Family and Traditions, It All Goes Together.

Rappahannock Railroad Museum
Grandpa stopping traffic and his Grandson is at the controls of the little work car train at Rappahannock Railroad Museum. Photo from Rappahannock Railroad Museum Facebook page.

We attended a family wedding in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  While there we did some exploring of the area.  That exploring led us to the Rappahannock Railroad Museum.  It really isn’t that much, just two cabooses and a box car to walk through and see some cool old stuff.  It is manned by volunteers, and is only open from 9am – noon on Saturdays.  They give free rides on a work car.  As we were waiting on the work car, there was a young man working around it, and then he said something that started with ‘Grandpa…’  That just warmed my heart immediately.  Here was a young man, maybe a senior in high school, or a recent graduate, definitely not much older, and he was spending his Saturday morning with his Grandpa volunteering at a railroad museum.  The young man ended up being our ‘driver’; and his Grandpa sat with him on the lead car, and was our ‘guide’ for the quick trip along the tracks.  We later learned that mother/daughter was working the museum, too.  Three generations working together as volunteers at the railroad museum.  That is what family is all about.

The young man and his Grandpa were talking between each other while the cars were loading.  The young man was not there because he was being forced, he had a relationship with his Grandpa.  There were discussing train whistles, specifically that the grandson had found a train whistle for his truck on ebay, and it was only $1,000.  Two different worlds meeting with a common interest.  This young man respected his Grandpa; and Grandpa respected this young man.

We need Grandma’s and Grandpa’s in children’s lives.  We need uncles and aunts; great uncles and great aunts; cousins; and of course, mom and dad and brothers and sisters.  The family unit is sacred.  Multi-generations used to live in the same home, that is rare in today’s society.  Children may barely know one parent, or aunts or uncles, and may never meet a grandparent.  Step beyond bad feelings of wrongs done in the past (unless it is abuse, sexual or physical, true abuse not discipline), step beyond the fact maybe your friends are closer to you than your family, step beyond the miles and bring your parents into your children’s lives.
The Young Women in our church ‘adopted’ grandma’s one year.  It was so awesome.  There were several older ladies that had family out of state.  They did a luncheon with the ladies and the young women were soaking in their stories.  I remember sitting and just listening to my Great-Grandmother tell stories of people I had never even met.  I was mesmerized when she spoke.  My daughter recently shocked many when she told a group of young women that she was an adviser to that she loved sitting and listening to her grandparents talk about family stories.  The other adults that were her age had told everyone that youth today do not want to hear about old stories.  And, she told them not to assume that.  They still didn’t believe her.  That was a sad state of the youngest generations today; all of those old stories will fade away.  This can’t happen.  Sit down and interview the older family members.  If they live far away, make it a family time and use technology to introduce your children to older relatives that live far away.  The children WILL make sure that it happens, they will surprise you.

Children learn from older generations.  It adds a part of their growth process that can’t be replaced.

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Allowing the Spirit to be Present

Reflect. Refresh. Release.
Reflect. Refresh. Release. Photo by Cherokee Rose Photography

I was invited to attend a Christian women’s event.  I was happy to be able to attend and cover it for our magazine.  The event was organized by Tina Tatum, RefresHer 2015.  It truly was a refreshing event.  Like minded people meeting together to simply rejuvenate and get in touch with the Holy Ghost.  It was a wonderful meeting, and I still am disappointed that I missed the last morning.

At one point during the event, Sherri Henley, the keynote speaker noted that  we were all together, worshiping and glorying God, Catholics, Evangelicals, Baptists, and Mormons.  That was a comforting feeling, because there were no gasps.  I don’t think anyone there ‘knew’ who the Mormon was, except Henley.  Why should I have had to hold my breath when I was ‘outed’ as the Mormon there?  Though, I never really was ‘outed’, because my name was never mentioned.

I was raised Baptist, and attended church with my Assembly of God family when we visited in Arkansas.  I’ve experienced the excitement some have when they feel the Spirit speak to them. I never felt the need to express myself in that way while attending church with my Arkansas family.  But, I also never thought they shouldn’t be doing it, either.  An apology was offered, but not needed following an exhilarating experience, thinking I might have been offended.  No.  I was not offended.  I felt the Spirit, too.  I simply manifest it in a different way, with eyes tearing up, and silent prayer.  We were all refreshed.

Multi-faiths standing in worship as Children of God.
Multi-faiths standing in worship as Children of God. Photo by Cherokee Rose Photography

What world are we in when someone feels the need to apologize for a religious experience?  One where too many are offended quickly if they experience something other than what they are ‘used to’.  Or, comfortable with.  Or, believe in.  It is a sad place we have entered.  May we come into a place that allows us to meet together and pray together, without judgments that don’t affect the worship.  Recently radio show host, Glenn Beck, related that when he was asked to speak at a church in Alabama, someone in the audience stated, “Isn’t it wonderful that Glenn has come to his senses and left the Mormon church.”  He went on to say that the person had assumed that he was now a member of the faith represented by the church he was now speaking and when the person was informed he was indeed still a Mormon; she was offended that he would be speaking (as a guest in a non religious meeting) at an event hosted by the church because he was a Mormon.  Really?  We still think on this level?

CourageMakers was created because we are at a time in our world that we need to unite together, regardless of our religious affiliation.  We need to unite as people of God.  The LDS Church just had their semi-annual General Conference and one of the General Authorities that spoke related the experience he and his family had welcoming the Sabbath with a Jewish friend.  They participated in the centuries old ritual, and his thoughts went to all the needless persecutions of a people that are very close to God.  He bore testimony of the Sabbath.  What a wonderful experience for him to be able to participate in, that only solidified his own testimony of the Sabbath.

Tina Tatum, the remarkable woman who brought everyone together in worship. Photo by Cherokee Rose Photography

In the same vein, Tina Tatum spoke on Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.  She was not using the King James Version of the Bible which I am used to using, however, her statement hit me in the core of my being.  Satan asked Eve, “Yes, but did God REALLY say not to eat of the tree?”  What a profound statement!!  She then related that to the world today and how they use the same method to change doctrine; to tempt followers to walk a different road; and to belittle those who follow the commandments of the Lord.  It was a profound statement that still resounds within me!  What a simple way to put how the world reacts to the commandments.

The first night Evangelist Latrice Ryan presented a message that so many of us need to hear.  She said sometimes God doesn’t ‘fix’ things because you aren’t supposed to fix it, you are supposed to release it.  Our world today wants to blame someone else for all things to happen to us, and then try to fix the person that did the deed.  Ryan listed many instances that the world wants us to wallow in, but God wants us to release; abuse, rape, molestation, slander, relationships, emotional pain, and on and on.  She reiterated that God said it can’t be fixed, it can only be released.  What an amazing word that the world needs to hear!  Dwelling and reliving and constantly blaming only destroys the person; releasing it and turning it all over to Christ lifts us up and brings peace to our lives.  This is a message that transcends all faiths, all beliefs, all tenets, all creeds.  It is a worldly message that all need to embrace.  Ryan’s message unfortunately only reached the select few that attended the RefresHer 2015 conference; but it resonated.

Sherri Henley related selling sunglasses and Bibles to pay the rent. Release the past, Refresh the present. Photo by Cherokee Rose Photography

Aside from the excellent speakers, the women in attendance alone were so inspirational, that one longed for longer time at dinner or free time to continue remarkable conversations.  A walk around the lake with a woman who, with her husband, have a ministry for the Christians in Pakistan.  What an amazing woman.  To walk and talk with her for few select moments throughout the two days was just too few.  Her insight to what is really happening with refugees, where the true Christian refugees are (in hiding, not out in the public running to different countries), the sadness of Muslims who hear about Christianity and then have to go into hiding if they believe, and the Christian school they have built in Pakistan.  This is an amazing sister in the gospel.

The dinner companions that all shared the same thing in common, they were victims of abuse.  Their stories of staying until they woke up to the real danger they were in were amazing to me.  Then, their conversion stories and how they each have left the abuse in the past and placed Christ in their forefront.  The wonderful sister whose ex-husband showed up at her and her current husband’s home destitute; and before she knew what was happening, her husband allowed her ex-husband to stay.  Over a year later, he was beginning to become comfortable in staying with them.  So comfortable that he made a threat to her, and somewhere within her she told him to get out of her house, now, not later, but now.  She had the courage now she didn’t have before, and perhaps her current husband (a true man of God, in her own words) knew she needed that extra step to truly release all that had happened to her.  And, seeing her in a different light, he shrunk down in stature, and left.  The dynamic sister that one would never had guessed had endured abuse, told of being a teenager and being shot by her boyfriend because she was leaving him (and he thought she was seeing someone else).  These women collaborated their experiences, and by the end of the night, they were discussing their book!  The energy that was brought to that group of women over those few days of inspiration and praise created new ministries that alone they might now have conceived.

Pastor Tina Tatum achieved something that the world cannot do because it allows shallowness and pride to get in the way…truly a varied spectrum of belief systems and a true love within the sisterhood of Christ.  It’s amazing what can happen when we realize that we are children of God, and regardless of how we come to that knowledge, it is a fact, and when we release the past thought processes, we can refresh the world!  Thank you Tina for a wonderful experience, I can’t wait until next year!!

The New Site!

eleanor roosevelt quoteWe are making changes.  That’s a good thing, right?  To see the product reviews you will now go to our magazine website.

This site will be dedicated to inspirational posts to allow you to muster up the courage needed to live in today’s extremely negative world.

We are introducing our Life Image program.  The world teaches us to seek gratification in the moment, that instant gratification is the standard for which to strive.  Instant gratification provides no lasting feeling of worth.  We have implemented a goal setting program, complete with coaching if you choose.  We took our brand, Your True Colours, and related those daily needs to develop subject levels.

Where are you going?  Is your future dismal and full of regrets; or, are you ready to set sail to the future that will be dotted with beauty within yourself and the lives of others?

  • You:  The need for you to allow time for yourself, for your own development.  We can give and give, however, if we are not refilling the cup, it will run dry.
  • Omnipotent:  An homage to your faith, creating goals and needs to strength your own faith.
  • Understand:  A guide to learn to understand others, to gain knowledge…the power that no one can take away from you.
  • Relatives:  Those people that you didn’t choose to be in your life can sometimes be the greatest joy, or greatest heartache.  Strive to create a positive relationship, even in difficult situations, a positive relationship can be created.  It may be one of keeping a distance, but still allowing forgiveness to not hamper your well being.  Forgiveness doesn’t always mean that you must keep someone in your life.
  • Thankful:  Gratitude is one of the strongest ways to create a life of balance, and peace.
  • Refer:  Give someone a pat on the back!  The waitress that went the extra, drop a note to the manager.  You will never see the result, but rest assured that you focused on the positive.
  • Utility:  Your physical self stands in need of attention as much as your mental and spiritual self.
  • Ethics: Integrity is becoming a lost art.  Let’s bring it back from obscurity!
  • Creative:  A life devoid of happiness through art, music, reading, or just laughing becomes extremely despondent and cannot function in a negative society.
  • Optimism:  Sometimes we have to go to our ‘Happy Place’, sometimes we have to be the one that sees the glass as half full.  We never know when our own optimism will make a change in someone’s life.
  • Leadership:  Leaders are in high demand, why?  They are become obsolete.  Stand out in the crowd, garner leadership skills that will place you in a spiritual high that will draw others to you.
  • Opportunity:  Seek out and act on opportunities that come you way.  Whether it be the opportunity to do something for someone, to smile at those you meet during your day, or just to act on a prompting you have.
  • Useful:  Develop talents that you have always wanted to perfect, or just to learn a little more about.  Master a talent you have let falter.  Create a talent that will make  you a useful member of society at all times.
  • Record:  Create a family history, a personal history, a daily meditation journal; any of these your grandchildren will cherish when you are no longer around to smile for them.
  • Service:  The one true way that we can lose our own troubles, focusing on service to others.