~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..."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

“My soul followeth hard after thee.”

Psalm 63:8(a)  KJV

It is the time of year when one tends to reflect upon the accomplishments and mistakes of the past year then set about making goals and resolutions to ensure the upcoming year is better than the one just experienced.  I am generally one of these people.  However, as 2010 slams to a close this year’s goal sheet remains a blank page of white paper… 

It could be filled with the yet attained goals from years past… lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, etc.  But really, what would be the point?  Do these resolutions even deserve a place on a serious goal sheet if they have been there for years...  untouched, unresolved, unattained … gathering dust as if pushed to the back of some long forgotten shelf? 

I can barely get past the review of the last three months let alone the entire year! Each time I find solace for such a purpose I sit detached as if watching some horrible dream over and over again. Moments of disappointment, anger, shock, and sorrow replay in my mind’s eye like some relentless horror film.  I sit helpless and watch all over as my children’s personal lives fall apart before my very eyes. 

One daughter-in-law moves out because she just does not want to be married anymore then moves back in, only to give up on life and when that is not successful giving up on her marriage and family all together.  Leaving in her wake a destruction she cannot see nor cares to see because she is only looking to satisfy self. I see a Christian son holding on tight, working harder than any man I have ever seen to be and do what  is necessary to maintain and improve his marriage; praying till his knees were bruised and his hands rubbed raw, crying till all the tears finally dried up.  She walked away and he gave up on a marriage he thought would last a lifetime.

I see another daughter-in-law never quite grasping the meaning of unconditional love. .. as she drives the father of her child away with bullying tactics, condescending mannerisms, and insecurity. Using a newborn baby  to control a soldier fresh from war... never even pretending to seek the One True God.  I see a very young Christian son, slowly shut down as the war on the home-front is harder to face than the one taking place in the desert. .. finally giving up completely on love and marriage and striking out on his own.

I see my own mistakes as I react erratically as the drama slowly unfolds… praying, crying, counseling… then succumbing to the anger… TRAGIC… a worldly reaction and BAM… a lost witness.  Forgiveness from the Lord washes over me but the damage is done.  That sticks and stones thing is a myth, I tell you. Words hurt much deeper and longer than any bruise, scratch or broken bone… even more so when they shoot from your own mouth, slide past the tongue, and pierce the heart of someone whom you genuinely love.

In the face of such reality…and the uncertainty brought about by the two divorces our family will experience in the upcoming year many of the goals and resolutions that once occupied my ‘New Year’s List’ seem most frivolous and without merit.  Perhaps this year the list will contain merely three words:  


For truly, one cannot trust and obey unless they first seek HIS way.
Psalm 63:1-8 “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods, with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” NIV

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Panderers of Prosperity

These last couple of weeks leading up to Christmas have been very busy in the Kyzer Compound and now that  Jake has arrived home it seems  time has accelerated.  The house is constantly full of friends and family. Did I mention it was hunting season?  There are always extra men and boys around during hunting season…  It takes almost all day just to keep the house picked up and the brood fed! 
 Like most, I either have the television or the radio going in the background when working around the house.  I like to watch our local Christian television station VTN.  I love the teachings of Beth Moore and Charles Stanley among others.  It is good solid teaching and I soak it up as I cook and clean… or play on Facebook. 
What I get tired of are these televangelists with their feel good, tickle the ear message of everything is ok and as long as you are a good person you will make it to heaven.  My lands… can you visualize them patting the backs of the mis-lead all the way to hell?! You know the ones I am talking about… those who shall remain nameless who have a camera instead of a congregation, a fan base instead of a following, a message of materialism instead of salvation for the starving soul!  Oh, oh… and what about those who tell the masses in television land to send in $20 and they will pray over a cloth (or some other object) and send it to you? They almost guarantee you…healing, money, jobs, security… all your troubles will disappear… just send them the money…  UGH!  It makes me just want to scream!!!

It is the preaching of prosperity that really gets my goat.  I mean seriously, where exactly in the Bible does it say that God will make you rich, give you a big house, and an expensive car?  Where does it say that if you pay your tithe faithfully or contribute a little more you can wear shoes and clothes that cost thousands of dollars?  It is upside down, wrong side out… devoid of truth… theology. The Bible warns us to beware of materialism... how then can these people in good conscious get up there and tell the world the opposite? 
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” ~NIV
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~NIV
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
Psalm 37:16 “Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked:”  ~NIV
Read  Mark 10:17-27, 31 – the young rich man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life… when Jesus tells him to sell all he has and give to the poor and follow him the man was disappointed and went away.  He was unwilling to follow Jesus if it meant entering poverty…
Luke 12:15 “Then he [Jesus] said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” ~NIV 
 In other words, he who dies with the most toys…LOSES!

Christians hope in eternal security, and God would have us give up “carnal security” to get it.  The flesh wants the security of money.  It wants to be in control, to be the master, to be god. So we dream of and cling to money because we do not want to be totally dependent on God.   We get caught up in jobs… spending entirely too much time building a career to give our family a better life.  Which on the outside looks good… but is it really?  What if we spent as much time and effort to ensure our families salvation, their devotion to God… as we do in making sure they wear designer clothing and have the best and latest gadgets?
It is this hope in carnal security… the security of a good paycheck… the love of money … the master of things that make our lives convenient, good, easy… that these panderers of prosperity tap into.  My word… they have lost their grip on TRUTH!  They want us to think we can get rich by believing them all the while lining their own pockets with our money!  This is wrong on so many levels…

Paul tells the Thessalonians in
1Thess 2:4-5 “On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask of greed – God is our witness.” ~NIV
2 Cor 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.”
1Tim 6:3-9 “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.  He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. “ ~NIV
The most misused scripture by prosperity preachers seems to be...
Psalm 37:5 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." ~NIV  
This scripture tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord… meaning…put HIM first… love Him first… find our joy, our happiness, our success… in HIM… loving Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind… when we do this... our desires will NOT be to satisfy ourselves through money, possessions, careers, or comforts… our desires will be HIS desires!

So this CHRISTmas, I beg of you… do not fall for some over the top, too good to be true, tickle the ear message of prosperity and peace from some tv preacher whose only real interest in the gospel is to see how big of a mansion he can have here on earth.  Instead, search the scriptures, seek HIS face… give your life entirely to HIM and trust him with your whole heart (and your pocketbook)… and hang on to HIM for dear life… for eternal life!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update on my Grandmother

Thank you all for your prayers. My grandmother, Pearl Ruby Theresa Lauring Bennett, passed away this afternoon at 3:30. Her body will be prepared in Batesville, Arkansas and transported to Houston, Texas where she will be laid to rest next to my grandfather.  She lived a long, full life. She suffered from Alzheimers and in the end really did not know any of us.  However, we have a lifetime of beautiful memories and will miss her dearly.  My prayers go up for my mother, my aunt and my uncles.  May God keep his arm around them during this time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Prayer Request

My grandmother has had a stroke. Does not look good. She is in her mid-90's. My mother and father are going to the hospital in Batesville, Arkansas now. Prayers are appreciated.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Never Feed a Stray Dog?

My sister-in-law called me yesterday and asked that I come in at 7 this morning to work the register at the cafe.  Good thing I did because it was crazy busy!  We had several people pick up their pre-ordered Thanksgiving goodies, but there were tons of call in orders as well as a packed house. I love it when it is like that... time flies and it seems I am energized at the end of the day.

I was just finishing up a "to-go" order when a young man walked in and asked if he could get a glass of water or something to drink. As I headed to the drink machine he said, "Uh, mam, I don't have any money." I told him that was fine, it was no charge.  As I handed him the water I noticed he looked like he had been on the loosing end of a fight.  He might have been a little "under the influence" but I threw caution to the wind and asked if he was hungry. Of course, he was.  I told him I'd buy him lunch and he could have what ever he wanted.  I quickly ran through the days specials and he ended up with pork loin, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, a roll and some coffee.

We were an hour away from closing and business had slowed down considerably.  That's when it happened... people were watching this guy like they were afraid of him... like he might rob us or just keep coming in for free food. You know the look... the less than desirable, non-paying customer.  Oh well, I thought, no one was gonna go hungry on my watch, not when I had a couple extra dollars in my purse anyway.

That's when I got the advice, "Never feed a stray dog."

I responded, "Sure you do...especially this time of year!"

"This guy might be coming around over and over again wanting a hand out. He might be a crack head or something like that... he might even try to rob the place."

"Ah, but wouldn't it be great if we were the ones who fed his body and his soul?  So what if he had been beaten up (possibly by his drug dealer)? Could we not be the hands of Jesus, just this once? Can we find an opportunity to tell him about our Savior...his Savior?"

As I was leaving the cafe I watched him get in the car with two older women and ride off, left overs in his to-go box. I never had the chance to say one word about Jesus...but I sure hope through my actions he got a taste of the difference God makes in our lives.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost... the undesirables of His time... of all time!  He dined with sinners and 'publicans.' He fed the hungry. He healed the lame, the blind, the sick in body and spirit.  If we are called to be like Him, why would we not feed a wondering, beat-up, skinny young man in hopes that he too will one day truly experience all that Jesus has to offer.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

If we, as Christians, act like the world...how in the world will the world ever see the difference He makes?

Monday, November 22, 2010


Ahhh... the smell of fresh brewed chocolate coffee wafting in from the kitchen all the way to the bedroom, the 1954 Jimmy Stewart/June Allyson movie The Glenn Miller Story is playing quietly in the background and my Chihuahua, Isabella is snuggled deep under the covers next to me, with Yorkie, Lilly sprawled out on top of the quilts.  I could lay here all day but the new week has begun!

The house has been filled with the boys all weekend!  It was the first day of duck hunting season here in Arkansas and I guess it is still deer season as well. It is not uncommon this time of year to be awakened by the sound of laughter, the smell of bacon cooking, and a house full of guys getting ready for the hunt. It amazes me that they can get up so early, hunt a little while, get ready and go to church, then hunt some more. Seems like this weekend they ended up with more stories than game and it puts a smile on my face.

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and this year we are taking our festivities on the road.  Now that Jake and his wife are getting divorced he is staying with some friends and Jimmy and I are taking his best friend, all the trimmings and heading north. I am not sure exactly how many soldiers and/or their families will show up but I am prepared to share with them all our holiday tradition of scripture, prayer, food, football and napping!

I have about six different lists going right now.  It is so easy to get bogged down in the details of making all the arrangements, especially when there is only one woman, one mom... menu planning, what to cook ahead and take, what to make there, what time we will arrive at the hotel, what time do we need to arrive at the house in order to get the turkey done at a reasonable time.   All the while encroaching on this planning session is the fact that Christmas is right around the corner and there is shopping to be done, decorations to be displayed, lights to be hung and another feast to be prepared.  Ugh... I think I might just turn over and go back to sleep!

I must admit here that I am one of those people who get a bit melancholy during the season of  thanksgiving and cheer... even when there is no added stress factors... I'm not sure why, but it happens.  It is then that I start making a list of a different kind... my blessings list, my list of what I am thankful for, my list of people who have impacted my life.... changed my life... and then I go out and do something for someone else.  A simple gesture to a stranger, a surprise for family or a friend. It makes all the difference in the world, lightens the mood, puts a bounce in my step and a smile on my face!

Yep, this time of year I spend a bit more time in prayer than usual... and to quote an over-used expression, it keeps me focused on "the reason for the season"... while the details take care of themselves.  Think I'll turn the television off, pop in a CD, and get to cleaning this house.
When upon life's billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged,
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will suprise you
What the Lord has done.

Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

Are you ever burdened
With a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear?
Count your many blessings,
Ev'ry doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by.
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your many blessings,
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven,
Nor your home on high.
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

So, amid the conflict,
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged,
Godis over all
Count your many blessings,
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey's end.
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"My God, I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but never for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow."  George Matheson.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let Us Pray

James 5:16 "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
I was watching the news this morning and saw where a Hollywood agent/publicist had just left a movie premiere and was shot multiple times.  One minute heading home, going over tomorrows "to-do list" happy the movie she had been publicizing looked like a hit...and just that quick...her life on earth ended.

A woman goes for a routine mammogram and the next thing she knows she is hooked up to chemotherapy and shopping for wigs. A man goes to the doctor because he is tired and lethargic and finds he has mere months to live.  A family living in "Leave-it-to-Beaver-Land" is split wide open because one person just doesn't want to be married anymore.  Jobs are lost, friends suffer, illness takes hold, and accidents happen.

Devout Christian or not... Life can turn on a dime... sometimes there are warning signs... sometimes not.  No matter how much we plan... no matter the contingency, sometimes life just gets turned upside down and inside out leaving our emotions spent and our nerves raw. It is during these times when most people turn to prayer.  You've heard the old saying... "When there is no place left to go, go to your knees."

Sometimes people want to use prayer like it is some kind of magic formula or think of God like a genie a bottle... "Lord, I can't fix it - please, please fix it for me."   They want some kind of big booming voice to emanate from the sky with words of wisdom... or a lightening bolt to strike the "problem" down.  That kind of attitude and expectation can and will only lead to more disappointment. Now, don't get me wrong here, I definitely believe in miracles... I have seen them and BELIEVE in them... it can happen.  What I'm saying is... it's a "heart thing."

In reality, prayer is opening up our hearts and pouring out all that is contained therein... frustration, hurt, anger, sin, thankfulness, praise, worship.  There are times we feel like we just don't have the words... sometimes it is simply lying prostrate sobbing and groaning. Sometimes... we just have to start with a song...

When we empty our hearts of self and focus on HIM... and trust me... this is, at times, so much harder than it sounds... we are praying with a right heart... in righteousness... It is then and only then, that we can hear, we can understand what it is that He has planned, what He has in store for us... it is then we can receive what He has to give us... even if it is simply comfort and peace. ahhhhh... comfort and peace... it is what we all long for, isn't it?

Then the PRAISE comes welling up from within our souls.  Praise Him in the good times and in the bad times... in the fruitful times...and in the lean times. Sometimes praising the Lord is as simple as singing to Him. I think prayer and singing go hand-in-hand after all, singing is worshiping God... even if you sound like an old toad doing it!

There really is power in prayer...the power is not ours, it's not in the singing, not in the words spoken... it is in the very act of prayer itself... it is in the communion with God... the power comes from HIM!  It is so easy to turn to God in prayer when times are tough... it seems like everyone does that.  But do we maintain that communication with God when times are going smoothly or are we like those who walk and live in the world and only seek God's face when life hands us a curve ball?
James 5:16 (b) The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can You Smell What the Lord's Been Cookin'?

God pays attention to those who call on Him.  Whether He offers escape from trouble or help in times of trouble, we can be certain that he always hears and acts on behalf of those who love HIM.
Psalm 34:
1- I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2- My soul shall make its boast in the Lord. The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3- Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
In these first three verses we can simply add the words NO MATTER WHAT!!!!

NO MATTER WHAT... I will bless the Lord always...I will praise Him continually.
NO MATTER WHAT... I will tell others how marvelous the Lord is... I will testify of HIS love and others will be drawn to Him.
NO MATTER WHAT... Let us come together and worship the God of our salvation, our Redeemer...
Psalm 34:8-18 "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.  The young lions lack and suffer hunger: but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  

Come, you children, listen to me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?  Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good: Seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.  The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit."
Psalm 34:8 "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"

I love to cook and often come up with my own unique recipes...sometimes it takes a lot of convincing to get my family to try them and sometimes it does not!  If the house is filled with a tantalizing aroma... then the family is quick to get a taste of what might become their new favorite dish.  If the smells coming from the kitchen are, well, less than favorable...I might hear excuses like... "I'm not that hungry." Or... "I had a late lunch." Or.... "I have other dinner plans."

Just like dinner cooking in the kitchen our lives have a particular aroma...
2 Corinthians 2: 15,16 "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life."
 If we wallow around in woe and self-pity when life is "less than favorable"... what kind of aroma is that?  How many people will miss the glory and mercy of God because of our stinkin' attitude? How many people will think our Lord is "nothing special" because of our actions in our times of trouble simply by the way respond and react to that adversity?  How many people will miss out on salvation?

Instead... let us praise the Lord at all times... NO MATTER WHAT! Let us wait patiently,hopefully, trusting in His will... His way... and let our life beckon to others... "OH, TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD: BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO TRUSTS IN HIM!"

Now, that is a sweet aroma!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
  • Refrain:
    But “I know Whom I have believed,
    And am persuaded that He is able
    To keep that which I’ve committed
    Unto Him against that day.”
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Easy Button

Don't you wish sometimes that you had a magic wand or could wrinkle your nose like Samantha on that old television show Bewitched? You know...like when you are in the middle of cleaning closets and everything is drug out into the middle of the house and stacked in piles... then your pastor calls and says he and his wife are in the neighborhood and are stopping by in a few minutes... dinkle*dinkle*dink! and everything is back in place, the house is spotless, you are no longer dressed in ragged sweatpants and torn t-shirt, and fresh cookies or cake is just about to come out of the oven. Ahhhh... too bad that EASY button doesn't really work... I'd be over at Office Depot right now so I could pick up a couple dozen!

2010 is shaping up to be one of the hardest experienced in a very long time here at the Kyzer Compound.  Both boys have had some "personal" problems.   True to form, my mother instinct kicked in just like when they were little and I wanted to gather them into my arms, sit them on my lap, and hug and kiss the hurt away. I tell you it doesn't work as well with men as it does with little boys. Add to the mix a cancer scare,  deployment to a war zone and the economic pressures experienced by most businesses, but in particular by small, family-owned businesses.... and well... you can imagine... the stress and pressure.

Those of you  who know me personally know I can be a tad-bit high strung at times... but in a good way... and that Jimmy is so laid back that nothing ever gets to him.  While I will sometimes get on my soap box and rant and rave... he stays calm, cool, and collected. I don't think I have ever even heard him raise his voice.  It is what makes us a great team, the perfect couple... but last night... he kept sighing... over and over again, when he thought I couldn't hear him.  The stress is now getting to him as well and it breaks my heart wide open. Winter is always a little tough on us and it seems we are not quite to the end of this season of trial in our lives and so we bathe each day in prayer and look toward Spring... it is always better in the Spring.

I might not have an Easy Button or a wand or be able to wrinkle my nose and make everything all better but I do have a power that is much better, much stronger than anything we see in a movie or on television... and that is the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!  It is the ability to stand on the Rock...the solid rock which is the foundation of our faith... knowing that the old saying "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" is indeed a true statement.  As we are refined through the fire we, as a family, will walk by faith and not by sight, knowing all the while that on the other side of these trials... we will be stronger individuals, a stronger family, stronger Christians. 
2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith and not by sight."

2 Corinthians 12:9 "And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
It is during these times when all we can do is give it all up to Him who is able to do more than we ask or more than we can imagine.  For truly how will we know just how smooth the flight through life is...if we never experience a little turbulence?
 Ephesians 4:19-21 "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. A-men."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Morning Has Broken

Psalm 5:3 "My voice shall thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."

Palisade Mountain Sunrise Submitted by: Darrell E. Spangler

It never ceases to amaze me how God works. If we just keep our eyes open we can see Him working in and around us almost on a moment-to-moment basis. The sad thing is we, humans, are such an emotional lot that if we don't feel His presence we think He is not around... when realistically HE IS EVERYWHERE!

It has been a pretty stressful two-week period of my life.  Issues, stress, and tragedy come and go in people's lives all the time. It is life... the process... the journey.  Though, personally, I prefer my life skipping through the daisies, watching the little birdies fly... you know like some Disney movie.

Sometimes, I find myself walking the tightrope of life... suspended by whatever particular circumstance that has become my reality for the moment. On one side the Godly action, reaction, or decision...on the other the worldly... There may be a safety net below but there is no guarantee that the fall will not result in serious injury.  So as any good trapeze artist, I keep my eyes fixed firmly forward... watching my partner (which in this case is my Savior) obeying his command.... inching ahead, step-by-step until I am almost to the end of the journey where I quick-step the last few paces and leap into His waiting arms.

As the dawn breaks this morning, I once-again, find myself waking up with a prayer in my heart.  Not just for me and the temporary situation which causes me stress and fatigue but for so many others facing so much more difficult events... always with praise and the acknowledgment that the He is in control...and then the peace comes... for the solution was already on the way before we even new a problem existed!

In the midst of all our trials and tribulations... all we have to do is look up... keep moving forward... keep the faith, walk the walk... and whether we feel His presence or not... we can take assurance in knowing HE IS PRESENT and HE IS ABLE!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Ugly Truth Turns Into A Lesson of Love

Like his father, my oldest grandson has the sweetest, compassionate heart.  He has been like that his whole life. They lived next door to us when he was little.  As a toddler he would bang on their door and yell when I drove up.  Of course, Granna always had time to stop in.  When it was time for me to leave he would sometimes, most times, cry this heart breaking cry and hang on to me...I couldn't stand it.  I would pick him up and take him to my house for 20 or so minutes then he was fine.  This went on until he started school.  I used to say he chose me but I realize now it was just an outward expression of his inward love... his tender heart.

He and his little brother stay with me a couple of days a week after school. I love that part of being a grandmother.  Though, they are already beginning to eat me out of house and home!  Sometimes, on Sundays after church he opts to come home with us.  He knows more than likely Papaw is going to fall asleep in the recliner and Granna is going to lay down for just a little while and without his little brother there is not much to do except watch movies or play on the computer.

Now that it is football season we watch football movies...Facing the Giants and Remember the Titans are our two favorites. I'll never forget the first time we watched Remember the Titans, he cried because of the car accident and subsequent death of football player, Gary.  However, recently, that nine-year-old had another revelation...and was appalled.  For the first time he caught a glimpse of the hate that underscored the picture of teenage boys coming together as a championship team.  He saw the obstacle the team faced but did not understand racism at all.  Needless to say not much napping went on that Sunday afternoon.

He began with the incensed statement: "I can't believe people would treat each other like that just cause they are a different color!" Then the questions began... "That's just not right is it, Granna? Were you alive then, Granna?" Sigh...no it's not right and yes I was alive ...sometimes history is just plain ugly.

I was really fortunate.  My parents shielded us from the repulsive part of the racism that took place while we were little. We heard about Rosa Parks and Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr... we celebrated the Voter Rights bill (my mother still registers voters to this day and she is 77!) and we mourned the loss of great leaders in the battle to change the south.  Though really, we were much to young to understand until we were older.  How much do you tell a fourth grader?  Especially one who has never even noticed skin color?

And so, I breathed a prayer and started with the Bible.  1John 4:19-21 " We love because He first loves us. If anyone says 'I love God' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."

We talked a little about slavery, about Lincoln and Frederick Douglas and fast forwarded to Dr. King and voter's rights...we talked a little about Central High School and desegregation. We talked about the hate of man handed down generation to generation and how it was hate that fueled a whole country to mistreat, abuse and neglect an entire population of people... and unfortunately some people still have it.

We finished with the love of Christ who sees sinners and saints - good people and bad people and that the color of their skin does not matter to HIM what-so-ever!  That he is lucky to have friends of all colors and that it is up to us; Papaw and Granna, Mama and Daddy, and he and his friends to make sure that it is the love of Christ that we hand down generation to generation.

I caught a glimpse of the realization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream in the indignation of that nine year old's reaction to the discrimination he saw in the movie. It is my prayer that we Americans, we Christians especially, have finally arrived at the point in time where we truly judge men based on the content of their character and not on the color of their skin. 

I heard a politician say one time, "There is nothing wrong in America that can't be fixed with what is right in America." and I believe that.  What tradition are you passing to the next generation?

Monday, October 11, 2010

8 Questions

I've been tagged by Susan at Penless Writer http://penlesswriter.blogspot.com/.
I'm to answer the following 8 questions made up by Susan, make up 8 questions of my own, and then tag 8 of you to answer my questions.  So here I go....

#1. If money were no object what would you like to do that you've never been able to do or have always wanted to do? I would open a place called 2nd Chance Ministries. I would help women get ready for the work place. It would have a used book store and a place for their children to come while the women were in classes.  The children would have puppet shows or the story lady would read to them.

#2. If you could have "do overs" what is the 1 thing you would never do again? And why? I would never have done drugs or drank when I was young.  It was such a waste of time.  Guess that's why the call it getting wasted, huh?

#3. If you could have "do overs" what is the 1 thing you would want to be absolutely, positively sure you did again? And why? Marry my husband. First of all, because he taught be about the Lord and secondly, I never knew love like this ever existed before.

#4 What is the worst fear? That is a hard one. Technically, I consider myself fairly fearless but I guess secretly I fear loosing my family.

#5. What is your greatest joy? No doubt, loving and serving my Lord... my family is a very close second.

#6. What is your life verse, or if you don't have one, your favorite Bible verse?
John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
#7. What church do you attend? And why? If you do not attend a church, why not? Right now, First Assembly of God in Lonoke, because that is where our son and grandsons attend.  It is a fairly new church and is growing and they have no fear of ministering to the community at large. Their motto: Every Soul Matters...how can you NOT want to be a part of something like that?

#8. If you knew you only have 1 year to live, what is the first thing you would do?  Now that really is a hard one. I guess I would make sure the people I love knew with out a doubt that I loved them.

Now for my eight questions....
1. What do you think your greatest personality trait is and how do you use it best?

2.  What brings you the greatest joy?

3.  Who has been the biggest influence on your life and why?

4.  What is your life motto?

5.  What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

6.  If you had to sacrifice one thing in order to serve the Lord, would you and what would that be?

7.  What is your favorite praise and worship or old-time gospel song.

8.  If you could change one thing either in your community or the world at large what would it be? [World Peace does not count Ms. Beauty Pageant Contestant!]

Now for the eight...

Amanda at Renewed Each Morning
Mary at Mary's Heart 
Ginger at Following My Heart 
Dawn at Call Me Grandma Dawn
Steve over at Cary's Corner
Indian Lake Papa at Choices R Mine
Sharon over at TechnoNana
GranolaChick at So What CAN He Eat?

You Might Be In a Redneck Church...

1. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if … The finance committee refuses to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the members knows how to play one.

 2. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if … People ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch 'em.

 3. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if … When the pastor says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering" and five guys and two women stand up.

 4. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… Opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church holiday.

 5. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of" (Love it!)

 6. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… The choir is known as the "OK Chorale".

 7. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… In a congregation of 500 members, there are only seven last names in the church directory.

  8. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… People think "rapture" is what you get when you lift something too heavy.

 9. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… The baptismal pool is a #2 galvanized " Wheeling " washtub.

 10. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… The choir robes were donated by (and embroidered with the logo from) Billy Bob's Barbecue.

 11. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… The collection plates are really hubcaps from a '56 Chevy.

 12. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… Instead of a bell you are called to service by a duck call.

 13. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… The minister and his wife drive matching pickup trucks.

  14. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if… The communion wine is Boone's Farm "Tickled Pink".

 15. You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... "Thou shall not covet" applies to huntin' dogs, too.

 16. You know You're in a Redneck Church if… The final words of the benediction are, "Y'all come back now, Ya hear".

God Bless and don't fergit ta say yer prayers!