Monday, December 28, 2009

Strong Enough to Cry



Many think and even believe that crying is a sign of weakness.

Did you know that Jesus cried? (John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible) ~ JESUS WEPT.

Cry/Crying –verb (used without object)
1. to utter inarticulate sounds, esp. of lamentation, grief, or suffering, usually with tears

Crying ~ when you suffer to the point that an outward expression occurs.... tears begin to flow.

Tears come for different reasons and sometimes at unexpected times...

Have you ever cried when you were really MAD or frustrated? Scared? Lonely? Hurt?

Ecclesiastes lets us know that there is a 'season' or 'time' for all things... and "a time to cry" is one of those times...

I love this quote...

[ You don't always have to pretend to be strong.
There's no need to prove all the time that everything is going well.
You shouldn't be concerned about what other people are thinking,
Cry if you need to, it's good to cry out all your tears,
Because only then will you be able to smile again. ]

What happens AFTER you have allowed yourself to have a good cry?

I cannot speak for anyone but me.... crying makes me feel clean.

[ I love walking in the rain, because no-one knows I'm crying. ]

After I have released my heart in the form of tears, I feel a refreshing, light-heartedness that brings on something that is utterly amazing to me...

JOY

"weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning". Psalms 30:5 KJV

I love JOY. It is one of my favorite 'fruits' of the Holy Spirit. It is just the berries! :)

So, don't be too proud... if you need some joy, have a good cry... you may just find that the joy comes quickly... or when it does come, get ready to laugh.

Laughing and Joy are twins! :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Do you see what I see?

Although today considered a toy, View-Master began it's commercial life in 1939 as a home-entertainment medium intended for adults.

My first experience with a View-Master was the Christmas of my 6th year... Second grade! When I returned from Christmas break, my teacher asked us to do a 'show-and-tell' of something we received for Christmas. I was SO excited! Of course, my View-Master would be the coolest gift anyone got from their family (I already knew there was no Santa, our presents were under a Manger Scene, not a tree).

For Sissy's (my grand-daughter Aliyah) second birthday, Mamaw Mildred and Aunt Karen got her a View-Master with some extra view cards. It was so much fun watching her learn to use the viewer...



My girls talked about playing with View Masters when they were little. Their cousins had one and they really enjoyed flipping through the view cards... oh, the stories that unfolded! I am so glad my kids loved to read, listen to audio stories and play with this type of educational toy.


In life, we see what we want to see. Wouldn't it be nice to only load in the view card that we want to see? We all would like to "weed out" the bad, uncomfortable parts.

I am just asking you today, "Do you see what I see"? Is your heart still open and aware? Don't close yourselves off... even though it hurts, let your heart 'see' the needs around you....

Pop in a new view card everyday... the one called "Real Life". It's ok, even though it may be scary, God is viewing it all with you! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My one and only...


Long before the movie phrase came out, "You complete me", my honey and I were living the concept. We are the other "part" of each other. He is my life partner and best friend. I want to introduce you to a very special guy, "my better half", Glenville Paul McBride, Jr.

Glen (Jr) is the cutest, sweetest, most honest, dependable, handsome "hunk" on the planet..... and I can say that because he is MINE! My one and only....



In this day and age, it is very old fashioned to say, but here I go..... we are faithful partners. So when I say, "My one and only", I mean that in EVERY sense of the word.

He "gets' me. He takes into consideration each part of my multi-faceted personality and embraces each one. Believe me, that is no small fete! I can be complex...and that has not scared him off. We have now been married 27 years! As of October 23rd. We are in it for the long haul... no exit options! I only say that because we "mutually" respect each other. Don't get me wrong, if someone is in a abusive or demeaning relationship, saying "goodbye" might be the best option for sanity. I'm just happy that for us, God helps the love and respect remain. A must for longevity in a relationship...

We've come through some tough times. All our days have not been sunny, but we have endured them "together". God's amazing love has been woven into our lives... He will forever be our "thread".

My job had me away on my Anniversary this year...I arrived home at 8 PM that evening. My honey had me some gorgeous roses waiting...



On Sunday, I made dinner at home (Taco Salad and Waldorf Fruit Salad). The day I realized that just "being together" was better than any Anniversary Dinner out or gift, was the day I became a happier person... the greatest joys are shared, not purchased!

Monday was the special day, though.... I came home from work and found my sweetie making HOMEMADE BISCUITS! All this time I thought I was the cook in the family! Just had to take these pictures... how adorable is that?





Through our years together, God has blessed us with two beautiful daughters, two great son-in-laws and a gorgeous grand-daughter. Truly blessed, we are!

Our song is "Just you and I" that was recorded by Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gayle.

Just you and I sharing our love together
And I know in time we'll build the dreams we treasure
We'll be alright, Just you and I

And I, remember our first embrace
The smile that was on your face
the promises that we made
And now, your love is my reward
And I love you even more, than I ever did before

We made it, YOU AND I



As a young, single girl, I used to worry about finding a life partner. I asked God~ "How will I know? How can I pick a guy who will be with me for the rest of my life?" God let me know that my sweetie was the one... now, looking back, I'm so glad I listened... keep talking Lord, and leading us. We have trusted you this far and will continue to... thanks seems too small a word...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What FAITH can do


Have you ever felt like you have lost your faith?

My first impulsive answer would be "surely not, my faith is the most vital part of my existence"! But in all honesty, it is easy to loose SOME sometimes.... I'm not saying that I had none left during those hard, lonely times. I'm just saying that there are times I have to 'scratch' for my measure of faith! It's there, just hard to find...

A few years back, God really kept reminding me of this scripture:

Luke 18:8
~ Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? ~

Seems like humanity is looking for faith in everything but HIM.

Just a few days ago, a friend (thanks Twila!) recommended a song by KUTLESS, "What faith can do". I quickly went to You Tube and gave a listen.... then went directly to Itunes and purchased it. Now, it is playing non-stop on my play-list.

This song just lets us know that "all is not lost", "all is not over"... "there is hope for tomorrow" and a GOD that is still there. His power is not diminished or weakened.... even though it seems we are.

Make sure your eyes are open to ALL his avenues... sometimes he speaks with authority, sometimes in a small voice, or act of kindness! He knows how to find our soft spots!

Here is the YouTube link and the lyrics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7elxC8LXfzE

What Faith Can Do

Verse 1 (ENDING)
Everybody falls sometimes, You gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache, You think it's more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
And don't you give up now, The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds to find the silver lining

Chorus
I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end, Even when the sky is falling
I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered, Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

Verse 2
It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word, It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death, When they decide to take that step, out on the water
But it'll be all right, Life is so much more than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way if you keep believing

Bridge
Overcome the odds, When you don't have a chance
(That's what faith can do)
When the world says you can't, It will tell you that it can

CCLI Song No. 5380356
© 2008 Word Music, LLC | Life Of Rhyme Music Publishing | Chips And Salsa Songs | New Spring (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.) | (Admin. by Word Music Group, Inc.) | (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc., 741 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin TN 37067) | (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.) Scott Davis | Scott Krippayne
For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use. All rights Reserved. www.ccli.com
CCLI License No. 2925950

If you have "lost your faith" for whatever reason/reasons... I pray that we can hope again, believe again, find our faith... through it all!

Are you struggling with your faith today? You may think you have so many questions in life... well, you are not alone, we all have them... Let's agree together to see "What Faith can do".

Keep me posted...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Mentor



Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed..

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

My Thoughts: This is so true, we just need to know that no matter how hot (bad) things get for us, God is always there He is ALWAYS watching over us and will NEVER give us more than we can handle. He will see us through it all and we will grow in our relationship with Him through hard times! So, just hang on to that and know that no matter what you are going through, God is on your side and He is watching over your every move!

{Inspiration Korner}

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What can I ask for?


What am I allowed to ask for?

When I was young, I learned REAL QUICKLY what to ask for and what NOT to ask for. I do not like confrontation, never have... so it there is an option that is "less stressful" or "less contrary", I would take it! And still do...

But, is this always the best route?

I know, sometimes you gotta speak up for yourself, right? Other times, I think I let myself become like a wimp.... or do I?

Jesus, the King of Kings, when confronted with a cruel, judgmental attitude, just stayed calm and only defended himself in a quiet, meek manner! He KNEW who he was! He was confident and secure in himself. [Reference: Isaiah 53:7, Acts 8:32]

Is that why we are not strong at times.... because we are not confident in ourselves? We are wishy-washy or indecisive because we don't know our own mind?

Ought Oh! We are getting on deep territory now!

Jesus speaks so clearly about asking and receiving-

Matthew 7:7-11 (King James Version)

7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

That is God's words... tried, true, tested... bankable!

It's not a myth that we have conjured up... it is fact... TRUTH.

BUT, this is what scares me... in the WORD I can find this...

Luke 18:7-9 (King James Version)

7And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

It all boils down to the confidence you have in Christ.

Psalm 118:8-9 (King James Version)

8It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

9It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

1 John 3:19-21 (King James Version)

19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

I used to agonize over 'upsetting God' by asking him things.... then I realized HE AGONIZED TOO! Even though Jesus KNEW the ultimate plan was for him to die on Calvary, he STILL AGONIZED and questioned God all throughout the night...

HE knows ME! HE loves me, HE hears my prayers and petitions... they come from my "needy" heart...

And HE loves to hear from me! My heavenly father is waiting for my call, my request, my plea!

May I not belittle him by ignoring his gentle knocking on my heart's door. HE wants entry.... he is waiting... don't keep him waiting for too long!

Revelation 3:19-21 (King James Version)

19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

So, what can I ask for? No limits! ... to your heart's content! Go ahead... see what your heavenly father pours out! Need love? Need a job? Need healing? Need uplifting?

You can go BOLDLY before the throne of grace...

Hebrews 4:15-16 (King James Version)

15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

No problem... he's got it all ... right there in his hands!

I'm using these scriptures to encourage myself and MOST OF ALL...

Remind myself how big my heavenly father is and just WHO HE IS! WOW!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I smell the bread...


I LOVE the smell of bread in the oven...do you?

At work (here at the county senior center!), I get to smell homemade bread baking at least twice a week. YUM, YUM... makes me hungry just getting a "whiff". Sometimes, I sneak down and get a "hot one" right after it comes out of the oven! No fair, I know! My cook, Ellen, can do white or wheat and they are delectable!

OK, now to my own blog... today I am going to show you some of the "fruits of my labors". My hubby LOVES banana bread, so lately, I have been picking up RIPE BANANAS at the grocery store (You can get them cheap you know?) and making him some. Over the weeks, I have 'experimented' with different combinations...

Like, adding raisins, some cinnamon, even zucchini...YES, we have decided that the Banana/zucchini combination is our FAVORITE!



So, I will get the "old" recipe (that I dug out from a quaint recipe book done by the Summers family!) and share it with you...of course it is "altered" to include the zucchini that we all agree increases the flavor!


So, here it is (in my own words, just in case you cannot read the picture above!):

Get you a loaf pan, a cupcake pan (that makes 12) or some small loaf pans (I have three that equal one loaf pan ~ so cute!).

Spray them down with non-stick spray (or the old-fashioned way my Ma taught me ~ wipe the butter in there and cover/shake in the flour...works just as well!).

Add 1 cup sugar (or split 1/2 honey or 1/2 brown sugar for some interesting tastes! Hey, it's YOUR recipe, you "doctor it up"! 2 eggs, 1/3 cup butter, 1 2/3 flour (I use self-rising so I don't have to buy all those OTHER ingredients), chopped nuts (as much as you would like!), 2 or 3 ripe (mashed) bananas and at least 2 small (or one big) zucchini (now, I peel the zuchinni, but you do not have to, just shred it!).

Mix all these ingredients together (throw in any other spices you dare! I love to add some Cinnamon!) and bake on 350.

Now, the loaf pan takes at least an hour to bake...but the cupcakes and little loaf pans will be done within 20-25 minutes...watch them! If your oven bakes fast, you better be a watchin'! Burnt bread is not the desired outcome!

So, when I take these tasty morsels out of the oven, I load the butter on top and smear butter on them and eat them HOT! My, my.... nothing like it, fo sho!

Hope you bake you up a nice, tasty batch of banana bread, or other homemade treat! You and your family will enjoy immensely!

Tell me what ingredients you/your family like....I've had some say they like the raisins, others said theirs enjoy chocolate chip cookie chips)....let me know, I'm all about whipping up another batch just to try! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

God's Hands


Yesterday a dear friend (thanks DS!) sent me this message and picture. I posted the picture on Facebook... many responded to the "beautiful message" that it portrayed.

This pictures speaks to me in so many ways. I feel loved, forgiven, cherished and cared for when I see the wonderful hands of God reaching for me..... What safety!

Songs also come to mind:

(BJ Thomas sang this on YEARS ago...)

He's got it all in control
He's got it all in control
He put back reassurance, way down in my soul
He's got it all in control

I've put my life in his hands
I've put my life in his hands
And every road I walk now, I'm sure is in his plan
I've put my life in his hands

(Or the one Sandy Patty sang (also YEARS ago!))

In his hands, there's only safety
Nothing there can touch you, except him
Bring your burdens and all your failures
Lay them down and rest here, in his hands

Here is the history sent to me concerning the picture-

Cara Winship sent this out, it is called: 'God's hands'.

I took this picture on Hwy 30, traveling to London , KY. It has given me strength in the times of trouble. I feel I should share it with the rest of the world. I hope it is an inspiration to you. It just goes to show what we already know....We have a God and he's watching over us.


I e-mailed this picture to News Channel 36. I was contacted by Meteorologist John James. He said that this picture of the sky is showing up, in all states, around the world. He wanted to know where I was from and where I took it. He saw a similar picture taken in Texas . He said this is amazing to him.

Would you look at this picture? It reminds me of that song 'He's got the whole word in his hands'. He is definitely in control. I needed this today more than ever. Enjoy and pass it along!



Friday, August 28, 2009

ATTENTION...."I'm starvin'"


I will never forget the words of Sis. Hightower. She was speaking at a ladies meeting in Parkersburg years (over 24!) ago. I loved the way she brought "real life" into the day-to-day life of the evangelist's family. Even though she was TOTALLY behind her husband's ministry, in ALL ways, she spoke of times when she felt "left out" of his world. This is the words that she said that I will NEVER forget...

"Sometimes I look at Bro. Hightower and say, "OVER HERE! LOOK, OVER HERE....YES, ME....YOUR WIFE! I'M STARVIN'"

Yes, she did say starvin' and not starving! And she went on to explain that what she meant was, "I am starvin' for ATTENTION!"

MANY times, we, especially us ladies (and I'm not picking on you men, just speaking to the female crowd right now!), feel left out of the "fun stuff" in life. With so many "natural/home-life" responsibilities on our minds, we don't get to ENJOY much at times. ESPECIALLY when our children are small. It is our job to see to house, home, family, and all that those subjects entail.

If we do not watch, we can loose ourselves. Let me reiterate....If we are not careful, our "identity" will get lost in the doing of "stuff".

I realize that we have to let go of ourselves to a 'degree' in our service to others. BUT, we will definitely not help or benefit anyone if we become a zombie while performing our "duties". Our heart and soul needs to be imparted when we are doing ANY deed. Example: I can be "tuned out" when the kids come home from school, not hear their "chatter about the day", put supper on the table, not be aware of their feelings, run on "auto-pilot" and not "care-mode". Don't get me wrong, we all "space out" sometimes, but the real chore is to get back on track as soon as we realize that we are not "feeling" to the right extent. This is the fine line between functionaing normally and "Overload".

How do you tell when "responsibility ends and overload starts".... herein in the question of life...

Balance.

What do you do when you feel the 'balance tipping'?

The ONLY help I know is one of a 'non-natural' nature.... it is spiritual. Only those seeking "non-tangible" answers will find it... it is found at HIS feet. The true answer is spiritual and part of HIS nature, that we take on by spending time with HIM.

For the fruit of the spirit is: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith and temperance.

I can find all the attributes that are missing when I am "overwhelmed", "past caring" and "beyond compassion". It is truly heavenly help that comes from above.

So, to not feel that you are the only one "Starvin'" in this life. We all are swallowed up at times (more often than not!) and need some divine intervention.

A dear friend of our family always amazed me... you would never know she had a problem or a care.... she was the first one to laugh and be happy! All the while, she had NOTHING! Smiling and singing while sweeping her DIRT FLOOR! Oh, to find such peace and contentment...

Just be careful not to look for the answers in the wrong place.... UP is where they reside.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is there an elephant in the room?


Have you ever heard the expression, "the elephant in the room"? I have pondered it's real meaning...

(Found this definition to the phrase online)

An important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn't discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable.

Ignoring an obvious detail, problem or issue is like ignoring the "elephant in the room"... the uncomfortable "unspoken" words or feelings that are hidden due to the lack of possible confrontation. Many times, we just want to "skirt the issue". It is EASIER to not speak of the problem... it is easier to not be honest.

Why? Maybe we cannot bear to open the door for sadness, hurt and misunderstandings to enter!

Our thoughts go into crazy circles trying to know the right way to turn...

~ If I tell them how I "REALLY FEEL", they will think less of me... and I really want them to think good of me.

~ If I tell them the truth, they will be hurt or devastated... I couldn't bear to do that.

~ They have been living in a "dream world"... why bust their perfect bubble?

I DO NOT WANT TO BE THE ONE TO CAUSE ANY PAIN!

But what do the unspoken/untruthful actions portray? LIES

Can we live with lies? Can we experience happiness "knowing" that things or events are not correct or honest?

You may fool yourself for a while. You may tell yourself you are saving others while you "suffer in silence".... knowing that things are NOT right. After a while, it will eat at you.... the "elephant in the room" begins to grow... It gets larger and larger.... UNTIL...

SNAP! You have to admit the truth or your insides will EXPLODE!

WOW! Where did all that truth and honesty come from all at once? You had planned on hiding it forever... you wouldn't DARE speak it out for all to hear.

Now, where do you go from here?

Scripture says:
Hebrews 13:18
Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

Peace of mind comes from being honest... living with a good conscience.

The first step to repentance is to realize the importance of honesty...facing the "elephant in the room"... making room for more of God by removing the big ole thing!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gentle Hands


I have gentle hands that lift me
Guiding me so carefully
Even when I may not know
And it is not for me to see
All the wonderful plans HE has for me
I will allow him
Let him take me
Place me into the unknown
For there I will find peace
How do I know?
Because he only wants good for me
HE holds all the pieces and creates a masterpiece
With me, in my place
I trust the Gentle Hands
(By Yours Truly)
____________________________________________
There's not a vict'ry without a fight
There's not a sunrise without a night
There's not a purchase without a cost
There's not a crown without a cross
(Bob Farrell & Geron Davis)
____________________________________________
You raise me up
So I can stand on mountains
You raise me up
To walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on Your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

Verse 1
When I am down and oh my soul's so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until You come and sit a while with me

Verse 2
There is no life no life without its hunger
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly
But when You come and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes I think I glimpse eternity
(Brendan Graham & Rolf Lovland)
____________________________________________

Resting.

Trusting.

Praying.

Believing.

Knowing.

Hoping.

Taking all the "positive" attributes and channeling them into all the needs that are taken to God today:

~ Peace of mind, heart and soul
~ Healing for MULTIPLE illnesses/sicknesses
~ Jobs for financial strength
~ Deliverance from addictions that hinder our body and soul

Financial, Physical and Mental health for us all Lord, this I pray.... and most of all! Salvation true and strong for our Spiritual health. That is our most honest need and prayer....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What can I say?

What can I say?

~ When words won't come because you are in so much pain that no "conscience thought" can be uttered?

~ When you hurt for someone and their situation and have no words of "how-to" fix it, because they are in uncharted waters that you have never proved or experienced?

~ When you know that you could so easily say the wrong thing and "push them over the edge" to a scary place.

What can you say?

As I ponder, I realize that just "being there" is the most powerful message. Your presence, your support and unconditional love, is the ONLY way you can communicate. Of course, during this time of "strong, supportive silence", you can bombard heaven for direction, answers and guidance. HE knows. HE cares. HE is working for our good...

I love the old song, "I give you Jesus".... I actually found a new version by Dennis Ross III on you tube... here is the link to both of these precious songs so you can listen, pray and worship with me...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmBObGKWmGY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJsphRtaW84

So, when you don't know what to say, and you've done all you can do.... Give it to Jesus! That truth and simplicity will NEVER change.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not Knowing

Knowing. If we only knew... really knew...

How many times have you heard the expression, "If I knew then what I know now...". Experience is a great teacher...one of the best.

Yes, we wonder, ponder and 'down-right' worry about too much! If I put all my "useless" worrying together, I'd have a big pot of wasted time! You too, right?

As I have visited with some (more) friends from the past, I look back in wonder.... how different my life has gone than what I had planned! I never dreamed I would be in Calhoun County, the assistant at a Senior Center! Why, all my dreams contained working for the Lord as a missionary in a foreign land or big city! My how faint those dreams are now, when faced with reality... but how wonderful my "real life" has been! Full of wonderful family and friends.



This past weekend (Thursday thru Tuesday), I was fortunate to be able to visit with some family (my brother, Allen) and friends in Dallas. Some of the older friends; Suzie (came up from Houston), Bonnie and her husband Tony, Savita (Lori's friend), Lori Sabin (my new and precious friend and traveling buddy!), Lori and Mark Carouthers.

I let my mind wonder back to those "days gone by". Boy, that sure makes me sound old and reflective, doesn't it? Here I am visiting with old friends and making new ones at the same time (Lori did we only just "meet"? I felt I have known you forever!).




This song just keeps going over and over in my mind... Diana Ross, "Do you know where you're going to?"

Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Where are you going to?
Do you know?

Do you get what you're hoping for?
When you look behind you, there's no open doors
What are you hoping for?
Do you know?

Once, we were standing still in time
Chasin' the fantasies that filled our minds
You knew how I loved you but my spirit was free
Laughin' at the questions that you once asked of me

Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Where are you going to?
Do you know?

Now, looking back at all we've planned,
We let so many dreams just slip through our hands
Why must we wait so long before we'll see?
How sad the answers to those questions can be

Time keeps marching, life keeps changing... so much to do, so little time.

I hope you enjoy today. I hope you like where life has put you. Most of all, I hope you are surrounded by love from God, family and friends. Remember, as long as there is life... there are good times to share! What are YOU hoping for?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A-B-C's


Right now I am in the air on my way to Dallas. My flight leaves at 7:20 AM from Columbus, layover in Memphis (where I pick up little sissy Lori) and off to Dallas by 11:00 AM.

I wrote this blog 'in advance' since I knew I would be in the air or waiting at an airport somewhere today. Yes, I will take lots of pictures and "chronicle" this journey for you! You can meet who I meet and see who I see... how cool is that?

So, when trying to figure out what to write, my dear friend and sister-in-law Karen, sent me this.

It is the A-B-C's of Friendship:

A Friend...
by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown
(A)ccepts you as you are
(B)elieves in "you"
(C)alls you just to say "HI"
(D)oesn't give up on you
(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F)orgives your mistakes
(G)ives unconditionally
(H)elps you
(I)nvites you over
(J)ust "be" with you
(K)eeps you close at heart
(L)oves you for who you are
(M)akes a difference in your life
(N)ever Judges
(O)ffer support
(P)icks you up
(Q)uiets your fears
(R)aises your spirits
(S)ays nice things about you
(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it
(U)nderstands you
(V)alues you
(W)alks beside you
(X)-plains thing you don't understand
(Y)ells when you won't listen and
(Z)aps you back to reality

I LOVE this. It is so true and Biblical. If we have true love... the love of Christ, we will have the attributes to allow us to be this type of friend. I sure do desire this... want to be the best friend I can be! To not be "shallow" or "self-absorbed" I must have HIS love.

So, as you go about your day, try to be the best friend today you have ever been! I will too... let me know how it goes...:)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Overstuffed...


Just THINKING about packing makes me tired!

When planning a trip, I don't want to start packing too early, or everything I need will be in a suitcase somewhere! Where is my hairbrush?... packed. I'm looking for my deodorant... packed. I need my pajamas... sorry, already packed!

See? Packing too early can get you in BIG trouble.... as well as packing too late!

Here I am, with 24 hours left to pack before I leave for my vacation in Dallas. I have to sleep, go to work and take a nap tomorrow before the big MIDNIGHT get-away! Knowing all this, I ATTEMPTED to pack tonight.

For days I have been doing laundry, ironing (why do I iron when you have to roll the clothes in a ball in a case anyways? hmmm... maybe some lost time there!), mending... you know the drill! I have a pet-peeve about seeing the bottom of the hamper before I can leave for vacation. Knowing well that when I return, mountains of dirty clothes will come with me.

With all the new airline restrictions, it took some "finagling" to get everything in the right bags (liquids in check bag, night clothes in carry on...). Even with the correct 'packing procedures', I knew I was in trouble. My suitcase was overstuffed.

I had mentioned on Facebook today that packing is almost impossible for a gal. We girly girls really like our "girly" stuff! Shoes! I think that is the major wardrobe piece... or purses! I hate it that I only have room for one this trip... will opt for a muti-colored bag with white trim... very 'summery' and will match all... Oh wait! I will definitely have to take one of my black purses since I am wearing SO much black...No, maybe all the black needs some COLOR. How about the RED shoes with the black and white outfits... or my HOT PINK! I also have a purse to match that! See what I mean? How do you stop this vicious cycle! Oh for the days when you had one purse and one pair of church shoes! Didn't matter if they matched what you had...they were ALL you had!

So, do I go and find a bigger bag? Or try to use the one I have and get an "elephant to shut it for me"! Yeah right..Some of my friends on Facebook offered some suggestions:

~ Sonya said she would love to go on a trip and take NO suitcases! Just buy all new 'duds' when you get there!

~ D pays the extra hundred bucks to take all the shoes she wants!

~ Jackie says to be prepared, "Even if it takes ten suitcases"!

~ Sue says to bring on the "plastic" (credit cards) for emergency shopping!

~ Lori (my traveling buddy!) cannot decide on her shoes, so lots of them are going. Shoes must be a girl's best friend!

So, here I am, trying to figure what "not to take" instead of what TO take.

Sometimes life is full of "overstuffed" stuff. Sometimes it's easy to "weed out" the unnecessary... sometime hard.

All I know is, I am excited about the trip... this journey of visitation. AND... I am also looking for the day when heaven is my destination. "Watch and Pray"... every time I get excited or anxious about a journey, I remember that the journey heavenward should be my main expectation... not one here on earth.

So, as I board the plane to head and do some visiting....I will go high, high up in the sky... but some day (to borrow a phrase from dear Bro. Mackey), "Some day I'm going on a 'plain air ride'".

Talk soon... after I get this suitcase shut... :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

See ya later...

Instead of "Good-Bye", sometimes I like to say "See ya later"! I don't know, it somehow seems to sound more 'light-hearted' and promising. Good-Bye seems so final. Visits between our "Good-Byes" can sometimes be VERY long... even into the next life...

With the passing of family, friends, co-workers... we realize that saying "Good-Bye" can be hard... devastating or tragic.

Just this week, with the passing of two well-known men of our fellowship: Rev. Billy Cole and Rev. Cory McCool, many "Good-Byes" were said. But the great things is... we will meet again! We will not sleep forever! Some day, on the golden streets of heaven, we will be able to say "Hello" again!

I was considering how long it had been since I had seen some of my friends. It has been MANY years for some. I told you this summer that I got to meet up with my friend, Kim. She and I were room-mates at JCM (Jackson College of Ministries) in 1981. I had not seen Kim for 29 years, since her wedding. (See our 'reunion' picture below!)



The same weekend, I caught up with Sue. She has visited me during my father's services and we just had to have a "girls day out"...and we did! After almost 28 years, since MY wedding, she and I had a fun day or food, talk, fellowship... repeat! (Sorry! We BOTH had our cameras with us and forgot to take pictures...too busy talking!)

Sue and I met up with Teresa, another 'long-lost friend' for breakfast the next day. Why had we let the years go by and not re-connected before? Life just kind of steers you in different paths at times... so nice when they "intersect" again!

So, this week, I am off for another visit. I am almost 'guilty' in saying that I am FINALLY going to visit my brother Al and his children in Texas! He has been living there for about 27 years and this is my FIRST visit! Shame on me! I know....LIFE just kind of "filled-up" my time. Now, my hubby and I are alone... the kids (both girls) are married and living in Indianapolis (too far, fo sho!). Their husbands and the grand-baby are just too far away! I'm not good with the "separation" issue!

When I get on the plane in Columbus on Thursday, it will be such a treat! Sorry that my hubby cannot go (work, work, work...). I will miss him...:(

I WILL get to meet some new friends and meet up with some more older ones! Lori, my new sis from Minnesota gets to go with me as my traveling buddy! I am so excited to meet her and travel with her... she has a wonderful heart and I know that all will be fun and encouraging when we are together! Some of my dear girl-friends from yester-year: Bonnie, Susie and Lori, will be there for me to "catch up" with. I know I will meet others and that is exciting too!

So, when we start to say our good-byes at the close of another visit, I'm going to say, "See ya later"! That is what I truly want to happen... I want to see ALL my friends later... if not in this life, then in the one to come!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happyness...the art of being HAPPY! :)



Happyness (I know how to spell happiness, just really love it this way...) is a choice! You wake up and DECIDE whether to be happy today!

The picture above cracks me up! Do you think she realizes how many smiles she is sharing?

Here are some more thoughts and pictures that portray happyness...




Happyness is ALL about what path you choose.




Happyness is all about where you are headed...



Forgiveness and Thanksgiving DO bring happyness..



Happyness resides in your heart, but is portrayed through your actions...




Is happyness ahead for YOU? Make decisions today that will bring happyness tomorrow!

Your call!



Happy faces. Happy smiles. I like those...can I join in? Certainly!!!




Happyness can creep up on you! Hit you when you are not expecting it! Takes you by surprise! I love that!!!!




Where do you see happyness? Where can you find it?

It's everywhere... start looking... NOW!!!

May you experience one of your happiest days yet? Don't know where to start?

Psalm 144:15 ~ ...Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Through it all

I dearly LOVE the song by Andrea Crouch, "Through it all". Every since it first came out in 1971, I have been singing it.... solo, duet, trio, with choirs, with MORE choirs.... it is timeless! Love those type of songs!

Well, today as I arise early and meditate on HIS goodness, those words begin to come again...

I've had many tears and sorrows
I've had questions for tomorrow
There've been times
I didn't know right from wrong
But in ev'ry situation
God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come
To only make me strong

Through it all through it all
Oh I've learned to trust in Jesus
I've learned to trust in God
Through it all through it all
I've learned to depend upon His word

I've been to lots of places
And I've seen a lot of faces
There've been times I felt so all alone
But in my lonely hours yes
Those precious lonely hours
Jesus let me know that I was His own

I thank God for the mountains
And I thank Him for the valleys
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through
For if I'd never had a problem
I wouldn't know that He could solve them
I'd never know what faith in God could do

(Here is a clip of Andrea singing this song at a Billy Graham crusade in 1975- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvIxwc90BEI)


It encourages me. Let's me know of HIS consistency... his faithfulness! Without either I could not exist or survive. Survival is the key at this point. NO MATTER WHAT, HE is there! And HE doesn't just 'show up'... HE shows up in POWER! With a plan and a purpose. You won't see him sit on the sidelines...NO! He is right in the middle, fighting the battle, preparing the way, making all the right moves... for ME... for YOU!



I hope you rest in his capable arms today.

Some days are not made for fighting, they are made for resting... rest on...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Change


With the last elections, CHANGE seemed to be the buzz word. Many felt hope and excitement when the word was uttered. For me, I was skeptical and knew that things would probably get worse before they got better.

This week, some major changes has hit our lives. As I pondered the future, I realized that life is full of change. Many times these events are "earth-shattering", other times peaceful and needed.

I began to contemplate some changes happening in the lives of those around me:

~ Job losses

Even though MANY are loosing their jobs in this economy, I met a girl who moved here from New Hampshire. She worked with me for three weeks on a WV WorkForce program. I made a few calls to some old friends, by the fourth week, she began work at the local bank. God is good and can still "remove obstacles" to give you a job. YOU ARE HIS CHILD YOU KNOW! Talk about clout!

Then I also read in the paper where the Ormet plant up the river is closing... 1,000 jobs GONE.

~ Health Problems

Right now, there are more health problems in our family and friends than ever before! And the young are getting hit as much as the old. When kids in their 20's and early 30's are diagnosed with cancer, brain diseases, spinal deformities.... when some older ones have all forms or cancer (prostate, esophagus and breast). You realize that change can come at ANY time...

~ Financial Hardships

Not only is the job market making things financially hard, but the cost of basic needs... shelter, utilites, food, gas, cars.... all SKYROCKETING! When will it end? Think again...

Wars, rumors of wars. Job losses. Sicknesses. Social degradation.

Where is the happiness found in all of this? The hope?

The scripture says:

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (New International Version)

51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed

52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

What a change!

Everything is going to be different real soon. When we are CHANGED, a new day begins.

So, as changes happen here, until he comes, I will be prepared. I will continually look above, where my help comes from.

I love the ole Andrea Crouch song:

It won't be long, til we'll be leavin' here

It won't be long, we'll be goin' home

Count the years as months

Count the months as weeks

Count the weeks as days

Any day now, we'll be going home!

You ready for the BIG CHANGE? I sure hope so. I hope you are waiting for this change with much excitement and anticipation!

Lift up your head, your redemption draweth nigh!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beautiful Feet


My hubby started something...

A while back, every time he started to take a picture, I would notice Glen (Jr) pointing the camera 'down' instead of straight ahead. He would always take one picture and then say, "Let me take another...". Well, I should have know that orneriness was involved! (To know him is to laugh with him!) As I scrolled through the pictures he had taken, this is what I found...




So, of course, I had to take some pictures of him too.... :)



So, when Aliyah "Sissy" got to putting on her own shoes, I just had to get some pictures of her too...

Beautiful feet. God's people are beautiful 'all over'. I myself do not have pretty feet. Pedicures help, but they are still just not attractive!

I'm glad that "pretty is as pretty does".

Where are your feet taking you today? You can stop a lot of grief in your life if you will watch where your feet are taking you...

"Oh be careful little feet where you go
Oh be careful little feet where you go
There's a father up above looking down in tender love
So, be careful little feet where you go...

Remember that song? It went on to include your 'eyes, hands, mouth'...so true...

Only go where you need to go. No detours, no exits... some day we're gonna walk on gold. I want to be there for that! Fo Sho!!! :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beating on a tin can



I can 'say' many things... speak words of truth or untruth. What does truth "sound" like? What does "untruth"?

The scripture says that even if I 'speak like an angel', without love, it is just a horrible sound...

~ like a drummer playing on a tin can

~ like a band that has a "off tune" bass player or a cymbal player with "flat" cymbals

No RING to the notes, no truth in the tones...

The WORD says this:

1 Corinthians 13 (King James Version)

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.


If you need any of the spiritual "fruit" today...

Galatians 5:22-23 (King James Version)

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

God is supplying it... all the FRUIT you need! You notice he did not say "fruits"... just fruit... singular. The SPIRIT provides ALL of them... as a package deal! And my favorite part is: No law against how much you can receive! No rules saying you have gotten too much!

So, today, let's really walk in the spirit. Get enough "Fruit" to help us tackle the day! Then, go in love... so our words will not sound "hollow" or empty.

Let's not beat on a tin can! Let's make beautiful sounds with instruments that have honest, true and loving sound.

Wondering where to find the fruit, or a love like this? Why, it's at the Penny Tree!



Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Penny Tree




As I "meditate" on life... it's experiences, it's lessons... I get inspired to tell YOU about it! Wanting to share my heart. Sometimes when I begin a blog, it is with a message of sharing... then I have to do some 'digging' or studying! I always end up learning more by sharing my thoughts with YOU! So, thank you for helping me get smarter...:)

A while back, I picked up a couple (MORE!) books to read. Seems like I go through "reading spells". Lately, I have not had the time to give to recreation reading. Outside of work or an occasion 'newspaper/magazine' skim, I have been tackling too many different projects to finish a book. With my vacation coming up (Here I come Dallas, ready or not!), I picked up a couple interesting books at the store the other day to ready while waiting at the airport. I would have said "book store" but our little, rural town does not have one! I found the book I am reading at the local Dollar Store! They got in a nice selection and one caught my eye. It is titled, "The Penny Tree".

I have only finished thirty-seven (37) pages and I am HOOKED! I already want to share a section with you... it has inspired me so!

First, I will share a review I found (Yes! I DO have to research lots to give you the "scoop"!) online.

Friday, July 25, 2008
Review by: The Highland Lassie (http://highlandlassiereviews.blogspot.com)

Book Review- The Penny Tree
Author- Holly Kennedy

Blurb:
Annie Hillman has been dangling from the end of he
r rope for so long, she’s forgotten how to do more than hold on. Back in her small hometown, struggling with her older sons truancy and her younger sons medical bills, Annie finds her only refuge is the old Douglas fir that has been special to her since childhood when her father helped her nail a penny to the trunk. Then the oddest thing happens. The local newspaper carries a front-page ad with a picture of Annie and an earnest message of love and regret from an unknown admirer.

Once again Holly Kennedy has written a gem. Of her three
books this is my favorite. Ms. Kennedy writes a remarkable story of love, compassion, regret and most of all love. It speaks of things everyone can relate too. How the greatest gift we can give our children is love, and that a token of our never ending affection, something for them to call their own, to remember when life gets them down, is worth more than a lifetime of material gifts.

The book tells how life takes us on a journey down a treacherous and bumpy road but those who brace themselves and hold on for th
e ride are the one’s who prosper. Why? Because it doesn’t matter if we fall down along the way, as long as we get back up. The message is clear, giving up isn’t the answer. It may be a solution but NEVER the answer.

I loved this story! I laughed, I cried, and I couldn’t stop turning pages. AND the best thing of all it made me think. It made me reconsider certain things in my own life and that of my family. There is a twist in the book, and I must say, though I am usually good at figuring mysteries out
, I totally missed this one! This book could easily be made into a movie. AND one day when the time is right, I hope to give my own children a Penny Tree.

I give this book 5 ***** stars!!!!



In sharing this first 'portion' of story, I wanted to tell you about the "Penny Tree" definition in the story. This tree becomes a symbol, a "locality" for a father to teach his daughter of a life-long lesson-

(Quoting Page 27 where the father is telling the daughter the meaning of the Penny Tree, she was 12 years old, just found out she was adopted and feeling very hurt and rejected...)

"My father gave me a penny tree when I wasn't much older than you are, and when he did, he said he believed everyone needs a special place to lick their wounds and regroup, somewhere that feels safer than anywhere else in the world. So that's what we're doing here today. We're nailing that penny to this tree because I want you to have somewhere to go that ground you, an axis for your world to spin around, and a place that's all yours and no one else's - for times when life throws things at you that you aren't sure how to handle. and it will throw things at you, Annie: things that test you and push you to your limits; things not unlike what you're going through right now. Only from now on, instead of running away from them, you'll have somewhere to think them through. Your own special spot where you can hurt in private when you need to be alone, and where you can weigh all the pros and cons to make the decisions you need to make."

As I read these words, my spirit was lightened! I have such a place! It is not a 'Penny Tree' but it is at the feet of Jesus. As a child I was taught that HE, the great God of heaven, would listen to my pleas... no matter how small or big... and help me to understand the "roads/curves" of life... allowing me to make good decisions. A special place of refuge... when problems were bigger then me... when I needed to make good choices.

How I rejoice in this place of wisdom! This place of trust. I can tell God in secret. He is just, forgiving, merciful, kind, loving, comforting... SAFE.

I have often told my children that I could not give them lots of worldly goods in this life... BUT, I can introduce them to someone who is EVERYTHING they will ever need! If I can just point them in HIS direction, they will be safe, cared-for, protected, educated, instructed and in the end, saved from the troubles of this life.

The best place to go... to the "Penny Tree", the "Cleft in the Rock", the place of safety... where my heavenly father resides.

Do you have such a place? I sure hope so... my hearts breaks for those who have not felt his love wrap around their lives in times of trouble. No greater love and no greater place than this...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What did I miss on my way to church?

Routines are good. Life is full of routines. We go to bed at a certain time (unless we are finishing some crazy project., or catching up with friends on Facebook, email, etc...), we arise at a certain time, we go to work, attend to all projects, come home, eat at set periods, and go to bed to repeat the next day.

Church services are planned in much the same manner. Sunday School, Sunday Night (although some congregations have opted for one service on Sunday), Bible Study, Revivals (but none like the 13 week ones held during my younger years!). We must "schedule" times to meet.... I know Jesus approved for he said in

Hebrews 10:25
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Meeting together is GOOD.

I do realize, as I get older, that uplifting, exhorting and "provoking to love and good works" can be done ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.

We were always told, growing up in the "church going" community, that the our life should be lived "OUTSIDE THE WALLS"...."We worship God in HERE and serve him out THERE!"

So, living in the "Outside World" is where our true light shines! "Let your light so shine before God, that they may see your good works and glorify your father, which is in Heaven."

"Ye are the salt of the earth."




"Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set upon a hill, cannot be hid."

But what if our "routine" is keeping our focus in one direction, when we should be looking around? I have often thought of this wonderful parable...

The Good Samaritan (according to wikipedia.org)

The parable is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verses 25-37.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to say to Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?". "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" asked Jesus. The man answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "and who is my neighbor teacher?"

In reply Jesus said:

"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead with no clothes. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, and he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, he too passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and looked after him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." New International Version

The priest and the Levite were too busy... too busy on their way... somewhere! They didn't have time for a (dog) Samaritan. This abused man was not only needing help, he was judged before he was given a chance. Judged by someone "ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH" or on their way doing their "routine"... they overlooked an opportunity to minister.

Look around today. Hurting people are everywhere. Some need so much help, that they cannot help themselves. Do you see? Do you care? Will you help?