Saturday, July 30, 2016

Our Choices at the Polls

Elections are the talk on all news, social media and in coffee shops. I don't know about you, but I am about sick of it all. Let's move on to what each person can do for this nation rather than what an individual will or will not do as they sit in the White House. Now let me explain to you that I do respect the office and to please hear me out before you shut me down.

I was in the sixth grade when I first heard anything about a president going to be elected. Fellow students had heard their parents talking and so much discussion was going on, the teacher decided we needed to have a classroom election. 

I really never listened to the news as a child. The only time I knew it was on was when my daddy made me get up to change the channel so he could listen to David and Chet! Then I left the room immediately because that was stuff adults needed to hear, I had more important things to do. Riding my bike and reading had to be more important, right? 

As the teacher passed out the ballots, I did not even know who was running, so I looked over to the boy sitting across from me. He wrote the name 'Kennedy,' so I did too! 

After writing that name down, I felt I should learn more about this man. I started watching the news, just enough to see what he looked like. I remember seeing his wife and thinking she was very pretty and they had sweet children. I do not remember what his slogan was or what the news said about him.  

Kennedy won and I was happy, but only because I knew I had written his name down on that little piece of paper and no other reason. 

When Kennedy was killed I was horrified. Did I really 'vote' for a man and then he was killed? What a shock and tragedy for our country as we watched the news for days as the horse drawn carriage went through the streets of Washington D.C. 

When politics get thrown at us today, I still don't like to listen, it is truth and reality vs desire and imagination. It is hard to tell the difference. Many will vote like I did as a child, because others say it is the right one. 

I am sharing all of this to give you my true feelings. We act as robots when we go to the polls. We try to vote the best, but do we really? 

We need to be praying constantly, unite together in prayer. God knows who is going to be in office in January. We need to pray for the person as well as the office. We should seek the face of God and plead our case with Him to protect our nation from the evil that is oozing out of the very homes which we live. We see marriages broken, television promoting sin, and electronics taking away our children and completely doing away with communication. No one knows how to talk anymore! 

Sometimes I just feel like exiting the polling booths, because with the choices I have, there is really not much of a choice. Is this the best America has to offer, the best to represent us in the world arena? I would really just like to get off at this exit please! Now don't get me wrong here, I will go to the polls to vote my heart, but I will go prayerfully. I just don't like all this rederick before election day. 

Ok, I will quit preaching, but listen folks, the political conventions are over, we have THREE choices, yes three. We can chose either party,  that is two choices. The third is we can decide as Christians to get off our 'duffs' and stand up for America, Israel and the unborn children! 

May God Bless American in these last days! 

"and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Stay Between the Ditches

As many of you know, I learned how to drive in a hay field on our southern farm. I drove the tractor or truck, pulling the wagon along for others to throw and stack the hay. I would slowly roll along, dipping down into ruts and up on little hills. It was a big challenge for me to watch through the big side mirror on the truck to see when the wagon was beside the hay bales. I did everything I could to make it easier for the men working so hard in the Alabama summer humidity. On occasion, the hay baler would leave the bales far apart, due to the turn at the end of the field, so I would try to drive between the rows to get it closer to the wagon. It was an obstacle course for a young girl who could barely see over the steering wheel and had to practically stand to put on the brakes! 

It was always a treat for me to be included in the hard work. I always enjoyed being outside working more than inside cooking or cleaning. I learned a lot from watching men do a hard day's work and there was a lot of joking and laughter that kept them going. Even when one hay bale had a snake wrapped up in it, the laughter rippled across the field as the one young man gave a big "Yikes, it's a snake!" holler! 

But then one day, my daddy said I was going to move onto the road and drive the truck to the barn. I was scared as he told me, "Just stay between the ditches."  I drove and I can imagine my eyes were round as headlights, looking over the hood, watching those ditches! 

Then, he came to me another day and tossed me the keys and told me to drive him to the store to get gas. Now I was terrified as I climbed into the truck, but again he said to me, "Stay between the lines and the ditches." I sat straight up, really high, to be able to see and we set off. I was fine as long as daddy was there with me. 

A few months passed and we were going on a trip to Chicago to see our relatives and he said he was tired and I needed to drive for awhile, so he could take a nap in the back seat. Mother sat in the front with me as I drove down the highway. When I drove up behind a trailer truck driving very slow, she encouraged me to pass him. I drove slowly behind him a long way, before building up courage to go around. The road was straight and I could seen nothing coming, as I eased out around the truck.
My knuckles were white with fear and my eyes were huge as I watched the lines and the ditch! I passed him and remember my pounding heart in my chest. My mother smiled as she said, " You did just fine." (I have often wondered was daddy really sleeping in the back or was he sighing with relief!) 

These memories are very similar to when I was young christian starting to walk with God. I enjoyed being at church and loved to watch others work and I could see them enjoy serving Him. Then one day, God pushed me to move forward. This helped me to learn about Him and begin my growing process. He often times seems to be sleeping as I serve and I have wondered if I was going to make it. Often I am reminded, He is always watching over us. 

Sure we get stretched out of our comfort zones, but that is how we learn and grow in Him, just like driving a hay truck. We need to trust Him to get us out of the ruts, so that we can move on around the big stuff. If we keep our eyes on Him, we will stay between the lines and out of the ditches. 

God's love for us is like that of my parents, even greater. He wants us to grow in Him everyday, not just in seasons. He allows things in our lives, not to overwhelm us, but to help us trust Him more. 

Ephesians 4:14-15Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way

2 Peter 3:18Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.[a]Amen.[b] into Him who is the head—Christ.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summertime Travels

When I was a young girl, I remember the excitement building as we packed for our vacations.
We were the average family, not a lot of extra money to spend to take elaborate trips, but every trip to me was an adventure. Mother would pack a cooler of drinks and snacks for a roadside table lunch, while daddy would throw his tackle box and crab traps in the trunk and his fishing poles would be hanging out the window. Just a few clothes would be packed in a bag to leave room for Florida's oranges, souvenirs and sea shells coming back home. 

The old radio did not receive reception well as we traveled, so there were many songs to be sung by the family. One of my daddy's favorites was 'On the Jericho Road' because he knew the lead part pretty well. We always sang old hymns and then on to Christmas carols! We laughed and played games in the car and on occasion stopped at a roadside alligator farm to get a cool drink of Florida's fresh squeezed orange juice. Life was good!

The planning of a trip and the travel has always been a time of adventure and enjoyment for me, usually as much as final destination itself. Some like the excitement of putting up Christmas trees and preparing for the holidays, I like the adventure of travel. 

The unexpected and the unknown, followed by the lasting memories, is what life is all about!
Life itself is an adventure from one day until the next. We never know what tomorrow will bring, whether it will be a happy day or a sad, hard time in our lives. 

But you know, nothing happens in our lives that God doesn't already know about. Just like mother packing that cooler, because she knew her husband and girls would be hungry down the road, she prepared for us. Daddy, on the other hand, knew we would need something to do at night, so he packed crab baskets and fishing equipment to take us all to the pier to enjoy the cool evenings. 

Now I will tell you that on more than one occasion we ate a soggy sandwich because the ice melted and water got into the loaf of bread. There were many nights on the pier we did not catch anything and went home carrying empty crab baskets. But the joy of being with those who had prepared for us, even when it did not turn out perfect, is what I remember. We did not complain, we usually laughed and skipped and made the best out of a bad situation. 

Those times remind me of trials we live daily. God plans and prepares for us to have the best life we could have in Him. Then something in life happens, choices are made, things said, illnesses, death, things out of our control. We need to remember Who prepared the day for us, He is still there. He prepared for good, but evil is in this world. Evil seeps into our lives like water on soggy bread. We may have to live through the day, but we know He is still with us and loves us beyond measure. 

Now going back to the trip, I don't guess I will tell how I survived many trips sleeping in the back windshield of the car, while my sister slept in the seat! God surrounded us with His protection and just maybe it was my daddy's singing kept Him close!