The fireflies are coming!

By Ralphine Major “In the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a young boy enjoys the wonder of a hot, summer night catching fireflies.  However, these are unique fireflies.  It is the synchronous firefly.  On the other side of the world, a young boy from Southeast Asia enjoys the same thrills of the fireflies on […]

Mothers

By Ralphine Major It is still one of the most celebrated holidays.  The day our nation has set aside to honor mothers is appropriate for the month of May when springtime is at her best.  The weather is warming, and flowers are blooming.  As in years before, this season is also seeing its share of […]

H – A – N – N – A – H

H – A – N – N – A – H

By Ralphine Major Her name can be spelled backwards and still be correct.  That is no problem for Hannah, who can spell a ton of other words besides her name.  Hannah, a fourth grader, won the spelling bee at Gibbs Elementary School this year by correctly spelling “montage!”  Her win should not have been a […]

Caring, Concerned, Committed

By Ralphine Major “She has cared for her family members unceasingly. She is concerned for the spiritual and physical welfare of those in need. She is committed to assisting others and sharing Christ with everyone she meets.” Yvonne Piercy, Director of Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church, recently described Jeannette Thomas in […]

Harmony and Hymns III

Jeannette Thomas and Joyce Clark preparing for a mission trip to Appalachia, courtesy of David and Melba Hill

Harmony and Hymns III

By Ralphine Major Margie and Walter Maples shared one experience that stands out in TOTS’ memory when they participated in one of the Appalachian Enterprise mission trips to needy areas led by Mrs. Jeannette Thomas. This particular two-day mission was to a small church in the coal mining area of West Virginia. Somehow, communications with […]

Harmony and Hymns

Harmony and Hymns

By Ralphine Major The new gospel singing group that Walter Maples helped to start in 2004 needed a name. They were all choir members, but no longer all members of the late Charlie Hatchett’s department. Thus, the inspirational group “The Old Time Singers” or TOTS was formed. TOTS originally began with Dorothy Johnson, soprano; Mary […]

Harmony and Hymns by the TOTS

Harmony and Hymns by the TOTS

By Ralphine Major You may be one of the Focus readers who has been privileged to hear them sing in one of the more than 175 churches or assisted living facilities over the years.  I have always known them as “The TOTS,” an acronym for “The Old Time Singers,”— though they have playfully said it […]

Easter Blessings

Easter Blessings

By Ralphine Major Mother Nature is putting on a show!  She is covering winter’s drab canvas by weaving a tapestry of beauty.  Only days from the official start of spring, the earth is bursting forth with new life and new growth.  Driving down the highway, we seemed to be surrounded by vibrant green fields, yellow […]

Presidential Character

Presidential Character

By Ralphine Major The professor’s timing is perfect!  In the midst of a presidential election, the release of his book entitled “Presidential Character” is sure to spark enthusiasm for our nation’s highest office.  Timothy D. Holder, Knoxville resident and Professor of History at Walters State, talks about the first six presidents of the United States […]

Connecting With Words

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com The package arrived shortly before Christmas.  Certainly, the sender had made it look special in a “Peanuts” mailer.  When I tore into it, it was special!  Three framed photos.  Instantly, my mind drifted back to the day they were made.  Several years ago I had the opportunity to audio tape a […]