Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Loft – My Home Town

Graphic by Kerry Messer

Our LOFT the-loft
topic this week is My Hometown.  For me that’s Kenton, Tennessee. A place most folks have never heard of and there’s a reason for that – it was small in the beginning and it remains so today. Kenton’s claim to fame is the Home of the White Squirrel. There are approximately four or so other places around the Country that boast White Squirrels but the City Fathers assert Kenton had them first! 

A Book entitled Kenton: Folklore and Fact written in 1972 by Dorotha O. Norton is my source for Kenton’s origin. I was not privileged to be one of Mrs. Dorotha’s English students but my brothers were – they labeled her tough but they loved her. When Mrs. Dorotha moved on to the position of Assistant Professor of English at University of Tennessee at Martin, Mrs. Bonnie Ruth took her place – she was tough too; as well as loved and appreciated. I still remember those book reports with visual aids! 

It is said that Mr. Mack Alphin back in well that date is not certain but it was a good while ago probably in the 1800s, discovered these unusual squirrels, nurtured a pair of them  and they flourished. They became a delight and a nuisance and remain so to this day. As I said, they are Kenton’s claim to fame as evidence by this sign. home of white squirrel

Here, see for yourself they are adorable.  

squirrel in tree


Per Mrs. Dorotha’s book Kenton’s official survey may have been plotted between the years of 1851 and early 1857. Official records date Kenton’s Post Office as being established May 27, 1852. 

Let me quote here from Kenton: Folklore and Fact: “Never will a day in the town’s history hold more importance for its citizens than that day of the first train in 1857. It was a day of real celebration, and most of the people of the surrounding area came to see that “wonder”. As a part of the day’s festivities, everybody was offered a free ride from the depot in Kenton to The Old Mill and back — a round trip of about four miles!” 

Kenton remains a rural place. My Brother, my Sister-in-law, their daughter and grandson still reside in Kenton and I am looking forward to a visit Home for Thanksgiving again this year. Thanksgiving Trip-2It’s a quiet place, for the most part. People love genuinely and have plenty of stories tell over a good cup of coffee or a Dr. Pepper if you prefer. 

Day 273 of 2014, a day to give Thanks.


Light, Random and Silly

Light, random, and perhaps even silly – that’s today’s post. Yesterday’s was a heavy hitter but a lifter too, I think. If you missed it, click HERE

Less can be more. Really. See that plate of food? IMG_0821It may not look like much but that was my breakfast a couple Saturday mornings ago. And you know what? It was so satisfying! It was accompanied with a view and sounds so much to my liking AND my beloved JT was with me too. A quiet away from it all Saturday morning. Color me smiling thinking about it even now. 🙂

And just for fun take a look at this adorable idea.

My friend, Cathy, she has a creative side that absolutely delights me! She’s so fun! You should see the rest of her house and grounds! Amazing!

And like this. Who would have thought to use a puzzle in this way?  I love it! IMG_0843

Flowers. Don’t you just enjoy them so much?! A blue pot with pink and white blossoms placed just so on a red brick courtyard.IMG_0809 Now that’s lovely!  Don’t you think?

One more and I’ll sign off for today. IMG_0719

Radishes and tomatoes. We’ve had some good ones this year. Haven’t we all had some things this year? And we are only in the 9th month! Shall we count our blessings? 

Day 269 of 2014, a day to give Thanks.


Nehemiah 8:  (NKJV)  10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  via Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV;CJB – Then he said to them, “Go your way, – Bible Gateway.
Zephaniah 3: (NKJV) 17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  via Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV;CJB – The LORD your God in your midst, The – Bible Gateway.


I have been working on my Sunday School lesson presentation this morning. We have, in my opinion, a good lesson writer this quarter. He is Barry Joslin, (Find him on Facebook here) an associate professor of Christian Theology at Boyce College of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and he serves as worship pastor at Ninth & O Baptist Church (don’t you just love that name?) Louisville.  In my lesson guide for this Sunday, he said we must FIX our eyes on JESUS. 

Now how often have you heard that? And how often has anyone explained or fleshed out in a practical way what it actually means? Fix your eyes on JESUS.

Thankfully, Joslin gave me a word picture that I can get my mind around and hopefully my words.

Can we agree that when we say Yes to JESUS and are saved we begin a journey from here to Heaven? JESUS comes by the HOLY SPIRIT at that encounter of salvation, He is there and we see Him. We see him as Savior.

We saw Him as the only one who could save us and we desperately needed to be saved.  Hence, in the HOLY SPIRIT He stays with us throughout our journey here and this journey can be likened unto a race. So at salvation we are at the starting line, the flag is dropped and we are off. In the early steps of our race we eagerly, humbly look at JESUS right there before us as we walk/run.  We may not think so much about it then but there is a finish line ahead and we are going to get to it, sooner or later. Our finish line is our physical death. And at our finish line stands JESUS – alive in His Flesh and Bone GODMAN body there to welcome us into His Home, our home – Heaven. 

Remember Joslin’s admonition is FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. 

Back to our race word picture. After a while in our race we tend to not look at JESUS so much – He is still there right with us but what are we doing? Are we looking around? Looking at the road? Looking at the scenery? Looking at the other racers on the path? Are we comparing our walk/run to theirs? Are we looking at their racing clothes and shoes, comparing them to ours? Are we thinking ours are better? Or perhaps we are thinking ours are shabby compared to theirs. Either way where is our focus? Is it JESUS? Sorry to say it is not! We have moved our gaze. We are no longer fixed on JESUS at that point.

So how do we combat this? I think we do it this way. We are walking/running and we come along side someone with new shoes, ours are not so new, immediately our natural mind says I don’t have new shoes. Now if we are fixed on JESUS, with our renewed minds, (I Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23) we immediately see Him and we say, “LORD, thank You that she has new shoes and I trust You that when I need new shoes You will supply them.”  Or something similar to that. 🙂  Right there we have successfully avoided trouble and our eyes are still fixed on JESUS as we walk/run on. 

What happens if we do not immediately give JESUS praise for her new shoes? We go back to the Garden. We like Eve begin to think GOD is holding out on us. That He is treating us unfairly. That He does not love us like He loves her. On and on down the spiral we go into a pit of self-pity, anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness, etc. That, my dear Friends, is the results of NOT keeping our eyes FIXED on JESUS. 

Now, obviously, on this journey, this race we are walking/running there are things we must see in order to finish the race. There are houses to build to live in, there are meals to cook, there are babies to birth, and there is school, jobs, recreation, entertainment, sickness, diseases, death of loved ones, broken legs, sprained arms, on and on – you get the idea. All of it and more comes right into the path we are walking, we have to see it! We have to look at it. It’s unhealthy not to look at it. If we don’t look, we will fall over it. The question is HOW will we look at it? Will we look at it THROUGH JESUS or will we look AROUND JESUS and stare at it naked eyed?  In that split second that we choose to look at it naked-eyed, we have lost our FIX on JESUS. And until we divert our focus back, until we put our JESUS eye gear back on we are headed for Trouble with a capital T.

Are we going to gaze at Him perfectly all the time? Of course, not! But we can choose to daily practice fixing our eyes on Him and we can get pretty dog-gone good at it if we want to.  Question is, do we want to?

Well, that’s it. That’s what I think Fixing our Eyes on JESUS looks like.

Since it is now early afternoon, I considered saving this post until tomorrow morning but truth is I think it is so good, I don’t want to wait.  I hope it encourages you and lifts you as high as it has me. Blessings dear Friends! 

Day 268 of 2014, a day to give Thanks.


Starting for Bethlehem

Please don’t tune me out because I am about to say Christmas in September!

Here’s my thinking: if we want this year’s Christmas celebration to exalt JESUS (YESHUA) and bless our families and friends more than ever before, I think we need to start for Bethlehem now. I am thinking that if we don’t start now, this Christmas will be just as commercial, just as harried, more costly – less giving, and brimming with stress just as it has been in years passed.

So to my praying Friends, I ask that you pray for me. Pray that I will start for Bethlehem now. Pray that I will keep praying over Advent and how the LORD would have me honor Him. Pray that I will resist buying gifts just for buying gifts sake but will instead seek the LORD as to what He would have us give family and friends; gifts that will keep on blessing them for years to come. It’s a lofty request I know and I haven’t had much practice but I’d like to begin to practice now. 

I want a Christmas tree this year that’s simple, not decorated to the hilt but one that draws me to come and sit and visit with the Savior. And I want a Jesse Tree this year too. See HERE to learn about the Jesse Tree. There’s a lot to learn (and a lot of reading). I’m not looking for perfection in the way it’s done at our house just that we honor JESUS (YESHUA), remembering His Story. 

And I’m thinking special foods, music, decorations, family fun, friends, and most of all worship. That’s my desire for this Christmas Season. I hope I have started early enough.   🙂  

6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.  via Isaiah 9 AMP;CJB – But [in the midst of judgment there is – Bible Gateway.

Day 267 of 2014, a day to give Thanks.


The Loft – Best Practical Tips

The topic this week at The Loft (Graphic by Kerry Messer)  (Click HERE and you will be directed to The Loft.) the-loftis Best Practical Tips. And, of course, as good Christian Girls we should offer some wondrous spiritual insight, right? We could hope! Yet I have learned holy advice does not always have to be without humor.

She’s 84. She’s in my Sunday School class. She’s beautiful. She’s funny. She is a saint for sure! And when asked by some younger woman, looking back what would she do differently; she replied, “I’d put more lotion on my neck.” 

I love it, I love it, I love it! 

How do I get holy out of that? A couple of ways, I think. 

One. I have recently learned that taking care of this temple in which the Holy Spirit of GOD resides is a holy matter. It really does matter to ABBA what we eat, how much we exercise, how much we sleep, and much more. These things are a huge contributor to our physical, emotional and even our spiritual well-being. And as long as we are still breathing earth’s oxygen, it’s not too late to start making better choices about food, exercise, sleep, etc. Individual as we are GOD has a plan for each of us, even when we are 84 years young.  Maintaining the temple, particularly physically, is not complicated; it’s just hard. For most of us – for sure there are some exceptions – it’s eat less, move more.

But back to necks and lotion and my second reason.

Two. Necks turn our heads, do they not? Necks can be stiff, unbending, and that is not a desirable state is it? 

2 Chronicles 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel.
Psalm 75:5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
Jeremiah 17:23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.  via BibleGateway – Quick search: stiff neck.

More lotion on my neck. Oh yeah! That is holy advice for sure. The lotion (shall we say oil) of The Word of GOD applied by His HOLY SPIRIT to our necks will mightily improve our ‘looks’; will make our necks pliable, bendable to the Will of our Father. Oh yeah! that’s some practical, holy advice if I ever heard any! 


Day 266 of 2014, a day to give Thanks.


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