Tuesday, December 27, 2005


My words at my Dad's funeral...

You are here tonight because you knew and loved this man - or else you know someone who did. And if anyone had asked you at any time, “Is Carl a Christian?” The answer would have been an emphatic “Yes!” “Yes, he is.”

But what I’m going to share with you tonight, I’m sure that you didn’t know - because I didn’t know it, and I’ve known him since he married Mother when I was 4 years old.

He asked me once, while he was in the hospital, “Do you remember the first time you saw me?” While I don’t actually remember it, I’ve been told the story enough times to know it. He said, “Do you remember the way the front steps came out of Pop’s house - up to the porch? Well, you were standing on the top step and when I walked up in the yard you said, “I’ve got a sore finger!”

That doesn’t surprise me; at 3 ½ years old that was probably a pretty typical statement. And I was already, even then, enough of a “tom-boy” that “sore fingers” were a pretty usual occurrence!

So, I’ve known him a long time, but I have been amazed, in the past few weeks, to learn of the depth of his knowledge of theology. His theology could be summed up in three words - “I know Jesus.”

This is not the trite or cliché “do you know Jesus?” or “Have you met Jesus?” No, this man KNEW Jesus - personally in such a way that I can only barely touch with the tips of my fingers.

Since Mother died, it seems that Daddy talked non-stop. He told stories of his growing up, of the war, of his and Mother’s life - he just talked non-stop. Whether he was awake or asleep!

And it was no different when he was in the hospital.

It was well known that Daddy talked in his sleep, but there were 2 nights that were totally different.

The first one came when he’d been in the hospital for almost a week. He’d begun getting pretty agitated over being in the hospital so long with no sign of getting out anytime soon and he’d been upset and crying most of the night, then toward morning, he began saying, “I want to go home. I want to go hooooome…”

Then suddenly he began talking to Mother! Then he began talking to my Uncle Fred, then Mamaw and Papaw! And then he said, “Oh, it’s so pretty up here!”

When he began, I don’t know, becoming more “alert” I guess is how you’d describe it, and he said, Satan said he won’t let me go, but God told me He’d open the door when it was time…” and I did as Mary did - I pondered this in my heart…

A day or two later during one of the times when he was clearly awake and alert, he told me, “I’m sorry I gave you such a hard time the other morning, but I saw your Mother. She was sooo pretty. She had on a red dress, and with that white hair, oh, she was so pretty.” I began asking him about it, and there wasn’t much that he remembered, but he was sure about seeing Mother.

The next incident was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. He had been sitting on the side of the bed a good while and around 4:00 he wanted to lie down. Just as soon as he did, he began ‘talking” again. This time there was a jumble of words and phrases, but he talked non-stop.

His tone of voice and the way he was talking made it obvious that he was talking to little children. He talked about Jesus and God and he said, “Yeah, Jesus had a father and a mother and a little brother and a little sister. They all lived in a house, but Jesus lives in his Father’s house now - do you want to go see?” Then he said, “Oh, we can’t go right now, we’re “dirty” and we can’t go in there dirty, but Jesus will wash us and make us clean.

He talked to the little children about how much Jesus loved them and how He would take care of them - about how Jesus was a little boy himself and how He played just like they did. He said he (himself) was afraid to die, but that Jesus had told him not to be afraid.

He told them about the time they couldn’t find Jesus, and when they finally found Him, His momma and daddy asked Him, “Where’ve you been? And He said, ‘I’ve been in the Tabernacle!’” (I had to laugh - he was so emphatic about the word “Tabernacle!”)

Daddy told the children, “I want to go home, but I don’t know when.” He said, “Nobody knows when He is coming, but He’s coming - oh yeah, I know He is…” You know how Daddy was - just so full of love and care…

Paul’s words became so clear to me when he said to the Philippians, “I don’t know what to choose - for to live is Christ, and to die is gain…”

As Daddy got weaker, he was more and more confused about where he was and what was going on, but one of the last days in the hospital when he wasn’t so confused, he said to me, “Come here - I want you to be a woman, and stand tall, and don’t cry…”

I said, “Daddy, I’ll be a woman, and I’ll stand tall, (as best I can) but I will cry…” He smiled and said, “Yeaaaah, I guess you will…”

As I look out here, I see family, friends and neighbors, and I’d like to say, I am what I am, because Mother and Daddy were what they were. They supported me in everything I ever did. They uplifted me and gave me confidence and great encouragement. They believed in me. I thought all parents were like that…

I am so thankful God brought Daddy into mine and Mother’s lives. It is so true - “Any man can be a father, but it does indeed take someone special to be a Daddy.” And I thank God for my Daddy…

Paul told the Thessalonians that we who know Christ don’t grieve like others grieve; like those who don’t have, as Mother would say, “The Hope of Glory…” That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, because it does. And we will miss him. But I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I will see them again. Because Daddy knew Jesus, and he lived it everyday.

Father, thank You for allowing this man to be my Daddy. Amen.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

My Dad's Obituary

William C. (Carl) DeLozier, born December 25, 1922 (a “Christmas Baby”) went home to his Lord on December 22, 2005. He was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Cora Maples DeLozier; parents, Will and Georgia DeLozier, brothers Orland and Fred, and daughter, Lola Janette Inman.

He is survived by daughter and son in law, Betty and Joe Newman; grandsons, Joe, Jr and wife Suzanne, and John Newman; granddaughter Elizabeth Byrd, and great grandchildren, Nicci Hodge and Cody Hodge and great-great grandchildren, Brady Hodge and Bella Hodge. He is also survived by his brother Lewis DeLozier and wife Bessie; sisters, Bea and Helen DeLozier; sister-in-law Mayme Pryor, and several nieces and their families.

“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy” and Carl was a loving “Daddy” for 47 years, taking Cora’s daughters into his heart as his own.
He had been a steadfast and loyal member of Huckleberry Springs United Methodist Church since the late 50’s. He was also known and loved throughout the community as a true friend.

His pallbearers represent his life: Tim Morton representing the DeLozier family; Fred Mynatt representing Cora’s family; Kelly Daniels representing the ones who’ve married into the family; Cecil Frazier representing Huckleberry Springs Church; Chris Boyens representing the Methodist Men’s Group; and Nolan Sharp representing the community. Honorary pallbearers - The French Broad Circuit United Methodist Men’s Group.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Huckleberry Springs UMC Building Fund or the French Broad Circuit United Methodist Men for their benevolence fund.


Thank you to all who've e-mailed and kept me and our family uplifted in prayer.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How can I pray...

1Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

1Corinthians 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Dear God! How does one pray for someone to die? We spend most all of our prayer time praying for healing, so how can I now pray for someone to die? He’s my Daddy for God’s sake… How God, how…

I have said - repeatedly - that I am “pro-life.” I have said, “I will not hinder God’s timing (by artificial means) but neither will I hasten it!” But now, God, how can I sit here day after day and listen to those short “puffy” breaths and wonder… “How long, oh Lord, how long…” I catch myself listening, and if they “falter” my heart sinks just a little…

How can I give him morphine and pain killers and keep wondering just whose “misery” I am keeping him out of… But, I know, God. I know, when I don’t give them, he is gasping for air, or gurgling like he is drowning, and he really is in agony. But I can’t keep from wondering, isn’t there more I could have done?

And while I’m at it - why am I not more “tore up”? Why don’t I cry more? How can I go about daily chores and walk by his bed as if he is just sleeping?

God! Do I really have this much faith, or am I calloused? Am I hard-hearted? Am I unfeeling? Surely others think I am, anyway.

Ever since Your gift of faith and grace in the death of my Mother, I’ve felt this way. And I know others don’t understand. I keep thinking that it’s like Paul says in Thessalonians and Corinthians - we just don’t grieve like those who have no hope. And, if this life is all there is, then yes, we are of all people, the most pitiful.

But then, I wonder - is that just my excuse - my rationale

I know, Lord, that without a pure undiluted miracle, he cannot get well. That lung cancer will continue to grow until it consumes his entire lungs. But still, I feel so - guilty - for wanting him to be taken “home.”

There, I can’t even bring myself to say it, God. How can I even say, I want him to die - that goes against everything I’ve ever been taught - against every prayer I’ve ever prayed. And yet, this is no life. But again, whose “misery” do I want him out of?

Father, I submit myself to You. I submit my entire being; my heart and all of my emotions. I submit my fear, my guilt, my grief, my impatience, and my hurt - for God, it does hurt - even if I am assured of the future; even if I am confident of his (and my) salvation; even if I know “in My Father’s house are many mansions…”

And so I will go along day to day and listen to those “short puffy breaths” for as long as You deem it necessary. And when they stop, I will bury my Daddy, and then turn my eyes toward heaven - For You are God, and You know what is best…

And, it is in the name of Jesus, the first-born of the dead, that I lift my struggle and my pain to You - in His name I pray - Amen.

December 20, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

A New Understanding of Christmas

This was written long before our boys were born.

As a woman, it is the most amazing thing to be pregnant at Christmas. We feel such a kindred spirit with Mary.

A New Understanding of Christmas

It's probably all been said before,
and I really don't want to be a bore,
But, Christmas to me
and what I feel,
is so very, oh, more real
than anything that could be said.

Being a woman, I think of Mary,
bearing the Babe
and having to carry
the responsibility and all the while,
she was little more
than a child herself.

Was she afraid, so far from home,
and knowing no more
than she must have known?
Was she afraid that silent night
bearing her child with only the light
from the star for assurance
that God was there
in person and prayer
Father and Son as one?

I guess I'm a dreamer, but I tend to see,
how things would be if it happened to me.
I wonder if
I could endure
the pain, and then still be as sure
that this was God's plan for my life
to be a mother before a wife,
I wonder if I could.

I try to grasp how it must have been
in the cold damp barn
when a bunch of men
shepherds they were
reverently knelt
and quietly behelt their Savior.

And later then the wise men three,
coming, oh, so far to see,
the Mother and the Child
The King
the Promised One
The Messiah.

I'm sure then Mary softly smiled
and looked down gently at her child
The Savior of the world to be
but right now so tenderly,
He was her baby.

Somehow, looking out through Mary's eyes
brings a new understanding of Christmas.

©Betty J. Newman Christmas 1980

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wiseman or Shepherd - Explained

We think we know all about shepherds and wisemen, but perhaps we don't...

This is an "explaination" for the previous poem.

The Shepherds

The orthodox Jew often despised the shepherds. Due to the very nature of their occupations they could not always participate in the rites and ceremonial rituals. It made no matter that the Jews’ greatest ancestors, Moses, Abraham, and David, were all shepherds and were idolized.

It is much like an ancestor of ours who, though somewhat of a “rascal” or an “outcast” might be idolized or spoken of with thinly veiled price. “We wouldn’t do what they did, but…”

How much easier it is to romanticize life than to actually live it.

Therefore, the shepherds were looked upon with disgust, although they were greatly needed, because it was they who raised and cared for the “unblemished lambs” that were used for all the temple sacrifices.

They were the “blue collar service industry.” All these people we greatly need, but never “see…”

The Wisemen

The Magi, also known as “The Wisemen” were learned men and scholars, most likely descended from the Medes. They were also skilled in astronomy and astrology, which was the study of the stars, as well as their meanings. (God said in Genesis 1:14 that the lights in the heavens were to be for “signs and seasons and for days and years.”) Astrology and astronomy were not mutually exclusive, but mutually explanatory.

The Wisemen, in addition to being a priestly tribe, were men who spent their time in study. Anyone who comes into a study (of any kind) with an open heart is prepared (however unknowingly) to hear God’s voice. (As God is over all things, He speaks in all things.)

“How do we begin to understand without study?
And how do we study without desire?
And how do we desire without seeing a need?
And how do we see a need without beginning to understand that we need to study?
It is completely God’s Calling.”

The Wisemen were called and prepared, and sent. And then they proclaimed. All without ever having known that they were used of God.

Betty Newman ©2002

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wiseman or Shepherd?

God revealed Himself to the Wiseman’s intellect
and to the Shepherd’s heart…

Sometimes I think I’m a Wiseman,
with all my charts and diagrams,
but they continue to point to where I am
and never to where I want to go.

But these are my diagrams and charts,
constructed of logic and not the heart
and following my maps will never impart
where God wants me to go.

Sometimes I’m a Shepherd, or so I claim,
when I don’t want to play life’s little game
of who I am by what’s my name.
And I only want to be different.

But God called the Shepherds through their open ear,
who were willing to follow despite their fear.
Then shouted Hosannas to all who would hear
regardless of the difference.

God calls to us wherever we are
to step out on faith and follow the star
to travel however near or far
we have to go to change
or rearrange
our thinking.

In each of us the Wisemen lie
the Shepherds too, we can’t deny,
And God’s Holy Name we glorify
each time we’re willing to change
and rearrange
our thinking.

Yes, God still reveals Himself to the Wiseman’s intellect
and the Shepherd’s heart
And neither one is more important than the other.

Betty J. Newman

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Cafeteria prayer

Sitting in a cafeteria affords a view of a range of people.

Sitting in a hospital cafeteria affords a view of a wide range of people. And there are all kinds of people here…

In a regular cafeteria or restaurant, most people are there because they want to be. A hospital cafeteria brings people together out of far different circumstances…

There are hospital employees who, on their lunch hours, or breaks, enjoy the respite from their stressful work with friends and associates. How do they do, what they do, day in and day out? As in any profession, some just have “jobs” but most are dedicated professionals - whether they are the maintenance people or the head doctors - they take their tasks seriously, and they deserve our prayers.

There are parents, whose small children have a toy of some sort or a coloring book to pass the time, and I have to wonder what “loved one” of theirs are they here for; a grandparent, a parent, or heaven forbid, a sibling? What will they remember about this in the years to come?

I see elderly people. Many of them look like they need to be patients themselves rather than visitors! How I hurt for them. How much sickness and death have they seen in their years?

There are those with trays full of food and those with a meager cornbread muffin and a carton of milk. Hospital food is expensive, you know… And there are many who dash in and out with carry-out boxes and a sense of urgency etched on their faces. I wonder how difficult it will be for them to even eat the food they’ve bought.

And then, there are those who, I figure, look much like myself; tired, haggard, with dark circles under their eyes from lack of sleep and too much worry.

After a while the food all begins to taste the same, and the choices, which at first seemed so plentiful, after several weeks just seem repetitive and bland.

But today, I am thankful for a “fill-in” that allows me a moment to sit here in the corner with my ice cream bar and enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet. (I’ll relegate the worry to the "back burner" for a while.)

And as I look around I realize, there are many, many, people in far greater need than I, and I lift them up and pray for the God of Grace to hear their prayers. And for those who can’t or won’t pray - well, I pray for them, too. And maybe for them especially, in this hospital cafeteria, when nobody really wants to be here…


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Running on Empty

God is ever gracious, ever loving, ever caring, ever teaching in every trial of our lives.

When my physical and emotional "tank" is on empty, He sends someone with a smile, a hug, a laugh, or a prayer that adds a little fuel to the tank and gives me a few more "miles" of strength.

Oh God, thank You that in this time of need someone came to me. Thank You, that in this time of need I saw so clearly how need-ful something like that is, and how helpful it can be.

Grant me, I pray, the "eyes" to see the opportunities to pour a little in another's "tank" when they, too, are "running on empty."

Thank You for this one You sent to me today.


(and, I might add, I am so thankful for all the "ones" He has sent to me these past few weeks...)