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WARNING: Some posts within this blog will make you experience the following symptoms:
laughter
sorrow
anger
amusement
confusion
including many other minor side effects, including, but not limited to:
joy
rage
blessings
indifference
and much much more!

Enter at your own risk

Ponderings and Reflections for a New Year (2016)

Don’t let current affairs rob you of the Spirit of Christmas! We are the only ones to ensure that the Celebration of our Lord and Savior’s birth remains visible, so CELEBRATE!!

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I know things are tough all over, and it is easy to give into the sadness that the constant barrage of bad news and horrific images evokes.  It truly is a constant battle of our Spirit, to remain uplifted in these dark days.  One of the best ways we can ever fight the nonsense going on right now is to celebrate the birth and imminent return of our Savior, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Sometimes I wonder if we fight against the world too much…like, is it healthy for us to be fixed on the chaos that is ensuing (when I know it is much healthier to remain fixed on the goodness of the Lord)…I wonder if posting my frustrations do a disservice to my witness…because the fact is, this whole thing has been written out already. We are watching the Bible come to life. We have seen the flip of the world where good is now considered bigotted, naive and bad, and bad is considered fun, normal and good…we have seen the persecution of the saints begin. We have seen the enemy grow stronger as he goes back and forth ravaging across the earth in the form of ISIS, the entertainment industrial complex and big government. We are seeing endless revisions of history, of traditions, and of matrimonial definitions…we have seen a 450% increase in mega-quakes, as well as a major increase in fish and wildlife kills. We need no further proof of the time we are in. Now it is time to figure out how Christ wants us to spend that time. Shall we be like sour grapes or shall we keep fattening ourselves with the nutrients of Christ’s Word and Manna?

Shall the world view us as angry whiners, or as victorious in life. We would be better to use our witness to bring peace, joy and love, rather than to point out why we don’t like the world very much right now.  I am just as guilty, if not more so, as are many of my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.

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How can we adjust our tactics at this late stage of the game.  I often ask God to use me in His Kingdom building.  I want my will to be aligned with His.  I do not want to be found carving my own path, I want to be found on the path He already carved for me.

 I want to be a Light on the Hill, but I often find myself tangled in briars, like the briarpatch that is our current administration here in the US.  I could write books about my disdain for the “change” our president made. But what good would that do?  He is a man of his word…he certainly brought change.  Government has become, if it has not always been, just another form of poor man’s theater.  I have to remember to turn the channel of my focus from all the badness in this world, to the goodness of our Father.

He certainly wants us to be aware of these signs and wonders.  He wants us to be prayerful and sober-minded…not just praying for others, but praying for our own strength, as displayed in this verse found in Luke, chapter 21.  Verse 36:

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

He is not saying to lose sleep over the heart-wrenching changes, but to be sober and alive in the Spirit.  Don’t sleep-walk into the den of sinners and dine on their tainted fruits.  Have a little faith, for He is true to His promises and prophecies, Amen!

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He will take care of you, and He will also deal with the evil in this world.  He is returning very soon to battle against all the principalities of evil, which their are many.

Can we win people over to the Lord if we are sour, pointing out all of the atrocities, or would we be better to share our experiences with Christ and how He continues to bless us, in spite of the darkness?

If we are sour grapes, we will be a bitter bite of life to others.  But if we are boasting about the goodness of the Lord, fat and happy grapes, then surely, more scales would fall off, as down trodden individuals noticed our lights shining brightly.  Everyone wants to be a fat and happy grape!

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My friend’s daughter shared a glimpse of Heaven with her family before entering the gates.  She saw big fat green grapes…no wimpy old sour grapes drained of life, no, she saw the ripest, juiciest liveliest grapes any eyes will ever see. Those grapes serve as a model for us!  I want to be a big fat grape full of the living waters!!

I have recently, earnestly been praying to be made useful to the kingdom again, after a period of change and many sorrows in my life.  I was constantly battling, every day, just to keep my soul from drowning.  I had to stop focusing on the news and world events, because that just made me feel more dispair.  How could God use such a sour grape.  He is pruning us  always, but He has no use for sour grapes, they do damage to His beautiful vine.  I am guilty, I know of causing such harm.  I often used the excuse of righteous anger…and surely there were times that my anger was righteous enough, but was my approach always through the Sword of Love and Light?  I doubt it.

I will have to answer for any damage I have caused, and because we have use of the internet, there is no telling how wide-spread my personal damage to this world has been.

Have you ever thought about that?

I am very excited about 2016.  I am in constant prayer that I remain on the narrow path and that He is very clear as He guides me, so that I do not take a foot off the path.  I do not care who the next president is.  I still believe that they all work towards the same goals and that it is just a show.  I really believe my God is going to right every wrong and SOON!  So I am trusting in that, and focusing on sharing only His Love, His promises, His warnings, and how He works for the good of my own life.  I know I will still slip up from time to time, when some unbelievable news story rattles me to the core, but my focus will be on His promises and I pray He will continue to gently steer me back on course.

It is painful to watch loved ones turn from the ways of their fathers.  It is especially hard to see the things pile up against the health and spiritual weath of these latest generations.  Their battle is hard, so we need to find a way to teach them to fight against all of the attacks on their young souls.  Sharing the Everlasting Word of the Lord, every day, to encourage these young ones to stay the course their ancestors’ faith laid out before them.

I believe God, the Holy Spirit, and our Dear Savior, Jesus Christ will do the rest.  The heart work.

But if we look or sound hateful..which IS SO easy to do, THESE DAYS, we will turn even more away from the gentle, pure love they are so desperately missing.  Because we are not a reflection of that gentility, if we are raving about the latest idiotic thing spewing from some viper’s hole…

We are the gentiles.  Born to be different.  Yes, there will be those of us called to be warriors, through both prayer and action, but we are to be known by our ways.  If we are as full of piss and vinegar as our enemy is towards us, how will any one be able to differentiate?  It is no wonder so many have turned away, and again, this is not a pot calling the kettle black post…this is my confession that I have been less than useful at times, in this Kingdom Building operation.

The great falling away has been a heart-wrenching, discouraging affair, but He TOLD US this would happen.  He didn’t tell us to make asses of ourselves and rise up to fight against this happening…He told us to love our neighbors.  He told us to love our enemies.  He told us to cloth and feed the poor and hungry and to care for the widows and children.  He told us to correct our fellow brothers and sisters, however, He did not tell us to correct the world.  We have enough on our plates if we just focus on those commands.  He will settle all scores.  He will do the hard work, He is the only one capable of changing hearts and minds and saving souls, we are just to be in the right place at the right time, so that He can use us in those tasks of His.  So we should ask Him to put us where He wants us, every day.

I hope these words brings your souls peace, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our awesome King of Kings. I hope that God blesses you with peace, love and joy, as we allow Him to fight our battles for us. I hope 2016 is the year of changed hearts and changed minds.  And I pray that the Glory of the Lord Shines upon us all.

Trust in Him to do the hard work.  Ask Him to speak through you, to work through your hands and feet, and to protect your heart and soul.

Come Swiftly, Jesus, Come!

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I was looking at my ‘this day in history’ for today and saw a sweet message from one of my dear sisters in Christ that I do not often connect with but know, just as I could not love her more, she could not love me more.

I wished for a little more time, for a split second, to be able to connect more often, and let her know I love her and appreciate her presence, though invisble, very much there through prayer, in my life…

And I reflected on the many, many that I feel the same way for; like this radiating, actual shaking amount of love for these…there is almost an ache to it, but there is nothing whatsoever carnal, about it. This is just an amazingly intense love…agape, perhaps?!
And it dawned on me that we, as members of one body, naturally wish to be together, close, and bound, because bodies are usually full, in tact. And right now we are scattered to the four corners.

And I thought about Heaven and the infinite amount of time that we will finally be together, finally as it should be, and think, wow…that really is Heaven.

Because up there, I won’t ever be grumpy or moody or paralized by pain, and all my insecurities will be but a forgotten memory, in the glory of the Lord and with my new body. We will be like children at His feet, all of us, together, as it was meant to be. We are called the body of Christ. We sit at His right hand, collectively. That is truly powerful. This trembling will be sated by the fact that every single sister and brother I hold so dear in my heart, and countless more we have yet to be blessed to know, will be there, and we will have eternity to fellowship IN THE LIGHT OF THE LORD!!! I don’t know about you, but I dream of all of my friends meeting each other, I just know they will love each other too…because webare fingers and toes, hands and feet…we belong together!!

Oh these marvelous things to look forward to, as we look up, awaiting our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.

I know many Christians must feel the way I do about these very special friendships, here on Earth. How we wish we had more time to grow each friendship, reach out to each person you love.

I have friendships with many folks from all points of the path of life, but the ones on the narrow way, they know how I feel, the best…because our hearts house the very same Spirit…the Holy Spirit. We have this gift we like to share, it is a gift that was first given to us by Jesus Christ, when we chose to give our lives to Him. It is the gift that keeps on giving, by ways of discernment, warning, and the launching pad of much compassion. We are spurned into action by the Holy Spirit…so when the world is telling us to shut up, THE LION ROARS IN RETURN!!

The Holy Spirit equips us with courage, wisdom, love, compassion, understanding, and as I mentioned above, the very important gift of discernment.

This does not mean we will always display one or more of these attributes, gifts, abilities, whatever you want to call them, because we Christians are humans just like the rest, and we all make mistakes in judgement, mistakes in relationships, mistakes in business, mistakes in every realm of life, like every one else…

However, there is this other gift, the gift of forgiveness. He gives this to those who ask for it when repenting of their sins. He also calls on us to be forgiving, just as He is. That is what grace is. Forgiveness. Mercy and Grace are the ultimate gifts, and as Christians, we are called upon to show mercy and grace, just as our Father in Heaven shows us continually through out our short lives.

We can’t do anything to earn any of these gifts…they are all freely given to us when we give our lives in trust of the Lord. When you put your life into the hands of Jesus Christ, you are trusting Him to lead you into the ways of righteousness. But protection and eternal life and so much more comes in response to your trust. He responds so that your trust and faith will grow until it is unbreakable, unshakable faith…

There is one thing you have to do though…and that is communicate. Along with earnest study of God’s Word, so you know exactly who you are talking to, communication is a MUST!

I know this all seems way off course from my original topic, but that is just it. These sisters and brothers of mine, they ALL took that leap of faith and they all have come to know a better Way, the narrow way. They have found peace within their hearts, and joy within their soul…but they, we…we all suffer the same struggles as everyone else. We experience loss, poverty, bankruptcy, house fires, accidents, broken bones, the effects of drug and alcohol abuse, the effects of infidelity, the effects of every rotten and painful sin out there, every illness, every type of slap in the face there is. And we have times where there are no answers or no answers that our ears can handle and there are times we can barely get up, from the blows of life…and yes, there are times of doubt. For me it was a doubt that God could ever love me after the quickly amassed sins of my youth. But ah, that is the thinking of a youth…I grew to learn the only thing that could separate me from the love of God was ME. And though time and distance separates me from my nearest and dearest friends, that is only temporary. We read the book, we are seeing the signs now, and we know how fast time flies. We know the end, which will truly only be the beginning. Oh Glorious Day!!

It is more than painful to see everything that is taking place because there are still so many who have yet to know the power of Christ or the Love of Christ. (actually, the number is growing instead of shrinking) It kills me to see so many debaucherous scenes flashing day after day on any number of channels, be it sports, reality, movies, news, the internet… Humans are resembling animals more than ever before; only further proof that evolution and Darwinism is absolute HOG WASH!
It is horrifying to see the stories of the slain Christians over seas, knowing it is quickly creeping onto our land, and yet so many people brainwashed into being politically correct pacifists still can’t hear the train a’coming, because they have mind numbing “music” blowing their ear drums to smitherines! I can hear the grim reaper’s maniacal laughter and it is absolutely sickening!

But that is where the gift of fellowship comes into play. We comfort each other, laugh together, gather to eat together, uplift, encourage and inspire one another. We are there at just the right times for one another…we PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER.

And yet these very principles, this very group of people, harmless, well-meaning, hope-filled people and their belief system is coming under attack. There is no other explanation except that the Beast is here. And when I say attack, they are constant blows coming in many different packages…

However, if you are on the side of the Beast, you need to understand that your thrill ride is going to be a short one. It may be fun to bash a Christian online or poke fun at your Christian co-worker, but cheap thrills do not last, and somewhere, deep down in your soul YOU KNOW you are not right to be so hateful. You know you are batting for the wrong team, but the adrenaline kicks in and blinds you to the truth in exchange for a momentary high.

There is this enormous lake of fire, bigger than your mind can conceive, and those who do not turn away from their wickedness will burn there for eternity while those who have repented and truly put their life in the hands of Christ will be in Heaven. There has been so much desensitization that many people are practically incapable of remorse. This is a big problem. Can you feel your heart break over really bad choices anymore…that is the question.

Hell is real…there is a saying, “Give’em hell!” Hell is not a good thing, right? There is a true good and bad, and Hell is where the truly evil souls, those who take joy in persecution of any kind, those who take the lives of others without remorse, will go. There will be no turning back then. There will be no repenting at that point. Who wants to hang out with evil ones such as those? For eternity??? Not an ounce of sweetness, but instead relentless torture and darkness, is this appealling at all? I cannot imagine ANYONE who would actually chose to go to hell. But by denying Christ, that is what you are chosimg, whether you believe it or not!

Why wait any longer? Quit fighting against your own soul’s screams. Your soul is meant for one thing, to house the Holy Spirit and time truly is short. Jesus died for your sins. The ultimate gift, and offers an endless bounty of more gifts, as tose mentioned above. Why keep starving your hungry soul, when HE IS RIGHT HERE?

If you feel the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart strings, then pray this prayer, right now. Fall to your knees and pray:

“Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior.
In Your Name.
Amen.”

Nobody is looking, you don’t have to be cool, it is just you and God.

If you would like rewarding friendships, the ultimate in protection, love and guidance, then it is time for you to ask Jesus into your life. You should find a local pastor to talk with and a church you are comfortable in, to attend. You should purchase a Bible and begin reading in the new testament. There, you will read the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ. You will find it speaks to you and breathes new life into you.

I wish you well on your new path, the Way, and welcome you to the family of Love. May you meet many blessed sisters and brothers in which to grow with.

Much Love

Served Fresh Every Day

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New life.  When you receive this NEW LIFE through Christ, you see, everyday is a New Day in Christ.  His mercies are new every morning.  His Grace is new every morning.  Your garments and armor, NEW EVERY morning!

I think sometimes we forget that or take it for granted.  Our faith may be old, by a generational standpoint, but it is made Brand New every morning, and we should try to live through the freshness that only such Newness offers.

Every day, a new conversation with God, a new facet of His limitless praise-worthy character can be revealed.  And due to how multi-faceted He IS, we can never know Him enough OR completely!  Fantastic! Exciting!! Amazing!!!

Now, think of construction.  What buildings seem to remain standing after a storm tears through a town?  All of the newest cracker-jack, quickly constructed buildings receive some of the most serious damage.  You often see that some of those homes are ripped completely from their foundations.

What remains are the oldest buildings, built with higher quality materials, by master craftsmen, sometimes, over an incredibly long period of time.

This all came to me when I pondered the dilemma Christians are facing, and the very fact that we dare utter these realizations in a very secular world, and praise the Lord, that instead of getting rattled, I receive this as a reminder, from the Holy Spirit, the medium between us and the Most Holy One.

Our foundation is solid, our faith built from the Finest Rock.  Every attempt to silence us has failed, our faith has weathered every storm.  Whatever happens in the coming battle against our faith, it will eventually fail. Our faith will be like the ancient buildings, still standing, having withstood every attack, every blow, every attempt to shatter us. Our God will be so present within us, giving us endless supplies of strength to hold on, stand firm, and stay strong through the constant ramrodding storms.

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But, just like a teapot of boiling water, when removed from the fire, it goes cold, it stops singing…we too can abandon our fever for the Lord, we can be found not singing His praises, when we stray from His Word  His Standards and distance ourselves from His Grace. To be on fire for Jesus, we must constantly persue Him, place ourselves on His path of righteousness, endure the fires of His refinement, and trust that what He does with our lives will not only magnify Him and bring Him glory, but that His breath in our lives will profit us, mind, body and soul.

The great falling away is happening right now. Hearts are growing cold as they choose worldliness over godliness. As they jump on the endless supply of bandwagons, as they choose to embrace sin instead of clinging to the Promises of God.

We will be called bigots and prejudice, by people who do not believe in the ways of the Lord. But do not be dismayed. What may be misinterpreted as prejudice is actually the conviction of standards set before us by a loving God. He wants His people to flourish and be safe, so He set these precidents before us as a guide for healthy living. He blazed His guide on stone to forever remind us of what is pleasing in His eyes and what is not acceptable.

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Just like passing up a donut when you are on a restricted diet, it is sometimes very difficult to go against the flow. But God is within you, and He whispers His desires for you through such convictions. He sings over you. He blankets you in His righteousness. He will be glorified, so let us continue to play for the team that brings Him glory!

Let us embrace this Newness of Life that is offered to us, daily. Let not the iniquity of sin settle in your bones and find you groaning. Do not tune out the Lord’s beneficial instruction in trade for some temporary pleasure that leads to death! Choose life! New life, a renewed spirit, embracing the new mercies and grace every morning! Be washed in the shower of God’s reign!

Go forth and Be Love!

Vaya con Dios (Go with God)

On Breaking Down

My ’98 Chevy Blazer broke down today, and once I got home, I broke down on facebook, because I can be pathetic like that…

Once I calmed down and accepted reality, I reflected on all that had just happened.

The lady who gave me a ride home today is new to Texas and this area of the Brazos Valley. She said she fully expected to be bombarded by smiles and warm welcomes, once she arrived here in Texas, or at least to have her smiles returned, but “Nothing!”

She said that the people around here seem rigid and all business. Initially, I popped off with, “Well, Texas is a land of many regions, so if you want happy, you will find that in Austin.”

As I said it, my mind split in two directions, one was the smart-alecky bit about liberals being the only happy folks these days, but I skipped over that ridiculous musing for this.

With lay-offs and shootings happening every day, as the the cost of living further and further increases and the rate of pay continues to stagnate…with divorces being at an all-time high, suicide rates climbing higher everyday, a volitile stock market and cancer-rates also sky-rocketting, as well as multiple addiction rates soaring, some completely unchecked, and mental illness is rampant and shooting through the roof, there is not a single soul left unaffected, here in the friendship state, or anywhere else on earth.

It is no wonder people aren’t smiling, even in Texas!

But look what God did today! Even though my car is still dead and not with me, I met a lady who lives a few miles from me, who is into herbs and essential oils and even conspiracies! She said that even though she has been here a few months now, I am the first person to really talk with them. Because we had to go to the auto shop, I was able to show them a few side streets and short cuts, as well as let them know there was a doctor in town and about our festival and fair, and more.

Even in our troubles, God’s hand is at work. It was nice to meet someone I have things in common with. To be able to be a bright spot in someone’s day who is actually a bright spot in your day, is such a perk!

Hopefully, that won’t be the last time I get to visit with Collette, and hopefully next time, it will not be due to an emergency…is a broke down car an emergency? I know there are far worse emergencies…even if mine involved three gallons of milk at high noon.

Well at Hot’o’clock, Texas time, the panic started to creep in, when my car wouldn’t turn over, …but instead of freaking out,  all I did was ask the first person I saw, if they had any jumper cables.

Did I know her son was a mechanic who worked at O’Reilly’s, like my brother in law? No! But God did!  So as he tinkered with various things, we ladies talked.  It was quite lovely, actually.

So my facebook post was a little grumpy, venting steam is never pretty! But I have to give mad props to my Savior and King for making my troubles light. It seems like every time something like this happens, I catch a break of some sort.

Incidentally, once upon a time, I actually broke down right next to an O’Reilly’s (auto parts store)…seriously! All I needed was a hose, and the man next door, where I broke down (because blind ol’ me didn’t even notice the O’Reilly’s!!), offered to fix it for me, and it was quick and easy!

Another time, same truck (that is now being sold for parts), caught on fire while I was sitting at my eldest’s baseball practice…it was an electrical fire… Anyhow, the concession stand, which was never opened for practices, happened to be opened…and the star baseball player just happened to know where the fire exstinguisher was, as well as how to use it. He put out that fire fast, and I only lost use of the radio…my monkey that hung from the rear view mirror, only had a singed toe. The firemen arrived and fixed the wiring (not sure that is in their job description…so that was a plus and pleasant surprise!) and the truck drove 5 more years, until the engine blew, this summer. Any other day, any other practice, I would have lost the truck, that day!

When you break down and need a tow truck, there is only the cab of the truck to ride in. One day, on a spur of the moment fishing trip with my four guys, our truck just went and died…I actually hated driving that thing. It was a test of faith, every time, to get in with plans of arriving at a specific destination, at a specific time.

This was the reason why. But again, God sent us the sweetest tow truck driver. He risked losing his license, as well as amassing incredible fines, to give us five a ride from Dog Ridge to Copperas Cove…I prayed God’s cloak of invisibility around us, and prayed blessings over that man…I remember his name was Sam. Like clowns in a sardine can, we chatted with Sam, the whole way home.

Before the flat last month, on my new old car, it rained, cooling off the earth significantly. Jake takes full credit for the rain, because he was chanting our time-honored rain dance chant (out of the blue) a little earlier that day. I say, that God put it on Jake’s heart to chant, and God blesed his call to strengthen Jake’s understanding of his special gift. Jake fully accepts that answer and totally gives God what credit he doesn’t claim for himself…he is young yet…God and I, both, understand his capacity for understanding still has much room for expansion. Whose doesn’t?

While we waited well into the night for a service man to come to our small town and fix my flat, we rejoiced that it was much cooler than the 108°F I had captured earlier in the day.  (See previous post for more on that story.)

Some people may think I always look for the silver lining…and while that may be their way of defining it, I want them to know that I am always looking for God. I am seeking out God’s presence in every situation, for I know He is with me.

The more you look for Him, the more you see His handywork. The more you see His handywork, the more grateful and aware you become.

But the more you deny Him in your life, the further away He will be.

These are the kinds of physics I understand.

One more thing. If you are blessed to see God in the details, and you know God put someone in your path to help you along, be ever so bold as to let them know…because most people are unaware of the spiritual forces at work around them…perhaps they never knew God could use them…let them know and be gracious and loving, always. His ways make life’s stumbling blocks more bearable!

Vaya con Dios

Well, I Declare!

We all have THOSE days.  The kind of days where you wake up and stub your toe before you even make it to the bathroom.  Once on the latrine, you notice the toilet paper has not been replaced. When you head for the kitchen, you step on a lego before finding out the milk is sour…okay, that last one…never happens here!

You finally head out to take on the day, when you realize you forgot the package you wanted to mail out, and then the ATM machine tries to tell you that your card has expired…which of course, it hadn’t, and you step in fresh gum while in your favorite flip-flops!

So before you even get to lunch, you declare it to be one of THOSE days…

I did this yesterday…first, out loud, and later, through an instagram post…

Declare positive things, or you may feel like this...

Declare positive things, or you may feel like this…

Okay, it was my 2nd grumpy instagram post.  My first one dealt with the inferno, otherwise known as Texas-mid-August.

My friend topped us, at 111°F 🔥🔥🔥

My friend topped us, at 111°F 🔥🔥🔥

That is probably why you can still find so many God-fearin’ folk in this region of the country…we have been to hell and back, once a year, for a full month, for our whole lives  and we don’t dig it!!!  Heaven will surely be a perfect 65-73°F, except on the coasts, where it will be 88° or 92° and partly cloudy.  But I’m getting off track, (what else is new?).

While excited for my boys to see all their school mates, I dread the paperwork, I am so ADHD and I REALLY hated school, so I still get clostrophobic, when I am inside one of those stuffy boxes, erm…school buildings.  So anyways, after filling out the five thousandth form, I felt snarky enough, and made a post about that too. This time, facebook was the victim.

I was spreading my grump all around the internet, not intentionally, mind you…and next thing you know, we head off for my brother’s house, and I have a wicked blow-out.  Can this pony ride stop already!

Not just flat, but shredded wheat-flat!

Not just flat, but shredded wheat-flat!

By the grace of God, I managed to not only keep chill, but keep the peace and calm with my 12, 14, 16, and 18 year old sons!!!  You may or may not appreciate the beauty in that…only moms of multiple boys truly can.  Immediately, I felt the irony of my previous Instagram featuring the picture of my sister’s dog, who looked like she had surrendered…I have a dachshund-corgi mix who hasn’t been fixed yet, and he was her parasite, shadow and wanna-be lover during their recent visit to our farm.  The pic was taken the last day they were here, and yeah, she’d had enough.  I feel this way a lot.  My boys are um…boys…ha!  But we know how to make the best of any situation.

Earlier in the day, pre-posts, pre-flat, while on our way to pick up their oldest brother, my second oldest began a beautiful, timbering Indian chant. It was our rain dance chant, and so I joined in.  We have no radio, so we often sing, but this, was the first time my car was blessed with the throaty gutteral soul sounds of chanting.  So when it began raining, on our way back to the high school, he, of course, took credit for the rain.  He knew God heard his cries!!  We wouldn’t fully appreciate the fact that the rain came until we were found on the side of the road, after all local tire centers were closed, right after sunset.

The rain had brought the miserable temperatures down and there was a nice, light breeze to keep us cool, as we waited.  My Little Miss Sunshine approach to life can sometimes get under my more cynical oldest son’s skin, but he cannot deny certain positives, when I point them out.

After a call to a 24 hour tire service shop, We were praising the Lord that it happened in the evening after that bit of rain, instead of in the middle of the day, when it was blistering hot.  I enjoyed making a spontaneous phone call to chat with a dear friend who also had a freakish incident, while on the road yesterday, and also got to observe the kindness of a young man.

You see, in the two plus hours we were stuck on the side of the road, only one person stopped.  A class of 2015 graduate of the high school we just left.  He restored my faith in youth!  He also was a response from God hearing my thoughts.  Less than a minute after he arrived, I had silently wondered why no one else had stopped and had a few sour thoughts about today’s society.  But God said, look here, there’s still a few good folks in this world.

In conclusion, nothing is that big of a deal, if you trust in The Real Deal.  The One True God, The Holy Trinity that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  He always responds, can you recognize His responses?

I learned that when having a bad day, don’t declare it so, or the universe will respond in kind.  But if you do, God’s still coming to the rescue when you call, because He figured out long ago, that we are a detriment to ourselves at times…that’s why He sent us a Savior, in Jesus Christ!  Has He Saved You, yet?  All you have to do is ask.

Vaya con Dios

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

An interesting and challenging command, Jesus’ “do not let your heart be troubled.” “In this life you will have troubles…” And in the following blog, I hope that you find that you are not alone in trying to juggle your troubles with God’s peace, but that you find some solace in the hope found in God’s Words.

John 14:27 (KJV):Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Mark 13:8 (ESV):For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

John 16:33(NLT):I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 3:14 (ESV):But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED.

Life is both thorny and sweet and undeniably beautiful.

Life is both thorny and sweet and undeniably beautiful.

I tell you what, my brothers and sisters, it is hard to not be troubled.  The only way I ever manage moments of peace is when I focus on Jesus’ Gift of Life and God’s Mastery of All Creation, the beauty, the perfection…and then my mind starts whispering, “it’s all endangered or in danger”, and Jesus says, “Ah, yes, my child.  Things seem rather bleak right now, but I am not finished.  I am the Victor, the best is yet to come, All will be made right.  Just hold on to me and do not let me out of your sight!”

I honestly cannot stand the results of what has definitely equated to a major pole shift.  Maybe the world didn’t physically shift on it’s axis, but is sure flipped upside down spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  I could spend all day being frustrated about all of these troubling things, as I am raising four young men, aged 12-18, and as I have mentioned in past blog postings, this crummy world does not make that easy!!

What really concerns me, and has been of concern for a while now, is the racial tension, that has been growing and growing over the past few years, in the land touted as the land of the free and the home of the brave.  It is hard to write about or talk about, even, because someone is liable to get inadvertently offended, even by the most well-meaning author.

I grew up in southeast Texas, only an hour or so from two towns highlighted by racist acts, Vidor and Jasper, Texas  I inherently knew that there was something very wrong with men who flocked together to hate our fellow man. Only evil could spurn such fools into action…

I made my first black friends in elementary school.  I remember the first days of kindergarten, no one wanted anything to do with me, and yet I was like a clueless puppy, just trying to make a friend.  There was a group of black girls giggling and playing hopscotch at recess, and I wanted to partake of their joy with them, so I leaned against the rough brick wall of the old school and I began to watch them.  One of them asked me what I was doing starring at them, and I explained that I was wondering what they were playing and if I cold join them.  I think one of them mentioned kicking my posterior, but another said I wasn’t doing anything wrong, and to be nice.

Childhood innocence, going the way of the dinosaurs...

Childhood innocence, going the way of the dinosaurs…

They, with much reserve, taught me about hopscotch.  We laughed and giggled together, and became friends.  I couldn’t tell what all the fuss was about…these girls were just like me, only their skin was made of rich shades of brown and purples and creams.  I thought they were more blessed than I, to have such pretty skin tones!!  My innocence and desire to have friends seemed to have saved me early own from doing anything other than scoffing at the ignorance behind racism.

I met my best friend that day, though we got even closer in 3rd grade.  She is my best friend to this day.  Her favorite song is Poison’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, and while I failed miserably at the whole college experience, my best friend is continually building on her degrees and teaches third grade to the luckiest kids in the world!!

If I had let others form my opinion, even others I am kin to, I would not have been blessed with my life-long bestie.

I noticed a change in my own kids when we moved from an urban to rural school district…but it is hard for me to gauge whether or not this change is solely location-related, or if something sinister has been going on, because when we moved, the whole world was lighting up with stories of racism, racial injustice and prejudice reborn…All the while, my kids’ language had changed after working for a severely racist farmer, and it all seemed to be a big joke to them.  Their words and sudden displays of ignorance pierced my heart and soul!  They were slinging around the forbidden word, and using the old standard, “Well everybody’s doing it…” or “Hey, that’s how they refer to themselves in their songs!” Ugh…

I’ve hated rap from the very beginning of it’s release, because it degraded women and the language was atrocious and self-demeaning; it glorified and magnified violence and sins of all kinds, such as love of self, money, drugs and booze.  My kids play it loud, until I blow a fuse.  My kids…not what I expected, but that is for a braver blog that may never be born…between my failures and the world’s loud, twisted influence, I leave them covered with prayer in God’s hands.

What we are seeing unfold is unprecidented. This sudden apacolyptic rise in racism is what Mark 13:8 speaks of.  Nation against nation.  Louis Farrakhan has called for 10,000 black men to rise up against the tyranny…white people.  He has called for the blood of the white man.  What enrages me, is not all white people and not all black people care to be part of this uprising and I fear that a lot of innocents are going to be hurt, if this call is met with action.

And to make matters worse, last night was the one year anniversary of the Michael Brown shooting, in St. Louis.  Whether just or not, the riots that ensued afterwards, and the lack of healing allowed to truly take place has escalated, producing an instant replay, with another young soul taken, by the hands of the police…but people, beware, don’t you let your emotions cloud your judgment.  Michael’s classmate, Tyrone Harris, Jr. was no peaceful demonstrator, and sadly, likely, just as with Michael Brown, the police had no other option…kill or be killed.  Tyrone had an agenda, a stolen weapon, and fired first.  Both boys, now being mourned together, were thieves, and both boys were confrontational.  This should be a wake up call to all, that our boys are in trouble. This should not be a race issue, but a generation issue.

Acts 2:40 (ESV): And with many other words he (Peter) bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Everywhere I go, I read about the hustle.  Everyone wants money and to be famous and to be bad-mamma-jammas…The thug life has been elevated to rock-star status, and instead of cleaning up the streets, they are being over-crowded by a bunch of wanna-be, lost souls, glorifying sex, drugs, and violence.

The enemy knew what he was doing…

2 Tim 3:1-5 (ESV):But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

As Ray Stevens sings, “They’re everywhere, They’re everywhere!!” The Word of God says to avoid such people…it is obvious that such avoidance is the way of peace.  My sister shared the above verses yesterday, and I again wondered if God would be okay with me running away, haha!!!

She and my brother-in-law came down for a visit, last week, with her son.  My brother-in-law is half German, half “African-American” (though if he is anything like my best friend, he denounces African-American, for black).  My sister lovingly refers to him as her German-chocolate…she’s a funny gal. 💛

We talked a little bit about this ongoing climatic racial tension and how awkward it is to breech the subject with any smidgen of common sense.  We can’t figure out how it all went so wrong so fast, except to say, this world’s done flipped upside down…We are mostly level-headed, pretty average joes, to ourselves.  We like snowcones, and cool breezes, and laughter.  We spend our free time with family, and have realized we have enough trouble with that, so why make or look for more.  As my brother-in-law says, “not my problem, not my business.”  We are just trying to make a living in order to support our families and just get along.

Why can’t everyone just get along?

The only solution we saw was once nailed on a cross for all of our sins and we know we just have to stick together, standing on the truth that IS IN GOD and HIS WORD, and hold on tight, as we experience the birthing pains of armaggedon. It is in His perfect love and perfect laws and in His perfect timing, that all will be made right.

The challenge we face is perserverence.  The challenge we face is standing still on truth and not allowing hooks to sink into us, pulling us towards hate, for we are already hooked on love.  The challenge we face is in trying to hook others up with the only Pure Source of Love.

Have you baited your hook?

James 1:25 (ESV):But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

God is not against us, He is for us.  We should be the same with everyone in our lives.  It is our sole responsibility to make our weapon of choice, Love and the knowledge of God’s Word.  Let your faith be your shield.  He does not bring shame to the faithful, nor the hopeful.

Romans Chapter 5 (ESV)

Peace with God Through Faith

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right timeChrist died for the ungodly.For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, anddeath through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam,who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded formany. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses broughtjustification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Nowthe law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Vaya con Dios

Closest To Thee

Through out my life, now 39 years in, I have had a waxing/waning relationship with God.  Where during my happiest times, I would praise Him with exuberance, and at my lowest points, I would cling to Him, as one clings to the side of a cliff after slipping off the side of a mountain trail.

But during the average days, the everyday-days, I would wander further away and set my mind to worrying about a bevy of everyday matters, from whether my kids would turn out alright, to whether the bills could all be paid.  I might pray about those things, but I never really completely let my burdens go into His hands.

During the last two years, years 37 and 38, to be precise, I found myself going back to my roots, through living next door to my parents, out in the country, while raising farm animals and prepping and tending spring and fall gardens.  I was suddenly able to spend more time with God, than ever before.  The only sounds, while the boys were in school, was the sweet rhapsody of birds’ songs, accented by an occasional crow of approval from a rooster, and those yard bird tackles that are just downright awkward.  No constant sounds of traffic and sirens and people, many times it would just be me and God.

While watching and learning about the season’s cycles that are so magnified on a farm, and facing the specific responsibilities that escort each season, I fell even more in love with God’s perfect designs.  I was awash in His majesty, oh the colors, oh the beauty of the Earth!  His handwork is in every leaf, every feather, every breeze, and I just couldn’t ever get enough of our alone time together and there was plenty of robbers trying to disturb the peaceful place that I had finally truly found, in The Garden.

I have written about The Garden, after having sung an old Christian standard, of the same name, so many times through out the years, that it not only became one of my favorite hymns, but a real, tangible place. Not the garden I worked so hard to help keep up, but tangible, none the less.  I began getting glimpses of The Garden at first, and then I realized, that it was already inside of me; I just had to learn to access it.

Some of you may be thinking, okay, this is beginning to sound “New Agey”.  Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, Alone.  I trust no man as I trust my Lord, and I do not bow to any other god, nor give any creedence to them as anything other than a demon in disguise and tool of Satan.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38)

The above bible verses say that each believer has a river of living water flowing from our hearts.  This Living Water that flows out of us and into the life of others, when we allow Jesus to use us for His Kingdom building, is the very water that keeps all the fruit trees and flowers growing beautifully, blooming year round, each in their season, WITHIN US, in God’s Garden!  This Living Water nourishes our spiritual fruits, but also is right there to soothe us and give us peace, comfort and love, when troubled, hurt or afraid…

God never wants us to be afraid.  He wants us to completely understand the limitless blessings in the beautiful fact that we are never alone.  He is not only with us, but He goes before us and is also behind us, to catch us, if we fall!  Nothing can top God and His Goodness.  NOTHING!

Because I became so tapped in to creation, through working the land and caring for the animals, I at times felt like I was literally swimming in the Living Waters, the Communion was so delightful, that I was often found sweating buckets, and in severe pain, and completely distraught and stressed due to familial issues, and yet, spiritually, happy as a lark, singing praises to my King.  How could I not.

Just a sampling of the colorful array of flowers we enjoyed at our old place.

Just a sampling of the colorful array of flowers we enjoyed at our old place.

I oft found myself engaging butterflies and birds.  I love the wing-ed creatures who fly closer to Heaven than I.

I oft found myself engaging butterflies and birds. I love the wing-ed creatures who fly closer to Heaven than I.

Then a storm began to brew.  Because of my extremely close proximity to God, and all of our recent rich interactions, it just solidified even further that if I were to just hold on to Him, and continue to trust in Him, then I would make it through the coming storm systems…even if He had to carry me through.

When the metaphorical storms finally blew through, there were inevidable things I had to work through such as shock, hurt, anger, and sheer exhaustion.  There was no surrender and no looking back, just clawing forward, and suddenly looking into pitch black space, with only a pinhole of light in the center…a blank chalk board with only a speck of dust, which was our future.

God was way ahead of me.  He knew how everything would go and He made my path smooth to get to a place where I could begin to breathe again.  And dream again.  And have a bit more of a life of my own to live again.  And the kids are alright.  We have been given, by Our Amazing Father, a place far beyond any home we had ever lived in before.  It is temporary, as per the present agreement, but it is like God wrapped His arms around us all and said, “It’s going to be alright.  Rest, breathe, love, and repeat.”

Here I am, one major hurricane after another after another, better off for wear.  I learned so much as did my kids,  during the past two rather trying years, though in the end, they sadly, had to learn the hard way…and I got to go along for the ride…weeeee! 😒

We are raising our rabbits and chickens, enjoying the meat procured from the pigs we helped raise, and the harvest from the over 1000 vegetable and fruit plants I put in the ground this spring.  Emotional fences are being slowly mended and I am working on my newest dream.

God made me a gypsy, and no matter where I roam, I will always consider The Garden my home, sweet home.

Even during the anger, I could, more easily than ever before, go grab more peace from the Garden, because this new place is so Heavenly and my heart is full of praise and gratitude. a

And when I focus on His goodness, all the madness and the badness and all the plain mess just vanishes and it is just He and I, in the Garden, taking in the Splendor of the King.

Home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is

And even when my future, but for a moment may look like a black hole, I can see The Light showing me His Way is the safe way, so I will just keep on following Him.

And if I find myself in dire straits or in harms way, I will try and remember even then, the Garden awaits, and I pray now I am capable of retreating there even then.  And I pray the same for you.  Persecution is coming, we cannot deny it, but we can rise up on Eagle’s wings and rise above it.  As a dear friend reminded me yesterday, snakes can’t fly.

We are seeing changes rapidly in this world, but I hold onto the promises where master and slave trade places and all wrongs are made right and every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord!  Lap up the Living Waters, Eat the Word of God, and TALK WITH HIM ALL the time.  The more time you spend with Him, the less time you are spending worrying or being hurt or angry, or depressed, sick, etc.

There is a nice meme going around about how the words “Do not fear” are repeated in the Old and New Testaments exactly 365 times.

I will leave you with that profound actuality.

MUCH LOVE & Vaya con Dios

I just want to make God smile. 💛

I just want to make God smile. 💛