Friday, December 5, 2014

Remember and Smile

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about smells and sounds that take you back to another time, usually a time that can only be revisited in your mind. Most of the time these are sweet memories that make us smile at the pictures in our heads. Other times these moments of remembrance can be a cruel reminder of a time best forgotten.

All it took was a word yesterday to set my teeth on edge. Soon after I curled up in a fetal position and cried myself to sleep. That won't happen again. I will be prepared next time,

But this morning it was a different sound that piqued my memories. I have been away from home for a few days, so the morning sounds are different. I sat by a window five stories up, and as I drank my morning coffee I heard this far away, lonesome sound of a train whistling its way past the byways and through this southern city.

Oh, how I love that sweet, lonesome sound! I am immediately taken to my childhood, visiting my grandmother in a southern Texas town. She lived just two blocks from a railroad track, and at night when all was still, in my bed, I would listen to the many trains passing through, whistling its warning as it passed over the street. I loved being at grandma's house, so this sound remains sweet and precious in my mind and heart.

I have other memories that sounds and smells trigger. What triggers your memories? Is it the smell of burning leaves, a warm summer rain, the sight of hollyhocks along the side of a road? Don't neglect those precious thoughts that take you back. It's good to remember and smile.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nobody Likes To Lose

                                               James Tiberius Kirk        "Star Trek"        


Some people will do anything to win, even cheat. Most of us as children gave cheating a try with hidden notes or glancing across the aisle at someone's paper. But losing or failing hurts so bad for some that they will go to great lengths to overcome the obstacle. By the time we reach adulthood we should be over the cheating mentality, but, in actuality, that's when many have ingrained it so deeply in their character that it is just second nature. 

What is it about losing that is so detestable, and why do many parents teach that winning is everything, and losing is, well, nothing? Isn't there anything about losing that could be considered positive? I doubt that anyone will ever come to a mindset that they enjoy losing, or they look forward to losing. But I believe there is much to learn from it.

It is just a fact that in competition of any kind there will be a winner and a loser. The winner takes the trophy. The loser is mostly forgotten. But when a competitor reaches the final cut and ends up coming in second, this is a very notable accomplishment indeed. Yet, the pain and heart break from the second place "winner" is obvious, and some will completely break down after the fact. Note the 300 pound, muscular college football player sitting on the loser's bench at the end of a championship game with tears streaming down his face, or his head buried in a towel. He's inconsolable. He and his team were so good at their sport that they reached the finals and were notably one of the two best teams. Yet their hearts are broken. Should we teach ourselves to consider a loss in a different light, less painful, less distasteful, and a great learning and self-improvement tool? Maybe.

Let's get this straight. It's okay to be sorry if you lost. It's okay to be very sorry if you came in last. But, it is a very prideful thing to think that you should always be the winner. It is selfish, indeed, to not be happy for the winner when it's not you. I should be disappointed, and I know I could have done better, perhaps, but graciousness in losing is rare, and frankly, admirable.

I really like what Michael Jordan has said about losing. He has worked hard, and is arguably the best basketball player ever to play the game, and he regards the times that he failed to be some of his best teachers. Learning to win is easy, though we should be gracious in that, as the well. But, when we learn to lose with honor and thankfulness at what we have experienced, I believe the possibilities are endless in what we can accomplish in future. This applies to our jobs, school, relationships, and endless more places in our lives.

I have applied this thinking to my walk with Jesus Christ. He has forgiven me, saved me from eternal separation from God, and still I fall down. I know how to walk in Christ, but sometimes I make wrong choices, and sometimes, like a little child, I disobey. I could give up and quit because I failed Him, but I look at what and why my failure happened, I note what I can change, and I move on. 

Learning from the mistakes that make us losers make us just like Michael Jordan; it makes us winners. Celebrate your mistakes, they're part of the solution. Celebrate second place, it makes you one of the best. Teach your children how to lose.

******It should be noted here that, as much as I admire the accomplishments of Michael Jordan, I am of the opinion that Larry Bird is by far the very best pro-basketball player......ever. Just saying.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

God Is Real

Some say there is no God, Jesus is not God, there is no Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. If they're right, I wish they would explain what happened to me after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior 30 years ago. My life changed instantly. I was no longer the mean-spirited person I had been for years. I no longer wanted everything for ME. I wanted to please God, and I became thankful for what Christ has done for me. 

Consequently, my attitudes changed, my focus changed. My life at first took a turn for the worse because satan was fighting for me. But I stayed faithful, and so did God. My life today is happy, joyful, contented, peaceful. I have a loving and devoted husband who has changed his life as well. 

I'm not perfect by a long shot. But I will be when He gets done with me and takes me home. If there is no God, what has happened, and what have I lost in this lifetime? I've lost bitterness and a life of sin and guilt and anger and a filthy personal reputation. I've benefited in my decision, even if there is no God. But I know there is a God because of my life. He has worked miracles that would have been impossible by my own doing. 

I know Who He is, and I know who I am IN HIM. My life and my faith are the answers to those who scoff at my faith in God the Creator of everything. If you believe, you have the same story to tell. God IS real!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Wrong Man Resigned

Today's headline: "Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Is Resigning "

If you don't totally agree with this POTUS, if you embarrass him in any small way, you might as well pack your bags. He won't tolerate even the smallest acts of insubordination. 

On the other hand, he shouldn't tolerate it, Even if he is inept and has no idea what he is doing, he must command total support of his ineptness. 

It's been obvious from the very beginning that Chuck Hagel was not up to the task of Secretary of Defense, and for that reason he was nominated, and because he would be easy to control by his boss. That's the one fact that he didn't live up to. Hagel actually disagreed with this administration and its handling of ISIS, and that's what got him the boot. Even if you are correct and wanting to protect your country from evil danger, you just must never embarrass and disagree with this president. 

Unfit for the job as Chuck Hagel is, the wrong man has resigned. Again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Christmas Gift

Oh bother. Christmas is taking over the masses and markets already, and my blood pressure rises. I love what Christmas represents, so I will acknowledge it in that way. But as for the presents, I have an idea that I'll share, though I know it's not for everyone. I still think it's a good idea. 

How about not buying the popular junk that will be hawked constantly for the next two months on all the television and radio stations. I like the idea of making something very special and personal as a gift. You may think you can't make anything, but there are hundreds of ideas that are wonderful gifts that even a beginner can make. Google can help. Research all over the web for crafty or food ideas. Ask your friends for their ideas. 

My favorite idea this year is for considering the economy and giving the adult families gift certificates to their favorite grocery or their favorite clothing store, department store, and a really good idea, their favorite gas station. Make your gifts practical and helpful, not something they'll use once and then store in some closet or the basement. 

You probably can't do this for the kids, but I really think we can be more practical for them as well. Consider that less is really better. I used to go way overboard with all the family. I was impractical and so wrong. I have always hated gift certificates, but now I believe it is the very best gift because there could be less waste. 

I also have scratched a lot of people off my gift list. Spending money on everybody I come in contact with is wasteful, and it only encourages them to waste their money buying me a small gift....that I'll never use. Give me a jar of homemade preserves instead. Now that's a nice gift! 

If you need ideas go to pinterest where you'll find hundreds of ideas. Last year I made homemade soaps and lotions for my family and put them in cheap mason jars with ribbons. These were wonderful gifts and very appreciated. Christmas can be so much more meaningful and happy if we fill it with personalized joy and not run our credit cards up so high it could take us until next Christmas to pay off. I want a more peaceful and Christ-centered holiday this year. I want to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, read the Christmas story from Luke to the kids, and be able to breathe easy in January when the white sales start.

That will be my Christmas gift this year that I will cherish the most. God bless us, every one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm Learning As I Go Crazy

Frustration is a very good emotional tool that the enemy tries to use to make me crazy and then sin. But it won't work. (hehe.) I have God's word to tap into. You know the one I use....2 Cor 10:4.....and then I can get through it. Good thing, because I almost lost it with a couple of customer service reps in India this morning.

Why is it that companies use people that they know I can't understand? sheesh. They are so kind and sweet and professional. They are SUPER polite, and I'm sure they would be helpful if I could just understand them!

Finally i got put through to JoAnn in North Carolina that had the thickest NC accent you've ever heard. I understood every word she said. But she couldn't help me. Finally i got Mary. Mary must be an angel that God sent down to help me because it was one of the most pleasant, easy, efficient, and quick conversations I've ever had with a customer service agent. Thank You, Father. I really appreciate it.

By the way.... I go through this every month with this company. Well, at least for the last four or five months. So, God is definitely out to train me to KEEP CALM and RECITE 2 COR 10:4. I'm learning. 
But as usual, the hard way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Walking in Truth

Proverbs 26
27 Malice backfires;
spite boomerangs.
28 Liars hate their victims;
flatterers sabotage trust.
from The Message
Lies come so easily, and yet, when we're caught in them we look so foolish, and our witness for Christ is totally destroyed. When we live our life in Him there is no room for deceit or hidden motives. Truth stands on its own, and everything to do with Christ is Truth. Walk in Truth.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blessings in Obedience

I made the trip one more time.  How many times I had walked down this aisle to the altar I don't know, but I knew that I had to do something different this time or all would be for nothing, again.  So many times I asked Him for help.  And I just didn't see any results.

Things at home were in shambles.  I was in a terrible marriage with a man who was determined to make my life and the lives of my children miserable.  I woke up every morning wondering what he would do that day, and what could I do to protect my children and myself.  Why didn't I leave him?  Why couldn't I get out of this marriage?  Every time I asked those questions God would say, "I want you to stay."  

So, I would go to the altar again to ask God to take this burden from me.  And each time I would get up from the altar to return home and try to manipulate my husband to make things easier, better. 

But his time it was different.  As I walked I was discretely clutching my fists, as if holding something firmly in my palms.  And I knelt.  "Father, help me!"  I prayed.  "I am completely worn out with all this fighting and misery.  Yet I know how I am.  I know that I will ask you to take this burden from me, and then I will go back to living in the same way, trying to change things by myself.  Lord, I am completely useless without You!  With all my heart I ask you to take it!  And don't let me keep it!"

As I spoke I turned my fists over and opened my hands as if to drop something on the altar.

"Take this from me, Lord, because I don't want to leave from this place with it.  I don't want to deal with this anymore.  Father, take it, and I will know that it is in Your hands, and I will let You handle everything.  Only You can change him, I can do nothing.  Thank You, I trust You with this."

That morning I put my problems in God's able hands, and I left them there.  Life was still hard, but little by little I began to see little improvements, small changes in his behavior.  Moment by moment my God was working to create a marriage that I had never dreamed it could be.

Today my husband is a godly man who serves Christ and loves Him.  I think of myself as the happiest woman on earth married to a loving man who treats me like I'm a queen.  It took us years of work, years of prayer and forgiveness, years of me changing as well as my husband, but when God instructed me to stay I obeyed, and He has blessed me for my obedience.  I shudder to think where I would be today if I had not obeyed.  God knew best in this situation as He does in all our lives, and it is a wise person who listens and obeys Him.

Life Is A Rose

Edith Piaf ~ La Vie en Rose / La Vida en Rosa 1955 (Original)

Garrison Keillor, creator of "The Prairie Home Companion", has quoted his imaginary mother from Lake Wobegon as saying, "Life is what you make it". Life can dish out all kinds of blessings and plights, and it's up to us to "Make the best of it."

Has life dealt you a hand of jokers and dueces? Then consider the jokers to be wild, and use them to create a winning hand. Is your life a series of happy days and calm, lovely nights? Be thankful, and share your blessed life with someone who needs a lift.

There are thorns and brambles in every life. I have a garden full of thorny weeds and unwanted creepers. Pulling them out requires a fine pair of leather gloves for my protection, and then it's a lot of hard, back-breaking work. Sometimes I get scratched up pretty badly. When I sit back and do nothing they take over the garden. Even my roses have prickly thorns that attack me when I am careless.

But if I work hard at a steady pace I can overpower the ugliness that tries to hide my pretty flowers. I have the same opportunity in life. I have the Power of a living God, Jesus Christ, to work the miracles in my life that weed out the unwanted. What I cannot weed out, I can endure because I have His love and wisdom and strength that empowers me.

Life is definitely a rose, or as the song says "Life is Pink", when I allow Christ in it. Some may see it as looking at life through rose-colored glasses, but I see the thorns, and I choose not to touch them. I can endure the presence of the thorns when I am guided through them with the Holy Spirit Who protects me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Positive Prayer for the Enemy

Our church has been studying Saul of Tarsus in chapter 9 of Acts, and Luke says in the Greek language that Saul was "panting" to remove all the Christians from the face of the earth. I interpret that in my vernacular as "foaming at the mouth". Does this sound familiar? ISIS is saying that very thing today, and we are fearful and worried for those Christians and even for our own safety here.

But, what Jesus did for Saul He can do for all of ISIS, all who threaten our safety and lives. Christ can change, in an instant, what and who we see as impossibly lost. I keep telling myself over and over that Jesus can "arrest" and "transform" the lives of those here in the US whom I consider to be enemies of the gospel of Christ and the thieves of my freedoms, and ISIS as well. I wonder if I would stop worrying, fussing, and even hating those enemies of Jesus Christ, and pause constantly to pray fervently for their souls, if Jesus would intervene and grab them to Himself. Of course He can! Our war is not physical. It's spiritual! Shouldn't we be "panting" as much and extraordinarily more, in fervent prayer for the salvation of these physical enemies? 

This story of Saul in Acts 9 is a great one on which we should focus in our world today, for it is one of the greatest reminders of what God can do in desperate situations, if we would just ask Him and trust that He will do it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's Personal

"'Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be Thou my helper.'"  Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness; That my soul may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to Thee forever." Psalm 30: 10-12 NASB

This morning I discovered a major setback in my physical health, and I am pretty discouraged. As my husband Ron says, "It's always something with you." It seems like we can just get things in our life settled, and then something major happens to set us back. You all know that feeling, don't you?

But then, while doing my devotions, I was just overwhelmed with my precious Father's love for me.  A number of times it humbled me to tears.  He is reminding me that in Him there is a peace, joy and comfort that no disease, no evil power, no person can take from me.  He is mine and I am His....Blessed Be His Name!

My relationship with my Father is so very private and personal that no one can ever understand what this really feels like to me. The words He speaks to me cannot effect you in the same way it does me. He, and only He, knows what I need to hear.  The same is true in your relationship with Him. You can try to explain it to me, but the depth of it can never be experienced by me.  When you or I spend time with Him it's always private; it's always personal.  And best of all, He's always there, patiently waiting for us to come to Him.

Just as I am, broken and discouraged, I come.

My Worst Days

I have been at death's door twice, suffered terrible illness and great pain from physical wounds and surgeries gone terribly wrong. I have seen disappointments and great financial loss. I have lost family and friends to relocation or death. I have had days where I lost hope and saw little reason to continue on. But some of the worst days of my life have been those times that I have failed and disappointed the ones that I love and who love me.

Friday, May 23, 2014


I spent last evening with another dog. I know. I should be ashamed, but she was such a nice and beautiful dog I just couldn't help myself.

When I got home it was late, and I was greeted at the door by 4 very suspicious dogs. They sniffed and they poked to the point I could hardly get in the door. I stopped to pet each one, but they all sniffed and looked at me with sad, accusing eyes.

"What have you done?" their eyes shouted. They wouldn't leave my side for a long time, and I finally vowed to them it would never happen again. They believed me, silly animals. But, oh. I feel like a hussy.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We've Got the Power!

4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10. NIV

I have to apply this to my life daily, sometimes more than once. Followers of Christ must fight against what this world can do to us; tempted to hate, to mentally destroy, to use crass and vulgar language which can become one of the biggest hindrances to our witness. These can cause bad attitudes and pride in our own opinions, and we need to recognize how ugly these are to our Father. Pray and resist, and use the weapons of the divine powers with which we have been gifted.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Daddy's Lap

I didn't grow up with a godly father. He was angry and bitter at God for allowing the fatal accident of his son in a horrible farm accident and also the death of my sister soon after she was born. Words were never spoken by him in my presence, but my mother often tried to explain to me all the emotional trauma that he oftentimes experienced mainly through nightmares.  Many, many nights mom and I would hold him, rocking him in our arms, crying with him, trying to comfort him after these violent interruptions of sleep. But comfort really never came for him.  The mental suffering of this haunted man was unimaginable.

Dad never went to church except for funerals.  He wasn't about to give God the satisfaction of thinking He would ever be forgiven for what dad believed God had taken from him. But mom and I were in church every Sunday.  If there was any talk about not attending church my dad nixed that immediately.  He wasn't going, but he saw to it that we went.

However, my dad was the type of man in whose lap I was always welcome. Even as a teen, I  could climb up in my daddy's lap, and he would cuddle and love me profusely. He died when I  was 18, and for 19 yrs I  had no lap to crawl into. When I came to Christ at age 37, I  realized the love of my Creator/Father. My earthly dad had taught me that I would be welcome to climb up into my heavenly Father's grasp and bask in His loving arms.

Daddy wasn't perfect, but I knew his never-ending love for me and finally recognized that love in my eternal Father.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I always try to look at all sides of any situation, but, often I find I have developed a pride about it.  Thank you, Father, for loving me enough to humble me and show me that too often I don't look at all sides at all, but I believe I know all the answers, and there is only one answer, and I have it. I pray that you will do whatever it takes to create in me a humble spirit. And, I will be careful to give you glory and honor in all that You do.  amen.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Looking Deeper

The day I came to Christ is forever ingrained in my memory.  It started out like any other day and ended being the best day of my life.  Nothing in this world can happen to a person that is more wonderful than having someone save your life.  Christ had done that for me by allowing Himself to be sacrificed on the cross for me, and that day He revealed Himself to me and snatched me out of the grip of evil to live eternally with Him praising the Father.  But, as clean as He is, as holy and spotless and without flaw as He is when I accepted His gift I was hardly fit to be presented to a King.

When I met Jesus on that Saturday morning I wreaked of cigarette smoke, and many times I smelled like a brewery.  My attire was hardly appropriate for meeting the world, let alone the Father.  Most people knew I wore my jeans too tight, and I showed way too much of my body.  I was a mother of three, but that made me all the more proud of a trim body and all the more eager to flaunt it.  Probably the most unattractive thing about me was the language that spewed out of my mouth along with my rebellious attitude about anyone or anything that went against what I wanted.  I was sitting on the throne, and no one, nothing, could make me get off.  But, that day God showed me that in my heart I really wanted Him there on that throne, and all I wanted was to serve Him and love Him for the rest of my days.

But I wonder what would have become of me if Jesus had come to me that morning and said, "Oh, my.  I don't want you.  You smell.  You can't come into my kingdom dressed like that, smelling like that, with those filthy words spilling out of your mouth.  If you want to come into My house you are going to have to clean up first, or I won't accept you in.  Your disgusting manners are unacceptable for my presence."  If Jesus had set those rules I would never have come to Him and learned to love Him as much as I do today. Praise His Name!

When we look at people with such a critical eye and tell them we don't want them because of the way they dress or how they smell we are rebelling against the very center of God's will for us which is loving others, accepting them where they are and showing them the true and pure love of God the Father.  When we tell our children that they are not acceptable because of the color or length of their hair, that they must wear what we want them to wear instead of allowing them to dress in their weird fashions and colors, and when we criticize them for all the things that they do that makes us shake our heads and sometimes even turn away in disgust then how are they going to know that love is unconditional as the love of God is?  If we don't allow them in who is going to tell them about Jesus?

Yes, we must have rules for safety and order, but so many of the things we nag at others about are just little things compared to showing them the love and acceptance of God.  Let's stop growling at the appearances of people and look farther, deeper to the lost soul who needs our friendship.  Let's not worry so much about the men pulling their pants up and be much more concerned with their souls. I wonder how you looked to Him the day He saved your life.