Monday, November 23, 2015

Honor and Praise

Many of you are dreading this Thursday, the day of preparing, cooking and being with 'all those' folks! Many of you are looking forward to the day of the feasting and being with family and friends. 

In looking back over the past few years, I can see all the ways God has truly blessed me and my family. He has protected us from tornadoes, healed us from motorcycle wrecks, blessed us with new babies and even college graduations. Many of you have been a part of this and have prayed along with us during all of these times. 

Why do we designate a day of 'stress' to be thankful? Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated on the last Thursday of November, since declaration by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It was to be day of praise and honor to our Father in heaven. 

Let us look at this a little closer now.... a day to praise and honor our Father in heaven. I am wondering how many of us stop to pray as we rush off to the store to buy all the fixings and baste the turkey one last time? How many of us pray instead of agonize, 'is she going to bring that awful congealed salad again?' 

Being from the south, I by no means want to dampen your beautifully set table, with the flora arrangement so tall, and the candles perfectly placed in their silver candelabras! The beauty can be almost as good as the taste! But, what I am saying is to slow down, everything does not have to be perfect to the point that you are not enjoying it yourself. 

When time comes to sit down for the meal, it seems to happen so quickly, no one remembers who made all this stuff anyway! When the day is over, the kitchen is cleaned and all the leftovers are put away, we realize we had plenty of food and it is finally over.

The purpose of Thanksgiving is just what it says, to praise and honor the Father. You know what? He will remember if we honored Him or not. He will be glorified in all we do, if we do it for Him. 

Don't miss the real blessing of this Thursday by letting this opportunity, declared by Old Abe, slip by. Stop in the middle of the morning, give a little praise to Him. Stop in the middle of stirring that gravy and take a deep breath, thanking Him. Listen to the chatter of those around you, thank Him for them. When you sit down and start to say the blessing over the meal, don't just let someone do it, but pray in your own soul and spirit. Let Him know you are truly thankful for what you have, no matter how little or how great. 

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Rev 4:11

Remember Honor and Praise HIM
Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Is God Telling You Something?

Today's world is so busy, we get so caught up in what we should be doing, where we are going and what we have left to do at the end of the day.Time seems to slip away as we try to fill every moment, like stuffing dressing into a turkey. We want to cram all we can into it and  even then we are not satisfied with the outcome.

When we start our day, do we give God the time He deserves? Do we hurriedly throw our requests and demands at Him like He is a child hurrying off to school? Do we ever pause and listen to what He says? 

Sure we say, "Let Him hear me out and I will listen to Him as I drive to work and get these errands done." Yes, He can speak to you at anytime, but how do we know when it is God that is speaking to us? 

Have you been seeking answers from Him and not knowing for certain which way to go? Do you ever wonder if He is really leading you to go another direction in your life? Is He trying to lead you in an area you have never thought about going?   

How do we know if it is really from God or our own heart desires? 

There are some absolutes, that come from Him in the scriptures, that help us discern His Will and direction in our lives. 

First, when you have prayed and prayed and seemingly have not received and answer from God, go to His Word. Now I don't mean to close your eyes, open the bible and put your finger on a verse and say, "This must be what He wants me to know!" No, open it to some familiar verses to you and study on them, soaking up what the meaning of those verses are, while communication with Him fills your spirit. 

Second, remember God's will for your life is never in contradiction to His word. If we feel we are being lead into a lifestyle or job that will cause us to be in disobedience to Him, then we need to stop and review the situation. I personally feel those things that cause us to be in those situations are temptations and not from God. God's word clearly states that God does not tempt us (James 1:13-14)

Third, I believe there will be some kind of confirmation from God. You will feel a peace and contentment. Oftentimes you may have a verbal confirmation from someone, even a stranger. 

I remember when we were thinking about buying our home, we waited until the realtor left us and we started praying and walking the border of the property. The elderly neighbor came out of his home, carefully maneuvering the yard using his cane. He walked to us and asked if we were going to buy the house. After telling him we were thinking about it, he immediately said, "Every morning, since they put up the 'For Sale' sign, I have knelt by my sofa and prayed for God to send a good family to our neighborhood." Needless to say, we bought the house!  (Ezekiel 33:1-9)

We need to be assured that God will never give us anything that will separate us from Him. God wants us to stay in communication with Him, therefore He wants us to rely on Him to help us through the way. If you think you can't do something without Him, you are probably correct and He will give you the strength and help you need, but you must know it comes from Him!! You must have the faith, for without Him we can do nothing. (John 15:50)

God wants us to be stretched and grow in our walk with Him. He wants us to learn that He is always there for us, speaking through His word, the Spirit and others. We need to seek Him and lean on Him to find His Will in our lives. He does not 'hide' what He wants us to do! He wants to bless us and give us joy in our journey here on earth, so He may be glorified. We can do this only if we do what He is telling us to do! (Hebrews 11:6

Walk boldly in life, knowing the direction you are going is toward God. Let the days go by, fast as they may, with the assurance that He is smiling down and blessing your steps. 



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Memories

Spending this past week with our four children, their spouses and all ten grandchildren, hearing the laughter, seeing the little cousins from around the country playing 'Go Fish' and building sandcastles, reminded me of my summer vacations with my parents. 

When I was little, we would go to Florida, with my aunt, uncle and cousin. We always stopped at the roadside crocodile farms. The Florida orange juice and coconuts were a must for my daddy and Uncle Floyd. Whenever we saw a Stuckey's, we would stop for the famous 'Pecan Rolls' and souvenirs. 

One thing I have observed looking back in time and at this past week: Vacations are times to be enjoyed and spend your hard earned money. If you will look around at these 'hotspots' there are plenty of T Shirt Shops and Coffee Shops, all lurking, to let you do both at the same location. 

But the memories made as the children played in the surf, even getting hit in the head with a paddle boat, are lasting. A fish's spine, a sand dollar, a dove shell were found and even a shark was seen by the children. Every night there were stories to be shared! One night we had a family talent night, with a magic show, a family movie skit, puppets and even the famous bridge back bend from a granddaughter. Another night, we watched old family videos and the children saw their parents as babies, a football player and a young cheerleader. 

The week was packed with adventures of deep sea fishing, golf, ladies spa day, and ice
cream. We came home exhausted, but filled to the brim with thankfulness and gladness. God has blessed us here on this earth with love. 

Our Sunday morning church service on the beach was the biggest highlight of the week. Our youngest son, who is a pastor in KY, baptized our niece and her husband, Lindsay and Blake from AL, in the ocean. It was their public declaration of faith, with people on the beach stopping to watch and sharing the joy of this ordinance of following Christ. Some men removed their hats, ladies bowed in prayer and then everyone within hearing, joined us clapping in jubilation.
It was hard saying our goodbyes, as we all headed out to the different states of AL, SC, FL, IN, and KY, knowing it would be months before we could all be reunited. Late in the day we started receiving texts from them all as they arrived home safely.

Looking back is good, but looking to the future, of times never to end, is even better. Our seven year old grandson said, "I wish we could all live together." My reply to him, "We will one day, in heaven." His smile said it all. The greatness of the future in heaven is like that of a seven year old knowing the joy of memories AND the eternal home that awaits. 

Having Lindsay and Blake's baptism that day, confirmed our joy of being a part of the family of God and knowing we have that home in heaven. 

 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going." John 14:2-4


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Competition in Life

Men seem to be made to be competitive, at least in our family. I blame it on the 'Sanders blood' but it is really just being a man. I am sure God put an extra dose of  'challenge' in their genes! It even reflects in 'my dad can beat up you dad' syndrome.  

Just this morning, Denny and I were talking about it since he is always wanting to share his golf scores, good or bad, with me. To me, a non sportswoman, a game is just a game, a time for fun and fellowship. Men do not understand this I guess. 

The first of June our grandchildren came to our house and the four younger ones, ages 5-7, were playing Old Maids. I noticed the 'Old Maid' card lying on the table beside the sofa. When I saw the doomed card sitting there, I asked them about it. The six year old granddaughter said, "Nana, when Haleigh (age 5) drew the card, she started to cry, so we decided to take it out and let her draw again." The way they figured it, no one needed to 'lose' but whoever got rid of all their cards would 'win'. Now I must say, to be little children (my sweet grands!) they were pretty smart to figure this out on their own. 

When folks had babies, they taught them to 'share' but somewhere our world has changed. People have grown up to be greedy people, not only with things and money, but greedy with no respect to others. 

We notice it in public places, meetings, private homes and yes, even in church. We have actually had someone ask a visitor to move out of their pew! I thought this was just a joke, but believe me it does happen. If you slip into an open parking place and not see someone heading toward it, you may be committing suicide. We rarely see anyone helping others in public places anymore. 

Keep this in mind when you are waiting patiently (or impatiently) in line at the store and someone comes up to cut line. What about road rage when someone cuts in front of you? We need to be mindful of who we are and set the example Christ put before us.
"In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets" - See more at:

Philppians 2:3-4
  "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."

When others disagree, think before you speak. Is it worth a debate? I believe is standing up for what is right, but arguing rarely wins, it usually is like the Old Maid card, a loss. 

Be wise with your actions and your words, let others know you are a child of the King. 

Remember the Golden Rule of Matt 7:12:

  “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."


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It comes straight from the Lord our God, who led Paul to write: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" - See more at:
It comes straight from the Lord our God, who led Paul to write: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3–4) - See more at:

It comes straight from the Lord our God, who led Paul to write: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3–4) - See more at:

It comes straight from the Lord our God, who led Paul to write: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3–4) - See more at:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

No Bucket List, Just FIRSTS!

There were a lot of 'firsts' in my life. Some I recall with whimsical smiles, others with sheer terror and then there are some I would like to forget. Most of the time, in my childhood, I was taught how to do the 'firsts' with the help of Mother or Daddy. 

Some of you will find it hard to believe, but I remember the first time my mother taught me how to "Make a bunny rabbit's ear with this shoe string, then wrap the other string around and tuck it in the hole." Tying my shoes, before velcro straps, took several attempts, all with mother nearby. 

Then, there was the day of the first bicycle ride. We never heard of training wheels, just daddy running along behind me holding on to the seat. He would eventually let go, I would ride a few feet, realize he wasn't there and over I would go. We did this up and down our neighbor's grassy backyard. They came out to watch and cheer as we went from one side of the yard to the other. I never did figure out if they were cheering for me or seeing my daddy run! But, then came the elated moment of the first trip across the yard all by myself! I did it!! 

Skip a few years to the hay field, where I first learned to drive the tractor and then the truck. I was only 13 years old and with daddy's help again, I managed to make it to the barn without losing a bale! Up and down the field I would drive, stopping to let the men throw the hay on the wagon as I tip-toed to hold the brake steady. They would then tell me to swing wide to make the turn. I was turning another 'first' and then backing into the barn was a real challenge, but with their help, I managed. 

My mother, being a good southern cook, taught me several things in the kitchen. One day she was going to show me how to make 'sausage gravy' because she knew my future husband loved it. The first thing, was to remember to use a seasoned cast iron skillet. Well, after adding flour to the grease, she said I had too much and needed to add a little grease. Then she told me it was too much grease, add a little flour. This continued until I had to get another cast iron skillet out and we had two, overflowing skillets of gravy! She laughed as she said, "This is a first, I have never made so much gravy!" She then went on to add that she sure hoped Denny liked gravy a lot, because he was going to have plenty! 

Firsts are still happening in my life today. Some people have bucket lists, I like 'firsts.' Bucket lists are for folks who think they must do something before they die. I like to think I always have another day for a 'first.' 

When we give life a chance and look back, we can either let a 'first' just happen, or we can pursue it. Sometimes we may do both, meet a new friend and go to lunch with them. This could make for a lasting friendship. 

I know life will come to an end, here on earth, and I don't care about a bucket list that may be only partially completed. When I step into heaven, that will be a 'first!' When I see the face of Jesus, that will be a 'first!' I will see Moses and Jacob, that will be a 'first!' I could go on and on for eternity doing 'firsts' and never tire of it. 

For today, I am looking for my first. It may be a phone call to a sick friend or a visit that should be done. A card that should be sent, or a simple thing as a smile at the store at a stranger. Firsts are waiting to happen!

When we do our first, let us be mindful that others are seeing us as representatives of Jesus. He may have done this before, but for you, it may be your 'first.' 

Ephesians 5:1 
"Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children."

As you go about your day, what 'first' are you going to do today, tomorrow and next week? 

Think about it! 

P.S. This is the first time I have written about this!! 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Life is Hard, Dying is Easy

The other evening we were sitting out on our southern, screened back porch enjoying the cool breeze that drifted through. We were watching the glow of the redness of the clouds, as they blocked the view of the setting sun. It was a peaceful time at the end of a busy day. 

What had began as a slow morning, with a simple cup of coffee kind of day, ended up being one of emotions spent and grief looming. 

Someone had drown in the lake close to our home and we were called to be with the family by the local sheriff's department. The family and friends were gathering at the marina, searching for clues and answers as the rescue team was searching for the body. 

How do you give hope in the time of crisis? How do you give comfort in difficult times? 

As we were sitting on the porch, I heard birds singing that evening. They were still in the trees, but yet were singing at the end of the day. 

This had been a busy day for God's creatures as well, looking for food for the little ones in the nest, but the day had ended for them. They were singing, welcoming the night and getting ready for a new day. 

Life can be difficult. Life can be hard. Life itself comes and it goes, often much to quickly. 

The father of the man who drown said some powerful words to me, words I will never forget. As I sat there with him, trying to give him comfort, he said to me, " We have it all mixed up here on this earth. Life is hard, dying is easy." This wise gentleman was a Christian, he knew the Lord as his Savior. He had hope of seeing his son again. Nothing else needed to be said. 

Words of wisdom from an elderly gentleman, spoken from the heart, was what gave a song to my spirit. The hope that was needed for a new day, was spoken moments after they recovered the body of his son. God has a way to ease things in our life, but let us not forget, He is our hope for tomorrow...whether it is in the living or the dying. 

Enjoy the day you have today, it may be hard, but with Him we will get through it. 

Living is hard, dying is easy.

"So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord."
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 ESV


Monday, June 8, 2015

What is Life?

These past few weeks we have had a female cardinal pecking away at the windows of our home. Not just one window, but windows in the rooms we happen to be in at the time. She moves from one end of the house to the other as we go about our lives. If I opened the window, I think she would come right in and sit with us. This beautiful creation, with the brightest orange beak you ever saw, has spent her days being busy and not accomplishing anything. 

The Webster's Dictionary describes life as "having an existence" and it says nothing about time itself. Life on earth, I now realize, is in the realm of time. It comes, lives, and dies. 

When I was a young girl, on more than one occasion, my mother said to me, "Life goes by faster the older you get." I am starting to realize what she was speaking about when she said this. Time does not speed up, but the business of our lives takes up more time.

Life as a youngster, in the summers on the farm, was the lazy, hazy days of being in those dreadful hay fields or the wonderful long days spent on the river fishing with my dad.  Those days were the hottest days in the hayfield and they seem to last forever. However, the days on the river were the best and I remember thinking they were the longest, even time for a nap now and then.

This past week we had our youngest grandchild here at the age of 5 months. She, of course, is the best baby, but she is growing so quickly. I look around and our children are not little anymore, but are all grown up with children of their own. It is times like these I remember mother's words of time passing faster as we get older. 

Life itself is a time to enjoy, breathing in every breath the good Lord has given us here on this earth. Take the time to slow down and enjoy those moments of laughter with family and friends. We need to let folks know we care about them, for one day they won't be here with us and we will remember how fast time goes. 

Do we spend the days idly pecking at the windows of life or do we spend it fulfilling what God has us to do, that which is glorifying to Him? This little bird is doing what it knows to do, but it does make me wonder why it does not leave and go to a nest somewhere. Is it trying to figure out what life is all about? That is what a lot of people do, flit around like a bird, trying to figure out life and what it is all about. Then they realize, time has passed and their lives are about over.  

One thing I do know is that life is eternal. Life may be just as a speck of time here on this earth, but it lasts for eternity. We need to figure out why we are here on this earth and get busy before our time has run out. 

Matt 6:25  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?"