Author: Beth Case

Joy in the Morning with Pastor Laura!

Let them thank the Lord for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all people. Let them offer
thanksgiving sacrifices and declare what God has done in songs of joy! Psalm 107:21-22 (CEB)

One of the most provocative questions that I have ever heard asked is, “What if you wake up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?” I suspect that for most of us, waking up to a world that included only what we had remembered to give thanks for would be a very rude awakening.

Years ago, I regularly shopped at a family-owned bakery. Whenever I picked up my order, there would always be an extra cookie and a handwritten note of thanks on the receipt. One day, I picked up my order and discovered that there was no extra cookie and no note. I was so disappointed and called the shop to make sure the family hadn’t sold the shop or that something wasn’t wrong. They assured me that all was well and said that since I had never acknowledged the cookie or note they assumed I didn’t care for them, so they stopped including them so as not to offend me.

What an eye-opener! They had been expressing their thanks for my business all along, but I had taken their generosity and thoughtfulness for granted and had not offered them my gratitude. In that small way, I really did wake up in a world where I only had what I had been thankful for, and it was very disappointing. The world needs a lot more gratitude, both given and received – it really does matter.

THANK YOU for you being great neighbors, colleagues, and friends. It is an honor and a joy to serve as your Chaplain. Have a blessed and joy-filled Thanksgiving! — Chaplain Laura

October Series: Faith

Living by Faith

The writer of Hebrews defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Almost everyone lives by faith although they may not be conscious they are doing so; however, not everyone has their faith rooted in God. Some go to sleep at night believing they will wake up in the morning, and the sun will be shining because they have faith in the laws of nature. Others get sick but trust that they will recover because they have faith in their doctors, drugs, or the strength of their health. Even lawbreakers have faith in their ability to get by without being caught.

On the other hand, faith that is rooted in God is based on two foundations. . . first, that there is a God who is the creator of all things, and secondly, that He can be trusted to keep his promises.


  • By faith we can be saved from sin by God’s abundant grace.
  • By faith we can trust God to provide for all our needs.
  • By faith we know that God will work for our good in every circumstance we face.
  • By faith we can come into God’s presence through prayer at any and all times.
  • By faith we can overcome the temptation to do wrong and lead a victorious life.
  • By faith we can look forward to new life in an eternal home in heaven when our earthly journey
  • ends.

In fact, it is impossible to please God without faith, and it is equally impossible to live
peacefully, joyfully, and hopefully at all times without faith in the living God.

The question isn’t whether we are living by faith, but is our faith rooted and grounded in God who
is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within
us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

October Series: Faith

The Faith of a Saint

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. — Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

This month’s articles will be on the topic of faith, and since the month of October is also the Season of Saints, it seems like a perfect time to consider what sort of faith it takes to become a saint. Growing up, I thought saints must be otherworldly in their faith, perform astounding miracles, or martyr themselves for the faith. Certainly, there are plenty of saints who have done these things, but I am learning that most saints are very much like you and me. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that many of you have already attained the unofficial title of saints in the way that you have lived out your faith through your life.

So what makes a saint? The official process is quite complicated and lengthy and is certainly fascinating. Several years back, I started learning about the official process by following the progress toward sainthood of one of my icons of the faith, Dorothy Day. My curiosity about the saints continued to grow, and in January, I subscribed to an online daily devotional, Saint of the Day, to learn more. Each day, I read a brief biography of a saint along with a devotional based upon their life. I am amazed every day not by how extraordinary their lives were, but much more often by how ordinary their lives were, yet they each have made a lasting impact. By and large, the saints are not people who are endowed with astounding gifts; they are people who use whatever ordinary gifts God gives them to live out their faith wherever they are. Whatever they do, it is done for the glory of God. And we can do that, too!

Some saints were great orators or healers or gave their lives for their faith. One of my favorites, Catherine of Siena, was best known for her letter-writing. One of Saint Philip Neri’s greatest traits was his joyfulness in life. And there are Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin, the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who were a watchmaker and lace-maker respectively, and whose biographies as saints record that they created a home that “nurtured the sanctity of all their children.”

Most saints remind me of someone who has influenced me and helped to grow my faith — some of them you would recognize as our neighbors here at Epworth Villa. Who has been a saint in your life? Who has taught you how to live your life faithfully and use your gifts all to the glory of God? Don’t look now — you just might be a saint, too!

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God
They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, on the street,
in the store, in church, by the sea,
in the house next door.
They are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too!

Years Later, Quilt Still Blooms with State Pride

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:  

In 1985, Nettie White was approached by Enoch Kelly Haney, State Representative about creating a quilt of the Oklahoma state flower, the Gaillardia, sometimes known as Indian Blanket. Haney wanted a quilt that would represent the state flower and honor Oklahoma’s Native American heritage. White was at the time teaching Home Economics at Konawa High School. White agreed to the project and began work on the quilt in 1986. She finished it in just three months.

White’s quilt was removed and stored for the historic renovations of the Oklahoma State Capitol that took place from 2015-2022. The quilt has recently been re-hung and currently hangs near the visitor entrance at the state capitol. White used her scrapbook to relate the history of the quilt to the historians and preservationists at the Capitol so that they could create a narrative that would soon accompany the quilt display.

Recently, White and friends, all residents of Epworth Villa took a tour of the state capitol. She was able to show the group her quilt and relay the origins of the quilt.

The quilt is a postage stamp quilt with 3,000 pieces. White noted that the five primary colors in the center of the flower represent the Five Civilized Tribes. The border is the Seminole pumpkin blossom and is hand quilted while the rest of the quilt was machine quilted. White had to make a graph of the quilt to ensure the colors were correct.

White said that she was honored to be chosen to create the quilt. In addition to the quilt, White also created a scrapbook that documents the process of its creation. The scrapbook includes photographs, newspaper clippings, and handwritten notes. It is a treasure trove of information about the quilt and its creator.

The Gaillardia quilt is a beautiful and intricate work of art that is a testament to White’s skill and creativity. It is a fitting tribute to the state flower and a reminder of the importance of preserving Oklahoma’s heritage.

Representative Haney’s passion for Native American culture and traditions is also evident in his art. He created The Guardian bronze statue that sits prominently on the Capitol dome. He used his own family members as models for the 17-foot statue. Haney’s own grandfather was chief of the Seminole Tribe in the 1940s.

White’s quilt and Haney’s statue are reminders of the importance of the power of art to connect people to their heritage. They are treasures that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

You can also hear more of White’s story here:

Capitol visit brings back memories

Recently, residents took a tour of the Oklahoma State Capitol building. They took in all the renovations that were completed in 2022. On the second floor in the Hall of Governors, Resident Mona Mae Waymire took a moment to pose by the bust of her father, Governor Raymond Gary.

Gary served the state as the 15th Governor from 1955-1959. He can be credited for peacefully integrating Oklahoma Schools, thus complying with the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case. Gary also abolished segregated bathrooms and drinking fountains in all state buildings and segregation in the National Guard and Crime Bureau.

Gary also accomplished his goal of growing industry in the state and building roads. He will be remembered for creating the Department of Commerce and Industry and building 4,000 miles of highways which helped boost the economy.

To read more about Mona’s father you can head to the Oklahoma Historical Society’s website.