Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

Tuesdays are designated for raising child abuse awareness and trying to stop it where I can. I enlighten my readers to open your eyes. Deeply look at children. And last week, I raised the topic of asking your own children the right questions. Be aware of subtle changes in their actions and attitudes. Don't be afraid of the answers you may get.
Children are trusting. That is their nature. Child abuse is heinous because of that. Hurting the helpless and the trusting while making threats so children won't tell is what makes this the lowest act. The child feels guilt for the actions of the adult.
We, as adults, act like detectives. Don't be wrapped up in your own troubles and cares to the extent you can't see the abused. Some signs could be bed wetting in older children, stuttering, flare up of tempers and anything out of the ordinary for your child.
We can't live in fear or you would never allow your children out of your sight. That is not healthy. Unfortunately, we live in a sinful world. But Jesus admonished us to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Take knowledge and use it. And trust your gut. Trust your child. We teach them to respect and listen to those in authority, and most of the time they should. But always give them a respectful way out. Ask them to check with their parents before agreeing to something that doesn't feel right to them. Like I mentioned last week, have a prearranged signal to use when they need to get out of a situation and you drop everything to get to them.
Teddy's story touches me because the mother not only ignored the signs, but allowed her boyfriend to continue the behavior and joined in with some of the abuse. She is in jail. Pray for mothers and fathers to stand up to any abuse from adults toward their children. This has to be broken some way. Be aware. Act. Pray.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Story Behind the Story

Oh, I love to hear "writing stories," the stories behind the "Making of." Creativity. Now, I'll share my story behind the article for The Way It Was.
I found I've been interested in the beginnings of some rock and roll groups. The men, mostly, and what they rose against. I read the biography of Bruce Springsteen by Peter Ames Carlin a short time ago. I listen to interviews with Jon Bon Jovi, Steve VanZandt, and of course, Southside Johnny Lyon. I dig into the reason for music from particular areas. The Jersey shore sound has been classed as coming out of working class lifestyle, hard working lives.
Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio rock and roll roots are similar. At my age, I was on the cusp of awareness of the pure rock in our area. I vaguely remember names like the Bug Out in Transfer, and local groups that played at dances and the Casino. Until I was twelve, I only listened to what was on the parents' stations, WPIC or WFAR. I heard of Boots Bell and Johnny Kaye on WHOT, but rarely listened. Then I wanted to be cool, part of that growing up thing we do.
One night on Facebook, the Valley page, reminiscing about local history, the Green Man came up. He was a real person south of New Castle electrocuted as a young boy and had a greenish tinge to his skin, that the boys mostly visited. I waited to hear stories from my brother when he went out. The Green Man and the Haunted House speckled his stories of what he shared with us. I connected with Frank Secich, who wrote a song about the Green Man. I listened to songs on Reverbnation and admired the music with our local spots.
Eric Bombeck, the owner and editor of The Way It Was, called me about bumping my story. I was to write for May. He had another story he needed to run for May. I didn't want to wait till later in the year, but I was in the throws of that nasty sinus infection. I quickly asked if I could write about Blue Ash and early rock and roll in this area for the April edition. I had sixteen days. I knew I couldn't make time to go over to Mercer County Historical Society for research on another topic.
I messaged Frank and he cooperated wonderfully. We talked on the phone and then e mailed the interview. The boys in the sixties could have such adventures. When Frank was fourteen, he took the bus by himself from Sharon to Cleveland, Ohio, to see Bob Dylan. Then he met up with an older sister, who was going to college there.
I wanted to tap into that energy from the sixties. I still some day may write a story about that time. Frank sums it up in his interview. By the time he was twenty one, Blue Ash had signed a national record label. The group chose Blue Ash, seeing the name on a road sign pointing to a town in Ohio.
Thirteen years, though, Frank didn't even pick up a guitar. In 2006, he formed Deadbeat Poets, where the Green Man, Jennyburg Hill, Johnny Sincere and other great songs were birthed. The group is played often on Little Steven's Underground Garage- a syndicated radio show. Yeah, Little Stevie VanZandt of my Southside Johnny and Asbury Jukes history.
Frank told me how in Germany, four hundred people came out on a Monday night to hear them. Europe loves the band. When he picked up the guitar again and wrote songs, his recordings became a hit in Japan. The internet opens doors wider than ever before.
Also, as an older band, Frank states since 2006, they have never had an argument. They are more comfortable in performing and I guess the wild dreams of younger days grew into success and contentment. Still the power of song writing remains. I love the creativity.
Why rock and roll? I don't know why I wanted to write about it. The music, the creativity, the rawness are part of our history and still our lives. I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Boom for Our Local Library

My vantage point
 I arrived about forty minutes early for the talk by Beverly Lewis, a New York Times best seller of Amish Romance. The upper level parking lot full, so I drove around the block to the parking garage. I slipped in the back, as ladies waited in seats near the front. I flipped open my lap top, excited.
The staff twitter around the middle area. Book table freshened. Cookies spread out on another table. The tall man on staff beams. Having Beverly Lewis, not only here, but to kick off her newest book, The Love Letter, at our Sharon Library is monumental. Never has anyone of this popularity talked here.
I chatted with the woman next to me. She wants to write, well, she admited she has written some children's stories. I excitedly show her Rhonda Paglia's site and the Western PA Author page. I give her my business card. The first rule of writing, be generous and give support and advice.
Beverly Lewis came out as more chairs were added to the common area. She's petite. I looked up her age and find she is twelve years older than I. She's pleasant and has always written (sounds like me.) Only I gave away the Betty Crocker cook book with my drawings, and many of the early "books" I made. Her mother kept her writings.
Question and answer time arrived where anything can happen. I asked the second question- Is she planning a book on this area's Amish since she kicked off her book launch here? and follow up, Does she need a collaborator? Graciously, she laughed that this was a whirlwind book tour and she gets plenty of e-mails for ideas and plot lines. I stay away from the Sam Mullet(Renegade Amish) story. I really wish, though, I could have at least taken her to Mercer and New Castle and show her our beautiful Amish Country- different than many other areas.
Of course, I can't help but think of Bert and Barbara, my Amish friends from Ohio. Longing for warmer weather to visit them. I always joke, I could do their Amish life with running water and phones. Their home on a ridge with windows facing East and West in the midst of farm fields, peaceful and restful and beaming with joy. I love my time there.
I waited for the line to die by posting on Facebook, and checking my e-mail. After, again, welcoming and thanking Mrs. Lewis for coming to Sharon, she is to be whisked off to Mercer, PA's library. The Bethany House driver stated, "No time for back roads this trip." I do hope she comes back to our area for research on another book.
I finished up my article for The Way It Was- "Only Rock and Roll," at the library. This article is an interview with Frank Secich of Blue Ash, a local band that made some waves nationally. Frank broke the mold of bands in the late sixties of performing cover songs by starting to write their own songs. Western Pennsylvania has a local sound and we talked about that as well. He also still performs in Deadbeat Poets after retirement age. I love Deadbeat Poets local name songs, "The Green Man," and "Jennyburg Hill."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuOZpo_7m_A The paper comes out Wednesday, April 1.
I commenced the published author career later than Mrs. Lewis, but I hope some day, I, too, can speak to a room full of my readers in my library. Key, keep writing. I fight myself all the time for seat time. I need to give myself permission. I think it is also called discipline.
Meeting the audience

The line

Katie's friend, Dawn, has loved Beverly Lewis for many years

Friday, March 27, 2015

Opening Day!

A sunnier day last year
A repost about the Corral. Today, small flakes of snow flit around and I'll be eating in the van again. Spring is here. I feel it in my step. Opening Day!
My love affair with The Corral started again when we were looking for homes to buy. The realtor took us to the  white cement drive-in ice cream stand along 18 after walking through a house we really liked, ready to make an offer. The hot summer day cooling into a warm summer evening, with local ice cream. I got a sundae that overflowed the cup. Sitting there, conversing about hopefully our new home and savoring the summer feel of June, slurping the soft ice cream seemed almost Heaven to me.We tended more when I was a kid of stopping at a Twin Kiss farther north on 18 after a day at Pymatuning. That Twin Kiss went out of business, eventually leaving only the sign to finally no traces of those quiet summer evenings after a full day at the beach and driving. They, too, served soft serve twist cones of chocolate and vanilla.
We moved closer to The Corral, but not to the house we had hoped to call home. I think the owners decided they had a special home, because they never did sell it. We took those late evening summer drives to get the soft serve twists. I have to order a baby twist, because even the small towers over me.
Then we decided to sample the food on our way to the Shenango Dam. I fell in love with their chili dogs on homemade buns, a definite step above the national brand ice cream place. The French Fries, tasted like I fried them on my stove, crispy golden with a tender white inside. Milkshakes are delicious, but I crave something different, unable to buy just any where- coffee stirs- I wrote about them before: http://missmolliesmusings.blogspot.com/2012/03/local-stuff.html.
Today is opening day. I have started to see this as a rite of spring, as much as the buzzards coming back to Hinkley or robins or opening day for baseball. The Corral opening up is a long awaited event that even with the gray cool weather of today will have a crowded little lobby of people wanting their twists or french fries and lo-boys(their hamburgers) I'm calling ahead and will devour my chili dog in the mini van. I don't think I'll venture taking Harrison yet. He loves the ice cream, but allows the french fries to lay on the ground. That's OK, the birds like them.
When the girls were young, they climbed the cherry tree while we waited for our food. I gaze out at the farm land all around and relish western Pennsylvania summers. Hurray for Spring!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Team Teddy Thursday (this week only)

The stories abound of neighbors abusing children and coming to light. An Indiana, Pennsylvania woman allowed a man to beat her six year old because of bad grades. A Hermitage man accused of sexually abusing a girl. They continue, as always, it seems. So again, I ask that we open our eyes to the close world around us.
I read a link last week about questions to ask our children and now I can't find it. It made sense. We want our children to obey and respect those placed in authority over them, but we need to watch a little closer.
One mother stated they formed a code question so the child wouldn't have to give away she was in trouble. The child could call if she was in an uncomfortable situation (or dangerous) and ask how a "sick" pet was doing. That would be code for "I'm in trouble or I need you to pick me up." We have all been there where peer pressure keeps us pinned to a wall. This method saves face (very important to children) and protects children.
As parents, we need to pick up on subtle signs. I remember one time my daughter acted up after playing with a friend and her older brother. He was eight or nine, she was in kindergarten. Finally, I asked her what was wrong after struggling through a dinner out with my mother and her. She was unpleasant and defiant. She opened up that the brother had shown her a coin with an inappropriate picture on it. She didn't know how to process what she saw, so she behaved unlike herself.
As more and more people have access to our children and grandchildren, we need to open our eyes. Teachers, priests, older adults have preyed on children forever. As Solomon states, "There is nothing new under the sun." As protecting adults, asking the right questions, assuring our children to tell us when something doesn't feel right to them- believe me they know- and keeping eyes and ears open may help prevent abuse. As you know your children, trust your gut as well when a situation doesn't feel right. Unfortunately we can't always be there with them, but letting them know you are a safe person for them to run to and talk may save some. Be a safe adult.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Would make Grandpa Lyon proud

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Story of Marriage

On my brother and sister-in-law's forty first wedding anniversary, I dust off my piece I wrote four years ago
Not my brother's wedding, but a South African wedding in the sixties.
for my niece Gabrielle's wedding. I celebrate marriage in all its glory and ugliness.

What is so special about marriage?  Why in this world of living together and anything goes, do couples want to go to the altar?
I believe we all have inside us the sweetest story from time immortal.  A creation of perfection, a tragedy, a ransom and a rescue provide the plot to this story.  Fairy tales follow this story.  Classics are centered on unselfish love.  Even modern popular stories use the elements of this wonderful story.  A love unconditional that we all crave for ourselves.  We want someone to love us for ourselves and to give up life for us.  It is inside all of us.  And we all want this adventure.
Human love can disappoint, humans disappoint each other.  It is in staying together in the vows we take, the commitment we make that continues and represents the Great Story.
This Great Story is Jesus and His love for people.  He created us in His image.  He paid the ransom for our folly, our sin by dying on the cross.  He rescues those who choose to believe and stay true to Him.  And He is returning for those He calls His Bride, the believers covered in His righteousness.
The Great Story is inside us all, whether we acknowledge it or not.  We are to model His love to each other and that is why we still want marriage.  Marriage is the symbol of this love.  Inside us, we all want  happily ever after.  God put that there.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Movement

In our quest for a Saturday evening worship service due to our work schedules, we tried my friends, Mark and Sheila Bupp's church in New Castle, PA. I had been invited by their posts on Facebook. My problem, as always, is I work on Saturday afternoons most weeks. But ending my vacation tomorrow, I determined to go and David agreed to go with me.
An old yellow brick church sits on a corner on the south side of New Castle. Driving down I-376 didn't take long, so we arrived early. Greeted with warm hugs from Sheila and Mark set the tone. David admired a painting of a lion head, for his obvious reasons (Lyon- last name- many lion paintings and statuettes at his home growing up). The small interior has been remodeled. White walls surrounded the aisles of comfy gray chairs.
The worship songs were unfamiliar, but we easily caught on to them. The words flashed on the screen, too. The Holy Spirit visited quietly this night. Peace and a hush filled the air.
Gerry Toczek preached. His wife, Chrystal, played the keyboard and sang. After the message, the music washed over our tiredness. The couple met in drama ministry. The year, Mark and I with Katie, took the youth to Fine Arts in Detroit (2010), they all ministered in drama. This was number one thing in common. Then he mentioned he is attending a Methodist church and now once a month has a Spirit filled service there. David's ears picked up. The message was on Christ's DNA in us, talking about our identity. He wrapped it up, by saying how he was adopted, an important personal connection in our family.
The worship continued as Gerry prayed over mostly men who requested prayer. David and I sat in the dim light, quietly soaking in the peace. The time of praying wrapped up, David encouraged Gerry to stay with the Methodists. They need him more than the Assemblies of God. Mark laughed.
Mark told us that each Saturday is different when he invites us back. They gave up on Sunday mornings, as attendance was very low. He and Sheila can visit churches then, too, as with all missionaries, fund raising is important.
We were blessed with this service. I hope to make it back soon. I won't know my schedule until Friday. If you live local and want to try a different worship experience, unrushed, with freedom to linger in the Holy Spirit's presence, I suggest City Reach Church at 1211 Cunningham Ave, New Castle, PA.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Movie Watching Inspires Me

The Judge tells the age old story of the child who leaves the place where he grew up to return at the sudden death of his mother. Robert Downey, Jr. plays that son to the Robert Duvall's hard father. We've seen this before in many movies. The acting and writing revives the familiar story.
I do love these stories. The redemption, the reconciling, the realization where you came from isn't that bad. I can easily see West Middlesex or Emporium, especially when these stories are set in small town Midwest America, which they usually are. Seems to never be ones where the rebellious kid grows up in New York City, wanting to escape the grit and grime, then returns from the farmlands, loving the city after all.
This story, though, maintains interest in the family. Like layers of an onion, it peels and peels to get to the core. Never quite sure where the twist is and why there is such animosity between the Judge and his top lawyer son, and the ache he caused the old girlfriend and the brothers. Lives have been wrecked. It kept my interest.
A trial ensues in the courtroom, too. Movies seem to like that. They reference Atticus Finch, from one of the most famous trial movies in small town life. As many trials as I have seen and sitting on a jury, I still sometimes have problems following the drama. I wrote a trial in Last Free Exit, but I know I'll have to do rewrites. I marvel at the photography that adds to the hot summer mood in The Judge.
The green of summer, the waterfalls over a dam in the girlfriend's restaurant, the huge rambling house that isn't home beautiful on the inside and the streets of the town provide background for the movie. I love the one scene with rain, because I could feel the summer in it. I'm missing summer rain.
The ending doesn't really tell the ending. Life is like that. Story continues. We really don't know what the son decides as he stands in the empty courtroom. But I feel whatever he decides will work. I don't think he goes back to Chicago with his small daughter.
The feel of this movie inspires me in my writing. I loved the layers. I look to my husband and if he can't predict what is going to happen and the plot keeps his interest, I see the movie as a success. I crave to write those kind of stories, that keep interest with characters that aren't stale. I'm thinking of the story I'm writing now. Amy grows complex as I continue. She is unlike anyone I actually know and I thought of her as I watched the movie last night. You'll meet her soon.
I also have a deadline for Wednesday afternoon for The Way It Was. I've been gathering information. I'll write it today and edit over the next few days. I'm excited about this story, too. I wish my physical body would catch up to my desires. One more day of antibiotics and vacation. Warm sunshine could boost all this along. Maybe next month. For now, I push through enjoying a movie that keeps me thinking.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Southside Comes to Pittsburgh

I ordered the tickets as soon as I saw Southside's concert on the his website's calender. I watched with envy all the East Coast fans enjoying one concert after another this winter, with the Youtube videos of joking and great music. March nineteenth loomed on the horizon. I even took vacation to coincide with the Warrendale, PA concert.
Some personal things came up that we decided not to stay at a new motel in Cranberry overlooking the Chik-Fil-A and Smokey Bones.  Still the tickets bought guaranteed the evening of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. We enjoyed dinner at the Chik-fil-A, on a little warmer last day of winter- no snow, clear and dry.
We had never been to Jergel's before, since we're not much at concert goers. The doors opened at six and we arrived shortly after, just before the purple touring bus trailing a U-Haul maneuvered the tricky hilly driveway to the back. My husband handed them the tickets and became fluorescent green bracelet tagged. Then we wandered around. How did this place get so crowded in ten minutes with people eating food already? We suspect there is more to this venue.
Finally, we perched above the stage. No chairs against this part of the railing, although chairs dot several spots- no backs on the chairs, though. I'm excited because we can see into the green room and I watch the band go back and forth. I watched them set up the small stage. Finally, I see Johnny. My husband points him out, first. He tests the mikes and talks at the keyboard. The horns warm up.
An opening act proves better than we expected, but I want to see Johnny. He bursts into the scene on the performer throwing papers from the balcony, scolding him, and then rushes back to the room. I never liked the phrase Pennsyltucky and this man used Pittennsyltucky and talks really fast. But he's been performing since 1964, so what do I know? The locals love him. My husband quipped if he had an a few beers he may have enjoyed him more. His music was great, I must admit.
Finally, the show starts but with a bit of a down beat, as they are introduced as Southside Johnny and his Dukes. Johnny remarks, "Forty years and we're still Dukes." But Better Days are coming. Do we seem so depressed in Western PA and eastern Ohio, that he chooses that song to start the concerts here? But I love the song's hope, and we clap.
Johnny buoyed by enthusiastic fans bounces out the runway and invites a few on the stage with him during the first song. Security freaks. One of the women removed spills some beer. Johnny then refers to that area as the pit of demons. Later though he sends his saxophonist, John Isley out there. Then John himself returns for Talk to Me, raising an eyebrow when one of the audience participants sings really well. Take that mike away from him, Johnny doesn't say, but I pick up the joke.
During Tango till They're Sore, I can't tell if it is part of the act or if Southside is tired and not quite up to performing. I like to conclude it is part of the song, as he rallies to his joking self. I do think how long that drive from Jersey is, and he didn't have much time to rest before the show.
During the sax solo of Walk Away, Renee, a man in the front row fans John Isley with a gold towel, yes, Pittsburghers, a Terrible Towel. Then he throws it to John and John waves it. Here we go! Great local touch, and we love it.
As usual, here, when Southside pulls out the oldies and the favorites, the crowd comes alive with The Fever, Trapped Again, I Don't Want to Go Home and Working Too Hard. In that set, he reveals he has a real fever and a toothache, the bus driver showed up late and his boss kicked the dog-Oh, all right, I added that last part. He didn't want to complain or tell a long sad story and he didn't. After Working Too Hard and they walked not only off the stage, but to the room off the balcony, we still clapped and whistle and cheered, not giving up. One encore with the one we had to sing, Having a Party, loving it.
We sensed Southside meant it when he said, he was going to lie down on the bus. No mingling tonight, although after standing for five and a half hours, my husband just wanted to sit. I guess we're not as young as we used to be. But Johnny for being sixty six, does not look like it at all and even with all his problems yesterday, he put on a energetic show. I think also he missed the usual suspects from the East Coast.
And this old couple stopped at our usual eatery at night, Eat-N-Park, a Pittsburgh original. Grilled stickies with extra syrup and a Pittsburgh turkey sandwich- coleslaw and fries, cheese and grilled, as well, filled our table and tummies. I finished mine off with a Smiley cookie.
With the minor disappointments, last night was still a thrill for me. Worth the wait and of course, the hearing the performance of some of my favorite music. And tonight, I can hear the House of Blues concert in Cleveland on Youtube. So if you want to hear for yourself what this band of forty years is all about, tune in. I hope Johnny feels better tonight.

Good- bye till next time.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Last of Winter

This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I love the sunshine. I love the clear blue skies of yesterday. I do not like that chill remains in the air. I drove to New Castle, Pennsylvania. The ground brown, the trees bare, but the potential of green prepares. I could almost see April and longed to feel May.
The long hills off I-376, that used to be PA 60 still thrill me. The Amish corn stalks, neat triangles dotted rolling fields. The white houses with their side drawn curtains anticipated windows opened. But the air was too cold.
I descended into New Castle and remember thinking all those churches- First and Third Presbyterian, and I think a Methodist- were castles when I was small. The city was named New Castle, weren't they new castles? I longed to walk with a good camera and snap pictures.
Some neighborhoods still tired, like when they first were dying as the industry left almost forty years ago. Then some homes, the huge Victorians refurbished with someone making money, loom on the North Hill by the Scottish Rite Cathedral. I'd loved to walk, but am not dressed for the raw forty degree weather. I remember walking or riding the bus when I lived here during nursing school. Parts tired, and other parts renewed, the way I have felt with this sinus infection.
Some days I wake since being on the antibiotic thinking, "This is the day, I feel well enough, I'll forget my antibiotic." Then, I weary into the day. The sun so bright with no warmth mocks at the window. It seemed to feel better in February.
I never liked March. March's only saving grace, now, is like all the months it will be over soon. I sit on the cusp of spring and still see snow in the forecast. Will we have another blizzard? It is not uncommon. The first week of April in 1982, I got stuck in a blizzard with my future in-laws, camping in an Airstream at a site in Groton, Connecticut. I've seen blizzards in April many times.
Mostly this infection drags me down. Dressed warm enough, I could walk the dog. He desperately needs the long walks again. But I think forty is colder than twenty five. I whither at the thought of being cold. I have that lead in my veins from being sick. My chest bears pain and feels pinned to the chair. I cough, but little comes up. I don't want to be outside. Even driving too long wore me out, as I tried to adjust the heat in the mini van.
March drags out. Longing for warmer days grows more intense. I think of sitting on a beach wall in New Hampshire waiting for spring and not dressed for the cold. I have learned since then. I shivered at the co-ed wearing shorts yesterday strolling near the college in New Wilmington. I wanted a hat and gloves.
Clear, bright, cold sun replaced by amazing starlight. Yet, again, I don't grab my white winter coat to walk at night. I half slept through church last evening. I couldn't read and keep up with the video, so I listened and was blessed. Focusing was hard, but then I revived and wrote six hundred words on my novel. I thought it would be in revision by now, but I fail many days to give myself permission to write. I planned a release on my birthday, but I think another month on my anniversary. The writing runs well when I sit. I can't seem to sit.
Soon, though, days will be more warm than cold. I'll be over this infection. Spring will have sprung. I hope and I believe or else I couldn't get through March and the last of winter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Spring is coming, but it is still cold.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday


My source today comes from an article, "A Family Mission," in Vital magazine, issue two, March/April 2015.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "an estimated 686,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect nationwide" in 2012. "In other words, on average, a child is neglected or abused in America every 46 seconds. Approximately 78.3 percent of these children suffer neglect, 18.3 percent physical abuse, 9.3 percent sexual abuse and 8.5 percent psychological abuse."

The article introduced Wayne and Diane Tesch, who started a camp for children in foster care back in 1985. I knew great foster parents when I was growing up, my parents being one set, but that was many years ago. I conclude from reading abuse cases, that being related or not, does not stop an abuser. Many times it is the mother's boyfriend, as in Teddy's case.
These camps, Royal Family Kids camp, provide a haven for five days from any short comings of foster care. A website in the article provided more information on this ministry. I just started to explore it, but I am please to see there are local camps to our area. One in New Castle, PA, and several in the Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, vicinity.
I will explore this more this coming week and post information and my thoughts next Tuesday. Right now, I see it as another vehicle to pray for relief from the abuse children suffer. I read horror stories of the foster care system. I met some of the children, teens mostly, as a teen myself, when my parents worked at the Children's Aid Society in the seventies. I encourage my readers to investigate this themselves, as well. If God lays it on your heart to support this ministry, I hope you listen to Him. We need to help children any way we can.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

Some local numbers for Mercer County, Pennsylvania:
Fifteen categories of mandated reporters of child abuse in Pennsylvania, and they are mandated to report outside their job, if they are made aware of abuse.
Online reporting option- www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis
There also mandated reporter trainings offered online. Pennsylvania Department of Education has a list of approved trainers. AWARE, Inc., in Mercer County offers state-certified training. Call them at (724) 342-4934, ext. 105.
As always, the Childline is available- 1-800-932-0313.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Best Place

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpuu7uUOCJgI love how I wake sometimes to songs playing in my head. The birds' songs filtered loudly through my window with the bright sunshine. This morning promised more than many lately. I know no Sunday snow storms awaited. We gaze at forty degrees today and fifty later this week. I'm seeing patches of brown grass as snow recedes.
My cold improves, at least in the first few breaths of morning. I'm tired as the time change plays with my head and I push myself to get to church. But as I smell my coffee, I plug this song into Youtube and dance a bit.
Days get better. I don't know the plans God has for me, but He knows and that is enough. I rest in His arms and smell coffee, as the birds are singing just outside my window. No matter where I am, I am in the best place.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

My Review of "Out of a Far Country" on Amazon

Four years ago as the whole same sex marriage struggled for legality in our nation, I knew all the biblical reasons for marriage and I may add the biological and traditional reasons. I prayed though, Lord, I don't know any homosexuals personally and I need to understand this issue more from Your love. Soon, I heard Christopher and Angela interviewed on the radio. My heart was touched as much by their story as the answer to my heartfelt searching for answers in this searing issue of LBGT and loving this community. I ordered the book immediately. I cried when Christopher explained his journey and "holy sexuality."
Yes, I read this from a conservative Christian point of view. I prayed for an open mind. I appreciate that Christopher is still living a Christian life. I feel he is the real thing. I have done research. As he writes about his past, as a writer I heard his voice to take us to that time prior to his conversion. A young man, twenty two when he came out to his parents, tells of searching for love with the right one, like so many of us. I appreciate his struggle for answers after his imprisonment, and gleaning mostly from the Bible, alone, with prayer.
I reread this book just recently as I am now with prodigal adult children. Angela's story spoke to me about acceptance and showing Jesus' love. She and Christopher came to this later in their lives. My difference, I raised my children with the love of Christ. Taught them it is a relationship with Jesus, not religion, not just refraining from doing wrong- the old "How close can I walk near the cliff without falling off?" Jesus is not just an important part of life, but the important part of life. In this world it is hard to say, even more than four years ago, that sexual immorality is wrong. If I voice any opinion about "Holy sexuality," I'm viewed as a hater, judgmental and what's the other word, oh, yes, not evolved.
This book is honest. I believe they are the "real deal" in their faith. In even the Christian world, where sexual sin is not condemned in some churches, Christopher's teaching points the way.
Overall, it is not about us, but Jesus. We are to be holy as He is holy. By reading this book, in gentle ways, I am reminded of speak the truth in love.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Personal E-Mail

As I heard about Monday Ladies Prayer for Revival, I rejoice at how God moves with whatever we offer. This night the Spirit of intercession fell on the two who could go. I was really sick with a cold. I couldn't go out, even though I wanted to do both this and see Mary Ellen's play at SRU. I slept and watched A Man Called Peter, an inspiring movie about fiery Peter Marshall, a chaplain twice for the US senate back in the forties, before his untimely death at age forty six. I marvel in the movie of how his straight forward preaching of the Gospel drew overwhelming crowds.
This morning in my devotion book by Andrew Murray- Teach Me to Pray-  http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Me-Pray-Andrew-Murray-ebook/dp/B00B85ADRQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425579500&sr=8-2&keywords=teach+me+to+pray this line stuck out: Let us by faith in the Lord Jesus give ourselves to be intercessors. I read about Paul and his letters, too, today, I'm amazed again at how sure he was. One time he wrote, his critics said about him, he's bold in his letters, but not in person. I find myself shrinking from writing lately. I know so much is wrong in this world, but I don't want to sound like a hater. Maybe I should look at my weariness of writing, as putting pearls before swine. Jesus, Himself, did not always put it straight out there, but used stories. Jesus' story telling inspired me to write fiction to point to the Truth.
I'm praying that the spirit of intercession will continue to fall on us. I'm also asking that you lift me up with this new stage of motherhood I'm entering. I finished Out of a Far Countryhttp://www.amazon.com/Out-Far-Country-Journey-Mothers-ebook/dp/B004J4WK7E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425579204&sr=8-1&keywords=out+of+a+far+country+by+christopher+yuan last night, my second reading of a book about a gay son and his mother. We all have sin and like prodigals, need to return from far countries. I also ask that you would lift my writing in your throne time. I need to keep my eyes on my goal to write to the glory of God. As I write about some of my characters, I think of the fondness I hear in Jesus voice in one of His parables, "That rascal." No, Jesus didn't wink at sin, we know, but he did admire that sly man, who used resources, unlike the servant who buried his one talent. Yeah, I mixed parables. Sorry. I find it hard sometimes to write about my characters being in sin. I held back yesterday with the one I'm writing about, I felt too close to her abusing her child while she is under stress. I need to lean on God as to what is inspiring and what is insightful and instructive.
I know I'm on the mend. I enjoyed coffee this morning. Which means I didn't sleep until noon, too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

"The Stay at Homes" In one of those coincidences, I flipped the kitchen calender to this. My oldest daughter moved out March first. My husband returned to his job, as always on Sunday and the youngest is at college. I am a stay at home. I feel the sea at my face and the adventure that waits.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

I have a cold that is knocking me out, so I'm posting what Shawn (Teddy's father) posted last week:

Wanted to take a minute to update everyone on the status of Teddy's law. The bill is in the final stages. We would like to thank Capri Cafaro for all of her hard work on this. I will update more in the future when details become available. We are very excited about this and wanted to update our supporters.
Have a blessed day.
Team Teddy