Sunday, June 30, 2013

Following Christ Without Excuses

Now the works of the flesh are plain:  fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Galatians 5

As we talked about before, we must have faith and follow the Gospel.  It's all spelled out and makes perfect sense - easy to understand, but so very hard to do!

And we cannot tell Christ, when He calls us to do something, that we will surely do it, but just not right now.  If He calls us now, He means from us to do it now.  And Jesus said in Luke 9, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

This makes we think of the quote from C. S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, that we cannot ask "what if".  There really isn't - can't be - a what if.  We are where we are because of what we have done.  We really can't turn around and go back, because what's done is done.  

We always have consequences to any act we do.  Simply drinking a glass of water will cause our body to remain hydrated.  That is a consequence of drinking water.  And, of course, the consequence of walking out in front a train has a far different, and much more terrible, consequence.

So, to begin with, we, having free will, can do what we wish.  We can listen Paul's sermon in Galatians to follow the Spirit, or we can choose the way of the flesh.  Each has its own consequences.

But, because God is a forgiving God, and because Jesus loves us, when we do misstep we can go forward again, for if we ask forgiveness, and we truly mean we will endeavor to NOT sin again, we will be forgiven...over, and over, and long as we truly mean to NOT sin again.  And, of course, God understands our intentions.  After all, He is God!

Christ gave His life on the cross to take away all our sins, and all we have to do is believe, and we have to do the best we absolutely can.

So I challenge myself, and everyone else, to read the Bible, to pray, to try our best, to ask forgiveness when we sin, to love one another, to help those in need, to have faith - and don't look back, only look forward, because God is forward, and it is toward Him that we must move.  And if we do, we will gain eternal life with Him forever.

How glorious is that!

It you haven't read C. S. Lewis' books, I highly recommend them, and although this may "look" like a children's book, I can assure it is not!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Mother and the DAR

Many members of the DAR got to be members because their mothers begged and pleaded for them, as young women, to join.

Since my mother didn't join DAR until she was over 50, she didn't beg me to join until I was over longer eligible to me a junior member!

Then, of course, she begged me to go in on the genealogy of her patriotic ancestor, Bryan Ward Nowlin, but I told her that if I was going in, I would find my own ancestor, thank you very much!

And I did. That was back in 1984.

Just so happens, it was another of her ancestors, but none of her close family had used this ancestor, Captain Charles McAnally, so I had fun joining DAR with my very own patriot!

I have now, however, submitted a supplemental application for Bryan Ward Nowlin which was approved, and I am process of, hopefully, being accepted as the descendant of Johann Jacob Shrum, who was my great-great-great-great-grandfather, on my father's side!

Thought I would like to throw in a photo of my mother when she was a very young woman.  She was, most certainly, a flapper, and, as Raf would say, she never got over it!

On second through, I decided to show you several photos of her when she was in her teens and early twenties!  Ain't she sweet...and beautiful!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Not much in the way of Garden and Nature

Fridays I have designated "Garden and Nature", and I will show one photo from my garden, but today ... usually the last Friday of the month ... is also massage day, and nothing comes before (or after) the massage.  Therefore when I was asked by friends to eat together at lunch, I had to say, "Not is massage day!"

Debbie Donaldson, here in Mineral Wells, is our massage therapist, and she is wonderful, so if you live locally, give her a try!

I am not going to write a whole lot, but I am going to brag that I won the first Stencil Girl Talks giveaway!!!  I have just begun to stencil, and I am really excited to have won.  If you are interested in using stencils in you art, check out Stencil Girl on Pinterest!

Now for my one garden photo...I will surly have more to say on this subject next Friday, so join me then!

This is one of our two new Black Diamond crepe myrtles.  Black leaves and bright red flowers!

See ya tomorrow when I discuss Family and Home!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How Do I Begin to Search a Family Tree?

How many times have I been asked that question?  How do I begin?  What do I do?  How can I trace my family tree?

Well, the easiest answer is :  START WITH YOURSELF!

You know the date of your birth, right?  You know the date of your marriage - if you are married.

Get a sheet of paper, or the worksheets I will provide at the end of this lesson, and begin.

Write down your name, your FULL name, and your birthday, as well as where you were born.  If you are married, write down your spouse's name, and birth date, and the date and place of your marriage.  You now have Generation 1.

In Generation 2, write down the full names of your parents, father up, mother down.  Now, if you don't know the dates and places of their birth, marriage, and death...find out.  Call somebody!  Certainly, if they are alive, ASK THEM!!  Now you have Generation 2.

Generation 3 gets more complicated!  You only have two parents, but you have four grandparents, and you want the same information about them, BIRTH, MARRIAGE, DEATH (called in genealogy BMD).  Mother's parents go down, and Father's parents go up!

NOTE:  If any of your ancestors were born in Texas, you can purchase their birth certificate at your local city hall.  If they died or were married in Texas, you will have to purchase them from the county seat in which they were married or died...and all bets are off on how much the counties want, what sort of identification from you they want, etc.

If your ancestors were born, married, or died in another state, you will have to contact the local authorities through their "vital records" department.  Sometimes you can get what you want from the county of the marriage, birth, or death...sometimes from the state...and sometimes not at all because, as in the case of Missouri, their record don't go back past the 1920s (why, I do not know)!

Watch out for commercial sites like  They promise more than they can deliver without a substantial fee!!

For instance, if your ancestors hailed from Arkansas, you would go to, and check there.  This is the state agency, and their charge is between $10 and $12 per certificate.  This is a good price.

Oh, and when someone in your family dies, is born, gets married, for goodness sake, keep one copy of the certificate!!!

When I went looking for my grandfather's birth certificate, I had to go a little farther than a US state.  I had to go to Rechtebe, Germany.  Here is a copy of his birth certificate:

Ok, now you need to get to work.  I cannot upload pdfs to this blog, so I am giving you a link,  Click on each graphic, and you will be taken to a pdf that you can download or print.  They are all good charts, but I prefer the first three most.

If you have questions, queries, or critiques, please comment here OR go to my Facebook "Sue Looks into the Wood" site.  I will endeavor to assist you!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crochet and Other Things

Much to my horror, a couple of years ago I discovered that I could no longer crochet because my eyes would not focus on my stitches, and, if they did, it took a day to refocus. 

As some of you know, I had cataract surgery on both eyes this winter, and low-and-behold, upon pick up a piece of yard and a hook, I found that I could once again crochet. 

This was about three weeks ago, and I have been going great guns ever since.

So I took up my hook, and using the patter below, began to make shawls:

Chain 51
ROW 1:  (Dc, ch 2, dc) in the 6th ch from hook, *sk next 2 chs, (dc, ch 2, dc) in next ch; rep from * across to last 3 chs, sk next 2 cyhs, dc in last ch - 15 ch - 2 sps at the end of this row.
ROW 2: Ch 3, turn (dc, ch 2, dc) in each ch-2 sp across across to last dc, sk last dc, dc in turning ch.
ROW 3: Ch 3, turn (dc, ch 2, dc) in each ch-3 sp across to last 2 dc, sk next dc, dc in last dc. 
Rep Row 3 until piece measures 72 in (183 cm) from beginning.
FINISHING:  Weave in ends.

I am using Red Hear Yarn, which used to be a sort of run of the mill yarn, but now has lots of beautiful colors and designs at reasonable prices.  So far I have used Boutique Unforgettable

Boutique Midnight

Red Heart has tons of other beautiful yarns.  I recommend them highly!

I found another pattern on the Crochet in Color blog that I would like to try, also.

Also, in the past little bit I have joined a couple of art journaling pass-alongs.  I have enjoyed doing these, but I have found the group I have joined is not a congenial group, so I will go back to either my Glitter Sisters or Willowing for pass-alongs and art exchanges.

Anyway, here is a journal page I did for one of the pass-alongs.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Taco Treat - Our Favorite Family Meal

I got this recipe from a friend in Mesquite who had served it at a church covered dish luncheon back about 1972.  It’s called Taco Treat, and it's truly yummy.  It’s great for a hearty family meal, for a church social, or to take to a bereaved friend, and it’s easy to double for the 15 or so family members we usually have at our monthly family dinners.

Mash up a pound of ground chuck.  Mash it up fine and be sure it’s browned.  Turn the fire off and add one can of cream of chicken soup, one can of cream of celery soup, one small jar of taco sauce (you pick how hot), and one small can of chopped green chilis.

Spray a medium casserole dish with Pam, and, after crunching very finely a half bag of tortilla chips, layer grated cheese, chips, meat mixture, to the top of the dish - spacing out to three layers is best and ending with chips and then cheese on top.

Cover your casserole dish with foil and bake at 350˚F for thirty minutes, uncovering for the last ten minutes.

Serve this with a tossed green salad, and you have an excellent meal.  Any, hey, it’s better the next day!

To go along with the meal, get a bottle of Vino de Eyzaguirre, a cabernet sauvignon, from Chile.  This, too, is a family staple that was introduced to us by my cousin, Gary, in Midland, Texas, many, many years ago.

All-in-all, this will make a fantastic meal, both summer and winter, and if you're having a large group, double or triple the taco treat recipe and get about five or more bottles of wine!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Daughters of the American Revolution - Truly Patriotic!

When I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), I did it at the behest of my mother, Rose Elizabeth Bowden Ficke Sparks.  I think that's they reason a lot of us came to DAR - because our mothers wanted us to!

However, I refused to go in on the patriot she and her cousins had used, Bryan Ward Nowlin. 

You see, in order to join DAR you have to prove a direct line from an American patriot who was active during the American Revolution to yourself.

So, I chose to research a different line, and I went in on Charles McAnally.  Later I chose to prove my lineage to Nowlin, as well.

Sometime I will tell you about both of them, but now I am going to tell you a little about my ancestor Johann Jacob Shrum. 

The Shrum family is not on my mother's side, bu rather on my father's mother's side.  They all immigrated from Germany, but the Shrums came a lot earlier (before 1750), and the Fickes came much later.  My grandfather got here in 1888.

Anyhow, the Shrums came into this country through Pennsylvania, to North Carolina, and finally to Missouri.

Here is Johann's information:

Birth: 11-10-1758 York County, Pennsylvania
Death: ca. 1815 Lincoln County, North Carolina
He was under the command of 1) CAPT JAMES JOHNSTON, YORK CO MILITIA 
Much later, in fact three generations, the Shrum family married into the McBee Family.
Elizabeth Jane Shrum was my great-grandmother.  She had 17 children, and she was only about 4 feet 8 inches tall.

The story goes that when they butchered, it was about 18-20 hogs at a time. It took a lot to feed a family like that. Everybody helped, for it was quite a job to work up that many. The family tells a story about Grandma McBee (Elizabeth Jane Shurm) in the smokehouse. She was a very short woman, and she climbed up on a barrel of sorghum molasses to reach the meat, and the lid tilted, and she fell into the molasses. They said they had a terrible time getting her out and cleaning her up!
Here is Elizabeth Jane, husband James William McBee, and their 17 children.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Who do people say that I am?"

Now it happened that as He was praying alone the disciples were with Him;
and He asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"
And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen."
And He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
But He charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
And He said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever looses his life for my sake, he will save it."
Luke 9:18-24

In the sermon preached by Father David Klein at St. John's Anglican Church today, I was reminded that we really are supposed to preach the Gospel, to go out into the world to proclaim the Good News that the "Christ of God" has come to the earth, has lived, has died, and has risen again, and that if we are to be His disciples, we have to do what he tells us to do!  We have to follow Him.

And, oh my goodness, it isn't easy.  It's simple and straightforward, but it isn't easy.  And we are supposed to do it every day!  We can't decide that we will follow Christ only when it feels good, only when we want to!  We have to do it all the time.

And, of course, the Devil, the Evil One, doesn't let us forget that we really don't want to deny ourselves anything.  We want to have fun, to enjoy life, to get angry, to gossip, to own lots of good "stuff", to eat well, to go wherever we want whenever we want.  He wants us to live the "if it feels good, do it" sort of life - not denying ourselves anything!  And certainly not taking up a cross, of all things!

But if we don't proclaim the Gospel each day, and if we don't endeavor to live the Gospel each day, what do we have? 

If we do what "the Christ of God" has asked us to do, to the best of our abilities, knowing we will fail, but knowing God will forgive us, we have something that is more precious that gold.  We have eternal life.

If we have faith and follow the Gospel, we have eternal life.

What more could we possibly want?

- - - - - 
Raf and I had a wonderful, worshipful experience at St. John's today, and if you are in the Fort Worth area, I would recommend that you visit.  They have four weekend services:
Saturday, 6:00 pm Vigil
Sunday, 8:00 am 1928 Book of Common Prayer service
Sunday, 9:00 am Rite II
Sunday, 11:15 am, Rite I
They have anointing at both the Rite I and Rite II services.

Further, St. John's has a ministry to the community of Fort Worth, to all the people in Fort Worth, and tomorrow through Friday, their Vacation Bible School will be held for children entering grades 1 - 7, from 9 am to 12 noon.  Their address is 2401 College Avenue.  Telephone number is 817.927.5341.  They are just east of the TCU area.  This VBS will be a wonderful way for the children of Fort Worth to hear the Gospel!

You can find St. John's on the web at

May the Lord strengthen our hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.  Amen.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday - My First Family and Home Blog Post

Family, next to God, is the most important part of my life.  Our immediate family endeavors to stay connected most of the time, for which I feel so extremely blessed.  We have one family meal each month here at our home where we celebrate those who had birthday that month.  We also include those very rare friends who have become like family.

If you don't know about my family, here goes.  I am married to Raf (Ralph Spurgeon Seibert III).  We have three daughters, Kathi who goes by Katy, Carolyn who goes by Carolyn or Carol, and Christina who used to go by Nina but now goes by Christi.  I just go by Sue...that is my name. However, for a while I spelled it Sioux online as my father used to sing "Sioux City Sue" to me! Although, my full name is Johnette Sue, and as a child I always wanted to be called Johnny, my father being named John, but my parents thwarted my every effort in that direction!

We have seven grandchildren.  John is 27; Joey is 24; Dani is 19; Bethy, Jennifer, and Tim are all 17; and Travis is 14.  Next year we will have three high school graduations, and Raf and I will probably go to Alaska, so as not to insult anyone!

I am an only child, but I have one cousin with whom I am quite close.  His name is Ron.  We try to talk at least weekly, although he lives in Midland, Texas, while we live in Mineral Wells, Texas, so we don't see each other but a couple of times a year.   Here we are when I was about 13, and he was about 11.

We certainly don't have all the same memories, but we have some of the same memories, and I am blessed that we are very close!

All-in-all, our family is wonderful, and I am thankful to God for blessing me with being married to my best friend, having daughters we can count on, having good grandchildren, and having at least one close cousin!

Friday, June 21, 2013

I am Still Here!

I really intended to post every day, and, of course, life got in the way, again!

I want to write something each day, so I hope you will follow me and encourage me to do just that!

I am going to show you some of my garden today as a way to get back into the groove.  These photos were taken this morning as I watered.

 Spider web with a bug caught in it.  As this was an iPhone photo, it is blurry.
 Several of these have sprung up in the new part of the raised beds.  They are growing well, although what I planted are not...I believe there is something in the wood that causes plants not to grow the first year.  DO ANYONE KNOW WHAT THIS PLANT MIGHT BE?
 Nasturtiums.  These were always in my Granny's garden when I was a child.  Loved to eat them.  Decided to plant a few this year.
 Another, this time.
 Love fresh basil.  This one is doing great...the one right next to it died.  Hummm....
 We planted 6 tomatoes.  This one is Early Girl and going great.  The three large plants in this part of the raised bed are doing wonderfully and have to be staked because they are so hardy.  The three small in the new bed and just sitting there, neither growing nor dying.
 Zinnas this year are not as plentiful as last year, but the hummingbirds love them.  We never seemed to attract hummers to the commercial feeders, but they love the natural kind!
 Looking down the older raised bed toward the one, huge hollyhock.  To the right you can see nothing much is happening.
 These were supposed to be black petunias, but, as you can see, they are black and yellow.  Disappointing!
 Hollyhock thriving, but the ones planted this year in the new bed are, again, just sitting there.
Celebrating Texas!!!!

You all come back to see us soon!


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