Lake Life

& Such

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 887-6549.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405. There is a 2 p.m. Sunday meeting, also.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more information please call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For information, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943, email,  or (800) 422-2260 or visit
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more information, please call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Henderson County Retired School Personnel meets at 2 p.m. the second Wednesday each month at the First United Methodist Church of Athens. Call (903) 451-3585 for info.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. For more information, please call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email  for more information.
Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. Call (903) 887-2781 for info.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. For more information contact Donna Dean at
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for info.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank. The public is welcome to attend.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For info, call (903) 498-2140.
Suicide Survivors Group for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meet at 6 p.m. each Monday at the First Baptist Church of Mabank. Contact Gaye Ward at (903) 887-5913 for more info.
TVCC Singles meet at 7 p.m. each Monday in the Nutrition Center at TVCC, located off Park Street near the Athens Country Club. This is a support group for singles of all ages and is supported by TVCC. For more info, call Hilda Anding at (903) 675-7270.


Walking across America for Christ
Nick and Lucy Della Valle pass through lake area on third 3,300-mile journey
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

It’s not something you see every day – an older man dressed in Biblical robes walking along the roadside, using a staff to make the sign of the cross, blessing every oncoming vehicle.
Nick Della Valle crossed the Cedar Creek Lake area along U.S. Highway 175 Dec. 30, 2009, on his third 3,300-mile walk for Christ, 100 miles for each year Christ walked the earth.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Dressed in first-century robes, Nick Della Valle walks along U.S. Highway 175 between Kemp and Mabank Dec. 30, 2009, using his staff to bless each oncoming vehicle with the sign of the cross. Della Valle tries to average 12 to 15 miles a day on his third 3,300-mile walk for Christ across the United States.

Accompanied by his wife Lucy, who follows along in their recreational vehicle, Della Valle knows just the sight of him walking along in first-century robes will draw attention.
“When people look at me dressed like this, they notice me, and they think about God,” he said. “They know it has something to do with God, and it will put God in their mind.”
Motorists passing by may think he’s crazy to be out in the wet, frigid weather that day, “but at least they’ll be thinking about it and discussing it. We want to promote thinking and discussing about God.
“The Scripture says if we seek Him, we will find Him,” Della Valle pointed out.
“We don’t have a real complicated message,” he added. “God loves you. We say God loves you so much, He wants to spend eternity with you.”
Nick and Lucy took their first walk for Christ back in 2001, but their journey started a few years earlier when Nick had his 50th birthday.
At the time, both of them were on staff at the famed Crystal Cathedral of Dr. Robert Schuler in Garden Grove, Calif.
“I started talking with God, asking the big questions – why did he make me a little guy, and what do I want to do with the rest of my life?” he recalled.
Nick is a little guy, standing just 4-8 and about 105 pounds. He started out as a normal-sized youngster, but when his classmates started growing at puberty, he never did.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Nick and Lucy Della Valle pause in their third walk across the U.S. for Christ along U.S. Highway 175, near the entrance to the Cedar Creek Country Club.

“I know God didn’t want me to be a jockey,” he said. “I hate horses and they hate me.”
Nick recalled pointing out to God he wasn’t a talented guy – he didn’t play an instrument, sing or dance – but God asked him what he could do well.
“I said, ‘well I can walk and talk,’ and God said ‘I’ll take it!’” Nick recalled.
It just seemed natural for Nick to tell the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), because, as the classic Sunday School song goes:
“Zacchaeus was a wee little man
and a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
’cause the Lord he wanted to see.
And as the Lord passed by that day
He looked up in the tree,
(spoken) And he said, ‘Zacchaeus, you come down.
’cause I’m going to your house today,
’cause I’m going to your house today.’”
Instead of talking about Zacchaeus, Nick speaks to audiences as Zacchaeus, giving a first-person account of his career as a tax collector in the ancient town of Jericho.
In Luke’s 10-verse account, Zacchaeus was unable to see Jesus, because of the crowd, so he climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view. Jesus stopped under the tree and told Zacchaeus he would be staying at his house that evening.
Many in the crowd grumbled, because Roman tax collectors were notorious for taking bribes and charging a little extra for themselves, but Jesus reminded the crowd it was his job to take the word of God to sinners, not just law-abiding people.
Zacchaeus vowed then and there to give half of his worldly goods to the poor and to repay anyone he had cheated four times what he had taken.
“We find that when we present stories that way (first person), people gain an insight into the character, learning they’re just people like themselves,” Nick explained.
Nick’s presentation of Zacchaeus’ story took care of the talking part, but God suggested he do the walking part, as well.
In 2001, Nick and Lucy quit their jobs and began their first 3,300-mile walk across the country, starting at St. Augustine, Fla., and ending at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif.
Nick wrote a book about his first walk, “3,300 Miles for Christ,” published by Xulon Press in 2004. They also have a website,
The second walk, in 2005, started at Philadelphia, Penn., and ended at Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Nick and Lucy’s current walk started at their home in Olathe, Kan.
“We don’t really have an end point,” he said. “We’re going 3,300 miles and see where it takes us.”
They came through the Cedar Creek Lake area from Durant, Okla. While there, Lucy said, they were invited to speak at a Sunday evening service at one of the local churches.
They are planning to proceed through Lufkin to the Houston area, although that may change.
“We never know what we’re doing. We just let God call the shots,” Nick explained. “That seems to work better than my planning.”
As Nick and Lucy wend their way across the country, they often stop and talk at churches of any denomination.
Nick tries to average about 12 to 15 miles a day, depending on the terrain, weather conditions and how many folks he speaks with during the day.
“We find that people are concerned that they’re not good enough,” he said. “We’ve found a lot of people who believe in God, but they think God doesn’t believe in them.
“God’s not just a Sunday thing – it’s an everyday thing,” Nick added. “This country was built on the word of God, and I don’t want us to lose that. We want to encourage people to hold on to the word of God.
“If anyone needs prayer, call us at (913) 940-7116,” he said. “We love to pray with people.”

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