Dreams you Dream

By Reba Phelps

Dreams have always had a way of reaching my soul and sometimes even confusing my soul. I know it must seem laughable, but I love the very notion of dreaming. The randomness and non-sense that accompanies each of them can leave me baffled, entertained or even concerned. 

Shortly after my mother died I was flooded with so many emotions and I was not ready to let myself feel any of them. It was such an intense, deep pain and loneliness that I tried to keep tucked far away in the dusty corners of my mind. I would eventually let the grief run its course the way it is supposed to, but for a very long time I was a champion of pretending it wasn’t  happening.

I could control my thoughts about her during the day but nighttime was a completely different scenario. I was actually afraid to dream about my own mother. It was unexplainable and I know it must sound strange but I actually prayed not to dream about her. The thought of her appearing alive in a dream scared me and I wanted no part of it. 

Every night for almost three months I would go to bed a little anxious that this would be the night that I dreamed about her. As much as part of me longed to finally get past it I was leaving it in God’s hands to handle the when and how. 

Nine years after my precious mother left this earth I can still recall the vivid details of when it finally happened. 

The dream started with me asleep and the phone ringing loudly in the middle of the night jarring me to wake. When I clumsily answered the phone it was my mother. She sounded so cheerful and she asked how the kids were and wanted all the details of what she had missed so far. It was as if she was just away for a brief time and was catching up. 

She inquired about how my siblings were doing and even asked about my work. Soon after the catching up was over she went on to tell me that she needed a favor from me. I was all ears and sitting on the edge of the bed wondering what kind of earthly favor I could perform for a heavenly body. 

My mother asked me to purchase some streamers for her and some friends in heaven. I was so confused so I asked her why she needed streamers…was she hosting a party? She went on to explain that she needed them to hang from trees as decoration because they were having a huge celebration and there was going to be big crowd.

That, I totally understood. She was always such an amazing hostess so I knew she wanted the celebration to be perfect. I asked her if she was picky about the colors and she replied, “It doesn’t matter, just buy a lot.” 

Just as she was hanging up the phone I stopped her and said, “Do I call you back once I have them or can you even receive phone calls there…and how do I get these to you?” There were so many questions to which she simply replied, “Just buy the streamers, you are asking too many questions”. 

Soon after I purchased the streamers I woke up. The dream was so peaceful and so comforting. My dream showed me that she was happy where she was and I felt as though she was comforting me. The dream was also funny. The Lord knows I love humor and he really delivered in this dream.

I have dreamed about her numerous times since that night and there is one common theme to each and every dream.

She is very happy, healthy and seemed to have a new body. She is no longer wheelchair bound. 

Sometimes my dreams can easily be chalked up to a variety of different conversations at work or with my children. But this dream was after many conversations with God. He heard my petitions which were mostly me begging…”please do not let me dream about my mother until I am ready and please don’t let it be weird.”

This dream also served as a reminder of what our days will be like when that time comes. There will be constant celebrating with our brothers and sisters in Christ and we will have new bodies.  

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

Philippians 3:20-21


Special Session Begins Monday

Members of the Louisiana Legislature head to Baton Rouge for the Special Legislative Session that starts Monday.  It will be a 30 day session.  The legislature called itself into session and the call lists 70 items for lawmakers to consider.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder is quoted in a news release that the special session will focus on three main objectives: 

  1. Hurricane Laura disaster relief and recovery efforts
  2. On-going issues with COVID-1 especially relative to funding and the economy
  3. The state’s Unemployment Trust Fund.

Senator Louis Bernard told The Journal that he mostly agrees with Schexnayder that these are the priority items.  He would add working to assure that the MFP formula for funding public education is kept in place.  Bernard said, “My concern is that it should not be downgraded because there are fewer kids in school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  They are not in school right now, but they will be back, and we need to assure sound funding for education.

On the Unemployment Trust Fund, Bernard said it is low on funds and needs to be replenished.  He added, “There are the Main Street and the Front Line Worker programs that have not spent all the funds allocated to them.  This might possibly be an option for the Unemployment Trust Fund.  It’s something we will probably look at.”

Bernard cautioned, “The call contains 70 items and that is too much.  We would be better off focusing on things that we can do in 30 days.”  Below is the proclamation calling for the special session and the 70 items that are included.  Senator Bernard said, “When we put too many things in the call it makes it cluttered and makes it too hard to get everything done.”


November Sentencing for Daniel Waites

Three and a half years ago a Coushatta resident was killed in the Red River Estates apartment complex on East Riddle Street.  Sheriff’s Deputies responded and took two men into custody.

The victim, Earl Moore died of his injuries after he was transported to Christus Coushatta by private vehicle.

Now sentencing is expected in November for Daniel Waites.  He agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter charges.  Prior to sentencing there will be a hearing in which Moore family members may present statements on the impact of Earl Moore’s death on the family.

Here is the link to The Journal’s original report on the shooting incident:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2017/04/05/two-arrested-in-shooting/

Daniel Waites’ father Carrel Waites remains free on a $1,000,000 cash pending his trial.  He faces charges of principal to second-degree murder.


See You at the Pole

By Molly Seales

On Wednesday, September 23, Riverdale Academy’s FCA organized the annual See You at the Pole, which began in September of 1990 by a group of teenagers who were broken and burdened for their friends.  They met at the flagpole to pray, and now, 30 years later, the See You at the Pole movement has reached millions of students in countries around the world. 

Wednesday morning students from grades Pre-K through 12, along with faculty and staff, gathered in the school gym to observe See You at the Pole.  FCA President Brennan Edie welcomed everyone, and then sophomore FCA member James Wagoner opened in prayer. Then Brennan Edie and Tinley Ogden read the history of See You at the Pole.  8th Grader Jadyn King then led in prayer. 

Principal Danny Rester and his daughter, Jeralyn Wilhite, led the music with the songs “Days of Elijah” and “What a Beautiful Name It Is.”  Then 2nd grader Jonathon “Junior” Curry prayed.  Dr. Nathan Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church Coushatta, brought the message based on Proverbs 3:5-6.  He reminded us that we need to trust in the Lord at all times.  Then all of the students, faculty, and staff gathered around the flagpole and sang “Sanctuary.”  Mr. Rester then closed us in prayer.

This year’s See You at the Pole theme was “Return, Restore, Revive.”  The verse was II Kings 23:25, which says, “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did-with all his heart and with his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with the Law of Moses.”  Students at Riverdale are blessed to be able to pray without fear.  FCA is led by Dr. Hunter Brown and Mrs. Kelly Azlin.  This year’s FCA members are Madison Chamberlin, Will Jones, Molly Seales, James Wagoner, Kenley Loftin, Rylee Kate Woodard, Renee Prosperie, Ty Jones, Denver Williams, Jake Messenger, Tinley Ogden, Abby Jones, Brennan Edie, Matthew Seales, Parker Almond, and Paul Messenger.


Will You Take Part?

There is a lot of talk about the upcoming Town Council election and the Presidential Election November 3rd.  Will you take part?  Will you be eligible to vote?

This week is Voter Registration Week, but it ends today.  It is a good time to register if you are not registered to vote.  See the flyer below for full details.


Bus Driver Remembered

Etta Calhoun was a favorite of teachers and students.  She drove a school bus for elementary students for years.  She recently passed away and a black ribbon was placed on the front of her bus.

The elementary school posted, “On behalf of RRES Principal Mike Beck and RRES faculty and staff we offer sincere condolences to the family of Etta Calhoun! Rest in Love and you will be greatly missed by Red River Elementary and the entire RED RIVER SCHOOL DISTRICT!!!”


Bulldog Football Preview

By Hayley Loe

Due to COVID-19, this year has been anything but normal for the students and staff at the Red River High School. Throughout this school year, students and staff were not sure if the football season would even take place. However, with a recent decision from the governor, the Red River Bulldogs will take the field today in a scrimmage against the Bossier Bearcats.

Coach John Bachman spoke to The Journal this past week about his outlook on the football season and how he believed this year would go. “COVID has changed everything; you no longer are just having to think about coaching, but also about the guidelines set for the season. From what I have seen and heard from colleges and the NFL, everything is pretty normal during the games and that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Bachman said, “I am very excited for the season to begin. We have a great, group of talented young men. I always ask the boys before a game, ‘Are we gonna play as a team?’. I really think that if we play and execute, we can win against anybody we come up against, I don’t care what the A is behind their name.”

Due to COVID-19 guidelines only 400 fans are allowed in the bleachers; RRHS is selling season tickets for all the home games for $40.00. Fans of the Red River High School football team better act fast before the tickets are gone. If a fan is not lucky enough to be able to purchase a ticket, The Journal is offering livestream action of the Bulldogs for all their home and away games.

To watch the games, go to the Red River Parish Journal on Facebook.  The stream will be live about fifteen minutes prior to kickoff.  The Journal is sending text alerts to fans to alert them to the broadcast of each athletic event.  To join the text message service, go to this link and sign up.  https://form.jotform.com/63427407805154


4H State Fair Livestock

Red River 4-H asked, “Are you ready for a Livestock Show & Sale? We Are!!! It’s officially Entry Time!  Here is what you need to know about the 2020 Livestock Shows!”

Entries: Entries are now being accepted. You may access online entries via our website at https://www.statefairoflouisiana.com/events/2020/2020-livestock-show .  All entries will be completed using our online platform. If you have any trouble with online entries or processing your payment, please contact our office at 318-635-1361. Entries will be open through October 2, 2020.

Vehicle Parking and Gate Passes: FREE Vehicle Parking and Gate Admission.  

Livestock Trailer Parking: For security purposes, all Livestock Trailers will need a $15.00 parking permit to be unhitched and/or left on the fairgrounds. ALL Livestock Trailers will be parked in a secured area. 

Trim Chute: All trim chutes will need a $10.00 trim chute pass.

T Shirts: 2020 Livestock Show Commemorative T Shirts will be available for PRE-SALE only. You may order shirts during your entry process or contact us at 318-635-1361. Our T Shirt design will be released later this week but will be similar to the design below. 

Vendors: Food and Show Supply Vendors will be available.


Fire Marshal-Standards for Haunted Houses

The start of Halloween season is upon us which means, normally, dozens of haunted house attractions would be under construction and preparing to open to the public all across Louisiana.

However, this year, the state’s COVID-19 pandemic emergency is restricting many of our normal activities. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ latest proclamation regarding COVID-19 mitigation measures for businesses and religious organizations, 117 JBE 2020, currently calls for indoor amusements like haunted houses to remain closed. But the proclamation also allows for amusements like this to submit a proposal to be given special permission to open.

Haunted house operators can access details on how to submit these requests, as well as what type of considerations should be included in the proposals, on OpenSafely.la.gov in the document for “Other Amusements.”

In addition, the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) would like to remind operators about the regular life safety and fire safety requirements our deputies will be looking for when inspecting attractions for approved occupancy, if allowed to open.

For temporary “special amusement structures” and/or “Ghost Walks” (i.e. not operational for more than 30 days):

  • A sketch of the facility, along with documentation and materials, emergency plans and equipment must be submitted to the SFM for review and approval prior to the use of the building or space as a temporary “Special Amusement” activity
  • Interior finishes and decorations/props shall be flame-resistant
  • If the building operates in a reduced lighting environment, the building should contain an approved automatic smoke detection system that (a) will sound an alarm louder than the greatest ambient noise level (b) will sound at a constantly manned location where the attendant will be capable of turning on additional lighting for emergency evacuation
  • Occupant load constantly controlled to no more than 25 occupants at any given time
  • Fire department presence during all periods of activity OR ABC-type fire extinguishers in each room with a person trained in their proper use AND a garden hose connected to adequate water supply long enough to reach into every area of the structure
  • Exit and directional signage
  • Artificial smoke is prohibited; dry ice is acceptable
  • Accessible parking and an accessible route to the entrance of the attraction is required and should include stable, firm and slip-resistant walking surfaces.

For permanent “haunted house” or “special amusement” structures, projects must be submitted to the SFM for a full plan review prior to construction. Visit lasfm.org for plan submittal instructions and requirements.

If you’re planning to patron a haunted house attraction, we encourage you to develop an emergency meeting location with the group you are attending with and/or instruct children to locate uniformed personnel in the event they find themselves lost and without an emergency meeting location.

The SFM encourages reporting any concerning conditions at special amusement structures to 1-800-256-5452 or filing a complaint through our website, lasfm.org.


Winter Playday Series Returns

The arena at Red River Cowboy Church will host the 2020-21 Winter Playday Series.  There will be events for cowboys and cowgirls of all ages, infant to adult.

First event in the series will be held October 3rd.  These are all day events with fun for every member of your family.

Red River Cowboy Church is located at the intersection of LA 1 and LA 174 at Lake End.  For more information, call 318-652-2553.