About Me

My photo
I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Serendipity Sunday: Memories

I was raised in a Cumberland Presbyterian Church (CP).

It is a very tiny denomination.  Collectively, we aren’t weird…(some of us are cra-cra, though)

I was taught about Doctrine…the Bible…Missions…

What I have always loved about “my church” was that we KNEW we didn’t own this thing called RELIGION.

We sang “Whosoever Will”, and we really meant it.

We have an open altar…open communion table…anyone who believes in Christ is welcomed to partake…we don’t check “membership cards”…LOL

We believe in the Apostle’s Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, The Old and The New Testament, that Jesus is the Son of God, That God is Father, Son and Holy Ghost (ok, I just giggled because, well, I think I have been painting too much Halloween stuff…), so, basically, we believe the BIBLE…

We were a very quiet church, which I LOVED because after having a long week of NOISE, it was so wonderful to go into the House of the Lord and sit in the quiet to worship Him in Holiness…to BE STILL and KNOW… Being quiet (or LOUD) is in no way a measuring stick of one’s belief!

We believe that ANYONE can serve God, and no, you do NOT have to have a penis to Preach, to Teach or to Serve!

Well, if anyone has gotten this far and isn’t TOO offended, I will try to be on my best behavior.

I have the same email address that my mother had, and I won’t bore you with THAT story, because I have others to cause plenty of boredom for now.  Because of that, I get her updates of NEWS from the Denomination.

On May 26, I read that a classmate from Bethel had died.  I didn’t know her well, because she was there to get her MRS degree~~LOL…I was, however, friends with her husband, a CP minister, because I played the piano at a small church where he preached outside of Martin, TN each week.  BOY, howdy, I learned that MANY things can be placed in a person’s nose to cause humor (well, to SOME people)…French fries, pens, pencils, straws…sigh  Oh, how I shuddered on Sunday Morning when he picked me up to go to church and he had a friend with him…it just gave fuel to the fire of misbehavin’!

What I did know about Rhonda was that she was so sweet and kind.  She always smiled at me. THAT is a good memory to have.

Then, on July 18 (strangely enough, the anniversary of my parents wedding), I read that Carolyn Jackson had died.  She and my mother were the bestest of friends!  They were forever getting into something together.  They were sewing buddies and traveling to convention buddies.  She and Mother compiled the only (that I know about) denominational Cookbook to raise money for missions.  Carolyn did NOT want anyone to know her age, but one year, her son threw a birthday party for her and the cat was out of the bag.  She handled it pretty well~~LOL…Oh, how I loved her and how special she was to momma.  Her 98 years were full!!

This was taken in front of The Log Cabin.  It is a replica, of the replica (ROFL) of the Log Cabin that is located at Montgomery Bell Park in Dickson, TN...it is the birthplace of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church that came out of the GREAT REVIVAL...We left the Presbyterian Church because we did NOT believe in predestination....I am the one on the steps...Funny to see that 10 of these people went on to serve as Ministers/Christian Education (some of us got over it, too...LOL)

Last Monday morning, I opened my email and almost dropped my phone when I read about the death of Rev. Patrick Fleming.  He was driving back to his home in Arkansas after taking his daughter to Bethel for her final semester, and killed in a single vehicle accident.

Pat and I were in Balladeers together.  He had married our friend, Janiece, and had two children.  They were divorced and he was recently newly married.

I thought back to those days at Bethel.  I do not want to give the impression that we were the best of friends.  I will say that when you are crammed into a 26 seat bus, traveling for hours, and spending countless hours practicing and memorizing music, you get to know each other pretty well!  While there were people in the group who did not like each other, I can honestly say, that we all managed to get along pretty well, AND you found a way to stay away from each other….ME?  I plopped myself in the back of the bus, and sat on the music box!  ROFL…funny, that soon became the card playing section of the bus…LOL

Pat had demons.  He had a temper that scared me.  He didn’t always treat my friend, Janiece,  like I thought he should, and that frustrated me.  His father was a CP Pastor and my mother knew him.

We often laughed that so many of us in Balladeers were “CP Royalty”…Many of our parents were very active on the denominational level and they knew each other…We would laugh after a concert, when some lady would come flying outside to find “Martha’s daughter”…they were forever getting me and Elinor (Lita’s daughter) confused, because we both had black hair!  I got pointed at a whole bunch!  =)

Recently, I was chatting with another friend from Bethel and he said something about CP ROYALTY…I laughed and said that I was once considered to be that…He laughed and said, “yeah, right”…When I told him who my mother was, he gasped, apologized and said he never knew!!  He said I qualified…lol

Times have changed…we have changed…

Pat sent me a FB friend request several years ago, and it was good to “see” him.  NOW, as I have spent a week REMEMBERING moments from the past, I am thankful that I got the opportunity to MEET the new and improved PATRICK.  He has struggled.  He has fought the demons.  He had started living life LOVING life.  He made certain that Janiece was able to attend their daughter’s Senior Voice Recital.  I was glad that I had the opportunity to chat with him and to get to KNOW him.

I am glad that each of us has the opportunity to be BETTER that what we once were.

I am glad that Patrick fought the good fight and that he now lives with God in Paradise.

Music has always been such an important part of my life.  It has given me opportunities that I never imagined.  It makes me sad that I no longer play and sing, but things happen and life moves on and you adapt and do the best you can!  One day, I hope that money blessings will fall on my head and I will be able to either repair my piano, or get a good quality keyboard, but other things must be repaired, first~~ROFL…but I am at peace with it, for now.

So, though it seems I have shared only sadness, I wrote this to remind us all, that MEMORIES are a blessing.

Sometimes, we make choices and that is all we have…

I have been blessed this week to recount special times with special people and that has been a serendipity moment(s) for me.

My prayers are with all who mourn, but I am assured by reading the Bible, that THEY SHALL be comforted.

I love God, who has thought of everything.  While I sometimes think He doesn’t hear me and He doesn’t care and He will NEVER give me what I need, I am slapped back into reality, and again reminded that He NEVER forsakes me, He NEVER stops listening to me, and He will ALWAYS provide my needs (not wants)…He is my Shepherd and He continues to lead me into Green Pastures, beside still waters, feeding me before the enemy (Satan) and as Kat says, “just showing off!” 

NOW, to remember to FOLLOW Him and to TRUST HIM…

Thank you, Dear God, for my friends…for the memories…and for loving me, anyway, when I don’t deserve it. 

I am so blessed…~~charlotte♡


  1. Amen Ms Charlotte.........I too am so blessed .

  2. Thank you for sharing the memories. It's good to be reminded of sweeter days gone by.

    1. How wonderful to have gotten to be young and foolish...carefree and safe...I have had a good life!

  3. Just a beautiful and heartwarming post.

    God Bless you and Charcoal. ♥

  4. That gave me the warm fuzzies, my friend. I chuckled as i read about missing playing & singing. We gave my piano to a family with 3 or 4 kids who are very musical. I too am hoping for a decent keyboard some day. =)


Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world. In case you haven't been told, you are loved!~~charlotte♡