Before the wonderful Trinity Mother’s photos, I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to my mama, Jo (Josie Mae) Blum Traylor who is Heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I miss you every day sweet mama! Josie Mae taught Harriett and I how to be mothers through the life she lived. I am so thankful for that.
We may not be together in our church this Mother’s Day 2020 but I hope you feel the closeness between our Trinity Baptist Church family members and their mothers in the photos below. Young mothers, old mothers, and all in between!
These pictures below were originally published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 and were shared during Sunday morning’s Worship Service on May 13, 2018. So many church members participated and sent in their treasured photos of their Mom or their children/grandchildren with their Mom/Grandmother.
Thanks to everyone that participated! We have a wonderful church family and I love seeing our extended family through these photos!
A quiet thought for this Sunday, December 16th, by Rev. Bob Adams
Rescuing a climber trapped on the face of a towering cliff. Descending to a diver in trouble on the floor of the ocean. Digging out a child covered in the rubble of an earthquake. Stories of heroic rescues rivet our attention for, deep in our souls, all of us sense we are trapped and helpless, caught in the chaos around us and the rubble inside us.
Christmas is the ultimate rescue.
We were caught in the grip of unbreakable darkness with no power to bring ourselves to the light. But God, right on time, came to our rescue! He did the unbelievable, the unthinkable. He sent Himself in the form of His Son out of the glory of heaven and into the pit of our darkness. Through His own death and resurrection the Son tore a gaping, forever hole in the darkness, vaporized the darkness with the light of His glory. He then invited us to fall into His arms and allow Him to carry us through that great opening in the darkness into life and light in the Father’s love and presence.
This is the true Christmas story.
Let us worship with joy and reverence.
Thank you Bro. Bob for all the time you spent with us at Trinity preparing us for our new pastor. Your genuine Christian love and guidance is very much appreciated. Merry CHRISTmas to you and Ms. Janice!
Even those of you who knew my mama well, probably did not know this. She was obsessed with winning the Publisher’s Clearing House for several years. She knew without a doubt that Ed McMahon was going to show up at her house with her prize. I think I remember her having a special box of cookies for when they came. That part could just be in my mind!
Anyway, on her birthday in 2001 (she wrote it as 2K1) she wrote the following note about what her wishes were if she should win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. This is it in her writing. I’m going to type it up below her handwritten version in case you can’t read her writing.
I thought about this note when Philip Bankston got up to speak a few Sundays ago about the Family Life Building we hope to soon start on at our church Trinity Baptist. You’ll see why in #1 of mama’s note.
Rewritten from 5-18-2K1. Notes: My wishes if I should win the Publishers Clearing House “Sweepstakes”. after thanking God for his hand in it.
1. I would pay off debt on Trinity Church, help build the much needed “Family Center”
2. I would pay off Harriett and Georges home, Rosalyn and Roys, also Dana and Erics. Pay off Rosie’s Car, buy Harriett a new car, give Greg a generous wedding gift to go on a home for he and Nancy, Buy Chad a new car, whatever Chip wants for his truck and help for school. A new car for Gloria and Olga.
Pay off loan to bank (not to much)
Car Insurance 6 months and house for 1 year.
Good health policy and keep enough to keep my car in good condition, also home.
I do not need or want a new home or car, I like what I have.
If there is anything left over add to future schooling for Joseph and Annie.
I want to keep my Hibernia bank account with Joyce Kemp.
An unlisted phone number.
Chip approved this – too bad if no one else does!!!
The words on the side say “In case it is necessary Harriett and Rosalyn Joint Power of Attorney”
Yes we are now looking forward to the approval and building of our Family Life Center at Trinity. Can’t wait to see that dream become a reality. Our church family has grown so much we really need it now. I know that mama will be smiling in Heaven when it does!
This note also says so much about my mama. Her wants were so small in comparison to what she wanted to do for her family and friends from her winnings. Her first wish was to give to God’s church and her last wish was for very little for herself. She loved each of us in her family so much and always sacrificed for us. We knew we were all loved and still know that!
Hope ya’ll enjoyed this little insight into a sweet lady’s wish list for when she would win the Publishers Clearing House in 2001!
Monday, July 9, 2018 – I wrote a nice long blog post to document, for me, recent doctors appointments that happened and didn’t happen. I need that level of detail to help me remember these things. I’ve decided all this doesn’t really need to be public (I know, I decide this after years of telling everything!) so below is the very brief version of the nice long blog post!
Yes I did make an appointment to see Dr. Mortesia Shamsnia, the doctor I swore I’d never go to again a couple of years ago. After making the appointment for May 22nd and receiving the “new patient” packet (because it had been so long since I’d seen him that I had to fill out a new patient packet), I received an odd phone call. I was totally flabbergasted when a young lady called to say that Dr. Shamsnia was no longer with Advanced Neurodiagnostics in Metairie and hadn’t been since February of this year. The clinic’s website is still active at http://www.adneuro.com/physicians.html if you’d like to check it out. He’s just not with them though the website says he is. He is now associated with Tulane Medical Center. To see him I have to get a referral (long story) which I don’t feel like doing. For now, no appointment, no new improved MRI. So no I didn’t see Dr. Shamnia and who knows if I ever will again!
First doctor I did see is Dr. Valdes. Saw him last week and my a1c is down to 7.4. He made some changes to my diabetic medicine to help push it on down to the goal of 7.0.
Second doctor I did see is Dr. Blessey. Since we no longer have Dora (our motorhome) available to go to Tennessee and stay for a while like Roy did while he recovered we made a decision. I decided to look for a local doctor who does partial knee replacements. The pain in my knee is worse than it has ever been mostly because of the activity lately getting the motor home ready to rent, moving into our house and getting everything in the house set up as much as possible. A friend recommended Dr. Peter Blessey with Ochsner in Covington. Roy and I went to see him and really liked him. He does a similar type partial knee replacement as Dr. Schrader does and the surgery is done outpatient! Surgery is scheduled for July 31st. We have a class scheduled on July 13th with them that will discuss my surgery and aftercare plans as well as go over my medical history and medications.
Third doctor is one Roy saw. The long awaited visit with Dr. Pulin Shah at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans was on June 6. He said he could do the lens replacement and do the asteroid hyalosis removal. But he, just like Dr. Creed, wanted Roy to get and wear glasses for a while to see if that could correct some of the problems without doing surgery. Of course, Roy has hardly worn the bifocals we bought after Dr. Creeds recommendation, and who knows if he will wear the monovision glasses if we bought them. Roy still has trouble seeing but it’s up to him and no one can make him wear the glasses. We really liked Dr. Shah and his office door was so cool I had to take a photo of it!
I now have a terrible toothache which I’m living on pain medicine for until I see the dentist this afternoon. More fun!
That’s enough medical stuff! Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
Trust me when I say God knows what he’s doing. Even if you’re confused and you don’t know how you’re going to move forward or where you’re going to go, he will always open a new door for you. An unexpected door. A door that could lead you to a kind of happiness you never imagined. A door that puts an end to the hard days.
Trust me when I say God doesn’t take things away without giving you something better. God knows when something has served its purpose even if you can’t see it. God knows when things should end even if you’re not ready.
God is planning what’s next for you because he knows that you need a change. He knows that he’s taking you to a better destination or guiding you to a more fulfilling life.
Trust me when I say God hears your prayers. He’s listening to you and he’s giving you exactly what you want but in his own way. Maybe his way is different from yours but his way is always the right way. When you ask for happiness and you find yourself drifting away from the people you love, he’s telling you that these are not the people to surround yourself with because they drain you. When you ask for peace and you lose your job, he’s telling you that your future is better somewhere else. When you ask for love and he gives you heartbreak, he’s telling you that you need to make a better choice. He’s telling you you’re loving the wrong people. He’s always answering your questions, you just need to trust his answers.
Trust me when I say God is looking out for you. It may not be easy to see at times and it might be impossible to understand why things happen the way they do but one thing I know for sure is that God won’t leave you alone in the dark. He will guide you. He will inspire you. He will rearrange things in your life so you can change your life.
Trust me when I say God wants you to count on him. He wants you to learn that people are unpredictable and they change their minds every second. He wants you to know that nothing in life is secure or complete. He wants you to know that there will be times when you’ll just have to count on your faith instead of your logic. He wants you to go through enough problems so you can have enough wisdom to know that he’s the only constant in this life and he’s the only one who can truly heal you.
Trust me when I say God always has a plan for you and that plan always includes what’s best for you.
Saturday, July 7, 2018 – On any given day, Andrew Lumish arrives at a historic Tampa-area cemetery without fanfare or attention. He’s there to carefully restore veteran’s gravestones blackened by the elements and decades of neglect.
Cemeteries across the country will show you a similar scene—thousands of long-forgotten monuments belonging to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
But Lumish, a cleaning company owner, aims to refurbish the memories – and the gravestones – of America’s heroes whose time-worn tombstones have started falling apart.
Lumish said he stumbled upon a Tampa cemetery five years ago to photograph some gravestones, but what he saw that day would change his life.
“So many veteran’s monuments…were in really poor condition and it was upsetting to me,” he said. “I didn’t want for them to be forgotten…I started to research how to properly restore monuments.”
His preparation is always the same, even after 1,500 completed restorations.
He is given permission to restore a monument from cemetery staff or a descendant, charges no fee for his services and brings all his own equipment—a few 5-gallon water containers, some microfiber towels and an assortment of over 12 brushes ranging in shape and size.
Recent, he was restoring the gravestone of Milton H. Phelps, a U.S. Army Private First Class in World War II who died in 1973 at the age of 67.
“Each one tells a story…our subject right here is originally from New York state,” says Lumish, as he methodically sprays the stone while scrubbing away mold and mildew so deeply permeated that each swirl of his brush creates a wave of green muck.
He rinses the stone with water to check his progress and sprays it again with something called D/2 biological solution, which Lumish said is the only product used to clean monuments in national cemeteries.
Lumish said in a typical eight-hour day, he can complete the first cleaning phase of four to five monuments.
“A monument restoration has to be done by hand, you cannot use a pressure washer…so a monument will take minimally two months to restore and some take in excess of a year,” he said. “I won’t reveal a restoration until it’s reached its pinnacle and peak and it’s ready to be shown.”
This is the first of many visits he will make to Phelps’ burial site over the coming months, and each time, he will learn more about each veteran’s personal story.
“It’s very important to me,” he said. “It’s become a mission of sorts.”
Joe Caltagirone, caretaker of the L’Unione Italiana cemetery, where Lumish has completed several restorations, said his work means a lot to the families of the deceased veterans.
“He is treating the individual veterans as if they were members of his family,” Caltagirone said. “Words can’t express how much we appreciate that.”
Lumish’s mission doesn’t end once the gravestones are clean. He takes before-and-after photos and posts them to his Facebook page and website, titled with his nickname “The Good Cemeterian,” along with a short biography so his thousands of followers can celebrate their life.
“You find these things that are unbeknownst to anyone when you walk by or drive by a stone in a cemetery…it represents a life that we should respect and remember because we learn so much,” Lumish said.
He and his assistant, Jen Armbruster, use numerous genealogical websites and old newspaper articles to tell the story of the person behind the name.
“The individuals that we honor didn’t consider themselves heroes, they didn’t toot their own horn or pat themselves on the back—we’re doing it now…we don’t only talk about their service, we talk about their lives, from the day they were born until their last day on earth,” he said. “We are delving into that person’s life so that we can respectfully tell what that person went through…I don’t want anyone to be forgotten.”
One of those Lumish wants everyone to remember is his friend, 12-year U.S. Air Force veteran Chris Scala, who took his own life in 2013 after battling post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
“We honor the past, but I also always honor him,” he said. “I always think of him.”
Lumish’s dedication to Scala and others is getting nationwide attention—hundreds of new “Good Cemeterians” across the country are joining his cause. He plans on providing them with starter cleaning kits to use in their own local cemeteries.
Inspired by the outpouring of support for his work, he created “The Good Cemeterian Historial Preservation Project,” a non-profit raising money for gold star families and veterans suffering from PTSD.
At the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ national convention in Kansas City, Mo. later this month, Lumish will be honored with a National Citizenship Award.
“Personally, I’ve learned a lot through these restorations and telling these stories…I learn every single day and unless you’re learning every single day, you’re not living,” he said. “So, I’m going to live this life, however long it’s going to be, and leave it a better place than I came into it. That’s my goal.”
Allie Raffa is a multimedia reporter for Fox News based in Tampa.
Different expressions of the Christian faith offer grace to needy people in different ways. Some churches seek to convey grace to others through rituals and liturgies, others through sermons and events, and most through some form of music. All these are loving efforts of faithful people trying to awaken broken lives to the presence of Jesus.
However, beyond the rituals and liturgies and apart from books and sermons, is a vast army of un-robed, un-ordained, un-elected, un-commissioned conveyers of grace. These grace-carriers appear as teachers in classrooms, truck drivers in big rigs, store clerks in logo shirts, managers in offices, grey-haired grandparents in dated clothes.
These unofficial, unnoticed agents of heaven come and go day and night in multiplied thousands of places, reaching far more broken lives than faith expressed in institutions and rituals can hope to reach.
Each quiet act of grace from these unheralded believers (like many of you) is nothing less than a blood transfusion for a fainting soul. In their words and deeds Jesus Himself is shared from one life to the other, all of it being empowered by the Spirit who is Jesus present with them.
So to all the grace-carriers, known and unknown . . . Thank you!
Saturday, June 23, 2018 Our big girl Dora is carrying another family around the country this week and she’s happy to do it! Over two weeks ago we moved out of Dora into the house we built in Amite three years ago. Before that we worked almost constantly getting Dora spotless and packing up the mountain of things we carried with us in Dora.
When we started getting rental bookings for Dora we were so happy. Seven weeks of rentals were booked while we were preparing to move into the house. Then a wonderful family contacted us about renting Dora beginning last Sunday. That one happened fast so we sped up all the work involved in moving everything out, cleaning Dora and getting all of the things we offered as “extras” to those who rent Dora.
First here Dora is getting ready to say goodbye to her mom and dad who moved into their house next door to her.
Every storage bin outside and every drawer, cabinet, storage place inside had to be emptied and cleaned. As we moved things from Dora to the house and started to fill up the house we realized how very much we really carried with us in Dora!
The photos below start with Dora pretty much all torn apart inside and outside getting her ready to be rented. Yes I am courageous in showing you all our mess while moving. I’ve sure we’ve all experienced this at some point in the moving process. Ours was just all confined to a 400 sq. foot home!
From all that mess to a nice straightened up and pretty empty Dora!
I knew Dora was out there sad and lonely. We visited often and even brought others to meet and get to know her. The families who are going to rent her came one at a time to familiarize themselves with all that is Dora and to drive her so they are comfortable, and so we are comfortable with them driving her. We are finding that some really great people want to travel our country with our big girl Dora. They love her and I can’t wait till they each return after their trips to share with us how she does!
Here’s some pictures with Roy teaching them all about Dora’s many systems and features.
This is Jeff posing for me so we could see what he will look like while they are touring this beautiful country!
This is Jeff faking like he’s stuck in traffic!
We decided to stock the RV with lots of items including cleaning items, first aid kit, coffee pot and filters, toaster, stainless eating utensils, pot holders, chip bag clips, cooking utensils and pans, induction cooktop as an alternative to the propane stove, pots and pans, sheets, pillows, bedspreads, quality paper plates, saucer and bowls, cups, coffee cups, medium outside table, six foldable chairs in bags, large outside mat, and several other things. We’re expanding that soon to include a small ironing board, iron, towels, wash clothes, clothes hangers, and shampoo. We want our motor home to be the one renters choose and are learning that these things will help.
Here’s Roy giving Dora a final complete washing before she leaves.
The moment our dear Dora left with her first rental family heading to Tennessee and Arkansas. Great family of four hoping to create lasting memories together. I can’t wait till they get home to hear all about it!
Here’s Roy working hard getting the beams level again and the gravel leveled off while Dora’s off having fun.
Dora’s patio is empty now, everything moved to the house. This week’s renters left their vehicles with us while they are off enjoying their time with Dora!
Well, Dora comes home this evening late. We have a quick turn around before she leaves for 17 days with a sweet couple from about a hour from here. After that she is rented until middle of August.
We are making slow small steps to making our house into our home. This is the console we purchased that our tv sits on. The TV will eventually be mounted on the wall but for now it’s happy on the console. The wood color matches the color of our kitchen cabinets in the adjoining kitchen.
The guest bathroom is all dressed up and ready to be used! She needs some wall decorations still but that will come!
Our fig trees have lots more figs on them than last year! They should start ripening soon.
My rock painting took a two week break but I’m back at painting! One of our bedrooms has become Roy’s computer room and the other has become my rock painting room and Madisyn’s room for when she comes to visit overnight. I’ve started creating medium size rocks for our renters to help them remember their adventures with Dora. I’ll post pictures of them after the renters receive them.
This is the view from my rock painting room! I love it! It’s way prettier than the picture shows. When the wind is blowing and the trees move and water rripples across the pond it is such an amazing sight!!
Our master bedroom has nothing but a new king size mattress, box springs and frame but I sleep like a baby in that big bed! We do have sheets but just not in this picture!
We just had a three day Dora rental book for September and one is pending for October. Dora is renting out really well and we couldn’t be happier. If any of ya’ll are interested in renting her please let us know!
Roy and I put many hours into creating an instruction manual for the renters to learn about all of Dora’s systems and features. Our dear friends, Cindy, Jacqueline and Donna helped proof read the manual and made many, many helpful recommendations. Thanks ladies, you are all wonderful friends and we appreciate you!
Once those recommended changes were made in the manual it is now ready to give to the next renters. We email a .pdf copy of the manual to renters once they pay and book their trip so they can learn about her at home ahead of time.
Chip, Misty and Madisyn came over after church for Father’s Day and were the first company in our new home! I cooked a big pot of spaghetti sauce in my big (compared to Dora’s) kitchen and we enjoyed spending time together. Our older son’s children called Roy to wish him Happy Father’s Day. I loved hearing their small voices tell him they love him.
I’ve made a decision about having the partial knee replacement. I also haven’t shared about Roy’s visit with Dr. Pulin Shah at Ochsner in New Orleans or about why I’m not going to see the neurologist in New Orleans that I thought I was going to see back in May. Maybe next time I can write about all that!