Category Archives: Arkansas

Meeting Norm

This is from 2 years ago–but it goes with an upcoming class–I wanted to share it again.  A special thank you to our dear friends, Pam and Chris Flanigan for hosting us as well as taking us to “meet Norm”.

On the first day of our journey, I wrote a post that had a phrase about me not being the “norm”.  Funny how things come back around.
Today we met Norm.  Well, actually his name is Norman.100_3490

Maybe some of his friends called him “Norm” at one time.  When I heard his name, my mind instantly went back to this post.
Norman had once lived with his brother, all bachelors in a small house.  Norman has out lived his brothers and will actually be 90 years old in May.  Norman has everything he seems to want.
He’s a collector of oddities.  Jeff tried to buy one of his rocks, but Norman wanted to hang on to it. *smile*
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Aren’t we like that?  Hanging on to stuff in life that really serves us no spiritual purpose—and really has no eternal value, but yet we cling to it as if our very life depended it on it.
Norman and his brothers used to walk fields to tend to their cattle.  Sometimes as much as 20 miles a day.  They would check them, then go back home. Collecting odd things along the way.
Norman and his brothers were big deer hunters, turkeys and most likely squirrel, rabbit and anything else they could use for food.  Norman still uses a wringer washer.  He uses a wood burning stove to cook his food—even in the summer.  He has a TV, and does watch some, but he doesn’t seem to get caught up in having all the gadgets that every single commercial seems to say, “gotta have it”!
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Does Norman know Christ?  I’m not sure.  
We were introduced, shook hands, and I searched his cloudy, aging eyes.  The friends that introduced us didn’t know if he went to church up in the hills of Arkansas where he lives….but I hope so.  I hope someone shared with him at some point about Jesus Christ and His dying love for all humanity.
Norman was willing to show us his collections, even didn’t seem to mind me snapping shots of them, but he wasn’t willing to part with anything.  And let me just say, Norman had quite a bit.  Our hunting buddies back home would be a bit envious of all the deer racks hanging EVERYWHERE.  A room full.  The porch of his house had several.
 Trophies of living—but what about the things that matter.
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Is there a Norman in your life?
I am sure most Norman’s get overlooked.  They look at us through eyes that mist over when recalling loved ones long gone, and they cling to the only thing they know that brings happiness.
But happy hearts do not grow from the accumulation of stuff.  Oh, sure, for a time, those sassy new shoes may make us feel good, but that is temporary.
Leading a Norman to Christ would bring true happiness.  Watching a 90 year old man become born again fresh and alive in Christ—that brings happiness.
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Friend, can I make a suggestion?  If there is a Norman, sitting on his front porch –on a road that perhaps you travel every day…or maybe he’s in your neighborhood and you know him by name, why don’t you stop every now and then and build a relationship of trust with him.  You may be able to one day lead Norman to Jesus.
I think we all have Norman’s in our lives.  I’m so glad our friends stopped today and gave us a peek into a life that is so often overlooked.
Norman is not living on welfare, nor social security.  Norman lives off the land.  He sells, when he needs to, some of his collection to buy groceries and pay the small electric bill that he might have.
I suppose today, he didn’t need to sell anything.
Sorry, Jeff.  You’ll have to pick up some neat stuff somewhere else.

Pictured:  Norman, Norman’s rock collection, his wringer-washer, his house, Jeff and Mrs. Pam.

Thank you Chris and Pam for an incredible day of seeing Arkansas, and a peek into Missouri!
MORE to come!
© Angie Knight.  All rights reserved.


The Farm Day

Since we will be traveling, I thought I’d share with you some of the farm life from “these parts”.

We have so enjoyed being here, and participating in their everyday life—and now, I have such a GREATER appreciation for RICE.  I will never cook another pot of rice without thinking of Chris and Pam.

100_3517The morning I helped Pam with lunch, she had the company of her two sweet grandsons, Dylan and Kyle.  (This made me miss mine like crazy!)  They were completely occupied and not a bit of trouble while their “Mamo did her thing” in the kitchen.  They are used to the farm routine.

Pam cooks every day, a Sunday style dinner, for their employees, which consists from anywhere from 10-14 and maybe sometimes more.  Depending on summer help. Every day.  I’m not sure you get my drift. 

Ladies, every-single-day from April 1-the end of October, a SUNDAY STYLE HOME COOKED LUNCH.  And when lunch has been delivered to the various fields, which she does, then most likely two hours later, she heads back home to clean the kitchen and catch up on the house work that didn’t get completed that morning—and THEN she gets a fresh hot –home cooked supper ready for her hard working man.  Every-single-day.

You know, I’m still not sure you are feeling the back pain.  Maybe you will before this post is done.  You may even get a taste of dust in your mouth from the fields.  I did.  Every time I rolled the window down to snap a shot—I got a mouth full of Arkansas dust.  It has a different taste than Holmes, Jackson or Washington County dust.  It’s a bit dryer.

Jeff left that morning with Chris –when we caught up with them at lunch on our second stop of lunch delivery, in a swirl of dust, I saw my precious man sitting in the cab of the massive tractor with Chris.  The Big Boss.100_3524 

Chris was giving Jeff the “true lay of the land” story I am sure.  He shares his vast knowledge of the fields, the process and even the heartaches that go along with living in this beautiful land.  Everything must be just right.  The timing, the dryness, the rain, the irrigation, everything depends on them working with God—hand in hand.

Chris and Jeff were running the leveling plane over the acreage.  Everything MUST be level.  When the growth of rice gets to a certain stage, the fields are flooded with water—and watched—continuously!

The next section of photos will stir the dust up on your computer, so go ahead and get a cloth to wipe it down.  It was dusty.  But so amazing to me.

When growth starts (this is a wheat field), it is so beautiful!  I can just imagine what it must be like to drive through the miles of country with this expanse on either side!  Breath taking!100_3534

The next time you pour rice into boiling water, stop and give thanks to God for the blessing of these awesome farmers who pour themselves into each day of preparing, planting and harvesting—just so we can eat. 

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From the fields, to the grain bins, to the plant, to the grocery, to your pantry, to your stomach.  A long, most of the time, prayed over and sweated out process—and it’s the passed down, from generation to generation love of the land, the job that makes it possible.  And we thank GOD for people like Chris, Scott, Ron, and Carl, just to name a few of the farmers we’ve met.

We are a blessed people, living in a blessed nation, and we need to thank GOD above for planting US here!

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Have I told you about the FOOD???

First, you must know that Pam has fed us like we’ll never have another meal.

Seriously.  The woman can cook.

She did let us have a morning in her kitchen to help her with feeding a flock of preachers….and yes, she fried chicken.

Jeff made one of his specialty cakes, “butternut”. 

Each night has been filled with delicious food.  One night we went to Holcomb, Missouri and ate at “Strawberry’s”.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It is the best BBQ and Rib place I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  Jeff had the ribs, I had the pork steak.  If you are a friend on Facebook, you saw the steak.  I won’t repeat it here…it’ll just make you hungry.

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night we ate at Hibachi Grill.  THEY HAD EVERYTHING!

Castleberry/Commander crew—YOU would LOVE this place!

Today is Sunday, and as we attend services at JFA with these wonderful friends again, it will be seasoned with a bit of sadness—knowing that it might be a long time before we get to see them again.  Matt, you are an incredible man of God—and we’ve been so blessed by your awesome preaching and ministry.  Your family is beautiful!  We are blessed to know you all!

I am so thankful that God’s family is so far extended…all around the world.

 

I will work on the “farming day” and get it posted! 

Have a blessed Sunday!

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Traveling on Wednesday

We traveled to Hardy, Arkansas yesterday!  AND to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas—and even slid right into Missouri! (They did that just so I could say, “I’ve been there!”)

What an experience!

Leaving Missouri and headed back up into the hills of Arkansas was filled with amazing views of an expanse of rolling hills, rock mountains, bare-branched trees and land dotted with a few cows all along the way.  Springs and creeks seemed to run everywhere, but I’m sure they aren’t, it just seemed that way to me.  I really felt like a kid in a candy store, I just couldn’t take it all in.100_3427

Traveling the gravel roads for miles and miles brought us to “Norman’s house”.  If you’ve not read that post, I encourage you to do so if you have a minute.

After checking the rain damage at the hunting house, mopping up a room of water, with Pam in disgust at the state of things—and a determination to change it asap, we headed home.  Going a different way in order to see MORE.

We stopped in Hardy to explore the shops.  It was sad to see that the economy had shut down so many.  BUT with those remaining we shopped and reminisced of the “old days”—and I say this with a grin, because Jeff and I remember the days of no phones in the home, “out-houses”, milking cows—making  your own butter, living off the land and being very careful with every penny.  Nothing wasted.  These were the days of our grandparents, but we came along just as some of the changes (as in out houses) were taking place.

I want to share with you some neat things we saw along the way:

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Enjoy the gardens.  This was next to a store that makes stringed instruments. Chris called it the “pickin’ and grinnin’ place”.

 

 

Jeff helped with names of some of the farm tools, but the kitchen stuff, I knew what they were.  How many do you recognize?  I love Hoosiers.  My grandmother had a really nice one (which I wish I had!).

There were many things that I remembered from my grandparents’ homes.  What memories flooded back!

Then the trip to Norman’s and I saw that there are those who still live in the days “gone by”.

 

 

I’ve many more pictures, but for today—this is probably enough.

Most of the other pictures are landscapes…which are my favorite. 

I hope you have a blessed day—and stop and tell God thank you for the computer you have in your lap! Or on your desk!  Or the one  you hold in  your hand!

  We’ve come a LONG way!

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Ta Molly’s!

Jeff and I really enjoy Mexican food!  So much that on every trip—anywhere, if we spy out a Mexican restaurant, we will generally eat there before the trip is over.  (That and Whataburger)

100_3372Last night, dear friends from the MAPS trip to Florida joined us at Ta Molly’s Mexican Restaurant—and what an incredible meal it was!

OH MY STARS!  It was awesome!

Thank YOU God for aligning our steps in such a way that our paths crossed with these dear sweet friends! 

THANK YOU to Pam and Chris for allowing us to invade your home and making us feel so incredibly welcome!  Our hearts and lives will never be the same….

Special thanks to Carl and Glenda Neal for last night’s supper!  Jeff and I will have to REALLY go on a major diet when we get back! Yikes!

Monday’s weather was absolutely beautiful!  It was as if He hand picked the sky just for us….He did.  Well, for you too! 

Today the sky is a bit overcast, but it is still beautiful.  There is a hint of an oncoming rain.  I feel it in the air, and I feel it in the heart.100_3356

We have traveled out to Chris’s farm and you will not believe your eyes at the size of the tractors!  I am a country girl and love all things country—can I just say I am in “hog heaven”…except I haven’t seen the first hog!  Rice fields, wheat fields, soy bean fields and cattle dot this magnificent land.

When I called our oldest daughter and shared with her about all that we had seen and the church service on Sunday night, she could TELL that mama was in love!  Her words to me, “don’t like it too much, you can’t move there!”

Funny how bossy kids get when they have kids of their own…Have you ever experienced that with yours?

100_3360With the help of Chris, I will tell you the names and purposes (for those of us who don’t know) of all the equipment.  I know, you may not be interested in this…but I was.

When I took this picture, I am standing below it….way below.

You get my drift when I say BIG?

 

 

Okay, stuff to do today!

Gotta run!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does  my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,

The Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

 

Pictures taken at the “Flanigan Farm” and Ta Molly’s Restaurant. 

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Lessons of Faith

100_3351 Have you ever felt like you were alone in the big pond of life?

I will admit—there have been many times, even sitting in a room full of people, I’ve felt that “aloneness” that seems to creep up behind me—from out of nowhere.

You look around and seems as if everyone has “someone”.  There are those around you that seem to have found their niche` in life. 

That perfect job landed at their feet with very little effort from them.  The seem to belong to all the right clubs, organizations—and even seem to have the “perfect” friends.

You want to yell—“what’s up with that?”

There was a time, many years ago—I think it was as my girls were becoming more social and needed me less—I too felt that “aloneness”.  But it was also in that time I began to seek God for “more” of Him.

The journey we walked—and I say “we” because His Word assures us that we are never alone, was hard.  I won’t even try to pretend that it wasn’t.  Those years were some of the hardest in my life….but they were also the years I found God to be more real in my every day activities than I ever experienced before.

Why do you think that was?

I will tell you my opinion, then you share yours.

I believe it was in that time of desperation and need of Him—that I sought Him the deepest—and with the most sincerity than I ever had before.  Not that I didn’t seek Him—but I sought with purpose.  I was NOT content to continue in life as I saw everyone else. Satisfied with the norm.

My name is not “norm” and I didn’t want to live like the norm.  I wanted (and want) MORE of God active and working in my life than ever.  But I learned to work “in me and through me” He had to work ON me. Ouch.

100_3341I learned that before we learn to fly—we will experience ups and downs of life just as everyone else—but I also know first hand –that we will  experience such tremendous power in His Spirit that we will feel like we could actually “walk on water”!  That happens as we FULLY and TOTALLY give Him access to every part of our lives.

Before long, as we are growing in Christ, we begin to experience a time of “pruning”.  Ouch again.  But if you will notice the trees that are blooming the prettiest—and fullest, experienced a pruning.  A cutting back—cutting away. 

Jesus said this:  “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”  John 15:1-2 NLT

Go ahead.  Go before Him and ask Him to prune away. 

Prune away all the hindrances, the things that bind us and keep us from growing.  Ask Him to remove the distractions.  There may be things that are not necessarily wrong, but they are a distraction from what HE may be calling YOU into. 

Painful? Yes. 

Beneficial?  To quote my Grandbuddy, “You betcha”.

100_3349Before long, you will find that you are ready to soar….to parts unknown.  Wow! The experience of that—will be amazing.  (He’s pruning on me.  Is He you?)

 

 

 

Pictures taken at the “Flanigan Farm”. 

Thank you to our dear friends, Chris and Pam for a tour. 

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.