Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Compassionate Friends Balloon Release

A Great Tradition!

Meet Charlotte Repp,
the leader of
"The Compassionate Friends of the Twin Lakes Area".
Don't let this smile fool you!
Charlotte has her own tragic story, and was featured
in the February 13th issue of the Baxter Bulletin this year.
(Click on highlighted letters to see the article.)

Maybe this is why she is so passionate about her work!
This year was not the first time she has organized
a successful gathering of persons
who needed to release some grief.

And this year was no exception.
Music and food are good for the soul!

And there was plenty of both!
Including an Ice Cream Truck!

After tummies were filled,
and hearts were encouraged,
small papers were handed out for survivors
to write a note which would be tied to a balloon.

I'm not sure what others wrote,
but I addressed mine to my nephew Joel.
He had spent much time with our family in his youth,
and was like a son to me.
After a valiant fight with glioblastoma brain cancer,
he was escorted to heaven last September.

I based this message to him on these words from Jesus
found in John's Gospel:
 “Don’t let this throw you.
You trust God, don’t you?
Trust me.
There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home.
 If that weren’t so,
would I have told you
that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you?
And if I’m on my way to get your room ready,
I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live."

We gathered below the Ruthvin Bridge in Cotter, AR
at the White River.

Fog began forming on the river
as we prepared for this solemn moment.

...A very moving moment...

Tears fell from many faces as balloons ascended.
The cloud behind the balloons looked to me like
an angel cloud of witnesses to the event!

Higher and higher till they were out of sight.

The main focus of the Compassionate Friends is to 
"...promote and aid in the positive solution of the grief experienced
 by families upon the death of a child..."

The Compassionate Friends Credo:

"We need not walk alone.
We are the Compassionate Friends.
We reach out to each other with love,
with understanding, and with hope.

The children we mourn have died at all ages
and from many different causes,
but our love for them unites us.
Your pain becomes my pain,
just as your hope becomes my hope.

We come together from all walks of life,
from many different circumstances.
We are a unique family because we represent
many races, creeds, and relationships.
We are young, and we are old.
Some of us are far along in our grief,
but others still feel a grief so fresh 
and so intensely painful 
that they feel helpless and see no hope.

Some of us have found our faith to be a source of strength,
while some of us are struggling to find answers.
Some of us are angry,
filled with guilt or in deep depression,
while others radiate an inner peace.
But whatever pain we bring to this gathering of
The Compassionate Friends,
it is pain we will share,
just as we share with each other
our love for the children who have died.

We are all seeking and struggling 
to build a future for ourselves,
but we are committed to building a future together.
We reach out to each other in love 
to share the pain as well as the joy,
share the anger as well as the peace,
share the faith as well as the doubts,
and help each other to grieve as well as to grow.
We need not walk alone."

For those in the Twin Lakes Area who may be interested,
meetings are held the first Thursday of every month
from 6:00 to 8:00 o'clock PM
at The Hospice of the Ozarks Administrative Building
701 Burnett Drive,
Mountain Home, AR 726253
Phone 870-508-1789.

"You can shed tears that your child is gone,
Or you can smile because they have lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that they will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all your child has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see your child,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember your child only that they are gone,
Or you can cherish the memories and let your child live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what your child would want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: 
not as the world gives do I give to you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Little More of Wyoming!

On our recent stay at a Wyoming ranch,
we met this lucky mule.
He was lucky because he survived a rattle snake bite to his nose!
The swelling of his nose made intervention necessary to keep him breathing.

A barrel racing event was coming up the next week,
which called for a little round up of the horses
so that a practice session could be done beforehand.

The ranch area where we were is rich with history...
some pertaining to the county,
and some locally right along the Piney Creek where we lodged.
Grandsons of the author of the book on the right
were our hosts and tour guides!

The town of Buffalo, Wyoming has statues which show
enactment of the "Johnson County War".

The conflict was between large ranchers and homesteaders,
with the worst fighting taking place on April 10, 1892.
Troops from Fort McKinney were required to escort
the invaders back to the fort.

Nate Champion was a key figure in the Johnson County War.

 "Champion was simply a small rancher 
who stood up against the big cattlemen's practice 
of claiming all unbranded young cattle on the open range.
 He was the first person murdered
 by a band of hit men hired by the cattlemen,
and is celebrated for his heroic stand."
You can learn more about this war by clicking on this link:

Nate Champion reminds me of a Bible verse written by King Lemuel which says,
“Speak up for the people who have no voice,
    for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
    Stand up for the poor and destitute!”

Thanks for your visit!
Click HERE to see my latest post on Rock4Today,
featuring the "Names of God on Rocks"!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fishing in Wyoming

Recently we took a trip with some friends to northern Wyoming.
We stayed in an area near Buffalo and Sheridan.

This was our comfortable headquarters...

...with a birds eye view of the inside.

One of the things on our agenda was to go fishing in Piney Creek.
A one-day license, a fishing hat, and ...

...a fishing guide were what we needed!

Richard is an experienced fly fisherman,
and had spent many years in this area in the past.
He was happy to be back,
and delighted to be our fishing guide.

My husband decided to stick with a traditional rod and reel...
...And even baited my hook for me...

after I was quite unsuccessful with the fly fishing!

It was a "Catch and Release" area,
and Gary had a lot of good bites without having to take them off the line,
because the fish released themselves with the barbless lures!

I was quite excited to get a big one close to the bank,
but didn't have to release it either, since it released itself.
It was a fun experience!
Many thanks to our expert guide and our hosts!

Jesus was an expert fisherman!
There are many mentions of fishing in the Bible.
One of my favorites is from Luke 5,
Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night 
and haven’t caught even a minnow.
 But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.”
 It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish,
 straining the nets past capacity. 
They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. 
They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.

Then Jesus said to them:
 “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you.
 I’ll show you how to catch men and women
 instead of perch and bass.” 

To my knowledge, all the "bites" that we had were trout.

What kind of fish do you like to catch?

Thanks for your visit!
Check out my other blog by clicking below:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A little trip to "The Holler"

We had only gone through the field and started down the steep hill,
when we came across a little challenge.
The four-wheelers were able to pass easily,
but my grandson and I were in a Jeep Rubicon,
and found the tree would have to be removed before we could pass.

Grandson and his Papa tried to move it by hand,
but the fallen tree wouldn't budge enough to permit passage.

After multiple efforts,
it was decided to tie a rope around the fallen tree,
tie it to the Jeep,
and pull it out of the way.

Our efforts were rewarded as we enjoyed the tranquility
and beauty of "The Holler".

Wildflowers were in abundance.

Grandson and I made a little detour on the way back,
stopping by a favorite "swimming hole"
on Buffalo National River.

As we came up the meadow beside the river,
we noticed the rainstorm moving in.
We decided it was time to head back to the farm
if we didn't want to get soaked!

Praise the name of God,
    praise the works of God.
Shout “Hallelujah!” because God’s so good,
    sing anthems to his beautiful name.
I, too, give witness to the greatness of God,
    our Lord, high above all other gods.
He does just as he pleases—
    however, wherever, whenever.
He makes the weather—clouds and thunder,
    lightning and rain, wind pouring out of the north.
God, your name is eternal,
    God, you’ll never be out-of-date.
God stands up for his people,
    God holds the hands of his people."

Thanks for stopping by!
If you'd like, check out my companion blog at Rock4Today!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Beauty unfolding!

My "tame" daisies are about to explode into bloom.

My echinacea (purple cone flower) are a little ahead of them.

And my lilies are in their prime!

My climatis is dwindling,
but the strange culmination is also beautiful!

This is nearing the last of my evening primrose.

"The grass withers and the flowers fade,
but the Word of our God stands forever."
Isaiah 40:8

Steven Curtis Chapman has a great song called
To listen to it and watch the lyrics on YouTube,
click on the highlighted letters above.

Thanks for dropping by!
I hope you'll take time to be encouraged by also 
checking out my Rock4Today!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Southern Memorial Day Tradition

Last week my husband got an invitation for both of us to attend a "cook-out".
This was no ordinary barbecue...
This 90 year old gentleman has been hosting it for 47 years!

"RG" had known Gary's father,
 and had worked with Gary's grandfather in the logging industry.
The ties that Mr. RG had to Gary's family made this occasion a special treat.

Entertainment was provided by a singing group called
"4 GIVEN + ONE".

The small grill was worked continuously
to keep up with hungry appetites!

Different types of food were served in various places.
Our host made sure everyone knew where to go
to sample all the delicious fares.
The last stop was strawberry shortcake with ice cream.
Gallons of strawberries had been prepared!
Mmmmmm...  Delicious!

The playground was busy with happy children...

...While grown-ups watched or visited.

Four-wheelers offered rides for those who wanted a little adventure.

A good time was had by all!
I felt privileged to be a part of this get-together!
Thank you, Mr. RG and family!

Hop on over to Rock4Today to check out my latest "Names of God on Rocks"!
Thanks for your visit!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mourning or Mating?!!!

While I was having my morning cup of coffee one day this past week,
I saw two mourning doves land on the wires leading into our house.

I grabbed my camera,
and didn't have any idea what a show they were going to put on for me!
All these photos were taken in sequence...
although in reality I took nearly a hundred photos!
I've tried to pick out a few of the best.

They sat so close together...

All their movements seemed to be in sync...

...They moved through their grooming rituals...

They started at the front, and progressed to the back...

...sometimes their heads were not even visible...

...Occasionally they stopped their simultaneous routine... groom each other!

They snuggled close at times.
No wonder they are called "love birds",
and are often used in wedding ceremonies!

After "snuggling",  they would return to grooming themselves again.

This is the last photo I took of them together before they flew away.

One of them circled back around and landed on my back deck.
He appeared to be looking in the kitchen window at me,
and saying, "Did you get all the pictures you wanted?"!!!

As I looked at all the photos I took, I began to feel like I had invaded their privacy!
(Click on the above pictures to enlarge them.) 

How wonderful a God we have!
I love it when He reveals to me His glory and beauty in nature,
and I'm glad I could share some of it with YOU!
Last year around this time I did a post on a different type of doves.
You can find that post HERE.

The song below about doves was originally written by Bob Ferguson.
Click HERE if you'd like to hear it sung by Dolly Parton.

"Wings Of A Dove"
When troubles surround us, when evils come
The body grows weak
The spirit grows numb
When these things beset us, God doesn't forget us
He sends us His love

On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above
On the wings of a dove

When Jesus went down through the river that day
Well, he was baptised in the usual way
And when it was done
God blessed His son
He sent him His love
On the wings of a dove

On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above
On the wings of a dove

On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above
On the wings of a dove