Lake Life

& Such

BNI (Business Network International) - Cedar Creek Professionals - meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Comfort Suites, located at U.S. Hwy. 175 and TX 198 in Mabank. For more information, call Larry Williams (903) 887-2847 or
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.
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 info, 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.
Celebrate Recovery meets each Friday at Rope, Catch & Ride Church in Mabank, located at 570 VZ CR 2807. For more info, call (903) 603-8051.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For info, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
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 #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
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more info, call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
GriefShare Recovery support group meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. Call (903) 887-0293 for more information.
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.
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 info, 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.
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) meets at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church of Athens. Call (903) 489-0563 or (903) 675-2600.
Trinity Valley Community College Band meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the TVCC band hall. Group is open to any community member who plays an instrument. Call (903) 675-6222 for info.
Trinity Valley Singles Support Group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Athens First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lovers Lane. This is a support group for singles of all ages. For more info, call Jean Love at (903) 451-4697 or Donna Stinson (903) 675-7270.


An artist for hire
Newcomer forges new life in East Texas
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–What brings people to Texas? There are probably as many stories as there are people who move here, but a common theme is the forging of a new life out of the old one.
Take a certain young man with a passion for art. He moved to Texas three years ago and to Cedar Creek Lake coming up on a year now.
Since arriving here, he has focused his artist’s eye and skill to enliven the halls, youth lobby and youth worship areas of the Christian Life Center Church in Gun Barrel City with visual messages of God’s love. ArtistDinos.jpg (219130 bytes)

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Long-vanished dinosaurs, such as the T-Rex, roar back to life in paintings by artist Michael McPheeters.

He has also turned the bedrooms of some area children into their own very special places.
He can change an ordinary new door into one with a long history of wear and tear, gouged messages and signs of having endured the childhood of several children. He can turn a plywood floor into the richest wood planks or into granite or marble tiles using just a few shades of paint and a brush.
Michael McPheeters is practiced in the art of illusion, and can’t remember a time in his childhood when he was without a sketch of some sort in progress.
ArtistShark.jpg (194533 bytes)

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Whimsical scenes from popular movies illustrate the church's children's program called Big Splash.

He came from Hollywood, Calif., of all places, where he spent 10 years in the film industry, building sets, painting scenery and designing some of the fantasy we have come to expect when we visit a movie theater.
“Michael’s art is just incredible,” Pastor Barry Boatright told The Monitor.
“He has brought “Adventure Bay” to life for our children’s program, and the job he did on the youth Retro Lounge is just over the top. He has so many creative ideas which we’ve been using in a variety of ways to fuel excitement and show the relevence of God’s love in today’s visual images.
“We’re a very visual people now, and his skills are helping us re-establish the importance of the visual arts in our church.”
Boatright added that the message of McPheeters’ life also shines light on God’s power to redeem.
While in Hollywood, McPheeters fell into the fast pace, hard work, loose living and selfish ambition, which resulted in his going from the “top of the heap” in tinsel town to the bottom.
“That’s when I got help,” McPheeters said.
His road to recovery led him to Gun Barrel City, Lubbock, and back to Gun Barrel City and to his volunteering with recovering drug addicts at The House of Isaiah.
“I had to leave there to get cleaned up,” he said.
Now at 32, McPheeters said the move was also necessary so he could grow spiritually, and come to terms with his father’s cancer death when McPheeters was just a child.
“My dad was what you’d call a ‘Jesus Freak.’ His whole life was about praising God and telling others about God’s love and my mother’s gift has always been hospitality and after his death she kept exercising her gift,” he said.
“I guess I was rebelling against God,” he said. “Before, I was just going to be famous, not really knowing how. But now it’s all changed. Now, I know my art is a gift, and I want to use it to help others find the same hope I have.
“It’s not just abstinence from drugs, it’s the freedom from slavery, and that to me is everything,” he added. He said his conscience plagued him so much that it became a burden to not do right.
The Tool resident says one of the biggest changes he noticed when first coming to Texas was the quiet.
“No sirens blaring through the night, no traffic sounds or loud music. Being in Texas helped me to slow down and think seriously about my life and art,” he said.
Though someday he can see himself returning to Hollywood, where his mother, Judy, lives, he plans on doing so on his own terms.
Part of those terms includes possessing a college degree in art. He will return to school in Dallas in January to start working part-time on that cherished goal.
In the meantime, he’s always looking for work. He’s really good at rooms with a theme for an event or bedroom or play room.
Most recently, he designed a Jurassic age scene for a boy’s room.
He says he can paint murals, repair and spruce up signs, design logos, do foam sculptures, design with modern art, create faux finishes and do plain old commercial and residential painting.
“I meet deadlines, do quality work and give accurate pricing,” he said. “I’ll also work with people to meet their (financial) needs.” He can be reached by phone at (310) 740-1240 or by e-mail at michaelj
He has other goals too, among them to start an art ministry for inner city kids to help them process the violence and hurts they have had to endure.
“When a child creates art, it’s not what it looks like – it’s how it makes him or her feel,” he said.
He also wouldn’t mind finding the right woman to be his wife. Hmmm. But that’s another story.


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