Monday, September 28, 2009

The Cracker Lady’s Fancy: No Charge

Since we’re on the subject of children and their concepts of love, this song, one of my favorites by Shirley Caesar, has brought me in remembrance of God’s free, unmerited blessings. My own daughter has been sick this week. And although I have been caring for her for 41 years now, I could never think of charging her for what I do for her. I am so grateful and awestruck when I remember what Jesus has done for me these last 61 years at NO CHARGE!

I want to thank all who are praying for Shannon. You cannot imagine how precious your prayers are to us. I hope you will be blessed by this song.

With love to you all, Chere & Shannon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Cracker Lady’s Fancy: What Love Means To 4-8 Year Olds

My friend Peggy sent me these touching words from the mouths of babes this morning. I just had to share them with my readers. 
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think.


'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. 
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' 
Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. 
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' 

Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' 

Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' 

Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' 

Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' 

Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. 
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss' 

Emily - age 8

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' 

Nikka - age 6 
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' 

Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' 

Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me, and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' 

Cindy - age 8

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' 

Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.' Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' 

Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' 

Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (What an image!) Karen - age 7

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' 

Jessica - age 8

And the final one and winner was a four-year-old child
whose next-door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. 

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. 

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 

'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Fellowship of the Authors

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

Following my daughter’s brain tumor, for years she was so ill it was impossible for us to attend church, except on very rare occasions. In order to keep a roof over our heads, I took a job managing eleven guesthouses in San Francisco close to the University of California Medical Center. The job required being on site 24-7, which made it even more impossible to make it to church. This scripture in Hebrews often convicted me of not assembling with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I was starving for fellowship and the collective presence of God. Having been a pastor up to the time of Shannon’s illness, I was in shock at my inability to attend church.

I often whined to the Lord about it, but every time Shannon seemed to improve a new crisis would hit her. Within three years after her brain tumor, she had four strokes, a broken hip, and multiple pneumonia's. Through it all, I managed to keep my job, which I shall forever be grateful.

Now, when one is going through like we were, one really needs the support of their brothers and sisters in Christ. At least that is what I had been taught and preached. The more I hungered for fellowship; the more impossible it became to obtain it. I cried bitterly to Jesus about this matter. I was confused by my circumstances. I was thirsty and hungry for the preached Word of God and the fellowship of the saints. The devil used my circumstances to blame me of being unworthy of being in the presence of God’s people. There was not a saved person around me-not an employee, medical staff member, or resident. This went on for over a year.

By the second year, I was so hungry, I started reading every Christian book I could afford and studying the Bible even more. As I read, I began to feel like I was back in fellowship with the saints. I felt like each author was a friend, a brother, a sister. After I had acquired and read over a hundred books, as I looked at the books on my bookshelves, I had a sense of collective presence. They had shared their experiences and insights with me at my time of need. That day I declared them to be “The Fellowship of the Authors”.

I just recently got my library out of storage (which is much larger now). I thought as part of the Cracker Lady’s House, I would write about some of the authors and their books that helped me during those very rough years. It is my intent that they will be as much a blessing to my readers as they were to me.


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