wonderful cleaning
8) Josie's wonderful clean laundry
9) Going to Central Market
10) Seeing the man again who sells the linens
11) Seeing the excitement of Meg, Duncan and Kate as they got their first-ever dog, "Camo"
12) Having Kate's smiling face greet me every morning as I woke up
13) Learning to cut glass, paint glass and make mosaics
14) Visiting the art school
15) Not having a flat tire (Demps loved that one too)
16) Going to the mall
17) Going to Tiradentes
18) Seeing Duncan and Kate's face as the train passed by ... they were thrilled to get to ride it
19) Seeing pewter made
20) Riding to the airport like clowns stuffed in a volkswagen
21) Hearing that Kate said, "I'm gonna miss those people"

Happy Birthday, Drew!

May 5, 2008 It's hard to believe that the Drew Wike we know now was that tiny little baby born in New Orleans and that Maggie and I got to go spend a week with after he was born. How time has flown.

When I think of Drew, I think of someone who loves life to the fullest. Drew is always active...playing baseball, basketball, skateboarding, swimming, playing Jinga, making up other games with Jinga blocks, playing at the dinner table with his daddy with a piece of folded paper like it is a football and loving his Wii and video games.

Drew also loves his church youth group and just recently returned from a week of hard work in New Orleans. He shared the compassion and love of Jesus with those less fortunate than we are and I am so proud of him for that.

Drew loves loves loves spending a week at our house in the summer and attending basketball camp at Furman and we love love love having him here. He is always polite, loving and kind. He is very out-going and makes friends easily. On top of all that, Drew is very intelligent. I am so proud of him and am proud to be his grandmother.

Happy Birthday, Drew! We love you!