Bernice Gray Painting - Pondering Life
“Pondering Life” by Bernice Gray

Mothers deserve being honored every day of the year.  It’s certainly befitting to at least recognize them one day of the year though.

Mothers Day 2018 in the U.S.A. is May 13.  I want to highlight this post with paintings from Bernice Gray, my mother-in-law.  She loved painting and decorating, although she had little formal training.  What you see is from the heart.

I often reflect on the love and guidance of my mother and mother-in-law, as well as my oldest sister. They are now enjoying the fruits of their belief and love in the presence of God.  But they are not gone!  They carry on through the love and life they provided to our family and all who knew them.

Matt's drawing of gone home
“Heaven’s Gates” representation by Matt Tittle – honoring Mother Audrey Tittle and Sister Shirley Vail (who preceded Mom)


I am truly blessed by these precious women who have passed from our physical presence, but yet remain.  Each one has left a lasting legacy of love through there countless children and grandchildren.

I am truly blessed by my wife who taught our children exceeding love and guided them through all walks of life – showing God’s Love.

There were many times I was away on military assignment.  She kept the home fires burning and carried on, without complaint.  Our children now have children of their own and we remain blessed and thankful to see our grandchildren being loved and taught by their mothers.


Bernice Gray - Pathway
“Pathway” by Bernice Gray

You see! Love births love and is passed on. These dear mothers are called “blessed.” 


Guess what?

We all have a mother.  Not had – but have.  I believe once a mother, always a mother.  Some things never change, no matter where one lives; only how we recognize them.

Mothers Day 2018 in the United Kingdom was March 11.  I suppose every country has its own day to recognize mothers.  What I thought interesting for the UK was “Mothering Sunday is a celebration held to honor mothers and other maternal figures.”

“Now, in 2018, it is used for children and adults alike to give presents to their hardworking mums – often cards with chocolates and flowers.  Mother’s Day was originally a day for Christians to visit their ‘mother’ church back home during the holy month of Lent. Workers would be given the day off to return home and worship with their loved ones and have family reunion. It is thought that the return to the ‘mother’ church led to the tradition of young domestic servants and apprentices being given the day off to visit their mother and family.”

Bernice Gray - Peace
“Peace” by Bernice Gray

Mothers Day in Mexico is May 10.  “The first official Mothers’ Day celebration in Mexico was held on May 10, 1922. The celebration soon took on religious undertones, with images of the Madonna and Child being displayed on Mother’s Day. The day has gained widespread popularity over the years. It is also celebrated in other countries worldwide.” (

Bernice Gray Painting - Stream back home
“Stream Back Home” by Bernice Gray
Bernice Gray Painting - Dusk Aglow
“Dusk Aglow” by Bernice Gray
Bernice Gray - Dusk over snowy pines
“Dusk over Snowy Pines” by Bernice Gray

We all celebrate special occasions in various ways but let’s make sure Mother is shown love and appreciation.  I propose every day, not just one day.  Mother is Love!

Bernice Gray Paiinting - Abandoned but not forgotten
“Abandoned” by Bernice Gray

With Love, Ron


Shelf life of a shell life – old versus new

Mickler Beach 151229-13

See these shells? Look at their diversity.  Why do you think God made them diverse?  Each has a specific purpose and provides a certain beauty.  Every shell is unique.  It’s kind of like our lives and how we are all unique with various flavors, colors, designs and yes – even purposes.

As in these shells, we are not “special” over another.  However, we are ALL special to God and our lives matter.  He loves each of us and sacrificed so much for us.

I suppose we can say these shells do have a shelf life.  At one time they housed a living creature and now lay around waiting for someone to behold their beauty and usefulness.

What about these shells?

They are alone without being associated with other shells.  They exhibit a rough life – battered, tossed around by the waves, aged, discarded, broken. The one on the right has the external appearance of being a complete half shell but looks can be deceiving.

Mickler Beach 151229-12

We just don’t know the entire story until we examine not just the outside but the inside.  The inner being may be dark and lonely, hollow and empty, discarded until the light reflects on the inside too.

We can relate to these shells in more ways than one but I want us to reflect on how important our lives are.  We may feel that our shelf life has come to an end or that we have been placed on a shelf without much to show for our past experiences.

Yes we do learn from our experiences but that isn’t the end.  As we move from 2015 into 2016 we have opportunities to get off the shelf and show our usefulness.  The world needs us.  We are individuals yet part of a society of diverse creation.

As in these shells, we can experience new life and a renewed purpose.  We have the choice.  What’s yours?

As the tide and waves of life in 2016 roll in, chasing everything in their paths, let’s stay aware of the dangers around us but realize we have a shelter.  God has provided a way.

Happy and Safe New Year with 2016 blessings too.  Memorial Park reflection globe downtown Jax - Linda's photo


Photos by Linda Tittle

Taste of Florida Christmas

Merry Christmas from north Florida.

As you travel around north Florida during the Christmas celebration you’ll experience warm weather.  That’s great for those traveling from afar, and of course locals enjoy it too.

This week was filled with joy, excitement, hustle and bustle, as well as travel congestion – but still the sense of being alive and well, and being blessed in Florida.

Beach goers just north of St. Augustine experienced the joy of the season 23324013753_d57603bfa9_kin more ways than one.   A few splashed around in the rolling waves as surfers looked for their perfect set.  We came upon a interested snowman too.  Instead of a snowman how about a sandman?  Or, Sandperson.

In St. Augustine, the sights and sounds were elevated as trolleys and trains moved people along the routes as they sang their favorite seasonal songs.  The lights and atmosphere was – and is festive.

While it’s a wonderful time of year to experience life, adventure, sights and sounds, what lasting memories will you have?  Do we really believe this is a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or whatever emphasis we want to place on it?

We do know that the sounds of laughter, excitement and joy, along with peace do not necessarily last forever here on Earth – although one came to provide Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men (and Women too).

Yes, let’s enjoy the seasons.  Let’s enjoy Peace on Earth as we strive toward it.  Let’s also think of eternal joy and peace as well.  I leave with you some excellent words of wisdom this Christmas season from Charles Swindoll’s Insight for Living devotion for December 25 – “A Christmas Masterpiece.”

“Before time began, God had in His mind’s eye a masterpiece – a beautiful picture of grace that His beloved Son, the second person of the Trinity, would illustrate with His life.

“Even before the breathtaking splendor of creation, God sketched out His plan for His perfect fellowship with humanity.  But not long after He had splashed color on the landscape, the deep, dark shadows of man’s rebellious choice to live independently of His grace obscured the beauty of God’s work.  Coal black, pitch darkness enveloped the scene, and all creation hung in suspense of what God would do.”

Do you know what God did?  You can read the rest of the message at  You can also read from the scriptures in John 3:16.

I believe this don’t you?

This the the message of hope that we all seek.  The Savior slipped into our world to fulfill God’s plan.  We can celebrate Christmas throughout the year – enjoying God’s greatest present with Love.  Live life fully each day with joy, happiness, peace and knowing where we are going.  God made a way for us.