Friday, January 26, 2007

The Old Woman in My Future

There's an Old Woman in My Future

I have been somewhat out of step all my life
I started to school at 5, skipped a grade and was
the youngest in my class though high school.
I married my childhood sweetheart and he and i
raised our 7 children. When I finally got to college,
I was probably the oldest in my classes.
I suppose I aged into the study of aging. One day as I was writing a paper for a Gerontology Class when at Georgia State,I typed the words “growing older” and sat there looking at the words i had written. I thought, "'growing older' is two words, not just one and 'growing' is a positive word."

We will all get old if we live long enough. We have no choice. But we can choose whether to grow as we age or merely to get old. So regardless of our present age, if we live long enough there is an old man or an old woman in our future:

The Old Woman in My Future
Someday . . .Somehow . . .Somewhere in time
She's waiting . . . I will see
The old woman . . .Time is making
Time is making . . .out of me!

Will she be a sad complainer,
A fretful tenant of the earth?
Or a kind, productive person
Filled with happiness and mirth?

Please be patient . . . God is making
Molding slowly . . . Out of me
A shining portrait . . . He has promised.
Just you wait and see.

He is smoothing out the roughness
Polishing the dreary places
Filling life with joy and gladness
Pouring out His gifts and graces

God remake me . . . in Your image.
I want to like her . . . when I see
That old woman . . . time is making,
Time is making . . . out of me!

Copyright by Ruth Baird Shaw

Dr. Phil 's Test

Dear Fellow Bloggers. This was passed to me. I admit I have not taken the test...yet.
Dr. Phil's Test:
Dr. Phil scored 55; he did this test on Oprah - she got a 38. Some folks pay a lot of money to find this stuff out. Read on, this is very interesting! Don't be overly sensitive! The following is pretty accurate and it only takes 2 minutes.

Don't peek but begin the test as you scroll down and answer. Answers are for who you are now...not who you were in the past. Have pen or pencil and paper ready. This is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept. at many of the major corporations today. It helps them get better insight concerning their employees and prospective employees. It's only 10 simple questions.
1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon &and early evening
c) late at night

2. You usually walk...
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you..
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with..
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with...
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you...
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
b) black
c) yellow or light blue
d) green
e) dark blue or purple
f) white
g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going
to sleep you are....
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are...
a) falling
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant

1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.
OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they should "handle with
care." You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely
dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you,
but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved
with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather
impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions,
though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and
adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes
chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company
because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing,
practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the
center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to
their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding;
someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful &
practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not
a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's
extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty
in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to
shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long
time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see
you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It
would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on
the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully
from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this
reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive,
someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make
the decisions & who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or
anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't
exist. Some people think you're boring. Only those who know you well
know that you aren't.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Life with Wings

I like the story Cecil B.DeMille told of being in a canoe in Maine one summer day. Just drifting through the water in a shallow place near the shore. He could see the bottom of the lake and noticed it was covered with water beetles. One of the water beetles crawled up on a canoe, fastened its feet in the gunnels and died.
Three hours later, still floating in the warm sun, DeMille said he witnessed a miracle. The shell of the water beetle cracked open and a tiny head emerged. The wings unfolded and finally a beautiful dragon fly with iridescent body and gossamer wings left the dead carcass and sailed across the surface of the water, shimmering in the afternoon sun…going further in a half second than the water beetle could crawl all day long.

The dragonfly sailed across the surface of the lake.. But the water beetles below, unaware of the miracle of metamorphosis, could not see it.
DeMille said, “Do you think God would do that for a water beetle and not do it for you and me?"

Have you ever known the feeling of being lifted above ordinary limitations? Not just doing the best you can “under the circumstances” but allowing God to get you out from under the circumstances that would hold you.

I sat with a congregation listening to Charles Shaw, my pastor and husband, give a sermon. He told about an imaginary conversation someone had with an ordinary looking worm crawling down the road of a busy city. The worm was "out of place" but told the man, "Don't stop me. I'm going to get my wings." This is the poem I wrote:

God made the butterfly
And I…
Stand on earth
And watch it fly
And see that God
Has fashioned wings
For even earthbound
Creeping things!

I know that God
Intended wings
For you and me
Oh! My heart sings!
I’ve found my wings.
And even I…
Can over circumstances

By R.B.S. Copyright in 1973

Epiphany: How Does God Sign His Name

The word "epiphany" with a small "e" simply means mani- festation or making known. When the church uses the word "Epiphany" with a capital "E" it means God's mani- festation of himself in Jesus Christ. It means God making God known in person- in the life and the acts of Jesus.

Epiphany comes at the beginning of the New Year and is the season to reveal to us more about God and how God has manifested Himself in our world.

Back in the seventies, I read a story I have never forgotten. It was about two ten year old girls who lived in the early days of our country.
One day they went with the entire church family to attend an all day Sunday School Convention meeting in a historic old church. They rode in horse drawn buggies to one of the oldest churches in the country, a church building dating back to before the American Revolution.

As the afternoon wore on and all the speaking continued, the children began to amuse themselves by looking around and reading the initials carved on the back of the rough wooden pews...hand hewed pews.

One of the girls pointed to the initials, “J. A.” and whispered to the other, “ Maybe that is the initials for John Adams.” The little girls knew from some of the history of the church that there was a possibility that, as a child, John Adams could have sat in that very pew and carved his initials.

This was a fascinating thought, They might actually be sitting in a pew where one of our earliest presidents had sat.

Then they began to excitedly look for other initials of famous people. There might be a "G.W." or perhaps a " J.M."? Was it possible that George Washington or James Madison had once sat on these same benches?

They whispered to one another about all the important people who might possibly have sat in those pews as children and carved their initials on the rough pews in this early American church building.

The one child whispered to the other, “maybe God carved his initials here. How about God’s initials?" “That’s silly", the other child said, “God cannot write.”

“That’s silly again, God can write if he wants to," responded the other child.
Then the thought struck them...if God wrote something, it would not necessarily be in English or any other language. God's writing would not have to be like our writing.

As they began to look around the building, thinking of the concept of God carving his initials, one of the girls noticed a tiny blue violet growing in a crack in the floor. She quietly whispered to the other, “Look, God signed his name there.”

Their excitement grew as they began to look around and point out place after place where God had put his signature. One pointed out a dimple in a baby's neck in the lap of a young mother in the pew in front of them. Then they noticed smile wrinkles on a grandfather's face. Then a small intricate spider web.

The writer, one of the girls in the story ended the article by saying, "I knew that Molly and I would spend the rest of our lives looking for places where God had left his imprint.

Epiphany comes at the beginning of the New Year and is the season to reveal to us more about God and how God has manifested Himself in our world.

With all the distractions, falsehoods, and half truths banded about in our world today, it seems easy to put aside serious thinking and to spend our time thinking of lesser things.

There are still the Herods of the world, who have a vested financial interest in defeating us , rewriting our Christian history as a nation and making us forget God and forget who we are as children of God.
Just yesterday, the Televisiaon and Internet news revealed a 16 year old who took his dad's gun into his school and seriously wounded his school Principal and killed the assistant Principal and himself. He left a sad note asking people to "remember him for he was was in his past" and not for his last actions. A sixteen year old already tired of life.

Solzhenitsyn said some thought provoking words about the presence of evil and of the Herods of our world. He said, “The fight for the planet, physical and spiritual is a fight of cosmic proportions , and it is not a vague matter of the future, it is a battle that has already started. The forces of evil have begun their decisive offensive. Our TV screens, computers and publications are full of prescribed smiles...we might say canned laughter and raised glasses.” Yet alcoholism and suicide is rampant , even among youth.

But in the midst of heartache, terror and evil, God does not leave us withour signs of himself, God has given us a brand new day and today is the first day of the rest of your life. Epiphany comes in the New Year as a time of unveiling…

In our church office in East Point, we had a poster with the words “I know I am somebody because God don’t make no junk.”

I, like many of my generation, was reared “poor” in this worlds goods but with great spiritual wealth. Millions of people in this country have come up from poverty and physical deprivation into self esteem because we learned that the eternal God loves us and had a wonderful plan for our life. We learned in church that we were so important, and so loved that Jesus Christ died for us.

We did not need “self esteem classes” as some of our poor little rich kids do today, who have not had the privilege to learn about Jesus.

The two little girls searched for God’s signature, and I am sure if they kept honestly searching, they also found God in the Bible and in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

And also even in the midst of the great mystery of sorrow and grief as well as in the beauty of flowers and sunsets and babies.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Women Recruited for Work During World War II.

When My husband was drafted into the Marine Air Corps During World War II, we lived in a small house in a small Georgia Mill town near my husband's parents.
Every morning I dressed my two children, and we walked to the Post Office where I mailed the long letter I had written to my husband the night before. Then I picked up any mail I had as well as the mail for my parents-in-law. The Post Office was also had, what could be called "the Company Store" of grand-ol'-opry fame! I purchased any grocery item I or my mother-in-law needed. We had ration books and were limited in the amount of staples we could purchase.

On the way back home, I stopped at the home of my husband's parents for a brief visit and to give them any mail or information I had from their son or about the war.

They had another son, Grady, who was a tail bomber for the Air Force in the European Theater. We were all "at war." Our hearts and prayers were with "our boys" in service and with the few women who were also serving as WACs or WAVEs. Women were not drafted, but many joined to serve in one of the Women's Corps.

Calloway Mills was making cloth for the growing needs of our defense troops in Europe as well as in the South Pacific, and soon cotton looms were running 24 hours a day to make tents and uniforms for the soldiers.

With so many men away in the Army, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard, Calloway Mills began to recruit more women workers. Then they noted that in order to make it possible for able-bodied women to work , child care was needed.

One day, a Calloway official came to me and asked if I would take a job supervising the night shift of the Children's Nursery they were establishing. When they were looking around to find someone, they told me, it had been noticed how I cared for my two little children and would likely be good for that position.

Calloway Mills, under the direction of a "Nursery Expert" had taken one the the large houses in the community, gutted it and rebuilt it with play and sleeping areas for children in the community.

I accepted the job and the salary each month -- perhaps the only easy money I ever made. Each night, I bathed and got my two little girls into their pajamas and we walked the short (about a quarter of a mile) distance to the nursery. My children and the few other children who came were put to bed soon after their arrival on this night shift.
The Nursery stayed open less than a year. This kind of public "Child Care" was new to our generation. Most of the young women who needed child care while working for Calloway had a mother or an aunt to take over in their absence from home.