JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dad


In all my sorting our office and settling upstairs I came across various remembrances from my Dad.

First thing I found was a gas rationing card from WWII era - there was a favorite picture of my dad that was always in our living room and lastly was the opening page of one of his reference books that he would study preparing for adult Sunday School.

I loved my dad's handwriting - always so exacting-- a lot like my Dad.  Careful in the way that he lived -- leading the Church -- setting goals for us kids to achieve a college education at a Christian school--guiding us with those Sat morning talking times at the breakfast table..

So many memories came rushing back as I found these 3 treasures.  .  . the legacy of faith he left us . . . the courage he had as he faced debilitating illness in his remaining years.
I want our grands to know this man of strength and courage.   I love you, dad!


Friday, June 16, 2017

MOVING IN & MOVING ON!!!

I bought my mom this book one year for mother's day . . .she used to tell stories of the Brian clan and summers together at their grandmother's house.  I remembered this book as I was cleaning out space for our "Goodletts" to move in for our summer together..

I loved it because it described two families in an extended family that spent their summers together.
It was a sweet story of how they filled the house, shared their food and loved making memories .
Sort of like what we're looking forward to.  We want to spend one to one with each child -- have long talks about things that really matter -- like sloths, slugs and other of God's creatures, and enjoy lots of outdoor time in the sand castle.

God always hears my heart in  these matters. I had just been moaning to Him about the fact that with teaching, I was missing my Nana time at the kids special performances.  The very next day - Mat and Terry talked about making this a summer to remember while their home was being remodeled.
Moving Day in front of their "old" house
We've watched Bethany organize, toss, pack and get this move together for their family.  We're so glad they are able to leave for a family vacation before it all starts for them on June 5.

Mid-May I started the same -- getting rid of what we needed to cull.  Who needs 8 yr old cell phones?  I'm emptying closets - filling trash bags for Goodwill -- and tossing the rest.  People can't live on top of somebody elses' stuff!  It felt good to empty closets -- the question was -- where to put it???




We've been together for 10 days now and life is Good!  The past week has been afury of activity for them.trips to pick out all sorts of  building supplies and fixtures while trying to determine where that missing box or item is -- storage -- the new house or forgotten somewhere.


Birthday celebrating with all seven of us!!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Making Memories

T and I look for any openings in our teaching schedules to get to CO to see our Colorado Kids.  Memorial Day weekend as we left Church -we loaded our bags and the dog in the car -- and headed West.

We loved on the kids for 3 solid days - Thanks to careful prepping on Marshall and Katie's part, Clara makes up with us quickly -- Pawpaw is still her favorite I do have to admit.

Charlie is growing rapidly and is so quick to grin and focus on every word we say.  It was hard to put him down the whole time I was there.




Katie says he looks like Terry --

We spent lots of porch time -- the weather was cool and these two littles are outdoors kids already!






Clara has been overseeing her daddy's building project of a play house for her in the back yard.

Katie and I made our regular trip to IKEA and got caught in a traffic jam -- due to a fuel truck fire on I-25







Marshall and Katie are terrific hands-on parents and their babies are thriving!







Clara's favorite is Curious George and she enjoys sharing him with baby brother.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nana's Fav's

SOOO many fun times and cute videos of our five little cherubs!  Of course Easter is the perfect day for posing and grins -- but also a time of deep reflecting.

I spent Sat. morning going through the Resurection eggs with Sydney and Jack and explaining all that happened on that Friday that makes the eternal difference.  They had lots of questions.

Sunday morning -- Bethany texted this picture:
Dear THE EASTER BUNNY -- Easter isn't about candy or YOU - RESPOND - Campbell

Campbell is a normal 7 yr. old that would have sweets as their own food group -- but she has captured the true meaning of Easter --

















video

Clara rocks this slide we got her for her first birthday!


The kids continue to love the two cars that we re-purposed from our neighbor's garage sale.  Jack calls the jeep "MINE" and does a pretty good job of driving it when he finds it abandoned by the girls.
video

Jack has grown so much this Spring.  I welcome any chance I get for him to sit on my lap.  
He loudly echos anything he hears from the girls and watches them for all his cues

video


Meanwhile, our CO babies are growing and glowing!

Charlie's one month check up has him at 10# 4 oz

Big sister with a steadying hand is still amazed by him and thinks he's a pet.  She's learned to drag the bassinet over to the coffee table and has tried a face plant over the top of him.

She LOVES to face plant and can quickly cover the steps to the basement by making herself a bullet and zipping down the stairs.

Birthday season was launched with cookie cake and 3 little decorators for Bethany's birthday on the 18th.
Jack loves "fire" as he calls birthday candles and cries to be able to blow out your cake with sputters spits and a loud roar.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

School Days

131 students -- all with differing backgrounds, personalities and plans for life after high school.  

Youth Alive Students are a breath of fresh Kingdom Air


Several weeks ago, one of my Youth Alive leaders came to me and shared his passion that students in our high school hear the salvation story.  His passion was intense and it was an idea he didn’t let go of. It became a reality Thursday before Easter.  I witnessed these students making sure that their classmates knew that Jesus died to save them and lives now to intercede and make a way for them. It was thrilling to be the "fly on the wall" and to hear them capably share their love for Jesus and talk about his Spirit


During the time I went for pizzas for second lunch --$40-50 of the funds that we use for the pizzas and purchasing food d for students' families in need was stolen from my desk.

I figure we must have been doing something that Satan didn't want to happen.

This time in my school plan calendar, I teach sewing to all 130+ students.  I am always surprised and touched by what comes from my students during this time that their hands and hearts are connected to their projects.  I get to work more with them one-to-one and my classroom becomes much more relational.


 My teacher friend, Judi,  suggested that students sew 9-patches and put a quilt together, instead of projects for themselves.  It streamlined the whole unit!  After students learned the basics of how to use their machines they made a miniature pillow and were ready to begin the project.  Each class is constructing and giving their own quilt to projects for the homeless in Tulsa County.  On Monday, I had the students do a summary evaluation of the whole unit.  It touched me to read their responses on what this project had done for them.  

Even my big old guys were intent on getting their squares correct!


One mother who has a business making quilts for those in need donated 100 yards of fabric for backing for the quilts.

Monday, April 24, 2017

THE SEASON OF SACRIFICE

I find myself this season thinking of . . .

the renewal and revival this season brings to my heart every year.



Someone shared the idea that some scholars think the last week of Jesus life actually was about 6 months long –

I’ve had weeks that seemed 6 months long –  It was a hard week for Jesus --   I’ve found myself lying awake for several hours wrestling with things this week --- I have to admit they weren’t all spiritual issues.

Can you imagine what Jesus nights must have been like his last week???  We have his recorded prayers in the Garden – but this Son of Man /  Son of God knew what was ahead --

In Jesus last week he cursed the fig tree –

Ø All this -- with his mind’s eye on Jerusalem – He knew what lay  ahead --

Ø Sunday the crowd was with him on the road– wanting Jesus as their King – but he knew the Garden and Golgotha were coming

Ø Jesus continued to prepare his closest disciples for what was to come –

They saw him raise the dead – He said he was the resurrection and the life was it only for everyone else? 
Image result for jesus empty tomb
THE EMPTY TOMB CHANGES IT ALL --- We;ve been to Gordon's Tomb - 

LUKE 24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 

And the women brought spices . . . to prepare his body --- they were working out of plan B now. . . women have a way of picking up and changing plans when necessary --
Their disappointment had to have been palpable – so heavy – they’d given up 3 years – they’d heard him teach about life and death and the Kingdom of Heaven – where did it all fit?  They had so many plans
We’ve all had times when in our minds we created the Divine OUTCOME to one of our issues and GOD didn’t work our plan like we had written it.
Their pain turned to panic and then to tremendous JOY!!!  That empty tomb cemented every word Jesus had ever spoken
Resurrection power bursting forth in ALL HIS GLORY!!!!
Sleepy  disciples in the garden became self-sacrificing spokesmen for the Risen Lord

This day changed their whole perspective – and it was during the following days of AWE after our Lord arose that these men “got it”  -- they had their marching orders now – They had lived with and loved their Lord first-hand and now they knew what KINGDOM business really was!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Finishing Strong

As we wrap up our Spring Semester at Wednesday's KU, our theme is "Finishing Strong".  We posed several challenges to our students and with the interns help were able to help our KU students strive to give their best performance at the various physical contests.  We then discussed who it is that wants us to finish strong as we wrap up our school year.  Their college helpers organized a challenge run with plenty of cheers and bravos along the way.
video

The students were then reminded that the kind of dedication and commitment that they have experienced with their TCC "Buddies" it what it takes to finish strong.  You can check out our semester at:

Mfitkidsuniv.blogspot.com

Monday, April 10, 2017

With his wild shock of curly hair and the right tunic with leather sandals he could pass for pictures we see today of the apostle Peter.
This tall lanky senior is sold out for Jesus.  He came to know Jesus this past summer and has the passion and excitement of a new believer.  His artwork which in previous years had been somewhat ghoulish - now carries a Christian theme.

Being his teacher this year has been a special God gift.  Some days he shows up to sit and read his Bible in my classroom during lunch.  I asked him the other day what he was reading . . .ISAIAH!  

He often comes to my room with a deeply spiritual question
What do the Jehovah Witnesses believe about Jesus and Heaven?  (I had to Google that one!!!)

What about dreams?  Is that God talking to us?

Most recent:  Why don't the Jews believe? --

We turned to Matthew . . . where the Jewish leaders sent guards to seal the tomb and after the resurrection - bribed them to keep his resurrection under wraps.

I see all of faith with new eyes --

That's what this season of Lent & Easter has done for me -- 

The Jewish leaders said that if the story of the resurrection surfaced, the outcome would be worse than any other thing Jesus said -- reason enough to seal the tomb and put Guards!!

What if . . .the guards hadn't taken the bribe?  Wouldn't they have been the greatest witnesses of the whole weekend?

Think of all those miracles surrounding Salvation weekend . . . 

An earthquake ---

3 hours of darkness

Tombs open --- dead people walking around the city.

A dead man who brings HIMSELF back to life.  

Appearances to disciples who often weren't sure who they were talking to.

This season of reflection, repentence and renewal is one I look to every year.

In the Resurrection --
     
     > I know who took my place

      > I know I'm gonna rise again

      > I know who is making a home for me.

   

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Welcome to Our Family Clan, Charles Artie Bell II

We thought we were going to have a little leprechaun -- but you arrived one day early for St. Patrick's day and a day before your due date!!!  Charlie, we're all so thrilled you are a part of our Bell/Good Clan!  God blessed us with you -- a healthy boy who seemed to instantly become one of us!

Weighing in at 7# 12 oz --19 1/2 inches






Big sister got to meet you just minutes after you were born!



The rest of your family waited for two days to find out
 what you were named -- Your daddy made an awesome video to announce your name exactly 48 hours after you were born.

Charles Arthelde Bell 
after your great grand dad.

We got to come celebrate your birth just a week later -- we couldn't wait to meet you!




Big sister, Clara fell instantly in love with you and loves to share her toys with you by tossing them into your bassinet.








C takes care of her baby as she sees momma taking care of you.


Clara and daddy are big buddies . . . she's been helping  him with all his chores -it won't be anytime until you're right there holding a wrench or hiding his tools

And we all take care of Clara. . .  she doesn't lack for attention or love from all her cute little antics



Pawpaw and big sis became fast friends!!!

Clara and I got in lots of cuddle time since she was sick with a cold for two days.  Mommy has been on call 24/7 for two weeks taking care of you both.

Sweet baby Charlie, it was such a special week getting to snuggle with you as you became part of our family!  Our family is blessed because you came to us.  We can't wait to see the special boy you grow to be.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

KU PLANNING

DATE
Theme
ROUND UP
Communication & social /
Physical dev.
ACADEMIC
Buddy Reading
Addition/
Sub/Mult. Drill/
Spelling with Boards/
Story activities/
SMALL GROUP  activities:
Sewing/
Carpentry/
Art/
Science/
Games/


FOODS LAB


Followed by Wrap-up








Mar. 29
MAKING GOOD CHOICES
BY BEING A SERVANT AND HELPING OTHERS
Remind them of the rewards program concept
Justice

Buddy Reading


Missy  and 2-3 interns
sewing on fabric
Cutting squares/ pinning
Sewing/
Stuffing
Sewing by hand

Terry /Andrew
Guys on Wikkiup

Janet:
3 Group
Decorating the boxes to save their coins
The group that is left (not sewing, in foods lab or the wikkiup can do games after they decorate their boxes
Games:
Race with big eggs

Obstacle Course

Steal the ball

 Chicken nuggets and Lora has $30 to finish out the rest


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Teaching


I just renewed my OK teaching certificate for 5 more years ---

Let's see that makes expiration in 2022.  Hmmm when I do the math -- that's age 72--that's kind of scary -- but isn't 72 the new 62 as health experts say today.  'Not sure when I'll officially turn in my "badge".

It's in my blood -- my mom taught Sunday school for 35 years -- I watched her prepare lessons and hear her excitement as she recounted later that her2 & 3 yr. olds "got it" as she taught them.  (She was a big at hands-on learning before it's time)

When I was 8 - I took over the Sunday School class for a tardy teacher and afterward she proclaimed to my parents that I would someday be a TEACHER.

Mom and Dad always said -- "Get a teaching certificate so you'll have something to fall back on."  Teaching has joyfully filled my empty nest years and I love preparing lessons for children's bible classes.

Last Sunday our Adult Sunday School teacher was ill and Terry and I were to fill in.

It just so happened that I HAD done my homework and was really excited at all I was learning from the 3 chapters of 2 Peter.   We were to tag-team it -- and Terry said he'd finish out what I needed him to.

What thrilled me the most was the way God put it all together as I was teaching.  He promises us that HE will give us words to speak.  I experienced that last Sunday.  I was on a roll and used up all the teaching time -- sorry, Babe.

I love it when my daily high school lesson plan comes together and we end up with great discussions or I see the kids laughing and enjoying some activity that I plan - I only hope they get a glimmer of Jesus from me.

I want to be just like Jesus in that he made a point and drove it home with wonderful examples and connected to the hearts of His hearers.  He was full and overflowing.

I long to do that with my grandbabies (my favorite time is bedtime Bible stories) --

Sydney looked up at me the other night as we were reading and asked "Are those your words, Nana or are they the Bible Story?"

Campbell and Sydney will pick up their little New Testaments that they have up in their bedroom and "preach" saying a few holy words they remember and close out with their daily prayers.  The other day S went through her little dialogue and then tossed the Bible aside, saying "I read the whole thing and now I'm going to Heaven." What is it Jesus said about the faith of a little child?

Jesus didn't just speak then, He speaks now when we're quiet enough to hear those insights and impressions that He's giving us.

Several years ago, these words gave me confidence when I was preparing to teach a group of ladies.

The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue,
So I know how to encourage tired people.
    He wakes me up in the morning, Wakes me up, opens my ears
    to listen as one ready to take orders.
The Master, God, opened my ears,
    and I didn’t go back to sleep,  I didn’t pull the covers back over my head.



(the Message)


Saturday, January 21, 2017

44 Years - Married to My Man

When I first heard Terry speak, I prayed -- "Lord, I want to marry a man like that."  This handsome preacher spoke words of hope and love.

Two years later, we officially met when he came to our Church to be the youth minister.  That March when I was home for Spring Break, my mom invited him for Sunday lunch. Eating dinner with my parents and two brothers, he maintains that he was so nervous that he wiped his mouth with his tie during the meal.

 He likes to tell that when I walked into Church he saw me and there was a halo over my head --
Don't know about the legitimacy of that -- but one thing I do know is that God has been such a part of our daily lives and decisions, and the reason behind the direction we took throughout our lives.
Ministry has been our life.

Helping people understand that Jesus loves them and saves them by His grace has been T's message since the beginning.  From early on His preaching centered on understanding Spiritual Gifts and knowing that God's Spirit is alive, active and accessible.

We have designated this as anniversary week doing our favorite things together all week  -- starting last Friday with seeing "Hidden Figures".   Monday we used our MLK holiday to work on our favorite project -- Kids University-- converting a storage room to a KU Klubhouse.  Never mind that we worked ourselves senseless lifting and moving heavy boxes -- we transformed the room closer to what we were hoping for.
We finished up the week celebrating with our 3 little "Goodletts" on Friday night and Saturday going to OKC Science museum.
 








I thought about all the ministry projects we've shared in together -- this is the guy who built a submarine in 1973 for the Sunday school classes to have a Bible Learning Center.  A couple of years later, Terry was known as "Mr. Shiney Shoes" in Memphis, TN as he led Bus Ministry to 300 inner city children at White State Church of Christ during his graduate school years.

During those Memphis years - we traveled to India three times holding ministry teaching schools -- Terry had already been there twice as a young college man.

He started a weekly radio program in the early 80's called HOME TALK -- following up with a weekly couples class -  that we hosted 100 for dinner on Wednesday nights.
Marriage and Family Institute of Tulsa was birthed in 2007 to help area couples strengthen communication in their marriage.  Kids University grew from a desire of ours to reach at-risk children in West Tulsa.

For the past 17 Years Terry has ministered to the a church plant on the West Side where he felt God was calling us - investing his energy into the stabilizing this group of Believers.  During this time his has taught countless college classes - and specialized in writing ministry courses for OKWU.

We wanted our kids to see the real in life -- not feel like they were living in a glass house -- but be free to be themselves.   They would travel with us wherever we got to travel in ministry -- be it Spain when they were 18 mos and 3 1/2, Mexico at 15 months and 2 and 4 years of age, Austria in 1st and 3rd grade or any place Stateside that ministry took us.  We've done Disneyland while daddy had a COBE conference -- Disney World while Terry spoke at a Church conference and other places.  He kept up a busy speaking schedule throughout our kids early elementary years and we tried to make it a family affair and packed up and went with him.

These 44 years have gone quickly --time does pass quickly when you're having fun -- and involved
in a work you enjoy together.


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