Back in the saddle again…


I hope each of you are enjoying the Christmas and New Years holidays as much as I am. Our holiday season thus far has been a blast! Carol and I returned from a lengthy trip to the Carolinas and Tennessee last night.

We left Monroe on Thursday as week ago and arrived in Atlanta late in the afternoon. On Friday we were able to have some time with my brother who lives in Atlanta, do some outlet shopping, a trip to Bass Pro Shop, and then a short drive to Travelers Rest South Carolina. We stayed two nights with an uncle (recently widowed) and on Sunday worshipped with him an aunt at the little church in Cleveland where my paternal grandparents were saved and are buried. My aunt who is almost 80 has been a member there since she was 12. She recounted to me how she walked quite a distance and then crossed the Saluda River on a log and then up the hill and down the valley to the church at 12 years of age.

We drove about 50 miles to Hendersonville, N C on Sunday after church and visited with dear friends, Don and Harriet Yelton. Don is not only a friend and dear brother, but my wife’s boss. He has been Director of WFR Relief for over 35 years and he and Harriet also run AMEN ministry as well. We enjoyed the fellowship of several members of their family on Christmas day and then on the next morning were greeted by a pretty snow which had fallen during the night, almost a white Christmas.

 I was able to see my mom four days in a row which was a great blessing. She is a great woman. Her health is slowly failing and her almost 86 years is taking its toll. She will likely soon be promoted to joy unspeakable and glory to the full! What a hope we have in Jesus!

We drove to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on Wednesday afternoon and actually vacationed for a whole day! We found DollyWood delightful. We enjoyed the musical “Babes in Toyland”, especially since one of the leading characters is a young man who is a member of our church in West Monroe. We were able to visit with him for a few moments between shows. There was southern gospel music, Blue grass, and lots of very nice folks with accents that made this mountain boy feel right at home. To top off the day we ate beans, cornbread, and blackberry cobbler at “Granny Ogle’s Kitchen”. (I am right at home in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. There are lots of Ogle’s there) Some of the best people on planet earth grew up in the hills of Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. They are down to earth, hard working, fun loving, God fearing, “salt of the earth” kind of folks. I am very proud of my heritage.

Today we celebrated Christmas with our grandsons and children here in Monroe and I got in some yard work, put up a Blue bird house, washed my John Deere, arranged some crappie tackle, did a minor upgrade to my boat trailer, and helped Carol put goodies away in the attic for next Christmas. No child ever enjoyed Christmas more then this one I am married to!

We are looking forward to church tomorrow and then on New Years Eve we will have several couples here at our house for fellowship, fun, games, and some vittles. I am looking forward to the New Year with its challenges and opportunities. It seems we continue to have God’s favor and for that underserved goodness we are humbled and thankful. I look forward to writing a series on Jesus Christ our Lord here at Grace Digest in the next several weeks. My blogs, for the most part, are just some of my personal studies that I share with anyone who cares to read them. I pray that they will bless you as they have me.

May you walk in the Light, with the Wind at your back, and your eye on Jesus in 2008.

His peace,

Royce