Published in the Rains County Leader on June 9, 2022:
The leadership of Believers’ Baptist Church puts a big emphasis on building relationships among the church family and the community. The Sunday morning schedule is set up with a fifteen minute gap between Sunday School and Morning Worship to allow time for members and visitors to meet new friends and touch base with old friends they haven’t seen in a week or so. It works so well that it’s often difficult for Pastor Jason to settle the congregation when it’s time for the service to begin.
On the last Sunday of the month, we have a casual Brown Bag Fellowship where people are encouraged to bring food from home or pick up fast food and spend some time together over lunch. We also have cookies and tea following business meetings, occasional potluck dinners, and an annual chili cookoff. And several times a year, we suspend regular Sunday evening studies in favor of Family Fun Night which usually takes place in the church parking lot. People bring lawn chairs, desserts, and outdoor games and enjoy more time together. This past Sunday we did something different and had Family Fun Night at Sandy Creek Park.
My research, which included a few minutes on Google and a note to Heather Rollins, indicated that the City of Emory purchased the land for the park sometime before 2015. With the help of various grants and other funds the City added bridges over the creek areas, a beautiful walking trail, several picnic tables and a concrete pad with some electricity for events. Recent City add-ons have included a splash pad and permanent restroom facilities. In addition, funds raised by dedicated people like Heather Rollins and her Keep Emory Beautiful projects have paid for an amazing children’s playground and a number of covered picnic tables as well as restoration of the arch bearing the Sandy Creek sign. They also planted some trees, but unfortunately, these were stolen. The hard work of all these people has turned Sandy Creek Park into a lovely retreat in the heart of Emory – the perfect place for Church in the Park.
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 13, 2018:
The first time I remember hearing the term Redneck Tupperware was at Home Group. Every Friday night a group from our church meets for dinner, fellowship, and Bible study. Everyone brings a dish or two, and there’s usually quite a bit leftover which we share with anyone who wants to take some home. Most of us don’t have the foresight to bring our own to-go containers, but our hostess is very generous. The night I first heard the term, she pointed to a cabinet under the island where we serve the food and said, “There’s lots of Redneck Tupperware in there. Help yourself.” I smiled when I saw a large collection of empty plastic tubs that had once held whipped topping, butter spread, lunch meat, and other foods stacked in a fabric cube storage bin. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 12, 2016:
Around this time last year, I wrote a column about a Christian women’s retreat I had attended. I returned late this past Sunday evening from the 2nd Annual Retreat of a group of women who now call themselves The White Chapel Girls. My original intention was to write about my trip there and back with three women who have become close friends. However, the joy of silly jokes that made us laugh until we cried and the freedom of being with friends you can trust with your deepest feelings can’t be described in a few words. That’s why I decided to re-run last year’s column with a few differences noted.
I just returned from four days at the F & H Goat Ranch, so named because of the fat and happy goats that populate the front pasture of the five-acre spread about twenty miles north of Kerrville. The owner, Julee White, retired from the Dallas rat race and social scene fifteen years ago so she could move closer to family and devote herself, in part, to making the dreams of her two nephews come true. When those dreams included goats for an FFA project, Aunt Julee provided both the goats and living space for them. I don’t think the project was very successful, but the goats didn’t mind. They stayed on at the ranch, invited some friends, and became – well – fat and happy. (more…)
The story of a lonely, innocent girl who gets tangled up in the sex trafficking trade in a small Texas town. It’s about her relationship with Eric, a slick suburban pimp; Jesse, a Christian tattoo artist and motorcycle rider; and Mrs. G, a compassionate but tough attorney and foster parent.