Praying Keeps Me Close to God

April 1, 2014– My life changed forever! GONE!! But never forgotten! If I listen closely, I can still hear your voice and feel that last warm and precious hug! The last words you spoke to me as you hugged me still linger in my heart and brain as I remember them. The look in your eyes and on your face haunt my memories and bless me! I know you love me! You said, “Hester, honey, you just don’t know how much I love you!” Clyde, you always made it perfectly clear that you loved me and your family and friends! You did it daily with your words and deeds! You gave us so much love and so many blessings! God truly blessed us! You were a gentle giant with a beautiful giving heart!

In the last few years, we had some very enlightening conversations. We talked about the past and discussed events in our lives. We were both very open and honest, and our reminiscing brought us closer together. We talked about things we had never discussed, and it made our relationship even sweeter. I asked you about different times in our relationship, and you did the same thing. The complete honesty brought a sweetness and bond which comforts me even now!

Praying and talking to God has replaced our nightly conversations! I can no longer hold your hand while I fall asleep, however, God holds me in His Hand and comforts me. My memories of our talks fill my heart and give me comfort! You and I made a commitment on August 3, 1963, and it was for eternity! R.I.P.

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FEAR Has No Place In My Life — Only Room For God

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When I was young, I was so afraid of many things; however, I think my greatest fear was disappointing my parents and other people about whom I cared. I have to admit that I did whatever it took to please everyone with whom I was associated. As time passed, it became clear to me that there was truly only one being that I must please! As a twelve year old teenager, I accepted Christ as my Savior! Now, let me tell you that action changed my life forever. It definitely did not give me an easy road to travel, but I never regretted my decision. I could write volumes about the experiences I faced — some amazing, some scary, some exciting, many sad, but most precious are the memories of my interactions with the individuals God placed in my life. Recently, I had to make a decision that could have been extremely dangerous, but I prayed and God gave me the assurance that He is always with me!

Throughout my life, it has always seemed as though if anything strange could happen to anyone, it would happen to me. About seven years ago, I began to notice I was beginning to encounter some problems with shoulder and back pain. By 2015, I began to experience numbness and tingling on my left side, and I finally went to my doctor and told him all of my symptoms. He referred me to Dr. Paul Lane. After all the testing was completed, I was told I had spinal cord damage and needed to have surgery, or I could end up paralyzed. I had surgery as an outpatient, and I went home the same day. Recovery was wonderful, and no more pain! I still had the numbness and tingling in my left hand, but I could function and that was exciting.

After about three years, I began to notice that I didn’t have good balance and was falling a lot. In fact, I ended up with a concussion after one bad fall. Then, I began to have bouts of dizziness which prompted me to stop driving much, and I ended up in the emergency room and a week’s stay in the hospital. During that time, I was taken off all my medications for high blood pressure, trigemenial neuralgia, and high cholesterol. The tests showed I once again was in a dangerous situation! My spinal cord damage was much worse, and I needed surgery again! The site of the original surgery had become damaged again as well as three more disks were pressing on the spinal cord. The area was very close to the brain stem, which made it extremely serious. The doctor explained that this surgery was much more dangerous, and it would require a longer recovery time and would be extremely painful. He was not joking! The next few weeks would prove to be very uncomfortable.

I began praying before I left his office that day, and I began to seek God’s Will. A peace about my decision began to overwhelm me. I believe some of my family doubted my sanity when I called and set up my appointment for surgery. However, I had an overwhelming feeling of peace and faith in God and Dr. Paul Lane. I knew the dangers, and I faced my surgery with the assurance that God’s Will would be done. He is not finished with me, and I have things I need to do.

It has been over six weeks, and I see and feel improvement every single day! I am so thankful for all the prayers and the wonderful caregivers I encountered on this part of my journey! I thank my Heavenly Father for His Love, Mercy, and Grace. I am also thankful for the doctors, nurses, my family, and every person who helped me through this trying time. I think I will be changing my bucket list for the future! I don’t believe I can take a chance on sky diving or ziplining any time in the near future.

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December Blessings 2019

December Blessings: Day 1:

My pastor, Larry Hauser, blesses me with his sermons and messages that remind me that God is Alive and working in our lives! Thank you for sharing your faith and love for Jesus! Thank you for reminding our congregation to be busy doing God’s command to be His Disciples!

December Blessings: Day 2:

Even when things are not going well and it seems as though they will never be right again, I have the blessing of knowing Cason will give me a wake up call in the morning and a good night call in the evening. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for this precious reminder! I hope my little buddy knows how much his calls mean to me. Jesus Blesses me each day by giving me another opportunity to help someone and make a difference in their life.

December Blessings: Day 3:

My sweet Heather is a beautiful blessing to me. She is not afraid to tell me the truth and set me straight when I am heading in the wrong direction. Sometimes it disturbs me, but most of the time I am proud that she loves me enough to want the best for me.

December Blessings: Day 4:

Having a doctor who listens to me and helps me is an awesome blessing. Dr. Ben Hogan has been my doctor for many years, and he always provides me with excellent advice and care. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for giving me a doctor who is a professional, knowledgeable, and caring individual.

December Blessings: Day 5:

Heavenly Father, You know my deepest desire and my needs! Thank You for the precious privilege and blessing of being able to talk to You and depend on You at all times whether it is trivial or extremely important!

December Blessings Day 6:

I am truly blessed by my beautiful friend and precious hair stylist, Cherie Hunt. She is not only a wonderful stylist, but she has the ability to make me and her other clients feel special and loved. Cherie performs miracles on my hair and on my heart! If I am feeling down or lonely, a visit to her warms my heart and makes me happy! Thank you, Cherie, for always doing your best to make me feel special. I love you, Precious Friend!

December Blessings Day 7:

I am truly blessed by the generous and loving people in our world who see those who are lonely, homeless, hungry, and in need of being rescued; and they don’t just give lip-service, but they become the hands, feet, and heart of our Lord and Savior! The greatest contribution anyone can give is loving and caring for God’s Sheep! We have so many churches and organizations which take this ministry seriously; and a few examples are Hungry at Home, The Factory in Woodstock, Redland Baptist Church and Lake Park United Methodist Church in South Georgia! I know there are so many more, but these four I have personal knowledge about and have witnessed their work. The secret is the members and leaders in the churches and organizations.

December Blessings Day 8:

I am blessed by wonderful people who understand me and don’t judge me! I know I make mistakes daily and have to ask forgiveness because circumstances are not always in my control. Lately, I would have to say they are definitely not within my range of control. I am, also, blessed by those in my life who are interested in me, love me, care about me, and give me confidence to continue living a life that changes daily. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for abundant and never ending blessings!

December Blessings Day 9:

I am abundantly blessed by the changing seasons. Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate the love of God and family and to create memories that will last forever. Jesus is God’s perfect, indescribable gift. The amazing thing is that not only are we able to receive His gift, but we are able to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year. I appreciate the opportunity to share with others, and I am continually learning new ways to share God’s Love. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the Gift of Your Son, Jesus!

December Blessings Day 10:

Blessings just keep coming from every direction. Heather Guest Dawkins and Spencer Dawkins, Deborah Guest Metts and Scott Metts, Benny and Barbara Guest, Chris Guest and Lisa Selph Guest bless me constantly with their love, attention, and kindness! They make sure I am well, happy, and have the things I need. The beautiful thing is they do things not out of duty but out of love. God truly blessed me with awesome children, and they shine for Jesus!

Christmas Blessings Day 11:

I am blessed by my precious grandchildren and great grandchildren! Emily Metts Wade, Eli Metts and Gabbi Burch, Logan Brooke Dawkins and Lane Peavy, Alden Rachel Dawkins and Caleb Rogers, Christian Blake Guest, Cason Bennett Guest, Ellie Scott and Connor Wade!! Each one is so special in his or her own way. Their personalities are as diverse and beautiful as they are, but their hearts and missions are as much alike as they can be. They all share a love for Christ, each other, family, and others. They all love music, and they all show a joy for giving to others. “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. (Proverbs 17:6 KJV)”

December Blessings Day 12:

Friends are truly a blessing to me! Some of my friends are from my childhood, some are friends from my teenage years, some are members of my family, some are former students or my peers from my teaching career, some are FaceBook friends (who I have never met personally), some are very young, and some are Senior Citizens! They all share a common role in my life. They bless me with their smiles and words of encouragement and love. Thank you, Heavenly Father for blessing me with each of my friends.

December Blessings Day 13:

I was blessed with the 51 years I had with my soulmate, Clyde! Even though he has physically been gone for 5 years, 8 months, and 12 days, I still feel his presence every day. Things he did that protected me still are very apparent. He taught me how to take care of myself in many ways. At times, a little voice in my ear warns me that something I am doing will possibly cause me harm. Many times, I am pleasantly surprised by the realization that something he did years ago was in preparation for something I am facing now in the present. Thank You God for sending me a wise, loving, and caring man who loved me and his family unconditionally. Heavenly Father, help our grandsons to be men like their grandfather and our granddaughters to have the kind of men as husbands who are like him!

December Blessings Day 14:

I am truly blessed by all of God’s creatures, especially dogs! When I taught school, I had posters of dogs all around my room. I had little ceramic dogs, big stuffed dogs, and even metal statues of dogs all around my room. At one time in my high school classroom, I had a large stuffed dog that my students would rush into the class and claim it for the class period. It had a calming effect on the students. It made my heart smile to see my Juniors and Seniors attraction to the things that gave me pleasure! The real live dogs were very special, too! We have had so many different dogs, and it would be very difficult to name the one that was most special. If I had to choose one, I think it would be my Pekingese, Ming. Clyde got if for me when we first got married. Bentley, my mischievous little Maltese puppy filled a void in my life until I couldn’t take care of him properly anymore. I gave him to someone who would love him as much as I did. God gives us animals for a reason. They offer comfort, love, friendship, and so much more. These little fur babies show unconditional love to us just as we should to each other. As we were given the command to love our Lord and to love others.

December Blessings Day 15:

Extended family is an awesome blessing! I am truly blessed by the love, support, and sharing by my In-Loves and their families. Knowing that my children and grandchildren are a part of families who love and support each other and who welcome me into their lives is an absolutely precious feeling! God has blessed me with some beautiful individuals who love and serve our Heavenly Father. God made our hearts have the ability to love others, and the more we love our hearts are able to love even more! I pray this makes sense!!

December Blessings Day 16:

I am unbelievably blessed with people who truly listen when I need an ear to hear me, (even though I know I talk toooo much). At times we all need a sounding board for our thoughts and feelings. It isn’t necessarily that we are looking for an answer or even for someone to agree with us. God listens to us and even desires that we talk to him. He already knows everything, but the mere act of voicing these thoughts and feelings brings clarity to the situation. I don’t believe he expects us to simply accept things, but I do believe he understands when we are angry, hurt, and confused. I believe he enjoys our conversations with him and the deeper our relationship grows we understand more about his plan for us. Thank you, Father God, for giving us the opportunity to walk closer with you. Help me to be still and listen to your voice and others’ voices!

December Blessings Day 17:

God Blessed me with a truly great gift on this day a few years ago ( I cannot tell how many for fear of revealing mine and her age, and I fear that may be an unforgivable offense!),my precious daughter, Heather Guest Dawkins! She has been an amazing inspiration to me throughout her life. She supports me even when I am wrong, and she forgives all my mistakes. Especially since her dad died, she and her brothers and sister have showered me with love, attention, and kindness! They will never fully understand how much that has meant to me! Happy Birthday, Heather! Praying God continues to Bless you for many more years! Thank you Father God for knowing and giving me exactly who I didn’t realize I needed!

Christmas Blessings Day 18:

I was straightening up my bookshelf and became distracted by my school yearbooks! I have one for every year I taught, and I always allowed my students to write in them! I am so glad I did because I was blessed by the things my former students wrote! Wow!! The warm fuzzy feelings will remain for a long time! Some of the best memories I have centered around those precious students that I have always considered my children! Thank you to each of them for being part of my family and for continuing to bless me even now! Praying 🙏🏻 each one is happy and receives a blessing today!

December Blessings Day 19:

My blessings are overflowing! God truly blessed me with my two awesome sons, Clyde Bennett Guest lll and Christopher Burton Guest. They are as different as day and night in some ways, but they both have beautiful and loving hearts! Since their dad died, they have taken very seriously what their dad wanted them to do. I know they love me and want nothing but the best for me. I feel their dad’s love for me in the hugs they give me. They are extremely protective of me, and I know they would do their best to see that my life is filled with love just like their dad would want. Thank you, Father God, for entrusting my precious sons into my care when they were born. Thank you, also, for entrusting me into theirs and their sisters’ care now!

December Blessings Day 20:

Blessings continue to be abundantly poured on me. When I see people showing love and concern for others, it blesses me! When I observe a small child do something to make another person feel good, it blesses me! When I smile or speak to a stranger or friend and they return a smile or comment, it blesses me! There are so many ways we can pass the joy and blessings to others, and many of those ways do not cost anything but a moment of our time! I want to always share my blessings with others.

December Blessings Day 21:

I am truly blessed my beautiful and precious daughter from another mother, Deborah Guest Metts. When God sent me my soulmate, I also received an adorable little girl who has grown into an amazing friend and a wonderful woman of God. She never ceases to amaze me with her strength and wisdom. Through her I gained a lifelong friend and sister, Patricia Peters Guest, who I miss every single day! Because of Debbie, I have two awesome grandchildren, two adorable great grandchildren, and soon another beautiful granddaughter, Gabrielle Burch. Isn’t it wonderful the way God works to surround us with people who love us and whom we love!! Thank you Heavenly Father for knowing our needs and for providing for them before we even know we have those needs.

Christmas Blessings Day 22:

I am so very blessed by the families my children received when they married! All their lives I prayed for them to meet, fall in love with, and marry people who would love them and care for them, but mostly that they would love God and live lives dedicated to serving God. One by one, this prayer has been answered! All four of them have been blessed not only with precious soulmates but with their families. I am so blessed with a large extended family, and I love all of them with an unconditional love. My prayer now is that God will Bless my Grandchildren with the same legacy! I believe God”s Desire is for everyone to live in harmony, worship Him, and love Him and each other! In turn, they are blessings to others.

December Blessings Day 23:

I am truly blessed by all the advice I have gotten from some really wise people through the years. One of the wisest people who has been a part of my life was my sweet mother-in-love. She was an elementary teacher, and she knew everything there was to know about having a successful classroom with productive students. Once we were discussing students giving teachers gifts. She told me it was important to accept the gift regardless of what it was. She said whatever they offered may be the only thing they had to give, and it gave them joy to share. She said if their little hands were dirty, and they offered something to eat to accept it with a big smile. Whatever you did with it later, you would have given the child a moment of joy and a will to share! My daddy always said giving to others provided a feeling of joy that could not be replaced. I totally agree! Giving of yourself is a beautiful thing. My precious friend, Fred Davis aka known as the Principal of Lowndes Middle School and my first Principal, blessed me with his wisdom and my first teaching position! We shared many beautiful blessings! Many wonderful memories of blessings I received while in education flood my heart on this December Eve of Christmas Eve! Praying God’s Amazing Blessings on all of you!

Christmas Blessings Day 24:

I am so blessed with God’s Love. I see and feel His Love all around me. I can feel it wafting through the air. It can be seen in the smiles and in the eyes of everyone who knows Jesus as their Savior! It can be heard in the voices singing and praising His Name. I am so blessed that I still have the freedom and opportunity to worship my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We need to speak up and fight for this right so that we don’t lose it! We can no longer sit back and be passive about our faith and Love 💕 for Our Heavenly Father!

December Blessings Day 25:

I am blessed with memories and am happy that new memories can be made! It is wonderful to have family traditions, but it is also wonderful to start new traditions! Thank You God for all the old and precious traditions and memories and for the moments we shared with loved ones! As we travel on this journey we call life, thank You for allowing us to indulge in our favorite traditions, foods, and fun times; however, please keep us ever mindful of our true purpose for being on this journey! Help us to live a life filled with You and Your Precious Son, Jesus!

December Blessings Day 26:

I am truly blessed by social media because it allows me to stay in contact with family and friends. Having taught for 30 years, I have sweet memories of my former students and many of their family members. It warms my heart to be able to see their precious families and hear about their successes in life. It also gives me the opportunity to pray for them when I hear about their misfortunes or illnesses. As a teacher (once a teacher, always a teacher) one feels a part of their lives even if the time was brief. I believe that we all are who we are because of all the people we have known. Everyone we come in contact with has an influence on the person we become! The most important relationship we can ever have is our relationship with our Heavenly Father! He is the greatest influence of all. When other relationships seem to flounder, remember God Created each of us to have a beautiful relationship with HIM!

December Blessings Day 27:

I am truly blessed with God’s Amazing Grace! It took me years to fully understand that I cannot earn my way into Heaven. Jesus chose to come to earth and suffer and give His Precious Life for me. All He asks in return is that I love Him and that I love others! That is a small request! Why do we find it so difficult to do? I will spend the rest of my life doing what Jesus wants me to do. WWJD. What a beautiful blessing!

December Blessings Day 28:

I have been truly blessed my beautiful and amazing granddaughter, Logan Brooke Dawkins! Today is her birthday, and I am reminded of that morning with wonderful memories of Clyde’s and my trip to the hospital to welcome her into this world! We were experiencing feelings of worry for our own baby and for our grandchild. Little did we know what an awesome gift we were about to receive. A precious little angel has given us years of magic and joy! I have always called her my little angel because she came into our lives when we needed her the most. Just a few weeks later, she and her mother helped to nurse her granddaddy back to health after he experienced a stroke. Happy Birthday, Logan! Mimi prays for you everyday! My prayer is that you will be happy, safe, and healthy and that you love and serve our Heavenly Father. I wish for you years filled with an abundance of wonderful memories and God’s Blessings! I love you, my precious angel.

December Blessings Day 29:

I am blessed by music, words spoken, smiles, hugs, and personal interactions! The key to our blessings is kindness shown to each other!

December Blessings Day 30:

I am always blessed by God’s amazing Blessings that come when I need them the most! Anytime something hurts me or makes me sad, God shows me a real blessing in the situation or event. He is forever with me and prepares me for what is to come next. After all, this is my temporary home; He has prepared an eternal home for me! I know where I have been, and I know where I am going!

December Blessings Day 31:

I have been richly blessed by God’s Protection in 2019! My Guardian Angel has been really busy this year since I have tempted the boundaries over and over. She/He needs a rest, a vacation, or new wings. I set records for making mistakes, and I seriously think I am beginning my third childhood or haven’t made it out of the first two yet. I have probably challenged God’s patience several times with some of the things I have done, but God has been right there picking me up and setting me back on the path. My goal for 2020 is to walk closer to my Heavenly Father and heed His Voice in my ear. I will be a better mother, Mimi, sister, and friend, also. Thank You, God, for loving me and being my arm to lean on at all times especially since I don’t deserve it. Your Grace is sufficient for me!

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December Decisions: Day 2: My People

Many years ago, I had to make a decision about who I could trust as my friends and as my mentors. Someone who I thought was my best friend betrayed me and left me with broken feelings. My wise daddy talked to me and gave me some wonderful advice. I made a decision then to pray about choosing my friends wisely. I have made mistakes, but I learned God will steer me in the right direction if I listen and follow His Voice. When the same thing happened to my sweet Heather and later to my precious Clyde, it became evident to me how important it is to choose our closest friends with care and prayer.

My people are the ones who stay by my side when the party is over, when trash covers the tables and everyone else is packing up to go home and when the excitement has stopped, and the chattering of conversation has turned to silence. They are the ones who stay and ask if they can help. They are the ones who are there when there is no fun to be had, only work to be done. They are not living to be the life of the party, but simply to be a part of my life.

They are the ones who are by my side when everyone else has forgotten. They are the ones who are there when everyone else has gotten tired of my crying. They are the ones who let me grieve, and hold my hand while I mourn. They are there through the rough, and the tough, and the waiting until I can get back up and walk and be myself again. They stay and celebrate and clap when I win and stand at the finish line to give me a hug because they genuinely want good for me. They are with me through those major life events, when things get turned upside-down, when there is no easy fix, when all I need is one friend to understand. They are with me through my losing, winning, and all the times in-between. They are with me when I am on top of the mountain, and when I am stumbling through the valley. They stay and pray when I am still down at the alter. They stay and praise when I am in victory-phase, and give grace and forgive when I fall flat on my face.

My people push me to be better than the person I was yesterday. They encourage me to shine brighter, and love harder. They tell me the truth when everyone else does not have the courage to give it to me straight. They believe the best and are with me through the worst, because they know after every storm God sends a rainbow and sunshine.

My people are with me even when it is not easy, not fun, not convenient. While some people sway back and forth with their opinions of who they think I am and what they think I should be doing. While everyone loves me for a brief moment, and then forgets all about me when something better comes along, I have to keep my head up and my heart open and look for the ones who remain with me. Those are my people.

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December: Decisions That Have Made a Difference Day 1:

When I was ten years old, I accepted Christ as my Savior. That year stands out in my memory for several reasons. My two and a half year old brother was run over by a truck and killed the previous year, and there was a lot of suffering going on around me. My grandmother and I had been attending a revival at her church, Genoa Street Church of God in Waycross, Georgia. I had gone every night even though it was during school. I remember leaning over and telling her I wanted to go to the alter, and she said I could. The preacher talked to me about what it meant. I was baptized in the river about two weeks later.

Accepting Christ as my Savior did not keep me from making mistakes growing up, but it did give me the assurance that God Loves me and Forgives me for those mistakes. It also gives me the comfort of knowing that I have a place with Him in Eternity. I am not sure what Eternity will be like or how or if my loved ones who are there already will know me, but I know it will be a happiness that cannot be matched! I believe accepting Christ as my Savior was the best and most important decision I ever made!

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As I have gotten older, I have discovered that my brain and my body have begun to have some difficulty communicating! No! Really!! I am completely serious. About a year ago, I realized this phenomenon when I began having a problem just walking on a flat surface. It really became evident when I add bumpy terrain and steps. It doesn’t matter if I am going up or coming down. My brain stopped telling my feet to step higher or lower. Please don’t laugh! Oh, go ahead and laugh to your heart’s content! After breaking my glasses twice and receiving a concussion, I also began to laugh at myself. I even learned how to stop, drop, and roll with some expertise.

Along with the art of walking, I have discovered that sometimes I forget my age and try to act like a teenager. When I attend ballgames and concerts, I forget that I am not a teenybopper and get completely carried away by the excitement. At a ballgame recently, I felt like someone was watching me. Now, I cannot imagine why anyone would be watching me because all I was doing was screaming like a banshee and jumping around like a cheerleader! Yes, me! A retired teacher, grandmother, and supposedly a lady! My only explanation is I have been left unsupervised for tooooo long! Clyde always did a pretty good job of keeping me under control. I guess I need to think about seeking some type of supervision. The reality is I already and always have had a supervisor– His Name Is God!

“Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John‬ ‭8:47‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I know I belong to God, but sometimes I don’t listen as closely as I should. Those still small voices sometimes have to include other reminders that He truly is in control. Our relationship with God has to be tended to just like a garden. It requires constant watering, weeding, and fertilizing, too, if we are to reap the benefits and blessings God has in store for us. This is true for all relationships. Kindness and respect can really help in relationships. Thinking about the words that leave our mouths and the actions that are done can alleviate many of the miscommunications that are a part of our problems. At times, as soon as a statement is made or an action completed, we find ourselves wishing we could undo it. The problem is it is easier to apologize than it is to forget. It is difficult to forgive someone when they have cut us right through the heart. However, forgiveness is what we must give.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭

Soooooo. . . . . My goal is to work on my brain’s listening skills, or maybe I need to work on my feet and body’s listening skills. I am not sure, but I will really tend to my relationship with God because I truly want to reap the Blessings and Happiness that are a result of His Love, Mercy, and Grace!

Until next time, Hester

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Judging Others

““Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:1‬ ‭NIV

My heart has been burdened for a long time about the idea of judging others because they have made mistakes in their past. I really strive to be sure that I don’t make that same mistake. My spirit is weak; but I believe if I cling to God’s Word, I won’t be tempted to judge others. If I am realistic and honest, I sometimes err in the other direction. I am a really trusting person by nature, and so much so that I tend to get hurt by that trusting nature! I was the victim of a scam because I truly believed I was helping someone. I lost my life savings in the process, and it totally changed my outlook on life. It didn’t make me lose my love and desire to help others, but it did make me more careful about how I deal with others!

When a person repents of his/her sins and receives Christ as his/her Savior, God forgives and forgets the sins. How easy it is for us to continue to hold those sins against someone even though we want forgiveness for our sins!

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭

“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew‬ ‭6:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In other words, if we want to spend eternity in Heaven with God, we need to really think about forgiveness of others. I have been thinking about what Heaven will be like. I believe Heaven is a place of perfection and complete painlessness. There is no sin. There is not even temptation to sin. Given that entry into heaven takes some fleetingly enjoyable activities off the table, it is more than worth it. No amount of worldly pleasure would ever be worth losing out on the chance to enjoy perfect happiness and oneness with the One who made us all. Therefore, forgiving others is a very small exchange for eternity in Heaven.

The reason this topic has been on my mind and in my heart so much lately is that I know several individuals who have been hurt badly by people who continue to bring up things that happened in their past. The injured people have changed their paths, confessed their sins, and are doing their best to help others. God is working in their lives! However, satan continues to plaque them through the actions of others. My prayer is that God surrounds these individuals with a hedge of protection and love and allows them to lead their lives winning souls for God’s Kingdom.

I know this post sounds like I am chasing rabbits, but the truth is I am searching for answers that will allow me to help others who are seeking peace! Heavenly Father, please intervene and give guidance and answers! Only You can Solve these situations. In Jesus’s Holy Name!

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Twilight Zone

Heavenly Father, thank You for always being with me! I truly believe my life is caught in the Twilight Zone! I find myself in some of the most ridiculous situations. Yesterday was one of THOSE days. I think these incidents happen to me because I do not plan ahead. I fly by the seat of my pants, and I have to continuously figure out how to get myself out of situations which I have created. This tendency has been a part of my life all of my life. The moral of this story is I don’t learn from past mistakes!

Cason and I were on our way to fill my car up with gas so we could drive to the football game on Friday. As we crossed the railroad track on Lakes Boulevard, we heard a loud fizzing sound. Cason said, “Mimi, I think one of the drinks is exploding!” There was so much traffic all around us, and I kept driving while imagining sticky fizzing drink covering all the back of my car. I told Cason we would check on it when we stopped.

We moved things around, and the fizzing noise stopped. I filled up the car and drove on home. When we got there, I started unloading all the groceries I had in the car. Well, I found the source of the fizzing sound rather quickly. I had purchased two cans of room freshener. A six pack of drinks had slid up next to the fresheners and caused one of the cans to start spraying. All I can say is I am glad they were in a bag by themselves. The bag was full of liquid. The back of my car smells really good and the can has about a third of the spray left. One thing I learned was either don’t buy drinks and aerosol cans on the same day, or don’t put them close together in the back of my car! I am just happy it wasn’t an exploding carbonated drink!

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Choose Your Battles

An incident which I found out about today has greatly disturbed and disappointed me! I have worked with young people for the majority of my life, and one thing I always tried to impress upon every one of them was the habit of being kind to others. When I discovered which church the incident occurred in, I was totally shocked because the church has a reputation of catering to our youth. My granddaughter wrote about what happened, and I am attaching her observation. The reason I am bringing this up again is I believe with our society going through so much violence and heartache now, we can never be too careful about our words and actions toward others. Our reactions toward what we perceive as wrong can result in a loss for God’s Kingdom!

My granddaughter’s post on Facebook:

“Not a typical post I would make and I’m Definitely not one to run to social media. But this is something that really bothered me . Adults or anyone … do not belittle a teenager or even another adult that is sitting in church.

Yes that person May have had their phone in their hand. But For instance, what if that teenager wasn’t a believer, and they chose never to come back to church because they were rubbed the wrong way.

I am a believer and It wasn’t said to me but I was rubbed the wrong way. I thought at first maybe the “adult” was trying to be a leader by telling the teenager to listen to the sermon, this adult did have a point. But my mind was quickly changed when he came behind the teenager at the end of the service and said “Maybe your phone God will save you.” No good was done. Yes phones shouldn’t have your attention during church. But that goes for anything. Your focus should be on God. Not just in church though.

And I am not one for services that make you feel good either. I love a message that will make you realize things and make you think about yourself. So this isn’t about that. But it could have been handled in a better way.

No one in church should feel judged by another person in church. My heart just hurts for anyone that has ever dealt has an experience like that. And if you have and you aren’t a believer. Talk to someone because THAT is not Christianity.”

End of her post!

As I have gotten older, I have tried to reduce the amount of “stuff” I carry in my hands. Most Sundays I have only my phone and keys, and for the past two or three years I have used my Bible App so I can take notes, etc. I had not even thought about someone thinking I was texting or doing something else. After all , I am too busy listening to what my preacher is saying to even notice what others are doing! It makes me want to stand up in church and tell our congregation that I am using my phone for the Bible App.

The thing about the situation is that it should have never happened. The adult stepping in did not know the circumstances or the whole story, but he acted with a holier than thou attitude and could possibly have driven a young person away from the church forever. He could possibly have caused a real tragedy. There is a time and place for guidance and instruction; however, my belief is that this was not an appropriate time or response. Our goal is to get people into church and make disciples of them.

My prayer is that this teenager was not permanently scarred by what happened. I am also praying that this man will think twice before doing the same thing to another person. He would be smart to pay attention to the messages he is supposed to be hearing because I have a feeling he has missed out on some vital information!

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Dust Storm

My teaching career began in the early 1980s and lasted until 2009. During those years, I had the honor of working with some wonderful educators, administrators, staff, students, and parents at Lowndes Middle School and Lowndes High School. I enjoyed being able to help my students build their skills and learn about things which would prepare them to function in our society and have success in life. Some of the incidents that occurred during those years made a lasting impact on my own life — from funny to tragic, from mischievous to heartwarming — each day was a day that is imprinted in my mind and on my heart.

I hesitate to give a date or any names for the event I am sharing with you in order to protect the identity of the innocent and not so innocent. I volunteered my team to move into the portable classrooms when Lowndes Middle School was going through renovations. I was the team leader and my team was composed of an awesome group of teachers–Mr. David Wells, Mrs. Peggy Lester, Mr. Scott Wildes, Mrs. Gwen Bergman, and myself. We were the academic teachers for The Green Giants, or Team 8C.

Since we were not connected to the main building and did not have access to an intercom, Mr. Fred Davis, our Principal, assigned me a walkie talkie (this was before cellphones were actively being used). My code name which Mr. Davis chose was “Queen Bee.” I later began to think I had figured out why he chose that name. After I finish relating this incident, I believe you will figure it out, too!

With the help of our students, we began to transfer our furniture and personal belongings. Now, you have to visualize the conditions with which we were working. We had four large classrooms with no restrooms or water fountains. We had to plan everything around our schedule, which would include mass restroom and water breaks with as little disturbance as possible to Team 8A (The Red Devils) and Team 8B (The Blue Jays).

After about a month of guiding and escorting our 120 to 130 students to the restroom and to get water, we made the decision to see if they could go into E-Wing on their own! After all, they were 13 to 15 year old young people. They had been following our directions really well, and we thought we could trust them. Well, the majority of our students had returned to class when I heard Mr. Davis on the walkie talkie. From his voice, I could tell there just may be a problem. “Office to Queen Bee! Come in Queen Bee!”

I picked it up, and said, “This is Queen Bee. ”

Mr. Davis urgently said, “Mrs. Guest, what is going on in your direction? I am looking over your way, and it looks like a dust storm!”

After teaching eighth graders for around 15 to 18 years, I thought to myself that there wasn’t much more that could surprise me. Well, I have to say I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. I ran to the door of our building, and I was stunned and amazed at what I observed. A group of our boys were running back to our building, and they had been kicking up their heels and dragging their feet all the way back to our classrooms. It looked like we were in the middle of the desert during a real sandstorm! They were laughing and having a great time. I All I could do was gasp and stare, but I had to explain to Mr. Davis what was occurring. His only reply was, “Mrs. Brooks is on her way!” Mrs. Josie Brooks was one of our Assistant Principals and worked mainly with eighth grade.

As I returned to my room, I thought to myself, “Queen Bee, your worker bees have been very productive today. However, I don’t think Mr. Davis or Mrs. Brooks are going to be very impressed! Although it could have been much worse, they were only having some ‘not so clean’ fun.” Looking back on it now, I realize that it wasn’t nearly as dangerous as some of the things that are happening in our schools and society across the country and world today. Another thought I had was that every single one of those students have developed into wonderful grownups and awesome members of our community and society. God is Good!

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