Saturday, February 19, 2011

History of one Church of Christ

I recently took on the job of making a new directory for a church of Christ where we attended for many years. In the process some church records were given to me. I used them and inquiries to past members to prepare a summare of the church's works.

This is the history of one congregation of the church of Christ.

Many past members told of the works, classes, & personal kindnesses they fondly remember. Working together draws us closer to each other and to God. Simple things we can do mean much to others & are pleasing to God. He tells us we, Christians, will be known by our love for one another.
In relating the memories shared no names will be mentioned or specific dates given for fear of leaving someone out, or errors in the timeline.
Central’s youth rallies helped the young people & youth from all over the southwest to meet & enjoy each other while learning more about living a Christian life. Our youth as hosts worked on decorating the building & numerous other jobs in preparation for the rallies.

A Ladies’ Day was held in various years. The ladies worked together for the big day. Each one prepared a lesson, found something to share, worked in the kitchen, found songs, led singing, took charge of clean up, etc. & grew closer to her sisters.

Most summers meant VBS time. Neighborhood children & through them their parents, were told about Christ. Yet another way in which Christ was confessed to our community.

Ladies met for Sewing Days. Pads for cancer patients & quilts for hospital patients were some of the items made on these days of work and fellowship.

There’ve been many special classes presented by dedicated teachers who spent extra hours, beyond the normal Bible class times, to further teach their students.

Some past members, who were those students, mentioned ‘summer training’ in which special projects were taken on, such as cooking & doing yard work for the seniors, visiting nursing homes & other service activities.

Learning centers were put together, in which the children took part in hands on activities & games. They learned several Bible lessons by rotated from one center to another.

The young men were encouraged to take part in public services by reading scripture, waiting on the table & picking up the attendance cards. Young ladies helped in classes & the nursery during services.

One of those sharing memories of Central said her son, who was a child when they were at Central, credits the sound Bible teaching he received here for his becoming a Church of Christ preacher.

Central had a Bus Ministry. The purpose was to bring people to classes, particularly children with the goal of also reaching out to their parents. It must have been an uplifting job, as those who worked on the bus said they loved it.

For several years Central held Children’s Church during worship. The deacons primarily conducted these services for the younger children. The ladies & some teens helped out by sitting with the children & taking care of them before & after services. The intention was to teach the little ones about worship. This too was an uplifting job, albeit sometimes exhausting!

For a time Central had a full time evangelist, in addition to the regular preacher. There were special programs carried out at that time and throughout Central’s history to knock on doors & invite people to church &/or to study the Bible. After a while door to door soliciting or any kind was made illegal. Reaching lost souls grew more complicated.

Not a few Gospel Meetings & at least one Campaign for Christ were hosted by Central. After the campaign here some members went on other campaigns.

There have been other organized ministries here which are not mentioned because they are not known to this writer.

Other ministering was done by individual Christians, who made themselves available to their brothers & sisters, to teens & others. Hands have been held, prayers said, shoulders caressds, kindnesses extended from members to our neighbors & members to members. Those sharing their memories told of many here who encouraged them, making a difference in their lives. And, often Central received praise from our local hospital for the way our members cared for each other & others who were hospitalized.

Central’s members have worked on less glamorous jobs, such as building & grounds maintenance, setting up or fellowships or special times, organizing teaching supplies, the pantry, giving away clothes or food to people & much more.

Countless meals have been eaten in our fellowship hall, which often included some special foods, such as pit BBQ. Some special times were celebrated, such as thanksgiving dinners, special meals for the winter visitors, the preachers, the elders & the deacons. Some luncheons were prepared for the ladies by the deacons. These are cherished Church family memories.

Past members shared their love for after-church-meals shared in members’ homes, & other special times in homes, such as singings, teen get-togethers, ladies’ classes & etc.

Wedding showers & baby showers have taken place in our building & homes. Our men too shared in these special times. There have also been many special anniversary parties & weddings.

Outdoor events were great times of fellowship. To name some - we’ve had frequent picnics, hay rides, sunrise services with the teens, ball games & other games for teens & young adults, plus bonfires for everyone. One particular yearly bonfire enjoyed by most everyone was the one held each year after Christmas, in January, to burn the Christmas trees.

Of course, most important were souls coming to God. Some returned to Him by coming forward asking for prayer & forgiveness. Others obeyed Christ in baptism. After the baptism, a welcome circle with singing of, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” usually followed.
The story of the church which meets in this modest building, is not finished. There is much to do, each of us with our own talents, must work so souls can come to Jesus. We need to encourage each other to remain faithful, so we can go home to be with our brother Jesus in Heaven when it’s time.

This survey of Central’s history was researched & written by Janet Toney  February , 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

The First & My First Chili Cook-Off!

What would possess a person who really doesn't much like cooking to enter a cooking contest?  Maybe insanity?  Being fearless and able to throw caution to the wind?  It isn't clear, to me, or likely to anyone else, but, that is what this woman is doing. Our RV park's  first Chili Cook-Off is scheduled for early March.  My entry fee has been paid.  Some ingredients have been purchased.  The fresh ingredient list is written and will be filled a couple of days before the contest.  I purchased a bigger crock pot, and my plans are pretty well set.  I am excited.

And, while it's very true cooking in general does not fascinate me.  I have always enjoyed making Chili.  I think it's the mixing of this and that and the relative freedom there is in making a dish which can be called Chili.  The ingredients can be varied.  It feels a bit more like a science experiment; as if, anything, could happen.  In other words it's much more exciting than just cooking a piece of meat and microwaving a potato, or boiling pasta and tossing meat and canned sauce in with it.

My chili will not be especially hot, although it will be well seasoned.  It will have three kinds of beans cooked fresh - not canned, fresh meat, fresh vegetables and if I can achieve all I'm hoping, it will taste fresh.  The recipe is original to me.  I'll be writing down the amounts of each ingredient as it's added to the pot.  Unless I panic, no practice pots of chili will be made before the contest. 

I'll blog about my experiences and I plan to take pictures to share.  Wish me luck!?  Actually winning isn't my goal.  The fun of actually making an original recipe chili someone will enjoy eating is my motivation.  I can't wait.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Old post didn't get published - Art: Ink pours.

Thursday we had an art class at the Village Art Gallery in downtown Yuma, Arizona. It was pure fun. The teachers were Norma and Deanie from the gallery, and they are members of the  Desert Artists.

We learned how to do 'pours'.

We sprayed water on WC paper, and dropped acrylic inks, using the dropper in the bottles, into the water. Then we had our choice of how to continue.

We could blow thru a straw to spread the paints, or just about anything else to move paint around. I used the straw like a brush and made little circular lines.

Salt can be used to absorb some of the inks, a sea sponge to make designs and shapes, scrunched plastic wrap laid on the paper and taken off after some minutes to make other shapes, and etc. etc.

It was sooooo much fun. I'm posting pictures of two of mine that I liked best.

The one above was made by:
spraying the water very lightly, dropping only a few drops of ink, turning the page one way and another and then using then dragging the straw thru the inks. The inks were limited to two colors, orange and blue.

The second painting was created by:
spraying larger spaces of water, dropping turquoise ink into the water and allowing it to spread on it's on in the water spot, layering green and a small drop of yellow, drawing thru all with a straw to make branches and trunks.  I also used to straw to pull some color off the page for tree trunks, and then .... I paused. The two teachers said," Janet, what do you need?"
I hadn't realized they were watching me that close!
"I need a pencil or pen. Wait, I'll use my eyebrow pencil." 
I used it to make tree trunks, and then I added yellow ink but it was too thick to spread, so I moved it with the straw. Then I made a puddle of yellow and a puddle of black ink on the backing board and dipped my pencil in one and then the other to make more leaves and more branches and trunks.

These are soooooo much fun to make! The two here are the only ones I liked of the five paintings I did, but with some thought I might be able to save the others. I've saved them from the round file until I decide.

Next week I hope to teach the little bit I know to some friends who expressed an interest.

I love to play, I love color; I love art!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Where Have I Been??? Well to the Camel Farm of Course!

Well I just realized, I haven't posted anything to my blog for months!
I couldn't believe it myself. goes.

First I believe I should open with a grand daughter 'funny'.
(And it does relate to the rest of the post, really.)

On the Sunday after Christmas my daughter and
little four year old grand daughter and son-in-law
all were going to church with us.

As I headed for the bathroom to get ready
I told my sweet-faced little grand daughter,

"Well I guess I'd better go do something about my hair."

I smiled down at her.

She looked up at me and said,

"Yes, and you'd better get rid of that old face too."

And then, in the middle of the month, I couldn't
stop it, my birth date made me a year older.

So, since my last posting I've aged, a lot it seems.


(Old) Ladies' Day Out

Recently I went with five ladies from my artists' club to a local Camel farm. It's a small place but, so is the cost to get in, & there are plenty unusual and interesting animals to see. It is also easy to get around. All the pens face a fairly large circular space. It took us about an hour to see the camels and other animals and take some fun pictures. Taking pictues was the main reason we came. Some of us will make paintings, or cards or whatever other creative things we can think to do with our photographs.

Our group varied in age from early sixties to early eighties. We weren't at all worried about what a group of oldsters enjoying the animals might look like to others. And then, a young couple with a little child came in. The mom looked each of us over with a smirky smile on her face! How rude! Also how presumptuous. Just because we aren't children doesn't mean we can't enjoy animals!

Luckily no one else in my group seemed to notice. They were too busy discussing how beautiful the weather was and where we'd eat lunch! We decided on a new Chinese place in town. We left in a three-car-train and sped our way to a wonderful lunch and some fun conversations, not all sweet and polite as you might expect from old ladies either! Old people are still just as real as anyone else, if you can believe it. (We are only super nice and sweet when it's our grand babies or great grand babies we are talking to.)

May you have abundant laughter to balance the tears.
May you never forget God loves you, and is only a prayer away.