Saturday, November 18, 2017

MEANWHILE HERE IN THE HOOD

TURKEY DAY
IS COMING
AND THE COOKING
HAS BEGUN



SPINACH MADELINE
A LONG TIME
FAMILY TRADITION

I AM WALKING
 THE TRAILS
AT LINCOLN PARISH PARK
SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK




AND ENJOYING
THE SOFT CARPET
OF AUTUMN LEAVES
UNDER MY FEET



WHICH BRINGS ME TO


THE CONTROVERSY
OVER THE WATER
BEING DRAINED 
FROM THE PARK LAKE
FOR FRACKING


THE NOISE IS HORRIBLE
UNLESS YOU ARE GETTING
A FAT CHECK
AND THEN IT IS TOLERABLE

THINGS ARE ALWAYS
COLORED
BY THE EYES
YOU PEER THROUGH!


AND WHILE THE BROTHER 
IS AWAY
I AM TAKING CARE
OF THE ORIGINAL
FAT CAT




AND
WE REALLY DO
HAVE WILD LIFE
HERE IN LOUISIANA


SASQUATCH
SIGHTING ON MY BUDDY'S
GAME CAMERA
RIGHT BEHIND HER HOUSE!

YOU DON'T SEE THINGS
LIKE THIS
IN THE CITY!


STILL ENJOYING LIFE
HERE IN THE LOUISIANA HOOD

Friday, November 17, 2017

THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG


My toes MUST be black and blue!  The book I am currently reading is stepping ALL over them!  If they aren't bruised, my heart is for certain.  In fact, I am down right ashamed over what I am discovering about myself.  How easily I become convinced I am being good enough.  How quickly I forget ALL fall short and my feet are made of clay.  This has been an eye opening and hopefully life changing read.  (By the way--the way this book ended up in my hands is a story unto itself---God REALLY works in mysterious ways!_



I am reading a chapter a day--to give myself time to digest after mulling it over.  Those pesky "D" words keep rearing their ugly heads.  Depression, doubt, delusion, denial, and the really convicting discontentment.  OUCH!  How easily I trot over to the road marked Discontentment.  It happens without me even giving it much thought.  Sometimes it even begins under the guise of self improvement.  The next thing I know I am sliding down the slippery slope



of discontent.  I find myself not satisfied with who I am, what I am, where I am, what I have, or any of a plethora of things I deem I should have, be, or lack.  GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY!

WHY am I not in tip top physical shape (besides the fact I am not working out enough)?  Why don't my children and grands live in close proximity to me (as in on the family compound)?  Why have I not written a best seller (ignoring the fact you must begin to write said best seller)?  Why does everyone else seem to have perfect lives (I really do know this is not the truth--but they give that illusion so convincingly)?  AND that really biggie---WHY don't I look like a super model?

OH-the book addresses it all and shot an arrow directly at my guilty heart.  In a nut shell---if God knitted me together in my mother's womb--am I saying he made a mistake with how I look?  AND---if I truly believe God is omnipotent and The One who has ordered my life---WHY would I question where I am, what I have, who I am or for that matter anything about my life?  IF God is truly who I claim Him to be--then as His Word tells us, all things are for His glory and our good.  PERIOD!

Well this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to respectable sins


AND we all know there is much more to an iceberg than the tip that is sticking out.  So it is with our respectable sins--there is an entire list we have decided to look past---for after all we haven't murdered anyone---YET.

HERE is what we quickly forget---sin is sin---PERIOD!  The Law is not a long laundry list of sins, but instead is addressed as a single item in The Word.  The Law encompasses it all!  Our fickle attempt at categorizing sin does not fly in God's eyes.

I am thankful for grace, but convicted I am free to be obedient to what God  has deemed is best for me.  My discontentment is a not so subtle denial of God's gracious provision in all areas of my life.  

Black and blue toes are not necessarily bad.  In this case they are a reminder of Who God is and how I relate and react to His Person.  I am convicted--and that is a good thing.  With conviction comes change.  Praise His faithful presence and provision.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length
 you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me,
 but you had no opportunity.
 Not that I am speaking of being in need,
 for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
 In any and every circumstance,
 I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
 I can do all things through him who strengthens me
Philippians 4:10-13








Thursday, November 16, 2017

LESSONS FROM HERO THE WONDER DOG

Hero is seriously a brick short of a load!  He lives in the lap of luxury here at Lulu's house.  All his needs are taken care of--without him contributing even a plugged nickel.


His food is served on demand, he has a monthly trip to the doggy spa, he goes for walks three times a day, and I even throw his squeaky toy when he wants to play.  There are no restrictions on where he goes in the house and he even sleeps on MY bed at night. In short--the silly little dog has found paradise!



And yet--he is a runner!  He seizes every opportunity to hit the road jack!  This necessitates keeping him on a leash anytime we leave the confines of the fenced yard or house.  Today was yet another example of the little escape artist literally heading for the hills.





I have been helping a friend paint furniture.  She did not realize I was in the garage along with the Wonder Dog and opened the door.  He was under that door and off to the races before you could say Jack Sprat.  I was forced to bend way down low--army crawl style to get under that door and in hot pursuit.  Living on a busy highway, he almost became a grease spot when a truck narrowly missed him.  I had no idea I could run so fast--since I have not run in years---but the little black and white streak was followed by the old lady who can still sprint when forced.  He KNEW I was following him and only ran faster.  WHY---would the silly mutt run away from the hand that literally feeds him?  I am gasping and wheezing and calling while trying to get a whistle out without hyperventilating.  Every time I begin to close in--he picks up his speed again!  This has NOT been a pretty sight to see me chasing the eight pound wonder down the street and the army crawl under the garage door may result in not being able to get myself out of the bed tomorrow.



Thankfully my friend had the presence of mind to drive her vehicle in the direction we were headed.  The sly little weasel can NOT resist a ride in a vehicle--EVER.  She catches up to him and calls him.  OH BOY---here he comes running back to me--thinking I am going to pick him up and we are going for a ride.  NO--you little ingrate---we are walking back.  She offered a ride, but I needed to get my heart rate down and give him a good talking to.  He's got it made--but at the first opportunity--he makes a break as if his life depended upon it.  You would think he lived in an concentration camp instead of Doggy Paradise.

There you go---the perfect example of the runner in all of us.  We also have it made in the presence of Jehovah Jireh.  God provides us with ALL we need--and yet we don't walk but actually run from His perfect plan.  We refuse to acknowledge His way is the best way and instead strike out on our own path--which often puts us in the path of danger.  It is so easy to become lost when we run away from God's sweet protection.  We are slow learners, but He faithfully calls us to Him time after time and draws us back into the shelter of His loving arms.  STAY---needs to be my prayer--STAY!


"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these
 things will be added to you."
Matthew 6:31-33

Sunday, November 12, 2017

WITH THANKS

WITH THANKS

TO HIM

FROM WHOM

ALL GOOD THINGS COME



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, November 11, 2017

MEANWHILE HERE IN THE HOOD

 THE LAST
ROSES
OF SUMMER
ARE STILL HANGING ON


WHILE THE FIRST
BLOOMS OF FALL
MAKE THEIR
APPEARANCE


COOLER WEATHER
CALLS FOR 
MY MOTHER IN LAW'S
SPECIAL 
BEAN DISH


AND OH MY
THE PEOPLE
ON RUSTON RANTS
SURE KNOW HOW
TO RANT


I DON'T KNOW
WHERE
TO START
ON EXPLAINING
ALL THAT!

AND FINALLY
FROST ON THE PUMPKIN
MEANS 
HERO-THE WONDER DOG
NEEDS A COAT



THE CHIHUAHUA
IN HIM
WANTS TO 
GO BACK
TO MEXICO

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL FALL
HERE IN THE HOOD!

Friday, November 10, 2017

HOME SWEET HOME

One of the exercises we did in small group this week involved the silhouette of a house.  Inside the house you listed the good and not so good things you associated with home.  As all OC (BUT NOT D) readers will understand, I  listed mine in separate columns and in alphabetical order.  Don't laugh--some of you might benefit from a little order in your life!  I could give you the list, but the list is not the point of this muse.



This began a stream of thought over all the moves I have made in the last six plus years.


I had only moved a handful of times in my entire life and spent thirty years in this home where we raised our family.  Since moving from this house, I have lived in four different places in six plus years.  Each move always had one thing in common---I was always trying to make a home.  


From my first house alone in Ruston to my current house--one street over from the first one with the same house number, I seem to have made a complete circle.  Moving to Fort Worth I first lived in an apartment on the edge of the TCU campus, I could not wait to move into the bungalow.


I actually lived in the bungalow almost 4 years.  One thing in common in every place I have lived --I am always trying to make a home.

I have found earthly contentment almost every place I have lived, but there is a certain restlessness I cannot seem to shake.  Rolling this around it occurred to me perhaps my "True Home" will not be found on this terrestrial ball.  Although Ruston has seemed like home and I am enjoying my home here, there is still this quality of something is missing. 

I recently saw the movie, "Same Kind of Different as Me", Denver addressed all of us being homeless here in this world.  He acknowledged we will only truly "be home" when we enter the world after this one.  Our true eternal home will be found when we are welcomed into the presence of the Most High God.



For now---it is all temporary--and certainly fleeting---but the best home is yet to come...

14 For this world is not our permanent home;
 we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Hebrews 13:14

Thursday, November 9, 2017

COMPLACENT

Yesterday's blog brought this comment by Linda who blogs here:

"I'm thinking that the best church I ever experienced was the years when I co-led a Celebrate Recovery program. Loved those people - their honesty, their passion for Jesus, and praise, and recovery, and authenticity.

No masks, just raw, real, encouraging life together, the broken trusting God for every breath in many cases."

The best church she ever experienced was a group of those who have suffered from addictions and all the ravages it can afflict on us and those we love.  The broken and defeated who have learned to turn to Jesus.  Those who came to the group without a mask but instead with the real me on open display.  "The broken trusting God for every breath in many cases."  This comment kept surfacing today as I went about my day to day routine.  Why would this group be the best church she ever experienced?


As I thought this over, it occurred to me I have felt the closest to God when I was in my most desperate moments.  Heart broken, fearful, anxious, desperate, and alone--I cried out to God and He made His presence known to me.  I earnestly sought God when I was the most desperate.  When I had no answers, when all seemed lost, and when I no longer knew my way, I sought Him at a level like never before.  And He was there.  I knew the glory of the Holy Spirit interpreting the prayers I could not verbalize but only groan.  When all seemed lost--God revealed His faithful comfort in a way I had been too busy and too distracted in my comfort to know before.


So when Linda was in a group of those who had known the depths of true despair, she acknowledged their total dependence upon a Sovereign God to get them through the next moment drew them together.  They leaned heavily upon God--sought Him in their waking--trusted Him in their sleeping and knew the glory of true dependence upon Him for their very life.  You do not walk into Celebrate Recovery when all is well with the world---you walk in when you are grasping by one finger your hold on your very life.  The room is filled with desperate people who are crying out to our Great God for help.  AND, He is present--and they have church.



This brought me to this question--

If I knew my knowledge of who God is could grow, 
If I knew that my relationship with God could deepen,
If I knew I could experience faith to the fullest,
If I knew I could understand the only hope comes from Him,
If I knew my love for Him could be even deeper--

what would I be willing to experience?  How much pain, how much heartbreak, how much sorrow would I suffer in order to know God at an even deeper level?  Why in my humanness do I become complacent and satisfied with the depth of my relationship with Him?  Why am I content when it could be so much more?

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Proverbs 8:17