Monday, December 31

Last Post For The Year

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Wow, today is my last post for the year. I am amazed that even though I am much busier, I found more time to write this year than I did last year. So, why do I blog? Is it for the comments? No, those are nice but not an absolute necessity. I blog for the simple enjoyment of writing and sharing my personal thoughts. Jack Dann said, "For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I'm surprised where the journey takes me." Yes, writing is a journey; it is a creative outlet of personal expression. It is a time that I can simply relax and share what I am thinking. Sometimes my thoughts are inspirational. At other times, it is just sharing a special moment that I do not want to forget.

"Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer." (Barbara Kingsolver) I believe I'll take this challenge and write about everything that captivates my attention. I'll forget all the rules, and simply write. "Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." (Jesse Stuart) Yes, I believe I'll write.....

Sunday, December 30

I See My Christmas Memories

Starbucks Ornament
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Christmas comes too quickly and then soon fades away into cherished memories. I see our Christmas tree decorated and chasing Christmas lights twinkling. I see gifts wrapped just waiting to be opened. I see a wonderful husband and amazing dad finding those perfect gifts. I see Sheldon and me decorating sugar cookies. I see co-workers exchanging gifts and hugs. I see a church banquet with great food, funny entertainment, and lots of happy people. I see an extraordinary children's drama conducted by Sharon and Art Lavenant. I see children praying and the spirit of God moving. I see a special gift that was given to us by the best people in all the world--The Pentecostals of OC. I see Bryn, Blake, Bryce, Sarah, and Sheldon gleefully opening gifts. I see friends eating the best red velvet cake you will ever taste. I see Jana, Brian and Mark just relaxing. I see another Scrabble game that was played and once again the men won! Best of all, I see family and friends celebrating another Christmas holiday!

Sometimes I wish Christmas did not have to end. I guess you can say that is how memories are made. Though we cannot tangibly relive the moment, we can dwell on those happy times and always say remember when.

Now, my desk sits where our Christmas tree once stood. The living room is just a little darker, but the memories are still there. I agree with Sheldon, it is a sad moment when we have to take the tree down. I gingerly wrapped every ornament and thought about when and where I bought the little trinket. I even have new ornaments to add to my collection. One is the ornament on this post which was given to me by Alice and a snowflake ornament that was given to me by Jana. I also have special, handcrafted ornaments made by Sheldon. Just more memories to tuck away. Life is so grand and full of precious moments to cherish.

I see a Christmas holiday that is now a fond memory. Farewell Christmas 2007 and hello new year. I know 2008 will be awesome!

Saturday, December 29

Blogging Essentials

Blogging Essentials
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.

Just a quick thought for today. I plan on posting my christmas memories very soon!

"Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,

The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!"

Monday, December 17

Here's a Real Cowboy

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Meet Cowboy Sheldon and Rocket. Thank you Steve and Debbie Saiz for making this such a special, unforgettable day for Sheldon, Mark and me. We had one FANTASTIC day!

Sheldon has read Black Beauty and War Horse. Thus, he has a fascination for horses, and on Saturday he bravely rode a horse. Rocket is a Tennessee Walker. I'll have to say Rocket is quite spirited when he is led from his stable into the corral. I enjoyed watching Rocket run, leap, and literally roll in the dirt. I was truly amazed. Steve kept telling us that Rocket will become "mellow" once he has had a chance to "exercise" all that excess energy! No way was I going to worry. So, when I saw Sheldon sit in the saddle, I just had to smile with such pride because he was one brave little cowboy.

Hey, and the fun did not end here. We then met Bauer the boxer and Chiquita the poodle. We had fun playing with the dogs. Last but not least, you cannot visit with friends without enjoying a good meal. So, we headed to Ruby's and enjoyed clam chowder, veggies, salad, fried shrimp and fish! Finally, the radar in the Saiz's truck led us to Penguins where the girls enjoyed yogurt. (Sheldon said the yogurt was disgusting, but by the time he had a few bites, he changed his mind.) We are looking forward to our next time of fellowship!

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Here we are with Rocket.

Thank You

Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.
Granny is one of the sweetest ladies in our church. Granny, thank you for your great effort in gathering all the gift cards for the Christmas banquet. We sure do appreciate you.
Also, thank you George, Bernice, Sabrina and Philana for everything that you did to ensure that the Christmas banquet was fun. We appreciate all of your help! Thank you everyone for simply being there.

Wednesday, December 5

One Simple Step Builds Great Momentum

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
New beginnings commence with one simple step. In order to begin, a plan of action is helpful but not an absolute necessity. Prosperous businesses never just happen. Much time and energy go forth into implementing a plan of action. An idea that has taken action, however, may need a little tweaking to make it successful. You may experience setbacks but remember that setbacks are just set ups for the next line of action.

God instilled in you a desire to begin, to step out in faith and experience exponential miracles. Blind Bartamas cried out and would not be deterred by the negative voices of those around him. He did not listen to the crowd; he would not lower his voice. Instead, he cried out all the louder until he arrested the attention of the Almighty One. Because he dared to cry out, he received a miracle--his vision! The woman with the issue of blood captivated the attention of God when she instantaneously without reservation reached to touch the hem of His garment, and He alone healed her. Her arduous struggle ceased because she dared to begin walking, touching, and believing that she would receive her miracle. Young David picked up five stones and slew Goliath. Jacob was in the pit of despair, but when the opportunity arose, he properly prepared himself, and he saved a nation from famine. Peter stepped out of the boat to find that God was there to keep him from sinking. Just as God was with Peter, He is with you beckoning you to take the first step in faith. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

The Pentecostals of O.C. are endeavoring to reach people who are desiring to know God. You must dare to take the first step and not just dream but implement actions to ensure that you are reaching those in your immediate circle of family, friends and co-workers. The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. (Chinese proverb) God will give you the necessary tools you need in order to begin to see your desire come into fruition. Your plan may sound silly to someone else, but do not cease to dream of what you can do to help someone. Now is the time to step out and take your first step because you "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you! (Phil. 4:13)

Tuesday, December 4

My Little Cowboy--Missing Grandma and Grandpa

Cowboy Up
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.

We had a great time visiting with mom and dad over the Thanksgiving holiday. As Sheldon mentioned time and time again, they just need to stay longer because a week is just too short.

This picture was taken the day that Grandma and Grandpa flew back to Texas. From the time that Sheldon arrived home from school he kept asking his daddy if grandma and grandpa are still in the air. When they were getting ready to pick me up from work, Mark was able to capture this thoughtful pose. A plane flew by and he was looking up at doubt already missing his grandparents.

Birthday Bash 1
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.

Monday, December 3

Dare to Believe

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
"Ask any successful person and most will tell you that they had a person who believed in them...a teacher, a friend, a parent, a guardian, a sister, a grandmother. It only takes one person, and it doesn't really matter who it is." (Sean Covey)

Where would you be if someone did not believe in you? You never know when your simple words of encouragement will become a marker in someone's life. Some young person will stand and say he believed in me and that is why I stand here today. Your child will someday say my mom and dad believed in me. Dare to believe.

Sunday, December 2

Please Pray For Trudy Powers

Sep. 2007 007
Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.
Blogs are great for urgent prayer requests. Please remember Trudy Powers in your prayers. She is the lady with the red hat. Unfortunately, she was struck by a truck. Currently, she is doing better, but she is still in critical condition.

Trudy is the dearest, sweetest lady! She is always smiling and ever ready to give you a hug. As you pray, please mention her name.

Saturday, November 24

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Happy Birthday to my best friend. Babe, you are the greatest husband, dad and friend. I marvel at your strength and ability to always see the good in every situation that you encounter. Have a wonderful birthday!

Thursday, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving

Dad, Mom and Mark.jpg
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
The early morning aromas have now dissipated and our appetites have been completely satisfied with turkey, corn bread dressing, sweet potato casserole with lots of marshmallows, infamous green rice, and yummy cranberry sauce. Oh, and we cannot forget the homemade sweet potato, pumpkin and apple pie! Last but not least, Christmas blend coffee from Starbucks. (Oh, ya)

We have had a great day. Mom started the morning off cooking while I slept in. For you see, my kitchen is a one-woman kitchen. LOL I did, however, clean all the dishes. I guess you can say that is my contribution to the thanksgiving dinner.

In all sincerely, we are just thrilled that we have mom and dad here with us. Sheldon has been keeping them busy by playing Battleship, Sorry and Clue. Most importantly, we are just enjoying talking with one another around the kitchen table.

We want to wish every at the Pentecostals of O.C. a fantabulistic Thanksgiving. We love you!

Friday, November 16

No Retreat for Defeat

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." (Author Unknown)

Why are we so fearful of defeat? The greatest lessons are learned sometimes by experiencing grave discouragements. We have to be willing to at least try and not withdraw behind our insurmountable walls of "I can't do that." "There can be no victory without the risk of defeat. If you suffer defeat, arise to the challenge again this time armed with the lessons of yesterday's failures. The cost of doing nothing is just too great." (Mark Pryor) We need to always remember that nothing is impossible for God! If we are willing to take one step, God is always willing to take two. Do you have the courage to take that step?

Monday, November 12

Thank You Veterans

Flags for our Fathers
Originally uploaded by justasungod.
President George W. Bush said in his weekly radio address: "America owes a debt of gratitude to all those who have served in our Armed Forces. On Veterans Day, we remember those who have served in previous wars, those who are serving today, and those who did not live to become veterans."

To all our veterans, thank you for serving and preserving our freedom!

Thursday, November 1

What Example Are You Setting?

Loading Rifle.jpg
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
I was reading an article about why adolescent girls are so mean to each other. This phrase captivated my attention, "Parents can start by monitoring their own behavior, the experts say, because girls (and boys) follow what their parents do. They can also talk to their kids about this hurtful behavior and help them figure out positive ways to solve relationship problems."

As parents, we have a viable duty to be positive role models for our children. For this reason, if you want your kids to show respect, you must show respect to one another. Go ahead, test this fact. If you do not like someone, your kids won't either. If you lack respect for a person, your kids won't have much respect either. If you are critical and gossip a lot, watch and see what your kids do. You'll soon find that they are quick to spread the latest news and most likely it will always be cast in a negative light. Don't dispair though. You can change this dangerous habit. "The first thing parents can do is recognize that what they say and how they treat other adults and children has an enormous influence on how their own children behave." (Parent Adviser, November 1, 2007). If something negative is said, try to change it and help your child to see the good in whatever situation you are facing. Let's become the right role model for our children!

Saturday, October 27

From Thankfulness to Gratitude

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. (Henri Frederic Amiel)

I like the action part of gratitude--it is shown in acts. You can be thankful for something, but it is even more wonderful when you do something to show your thankfulness or your appreciation. Acts of gratitude may cost you your time, but it is time well spent. People love to be the recipient of something thoughtful. The next time you are at work, buy your co-worker a cup of coffee or a favorite candy. Bake cookies for your family and then share them with neighbors.
Look for opportunities to give to someone. In your daily routine of life, you are around many people that need a hug, a kind word, clothes or food. Put action into your thankfulness and do something kind for someone.

Wednesday, October 24

The Ability to Dream

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful."

Monday, October 22

HOPE - By Emily Dickinson

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.

Hope is the thing with feathers;
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm;
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I 've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Saturday, October 20

We've Come A Long Way Baby - Deb's Perspective

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Mark posted a picture taken of me 14 years ago as we were just embarking on our new journey called marriage. This picture of Mark was taken the same day! I can still remember standing in our home posing for the camera. This "home" has many happy memories! I can remember many times sitting on the couch talking and saying how much I loved it! I can also remember all the flops of a meal I cooked as I endeavored to come up with a new meal. We have many great laughs over these adventurous meals. I thought I could cook something just because I saw someone else cook it. Soon, Mark would ask did you cook this or did you watch someone else make it. If the answer was I watched, he would smile and we would settle for our old standbys. Oh, the life of an evangelist--precious memories. Babe, God has been good to us. You are the BEST!!

Friday, October 19


staircase, originally uploaded by catscape.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. Okay, kudos to Sheldon for finding such a remarkable quote and picture to go along with it. I liked it so much that I had to post it on my blog. Life is a walk by faith. I am guilty of wanting to see the whole staircase before I walk, but I am learning to simply take life one day at a time.

Thursday, October 18

Trust - That's A Big Word

Sheldon II
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.

A man who doesn't trust himself can never really trust anyone else. (Cardinal De Retz)

Thinking on the above statement and the word trust, I had to ask myself why is it that this simple act or "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something" is such a difficult concept for some individuals. A newborn infant does not question whether or not he should trust the hands that are gingerly holding him; the infant just knows he is safe and secure. I trust that the home I live in will shield me from storms. I trust my family, friends, and co-workers because I know they have my best interest at heart. More importantly, I trust God to be with me each and every day. Like the wind, I cannot see God, but I know that He is there.

So, why then do people struggle with trusting one another? Perhaps some people struggle because trust is not a tangible object. You cannot point to something and say that is trust. Trust is an invisible thread that connects and unites people. Strengthen those bonds of trust. Trust and cherish those around you. Most importantly, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Prov. 3:5 )

Tuesday, October 9

Real People, Real Friends

Hanging Out At Starbucks 1
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
My friends--just smiling for the camera! Last night was too enjoyable. Sheldon said, "Mom, they left too early!" There is something about just talking with a friend that is invigorating. The kids play extra hard and the adults talk and catch up on what is going on. I can't wait until we see them again. Thank you Jana and Brian for always being there. Jana, you are just too sweet, and "everything is more fun with a friend." (Rebekah, age 15)

Real people, real friends.


A single flower growing where nothing else is growing is a beautiful thing. (Cindy, age 13)

Saturday, October 6

"You Make Me Smile" blog award

"You Make Me Smile" blog award
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Sis. Hurst and Sis. Elms, thank you; I am very honored to be the recipient of this Smile Award. Both of you make me smile. I have enjoyed your posts. What I am the most thankful for is the fact that I have met two friends. Both of you are an inspiration to me. Your posts bring encouragement, laughter, and thoughtful insights. It is great to read about your lives or something that simply interests you! Keep the fire burning as you bring joy to the ones who read your blogs.
Now, I am going to pass the award to Mark, Sheldon, Shirley Buxton and Jana. Thank you everyone for making me smile, and thanks again for this award!

Monday, October 1

My Love For A Flower Garden

Flowers @ Canada
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Okay, I am breaking my rule, I have posted twice in one night. LOL. As all of my dear friends know, I share an unquenchable affinity for flowers. If I could, I would spend all day planting flowers for myself or someone else for that matter. When Mark leaves for a weekend to preach out, I always run off to Armstrong Nursery. Perhaps there is a natural radar in my car that drives directly to the nursery (or Starbucks). Inevitably, the shopping bug strikes and I buy something even if it is just a plant for my herb garden. Surprisingly, I usually always get caught with dirt on my hands and Mark knows that I have bought something. Buying a plant is so much harder to conceal than a new pair of shoes or suit because it would sound silly to say, "No babe, I've had this plant for months; I just forgot to plant it." Mark has an uncanny way of arriving home when I am trying to plant my well sought after plant. Sheldon has even caught onto this little trick of mine. One time, Sheldon stepped onto the patio and his keen eye caught sight of my treasure. He then said, "You bought a flower and I am telling daddy." Caught again. To me, this garden is magnificent. I am sure that our heavenly garden will look something like this but much more spectacular!

The Enjoyable Art of Blogging

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Blogging is so much fun. However, for awhile, I ceased to blog until my FANTASTIC mother-in-law commented on how much she liked reading our blogs because it kept her apprised on what was going on in our lives. So, I endeavored to post at least once a week--give or take. Finally, Jana took up the baton and started blogging. I enjoyed reading her blog because I felt as if I was stepping into her living room and talking to my best friend. Through Jana's blog, I read some other interesting preachers' wives blogs. I've said all of this to say, that I am glad to have met some wonderful people in bloggersphere. It is great to go to various meetings and meet the author of the blogs I read. Thank you for sharing your lives and inspiring thoughts!

Thursday, September 27

Our Family Vacation

Mark Relaxing
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
It is now 11:20 a.m. and Sheldon is still fast a sleep. My wonderful husband made sure my computer was ready to go. So, I am taking advantage of this down time. In all honesty, I have not sat down at my computer for six days. I guess you can say I am slowly re-entering my world. Also, I do not want to disturb Sheldon's restful sleep. We still have some school work to complete, but for now, I'll let him continue to slumber in his dream world. Even though he is fast asleep, he was laughing! This of course made me laugh. I wonder what he is dreaming about? Our plan for today will start off with a paddle boat ride on the lake. Sheldon has already chosen the swan. I believe the swan reminds him of Luis. Luis is the brave swan in the Trumpet of the Swan. Sheldon has chosen this book for his first book report!

We have had a fantastic family vacation. I am sure all of us will have our favorites places or memories that make us smile. For me, my favorite place was the Epcot Center. I enjoyed the various exhibitions and then traveling vicariously around the world. At Disney Quest, sailing on the imaginery pirate ship was very fun and exciting. We were sinking pirate ships and winning treasure chests filled with gold and jewels! Mark designed a roller coaster that was rated a five, and we actually rode it. Talk about thrilling! I will always remember this family vacation.

To the Pentecostals of OC, thanks for making this vacation possible. Mark and Sheldon thanks for the great memories and making me smile. I love you!

Tuesday, September 18

A Great Big Thank You!

Sep. 2007 019
Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.
Where do I begin? We just celebrated our second year anniversary! I cannot believe that it has been two years. Each year, the church has honored us with a presentation, and this year was no exception. We received a gift card to a new restaurant here in town as well as a trip to General Conference! We will be leaving on Friday and flying to Oralando, Florida.

To the church family, I just want to again say, "Thank You!" You are the best family! God has great miracles in store for each of you.

Friday, September 14

Love Your Sisters

Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.

Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.

Sisters are priceless. Here all of us just hanging out at the beach!

Friday, September 7

Happy Birthday, Sheldon!

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Today is a very special day--Sheldon's birthday!!! Like any mom, I can vividly recall the day I first held my nine and a half pound, 21-1/2 inch baby boy. Now, eight years later, he still amazes me.

Sheldon, happy birthday. I love you!

Thursday, August 30

Lamp Lighters

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. (Albert Schweitzer)

Your life has endured many flickering flames that have carelessly been extinquished by lack of desire. Perhaps you felt that you were unable to fulfill your dream due to lack of motivation. Could it be that this dream or desire just needs some new life--someone to say you can do it? You can conquer your fear. You can achieve your dream. You alone must examine what it is that is hindering you from moving forward. Just like seasons change and offer new sceneries, you have changed and now you are ready to step forward and grasp your dream. It is never too late to begin. You just have to take that first step and decide that you will pursue your dream.

Let all of us strive to ingite a flame to help someone see their self worth! I am too thankful for the many friends and family who have always rekindled my light!

Monday, August 20

Family Fun - Second Church Camping Trip

Family Camp 07 026
Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.
Well, I traded in high heels for flats; curls for wispy hair, and a comfy bed for a sleeping bag. Was it worth it? Yes!! We had a fantastic time camping. What I enjoyed the most was seeing everyone have such a great time. All of us had fun just hanging out at the beach. Also, cooking over the campfire is lots of fun. Hamburgers taste better cooked over an open flame, and the yummy smores are just too tasty! I am looking forward to next year's camping trip.

Monday, August 6

Living Beyond the Past

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.

Letting go of the past can sometimes be difficult. Fond memories are easily brought to the forefront of your thinking, but even then the sweetness of the moment has dissipated because it is impossible to relive that special moment. Like a forgotten cobweb dangling in the corner, the recollection of a negative moment or past failure brings a heavy, downtrodden sigh. When you see the cobweb, your first thought is to grab the broom and knock the web down. However, for some individuals, forgetting the past is very difficult. Perhaps, they do not have the ability to let go because the failure is just too personal.

Past shortcomings or failures are not the end of the story. You are not defined by your past but rather by what you are today! Past failures can become a stepping stone to help someone else from making the same mistake; your words of wisdom become a blessing. Some of the greatest inventions first started as monumental failures. Cease from squandering your focus on 'what could have been' because "[e]very day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be."(Marsha Petrie Sue) Look at what you have become and celebrate your successes! Become a trailblazer and clear the path for someone else.

I like what Hebrews 12 has to say on this subject:

"Do you see what this means--all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running--and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in... . So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out and run for it!" (Heb. 12--The Message Bible)

Friday, July 27

The Breakthrough--Maximize Your Moment

The Breakthrough
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
The natural beauty of flowers can truly captivate your attention. Perhaps the intense color, uniqueness or fragrance of a flower will cause you to take a moment and gaze upon it's beauty. Walking home, a slight movement caught my eye, and I instantly watched as a bud burst open to reveal a beautiful flower! Just as this flower instantly opened, you must maximize the moment that is presented. Some decisions need much consideration while others just need a quick response. Maximize each moment that comes your way. "If we will maximize our moments, we'll experience the breakthrough that God has for us." (M.A. Pryor)

Thursday, July 26

Can You Dance On Your Potato Chips?

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
This is worth your time to read:

"Not too long ago I had 'one of those days'. I was feeling pressure from a writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple days and the toilet was clogged. I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times.

I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine. By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner. Deciding on Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans.

I grabbed a Tupperware from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned. My husband isn't a picky eater, but even HE won't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars. Really frustrated, now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition-free: hot dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull. The bag didn't open. I tried again. Nothing happened.

I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a hearty wrestle. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the bag, and it was empty. It was the final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream. 'I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!' My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help.

Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage: an opened can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips. My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process! I stared. I fumed.

Pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile. Eventually I had to laugh. And finally I decided to join him. I, too, took a leap onto the chips. And then I danced. Now I'll be the first to admit that my husband's response wasn't the one I was looking for. But the truth is, it was exactly what I needed. I didn't need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has God ever stomped on your chips? I know that, in my life, there have been plenty of times when I've gotten myself into frustrating situations and I've cried out for help, all the while hoping God would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess I've made of things. What often happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in the manner that is best for me after all.

Sometimes I can see right away that God's response was the best one after all. Sometimes I have to wait weeks or months before I begin to understand how and why God answered a particular prayer the way He did. There are even some situations that, years later, I'm still trying to understand. I figure God will fill me in sooner or later, either this side of Heaven or beyond.  Do I trust Him? Even when He's answering my prayers in a way that is completely different from my expectations? Even when He's dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping? Can I embrace what He's offering?

Can I let His joy adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of the dance He's dancin'  with my needs in mind? I'll be honest with you: Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I'm working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the older I get the more I realize that He really does know what He's doing. He loves me and I can trust Him. Even when the chips are down.

Come on, dance on your potato chips!!"

Tuesday, July 17

How Do You Treat The Ones You Adore

Originally uploaded by WisDoc.

There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Why is it that we flatter our guests but debase the ones dearest to us? If you knew that someone was videotaping an evening in your home, you would not dare act up. The fuss that you may normally engage in would not be near as intense. Perhaps, it would not even happen. If you can be kind and thoughtful to your guests, co-workers, friends or complete strangers, how much more should you be to your own family? "Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns." Your love and kindness will yield great dividends. Treat those closest to you as if they were a priceless jewel worthy of honor. Refrain from harsh words and love them unconditionally because your "family is a haven in a [sometimes] heartless world."

Saturday, July 14

We Need Each Other

Tualatin Hills Nature Park
Originally uploaded by pete4ducks.
After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
(Italian Proverb)

Saturday, July 7

Triumph in a Moment

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Days like today are priceless. Saturday's are reserved for our family day. We always strive to do something special together, and today was no exception. Sheldon and I decided that we would go on a bike ride. We rode around the neighborhood, stopped at a few garage sales, and headed home.

I was so invigorated about riding my bike that I decided I would find a family trail. So, armed with a bottle of water and a sense of adventure I set out to find the perfect trail. Ten minutes into my ride, my enthusiam began to wane and I even considered turning back. Just about this time, two riders passed by. I immediately got back on my bike and thought I would just follow behind the riders. Sure enough, they turned on a picturesque road. I soon began to enjoy the scenery and rode on.

I finally arrived at a street that I recognized and headed up the hill because I was certain there should be a bike trail there. For me, riding up hill is very challenging. Once again, I considered returning home, but I continued on. Like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I found the perfect trail! I rode on for about ten minutes more. Thankfully, the trip back home was down hill. Sailing down the road was fantastic! One exhilerating hour later, I bounded through the door and told Mark and Sheldon that I found a trail that we could ride our bikes on!

The moral of this story: keep going on even when you feel exhausted. Sometimes the journey is tough, but "by prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination." (Christopher Columbus)

Wednesday, July 4

Happy 4th of July

Originally uploaded by pentecostalsofoc.
Today is a most unusual day, because we have never lived it before; we will never live it again; it is the only day we have.

I am glad that I expereinced another memorable Fourth of July. We had a great time playing volleyball and hanging out with everyone. Much to my amazement, we were even able to catch of firework display!

Friday, June 29

The Next Advertisement For Starbucks

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Okay, okay, I should be winding down, but it is after 12:00 a.m., and I am still awake, but my two night owls are fast asleep. I guess you can say t'was the night before Friday, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. LOL

Picture of my two favorite people who make me smile: Mark and Sheldon enjoying some quality time together. The green stroke around the picture and the Starbucks notation are quite cute.

Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, June 28

The Act of Charity

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
"Be generous invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. (Ecclesiastes 11:1) When you consider "charity" your mind is drawn to donating money to worthy cause. By investing in a cause you deem worthwhile, you reap bountiful benefits. However, have you ever thought about investing your time and energy into your fellow friend? Can you show "kindness and tolerance in judging others" even when you feel that they do not meet up to your expectations? It is far too easy to criticize, but it takes a wiser, prudent person to refrain from criticism and simply observe the potential in someone. Any fool can expel large quantities of critcism, but a true visionary will see the exemplary traits in someone. "Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much." (Fromm, Erich) Giving is not just monetary but it includes what you have to say about people. Give many words of encouragement and refrain from a detailed, critical assessment of someone and your life will be enriched! “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” (Sir Winston Churchill)

Friday, June 22

Sailing Through Life's Challenges

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” (William Barclay quote)

Thursday, June 21

Wow, What A Flower

Originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.
Just browsing the various blogs when I saw this picture on Sis. Buxton's blog, and I just had to post it along with this quote:

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. (Joseph Addison)

As the sunday school song goes, "Smile awhile and give your face a rest . . .." Smiling only takes a quick second, but it's effects will linger for quite sometime. Life is too short to wear a frown, SMILE. :)

Sunday, June 17

Happy Father's Day Dad

Loading Rifle.jpg
Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
This picture of Sheldon and Dad speaks volumes of love. Dad's are able to impart such special teachings that sons will never forget, and Dad truly does just that.

Thank you Dad for everything you have done for us. Not only are you a great spiritual leader, but you are special and amazing person. We love you!

Here is what dad had to say this morning to his pastor on Father's Day:

Paraphrased – Lyman Abbott

BLESSED – MORE BLESSED, I am sure, than we can ever measure, are we who look into the life of our Pastor for the interpretation of the tender mercies of our heavenly Father. More than just WORD teaching is the teaching of his life. Not merely in the illustration of fidelity, firmness and gentleness of love, but in the suggestion of what must be that inward strength and the indwelling of our Heavenly Father. It has fashioned and empowered our Pastor to lead us to that Rock that is higher than just mortal man.

Eph. 6:4….Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

When we see the growth, not only numerically, but also in spirituality, it lets us know we have a strong leader. However, even the strong grow weary and require the assistance of those around him.

Exodus 17:12….Aaron & Hur held up Moses’ hands

We love and appreciate you…..we are here to stand with you and support you should you grow weary.

As a token of our love and appreciation and our utmost support of you as our pastor, we have a gift card to Men's Wearhouse for you a suit.

Happy Father's Day

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Happy Father's day! You are the most remarkable Dad in all the world. You have given Sheldon a special gift and that is your love, and you defintely lead by example!

Friday evening when I walked through the door and saw two Dr. Peppers sitting on the coffee table and two guys just reading their books, I was once again reminded of just what a fantastic Dad you are. Sheldon's life will always be enriched because of you. The fun, silly side of you comes out when you wrestle and play, but you are always there to give him great words of advice. You are one exemplary Dad, and we love you!!!

Saturday, June 9

Just Chillin At The Beach

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Our plans for the day: a trip to the beach. We thought the beach trip may have to be cancelled due to the cloudy skies. So, we thought a cup of coffee would suffice, and we would just hang around the house. On our way to Starbucks, the sun was shining bright, and we made a quick u-turn for home, packed a beach bag, and headed to the beach. The waves were quite strong and even knocked us down a time or two, but the water was sooooo refreshing, and we had a great family day!

Saturday, June 2

You Are Just Too Sweet

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
Sharing my life with you is awesome! My favorite pictures of you are when you are at the beach just relaxing.

A Time For Giving

When my wonderful in-laws came to visit us last year, they both commented on our busy lifestyle. But no matter how busy the schedule, we must take time for people. "You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it." (Albert Schweitzer) What are you willing to do? Can you spare a few moments just to listen to a mom talk about what is going on in her life? Are you willing to forego the housework so you can spend some quality time with your family? Setting aside time for someone is imperative. It is a timeless blessing to invest in someone other than yourself. As the saying goes, "Just do it!"

Here is what Apostle Paul had to say on investing in others, "I've never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion. With these bare hands I took care of my own basic needs and those who worked with me. In everything I've done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You'll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, 'You're far happier giving than getting.'" (Acts 20:35-36, The Message Bible.)

Tuesday, May 29

The Girls Rock!

Yes, Jana and I are the official Scrabble champions! We beat Mark and Brian!! Our Scrabble games are always intense, with Jana and I trailing behind about three points (give or take). This incredible weekend, we joined forces and actually won three games. Yep, we are the champions, and as I sit here typing, I am laughing to myself because I know Mark and Brian will post a funny comment when they read this blog. For now, Jana, we are the champions!!!

As always the Pryors and the Allards had a fantastic time just visiting. Thank you Brian and Jana for being such phenomenal friends. We had a great weekend!

Saturday, May 26

First Beach Party

Originally uploaded by MAPryor.
“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach” (Henry Beston)

We experienced our first beach party of 2007! God must have known the majestic beauty of the ocean would offer such tranquility. I always leave the beach with a smile on my face, and Mark and I will usually make a comment about how refreshed and relaxed we feel.

The above words range clear as we were driving home. My favorite part was simply talking to everyone, seeing Sheldon and the boys swimming and laughing, and feeling the cool sand on my bare feet. (Yes, I can take off my high-heels and enjoy being shoeless!) Then we sat around the bonfire, roasted marshmellows, and made fantabulistic smores! To sum it up, the evening was picture-perfect. I am looking forward to the next beach party!

Thursday, May 24

Quote for My Day

This week is fading rather quickly. I cannot believe tomorrow is Friday. I am sure over the weekend I will think of something to blog about. For now, here is a scripture to ponder:

Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate. (Prov. 15:17, The Message Bible.)

Sunday, May 20

Mother's Day 2007

Mother's Day at the Pentecostals of O.C. was quite remarkable. I was truly touched by the presentation that Philana prepared, and I would like to share it with you. A great big THANK YOU to everyone for making my Mother's Day so memorable. God bless you!!!

Thursday, May 17

Oh, What Fun

Originally uploaded by KamranM.
Soon we will be heading home, but it has been fun hanging out with the Allards and seeing friends. Sheldon and I have had a time just being "Lazy." He has also enjoyed spending time with Blake and Bryn. On Bryn's door she has a sign that says, "No, boys allowed accept Sheldon." I got a great laugh over this. It is always a great joy to see these three together. Mark has been engaged in meetings, but I believe all of us are refreshed and ready to return home. This morning I also spoke with a fellow blogger, Sis. Buxton. She is so sweet. Well, I'll have to end here. I just got word that the business meetings have concluded. Now, we can go for lunch and continuing having a blast!