In the January 28 issue of the Polk County Pulse my wife Regina was featured as the Citizen of the Week. The article was titled "Regina Lawry - Running the Relay For Life". Michael Reisig was the writer. Here is the article as he wrote it.
Regina Lawry of Mena is a person on a mission. She is committed to The American Cancer Society's "Relay For Life" - the organization's number one fundraiser for cancer victims around the country. In a terrible irony, everyone in her immediate family has suffered with cancer - her mother, her father and all three of her sisters. She has taken it personally, and Lawry now does everything she can to combat this dreaded disease, ease the suffering of those who are dealing with it, and inform the public about the parameters of health and prevention.
POLK COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE CHAIRMAN
Lawry was born in Denver, Colorado. Her father was a tile setter and her mother was a housewife, but it was her grandmother who died when Lawry was only six, that left a lasting impression on her.
GINA'S FAMILY AND THE HOUSE SHE GREW UP IN
"My grandmother wold take me to church - she was part of The Dorcas society, which made quilts, collected clothes and did other kindnesses for people who needed assistance in whatever fashion," she said. "I realized somewhere along the line, from her example, I wanted to be a person who did things for other people - the way a Christian should be."
Lawry graduated high school and went on to Union College in Nebraska. She graduated in 1975 and married her husband Richard that summer. She became an accountant and her husband became an auto body repair professional.
"After our daughter was born we realized that we were working so much and not able to spend the time together as a family," she recalled. "So we decided to visit Mena where Richard's family lived. We left Denver in February with below zero temperatures and arrived in Mena in 70 degree weather. It seemed like a real nice change...After visiting we decided to move to Polk County if our house in Colorado would sell. It sold two weeks later, and on Easter Sunday of 1981 we settled into country life.
GINA CYNDA AND I IN ARKANSAS
"It was a huge transition for me - a city girl - but after awhile I realized I had never felt like I belonged anywhere until I moved here," Lawry added. "It has proven to be a very good thing.
In 1976, just after she and her husband were married, Lawry's mother died of Leukemia. Her father later contracted colon cancer and all three of her sisters have battled breast cancer, so the struggle against this disease has become very personal. But she has seen the value of research and cures.
GINA'S MOTHER AT AGE 16
"My mother, while suffering with Leukemia, was a part of a study on bone marrow transplants at the University of Colorado Medical Center,' she recalled. "Twenty years later, my oldest sister received a bone marrow transplant that saved her life, from the same hospital. In 2000 I became involved in the Relay For Life benefit run. The Relay for Life benefits every kind of cancer research and is continually in the process of saving lives and providing money for research, information on cancer, and support in many fashions, including temporary housing for commuters to hospitals, transportatin costs, education, wigs, hats and a lot more.
I run the Credit Union at U.S. Motors in Mena but this - The Relay - is what I do, who I am." she continued. "I am just a little person from a country town, but I wanted to do something to help my children and my grandchildren remember me the way I remember my grandmother - serving other people."
GINA WITH HER GRAND-DAUGHTERS
Lawry attends every "Relay" she can and the latest, closest to home, will be in Mena on April 17 and 18 in Janssen Park.
"We want everyone to participate this year," Lawry said. "We need committee members, teams, and team members. The 'kickoff" is Thursday, January 29, at the Union Bank Hospitality Room. There will be free pizza, door prizes, and all the information you need on starting a team for families, churches, clubs, and employees of businesses. Last year we had 22 teams and raised $58,000. This year our goal is 24 teams and $64,000. There is hardly anyone who hasn't been touched by cancer in some fashion, and we need to take this seriously. Come join us in the Relay For Life."
Yesterday there was no more freezing rain, but the temperatures stayed cold and the ice stayed on the trees. In the afternoon I took some pictures. The sun tried to peek out from the clouds, and finally made it close to sundown.
I woke up Tuesday morning to an icy world. All of the trees were covered in ice. Our sweet olive tree was laying over on the ground. It isn't broken, so I hope it will straighten up when the ice melts. The temperature stayed at 34 or 35 degrees during the day, so the roads were not icy. This morning the temperature is 25 degrees, so I imagine the roads are slick. Here are some pictures that I took yesterday afternoon.
TREE IN MY YARD
ICY HOUSE ON HWY 71
MENA STREET VIEW
JUST DOWN THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE
As beautiful as the ice is, I am looking forward to sunshine and warmer temperatures.
It's time again For ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun. This week the letter is B. My favorite place to visit is Belize. Belize is a small country in Central America. I first went to Belize in 2004. 17 members of my church went to San Pedro, Belize to build a church. You can read about the project here. The San Pedro Sun article about the project is here. Below are photos of the completed church.
NEW HORIZON SDA CHAPEL
BICYCLES AT CHURCH
NEW HORIZON SDA SCHOOLROOM
During our stay in Belize we learned to love the people, the culture, and the natural beauty. We have returned 3 times since our first trip, and we have had friends from Belize come visit us in Arkansas. We have made so many friends while in San Pedro. You can read the story of our friendship with the Amaya family here.
The story of little Jeffery is here. We talked to him and his family last night. His mother, Felicia is ill and the doctors can't find what is wrong. I would appreciate prayers in her behalf.
JEFFERY AND FELICIA
During our visits to San Pedro, we have become good friends with Rigoberto Roches and his wife Shirley. They are wonderful friends who have invited us into there home. During the summer of 2008 they came to visit us in Arkansas. The story of their visit was published in our church paper. You can read it here.
MY DEAR FRIEND RIGOBERTO
One of our favorite things to do when we visit Belize is to go snorkeling. Belize has the second longest barrier reef in the world. Inside the reef, the waters are shallow and calm, and the amount of wildlife is amazing. Besides many kinds of fish and coral, there are stingrays and sharks. One of the tour guides that we made friends with was Eddie. He likes to play with the sharks, and had Gina help him bring this one to the surface for a photo opp.
GINA AND EDDIE HOLD A SHARK
Belize is a beautiful and interesting place to visit. If you are a scuba diver, it is one of the premier diving locations ion the world. I loved getting up every morning to photograph the sunrise. There just happened to be some fisherman out on the water as I was taking this shot. It is one of my favorite photos from Belize.
This is my entry in a neat meme called I Heart Faces. Click on this button to check it out
This is one of my favorite pictures of my niece Laura. I don't get to see her very often. She loves it whenever she gets to visit family. This photo was taken when we were visiting my sister and we went to a restaurant with a lot of family. She was having such a good time getting to see everyone. You can see the joy in her eyes. -------------------------------------------
We all need to take time to smile. There is an old proverb that says "if you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours". A smile can have many different purposes. It can show happiness, It can show love, it can even be sexy. Peter Andre said "all you need to do to be a bit sexier is to smile once in a while". A smile is one of the best ways to promote peace. It lets the person you smile at know that you harbor no hatred towards them. The Bible tells us in James 3:18, "people who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a harvest of righteousness".
The January 24th post is my submission. I thought I would post it here also.
This is a photo of a good friend of mine. He is best known as Buckaroo. He always makes me smile. Buckaroo does a lot of very serious work and is all about helping his fellowman, but he never lets serious things keep him from having a good time. I guarantee that if you hang out with Buckaroo, you will smile.
This photo was taken on a cruise. The cruise photographer would go around from table to table with this guy dressed as a pirate. He would put his plastic sword to your throat, and then the photographer would take your picture. When he got to Buckaroo, well you can see what happened. Everyone at the table smiled.
1. Something about yourself, your career, your websites and or blogs - I am a auto body repairman who specializes in Auto glass. I am married to the best girl on the planet. We have been married for 33 years. I have two wonderful children and two more than wonderful grand-daughters. For the last 28 years I have lived in the Ouachita Mountains of Western Arkansas. My blog is An Arkies Musings
2. What is happening in you life to make you smile - My grand-daughters make me smile. They get a lot of blog time on my blog. Autumn turned 3 and Rebekah turned 1 last October.
3. What makes you smile and why - Just being with family and friends makes me smile. When we get together we have fun. My friend in the photo is known as Buckaroo, and he always makes me smile.
4. How you make time for a smile in your life -Whenever I possibly can I take a trip to see my grand-daughters. Even when doing serious things, I like to keep a smile on my face and not let things get to serious. One of my favorite “serious things” I like to do is help with Relay For Life. I have a blog of my Relay activities called Polk County Relay For Life.
How is your imagination? Do you ever daydream? What do you imagine?
Former Beatle John Lennon wrote a song titled Imagine in the early 70's. The melody is beautiful, and it is one of the most popular songs he ever wrote. But while the melody may be beautiful, the lyrics paint a different picture. Listen to what Lennon had to say.
Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try; No hell below us; above us only sky. Imagine all the people, living for today. Imagine there's no country. It isn't hard to do; Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too. Imagine all the people living life in peace.
IMAGINE - JOHN LENNON
One of Lennon's ideas was that the concept of God, Jesus, and religion got in the way of world peace; and in the final analysis, caused more bad than good. Karl Marx thought this very same way, and so have many other so-called brilliant philosophers over the centuries. Their idea was that if you rid the world of its ideas about God, Jesus, and religion, then the world would become a utopia. People working together in peace and perfect harmony would soon solve the world's problems.
When I put my imagination to work, I see something different. When I imagine no heaven it is a scary scene. As bad as things are in this world, imagine what it would be like if there was no God. If you spend much time imagining these kinds of things, it's frightening. I can't imagine peace without God. Imagining the world without God is depressing. Let's imagine something different.
I like to imagine the future. Growing up I liked reading popular science magazines. I also liked reading books by Isaac Asimov. His vision of what the future would be like intrigued me. One of my favorite things to imagine is what heaven will be like. Put your imagination to work. What do you imagine heaven is like?
Does the Bible have anything to say about our imagination? The Bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20 , "Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine". I can imagine a lot of great things, but God can do infinitely more. Put your imagination to work. Whatever you imagined, God can do infinitely more.
I like to think about God. I study the Bible to learn more about him. Can I really understand him? In Isaiah 55:8,9 it reads "My thoughts are completely different from yours, says the LORD. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts".
God's ways are far beyond anything we can imagine. It seems my imagination is useless when it comes to God. One of my favorite texts is 1 Corinthians 2:9 where is says "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him".
Do you love God? God has prepared something so incredible that no human has ever even imagined it. There are people on this planet that have great imaginations. Look at some of the wonders of this world. The imaginations of artists, writers, architects are often spectacular, but they cannot imagine anything like heaven. Have you ever imagined what heaven will be like? Whatever you imagined doesn't even come close to what God has actually prepared for you.
Do you want to go to heaven? Why do you want to go there? I will tell you why I want to go. In John 14:1-3 Jesus tells us "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also".
Jesus had prepared a place for me, and he wants me to be there with him. That is why I want to go to heaven. I want to be where Jesus is. Jesus has also prepared a place for you. Do you want to be there with him? What will it be like when we see the place that Jesus has prepared for us? I can only imagine!
It's time again For ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun. This week we are starting over with A. My post for "A" is Autumn.
I love to take pictures of autumn color. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. It has cooled down enough to make being outdoors enjoyable. The beautiful colors just make me want to take photos. Here are a few of my favorites
AUTUMN ARKANSAS ROAD
AUTUMN LEAVES IN A POND
AUTUMN IN TENNESSEE
As much as I love fall and the beautiful scenery, the real reason that I chose autumn was to give me another opportunity to show off my grand-daughter. My grand-daughter's name is Autumn, and she along with her sister Rebekah are so very special to us. Here is a photo of Autumn driving her Grandpa-Great's 1925 Studebaker.
AUTUMN DRIVES A 1925 STUDEBAKER
This is a current picture of her taken while we were visiting over New Years.
The best way to tie the post together is with this photo of Autumn taken last autumn. While she was visiting us, Autumn loved raking the leaves and then playing in them. This photo was taken on Thanksgiving day, and Autumn had to cut her play time short to go inside and have Thanksgiving dinner.
Click on the photo above to purchase my latest book, In the Fog, for $5.99. The Kindle version is only $2.99.
I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled The Little Things - Devotionals from a small town, using articles from the column. I published the second book in the Devotionals from a small town series, titled In the Fog, in December 2017.