Category Archives: Friendship

Thoughts on turning 65…

My husband told me this was a big birthday.  It does have special meaning to me as my daddy only lived until this age of 65. He passed 39 years ago so I didn’t have a clue as to the sense of loss he must have had.  I know I will cherish every day I have in the future and not take it for granted.

I remember him telling me (prior to lung cancer from those damnable cigarettes) that he just wanted to live long enough that his grandchildren would remember him. Out of nine grandchildren, only Aaron had time with him. He remembers his grandpa giving him a stick of “Big Red” gum when in the car with him. Aaron turned 4 the month before he passed.

So, being in my last third of a lifespan is the challenge to live differently, which actually has come easily. Things that seemed to matter so much years ago don’t matter anymore.

I don’t care when my husband forgets to close his closet door, instead I’m grateful to still have a husband. I make a concerted effort to love my neighbors now – when before they were down on the totem pole of my priorities. When a grandchild breaks something I smile and we throw it in the trash. I think to myself- that doesn’t matter in light of eternity.

Maybe that’s why grandchildren adore their grandparents. I am much more grace filled with the grandchildren than I was with our children. I know now, at the ripe old age of 65, that it’s more important that they know they are loved rather than they obey. Obedience is important but not the most important. Because LOVE is eternal. It’s the one thing that I leave behind and also take with me. ♥️

bonnie toddlerBonnie and Herbie 

Bonnie, Debbie and MomBonnie and Danny young   Bonnie and Danny Old Bonnie 65

90% Sunday – A Lesson in God’s Faithfulness

When I think back to our journey as a family, the common thread I see is the faithfulness of God. It wasn’t because we deserved it. Faithfulness is part of His character and He has honored the covenant established at our wedding.

We were married in 1975, and shortly afterward we had a new Pastor, Stan Bragg. He was a great guy and he and his wife, Cathy had two young children, Steve and Cherie. We adored their family and still do. These are the people I surprised Pops with on his 2018 birthday in Phoenix!     

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Back to the amazing faithfulness of God in our family…we were taught by Mom and Dad Jones the principle of tithing. Tithing is the giving of 10% of your income to support the work of the Lord. We have always practiced this principle. Your Grandpa Bell even supported the idea, along with putting an additional 10% in your emergency savings. I sure wish we would have listened to him and practiced that our entire marriage! But that’s another story…

So one Sunday Pastor Stan announced that we were doing something very special. We were going to have a 90% Sunday. He challenged us to consider proving the faithfulness of God by choosing to tithe 90% instead of the regular 10%. This was to occur on a special Sunday they had chosen in the future. There was no pressure, just teaching on the faithfulness of God and encouraging us to pray and consider it.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” Malachi‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭

This was before Aaron was born, we were living week to week, no savings, both of us working. I was employed by the bank and Danny was working running a printing press. Here is a picture of the exact type of press he ran. It only ran one color at a time, so he had to wash it up, change the color of ink and line everything up perfectly. This is why he’s the perfect guy to proof anything!

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Since I was the banker, the teller who was never out of balance, I did all of the personal bookkeeping. I knew without a shadow of doubt that this 90% Sunday idea would NOT work. There was no cushion to fall back on and the numbers were the numbers.

However, our love and admiration for the Braggs, along with our faith in who we believed God to be, caused us to be intrigued. We agreed together to try this experiment of faith.

I wish I could remember the details, I remember scouring the register (that was a paper thing where you wrote your transactions in) and analyzing it over and over trying to figure out what had happened. The miracle was this – we did not experience any shortage, God did prove His faithfulness to us!

It was a mysterious combination of things – a few bills lower than normal, a paycheck a little higher than normal, but to be honest it never made sense to me, the one who could balance anything to the penny! It was a huge lesson to us, that God could be trusted over and over and that He was faithful to “give us each day our daily bread.”

We will always be thankful for the five years that the Braggs served at Burbank First Assembly of God. Their joy and love for each other and for their children was better than reading any textbook on family. They lived and loved Jesus.

Primarily they were instrumental in the beginning of a legacy of financial faith in us, understanding the faithfulness of a good good Father providing for His own.

We still rest in that and it was birthed with 90% Sunday!

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Cathy and Stan along with their grandson Cole.

Cole looks just like the little boy we remember named Steve.