Let There Still Be Roses

 Dear Jesus,

 I read in Isaiah 55 these words:
 “So you will go out with joy, 
and be led forth in peace. 
The mountains and the hills will burst into singing before you 
and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands.
Large cypress trees will grow where thornbushes were.
 Myrtle trees will grow where weeds were.
 These things will be a reminder of the Lord’s promise,
and this reminder will never be destroyed.”

 I love roses on their thorny bushes. 
I love roses and can’t think that heaven on earth could lack them.
 Oh, Jesus…….
Oh, please, Lord say there will still be roses!

Falls Creek Camp

 The kids gathered at the Faith Baptist Church in Broken Arrow for the bus ride to Paul’s Valley and Falls Creek Bible Camp. Brenna got to go this year. 
Alton has been waiting for this all year. He loves Falls Creek.
 
The campers met in the gym. They were very excited.
They played a game outside when the rain let up and while they waited for the tour bus. 
Some stood by to watch. Here are some campers and parents
Quinton winning the game.
Alton and a friend
Loading onto the bus. Jessica, Brenna and Emily get on board.
Emily
What fun! Alton was so laid back and calm about camp! Billy and Anden and Evan watch the game.

Signs of Home

Signs are everywhere, even in the country. In small towns and along country roads, signs point our way and letter our worlds. Have you seen these signs? Can you tell where I live? 
Some irresponsible person shot this sign full of holes that have rusted, still I like this one. It is a good landmark. This sign is three miles from my house along Highway 16.

This old farm is located along a gravel road about nine miles northwest of my home. Seeing the way it has grown up, I think no one lives there anymore. A old house or barn is hidden back in the tangle.
This sign points west of highway 52. Margaret loves the horse statue because it reminds her of a horse she owned and named Princess. Many of the cattle and horse ranches in my part of Oklahoma have signs like this one with animal figures adorning them.
This sign shows how a gravel road running from highway 75 to highway 52 
cannot be traveled during the rainy spring.
Watson Ranch is about eight miles west and a mile south of our house.
 Have you seen this sign? Do you know where I live yet? 
I always wonder who painted the ivy on this sign for Liberty Church. 
Do you know?
AHHHHH
Always a beautiful piece of prairie to pass by, this field is unfenced and ready for dove hunters. 
The lopsided, hand-lettered sign is along Highway 52 west of my home.
These two signs are giveaway clues. One is on a store 14 miles from my house. The other is 12 miles. 
Haven’t you seen these signs?
This sign is missing a few letters, but it stills shows that people here love baseball!
This sign is out front of a small green frame house, built on the southeast corner of a cattle ranch. 
I love the name of this place: Clearview Ranch. It is a good name because a person can see 
for miles across the prairie here. 
I pass this sign when I go into town.  
One word gives a clue to my home place. Howard.

My front yard. Have you seen it? The driveway,the gate, the lone redbud tree?
This place is referred to by the neighbors as the Howard Farm.
There are signs even in the peaceful countryside far from trains, traffic jams, and city lights. I love living in the country with room to breathe and space to roam, and a view of the vast blue sky. This is home.
When God saved humanity through Noah and the ark, he told Noah that a rainbow was a sign 
of his promise to man. (See Genesis 9:13-16).
Later, God sent his son Jesus to earth. In Luke 2: 11-12,  He says “This shall be a sign to you; You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” Those two great signs are more important to us than all the signs we will encounter in this world, because to find Jesus and to find the promise of life
is to find home.

Signs of Home

Signs are everywhere, even in the country. In small towns and along country roads, signs point our way and letter our worlds. Have you seen these signs? Can you tell where I live? 
Some irresponsible person shot this sign full of holes that have rusted, still I like this one. It is a good landmark. This sign is three miles from my house along Highway 16.

This old farm is located along a gravel road about nine miles northwest of my home. Seeing the way it has grown up, I think no one lives there anymore. A old house or barn is hidden back in the tangle.
This sign points west of highway 52. Margaret loves the horse statue because it reminds her of a horse she owned and named Princess. Many of the cattle and horse ranches in my part of Oklahoma have signs like this one with animal figures adorning them.
This sign shows how a gravel road running from highway 75 to highway 52 
cannot be traveled during the rainy spring.
Watson Ranch is about eight miles west and a mile south of our house.
 Have you seen this sign? Do you know where I live yet? 
I always wonder who painted the ivy on this sign for Liberty Church. 
Do you know?
AHHHHH
Always a beautiful piece of prairie to pass by, this field is unfenced and ready for dove hunters. 
The lopsided, hand-lettered sign is along Highway 52 west of my home.
These two signs are giveaway clues. One is on a store 14 miles from my house. The other is 12 miles. 
Haven’t you seen these signs?
This sign is missing a few letters, but it stills shows that people here love baseball!
This sign is out front of a small green frame house, built on the southeast corner of a cattle ranch. 
I love the name of this place: Clearview Ranch. It is a good name because a person can see 
for miles across the prairie here. 
I pass this sign when I go into town.  
One word gives a clue to my home place. Howard.

My front yard. Have you seen it? The driveway,the gate, the lone redbud tree?
This place is referred to by the neighbors as the Howard Farm.
There are signs even in the peaceful countryside far from trains, traffic jams, and city lights. I love living in the country with room to breathe and space to roam, and a view of the vast blue sky. This is home.
When God saved humanity through Noah and the ark, he told Noah that a rainbow was a sign 
of his promise to man. (See Genesis 9:13-16).
Later, God sent his son Jesus to earth. In Luke 2: 11-12,  He says “This shall be a sign to you; You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” Those two great signs are more important to us than all the signs we will encounter in this world, because to find Jesus and to find the promise of life
is to find home.
Dear Jesus,
What a beautiful day Easter has always been to me because of you! Dad used to take us to the early sunrise service and then to a lodge in the woods where they served pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast. We sang and prayed and ate at long rustic tables festooned with bouquets of buttery daffodils as the sun slanted through the windows on us.
I remember sunrise service at our home in Texas at the Jesus House. Mama served up platters of pancakes and filled pitchers with fresh icy cold milk. We had bouquets of daffodils there too. Someone played a guitar and we sang about how we cherish the cross because it was there you died because you loved us so and wanted to bring us the hope of overcoming death.
On the lawn at Grandma June’s house in Louisiana, we watched the sun leap into the morning sky and we sang with the brothers and sisters there, “He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way!”
Oh, do you remember how Jiggs and the men’s quartet sang for us on Easter Sunday? They started out slow and low and dreadfully woeful.
“Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my saviour;
Waiting the coming day, Jesus, my Lord!”
(Then with such pomp and power they sang:)
“UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE,
With a mighty triumph o’r His foes!
He arose the victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!”
“Death could not keep its prey, Jesus, my saviour;
He rolled the stone away, Jesus, my Lord!
“UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE,
With a mighty triumph o’r His foes!
He arose the victor from the dark domain;
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!”
I can still hear them. Their deep and marvelous voices thundering in the old stone dome of the First Baptist Church in Manistee, Michigan. It was greater than any theater surround sound system on earth! I am sure that of all the praises you have heard, you must remember those.The sound went right through a person’s soul and overpowered him. It made me laugh and cry at the same time!
This morning the sun rose bright and warm on my bedroom window and I watched these tulips open to the light. I thought about you and how good you are to us. I thought what a wonderful day it was when my spirit and heart opened to your light and I knew you were alive!
Thank you, Lord, for coming. Thank you for dying and for living again, for making all things beautiful in your time. And thank you for tulips waving like flags to the spring sky and oh, yes, thank you for songs to sing.
Love you, Elece
Dear Jesus,
What a beautiful day Easter has always been to me because of you! Dad used to take us to the early sunrise service and then to a lodge in the woods where they served pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast. We sang and prayed and ate at long rustic tables festooned with bouquets of buttery daffodils as the sun slanted through the windows on us.
I remember sunrise service at our home in Texas at the Jesus House. Mama served up platters of pancakes and filled pitchers with fresh icy cold milk. We had bouquets of daffodils there too. Someone played a guitar and we sang about how we cherish the cross because it was there you died because you loved us so and wanted to bring us the hope of overcoming death.
On the lawn at Grandma June’s house in Louisiana, we watched the sun leap into the morning sky and we sang with the brothers and sisters there, “He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way!”
Oh, do you remember how Jiggs and the men’s quartet sang for us on Easter Sunday? They started out slow and low and dreadfully woeful.
“Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my saviour;
Waiting the coming day, Jesus, my Lord!”
(Then with such pomp and power they sang:)
“UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE,
With a mighty triumph o’r His foes!
He arose the victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!”
“Death could not keep its prey, Jesus, my saviour;
He rolled the stone away, Jesus, my Lord!
“UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE,
With a mighty triumph o’r His foes!
He arose the victor from the dark domain;
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!”
I can still hear them. Their deep and marvelous voices thundering in the old stone dome of the First Baptist Church in Manistee, Michigan. It was greater than any theater surround sound system on earth! I am sure that of all the praises you have heard, you must remember those.The sound went right through a person’s soul and overpowered him. It made me laugh and cry at the same time!
This morning the sun rose bright and warm on my bedroom window and I watched these tulips open to the light. I thought about you and how good you are to us. I thought what a wonderful day it was when my spirit and heart opened to your light and I knew you were alive!
Thank you, Lord, for coming. Thank you for dying and for living again, for making all things beautiful in your time. And thank you for tulips waving like flags to the spring sky and oh, yes, thank you for songs to sing.
Love you, Elece

Dear God,

It is the end of March in Oklahoma. My daffodills are blooming and the other bulbs sending up their spears to the blue sky. Soon the irises, the tulips, and the hyacinths will bloom. But this morning sleet is pelting the side of the house. The rain fell all night followed by freezing rain and then an hour or two of sleet, sounding like rice popping as it hits the windowpanes.

I ventured out into the cold wet wind to fill my empty bird feeders, grab the mail, and pick a bouquet with ice on it. The mud puddles and the water still standing from the last rain are frozen now. Snow is swirling out of the northwest – large soggy flakes. The weatherman predicts four to eight inches before the day is over. We have had these last of March snow storms before and they are soon gone and spring moves in with southern breezes and warmer days soon afterward.

In Louisiana, I was enthralled by the camellias that budded out on bushes and produced assorted orage, red, pink and salmon colored blossoms against shiny leather-like green leaves. What pretty flowers! I brought a potted one here to try my hand at raising them. Though roses grow well here, camellias don’t stand a chance against the freezes we have. The lilacs I carried home from Michigan failed for want of enough cold.

Here we have the Indian Paintbrush, the Prairie Primrose, and the wild rose that trundles in great sagging sprays over pasture fences. Every place has its natural graces. Cardinals, cowbirds, chickadees, white-throated sparrows, downy woodpeckers, and nuthatches are busy outside my window like so many mobile flowers.

Brenna’s little donkeys have eaten the center out of a round coil of hay. They seek the shelter of their open-sided shed on days like today. The cows and horses don’t seen to mind the cold. They graze lazily along the wooded side of the orchard.

Winter clings and then is gone. Spring, summer, and autumn each hold allure and trials of their own. I love living where I get to experience all the seasons fully. Things change and new joys and challenges entertain us.

Thank you for the seasons, especially these that keep us hopeful.

Love you, Elece