Monday, December 7, 2015

Is He Here Yet?

While growing up, my dad was a police officer and worked the 4-11 shift and usually got home around midnight. On Christmas Eve, my mother would help us put out cookies and milk for Santa and then hurry us off to bed. Usually I would try to stay awake as long as possible, so I could hear Santa when he arrived. I was always hoping to just get a peek at him and our new toys. No matter how hard I tried, I never could stay awake for long.

But I do remember on one occasion, I heard a noise. What was that? I sat straight up in bed and rubbing my eyes asked, "Who's there?" It was my daddy coming in the front door. After realizing it was him, in my sleepy, childlike voice, I anxiously asked him, "Daddy, has Santa come yet?" He took his flashlight out of his policeman's belt and shined it all under the tree, so from my bed I could see there was nothing there. He said, "Go back to sleep honey, old Saint Nick's cookies are still here and there's nothing under the tree." 

Disappointed, I lay my head back down on my pillow and squinched up my eyes so I could go to sleep quickly. The sooner I got to sleep, the sooner morning would come. 

Looking back at this time of being anxious for Santa, I now can compare that night and feeling with the anxiousness I now have as a Christian waiting on the return of Christ. The excitement of knowing, without a doubt, He is going to return far exceeds the excitement in a child's heart of waiting on Santa. 

As a Christian, I can compare my life with that same little child of long ago. Yes, I had chores to get done, my mama made sure there were plenty of them. There were manners that were expected, the 'yes mams' and the 'no sirs' were not options at my house. From early childhood I remember being told to be of good character, because you belong to this home and we expect nothing less, that people would talk about you...good or bad...and it better be good. 

Aren't these things paralleling my childhood with my life as a Christian? God does not expect us to sit and do nothing for Him as we wait the return of Christ. He expects us to act like children of the King, with good character, because we belong to Him. Yes, people may talk about you, but hadn't you rather it be that you are reflecting Christ than one who has never met the Savior? 

As we experience the excitement of the Christmas season, let us reflect on the return of Christ. His birth was splendorous thing long ago. His death on the cross for our sins was for our forgiveness and mercy. His resurrection was nothing short of a miracle for us to live eternally. His soon returning to take us to our heavenly home is expected and foretold. 

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:3

May we all get into the Christmas spirit this year, that of a child of the King, not looking for Santa, but looking for our Savior. I can feel the excitement in the air! I can feel His Presence in my very soul! Look up, not for a sleigh, but for the Savior! He is not a myth, but the very One and only reason to celebrate! 

"So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" Matt 24:44

Merry Christmas!! 


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?"


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Whew, It Is Over!

Yes, Mother's Day has come and gone, at least for another year.

How do I word this so I don't seem like an old crab? Well, here goes...hang on for my true feelings are going to come out. 

Mother's Day for many, many, many folks is not a happy day. Things in our world have changed since the card company came up with this 'brilliant' idea of Mother's Day to sell cards. There are mothers who have had children pass away, children who have had mothers pass away. I was just talking to a young girl a couple of weeks ago, her mother is addicted to drugs and now the young girl has moved in with her aunt for safety reasons. Several of us have mothers who have been deceased for many years, even though I am at peace about where she is, I am encouraged by the world to celebrate her life she had here on earth. We are told to wear 'white' roses if they are dead and 'red' ones if they are alive. Excuse me, but I like yellow roses actually!

My heart hurts when we attend church to honor mothers and young childless couples are sitting there. We were one of those couples once. It hurts and you try to hide the pain when they have all the mothers stand. No one notices, nor do they care. 

Families have suffered through divorce and the children are divided. No one is wanting to recognize that situation. It just depends on who gets the children on the holiday. 

Why does life itself need to be so cruel? Why is there pain when we should be happy? Even those that participate and celebrate have memories of family and friends who are hurting. Do we try to mask the pain? Or are we actually creating more pain? Do we ever think about who may be hurting? Should we care? 

Now don't get me wrong, I loved having my four children write, call and even facebook me with sweet and loving words. There are many mothers out there that are 'worthy to be praised' but none of us are the Proverbs 31 lady! 

Even though it is special to be remembered on 'one' day, it is more special to know they call or write because they WANT to, not because they 'need' to or 'have to' on a holiday. I love it when I receive a spontaneous phone call from one of the children or grandchildren just because they were thinking of me. 

My little 6 year old granddaughter likes to call and say her scripture verses to me! Now that will bless your heart! 

Mothers are special in God's eyes. God chose Mary to be the mother of His coming Son. The Son that would become her own Savior! The pain Mary went through, the ridicule she possibly had during the pregnancy, may have been one of the reasons she visited Elizabeth.Luke 1:39-45
Then, as this young mother watched her son grow, she had to realize he was special. Even if he told her what was to happen, she would not have been able to fully comprehend the pain and suffering of her child. 

We do know that Jesus recognized and loved his mother. Even from the cross, he looked down and showed his love and compassion for her, he wanted to make sure she was cared for by someone. He said,"Behold your mother!" John 19:25-29 

Mothers are jewels to behold, but let us not forget those who do not have that privilege. To each of you who are glad this day is over, I agree. 

But I am thankful for one thing, which is I do have a Father who loves me, who sent His Son, Jesus, to die for me.
So for no other reason, it was a day to celebrate! 

Thank you for allowing me to rant a bit today, but I just can't imagine I am the only one that feels this way. Comments? 



Saturday, May 2, 2015

Eternal Friends

We have some life long friends that we love very dearly. There are three couples that have been together for a long, long time, celebrating together, crying together and encouraging each other. My husband grew up with Billy and he even went with us on dates! They were close friends, living in the country and going to church together. Butch went to the army with my husband and has been a dear friend since then. Butch and Billy ended up marrying two girls that were friends at college.

We all were in each others weddings and have visited each other through the years. (Added together, we have all been married over 135 years!) Their children call us 'aunt' and 'uncle' and we love them all.

Since we retired, we have made it a routine to meet 'at least' once a month for a get together to plan our little trips. We spend a week together every two or three months. There is a lot of reminiscing, eating and a whole lot of laughter.

God has blessed us with these relationships here, but what really blesses our hearts is to know that it will not be over when we leave this is eternal! For you see, they all know Jesus Christ as their Savior.

What a joyous 'trip' it will be, when we all are reunited with family and children, together, in our heavenly home. We don't hesitate to tell others about our relationships together as friends and we are not embarrassed to pray together.

It makes me wonder, and feel sad, for those that don't have friends like these in their lives. I know we are extremely blessed. But how does this happen?

First, you need to make sure you are with the right crowd, Christians. Next, you need to learn to let the love of Christ flow between you. Third, learn to forgive and love people for who they are here....none of us are perfect. Lastly, enjoy the 'abundant' life God has given you...(not money, but living in Him) as in John 10:10.

If you don't have this kind of relationships in your life, look for them. Befriend someone, love on them. There is a lot of lonely folks in this world. I heard a preacher say once, "If you are lonely, go help someone. It will make you feel better and them too!"

I hope everyone that reads this, will be on that heavenly trip with us one day! I can't wait to introduce you to my friends and we will go together to see Jesus!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep....Really?

When I was young I said the 'Now I lay me down to sleep' prayer every night. I very rarely added anything to it, other than a great big "AMEN!" to the end, because I actually thought it a little scary to pray that I may die before I wake! 

However, I would snuggle up and think about fun times, like going to the river with my cousins, and I would fall fast asleep. Either out of the exhaustion of a child or the security of knowing I was in my own bed and home, I rarely woke up during the night.

While thinking about sleeping and how easily I still fall asleep (my husband says my head never touches the pillow before I am gone!), I thought about all those that slept in the scriptures. There are several folks that slept right through their own story in the bible!! One even fell out of the window while Paul was preaching and died! His name is mentioned, but would you want your name in the scriptures this way?!!

    Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Acts 20:9

Then we read where Jesus found His disciples in the Garden, not once, not twice, but three times, sleeping while He had been praying.  

"again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. And He came the third time, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners." Mark 14: 39-41

Then we see in Matthew 28 where even the guards tried to escape punishment by saying they were 'asleep' during the resurrection. 

You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day."

Now let us move to our modern church...yes, Sunday nappers. We have all felt drowsy or noticed others nodding off on Sundays. Just being still, quiet, warm and comfortable makes one drowsy? I am not condoning by any means, nor am I condemning, not my job! But,I am thankful no one has fell out of a window like Eutychus! 

But what about our sleeping on the 'job' of being a christian? Are we so tired of doing His work we fall asleep daily, not just on Sunday? I don't think I have ever walked as far as the disciples did on most days. I know I have never fed 5000 or more on any given day! I just can't imagine keeping up with Jesus in His ministry.

My husband sings a song "It is time to Get Up" goes like this: 

Church we can all learn a lesson, If we only just listen.
See I believe everything in God's Word, Is there for a reason.
Oh and the lesson I believe is this,That just like old Lazarus.
You and I were once dead in our Sin.
But then Jesus came in, And now we're alive in him
It's time to get up (wake up wake up)
And wipe the sleep out of your eyes
                        wipe the sleep out of your eyes

So that my father my be glorified, Let's Be Alive
It's time to get up (Wake up Wake up)
Church it's time to get up (wake up wake up)
I said it's time to get up (wake up wake up)
I said it's time to wake up (wake up wake up)
wake up

I believe one day soon, Jesus is coming back to gather His  children home.We need to be about the Father's business before that time comes. We don't know when that will be, but we do know one thing for certain....
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed
1 Corinthians 15:51



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hmmm...what shall I write?

When I sit down to write, I don't always know what is going to be on the paper or what the finished product is going to be. This morning I reminded myself, it is past due for a blog entry. Some have asked me about it, since they follow more closely than I realized.

Do I want to be a little lighthearted or serious today? Do I want to share stories of family or make a point about God? Easter is coming and the death and resurrection of Jesus is always a focus point for this time of year.

But the way I look at it, doesn't it all fall together all the time? Life itself can be lighthearted one moment and serious the next. We never know from one moment to the next what is going to be going on in our lives. 

Life itself is fragile, just like a piece of glass. We can see fingerprints, spots and streaks on glass. We clean it off with the best purchased, streak free cleanser. It is at that precise moment we see the permanent scratch which the cleanser will not remove. In our lives, we have times that have caused us grief, mostly by our own choices. We have spots and streaks of unhappiness. We clean up our life, pray and ask forgiveness, start over with new beginnings. Then, we feel the permanent ache that we have left in our life, just like the scratch on the glass.

But, look again, you can still see through that scratch on the piece of glass, your view is not blocked out completely, nor is the glass broken or useless. It is the same with our life. It is still useful if we would only move on, one step at a time. Then one day, we will realize laughter has bubbled up from deep within. 

It is the same with the Easter story, but we have forgotten something. Yes, the story we read is of Jesus' death on the cross for us. The story goes on to His resurrection, which is the power of our salvation. The Easter story should not end there for us! Jesus arose from that grave so He could come again! 

Family, yes, today I shall write about family. My brothers and sisters in Christ, my heavenly family, shall all be gathered up, from around the globe, to a grand reunion. It will be the day of great rejoicing to see that not only the spots and streaks are gone, but the brokenness of our earthly lives will be made whole. 

My rejoicing will be on that day when all my earthly children will join with us in that heavenly place. They shall meet my earthly parents and we shall all kneel at the feet of Jesus together. My prayers are that we pray together today for our children, grandchildren and family that have not accepted the free gift of salvation. That the Holy Spirit will touch their hearts and they will know that only He can cleanse and give the peace of eternal life in heaven. 

Hmmm....what shall I write? 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Encourager and the Tree

Early one morning, as I listened to the boys playing outside, I thanked God for the blessing of our children. I thanked Him for giving us a Christian husband and father and having a place they could always come to that was secure out of the storms of life. We had provided food, clothing and how to share, but most importantly, Who was God.

Then, as I listened more closely, through the second floor window, it seemed as if one of the boys was talking right outside. Now I knew this was impossible, since the younger ones were only four and five years old at the time. But it was so clear, one shouting to the other, it was like he was right there. I stopped what I was doing and ran to look out of the window!

There was Todd, the five year old, climbing for all he was worth, almost as high as I was on the second floor of the house. The big old, magnolia tree that sat in our front yard had been the perfect, shady place for them to play, but here was Todd, going higher and higher. Little brother, B.J., just stood underneath shouting up encouraging words, "Wow, you sure are getting high!"

Afraid to shout out to him and startle him, I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer simultaneously. Then, slowly, but firm and precise, I said, "Todd, what do you think you are doing up so high? You better get down before you fall."

I will never forget the 'full of confidence' look on that little fellow's face, as he asked proudly, "Mom, do you know Who God is?"

"Yes Todd, I know Who God is," I said as I nervously watched him dangle from a limb. "Well, Mom, you see all these sticks sticking out of this tree? (he was talking about the limbs)," he asked.

As he continued to climb he said, "Well, Mom, God put all these 'sticks' on this tree so little boys can climb it!"

My heart burst with fear and pride at the same time! How can I question God, when this little child has either more faith than me or no sense at all? I breathed in slowly, "Ok, Todd, if you fall...God is going to have to catch you!" His little smile shot across his face and he started to inch his way down the tree.

As he approached the bottom limbs, he jumped the rest of the way down and landed right in front of his little brother. They both were proud of themselves, one the climber and the other the encourager. I overheard the comment, "God made this tree just for us, didn't He?"

Well, I am not so sure about that, but the thought did occur to me that God does give us all our own tree to climb. Sometimes we climb it proudly, sometimes we need an encourager. In any event, we need to know that the 'sticks' can scratch, break and we can get hurt, but if it is God's tree for us, we are going to be safe and He will catch us if we fall.

The innocence of children and the simplest things of life could be lessons we all could learn from. I was just reading about Casting Crowns singer, Mark Hall, and his cancer surgery today. Mark has a big tree to climb right now and his family and friends are his encouragers. We need to keep them in our prayers.

We know of many who are going through hard times, death and grief, illnesses, finances, job loss and the lists go on and on...their tree gets higher and higher. Let us join together as Christian men and women and be the encouragers for those around us. Let the love of Christ pour out across this nation like never before! Let others look around and with wonder as the Glory of God washes over them. Let His Spirit fill the air and His Presence be felt across our land.

Col 3:16 " Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."

Let the 'sticks' on their tree, turn to blooms of love.

Let it be a sweet aroma to our Lord. 


Friday, February 20, 2015

It Will Soon Be Over!

The weather is all anyone wants to talk about this week. How cold it is here in Alabama or how much snow Boston has gotten this year. Schools have been delayed a few hours or they have been dismissed early.  Always something to say about the weather, as we end our conversations with "Stay warm and be safe!" 

When I was young, I remember the cold winters in Alabama. We knew it was bad outside, when folks passed our house with 'clang, clang, clang' as they drove with chains on their tires. We used to rub the windows to look out to see people pushing their trucks, since there wasn't four wheel drive back then. 

Mother would put a chicken on the stove, the beginning of her famous stew. Then, cornbread would go into the old, treated with lard, cast iron skillet. The aroma would soon be filling the rooms of the house. Often my parents would go to pick up an elderly couple to come stay with us a few days, to keep them from going out on the bad roads. They would sit up late into the night playing Rook with them and eating Mama's stew. 

The weather will soon change and we will see the tops of the flowers starting to pop up through the soil, giving folks something else to talk about. 

Wonder why the conversations are not on God? Do our souls get cold like the winter? Do we go through times of 'drying up' and winterizing ourselves from Him? 

If every now and then, we just spoke a word of encouragement to someone instead of words of warning, "Stay warm and be safe" would it make a difference? 

Are we waiting on warmer weather to share the 'warm' love of Christ? Why do we Christians take a pause on being a Christian? Do we work at it too hard and then get tired, needing a break? 

Is the freeze on winter or our hearts? Is it maybe why winter is so long and lonely? 

James 4:8  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

We must clear our minds, stay focused on Him. Be alert, like when we walk outside in the winter, watching for danger. 

Draw close to Him, as we pull up to the fire and feel the warmth, He is the warmth for our souls. 

Pray and encourage each other as you go, for we need to press on.
Springtime is coming, so is our Lord. Be ready. 


Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday 13th Luck with God?

Well, today is Friday 13th and you have survived or your would not be reading this!  Do you really
believe in "Luck" or "Bad Luck" in life? When I found a four leaf clover (and I am good at finding them!) my mother would say, "The lucky part was that you found it!" That is so true and it kept me busy and quiet for hours on end! So was my mother the unlucky one when my search was over? 

Because we do not have the curtains drawn back to see what is taking place in heaven, we cannot always determine whether God’s active or passive will is involved in the events of our lives, but we do know that all things that take place are under the umbrella of His will, whether active or passive, and, therefore, nothing is a matter of mere chance. Now, when you are playing a game and roll the dice, is it God's will that you win or lose? I think those things could be controlled by Him, but in my heart I believe it would be inconsequential. 

Can God cause things to happen? I believe if we talked to Jonah, he would say that fish did not swallow and spit him out on his own! Thank goodness God had control of that! 
God’s passive will involves Him allowing, rather than causing, something to happen. Chapter1 of the book of Job illustrates this in what God allowed Satan to do in the life of Job. It is also involved in the evil that God allowed Joseph’s brothers to do to Joseph in order to accomplish a greater good, a good not apparent to Joseph until years later Genesis 50:20.

"What about 'karma'?" someone asked me. If you do good things, good things will come to you or if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you is the rationing of karma. Here are my thoughts on this: If you are obedient to God, you will be blessed and He will take care of you. If you are a child of God's and are not obedient, you will be disciplined by Him. You may not be swallowed by a fish like Jonah, but He will not bless you and bad things in life may come your way. 

God loves us so much, He wants to bless us and give us joy. He does not like to see us struggling through this world and all the evil in it. 

Now is the time to make this very clear. He does not want us to partake in sorcery, horoscopes, tarot card, or any kind of fortune telling. These things are of the devil and are an abomination to God Deuteronomy 18:9-12 .

We should look to Him to guide our ways, praying and reading His Word daily. He has a plan not to harm us, but to give us hope and a future!   Jeremiah 29:11 

Be bold and stand as a Christian everyday, especially when the world says 'watch out' for black cats, ladders and the 13th. It may be in fun and jest, however we need to pay attention to the examples we are setting. If we don't believe in luck, we probably shouldn't even joke about it. 

Now go out and have a great day, no matter what the date on the calendar says!
He is Lord everyday, trust Him for all things! 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daddy's Mad Dog Love

Many years ago (let's just leave it at 'many'!), I had a little red tricycle that I rode around and around our house. I had a path beat down in the grass where the front wheel went and I was determined to make that track wider everyday. When dinner (lunch for those of you not raised in the south) came, I would park my trike on a certain flat rock in the grass. That was my parking spot, just like my dad's old Chevy, which sat on the gravel drive in front of the house. We had our spots and knew exactly where our vehicles would be when we came back to them. I could jump right back on my tricycle and continue my rounds for the afternoon. 

I was probably about four years old then, not having a lot of chores or responsibilities yet, so I could really 'work' at marking my way. There was a lot of shade trees in the backyard and the little creek that flowed along the border of the yard. I was not allowed to go all the way to the creek, but could go close enough to ride through the shade and feel the cool breeze. So my afternoons, in hot Alabama, was rewarding in many ways. 

However, one afternoon, as I rounded the house and headed to the cool shade, I spotted something near the creek and in the trees. I slowed down and came to a stop, trying to figure out what was standing just ahead of me. It was a large, black dog and he was foaming at the mouth and showing his sharp teeth. His eyes looked really funny, like he did not even see me, but he tilted his head and seemed to hear me. I knew something was really wrong, I could feel it in my stomach. 

Jumping off the safe haven for me, my red tricycle, I ran up the steps and into the backdoor of the house. Once inside the house, I cried out, "There is a dog in the yard!" Seeing my terrified face and knowing I was not normally afraid of dogs, my Daddy jumped up! He ran to the door and just one look was enough. He grabbed his gun and told me to stay inside, as he went out the door. I remembered how scared I was, not only for me, but for my Daddy too. 

I heard a gunshot and covered my ears as I cried out! The terror in my soul was grief, pain and fear! 

Daddy came inside and called animal control. He said the dog was a 'mad dog, had rabies.' He said he was a dangerous animal. Suddenly, I felt the relief and the warmth of my Daddy's arms around me. I was secure and safe in the arms of the one who loved me. 

In this life, there are many times we go around and around in a routine of life. Our lives grow as the paths get wider, every now and then we stop to refuel, then we continue our routines. However, like the mad dog suddenly appeared, something interrupts our lives, and we are filled with fear, grief and terror. This can take the form of illness, death, loss of job, many things can stop our routine of going on our 'path'. 

Finally, we get off our 'path' and run to the Father. He tells us to step aside, He takes care of our problem, in whatever way His Plan is for us. But no matter what, we can be sure He will wrap His arms around us, give us the secure peace and comfort only He can give. He is the One Who loves us.

2 Thess. 3:16
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."

Yes, my Daddy was a great, big man in size and heart. But my God is bigger than my Daddy ever was, His arms and His love for me is bigger than my Daddy's (now that is a lot!). 

Do you have a situation you need the Father to take care of today? Do you have a request for prayer? Share with us when the Father has taken care of you....we would love to hear your stories! Just leave a comment here......