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Wu's Peacock At Twilight

“When we look at The Creation, we see a glimpse, a tiny glimpse, of the Creator,” began Dr. Debbie Chisolm in her Sunday sermon, “The Divine Artist.”

 

“Anytime an artist sits down to create, whether it is a painting, a sculpture or a song, we learn something about the artist. They begin with nothing and create something beautiful,” she said.

 

From The Creation, we learn something about God—His beauty, His power, His presence and His spirit.

 

As Dr. Chisolm spoke, artists from the congregation were creating beautiful landscape and still life paintings —a part of Central Christian Church series, “Summer of Surprises.”

 

The artists were, Alice Oats, Carol Keller and Dovie Wu.

 

Oats has studied at workshops all over the United States, held four one-woman shows and sold over 100 paintings.  “My passion is flowers” said Oates and she often quotes John Keats, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

 

Keller began painting in college and said that she has dabbled in it ever since.  She and her late husband traveled extensively and she became fond of painting with water color.  “Water color dries quickly and I could pack it in the suitcase and move on,” she said, “but I believe that some of my best work has been on slate.”

 

Wu is co-owner of Artist’ Showplace in Dallas. A signature member of the Southwest Watercolor Society, her work has been accepted in both the Southwest Watercolor Society and the Pastel Society of the Southwest, juried shows. She won the Best of Show for the Vertu 2010 show.

 

"Although music and dance have been lifelong interests of mine, I found that being a painter was the easiest medium for expressing my innermost emotions" Wu said.

 

The paintings that were begun during Sunday worship will be completed by the artists and then donated to Central for a silent auction later in the year.

 

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is located at 4711 Westside Dr., just off Mockingbird Lane. Sunday worship is at 11:a.m. and the sermons are broadcast on WRR 101.1 FM at 9 a.m.

 

Each Sunday, this summer, there will be a surprise in store at Central Christian Church.

Come and see!  You will be surprised and delighted.

 

 

Peacock At Twilight

Though my majestic feathers may sustain longer than your life, My body will decay before your eyes I'm ready to soar again at twilight, in the glowing ray from the sky, That He may intercept my celestial form under His mighty arms. ~Dovie Wu

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wu's Peacock At Twilight

“When we look at The Creation, we see a glimpse, a tiny glimpse, of the Creator,” began Dr. Debbie Chisolm in her Sunday sermon, “The Divine Artist.”

 

“Anytime an artist sits down to create, whether it is a painting, a sculpture or a song, we learn something about the artist. They begin with nothing and create something beautiful,” she said.

 

From The Creation, we learn something about God—His beauty, His power, His presence and His spirit.

 

As Dr. Chisolm spoke, artists from the congregation were creating beautiful landscape and still life paintings —a part of Central Christian Church series, “Summer of Surprises.”

 

The artists were, Alice Oats, Carol Keller and Dovie Wu.

 

Oats has studied at workshops all over the United States, held four one-woman shows and sold over 100 paintings.  “My passion is flowers” said Oates and she often quotes John Keats, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

 

Keller began painting in college and said that she has dabbled in it ever since.  She and her late husband traveled extensively and she became fond of painting with water color.  “Water color dries quickly and I could pack it in the suitcase and move on,” she said, “but I believe that some of my best work has been on slate.”

 

Wu is co-owner of Artist’ Showplace in Dallas. A signature member of the Southwest Watercolor Society, her work has been accepted in both the Southwest Watercolor Society and the Pastel Society of the Southwest, juried shows. She won the Best of Show for the Vertu 2010 show.

 

"Although music and dance have been lifelong interests of mine, I found that being a painter was the easiest medium for expressing my innermost emotions" Wu said.

 

The paintings that were begun during Sunday worship will be completed by the artists and then donated to Central for a silent auction later in the year.

 

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is located at 4711 Westside Dr., just off Mockingbird Lane. Sunday worship is at 11:a.m. and the sermons are broadcast on WRR 101.1 FM at 9 a.m.

 

Each Sunday, this summer, there will be a surprise in store at Central Christian Church.

Come and see!  You will be surprised and delighted.

 

 

Peacock At Twilight

Though my majestic feathers may sustain longer than your life, My body will decay before your eyes I'm ready to soar again at twilight, in the glowing ray from the sky, That He may intercept my celestial form under His mighty arms. ~Dovie Wu

 

 

 

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Rodney Erakovich and boys in Bois d' arc tree at Central Christian Church

Father’s Day is coming soon.  To promote the occasion, TV commercials and magazine ads picture dad getting his due on his day swinging a shiny, new golf club or napping in the backyard hammock. 

 

I had the opportunity to visit with three local fathers and talk about the real gifts of Father’s Day.

 

Gifts for dads come in many forms.  Rodney Erakovich, a senior manager of merchandise for Radio Shack, knows this is true.  He and his wife Bernadette are parents to three boys. A blended family, Erakovich is stepfather to 11-year old Angel, 10-year old Caleb and biological father to 4-year old Isaiah.  

 

All three boys have different interests.  “We try to spend as much time as possible together as a family doing things like going to the park, watching movies or even grilling dinner in the backyard,” Erakovich said.  

 

He added that the best thing about being a father is having the opportunity to set an example for his sons on how to grow into young men, teaching them what respect is and how they should treat other people.

 

 “It is one thing for mom to teach them, or tell them how to act, but I think it is important for them to see it in action and witness the example set by their father,” he said.

 

Spiritualism is an important part of the Erackovich household. “I want to teach my sons about God — that it’s okay to pray and ask for forgiveness.” Erakovich said. 

 

The family attends Dallas’ Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where Bernadette sings in the choir and Rodney assists with children’s school.

 

Like many churches, Central Christian Church celebrates “children’s church” during Sunday Worship.  Children are invited to join the pastor at the alter for a special lesson, prepared just for them. Last Father’s Day, during “children’s church” the pastor asked each child what he or she thought their Heavenly Father would like for Father’s Day.

 

“Love, obedience and kindness,” were some of the answers to her question.  When the microphone was passed to young Caleb, he suggested that God might like a new grill.

 

We don’t know if God got a new grill, but Erackovich confirmed that he did.  We’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for him this year.

 

Sean Parsons, a local real estate broker for RE/MAX DFW Associates, is father to 4-year old Elena and 2-year old David. He can already see there's a difference between parenting a girl and a boy.

 

“Although my son isn’t quite out of diapers, I believe that the trust between father and son starts early and never stops,” Parsons said.  

 

“I want to see my daughter blossom and become confident in who she is and who God created her to be. The name ‘Elena’ is descended from the word ‘light’ and I believe she is a light to all around her,” he said. 

 

“My son loves to play with trains and he has recently been gaining skills to show me he is a builder and a thinker,” Parsons said. “A genuinely happy little guy, he walks into a room shouting “Hi” to everyone.”

 

Parsons said his daughter has an extensive vocabulary for her age and a way with words.  A charmer, she can already make you feel like you are the only person in the room, “an endearing trait inherited from her mother,” he added.

 

“As a father, I find true pleasure in teaching, training and making disciples of my children, “Parsons said.  He believes that the best way to accomplish this is to be around.  Being near them and available for them is the best way to make them feel safe and protected and to encourage their emotional growth.

 

A strong spiritual life is important to Parsons and his wife, Suzanne, and they are actively involved at NormandyCommunityChurch.  Parsons wants his children to understand the value in gaining oneness and unity in a friendship or a relationship, especially the ultimate relationship, the one with God.

 

And what does he want for his children when they grow up?  He thinks they can accomplish anything they want.  “I want to help them dream and become world changers.”

 

Will Short and his wife Anna have been friends of mine ever since they moved to our historic neighborhood over a decade ago.  Short and his wife are both involved in real estate and he is an active participant in our Lower Greenville community. He is also father to 7- year old Skylar and 4-year old Wolf.

 

“Being a parent, I can finally comprehend how my father feels about me,” Short said.   “It’s as if I have been let in on the secret that all parents know – that you will do anything for your children.”

 

When taking about his daughter, who he describes as “an amazing little girl,’ Short recognizes the challenges often faced by women.  “I hope to teach Skylar that her mind and her character are as important as her physical beauty and to understand that she should want to be loved for herself and not for what she thinks the world wants her to be,” he said.  “The best way to instill these values, I believe, is by the way I treat her mother.”

 

Short wants his son to know that he is loved unconditionally and that his father is proud of him no matter where his life takes him. “I will always encourage him to be the best he can be, but still let him know that failure is a learning tool,” he said.

 

“I want both my daughter and my son to want to achieve high goals and never settle for mediocrity.   Although moderate emotional pressure is a good motivator, I want to avoid impressing my desires (above their own desires) on them.  They need to know that they can accomplish just about anything they can imagine for themselves, and I will be happy with whatever that is, so long as they follow their dreams,” Short said.

 

Always enjoying time together, free time in the Short household is spent playing games, working puzzles, watching movies and cooking together. 

 

“My kids make me want to be a better person … everyday,” Short said.

 

Happy Father’s Day to these three fathers and to all the men we’ve loved and called “dad.”

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Annie enjoys hot rolls with fresh made butter.

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) kicks off summer fun with  an escape to the wilderness— their 2014 VacationBibleSchool program.

 

Children have the opportunity to join Moses —a well-known Biblical super-hero— on a wilderness adventure and learn first-hand what it was like to live in the Israelite camp.

 

Each day a Bible story is told by enchanting characters like Humphrey the Camel and Isaac the Goat.  The stories, God’s word, come alive through the children’s interaction with Biblical history. 

Singing, dancing, camel painting and making home-made butter were some of  the activities enjoyed today.  

 

It’s not too late to join this adventure—there are still some spaces left. Central’s Bible School will run from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. through Friday, June 13.   It’s free, open to all children ages 3 – 12 and snacks are provided.  Call the church office at 214-526-7291

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The Book Trotters Review "The Midwives" At Times Ten

The Book Trotters, the Lakewood book club that vicariously travels the globe through their book selections, “visited England” this month, but were back at Lakewood’s Times Ten Cellar for their Monday night meeting..

 

The read took them to  the East End of London during the 1950’s as they experienced Jennifer Worth’s, “The Midwife Trilogy,  Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End.”

 

The stories chronicle Worth's career from her arrival at Nonnatus House where she lived with the nuns and worked as a midwife in the war-scarred, poverty-seized Docklands to the eventual demolition of the tenements and subsequent closure of Nonnatus House.

 

Julie Germann Do selected the series (also a popular PBS serial run) and in keeping with the English theme served delightful tea sandwiches of cucumber and strawberry and fruit with clotted cream at the meeting. Other contributions to the table included lemon curd, digestive biscuits and Madeira cake. 

 

The Book Trotters will stay close to home next month to celebrate the 4th of July.

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Pam Thomas and Julie Do

The Book Trotters, the Lakewood book club that vicariously travels the globe through their book selections, “visited England” this month, but were back at Lakewood’s Times Ten Cellar for their Monday night meeting..

 

This month's read took them to  the London East End during the 1950’s as they experienced Jennifer Worth’s, “The Midwife Trilogy,  Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End.”

 

The stories chronicle Worth's career from her arrival at Nonnatus House where she lived with the nuns and worked as a midwife in the war-scarred, poverty-seized Docklands to the eventual demolition of the tenements and subsequent closure of Nonnatus House.

 

Julie Germann Do selected the series (also a popular PBS serial run) and in keeping with the English theme served delightful tea sandwiches of cucumber and strawberry and fruit with clotted cream at the meeting. Other contributions to the table included lemon curd, digestive biscuits and Madeira cake. 

 

The Book Trotters will stay close to home next month to celebrate the 4th of July.

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Senior Members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) picnic on the church lawn Friday afternoon before attending Hansel and Gretel, The Opera at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts.

 

Under the direction of Nathan Myers, this was the first opera presented in the Montgomery Arts Theater.

 

A second performance will be presented Friday evening.

 

Central Christian Church is located at 4711 Westside Dr. in Dallas and a summer of surprises is being planned.  Come and see!

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ribbon cutting Pastor Debbie and Ebby Halliday Acr Ebby Halliday Acres pictured with her pastor Dr. Debbie Chisolm

Dallas real estate icon Ebby Halliday Acers cut the ribbon Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at the dedication of “The Ebby House,” a new innovative transitional community for young women who have aged out of foster care.

 

The facility is opening at Juliette Fowler Communities in the Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas.

 

Fowler Communities is the only intergenerational residential community in Dallas, providing a loving, Christian environment to senior citizens (those living independently or in need of assistance) as well as long and short-term rehabilitation care, foster care residences for children under age 18 and now the newly constructed “Ebby House,” for young ladies.

 

Every year, about 1,500 young women age out of the foster care system. Before the age of 21, many of them face severe outcomes due to lack of family and adult connections.

  

“The Ebby House” program seeks to reverse that negative trend by offering them a home to live in and mentors to love them while they learn to become self-reliant adults before having to face the challenges of the world on their own.

 

Attending the ribbon cutting to help commemorate the occasion and to celebrate Halliday’s legendary efforts to empower women were several members of Dallas’ Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where Halliday is a long-time member.  She and her late husband, Maurice Acers, were married at Central Christian Church on Easter Sunday in 1965.

 

“Knowing that The Ebby House will be a place for young girls to reach their potential is just wonderful,” said Halliday.

 

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests had the opportunity to tour the beautifully re-furbished Ebby House where the girls will live while they are in the program.

 

 

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Give Dad an organized garage for Father's Day

 

Spring is almost over and summer well on its way. If you haven’t done your spring cleaning by now, you may need some help.

 

Who do you call for help? A professional organizer.

 

A professional organizer will come to your home or business and help you organize your space so that you are no longer overwhelmed by your cluttered surroundings. They will attack the office, the garage, the kitchen, the craft room or the entire home whatever needs to be organized.

 

Kayla Williams is owner of The Organizer Group, a company she conceived while sitting in the floor of her own closet. 

 

“I have always been organized and I have always enjoyed organizing.” Williams said

 

While organizing her closet, she realized that organizing is what she wanted to do to make a living. Fearful that she could not earn enough money selling her services, she began the new career as a part-time venture. Eventually she quit her job as a loan officer in a bank and began helping people get organized full time.

 

The first step to becoming organized is taking an inventory and “downsizing,” she said. Making decisions can be stressful, so Williams asks questions to help the owner.

 

People often hang on to items that they don’t need or want for sentimental reasons or because someone gave it to them and they are afraid they will hurt the person’s feelings if they don’t keep the “gift.”

 

“Bless it and let it go,” Williams said.

 

A very spiritual person and a believer in God, Williams truly means to give the item your blessing and let it go.

 

“I see the whole project as an elephant, but it must be reduced to manageable pieces or it would be overwhelming” she said. “I like to begin with a bookshelf or closet.”  

 

After the downsizing or “letting go” process, products that are designed for organizing are selected based on the remaining items. These organizing products may include drawer liners, drawer sections, boxes, bins, clothes hangers, etc. Remaining items are returned to drawers, cabinets and closets in their newly organized state of containment.

 

The next professional organizer I visited with was Rachel Loza. From a background in sports medicine to an intrinsic coach, she has been a member of the Organize Dallas Team for nearly a decade.  She has even appeared on the T.V. show “Hoarders.” 

 

We all know from our “talk show degrees” that true hoarding is a psychological disorder,  and while few of us fall into that category, many of us tend to hang on to possessions far too long, creating a messy and disorganized environment. 

 

I asked Loza why it is so difficult for many of us to let go of our possessions.

 

“There are many reasons why people are attached to possessions,” Loza said. “My grandparents’ reason for keeping what they acquired is likely different from my reasons as a 30 year old.  My grandparents lived through the Great Depression and that was a period when if you attained something, you hung on to it,” she added.

 

Some people are fearful that when they retire, they won’t have enough, so they better keep what they have. 

 

Although most people need to “downsize,” Loza also believers that a home is a sentimental space and some possessions just makes you happy because of the memories associated with it.  That is reason enough to keep it.

 

"But where the rubber meets the road is when you cling to so much that you have outgrown your space,” she said. 

 

Like Williams, Loza is a very spiritual person with a strong relationship with God.  Her goal is to help empower people, not judge them for being messy.

 

Many people are simply tired and overworked and have too much on their plate, but once organized, the load is lightened.   

 

After visiting with these ladies, I am inspired to get my home and office in shape. I have done my homework so now it is time to get started taking inventory and downsizing, so I can get on with becoming organized and clutter-free.

 

Starting in the kitchen, I stand and stare into my pantry at the well over 50 cookbooks I have collected through the years, but never use.  I take one book off the shelf titled, “Some Fruits and Recipes of Jamaica.”

 

I remember the cookbook well.  I bought it in Montego Bay on my honeymoon over 40 years ago. I flip through the pages and look at some of the recipes.  “When was the last time I made a soursop soufflé?” I wondered as I closed the book and returned it to the shelf.

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Vivian Castleberry and Kevin Ann Willey

The annual “Visionary Women” luncheon sponsored by Juliette Fowler Communities was held Tuesday at the Dallas Convention Center.

 

While guests enjoyed lunch prepared by Omni Dallas Hotel, they were welcomed by WFAA-T.V Anchor Ron Corning, who emceed the program.

 

Located in the Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas at 1234 Abrams Road, Juliette Fowler Communities is the only intergenerational residential community in Dallas. It provides a loving, Christian environment to senior citizens, those living independently or in need of assistance; long and short-term rehabilitation care; foster care residences for children under age 18 and the newly constructed “Ebby House,” which provides a residential home and mentoring programs for young women who have aged out of foster care. Juliette Fowler Communities is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

The 2014 “Visionary Woman” was Vivian Anderson Castleberry and the recipient of the newly established faith and service award was Texas Christian University student, Effie Husbands.

 

Guest speakers included other Dallas women of vision, Kevin Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News and local icon, Gloria Compos, who spent nearly thirty years at WFAA-TV (Ch 8).

 

Vivian Castleberry was a Texas Trailblazer in a city known for a “male dominated business culture,” Willey said. When met with opposition, Castleberry chose to go “over, under or around.”

 

Campos said that Castleberry paved the way for women. As a young journalist from Harlingen, Texas, Campos said she often wondered if she should have even come to Dallas, but that Castleberry encouraged her to stay, telling her that she could do whatever she set her mind to do.

 

In 1956 Vivian Castleberry was a news reporter in an era when there were few women in the industry.

 

She became the first editor of the Dallas Time Herald Women’s News — a section of the paper normally devoted to brides, weddings and feminine topics. However, Castleberry began writing about child care, women’s health and other issues plaguing women of the 1950s. 

 

The name of that section of the paper devoted to women was changed from “Women’s News” to “Living” under Castleberry’s editing.

 

She was also the first woman to use the title “Ms.” when appropriate in her editorials.

 

After retirement from the Dallas Times Herald, Castleberry began a new career as activist and humanitarian in the community. She wrote four books and she was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

 

She was founder of the Women’s Center of Dallas, The Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Greater Dallas Community of Churches,  Peacemakers Incorporated and she co-founded the Family Place—the first women’s shelter in Dallas.

 

At 91 Castleberry is still active in the community, saying that she just doesn’t have time to retire.

 

She is also a very entertaining speaker, proven at Tuesday’s luncheon. When talking about her late husband, Curtis Castleberry, she shared how he would encourage her to do whatever she wanted to do and promised to help her accomplish it. “He always did” she said, “although I had to sometimes remind him.”

 

As Castleberry spoke to the audience, there was a reaffirmation for all mothers and grandmothers, “girls with dreams, become women with vision.”

 

“I was raised in East Texas during the Great Depression, but my mother kept the vision of college alive. She never said “if” you go to college, but “when” you go to college. She was the most influential person in my life.” Castleberry said.

 

This year’s “Visionary Woman” and others like her are role models for women across America.