~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Deployment on the Horizon


Sleep evades.
Tumultuous thoughts invade.
A young son prepares for war.
And the rain begins to pour.
A mother’s heart wrestles in unrest.
Will God listen to her behest?
To keep him safe in heart, body, and soul,
Has always been her prayerful goal.

He serves our country with pride.
Oh, God, please be his guide.
Keep him close and make him aware,
You are always there.
In times of struggle and distress,
Put your hand upon him, relieve the stress.
Keep his mind sharp and give Your direction.
Surround him, Father, with Divine protection.

He is truly a gift from above,
A testimony of Your love.
Yet Eighteen years flew by so fast.
Dear God, please don’t let this hug be our last.
The tour of duty is only a year.
Still, Lord, I can’t help but shed a tear.
No longer a boy; not quite a man.
How far away is Iraq and Afghanistan?

Send him, Father, if You must.
In You I place all my trust.
In my weakness I see Your strength.
For Your love goes beyond any length.

As peace replaces fret,
Assurance that You will not forget,
Your child in a faraway land.
He is safe and secure in the palm of your hand.

From bed to knees and knees to bed,
Thank You, Lord, for calming the chaos in my head.
As night turns into dawn,
I stretch and yawn.
Emotions drain.
Still the rain…
Tumultuous thoughts evade.
Sleep invades.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Psalm 8 (NIV)

1)O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens,
2) From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3) When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which YOU have set in place,
4) What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5) You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings, and crowned him with glory and honor.
6) You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
7) All flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
8) The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the sea.
9) O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


***Just a little attitude adjustment for me this morning. I wonder how it is that we sometimes want to be in control of everything when in reality we have NO CONTROL WHAT- SO- EVER! I mean how can we be in control and be completely submissive? Is that an oxymoron? Or just being a moron? I don't know...

If we simply release the reigns of our life and give them to the Master of this life, the Master of all eternity...then we don't need control...His Spirit will control us...guide us...comfort, keep, protect, and use us...and we will like it!

My prayer today is that I will completely submit and not let fear of the unknown cause me to take up the reigns of my life. For surely when I am in control of the bit in this horses mouth...my path will be wobbly, crooked, and worthless.

Here I am Lord, I am yours and you are mine. YOU are in control. My faith is in YOU!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Saw God Today

Stoop shouldered and milky eyed with knarred hands, a life time of hard work shows in his every movement. Life may have taken a toll on the old black man’s body but not his spirit.

Today, like many others, he picks his way through the vegetables: selecting a half dozen tender pods of okra and a small bunch of turnip greens then makes his way over to the bargain table for some “less than perfect” tomatoes, onions, and a too large sweet potato. Dinner is going to be some kind of good tonight! He is a kind, gentle soul talking to other customers as he makes his way to the cash registers.

Laughing and telling stories of her grandchildren she catches a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye as he feebly counts out change for his purchase. She looks at her cart full of choice veggies and home-made jams and jellies then sees her own twisted and swollen arthritic fingers camouflaged by diamonds and precious stones. Life surely must have been different for these two strangers.

She has seen him in the store before. It seems they always shop at the market on the same day. Quietly, tenderly she leans over the counter and tells me, “I want to pay for his purchase.”

As Pat bags his groceries she tells him not to worry…today someone else has paid the price.

This simple act of kindness has “God” written all over it! From taking care of the less fortunate to the “golden rule” and yes ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is in the Bible…

Then I thought of the price that had been paid for me…by someone I didn’t know. That purchaser was Jesus Christ. He paid the price for the remission of my sins not with a credit card as this woman did for the old man, but with his own blood! The procurer of redemption acted on my behalf and I didn’t even know His name! I have to tell you I stopped right there and thanked Him again for reaching out and snatching me from the pit of destruction and setting my feet upon a solid foundation from which springs a life worth living. I thanked Him for the kindness of a stranger to a customer I dearly love to see enter the store.

I was reminded by a simple $5.00 transaction that God is indeed alive and well and He dwells within the hearts of His people.

Today the old man received the gift of fresh ingredients for an old fashioned southern dinner; but I received the gift of seeing my Savior use another to lift the burden of a stranger. Her gift will last a day…Jesus’ gift lasts for all eternity.

To whom will you be the hands… the feet… the purse-strings… the heart of God?

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” NIV

Friday, July 24, 2009


Here I sit in a corner booth of BJ’s Market Café. The air is thick with the smell of smoked bacon and sausage punctuated occasionally by the aroma of a passing basket of fresh-from-the-oven, homemade buttermilk biscuits, YUM! So this is the place my husband has eaten breakfast and lunch every day since he graduated college, and every summer before. The main dining area is crowded with a hodge-podge of humanity from retirees to farmers; construction workers to brokers; local law enforcement to the suspiciously ungainfull. Just now; my husband, his dad, and uncles walk past me. Jimmy sits with the men, I suspect out of respect for me as my head is buried in this laptop. They have settled just behind me at their usual round table nestled in the back by the big screen television where the Fox cable station silently displays the most recent headline news.

My niece, Dominique, has just set a steaming cup of hot coffee in front of me. It is strong and black, a deviation from my regular sweet, creamy, chocolaty “designer” coffee. Starbucks, this is not! It is the kind of place that serves up good old-fashioned home cooking featuring southern fried everything, sweet tea, heavenly home-made deserts, and strong coffee. Ahh, my toast is here.

My sister-in-law, Jeanna, has owned the diner for almost three years now. It is attached to the “farmers market” she has owned and operated since she was a senior in high school. She is truly an amazing woman and an inspiration. She was the first in my husband’s family to really take the time to get to know me. The first person outside of Jimmy who demonstrated daily what living life out loud as a Christian really meant. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

The past couple of months I have been working for the market in the green house. It is one of the reasons I have been away from bloggy land for so long. That and the death of my dell laptop’s mother board. I had forgotten how physically hard the work was but I haven’t felt more invigorated…more alive…more healthy…in a very long time.
Jeanna’s son, Michael, now manages the market where he works with his wife, Amanda and sister, Dede. Their children frequently roam the café, store and greenhouses when business is slow. I think this family part is one of the things I like the most. I travelled so much while they were growing up that I didn’t know them as adults; even though we live a stone’s throw away. ..Totally not the southern rural family tradition. In the past I met significant others during the holidays but missed graduations, birthdays, wedding s and other milestone events and now I guess I am trying to make up for lost time.

I love plant season! Surrounded by the explosion of color from the firecracker plants, the profusion of brilliance as I enter the “sun” house and welcomed by the waving arms of the Kimberly Queen ferns in the “shade” side of the greenhouse; I wonder how anyone could walk through here and not believe in God. How they are, in fact, experiencing full force the beauty of His creation. That the herbs they are buying for medicinal use, or just to live a more “organic” lifestyle are ,in fact a gift directly from above.

I love these customers just as much as the ones who stand in the aisles and talk about what God has been up to in their lives lately. I love the opportunities God provides on a day to day basis for me to share who He is and what He can and will do when a soul is laid bare and the door of the heart opened wide to receive His glorious gift of salvation. How in one step their life could be changed for all eternity.

In just a few minutes I will close up this laptop, stash it under the counter, slip into a pair of work gloves, and head next door to begin the daily routine of straightening, organizing, and arranging the various plant displays. We are having a sale this week and the customers are coming in droves. More exercise, more opportunity, more of life. This is the life God has granted me…if only for a season…plant season.

UPDATE: Plant season is over and with one person short I am working the register full time for another month.

Monday, July 20, 2009


It seems forever since my last post. I can't wait to catch up with you. I have been away from the blogosphere since March! OH MY!!! That's what happens when your old dell bites the dirt for good and you go to work in your family's greenhouse in the middle of plant season.

Needless to say, I am back. I can not wait to catch up on all the exciting things I have missed...especially, I missed you all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Life

Here I sit at 6:30 in the morning drinking my second cup of chocolate coffee, watching the morning news, catching up on my blog reading, and gearing up for a new day. Steeling myself to face the low 40 degree weather expected today. What happened to the 80 degrees we enjoyed yesterday? Such is Spring in Arkansas.

I've been studying Nehemiah and had planned to write a heart warming blog about how we can face adversity in the same manner...but that blog will have to wait for another time.

Yesterday, I spent my first day working at BJ's Plants and Produce. Owned by my sister-in-law and operated by her youngest son and only daughter. I loved it! Hard work, but it was fantastic being surrounded by my family. My sister-in-law runs the cafe attached to the "market" which makes lunch convenient. Best of all just a couple hundred yards away is Kyzer's and my wonderful husband. Nothing brightens my day more than to look around and see his smiling face.

I love being surrounded by all the plants and flowers! I worked there a couple of summers when Jake was a toddler and surprisingly...it's like riding a bike...all the information came rushing back. But that's not what this blog is about either...

Intent to begin their new life together in church, Tyler and Cara attended services with us Sunday morning. Tyler has been living with us since January 1st and we have had many conversations about God, the Bible, and salvation in Christ. He attended church off and on growing up but I am not sure about Cara.

Tyler gave his life to Christ! His prayer is that he can be a Godly husband and father. I know I should not be amazed but it never seems get old, does it? That feeling of joy when one accepts the Savior.

Cara and I've spent much of the past couple of days in deep conversation. I have given her my old NIV Life Application Bible...and instead of just praying with them when they have a need we have re-instituted family Bible study and prayer time which had turned to just a couples thing when Jake moved out.

As we continue to pray for this young couple, for direction for a new husband, for salvation for a new wife...as we encounter the Spirit of God on the move in our very home our hearts can not help but leap for joy in the assurance that when we knock, He opens, when we seek...He finds.

God is indeed good...He is alive...He is well...and His Spirit is on the move!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God's call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident.

As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry,teaching young children. It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor's son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began.

You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor's son.The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting.

As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor's son stood to speak. He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be.

He began to speak and his statement was this: "My fiancée’s past is not what is on trial here.. What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?"

The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters.

Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble.

What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! End of case!!!!

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:23

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out or your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?' You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove he speck from your brothers eye." Matthew 7:3-5 ~NIV

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Watts

Our friend, Adam, officiated the ceremony but he had the flu and made Cara and Tyler get married outside so they would be less likely to get sick. It was a bit chilly....

Tyler with his best man, Bruno....or should I say, man's best friend?

Cara and maid of honor, Princess Isabella.

Mr. and Mrs. Tyler D. Watts

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Two Became Three Before They Were One

I was startled awake at one in the morning as Tyler whispered the words, "Mom I need to talk. Cara is pregnant and she says the baby is mine." The alarm was set for two, my regular prayer time, so sleepily I sat up and turned on the lamp.

Quietly listening as his emotions ran their natural course, asking all the pertinent questions and some stupid ones...silently praying... Wondering now what direction these two lives would take. They had broken up just two days before... she needy... he selfish... both loving the other more than they ever loved anyone else in their 19 years of life yet not knowing how to have a relationship.

Two teenagers desperately seeking the unconditional love they had been denied during their formative years. He sent off to foster care because his step dad was just a bit too physical with discipline. She shipped off to her grandmother's because of some inappropriate actions by her step father. Neither one chosen first over the men in their mothers lives. Both still searching for approval and acceptance by the one person who is supposed to love, guide, and protect them. Knowing full well that time may never come, reluctantly trying to accept this travesty of nature.

With no where to go and no one left to turn to once her grandmother found out "the truth" she found herself on our door step running into the arms of the only person who accepts her for who she is.

The past two weeks we have talked of life, love, consequences, and God as a plan for the future was fashioned. Tyler had gone to church for a while with his step grandmother...but had tons of excuses to not attend with us. Cara told us her mother did not believe in God and she did not allow Cara or her brother to believe either. These words stung my soul as the tears began to form, my mother's heart aching, my evangelist soul wanting to snatch her from the pit right then and there.

They will be married tomorrow in our living room with Bruno, the Chocolate Lab as best man and Princess Isabella the Chihuahua, as maid of honor. Miss Theresa and Brother Jimmy as witnesses... She in last years homecoming dress and he in a borrowed suit coat.

As they begin their lives together their first step is to attend church. So sweet were the words he said to her..."When I went to church I felt I had a hope." Ahhh...it is a beginning. They talked of ways to treat each other, things they want to do... things most of us take for granted... like eating dinner together at the dining table. They talked about the kind of husband and wife they want to be, the kind of parents their child deserves. The routine for security, church for hope and faith.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you a hope and a future." ~NIV

A love six months in the making... a marriage predicted for failure... a new family supposedly heading down an already broken road...

Matthew 19:26 "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." ~NIV

As we expose them to the unconditional love of Christ, and attempt to guide them into a true relationship with each other...as we give them support and confidence in a future with God at the helm... we ask for your heart-felt prayers.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,, who have been called according to His purpose." ~NIV

Monday, March 2, 2009

Titus 2 Blog Party

I learned of this party over at Home Haven Ministry and Civilla's Cyber Cafe and since I love a good party thought I would join in. There is a link to the left and I think it would be grand if you joined us as well. There is still time left.

Here's a bit about me...

My life is pretty much an open book. While I got my first taste of blogging on MySpace I began blogging in earnest sometime last year. My blogs are typically religious or spiritual in nature, though I actually disdain both those words to describe my relationship with my Lord and Savior.

I gave birth to my first son at 17 and as you can imagine...I took the hard road to growing up. I was a battered wife, drank too much...and did any drug that was offered to me just to numb the pain of the decisions I had made and the mess my life was in. I credit my son, Richard, for giving me the strength and courage to move out and start over...sober and clean. I could never have done any of this without the support and love of my parents. I am thankful each day for their belief in me.

My husband was a Christian when we began dating and I thought going to church with him was a condition to continue dating him. My children laugh when they hear I told him I would go to the Sunday morning preaching but I was not going to be one of those "sisters" who was at the church every time the doors were opened.

I was saved at 28 and it was at that time that life began to have real meaning. I know I am where God wants me to be and I know I am who He has made me. It is because of my relationship with Him that my marriage, my career, my family have been successful.

My husband and I will be married 20 years this coming June. My oldest son, Richard, is now a youth minister and both he and his wife, Cheri and their two children, Hunter and Gage are very active in their church as well. Our youngest son, Jake, also a Christian, is active duty Army and is stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

My husband, Jimmy, led both Richard and me, to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. I taught Sunday School for many years. Jimmy and I were also part of the Children's Church Ministry Team at our former church.

2009 brought with it a renewed sense of urgency for me to share the gospel with all I come into contact with. I am so thankful for my new friends in the blogosphere. I am learning much, growing more, and hope and pray I can make a difference in their lives as much as they are making in mine.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Live Like You Are Dying

The other night I heard a comedian make the statement, "Live every day like it was your last." It reminded me of discussions held when I was younger. You know the ones I'm talking about... conversations that started "if you knew you only had 24 hours or one week or one month to live... what would you do?"

The discussions that ensued were sometimes frivolous, sometimes deep, sometimes thought provoking, but never profound. In essence, the words were empty attempts at a wish list of the wants and desires of a selfish, often times, inebriated group of young people. Words which fell flat to the floor with a resounding thud. Ideas never to be acted upon, dreams never accomplished, heroic deeds left undone. Because, after all, we didn't know when we were going to die and we all felt certain that it would not be anytime soon.

I began humming that Tim McGraw song, Live Like You Were Dying. I love the part where it says, "I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying..."

Then I asked myself, am I living every day like it was my last and what exactly does that mean? Live like you were dying? I do know it's definitely more than pretty words in a song that stirs the heart for a moment...emotions forgotten as soon as the next song begins to play. Especially for a Christian who lives their faith out loud.

I was reminded of 1 John 1:5-10 "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."~NIV

Ok, so we are Christians, we've gone through all the steps, the a.b.c.'s if you will, we have realized our need for salvation, we know that salvation comes only through Christ, we have confessed and professed and been baptised...and we are walking in the light...listening, obeying...being His hands extended, demonstrating His love to ALL...not just our fellow believers...but to all mankind.

Is it whole-hearted or are we much of the time just going through the motions? Is there more? Can it be more? How can we live in the world but be separate from the world? How do we keep from getting caught up in the every day, day in and day out duties of life... work, home, family... the demands on an individual by those around him (or her) can be overwhelming! And while all the rest of life is important... how much more important is our life in Him? For surely our first goal is to live a life pleasing unto Him. How much more work will that add to our already overfilled plate?

The greatest part of being a Christian is we don't have to work at it...we don't have to do anything...we can not earn our salvation, or a better position in heaven through the works of our own hands... He does the work in us! He continually transforms us into His likeness. Whatever we do is a byproduct of our faith in Him and our love for Him. We simply have to seek, trust, and obey. How easy is that? How cool is that?

Give me your heart - make it real - or else forget about it...lyrics from an old Santana song could be applied to us... Give Him your heart... Make it REAL... or else forget about it... 'cause otherwise, we have totally missed the mark.

Like our birth, death will come upon us unaware. Some of us will be expecting it and welcome it with open arms. However, we know not the time or the place. We know not if our death will come before the Lord returns. What we do know is death is certain and what is important is what happens in between. I ask you... are you living each day like it is your last?
I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Life-Cycle of a Blog Post

Like bubbles in the heated mud pits of some long forgotten national park, ideas pop to the surface of the mind. They flow slowly though consciousness and splash freely out of the pen onto bits of scrap paper.

Long ago lessons learned, snatches of childhood memories, or some great revelation hastily scribbled and stashed away. Seedlings of future posts stacked in neat little piles on top of the microwave, scattered haphazardly over the surface of the old writing desk or tucked away in a tiny pink box on the nightstand.

Words planted as in fresh plowed ground...
until time and conditions are just right. Suddenly, a story full of life and color breaks the surface and blooms to entertain, instruct, or bewilder.

Such is the life-cycle of a blog post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Pastor and His Son

I thought I would share this little story with you. I hope it warms your heart as it has mine. May it remind us all that His word will not return void.

God bless you and thanks again for your prayers and scriptures. They are a truly a comfort.

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the Pastor and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out Gospel Tracts. This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside, as well as pouring down rain.

The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, "OK, dad, I'm ready."

His Pastor dad asked, "Ready for what?"

"Dad, it's time we gather our tracts together and go out."

Dad responds, "Son, it's very cold outside and it's pouring down rain."

The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, "But Dad, aren't people still going to Hell, even though it's raining?"

Dad answers, "Son, I am not going out in this weather"

Despondently, the boy asks, "Dad, can I go? Please?"

His father hesitated for a moment then said, "Son, you can go. Here are the tracts, be careful son."

"Thanks Dad!" And with that, he was off and out into the rain.

This eleven year old boy walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing everybody he met in the street a Gospel Tract. After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled wet and down to his VERY LAST TRACT. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted.

Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the door bell, but nobody answered. He rang it again and again, but still no one answered He waited but still no answer. Finally, this eleven year old trooper turned to leave, but something stopped him. Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch! He rang again and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady.

She softly asked, "What can I do for you, son?"

With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that *JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU* and I came to give you my very last Gospel Tract which will tell you all about JESUS and His great LOVE." With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave.

She called to him as he departed. "Thank you, son! And God Bless You!"

The following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the pulpit. As the service began, he asked, "Does anybody have testimony or want to say anything?"

Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet. As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face, "No one in this church knows me. I've never been here before.... You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian.

My husband passed on some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live. So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on that chair, so lonely and brokenhearted I was about to leap off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me.

I thought, "I'll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away." I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly. I thought to myself again, "Who on earth could this be? Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me."

I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder. When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life. His SMILE, oh, I could never describe it to you!

The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead, TO LEAP TO LIFE as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, "Ma'am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU." Then he gave me this Gospel Tract that I now hold in my hand.

As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel Tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn't be needing them any more. You see---I am now a Happy Child of the KING.

Since the address of your church was on the back of this Gospel Tract, I have come here to personally say THANK YOU to God's little angel who came just in the nick of time and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell."

There was not a dry eye in the church And as shouts of praise and honor to THE KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated. He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.

Probably no church has had a more glorious moment, and probably this universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love &honor for his son.... Except for One.

Our Father also allowed His Son to go out into a cold and dark world. He received His Son back with joy unspeakable, and as all of heaven shouted praises and honor to The King, the Father sat His beloved Son on a throne far above all principality and power and every name that is named.

Don't let this message die, read it again and tell others. Heaven is for His people! Remember, God's message CAN make the difference in the life of someone close to you.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Urgent Prayer Request

My Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I know many of you are praying people and I have come to you asking for intercession for our youngest son, Jacob. He has been ill over the past two weeks, mainly with the head and chest cold that has been going around.

However, he has also been experiencing extreme pain in his side. He was rushed to the ER tonight and told by the Army doctor that one of his nerves has split and the loose part has wrapped around his ribs. I've never heard of such a thing. His Sgt. informed him tonight that he is to report for duty then head to sick call.

Please join me in prayer that he will not be in as much pain, that this is something that will heal quickly, and that it will not have an adverse effect on his military career. Also pray that he seek God in this time and that no matter the outcome he knows that God has a plan for him and that is the place he should be.

Thank you so very much, God bless...

In HIS grip,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just A Boy

When David faced Goliath he was just a boy. He was prepared, he was full of faith, and he was willing to step out and take action when others were paralyzed with fear. These actions in themselves were enough to set him apart from even the most experienced warrior.

After Saul told David to go ahead and face the giant he dressed David in his armor, but it was too big and bulky. David was not used to it and felt like it would hinder rather than help.

I wonder how many times the Lord calls us to action and we try to do whatever it is dressed in someone else's armor. Depending on the advice of others...people with more experience, better training...instead of just stepping out and doing it the way we would do it...depending on God and God alone to give us guidance. That's the way it should be, right? If the situation called for a little research, then be it...but let us not forget that God called us to our personal mission and not all those others who are so willing to give advice while sitting rigidly in their pews.

Now David, seeing that he can not face the giant in Saul's armor goes to the stream, gathers five smooth stones and sticks them in his pouch and with sling in hand approaches the Philistine. The young shepherd boy and the giant...

1Sam17:41-44 "Meanwhile the Philistine with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" and the Philistine cursed David by his gods. "Come here, he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"

Can't you just envision Goliath...indignant, incensed...sending a boy to do a man's job! He was after all the most feared warrior in the land...and here they send a boy, a boy!! No armor, no weapons....just a boy and a slingshot...come on!

When looking at the situation with a logical eye...it seemed impossible that David could defeat one so powerful as this giant. It is the same for us when we are faced with adversity...personal problems...relationship, work or school related, financial, problems with our children or our spouses or people within our church. It is the same when we face obstacles while carrying out the mission to which God has called us; be it Sunday School teacher, lay minister, hospitality committee, deacon or board member. We must be diligent to look at each situation through the eyes of the Holy Spirit...full of faith, exercising discretion, which only comes from the Lord.

In verses 45-47 David tells Goliath "you come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me and I'll strike you down and cut off your head." He then promises to feed his carcass to the birds and beasts...and this is the best part..."the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's..."

When Goliath moved closer to attack him, David ran forward grabbed his stone, struck the giant in the forehead, the stone sunk in and the giant fell face down on the ground. David did as he said he would do and cut Goliath's head off with his own sword.

David made no pretense that what he was about to accomplish was of his own strength or ingenuity...he stated plainly...this battle is the Lord's and He will win...nor did he take credit for the victory the army of Israel experienced that day.

He was prepared, he was willing, he put his faith into action, and gave God the credit for the outcome. David had been armed with a weapon not visible to the naked eye, one more powerful than any warrior could have ever dreamed of possessing or feared facing...a weapon available to us at this very moment...the power of the Lord!

Are you facing adversity or a difficult task...have you been called to action by God? It could be as simple as working in the nursery at church or taking the hand of a friend and introducing them to salvation through the Lord, working with children, teens or adults. No matter the situation, think of the shepherd boy who faced a giant. His deliverance is our deliverance, his power our power...his victory, our victory.

Monday, February 16, 2009


This past fall I was so busy I neglected to get a flu shot. I simply put it off until I had more time and more time never came around. I thought to myself, 'oh well, I haven't had the flu in about ten years. DUH...it's because I always got a flu shot! Now it is too late! sniff, sniff, shudder, cough! How long does it take for the flu run it's course?

Lately I've been reading the Old Testament. I just finished with the story of David and Goliath in 1Sam17. I love that story! Mostly, I love the fact that God uses every-day, ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary. He did it in Biblical times and He does it to this day.
1Sam 16:7(b) "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

The Philistines had gathered their forces and their secret weapon was a giant and an impressive giant at that! Bedecked with bronze armor and a huge javelin...Anyone would be frighted.

While the forces of Israel were hunkered down, Goliath came out and taunted them...this went on forty days...every morning and evening...come out and line up for battle, are you not Saul's forces....OK, pick one man, send him to do battle with me and if he wins, our people will be subject to your people.

Now, the most logical course of action would be to take the one person who was the best trained, most proved warrior in all of Israel, the one person who has a long list of accomplishments. I am sure there were many among the ranks however, they were afraid as well. 1Sam 17:11 "On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and the Israelites were dismayed and terrified."

Along comes little David...his main job was tending his father's sheep, but he had also entered into the service of Saul as an armor bearer. Down in verse 32 David tells Saul don't let your men lose heart over this guy...I'll go down and fight him. Can't you imagine Saul's response? You are just a kid...this Goliath of Gath has been a fighting man since he was young. You can't fight him. So David sets out to prove he should at least get a shot at this fight by telling Saul how he rescued his father's sheep from bears and lions.

1Sam 17:37 "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."

How could Saul argue with that? David's faith in his deliverance from the giant by the Lord was so strong no one could go against it, not even a king. Saul said to David, 'go, and the Lord be with you.' We all know what happened next...a sling shot, five smooth stones in a pouch...one well aimed, guided by the hand of the Lord, stone and down came the giant.

Was it only David's faith in the Lord that set him apart from Saul and his army? Dare I say, no? God had prepared David for this moment...from David's experience with the bear and the lion he was confident that God would deliver him from Goliath. However, faith and preparation were not enough to accomplish this mission. David had to be willing to step forward... to take action!

What began like any other day in the ordinary life of a boy was about to change his life...and the lives of those around him. He was ready, he was willing, and God was able... What about you? How are you doing in "giant country?" Are you cowering like the army of Israel afraid to face the giants in your life or will you step boldly out on faith, willing to be used, to make a difference in the lives of others...willing to accept the difference being used by God will make in your life?

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Interview

Susan over at http://penlesswriter.blogspot.com sent this to me. I thought I would share my interview with you all. I love Susan's blog! Be sure to pop over there and check out her interview and the 24/7 prayer blog.

I am interested in seeing YOUR responses either on your blog or in the comments section. God bless and have a great weekend.

1. Where do you get your inner strength? Most definitely from the Lord. I know when I am faced with a difficult situation that if I just give it over to the Lord, He will provide a way out, an answer, comfort, peace. He is all I need. The trick here is to remember that His timing is not my timing and just as was the case with King David...sometimes what seems to be the "logical" response is not always what He sees fit.

2. What is the most important thing you feel you've accomplished in your life so far? Hummmm.... I could say putting myself through college, overcoming an abusive lifestyle, or taking control of destructive habits. However, those things pale into comparison with the accomplishment I feel when looking at my now 30 year old son, Richard. I know it sounds a bit cliche', and that who he has become is based upon his reactions to his own experiences and his personal relationship with Christ...but knowing the life he had as a young child, the damage that could have lasted a lifetime...seeing what God has done with him and the influence he has become to a new generation, leading others to Christ....guiding young believers... pushing them to a deeper relationship with our Savior....how can a mother not count that among her greatest achievements?

3. If time and money were no object what would you do? For sometime I have wanted to open a Christian Cafe' and used bookstore called Second Chance Cafe'. This would be a place where young and old alike would be welcome. A place to grab a bite to eat, read, relax, enjoy music, and experience the Love of Christ. Karaoke night for those who would like to participate, a place for the youth to hang out on the weekends, and the story lady would read books to young children on Saturday mornings or they could enjoy a puppet show in the afternoon. A place where the poor could get free meal and a word of encouragement. A place where the hands of Jesus are extended to both believer and seeker alike. Yep, 2nd Chance Cafe'...feeding you body and soul....ahhhh, again, it is in HIS timing.

4. Where do you see yourself in 2 years? Wherever the Lord leads, I will follow.

5. Who, or what, has had the greatest influence in your life? This is the hardest question to answer, I guess that is why it is last. (smiling here) Our lives are composed of the impact that others make on us...people who give us what we need at a particular point in time, whether it be encouragement, advice, simple love, or a cold shoulder. My father's tough love, my mother's compassion, my sister who wanted so much for me when I was traveling the wrong path, the Navy Lieutenant who believed in me when I barely believed in myself, the little boy who loved his mommy and gave her the guts to move in another direction, the Navy Petty Officer who was a part time preacher and befriended a wild girl looking for something more in life, the husband who took me to church and led me to the Lord...all these people have had a great impact upon my life. I believe God used them to bring me to this point, so that I would be ready, willing, and able to be of His service.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Highs and Lows of Two Weeks

Whew! I am truly thankful that this two weeks is done and gone. My computer was down and I have had no way of visiting my bloggy land friends which I truly missed. I will be catching up so if you see a comment from me that is past due...know I could not go any more without reading your news and views. I can't believe I missed the big inauguration and I had some great pictures and a wonderful story line. I guess it was just not mean to be.

When the talking heads promised that 2009 was going to be the year of change...I didn't think much of it...I really did not think it would affect our household very much but the winds of change have already begun to blow through the Kyzer compound.

Pvt. Jacob L. Kyzer, 787th MP - Delta Company "Mad Dawgs" graduation. 15 Jan 09...Thanks to all of you who have prayed him through this transition.

Jake graduated MP school and we spent a couple of days in Missouri for the ceremony and pomp. He came home with us for a little over a week during which time our home was invaded from between 5 and 10 young men between the ages of 17 to 24! We took him back on the 29th as it is also his first duty station. However, the snow and ice kept us there a little longer than we intended. He is settled in temporary housing at the moment but should get permanent housing soon.

My ex-husband was at work doing whatever it was that he did, quit breathing, and was never revived again. I am very thankful that not long ago he went to the altar at Beebe Church of the Nazarene and gave his life to Christ. No matter how tumultuous our relationship was...I forgave that man a long time ago and I would never want him to die destined for a sinner's hell. It is true...our God is an on time God!

One of Jake's friends moved in with us to finish school and wait for his basic training...

Our newest addition...Tyler...he will be with us less than a year. Please remember him in your prayers as he embarks on the last vestiges of boyhood and prepares to step across the threshold into manhood.

And there is a possibility that I will return to the workforce sometime soon...

Yes, life has been busy the past couple of weeks with the highs and lows of life that we all experience from time to time.

  • The joy and celebration of a milestone marking the beginning of a young mans life as an adult.

  • The sadness that accompanies the death of someone with whom a life was shared...if only for a moment in time.
  • The uncertainty as we once again extend our hands and pull a young man up by the bootstraps and point him in the right direction...

While things happen that we do not understand... how a mother can turn her back on her child because he irritates the husband she has now...how closely a death follows salvation...how quickly a little boy turns into a man we truly know that God is in control. Always has been...always will be and in that fact we take comfort.

God bless you all and I will be visiting you soon!
In HIS grip,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The BIG Hunting Life of a Small Town Christian Boy

My seven year old grandson, Hunter, shot his first duck this weekend. He has blogged about it over at his Hunting and School Blog - The BIG Hunting Life of a Small Town Christian Boy.

If you get a chance please pop over and give him a hearty congratulations.

He has been blogging over a month now and not very many people check out his site. It could be the fact that we haven't told very many people about it and he is only seven! He checks his blog every day to see how many people visit and where they live.

Most of the pictures you have seen already since they are more than likely posted on my blog. We are working on more stories. He really likes this blogging thing. We might just end up with a real writer in the family.

a.k.a. Granna

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our House...is a very, very fine house....

That old Crosby, Stills and Nash song "Our House" has been running through my mind today. As you can tell from my last post I have been in a bit of a reflective mood lately. I guess those rapidly approaching birthdays do that to you...

My mother used to tell me to be careful what I prayed for cause I just might get it. I guess, God was listening to me because over the past twenty years our house has been full of children. As alluded to in past posts God answered my prayer for a baby within the hour and I hadn't even been saved for a full year. No, it's true!

I was making up a half day of drill (for you non-military types...that's our weekend duty) and attended church services one Sunday morning. As I was heading to the reserve center about twenty minutes away I began to pray. It is my custom to pray while driving as it affords the solitude I sometimes lack. It was a simple prayer..."Lord, if we are meant to have more children, make it easy...I am almost too old to wait much longer and Jimmy so deserves more children, he is such a good father." It was that simple, that quick.

Seven and a half months later we were rushing to the hospital to meet our new baby, Jake. God showed me right then and there just how real He was and I am reminded of that reality every time I look into those big blue eyes, every time I read a letter, a text, or an e-mail.

Now, when I prayed that prayer I had visions of several babies a couple years apart until I was too old by state standards to adopt anymore. God had other plans... It never ceases to amaze me how He knows me and my situation better than I know myself. I am truly thankful because if left to my own devices...well, you need only to read my testimony a few posts back to know what my life was like when I was trying to run it myself.

I don't think Jake was even walking when we received a call about a teenage girl who had run away... but when social services was called her parents would not let her come back home. I will not share her story with you as it is quite lengthy and even more horrendous. Suffice it to say that God led her to us. We asked for a bit of time to pray and one night in the wee hours of the morning Jimmy woke me up and told me to call them and the next day we brought home our first teenager.

We simply said, "yes, Lord...if that is what you want us to do then we will." It has been an adventure every since. Her addition to our family opened the flood gates and year after year God added to our household. Sometimes finances got a little tight because we received no assistance from state sponsored programs and I was a stay at home mom till Jake started school. But we always had enough and we knew that God not only brought these children into our lives but He would provide for them as well.

Some were success stories, some needed more than what we could give them and moved on, still searching for whatever it was they lacked. Some we still see, others we haven't seen in years but we continue to pray for them and know that for a brief period of time they came into contact with the unconditional love that only God can give.

I think our house was kind of a healing station for these kids. Some were strangers, others we knew from the community; some were from poor or modest backgrounds, others from more prominent families. All have heart breaking stories of how the adults in their lives decided at some point that they were more important than the children in their lives.

Latch-key kids or at risk children are simple terms that can never describe the emotions attached to these people. For all they were or appeared to be, first and foremost they were people...forgotten, pushed aside, too much trouble for the adults in their lives to take the time necessary to help them become successful, productive adults.

Our first goal was to teach them about forgiveness. They had to forgive the adults in their past for whatever abuse or neglect they experienced. After all, forgiveness is not what you do for someone else, it is what you do for yourself...so that you can move on, so that you can heal and not harbor all that hurt that turns to resentment and hate...that hurt that keeps you from loving fully.

Matthew 6:14 "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."

Matthew 5:43-44, 46 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you....(46) If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?"

Next we had to show them that it is OK to make mistakes, OK not to be perfect, and it was OK to just be themselves. We had some rules of the house but we also wanted them to figure out what it was that they wanted to do with their lives. Some had never even thought about the future and most were shocked we even cared. We were surprised at the reactions of being grounded instead of being kicked out. How sad is that? Thankful for being grounded!

Their time with us was so short, most just two or three years. It took us about a year to get to know each one of them. As they revealed their stories to us in their own time, we understood why they would react to situations as they did. It is amazing to us as each child experienced our belief in Christ, our belief in the fact that they were important to Christ and to us...and that all things are possible through Him...they began to stand a little taller, walk a little straighter, smile a little more.

Did you know that no matter how old they become deep down they are still the same little boys and girls who love their mommies and daddies and just want their parents to love them back with that same kind of love? We found that the only love that can make that any easier is the Love of Christ.

I share this part of our lives with you not to focus on what we did but what God did for these children who thought they were destined to a mediocre life....a life of failure...these kids who thought they were unworthy of love let alone any attention. These people who found true love begins in the outstretched arms of the one who died because He loved us.

Each one brought a different dimension to our lives but the experience taught us ALL about love, forgiveness and the grace and mercy of a loving and giving God. Taught us ALL that though we are unworthy His love is for all and covers all....

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Days Gone By...or bye!

I ran across some old photos at my mom's recently and thought I would share them with you. It is amazing the memories pictures and music bring back, isn't it. I hope you enjoy! What can I say? My life is an open book!

From the left. My mother, Patricia; my grandmother, Pearl Ruby Theresa, my uncle's wife, Effie; and my Aunt Katie. This picture was taken when they lived in Louisiana.

Top left: My brother, Dave and Sister Carol, bottom left: My sister Deborah and me!

My favorite outfit from the 3rd grade!

My little sister, Barbie...don't you just love that hair? She still has it today but it is a little darker. She has always been beautiful and has a personality to match!

My little brother, Robert. We call him Butch. This is from my favorite Christmas of all time. It was the last Christmas in the house in town. He wore that Batman costume out! He even jumped off the back porch singing nah, nah, nah, nah, nah....BATMAN. Then they had to go to the hospital for stitches in his chin.

Barbie, Tesa (me) and Butch eating watermelon from the garden. I have no idea what I am wearing...but knowing my mother it was something I picked out on my own and wanted to wear. LOL... I still love fresh watermelon!

OK, so I am standing in the sprinkler with an umbrella...why didn't my mother tell me I was a dork? Why, I ask you, why? Here I thought I was always so smart and clever.

Oh, I loved this bike! It was pink and I felt so free riding it around the neighborhood. It was never the same riding it around the farm.

That's me on the right holding the birthday sign at Romper Room. It was my birthday too! It lasted an entire week...but I never got to see myself on television.

All grown up now...that's Richard. I always thought he would be a doctor when he grew up...instead of healing bodies...he leads teens to the true healer, the Lord.

This is my Uncle Mike, Navy UDT. This is a Vietnam era picture because after that he became a Navy SEAL.

It was about the same time as the above photo that he rescued these guys when they splashed down after their visit to the moon.

Last one...this is a picture of the Kyzer family just after Jake's adoption was final. One of the best days of my life!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are You Protected? turn music off to right of video

Last night was one of those sleepless nights I sometimes experience mostly due to one too many cups of chocolate coffee after dinner. I got to bed a little later than normal and tossed and turned, read, watched TV, prayed, read some more and finally settled in and decided to watch television until I just conked out. Somewhere between COPS and one of those TV court shows I saw this commercial for Five Gum.

Having a sales and marketing background I like to evaluate the creativity and effectiveness of commercials but this one was a little different. The first thing that popped into my mind was that guy is representative of the Christian and the enclosure...the protection that comes with our life in Christ.

Many people are being duped to believe that once they go through the motions of 'getting saved' that life is skipping through the daisies, smelling the flowers, watching the little birdies fly...that all their dreams and wishes will come true and that life will resemble a Disney movie. No wonder people are pouring into those feel-good mega churches that avoid the message of sin, condemnation, hell and redemption. You know the ones I am talking about...where if you tithe, you'll get rich and if you have a positive outlook, life will be grand and everyone will like you.

From what I've read in the Bible life seems to be a little more like the above commercial. If we trust Him we will be protected from what ever life throws at us. And like this guy we might get a little sticky from the experiences but like that cage...God's protection is always there. The Bible is full of evidence of this protection. Look at Daniel. Thrown into the den of hungry lions and their mouths were shut and at daybreak there he was just as alive as he was the night before. An event that caused King Darius to proclaim the protection of Daniel's God throughout his kingdom.

Daniel 6:26-27 "I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. 'For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and He saves; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.'"

And who can forget about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? King Nebuchadnezzar was so furious when they would not bow down to worship the golden image that he had the furnace heated seven times hotter than normal...it was so hot that it immediately killed the guards as they pitched the three into the fire. But were they burned? NO! As a matter of fact the king sees not three boys, but FOUR walking around in the fire. When he told them to come out they didn't even smell like smoke. Now, that is truly the protection of God!

That's the old testament, the old covenant you say? The new testament starts out with a clear picture of God's protection when an angel warned Joseph to take the baby Jesus and his mother and flee to Egypt. That same protection is available for us today. Believers need only look as far as Ephesians to be reminded that God has provided armor for our protection, that daily we should gird ourselves. I ask you now, are you protected?

Ephesians 6:10-17 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Go where He leads...do what He says!

Why is it that we sometimes fight God's direction? We tell Him, use us...send us... then we are content to stay put doing the same old thing, the same old way, day after day. When we don't see the results of our ministry (or our actions) we tell ourselves we are just in a "be still and wait on the Lord" period and in time He will reveal His purpose, His lesson, His results. We ignore the signs, for lack of a better word, and we chalk up the lack-luster results of our work for Him as someone else's fault when in reality if we were actually serving Him when, where and how He desires the results would be phenomenal.

Don't get me wrong...I do believe we have to be still and wait sometimes but should we not evaluate our own relationship with Him during that time, do a little self-analysis, some soul searching, a little introspection if you will? Shouldn't that be a part of our regular relationship with the Lord? The self-evaluation, I mean? While praise and worship, reading the Bible daily and a healthy prayer life are very much an important part of that relationship, how often do we honestly, evaluate the condition of our own hearts?

Charles Swindoll stated in his book Intimacy with the Almighty that "solitude is the place where struggles occur that no one else knows about. It is there that God probes our deepest thoughts and opens our eyes to the things that need attention... Solitude is the furnace of transformation" It is in those be still and know that I am God times that "He makes us aware of those things we try to hide from others." It is in the solitude and silence that we are transformed, that we become more like Him.

Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." KJV

If we read His word, NO...if we meditate on His Word and apply it to our lives daily...have a meaningful prayer life and by that I mean...not just bringing Him a laundry list of what we want Him to do for us and what we will do for Him, if we truly worship Him...if we exercise this discipline of solitude and reflection of our own lives...examining our hearts with honesty and giving over to Him our weaknesses, our sins....how then can we go about doing what we have always done when we know in our heart of hearts His will is elsewhere or simply in doing something different?

Is it the fear that someone you love and respect will not acknowledge that you even know God's will? Is it that someone you love and respect will not agree with the direction in which you feel led? Is it the fear of letting them down or the fear that if it fails...your relationship with God will be examined and judged by friends and foes alike? What exactly is it that keeps us from stepping out whole-heartily, smack-dab into the middle of His Will, with excitement and unwavering faith and assurance?

I think it has to do with surrendering. By definition to surrender is to yield to the power of another, to give up under compulsion...relinquish. And guess what? It's a verb! It takes ACTION! It IS an ACTION! It is so easy to bandy the word about with all the other "Christian-speak" we have become comfortable using, isn't it? But to do it...well that's a different story entirely, is it not? If I were to be honest with you and with myself, I would have to admit it is sometimes difficult for this Type A, planner who demands perfection, who expects measurable results immediately. Why is it so hard to completely surrender? To be sold out 100% to Him... to His will?

We get caught up in activities in our personal life, in programs, promotions, and church socials, and what we think is the work of God. We are busy, busy, busy and we miss the mark...totally miss the mark...miss His calling, miss His direction...shoot right past His Will for us and hit the bulls-eye of the work of our own hands and we can't understand why we are not receiving a blessing.

How busy we have become and as a result...how empty all because we tell ourselves we are surrendering to His will yet have our plans all tied up nice and tidy in a neat little package with a pretty little bow subconsciously considering how it will look to others, and who will be pleased. All the while we are not still or quiet enough to even know if it is His voice we are hearing.

How assuring to know that He patiently waits for us to yield, to quit fighting Him, to allow His plan to run its course, to turn to Him for our security and significance. As He witnesses our doing that, He begins to reveal Himself and His will in greater depth.

If we don't slow down and listen...He will get our attention. If we pledge to be of His service and then do our own thing....if we promise to be used by Him then refuse to act when called... He will cause His purpose to be accomplished one way or the other. Two situations come to mind...Esther, who was told that deliverance for her people would rise up from somewhere else but to not think she would be spared if she took no action...and of course, there is Jonah..who went the opposite direction of God's will only to find himself in the belly of a great fish for three days while God got his attention.

As we step forward into a new year, let us be sure we are walking in His will...always keeping in step with the Spirit, being renewed and transformed daily, trusting Him whole-heartily, leaning not on our own understanding but acknowledging His grace...knowing His will...and walking by faith to accomplish His purposes... His good and perfect will.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." KJV

I say it again...in ALL thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.

Friday, January 2, 2009

We are off to Missouri so please enjoy...It's A Dog's Life...we should be so smart!

Today we are heading back up to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to drop Jake off. He graduates 15 January and will be stationed there until deployed. I thought you might enjoy this story. I posted it back in July when I only had one reader...thanks Brother Jim! I posted the cartoon for you! :-D God bless and we'll see you again real soon!

Repost from...
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
It's A Dog's Life...we should be so smart!

Before Jimmy and I married I was a cat person. However, my boys have always loved dogs. Richard was the worst. I don’t know how he managed but it seemed every stray dog in the county showed up on our door step. When he was about 13 we were in a "dog free" period and he had just started the Junior Firefighter program at the local volunteer station. Jake was almost three and I decided to check out the local shelter to see if I could find a Dalmatian. Lucky me…they had one that was house broken and did a few tricks.

As our first house pet, "Backdraft" quickly became part of the family. While he was intended to be a surprise for Richard the dog had other ideas and he and Jake became fast friends. When Jake started school the dog would watch from the front window while "his boy" got on the bus. As it slowly rolled out of sight, Backdraft would head to the bedroom to sleep and watch TV. You would think the dog could tell time! At 3:00 every afternoon he would meander over to the window, poke his head through the curtains and wait - sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, but never lying down.

Before the bus was even in sight the dog would jump up and start wagging his tail. I mean, really wagging his tail. As the bus drew closer he would run to the kitchen door, back to the window and to the door again until Jake burst through and dog and boy were reunited. There were slurps from the dog, pats from Jake, giggles and wiggles, and off they would go. I know from that daily routine why people say, "Dog is man’s best friend."

Backdraft died years ago and for many months Jake literally mourned the loss of "the only dog he will ever love." It’s kind of odd, I think about that dog and the way he loved his boy many times. Most often as I am getting ready for church - of all places. Do I wait patiently enough on the Lord, like that dog waited every day for the big yellow bus to pull up and deposit the love of his life at the end of the long driveway? Am I as excited to see the Lord as I step in the front doors of the sanctuary as that dog was when his little boy walked in the kitchen door? After all, isn’t that the way it should be? We are going to a place where we commune with our Lord. Shouldn’t we be excited? Shouldn’t we be happy? Shouldn’t we look forward to it all week?

I ask you, just as I ask myself, to examine why you go to church. Is it for the people, the music, the programs, the Pastor? Is it because that’s what good people do? Or…are you going because it is there you see the love of your life?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Twenty-O-Eight was definitely a year of change and reflection around the Kyzer Compound. As you have read in previous posts our oldest son and family moved into town while my nephew, his wife and children moved into the house in our pasture, Jake became a man after joining the Army, and I "retired" and started blogging.

The talking heads of the media promise that 2009 will also be a year of change. Change for America... starting with Obama's inauguration... I believe it will take even more strentgh of faith as we walk through the next twelve months. Change is inevitable... we have experienced it our entire life both personally and collectively as a country... some for the better... some for the worse.

John F. Kennedy once stated "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." He could not have known when he spoke these words of the calamity awaiting one fateful sunny afternoon in Dallas. An event that would forever change the face of his family... change the face of America. Nor do we know the changes this new year holds for us...whether it be tragedy or triumph.

It is comforting to know the ONE who is in control of a world that seems to sometimes spin out of control because of change. The ONE WHO NEVER CHANGES... He who is faithful and just... who will never leave nor forsake us...the one who prayed for us.

John 17:20-23 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message. that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

John 17:25-26 "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

Change surely awaits us all within the confines of the next 365 days. As parents, as a couple...Jimmy and I know one change we will face as Jake is deployed. Will it be the biggest challenge...the highest hurdle? Are we prepared to boldly face the fear a parent goes through as their child is hurled into the face of danger? Probably not... but we know that to walk by faith and not by sight is something we can not do on our own...we know that to walk by faith means giving all we are, all we have within us over to God. For truly it is then and only then that one does not walk by sight.

I've not had a list of New Year resolutions since my early 20's because that is just what it became...a list. In my early thirties I started a goal list at the beginning of each new year. Some goals were accomplished and if I knew where the first one was I'd bet there are some still unmet goals listed upon that yellowed piece of paper. However, this year...this year is different.

It is with much resolve and determination that I hold fast to the hand of my Savior...that I seek Him always...searching for and walking in His will. It is with the strength of His Spirit that I am one with Him as He is one with the Father.... that all who see me will know that He loves them as the Father loved Him. That He is the refuge...the fortress...the deliver...the salvation that the world seeks, though they do not know him.

God bless you in 2009 and God bless America.