~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..."

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,