~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..."

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.