Saturday, June 30, 2012

James 4:7 – Place your life under God’s authority, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting Ready for the Glorious Fourth...

On July 4th, “Think Presbyterian!”

Many Presbyterians signed the Declaration of Independence. How many of the 56? A good question! Between Continental Congress representatives who were Presbyterian and others with strong Calvinist convictions, Parliament called the American Revolution the “Presbyterian Rebellion”!

Here are the 12 “proven” Presbyterian Signers: Abraham Clark, John Hart, Richard Stockton and Rev. John Witherspoon (NJ), William Floyd and Philip Livingston (NY); Thomas McKean (DE); Benjamin Rush, James Smith and George Taylor (PA), George Walton (GA), and Matthew Thornton (NH). Presbyterians boast John Witherspoon as the only minister signer, but Jim Elbrecht reminds us Lyman Hall and Robert Treat Paine were Congregational ministers before taking up other work (Hall: Medicine; Paine: Law). He notes that 9 were ministers’ sons: Samuel Chase, Button Gwinnett, John Hancock, William Hooper, Francis Lewis, Robert Treat Paine, George Ross, William Williams and Witherspoon. John Adams also studied for the ministry.

“Counters” sometimes include two more as Presbyterian: George Ross’ father was a Presbyterian minister, then an Episcopal priest; George began Presbyterian, later joined Christ Church, Philadelphia. Betsy Ross was his cousin. James Wilson, born near St. Andrews, Scotland, had Presbyterian roots, but became a member of Christ Church, too; it counted 6 Signer-members, plus Benjamin Franklin as a regular attendee.

The greatest number of Signers were Anglican/Episcopal (26); then Presbyterian (12), Congregationalist (11), Quaker (2), Deist (2) and (1 each) Roman Catholic and Unitarian.

The best list I found of church affiliation of the Signers listed 13 as not determined.  Taking time to do the research, I found an answer to all 13 of the 13, as noted here:

Episcopal: George Ross (PA), see above. Arthur Middleton (SC), per David Ramey marketing director, Middleton Place, Charleston. Francis Lewis (NY), vestryman, Trinity Church, NYC. Thomas Lynch Jr. (SC), per Raejean Beattie at Hopsewee Plantation; his St. James Santee Parish’s old Brick Church still stands. Thomas Nelson, Jr. (VA), per Marcia Fleishman, vestryman at Grace Episcopal, Yorktown, where he’s buried. Benjamin Harrison (VA), per the rector of Westover Church, where kin still belong. Francis Lightfoot Lee (VA) and Richard Henry Lee (VA), per Judith S. Hynson, Director of Research at Stratford Hall; as was Francis’ son, Gen. Robert E. Lee. Thomas Heyward, Jr. (SC), per J. Grahame Long, Curator of History and Julia Logan at The Charleston Museum who confirms that he and Thomas Lynch were pew holders at St. Michael's, Charleston. John Morton (PA), per descendent John Bullock, “John Morton and also his son Sketchley, from whom I descend, were both Vestrymen at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chester, founded in 1702.” Lewis Morris (NY), vestryman at Trinity Church, NYC, per parish recorder Ella Jenness. Quaker: Stephen Hopkins (RI), per Meredith Paine Sorozan, Associate Library Director/Reference Librarian, Rhode Island Historical Society Library. Not known yet (ah, but see update below to learn that he too was an Episcopalian): John Penn (NC).

“Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land!” (Leviticus 25:10)


Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr.,Arthur Middleton

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe*, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson*, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush*, Benjamin Franklin*, John Morton, George Clymer (Judy, John and Anne Dalles are direct descendants of George Clymer, a "double signer" who also signed the U S Constitution), James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett*, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton*

Massachusetts: Samuel Adams, John Adams*, Robert Treat Paine*, Elbridge Gerry, John Hancock
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins*, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

*Jim Elbrecht has done an extensive study of the Signers.

The most complete source I could find for religious affiliation is Steve Mount at this web site:

Update: John Penn is one of the most obscure of the Signers, today.  His home north of Stovill NC no longer exists, save the foundations.  Most historians do not mention his religious affiliation.  Even the marvelous David McCullough (one of my favorite historians, ever, and a fellow Pittsburgh native, hooray!) who is a descendent of John Penn, does not give us any clue in his excellent biographical sketch found here:

However, several sources do say that John Penn was an Episcopalian, which make sense both from his Virginia birthplace and his North Carolina adulthood.  These sources are:

Motreat Worship and Music Conferees 2012

Dan sent me this photo today, of the 2012 Montreat Conferees from Wekiva. It looks like they are all happy, judging by the smiles I see on those faces. You can see what a lovely place Montreat is, high in the North Carolina mountains. The greenery and dappled shade is so pretty. The group looks very smart in their bright cerulean blue tee shirts, and colorful name tags.

By the way, did you know that the word 'Montreat' is a contraction of the words 'Mountain Retreat'. I'm glad they didn't do it the other way and call it "Retain", it would have sounded like a summer camp for people with braces on their teeth!

Flowers on the Church Grounds

Above are Peace Lilies, a kind of "Spathiphyllum" native to tropical regions.   If you have enough shade, and don't get too much cold, and not overly much water, you can grow them in Central Florida; they do not like sun.  (That is an understatement. they are fussy plants).

Below is "Clerodendrum paniculatum" better known as Pagoda flower, which is an erect, open semi woody shrub with large evergreen leaves and huge showy clusters of orange-red or scarlet flowers held above the foliage. Pagoda flower is native to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and much of southeastern Asia. Smart Floridians who have room for it in their garden plant it because it thrives both in sun and shade.

A Hymn for Christmas Eve

Text: John A. Dalles, June 29, 2012
Meter: 8585D

Whosoever on the night of Christ’s nativity
through the shadows, bears the light of One who sets us free—
Brings a gift for those in sorrow and a word of grace—
Shall in life beyond tomorrow shine like stars ablaze!

Bring a bone with bounteous flavor, for lamenting hounds;
Bring a wisp of honeyed hay for steeds on shivering grounds;
Bring a brace of brushwood kindling, for the drafty hearth;
Bring a joyous song unending, singing peace on earth!

For the birds on branches dreary, bring a dish of crumbs;
Bring red garlands of bright berries, for the tattered ones;
Bring a treat for children famished, bread and blessings blend;
For the ones whose hope has vanished: Come and be a friend!

Whosoever brings a blessing, shall receive as well,
Harmonies of joy unceasing, more than time can tell;
After they are stooped and feeble, when earth’s days will cease,
They will walk anew and able in unending peace!

Whosoever on the night of Christ’s nativity
through the shadows, bears the light of One who sets us free—
Brings a gift for those in sorrow and a word of grace—
Shall in life beyond tomorrow shine like stars ablaze!

Copyright © 2012, John A. Dalles

This Christmas Eve Hymn was inspired by the following anonymous quotation:

Whosoever on the night of the nativity of the young Lord Jesus, in the great snows, shall fare forth bearing a succulent bone for the lost and lamenting hounds, a wisp of hay for the shivering horse, a cloak of warm raiment for the stranded wayfarer, a bundle of brushwood for the shivering widow, a garland of bright red berries for one who has worn chains, a dish of crumbs with a song of love for all huddled birds who thought that song was dead, and various lavish delicacies for such children’s faces that peer from lonely windows, to them shall be offered and returned gifts of such an astonishment as will rival the hues of the peacock and the harmonies of heaven; so that though they live to the great age when they go stooping and querulous because of the nothing that is left of them, yet shall they walk upright and remembering, as those whose hearts shine like blazing stars, in their chest.

-          Author unknown, alt. JAD June 2012

James 1:5 –Rely on the wisdom of God to guide you, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

There Is A River - To Be Published by GIA as an Anthem with Music by Dorothy Frisch

There is a River Filled with Hope!
Psalm 46:4-5

Text: John A. Dalles
Suggested Familiar Tune: AZMON
Meter CM (8686)

There is a river filled with hope,
With heaven’s joy and grace...(etc.)...

This week, I learned that this hymn is to be published as an anthem, by GIA Publishing, Chicago. 

I have received the contact from GIA; so you will have to check with them from now on if you wish to use it. 

Sacred composer Dorothy Frisch has created the anthem setting of this text that is particularly lovely.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Love God and keep God’s commandments, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Peace Lily

John 6:47 – Believe, and live in the assurance of eternal life, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More White Crepe Myrtle - It Loves This Rain

Colossians 3:15 Be thankful in Christ, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, this day. Let your requests be made known to God. This is a Wekivaword.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Romans 8:6 Set your mind on things of the Holy Spirit; find life and peace, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Crepe Myrtle is in Bloom Again

Above is a photo of our house from the corner of the front lawn where we have both pink and white crepe myrtle.  "The crepe myrtle is in bloom again," which would sound even better if said by Katharine Hepburn.  Crepe myrtle is a popular blooming shrub in the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern States and is one of the joys of living in Central Florida.  The plant, which grows to be the size of a large lilac, blooms from mid-spring to mid-fall, and other than pruning (some of which goes to excess), needs very little attention once established.  The whole yard is looking great after all of the greening rains we have had during the past month.  The palms are pretty rootie tootie too.

For the front yard we selected one pink and one white crepe myrtle and this is the first year that they have shown spectacular blooms, the size of large grape clusters.

Of course the neighbors and neighborhood also get the beneift of these luscious blooms.

Brantley Likes His New Toy

It is a jingle bell with two tires wrapped round it. 
We could say he is having a ball. 
And that is your bad pun of the day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

My New Sunglass Holder

As all who live in sunny locales know, one accumulates sunglasses.  They are de rigeur for outdoor wear, year round, whether driving or simply being out of doors.  Sunglasses come in many styles and can cost from next to nothing to a king's ransom, depending on your own personal preferences.  Usually, I have at least one pair in each car, so as to be ready if called upon to drive or simply as a passenger. 

In my car I have a clever little clip on the visor for my sunglasses.  In Judy's car they are in the upper of the two glove boxes.  But I have other sun glasses, for pool or gardening wear, or just a change of pace, and I was getting a sense that the other glasses were not being cared for as they might.

Indeed, left on a counter top or dresser, or placed in a drawer, the glasses tend to get knocked around, or forgotten or (sigh) broken.  Why is it, by the way that the el cheapo glasses NEVER get broken, and instead last down the decades whether in style or not; all the while, the good ones are prime targets for being sat upon, or driven over, not to mention falling into the lake and sinking like a stone, within the first week you buy them? 

One of life's imponderables, I guess.

At any rate, I decided to find a simple and easy way to store the sunglasses.  I looked for some prototype ideas and found one that was more or less along the lines of what I ended up making, but mine is, I think, both simpler and nicer.

The prototype was about the size of the one I made, but it had two holes drilled in a piece of wood, with a leather or rawhide lace stretched between them and tied in the back.  While it seemed a simple and elegant solution, I did wonder how one might get the wood flush against the wall with those knots in the lace, around back. 

So I took that idea but modified it to suit my own requirements.  Yes, it is an "upcycled" piece of wood flooring, with the ends slightly sanded.  Yes, I used two brass cup hooks at each end and then stretched one of those longer hair stretchies (thank you Anne) between the two hooks.  Easy as can be.  I made the sunglasses holder and attached it to the wall yesterday evening.  It was a quickly completed project.

Now, the glasses are going to be where I left them, and available as I head out the door, and more or less out of harm's way.  I like this solution and believe that it will serve well over time.

Now, to go find a few more sunglasses for the not-yet covered occasions...!
John 16:33 Take heart, this day, in Jesus. This is a Wekivaword.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

John 14:27 Find peace, this day, in Jesus This is a Wekivaword.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Matthew 11:28-29 Find rest, this day, in Jesus. This is a Wekivaword.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Psalm 55:22  Cast your burden on the Lord today.  Trust in God to sustain you.  This is a Wekivaword.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Psalm 23:4 God is with you even in the darkest valley. This is a Wekivaword.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Orange County Regional History Center

Yesterday, I had a glimpse of the main Court Room at the Orange County Regional History Center, formerly the Orange County Court House building in downtown Orlando. 

It is a remarkable Beaux Arts style building by Orlando's leading architect of the 1920s, Murry S. King.  The Beaux Arts style is based on classicism, using the precedents of Greek and Roman architecture.  It is often a very rich, lavish and heavily ornamented classical style reflecting the approach to architecture that was taught at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century.  Throughout the 20th century and down to this day, architecture has run in several parallel tracks, regarding styles.  In the mid-1920s, in Orlando, while other styles were often used by King and others in their work, the formalism of the Beaux Arts was considered as dignified as one could get when designing public buildings.  If you picture most of the important federal and museum buildings that were built along the Mall in Washington, D.C. from 1900 to 1960 (such as John Russell Pope's National Archives and National Gallery of Art) you get the idea.  This is the nearest thing to that we have in Orlando.

The former center of judicial decision making is now the place where Central Florida "remembers" its past.  When you visit there, you can see everything from a stuffed polar bear to orange crate labels to  a collection of old photos from way back then. 

And one of the showplace rooms is the old court room.  Above and below you can see where the judge once sat, surrounded by impressive wood panelling and even more impressive murals, even if one of the models is having a wardrobe malfunction...
Mural by American Impressionist William deLeftwich Dodge (1867-1935).  His best known murals are at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
The court house was King's last major commission; indeed, he died before it was done, and it was brought to completion under the supervision of his son, who was also an architect.  You can see details of the decorative work in the court room in the photos above and below.
I have been researching the life and work of Murry S. King (1870–1925) (often spelled "Murray") for the better part of a decade. King was Florida's first registered architect, a noted American architect with a successful practice in Orlando, Florida, in the 1910s and 1920s.

King was born on July 13, 1870 in East Deer Township, Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert and Mary King.  His birthplace was within a mile or two of where we lived when we lived in Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1997.  King moved to Orlando from Pennsylvania in 1904.

From offices in Rooms 22 and 23 of the Watkins Block in Orlando, King designed handsome, dignified buildings, primarily in the Neo-Classical, Spanish Revival, Renaissance Revival and Prairie Style. King is noted for civic buildings of lasting elegance and beauty.

The best known of his designs is his last completed work, the stately Orange County Courthouse building which is now the headquarters of the Orange County Regional History Center (1927). Constructed of variegated Indiana limestone from the Clear Creek Quarries of the Indiana Limestone Company, the completion of the building was supervised by Murry S. King's son, James B. King.

King was a charter member of the Florida State Association of Architects and served on the Florida State Board of Architecture. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects.

King was the recognized leading architect among a group of architectural firms in Orlando in the 1920s. The others included: Frank L. Bodine, Fred E. Field, Frederick H. Trimble, David Hyer, George E. Krug, Howard M. Reynolds, Ryan and Roberts (Ida Annah Ryan and Isabel Roberts) and Percy P. Turner. This group of architects was quite intentional about creating in Central Florida a style of architecture that was suited to the region. Here is how they described it in an article from The Florida Circle of May 1924:

"Just as architects of old created styles to harmonize with their environment, so have the architects of Florida been creating, from native motifs, a style that is carefully adapted to the climatic conditions and surroundings of the state. This style has an individuality all its own and should have a fitting name to express its origins . . . The Florida Association of Architects will give a prize of $25.00 for the name selected." Submissions were to be sent to King; the contest was to conclude in November 1924 and the winning name announced thereafter.

In 1890 Murry S. King married Ruth Ann ("Anna") Riley Dible. Their children were: Leroy (1890), Florence (1893), James B. (1894), Murry Jr (1896), Merrit (1896), Edward (1901), and Pearl (1903), all of whom were born in Pennsylvania. His son, James B. King entered into his architectural practice in the mid-1920s.

Mr. King's first name appears both as "Murry" and "Murray" in contemporary sources and in Orlando histories.  It is spelled "Murray" in contemporary references such as his own business listing in many issues of The Winter Park Post and Orlando telephone directories, as well as the excellent photograph and brief biographical sketch of "Murray S. King" available at the following:

However, a photograph of downtown Orlando with the sign outside his office, recently found by my friends, Orlando historians Joy Wallace Dickinson and Rick Kilby, shows the spelling as "Murry".

Murry S. King died in Orlando on Sep. 20, 1925. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Orlando, Florida.

Anne At Work...

Yesterday, Anne and Mallory went to the Publix grand opening in Brandon, Florida, over by Tampa for those of  you who are not familiar with Florida geography.

Anne works for PFK (Produce for Kids) and they were representing the company at the grand opening. 

You can see them at the new store, with the Berenstain Bears, who also attended the event.  What fun!

Father's Day Musings

A Sermon by The Rev. Dr. John A. Dalles
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Proverbs 20:7. Luke 11:33-36

Some time ago I had someone say to me that they conducted their life along the lines of the title to this sermon, “Would Jesus Approve?”  It is similar to but different from the famous initials on those rubber bracelets that say W W J D?  What would Jesus do?  Similar, but not exactly the same.  We may—in fact— do some things that Jesus would never have done.

We may text a message on our cell phone; Jesus never did that.  But he might approve.  We may look up something on the Internet; Jesus never did that.  But he might approve.  Jesus never watched TV; or went to a movie; or drove a car.  But that does not mean faithful Christians cannot do that.  We just want to watch TV shows and movies and go places that Jesus would approve of.  Right?

Jesus never flew in a plane, but that does not mean that Christians need to stay earth-bound.  Jesus never joined a flash-mob!  Whether Jesus would approve or not, I leave to your discernment.  Jesus never had to decide about any number of medical or social issues that were either not even known in the year 30 AD, or not on anyone’s radar.  By the way, speaking from the vantage point of 2000 years ago, what’s radar?

If we were to use the test “W W J D?” then we would never do any of those things.  Cell phones and computers and electronic gadgets and cars and planes were never heard of in Jesus day.  For some people, that makes Jesus obsolete.  They say that Jesus is too remote to out of touch with who we are and how we live now.  So his message is archaic.  Irrelevant.  And then they hop in their car, and text a message while driving, that they are going to be late for their plane.

All kidding aside though, even before the days of some of these things, cell phones and the Internet and the like, I can recall the chairperson of a major bank telling another member of the church that her family had belonged to for three generations that the church was irrelevant.  To her… It didn’t matter what Jesus would or would not do.  Not to her.  But back to this other person who said to m e not all that long ago that her watch word was “Would Jesus Approve?”  I think that is THE question.

Would Jesus approve of our thoughts?  Would Jesus approve of our prayers?  Would Jesus approve of our opinion of ourselves?  Would Jesus approve of our opinion of others?  Would Jesus approve of the choices we make?  Would Jesus approve of the things we say?  Would Jesus approve of the conclusions we draw?  What about the conclusions we leap to?  Would Jesus approve of THOSE?

The book of Proverbs says:

“The righteous lead blameless lives;
   blessed are their children after them.”

Blameless lives are the goal, then, for parents, and for those would mentor and lead the next generations.  For Fathers, if you will, on this Father’s Day. 

Fathers, what does it mean to lead blameless lives?  You might say, if we are: considerate in our thoughts, sincere in our prayers, honest  about ourselves, generous and gracious in our opinions about others, careful about the choices we make and whom they will affect and how they will affect others, scrupulously careful in what we say about others, purposeful and prayerful in the conclusions we draw, then indeed we are blameless.  We are living blameless lives, and our children will be blessed, after us.

I can see, can't you? Why Jesus teaches as he does about the lamp on the stand.

 33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light."

Jesus is talking about living blameless lives.  When you do that, people are drawn to that kind of light.  They can see more clearly by it.  They can move through life with a more sure-footed pace, because of it.  They know that the light is giving them what they need to be on the right track.  There is a kind of intentionality about it.   There is deep integrity about it.  The kind of life of which Jesus would approve.

Naturally we are thinking about fathers today and Christians look to the Bible for examples of fathers who might either prove to be role models or serve as cautionary tales. 

From the beginning, we look at Adam, who sort of failed as a provider and then was more or less absent when his two boys got into a tussle that ended very badly.  We are not off to a good start, Biblically speaking, with Adam, the father of us all.

Moving along, we have Noah, who managed to take the boys along on the family cruise, so that is good.  We are glad he did, no matter what other differences he may have had with them. 

Abraham had two sons, one of whom he disinherited and banished from his presence and the other of which he did not.  This ambivalent relationship between father and child proves to be an ongoing theme in his descendants.  Just look at Isaac and Jacob and their relationship, and Esau.  I have always felt a bit sorry for Esau.

So by the time we get to Joseph, and his many rousing adventures, we do remember that Jacob was a loving and caring father to him but pretty well set Jacob up for the troubles that came his way, prompted not only by his braggadocio dreams but also by the jealousy of his brothers over how much dear old dad favored him, many-colored coat and so forth.  Yes, it all turned out well for them when the famine arose, and they were all united way down in Egypt's land, but at what emotional cost?

Are there any fathers so far that serve as role models for you?  Let me know, if there are...

We could visit the fathers and sons of the twelve tribes, the relationships between the kings of Israel and Judah and their children, and if we did we would see more strife, struggle and stress and begin to wonder where will it all end.

Parenting is not easy, in the Old Testament.   Here and there we find glimmers of love and support and tenderness but often it is like a bad soap opera in bathrobes and sandals. 

All along the way, however, there is God.  Our heavenly Father, who is ever-present and ever-willing to bring about changes for the better in the lives of His children.  I suppose it is fair to say that even the best of the Old Testament fathers are really children--aren't they?--of God their Creator.  For us to have some kind of understanding of what being a father is all about we must look to the One who is always ready to hear His children's prayers, always concerned about their well-being, always working in their lives in subtle or dramatic ways to bring about a better relationship between them and the other siblings of the world. 

We see its fulfillment in Christ, our elder brother, who has taken all of our cares and concerns and made them His own.

How might we describe a Christian Father on this Father’s Day, I wonder?  He is a man of integrity:  He always speaks from the heart and is very sincere.  He has the kind of sense of humor that builds people up.  He is the kind of person who exemplifies The Golden Rule.  His code of conduct is such that it conforms to an accepted standard of right and wrong.  He takes full responsibility for his actions—without shifting into the excuses or blame mode.  He would be the first to admit that he is not perfect, but is also the kind of person who has nothing to hide.  He always works towards achieving a better way of life for others.  Prayer is part of his everyday life.  So is speaking a word in season that conforms to the teachings of Jesus.  So is giving in a way that conforms to the life of Jesus.  That’s kind of life of which Jesus would approve.

A nationwide survey found these actual results from fathers:  - 94% feel building a family is the hardest thing a man can do.  The same percentage say it is the most important thing a man can do.  71% say fatherhood is more demanding than they expected.  88% say fatherhood is more rewarding than they had hoped.  87% say the rewards of fatherhood trump those of career.  90% say becoming a father made them a better person.

Many of us are, today, blessing and thanking our fathers because they have stood for these things in our lives.  And if we are fathers, we are trying our uttermost to stand for these things. 
Jesus says…

             34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.

The Greek for healthy here implies generous.  The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy.  When your eyes are “generous”,  your whole body also is full of light. But when they are “stingy”, your body also is full of darkness.  

Is Jesus saying we are to watch where we are going?  I think so.  Jesus wants us to watch where we are going, so that we can go where we are watching.  So that we stay on track, in our daily living. 

And Jesus tells us…

             36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Jesus calls all who fallow Him to choose to be a godly influence on the society in which we live. Jesus calls us to change the world around us with our lives. Jesus doesn’t expect us to live apart from the world.  Jesus expects us to shed light upon that part of the world in which we live.

So how are you doing with that?  Would Jesus approve?  Resolve to be the light upon its stand, so that those who come in may see the light!

“I am filled with the joy of the Lord.” Isaiah 42:10  This is a Wekivaword.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I will not fear because God strengthens me.” Isaiah 41:10  This is a Wekivaword.

Friday, June 15, 2012

175 Years of Presbyterian World Mission

Did you know...
We are celebrating 175 years of Presbyterian World Mission this year?
You can read a fascinating history of Presbyterian World Mission, here:
175 Years of Presbyterian World Mission

And another excellent article on the World Mission emphasis of our Presbyterian Church, here:

"Better Together"

"The story of Presbyterian mission is a long and beautiful one, for Presbyterians have been establishing and faithfully supporting mission societies since the 1790s. In 1813, the Female Missionary Society supported a traveling missionary, and the Female Domestic Missionary Society was formed three years later at Second Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.  By 1831, the Synod of Pittsburgh formed the Western Foreign Missionary Society. Finally, in 1837—exactly 175 years ago—the General Assembly agreed, at Pittsburgh’s urging, to assume the responsibilities of the society and its 44 missionaries, creating the Board of Foreign Missions. Missionaries went into the world to preach, teach, heal, and plant churches in places like Brazil, Congo, Egypt, and China."

Remembering Louise and Ralph, Who Remembered Wekiva Presbyterian Church

Longtime Wekiva Presbyterian Church members will remember Ralph and Louise Humphrey, who joined this church in 1987, having moved to the Village on the Green from Leesburg at that time.  For many years, they were actively involved in the ongoing life of the congregation, in worship and other activities.  Ralph died in 2000 at age 90; Louise died in April of this year at the age of 98.  More recent members of the congregation probably never had an opportunity to know either of them.  It is, we think, appropriate to say a few words about Ralph and Louise, at this time.

Ralph Calvin Humphrey was born in Butler County, Pennsylvania, the son of J. Roy and Nellie Humphrey.  He was a 1937 graduate of Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, PA.  A longtime employee of the New Castle School District, Ralph taught metal shop at the senior high school.   Louise Studebaker Humphrey was the daughter of James J. and Jessie M. Gilfillan Studebaker.  She lived much of her life in New Castle, Pennsylvania, graduated with honors from high school in Tarentum, PA, and received a bachelor's degree from Westminster College, New Wilmington, a PC(USA) related college.  Louise was an elementary teacher of English, speech and drama for 38 years and a directing teacher for Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.  She inspired and motivated her schoolchildren by her love for and interest in them, was active in various organizations of the Presbyterian Church, and served as an officer in the Woman's Club. 

Ralph and Louise had no children of their own.  They were not related to anyone else in the Wekiva Presbyterian congregation, or in Central Florida.  Louise was survived by nieces and nephews, all of whom live in the northeast. 

Ralph and Louise made a conscious choice to remember the ones they loved in their wills; Wekiva Presbyterian Church was among their loved ones.  After her death, the church learned that Louise and Ralph had made provision for the congregation they were so much a part of, as if we were one more of their nephews and nieces.  They directed that twenty per cent of their estate be given to Wekiva Presbyterian Church.

In December of 2000 a service in memory of Ralph occurred, and in April of this year a service in memory of Louise was held—each time, in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.  Today, we are remembering Ralph and Louise in Longwood, Florida—giving thanks for their lives, as well as their gracious generosity to those who will come after them in this place of worship, learning and service in Jesus’ name.

It may be that you are thinking about drawing up your own will.  May the example of Ralph and Louise Humphrey serve to inspire you, as you do.