Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lord Lift Me Up - Part 6

This series by Nancy Campbell has been so encouraging to me and I hope it will bless you, too.  It's from Nancy's weekly e-mail devotional (used with her permission).  You can sign up for the e-mails on her website.  www.aboverubies.org 

 Today, Nancy continues verses that speak of lifting our hands.  One of the practices of Judaism is lifting our hands to bless the children each week.   I wrote about that in this previous post that I think will be interesting to you:  Blessings

PRESSING ON TO HIGHER GROUND

Part 6



  “And one of them some the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear and healed him”

(Luke 22:50,51).


We continue discovering Scriptures about lifting up our hands.

 

e) We lift up our hands in affirmation to truth



Ezra 8:6: “And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And ALL THE PEOPLE answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands . . .”

 

Do you find you like to do this? I love to raise my hands in agreement when someone is speaking the truth, don’t you? Oh yes, we can agree in our hearts and nod our heads, but did you know that you are allowed to raise your hand? It’s biblical. And there’s something about doing some action! Why don’t you try it in church one day? You can even shout Amen as the people in Jerusalem did! You’ll only have a riot or a revival. More likely a revival!

 

f). We lift up our hands to bless others


Leviticus 9:22: “And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people and blessed them.”

1 Kings 8:54: “And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD from kneeling of his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying . . .” Read also 2 Samuel 6:7-20.

 

Luke 24:50: “And Jesus led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.”

 

It is a lovely thing to lay your hands on those you pray for and bless in the name of the Lord.

 

g) We lift up our hands to bless our children


Don’t you love this Scripture in Mark 10:16: “And Jesus took them (the little children) up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” The Passion translation says: “Then he embraced (caressed) each child, and laying his hands on them, he lovingly blessed each one.” Read also Luke 18:15, 16.

 

h) We lift up our hands to serve others and help those in need


I love the way God’s Word is so practical and tangible. God writes words to us that get right down into the nitty gritty of how we live. 1 Peter 4:8 says: “And above all things have fervent love among yourselves.” The word fervent in this passage is “ektenes” and means “to stretch out, to extend the hand, intense.”

 

Love is more than a feeling. Love is action. If we have fervent love, we’ll be stretching out our hands. Of course, we do this all day long as mothers, don’t we? We are always reaching out for babies. We nurse them, hold them to us, or wear them in a baby carrier more than we leave them lying on their own. We continually reach out our arms to touch, caress, and hug our children. We cook for them and serve them food. We clean the house. This is love in action.

 

We extend our hands in hospitality. Immediately after reading “fervent love,” we read the admonition to “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” Hospitality doesn’t just happen. You have to cook. You have to prepare a table. Yes, you have to extend your hands. Get them working. But this is fervent love. It is biblical Christianity. It is the lifestyle of the early church. It is part of our “one anothering faith (Romans 1:12).

 

Our God is an hospitable God. He loves to reach forth His hands to bless people, but He is looking for our hands to use here on earth.

 

The virtuous woman “STRETCHES out her hand to the poor; yea she REACHES forth her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31: 20).

 

When God reveals the picture of the lifestyle of the godly woman, we read that she reaches out her hands to embrace children, practice hospitality, wash the saints’ feet, relieve the afflicted and help those in distress, and continually stretches out her hands to all kinds of good works (1 Timothy 5;10). Nothing happens without reaching out our hands.

 

i)  We lift up our hands to pray for the sick


We reach out our hands in fervent love when we pray for the sick. The word is used in Matthew 8:3 when Jesus touched the leper: “And Jesus put forth (ekteino) his hand and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Jesus was willing to touch the leper.

 

We should always be ready to touch or lay our hands on those who are sick and pray for them, beginning in the home with our families of course. God loves to “stretches forth His hand to heal (Acts 4:30).

 

PRAYER:


“Dear Father, Please help me to be always ready to reach forth my hands. You want me to reach forth my hands in praise to You. You want me to reach forth my hands to bless and pray for others. You want me get my hands working and reach them forth to serve others. Please anoint my hands to be “reaching forth” and “stretching forth” hands. Amen.”

 

AFFIRMATION:


I am not ashamed to be one who raises my hands to affirm the truth. I know God love us to affirm His truth.

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Lord Lift Me Up - Part 5

 

Are you weary? Are you in despair? Are you in a battle?  I pray this post will encourage you today.

This series by Nancy Campbell has been so encouraging to me and I hope it will bless you, too.  It's from Nancy's weekly e-mail devotional (used with her permission).  You can sign up for the e-mails on her website.  www.aboverubies.org

PRESSING ON TO HIGHER GROUND

Part 5



  “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain?

Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain”

(Zechariah 4:6, 7)



We continue our point No. 6 about lifting up our hands to God.

 

b. We lift up our hands when we are in desperate need of God


Ezra 9:1-7: “And I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice. And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness: and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees and spread my hands unto the LORD my God, And said, O, my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.” Do you notice that He cried out to God at the time of the evening sacrifice? This was a specified time to call upon the Lord.

 

Psalm 88:9: “Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.”

 

Psalm 143:6: “I stretched forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.”

 

c. We lift up our hands to God’s commandments


Psalm 119:48 says: “My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.” Have you ever been reading God’s Word, and something hits you so powerfully that you can’t help lifting up your hands in awe to God?

 

When Ezra read God’s words to all the people, they all stood up and lifted up their hands: and the bowed their heads and worshipped the LORD . . .” (Nehemiah 8:5, 6).

 

d. We lift up our hands when in the battle


I am always challenged by the story of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands to win the battle against the Amalekites. Do you remember this account in Exodus 17:8-13? The children of Israel, under the command of Joshua, went out to fight against the Amalekites? Moses was up on the hill, lifting up his hands with the rod of God. When his hands were up, the Israelites prevailed. When he got tired and let down his hands, the Amalekites prevailed.

 

Let’s read what happened: “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; the one on the one side and the other on the other side; and his hand were steady until the going down of the sun” (verses 11 and 12).

 

We also have “Amalekites,” haters of God and all that is pro-life, pro-constitutional, and righteous in our land. We have enemies to fight, and our greatest weapon is the power of prayer. Many times the battle is so severe, either personally in your own life, or as we fight the battles in the nation, that we must do more than pray. We must also lift up our hands toward God. There is something about doing this that adds desperation and power to our intercession. It’s not my might, nor by power, but only by the power of the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6).

 

We also need one another as we fight our battles. No soldier goes to war as a lone soldier. We go against the enemy as an army. Notice how Israel prevailed against the enemy when Aaron and Hur continue to hold up Moses’ hands up to the Lord. They each needed one another. Gather others together with you in the battle.

 

Blessings from Nancy Campbell

 

PRAYER:


“Dear Father, I reach out my hands toward You as I battle in prayer for the victory. I also realize that we need to encourage one another as we intercede. Help me to never miss the prayer meeting where we can fight in prayer together against the enemies of the Lord. Amen.,”

 

AFFIRMATION:


I am not ashamed to raise my hands in prayer. My intensity in prayer outweighs any embarrassment I may have.

 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Lord Lift Me Up - Part 4

 

Are you comfortable raising your hands in worship?  Did you know that it's Biblical? 

 

I remember the first time I raised my hands in church.  I was scared because my Baptist church looked down on it.  But the day I raised my hands in worship I was set free!  I've done it ever since, even in the church I mentioned.  I'll tell you another story about that at the end of Nancy's devotional.

This series by Nancy Campbell has been so encouraging to me and I hope it will bless you, too.  It's from Nancy's weekly e-mail devotional (used with her permission).  You can sign up for the e-mails on her website.  www.aboverubies.org

PRESSING ON TO HIGHER GROUND

Part 4

 "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees;

and make straight paths for your feet . . . "

(Hebrews 12:12, 13)


6. LIFT UP YOUR HANDS


There are many Christians who don't like to lift up their hands and yet there are so many Scriptures which encourage us to do this. Apart from the exhortation of the Scriptures, I think it is a natural thing to do. When I am reaching out to God in prayer or lifting up my heart to worship Him in song, I find it is inherent within me to reach out my hands to God. When we are longing after God and thirsting after Him in our inner man, we inherently want to do something tangible. As we lift up our hands to Him, we give action to our inner longings and it becomes more powerful and real to us.


Let's look at the Scriptures, shall we? I think you'll be surprised to see how many there are on this subject.


a)  We lift up our hands in prayer and worship


1 Kings 8:22, 23: "And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: And he said, LORD God, of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath . . ." (2 Chronicles 6:12, 13).


Psalm 28:2. "Hear the voice of my supplication when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle." David was speaking of the Holy of Holies which housed the shekinah glory of God. He longed for God's presence in his life. He couldn't contain it only within his heart. He had to lift up his hands toward God.


Psalm 63:1-4: "O God, thou art my God early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee . . . To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live, I will lift up my hands in thy name." How can we thirst and long after God without reaching up our hands to Him?


Psalm 134:2: "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD." Do you lift up your hands when worshipping God in the congregation of the believers? This is a biblical admonition. Encourage your children to raise their hands as they worship God. Children are not as inhibited as adults and it's the best time to get them into the habit while they are young. It should be a habit of their lives and something they should never be embarrassed about. 


Psalm 141:1, 2: "LORD, I cry unto thee . . . Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." This Scripture gives us the pattern of coming to God every morning and every evening with the lifting up our hands in prayer. The golden alar of incense, which the priest would light every morning and evening, represented the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-5; and 9:13).


Lamentations 2:19: "Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the LORD: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street." In the Bible, lifting up the palms or hands is a metaphor for prayer. It is paramount with intercession and prayer.


Lamentations 3:41: "Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens." If our heart is truly lifted up to the Lord, we will want to lift up our hands to Him too.


I must tell you this funny story about a friend of ours. He had grown up in a very conservative church and came into a church where people were lifting their hands in praise to God. He said in his heart that he would never do such a thing and determinedly kept his hands down. As the worship continued a wasp suddenly stung his elbow and immediately his hand shot up! He realized God was speaking to him and he was never afraid to raise his hands in worship after that!


1 Timothy 2:8: "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."


More next week.


Blessings from NANCY CAMPBELL

www.aboverubies.org


PRAYER:

"Dear Father God, my heart reaches out after You. I need You. I want You more

than anything else in this world. And therefore I reach out my hands to You

too. I cannot help but reach out to You with my whole being. Amen."


AFFIRMATION:

I am not ashamed to reach out my heart and my hands to the One who created

me and also died for me. He is worthy of all my praise and worship.

 

***

I was a member of a very large Baptist Church and on Wednesday nights, the children attended choir classes and then sat down front in the sanctuary during the Bible study time. One night, I was sitting in the balcony looking down on the little five-year old children's choir.  The orchestra began to play an up-beat, toe-tapping song.  A little girl jumped up, clapping, and dancing with with all her heart!  She made it about half-way to the pulpit before a choir teacher grabbed her and led her back to her seat.  It made me so sad.  I thought how wrong it was to dampen her joy in praising the Lord and only wish everyone could feel that free to worship God.

In our synagogue, we raise our hands, sing and dance, wave flags, play tambourines, and even shout for JOY!  I think it's such a blessing.

 

  

**Graphic by MiYah Music - used by permission

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Lord Lift Me Up - Part 3

 

This is another installment of Nancy Campbell's series on encouraging ourselves.  I found the last scripture listed very interesting.  People are not used to being warned in a loud voice.  I grew up with preachers who hollered and pounded the pulpit to warn sinners of judgement.  I'll share a story about that at the end of this post.

This series by Nancy Campbell has been so encouraging to me and I hope it will bless you, too.  It is from Nancy's weekly e-mail devotional (used with her permission).  You can sign up for the e-mails on her website.  www.aboverubies.org

PRESSING ON TO HIGHER GROUND

Part 3

 “Rejoice the soul of thy servant;

for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul”

(Psalm 86:4).



3. LIFT UP YOUR SOUL


Our souls are our inner being—our mind, emotions, and will. With the challenges and difficulties we face in life, we can easily allow our souls to become downcast and depressed. But David knew that to live in victory he must keep his soul lifted up.

 

Psalm 25:1 “Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.” David confessed these words when facing enemies.

 

Psalm 143:8, 9: “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” To whom does David lift up his soul? To the Lord. We must make this a habit of our lives. It doesn’t happen automatically. We must stir up our soul.

 

We must speak to our soul to stir it up. Let’s read again Psalm 42:5, 11 and 43:5 where the psalmist stirs up his soul: ”Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

 

When you are feeling down and in the dumps, talk to your soul. “Come on soul, trust in the Lord. Look up. Rejoice in the Lord.” And begin to praise the Lord instead of moaning and groaning.

 

4. LIFT UP YOUR FACE


Job 11:14, 15: “If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt e steadfast, and shalt not fear.”

 

Job 22:26, 27: “For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.”

 

5. LIFT UP YOUR VOICE


a) Lift up your voice for knowledge and understanding

Proverbs 2:3-6: “Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for he as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

 

We long for wisdom and understanding. These blessings also do not land upon us naturally. We must seek after them. We must cry out for them—and even lift up our voice. This phrase, “to lift the voice” literally means to lift our voice so that will carry further. In Jeremiah 2:15 it is translated “yelled.” Here it is: “The young lions roared upon him, and yelled.”

The commentator J. H. Greenstone states: “If it (understanding) does not come at your first call, raise your voice to a higher pitch, put forth greater efforts.” You may need to yell for it! It depends how desperate you are. And you may need to find some place where no one can hear you.

 

b) Lift up your voice when you sing

My husband grew up in a family of nine children in New Zealand. They all loved to sing in harmony—and sing loud! They milked cows every morning and evening and the boys would sing so loud in the cowshed they could be heard for miles around. Even today, my husband sings with all his heart and encourages everyone else to do so.

 

Isaiah 24;14: “They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall sing aloud from the sea.”

 

Isaiah 42:11: “Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice . . . let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of their mountains.”

 

Isaiah 52:8: “Thy watchman shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.”

 

c) Lift up your voice to share good tidings

Isaiah 40:9: “O Zion, that brings good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that brings good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!”

 

d) Lift up your voice to warn of judgment

Isaiah 58:1: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet; and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”

 

Blessings from Nancy Campbell

www.aboverubies.org

 

PRAYER:


”Dear Father God, please save me from apathy and from being so casual in my walk with You. Give me such a hunger to cry after wisdom and understanding and to lift up my voice when I’m praying or singing. Amen.”

 

AFFIRMATION:


I will not let my soul grovel in the dust. I will stir up my soul to trust in the Lord.

 

***

I had two uncles on my father's side who were preachers.  Uncle Charlie lost a leg in WW2 and turned away from God.  Later, he repented, became a pastor, and preached from a wheelchair, rolling back and forth on the stage.  He was a fiery preacher.

 

The other uncle was a traveling preacher and warned sinners of judgement.  One night there were two young men in the meeting who were resisting the message and scoffing. Uncle Ronnie preached on hell and warned the men that this could be the last day of their lives.  He was so moved by their apathy that he came down the aisle, stood by them, and begged them to be saved.  They would not.  After the service, the men left the church, their car was run over by a train, and both died that very night.  

 

If that doesn't give you chills, I'll be amazed.  Hell is real, friends, and judgement can come swiftly.  Turn away from your sins, surrender, and turn to Adonai, a holy God.  Accept the blood of Yeshua as the only payment for your sins before it is too late.  


If what I've said makes you uncomfortable, that is the Holy Spirit convicting you, calling you to come to Him now.

*****

This series by Nancy Campbell has been so encouraging to me and I hope it will bless you, too.  It is from Nancy's weekly e-mail devotional (used with her permission).  You can sign up for the e-mails on her website.  www.aboverubies.org


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Lord Lift Me Up - Part 2


 

 


 

There have been many battles in my seven-decade life and through each one, I've learned something new about my Heavenly Father.  Scripture is the key to getting through a battle, Gail-Friends.  My favorite verse to cling to is "Some trust in horses and some in chariots, but we will trust in the Name of our God." (Psalm 20:7)

 

This series by Nancy Campbell has been so encouraging to me and I hope it will bless you, too.  It is from Nancy's weekly e-mail devotional (used with her permission).  You can sign up for the e-mails on her website.  www.aboverubies.org

 

PRESSING ON TO HIGHER GROUND

Part 2

 “Mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust;

leave not my soul destitute.”

(Psalm 141: 8).

We continue thoughts about LIFTING UP OUR EYES. Blessings come when we open our eyes to the Lord. God revealed visions to Daniel when he lifted his eyes (Daniel 8:3 and 10:5). When Elisha asked God to open the eyes of his servant, he saw the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire protecting them (2 Kings 6:17).

 

God promises to pluck our feet out of the net we are in when we fix our eyes upon Him. David confesses in Psalm 25:15: “Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.” The NET states: “I continually look to the LORD for help, for he will free my feet from the enemy’s net.”

 

We read the amazing deliverance God brought to King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. A huge army of soldiers from three armies came to fight against Judah. Jehoshaphat feared. He had no might against this multitude. What could he do? He turned to the Lord and cried out to Him: “We have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee(verse 12).

 

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? You turn your eyes to the Lord and look to Him. When your eyes are upon the Lord instead of your circumstances, He will show you what to do. When Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah looked to the Lord, He showed them His plan and God wrought a mighty deliverance for them.

 

Isaiah 40:26: Lift up your eyes on high (not on the fleeting things of this world or the difficult circumstances), and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out the host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might; for that he is strong in power.” We lift up our eyes to the One who is all powerful and the Creator of all things. We can trust Him implicitly.


Psalm 123:2: “Behold as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until he have mercy upon us.” The servant must keep his eyes upon his master to be ready to do his bidding. A faithful servant knows his master so well that he knows what to do by the look of his master’s eyes or his hand movements. We do not look to the Lord in vain. We look to Him to know Him, to hear His soft whisper, to follow His guidance, to know His will strongly in our hearts.

 

Looking to the Lord should become a lifestyle. We inherently keep our eyes upon Him. It becomes the habit of our lives. May God help each one of us to live in this realm.

 

Read these further Scriptures to be encouraged today: Palm 121:1; 123:1, 2; 141:7, 8; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Isaiah 40:26-31; Luke 21:28; John 4:35; and Hebrews 12:1, 2.

 

2. LIFT UP YOUR HEAD

Psalm 24:7-10: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle . . . the LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.” The gates of the city must be lifted up when an earthly king arrives. We must also open up the gates of our hearts and minds to welcome our King of kings. He is the One who is strong and mighty. He is the One who will help us fight our battles! He is the God of the heavenly armies. We can’t do it on our own. In the flesh, we tend to open our minds to our problems, to the “poor me” attitude, to the overwhelmingness all around us and our gates are closed to the Lord.

 

Dear mother, lift up your head today. Open up the gates of your mind and heart to the Lord. He will lift you up to a new plain. To higher ground. As the hymnwriter says: “My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay; Though some may dwell where those abound, my prayer, my aim, is higher ground.” Can you say Amen?

 

He has promised to be “the lifter of your head” (Psalm 3:3). He will lift up your head above your enemies” (Psalm 27:5, 6). Read also Luke 21:28.

 

PRAYER:

“Dear Father, forgive me for looking to my own resources and trusting in my understanding instead of looking to You. Help me to look to You first in every situation. Amen.”

AFFIRMATION:

My eyes are continually toward the Lord.

LIFE TO THE FULL w/ Nancy Campbell. I know you will be so blessed. A new podcast comes out each Tuesday morning. You can go to the home page of Above Rubies to click on to it or go to: http://ARPoddy.buzzsprout.com

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Louisiana Vacation

 

 In early November, we took a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to attend Jem's Navy reunion.  We drove, and really enjoyed the fall colors of the trees along the way.  Here in central Florida, we get a little bit of color in December and January.


We spent the first night on the road in Pensacola.  This was the beautiful view from our hotel.

The next day, we traveled on to Camp Moore, a Civil War cemetary and museum in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana.  Jem  played docent, since the museum was closed and shared with me all about this important part of Civil War history. Camp Moore was the largest Confederate training camp in Louisiana and the only one still open to the public. It organized and sent soldiers from Louisiana to fight in many major battles of the Civil War, such as Shiloh, Gettysburg, and Atlanta.  If you love history, you can learn more about Camp Moore at their website.

Our first tour was a boat ride with a hilarious captain.  He had some great stories to tell and I really enjoyed his Cajun accent.

We saw a huge group of raccoons on the ride.  They were as interested in us as we were in them.  Yes, the guide gave them treats. So cute!

I even held a baby alligator. Jem got another shot of me holding it, but I look so horrified I don't want to show it to you.

We visited Houmas House in Darrow, La.  I loved this house, and the gardens were gorgeous.  We were amazed to learn that the owner lives there. . . and we went through his bedroom!

 

                                                                  Photo from flicr

 

 Some of the trees on the grounds were huge!

 These are photos of murals in the entrance hall of the house:

 Above is a great blue heron, and below is a red-winged blackbird.

The bird below is a roseate spoonbill.  We have these in our area, and I love to take pictures of them.

I loved the harp:


The docent invited anyone who played piano to entertain.  I sat down to play a boogie woogie, but got so excited and flustered that the only song I could remember was Chopsticks.  I bowed out at that point.

 

Just look at this staircase y'all...



 

and this mirror!  Oh my!  And the beds and furniture were awesome.  Look at the old high chair.

 These two dresses were glorious.


And this scene begged to be photographed, right? It's a courtyard alongside the kitchen, which is in another building behind the house.


The gardens were really nice, but we didn't have time to view them all. Don't you know this bridge is beautiful at night with the white lights twinkling ?


There was a museum and a restaurant where we had lunch.  Louisiana is Cajun country - so every place we ate on the tours had pork, shrimp, and/or ditch bugs (aka crawfish) none of which we eat, but there was always a chicken main dish so we survived.  Oh, and all of the restaurants had bread pudding for dessert, which must be a big thing in the area.  It was very good.

The museum had a big display about death and funerals that I found fascinating.  The carriage above would be carried by two horses.  You might even see these in present-day funeral processions in New Orleans.



This scene was of a sick person on his death-bed.  Across from it was a display of items used for funerals during that time period. (photo below) I thought the wicker coffin was interesting.  Back then, people were kept at home until the burial or funeral service.  When my grandmother died in 1976 she was at home until the burial. 


On a happier note, there was a nice display about the Mardi Gras parade and costumes.  This yellow one was my favorite: 

 

I highly recommend this tour if you visit Louisiana.  You can visit their website HERE.

The next day, we took a bus ride to New Orleans to tour the World War 2 Museum.  This was really interesting, and we have to go back because the place is so huge.  No way could one see it all in a few hours.  It would take days.

My favorite part of the tour was the fabulous show by the Liberty Belles.  Jem even got to dance with one of the girls.  We had a great time and a delicious lunch there.


 A few shots of things we saw:

 Lots of airplanes, which Jem loves.

 This is a photo of the "rack" that he slept on during his carrier days. Not too comfortable looking, but he said by the time he got to lay in it, he was immediately asleep.

The two photos below are a display about the mail service during the war. I love the painting of the girl holding the letters to her heart.




 

While we were touring the museum, our bus driver made a trip to Cafe du Monde to get beignets for everyone.  She was so funny.  She said it's nothing but flour and water,  fried and sprinkled with sugar.  But this square donut has a reputation and it's a must to have one when you visit The Big Easy.


The beautiful Embassy Suites courtyard with a flag for the reunion.

 

Replica of the Shangrila aircraft carrier.


A funny sign about work on the flight deck, which Jem did.  He was a red shirt, and loved the excitement and adventure.

The reunion committee did a great job of planning activities, tours, and meals during the week we were there. We would have loved to stay longer, but our fur babies were in the spa (aka the kennel) and a week was a long time to be away from them. We were glad to meet some new friends, and look forward to next year's reunion.


Happiness is being married to your best friend!

        Happiness is being married to your best friend. . . and growing old together.