Thankful for a Faithful Mother

Dorcas Roberta Spooner married Robert Vernon Christensen after only six days of dating when she was 20 and he was 25. Their marriage produced three daughters and lasted until death (his, at age 42 from complications of diabetes, when she was only 37) do they part. I believe this was when the young widow began to draw on her own heritage of faith, established by her parents, Claude A. and Cora Esther Spooner.

Today would have been my beautiful mother’s 89th birthday. Before she died of cancer in 1995 at 70, her spunky spirit was still full of life and an even stronger faith. What a gift to we three girls to know our mother is now eternally in heaven with Jesus.

What a gift to have watched God answer her prayers for help in raising daughters alone, for help with provision and protection, and for help in teaching them how to be productive citizens. What a gift to watch her seek comfort, courage, and strength in the stories and wisdom of the Bible. What a gift to hear her sing and be taught by her the songs of our Christian faith.

Her love for The Lord has inspired me to trust God in every situation and with every need, and to rejoice in all things, even in the hard places.

And for that, I am forever grateful. Thank you, Mom, and Happy, Glorious Birthday!

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Fatherhood – Three Local Dads Share Their Joy

My own earthly father died when I was 12, but my sisters and mother never doubted his love for his family. I don’t know much about his personal faith because we weren’t regular church attenders then. But I do know he was a good man with strong principles and a joy I will never forget.

I thoroughly enjoyed the responses of these three dads who attend Plant City Church of God. I think you will also. Simply follow the link and flip to page 24 where you will meet Brent, Nate, and James.

Feel free to share your thoughts about a father’s influence on the spiritual development of their children.

http://www.focusplantcity.com/plant-city-issue-13-06-june-2014/

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Father’s Day Eve

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and our church’s women, young and old, are excited about the annual tradition of singing for the men.

We’ll sing three songs and then hear Waneda Brownlow, our missionary to Africa, share a message of encouragement to dads.

She trains our denomination’s leaders there of best practices for teaching children. Because of AIDS and tribal wars, many children and their teachers no longer have fathers. Tears, ours and hers, will probably accompany the stories and the photos she’ll share.

Knowing Waneda, I’m certain we’ll also leave the sanctuary tomorrow morning with renewed hope because she’ll point us to Jesus.

My prayer tonight is that God will help our congregation’s men to sense their significant roles in the great drama of family life—and that they’ll be spiritually confident He will help them to become even better dads and Godly examples.

Dads, “You’ve Got This!”

(http://journeyboxmedia.com/you-got-this)

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Words and Pictures

Teachers generally appreciate films that shine a light on their profession. As a recently retired English teacher, I can recall a number of teacher movies I’ve enjoyed, even the ones that highlight our flawed selves.

Several come immediately to mind: To Sir with Love (1967), Stand and Deliver (1988), Dead Poets Society (1989), Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Freedom Writers Diary (2007), The Great Debaters (2007).

And now, I will add to the list Words and Pictures (2013), starring Clive Owen as flamboyant prep school English teacher Jack Marcus, and Juliet Binoche as abstract painter and stoic new teacher on campus, Dina Delsanto.

The on-screen chemistry of these two, as well as their flirtatious bantering, positions them as adversaries in the war Jack declares – Words and Pictures. Watching the students engage in the battle is an educator’s delight.

The conflicts revolve around the drinking problem of the brilliant, but arrogant Jack, a one-time literary star, and Dina’s frustration over the difficulty rheumatoid arthritis brings to her own painting career. Others include a father-son relationship stumble and a male-female student abusive situation.

What I love most about teacher films is that they cause me to consider and reconsider the impact of education and the power (or lack of) one has to influence another’s life for the good (or bad). They make me think about the techniques and strategies that work well and about those that don’t. They make me wonder why some are drawn to make teaching their life’s work. They make me wish I could go back and have some do-overs. But ultimately, they challenge me to want to know more about everything and everyone.

What makes the light bulbs turn on in our students’ minds? What teaching methods or habits do we employ that turn those bulbs off?

In retrospect, I can think of a few that might have distracted some of mine. Reflectively now, I can only hope they knew I truly cared about their lives and their potentials and their futures.

Enjoy the trailer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JX6NScig7M

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October Meeting

Our next meeting is Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 7 to 9PM. (Note: This is the 3rd Thursday).

We meet at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Brandon, 3315 Bryan Road, Family Center-Room 305.

Louis Smith, our group’s “Voice Man” will offer some tips on public speaking. A critique session will follow his talk.

In preparation for our upcoming Brandon Christian Writers e-book, write the story of how you came into relationship with Christ (in 400 words or less). We’d love to hear yours if you’re ready to share.

Should you need another prompt, try this: Describe a “divine appointment” experience when God arranged for your path to cross another’s and you were connected for a purpose. 

We appreciate your postings to Facebook and comments on our BrandonChristianWriters.wordpress.com site. We also value suggestions for speakers, topics and activities for upcoming meetings.

Can’t wait to hear of your experiences at the Florida Inspirational Writers Retreat!

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Early in the Morning

I love the Bible verses that reference the early morning hours. Being a morning person (and a late night one, too), I have found the time before dawn best for my quiet hour with God.

No interruptions.

Focus.

Prayer.

Silence. 

Study.

Deep thought.

Wise counsel.

Refreshing.

Energizing.

Mobilizing.

Go with God, beginning early in the day.

 

He is always the best start.

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September BCW Meeting

Our next meeting is Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 7 to 9PM. (Note: This is the 3rd Thursday).

We meet at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Brandon, 3315 Bryan Road, Family Center-Room 305.

Gil Gonzalez will speak about social media, blogging & building your online presence. A critique session will follow his talk.

In preparation for our upcoming Brandon Christian Writers e-book, please write the story of how you came into relationship with Christ (in 400 words or less).

Other possible prompts:

1) Share about an unspeakable joy experience.

2) Describe a “divine appointment” experience when God arranged for your path to cross another’s and you were connected for a purpose.

3) A summer to remember

We need your favorite quote about writing. Please e-mail to cherylbethjohnston@mac.com.

We would also appreciate suggestions for speakers, topics and activities for upcoming meetings.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the Florida Inspirational Writers Retreat. This is a great opportunity to learn and meet with two publishers. Here’s the link:  http://brandonchristianwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/fiwr2013/

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