Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Advent Bible Study

I wanted to share with you this wonderful Bible study we did before Christmas called, "Awaiting the Already" by Magrey R. deVega. 
The introduction had an illustration that was helpful for me:
The author went on a wild and wet roller coaster ride with his daughters.  He didn't want to get his camera wet so bought a throw-away camera.  

When he got home, he had to search to find a place to get the pictures developed.  He waited impatiently and when they were finally ready, he enjoyed being able to re-live the fun of the ride through the pictures.

So it is that we can study the birth of Christ every year and re-experience this joy.
**Matthew wants us to slow down to confront this hurting world, looking for Jesus, who is already here. 
**Mark wants us to trust God - slow down, turn around, and prepare the way for Jesus. 
**Luke would want us to sing of the power of this good news.

** John would want us to see the light in the midst of our darkness and become a gift for others.

I thank Rita for opening her home on Monday evenings, for being our leader, and for including me in this special group. 
Rita Cole, Her daughter: Rita Etherington, Carol Shnayer, Pat Necklen, MaryMay Angelil, Rich Necklen, Jeanette Owens, Alan Etherington.  Unable to be with us that last night:  Doug Owens, Sarah and Len Green, Donna and Stephan Lambert, Rich Lambert, Elaine Draus
It is always a blessing to share and learn with others who are striving to live our lives in a Christian way.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Our Circle Celebrity

The UMW (United Methodist Women) in a church is divided into small groups called Circles.  We meet monthly to study, fellowship, and serve.  My Circle in Florida has about 15 members..... or shall I saw it used to have 15 members.  Our group has welcomed a new member and her name is Honey.  She is our Circle Celebrity!

Let's go back to the beginning. Gail, Honey, and her husband, Art, sat near me in church.  Gail always had her little service dog with her.  Naturally, people were abuzz wondering why she had the dog but no one would ask.  I had chatted with Gail several times.

After a few weeks, I gently and quietly (but boldly) said,  "If I may ask, why do you have Honey?"  Gail responded enthusiastically and that opened the door to a new friendship and a lot of fascinating information.  A simplified version is that Gail has very severe asthma attacks.  Honey can sense when one is coming on before Gail has a clue.  She lets Gail know so she can grab her inhaler.  

I invited Gail to our Circle.  She said she thought people would feel uncomfortable with her bringing Honey.  Our leader discussed it with the group ahead of time and, as I thought, there was no problem. 

It worked out that Gail's first meeting was our Christmas Potluck luncheon at a member's home. Gail introduced herself and Honey and held everyone's full attention.  She told us all about how they discovered that Honey could do this and the red tape she and her doctor went through to get her certified.
We learned that a Service Dog is working and should not be petted, although Gail is very patient with people who don't know that and want to pet her.  When in public, Honey wears the Service Dog vest and ID tags.  There have been a few incidents in restaurants that were cleared up because Gail always carries her paperwork. 
The one time Honey's attire varies is Sunday mornings and we are always eager to see what "Sunday dress" she will be wearing that day.  
 Art, Gail, and Honey Whitmarsh 
Honey's Easter dress
One of our Circle members proudly informed the Women's Executive Board that we are the first Circle to have a dog as a member..... our very own Circle Celebrity! 

p.s.  Honey has never made a peep in church in the two years I've known her.  But I saw her "non-working" side when I went to Gail's house.  She is barking and chasing the cat like any normal, frisky little dog!   

Honey is a poodle but Gail doesn't have her groomed with the traditional cut.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fall Fun in 2015

Fall here at Savanna Club is always busy and includes fun fellowship with friends.

Local residents put on this show and I am always amazed and proud to think that these singers and dancers are my neighbors!  People in the audience are encouraged to wear Western attire and you know how I enjoy dressing up!
I am on the Social Committee so went early to finish decorating.  My friends, Sue Bruschetti and Joan De Planche.
Here are a few of my favorite costumes this year.
Wonder how this Minion got the yellow to stay on his beard?
Pizza, anyone?
I wasn't sure if the grapes and Gangstas were together or just standing together.
The Nerdy Physics Professor
"The Kiss" group had some scary make-up that stayed on all evening.
My gypsy wig and scarf were from Glen's Fair Price store in Virginia.

Cotton Candy and Popcorn.  THE most creative costumes I've ever seen! 
(The gals used 65 yards of tulle for their dresses and used hula hoops to hold their skirts out.)  They also have very cooperative husbands!

Christmas Golf Cart Parade
I've always enjoyed seeing the decorated golf carts.  This year we had only about 45 entries because of impending rain (it waited until the afternoon).  The sheriff led the parade as they went throughout the streets of Savanna Club.  I tend to see the "gray" in many things but as a judge, I had to make decisions!

Decking the Halls
The Social Committee decorates the clubhouses and grounds around Savanna Club.   .
 Wendy MacArthur and Judy Pagenkop have found their calling!  (You just saw them as Cotton Candy.)  They worked all year, hitting yard sales, thrift shops, and sales so as to get the most for the social committee's budget.
It took a whole crew almost a whole day to put up all their beautiful creations.

What a privilege it is to live in a community that is so active.