Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PASSING THROUGH THE GENERATIONS

There seems to be a great deal said in the Christian community about the "Sins of the Father".  The scripture reference which is the foundation for this is

Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.

Exodus 34:7

I spent a few days with my Little Man recently.  I pulled a fast one on him one afternoon while trying to get him to nap.  I turned on a cartoon, closed the blinds, turned out the lights and sat with him in my lap in Old Faithful.

We rocked and rocked and before he knew what was up--he was out.  The other trick to get him to sleep is to hold him in my arms and sing "Jesus Loves Me"-softly and gently swaying as his eyes grow heavy and his body goes limp.  What a sweet blessing to have a precious grand sleep in your arms.



As I rocked this grand in the chair that I rocked my children in, I thought of the legacy of blessing passing through the generations as we love our children and their children.  I rocked my own children, walked the floor with them, sang to them, and loved them.  It is a legacy of love passing down through the generations.

What a sweet comfort to know the blessing legacy also passes through the generations. God is a God of love and His desire is for our good. He grants a legacy of love and His blessing to pass through generations of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.

And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
Mark 1:50

Monday, September 29, 2014

METAMORPHOSIS

We seem to be fairly fascinated with the subject of metamorphosis or morphing as the kids call it.  We have taken a naturally occurring phenomena and turned it into entertainment.  Today's cartoons are filled with morphing creatures, my kids watched the "Incredible Hulk", and Clark Kent was the very definition of metamorphosis in my day.  

The concept of a drastic change began in nature.  We have the beautiful butterfly-




which began as a caterpillar.  And of course there is the frog


which began as a tadpole.

Truly fascinating, BUT I discovered this weekend I have indeed had a metamorphosis of my own. 

It all began as a young woman and mother---I would rise every day LONG before dawn--why so early there was not even a glimmer of twilight.  Breakfast to prepare, lunches to assemble, clothes to fold and put away, dishes to wash, beds to make, kids to dress, dress myself, get everyone out the door and off to their appointed places.  Work all day---at a FUN job dealing with numbers--head down--fingers on computer/calculator--rows and rows of figures.  Work out at lunch---go back to work---and finish out the day.  Home--supper to cook---homework to supervise---games to attend--taxi driver to practices--clothes to wash--kitchen to clean---and the occasional school project.  Fall into the bed at late thirty to get too little sleep to start it all over the next day.  Throw in the sporadic illness to deal with, dentist/doctor appointment, occasional physical therapy and it could be come slightly over-whelming---but I LOVED it all!  Yes, I fussed, prodded, sighed, and even pouted--but it was amazing how much I could get done---I called myself


The past few days #1 daughter has been away and Lulu stepped up to the plate. The first day I had all three--with the getting the big boys to school chore with the little man in tow.  The next two days I had only little man.  I discovered during these few short days--I have experienced a metamorphosis---I have turned from Super Mom into Lost It Lulu.  HOW DOES SHE DO THIS!!!!!  I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT--but the Old Gray Mare----WELL I might have once had it--but it is LONG GONE!



Grandchildren are the crown of the aged
Proverbs 17:6


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

Fall is officially here---I KNOW you all put away all of your white on Labor Day.  Do you now have your fall wardrobe at the front of the closet?  Some place a huge value on dress---what we wear--where we bought it---who designed it---on and on.  Clothes can become an obsession.  I see it at church, at restaurants, in the gym, and even in stores where you buy more clothing.  Some are never satisfied and always on a quest for the perfect outfit--to give the appearance of wealth, coolness, sophistication, success, athletic prowess, and the list goes on.

We began this quest a LONG time ago.  Check out the 3rd chapter of Genesis.  After their futile attempt to cover their nakedness with fig leaves (which will not last and are not very big) and after God's Judgement Lecture after their dis-obedience,  God made the first blood sacrifice of animals--to use the skins to furnish the first couple with their clothing. God gave them clothes immediately after their disastrous choice which lead to the fall of man.  He was disappointed--but still He loved them and provided for them.

So the quest for fashion began---God provided the necessity---man was not satisfied and then began the slippery slope of "Dressing for Success".  Why would their be so many stores, if we were not obsessed with finding the perfect outfit to disguise who we really are and portray us as who we desire to be.  The aura we strive for is quickly diminished--as soon as we open our mouths and begin to talk.  Our peacock strut becomes a duck's waddle as the layers of disguise are pulled off and the real us shows up.

Thus began the story of man's attempt to hide his shame and disguise his true nature.  It all began a LONG-LONG time ago.  It still doesn't work--but we keep trying--with the misguided notion we will trick the world into believing we are anyone other than a wolf in sheep's clothing!

And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Genesis 3:21


Monday, September 22, 2014

LABELS

We are all guilty of putting labels on others---why even ourselves-




They can be quite innocent like 

Thin


Or hurtful and mean like

Fat


Or some days


Lazy


And other days

Athletic (Exercise Nut)


Some labels are earned over time, like

Sassy



And others we wear with pride, like

Eccentric



And there are those who do not care what you label them, like

Different (Nuts)

I was asked at church if I was divorced today.  I suppose that is a label.  I did not say "I Do" with the intention of divorcing at some future time--like all of you, I thought it was "Till death do us part".  I cringe when asked if I am divorced.  I have friends who have lost their spouses through death, these friends are labeled, but it carries a gentler ring.  They are alone--but they fulfilled their vow and lived their covenant.  This label I wear smacks of failure and gives me the feeling I should step to the back of the bus.  Perhaps I over-react--but remember the generation I was raised in.  Divorce did not happen during those days--and it carried a stigma.  Leaving behind the social mores instilled during a lifetime is not easy. 

I have learned a valuable lesson about labeling others.  God does not label us, but knows us all as distinct beings.  Divorce does not define who I am in His eyes.  There is much-much more to me than being divorced.  I pray for wisdom to look at others with the same vision He uses when seeing me--with the eyes of Jesus --Who sees me as His Beloved.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17


Sunday, September 21, 2014

WHAT IT ALL IS ABOUT

And THIS Dear Friends--

      THIS is what it all is about!!!!





BLESSED SABBATH!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A LITTLE LAUGHTER GOES A LONG WAY


WHEN LIFE SEEMS TO BE GOING IN CIRCLES


AND YOU CANNOT TELL IF YOU ARE UP OR DOWN



KEEP YOUR GOALS REACHABLE



AND REMEMBER TO JUST LAUGH!

Friday, September 19, 2014

WHEN THE GOING IS TOUGH

Alone can be tough!  I have always enjoyed and needed some alone time--but too much aloneness  is not a good state of being.  I struggle --at times---with being alone.  This summer was particularly difficult for a variety of reasons.  I have vowed next summer will be different.

My married friends tell me---they often feel alone with someone in the room with them.  It is difficult to explain to them--even when there is not a word said---it is the awareness of another living -breathing human in the room/house with you.  Taken or not--there is opportunity to speak a word--share a thought-even perhaps entertain a laugh with another.  When the  doors are locked and the drapes are drawn and you become aware of only the sound of your breath, you are alone.

There are some who stuffed into small spaces with many bodies would love some alone time.  They look at me and envy what they see from the outside looking in.  I eat what I want when I want, I watch television or not, I sleep when I want and make all the choices for my days.  With the exception of babysitting chores and tutoring, I have no demands or insistent claims on my time.  Be careful what you envy and the grass is not always greener.  I miss those days of being so busy I did not know which end was up---of falling in the bed at night exhausted from a non-stop day from pre-dawn to late evening.  I enjoy my retirement, but I miss the perpetual buzz of activity and bodies of days gone by.

My soul cries out to God, "Help me---see that You are enough".  I commune with Him---my thoughts turn to Him---I seek His presence---but I am sad to say--it is not always enough.  He created us to be in relationships---so He understands this aloneness.  There is no answer---many of my friends and acquaintances voice the same feelings.  

Here is where faith comes to play---I have faith there is a reason I am alone--I have faith He is in control---I have faith He is by my side---I have faith He hears my cries---I have faith He will sustain me.  


 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
Psalm 73:23

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

HEROES IN OUR LIVES


God sometimes places people in our life who make a huge impact upon our lives--without them ever knowing it.  Rebecca is one of those gifts God graciously gave me.  Rebecca is one of the instructors at the Y I attend here in Fort Worth.  When I first started going, she was out of town and did not return until I had been there four months.  She walked in the room that day and I thought WOW!--she is going to kick me into high gear in this class.  I was NOT disappointed!  



The consummate motivator--Rebecca is always encouraging---never disparaging but always spurring us all on to bigger and better things.  She never seems to have a down day--like so many of us--but even when life seems difficult--she is pushing us harder.  We all want to be her friend and reap the bounty of her encouragement.

Rebecca is leaving the Y in a couple of weeks.  She will be gone for a year.  She is not just leaving the Y---she is leaving her husband and three children as well---She is being deployed. It turned out the reason she was not instructing at the Y when I first began attending was her deployment at that time.   She is one of the brave men and women who sacrifice so much so that we might have the opportunity to live in freedom.  She not only instructs us at the Y, but also is an officer in the US Navy.  It must be heart wrenching to live those sweet babies and the love of her life---but in her words,
"I have a responsibility and commitment and I plan to meet it."  No question of Why---No whining--No regrets--only telling us all how much she will miss us--but that she will be back. 

The world has changed greatly in my lifetime.  One of the changes is women's roles in the military.  Rebecca will take a year out of her life, leave her husband and children and live in a foreign land so that we might rest easy at night.  I am inspired and motivated by Rebecca during my classes--but most important I am humbled and grateful for her sacrifice and commitment to our great country.

Join me in praying for Rebecca, her husband and family and SO MANY other of our military men and women who answer the call to duty and love our great country so well.  MY HEROES---God Bless Them All! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

WHO AM I?

It is truly incredible to think --because of who He is---
I am who I am---His!





BLESSED SABBATH, DEAR FRIENDS!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

LABOR OF LOVE

BEFORES





AFTERS






Thrilled to be chosen as "Yard of the Month" for the Hood. I am not prone to bragging, but the wonderful article in the monthly Hood Newsletter made my day.  It is an new ballgame gardening here, but I am learning.

Lots of plans for the yard for the future, but it has been great fun to this point!

Friday, September 12, 2014

HOW CAN LIFE GO ON?

The World Trade Center is targeted and plane loads of people are used as missiles---
and the next day the sun comes up.


Militant groups are targeting Christian minorities and children are being beheaded and all Believers systematically are being killed---
and the next day the sun comes up.


A boy dies while taking the viral ice bucket challenge in Scotland when taking a risky jump into a quarry---
and the next day the sun comes up.


A deadly virus with no known cure begins to spread across parts of the world leaving victims' families mourning their devastating losses---
and the next day the sun comes up.


Throughout history---over and over---we see the same repetition-
seasons of war, seasons of illness, seasons of tragedy, seasons of devastation--
human misery played out in the never ending repeat of unbelievable pain.

And yet--the same God who allows it all---
also causes the sun to come up the next day--
the same God who sees it all happening--
is there in the midst at the very moment of occurrence---
the same God who spun this earth into motion---
holds us all in His hand.

In the midst of the worst---in the middle of the horror---
in the moment of despair---
He is there with the promise---The sun will come up tomorrow.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A REMINDER

With brokenness--I find myself weeping---over so many things.  The learned stoicism of my past---has been replaced with the emotional freedom--which came when the dam finally broke.  A flood of tears stored for years and years--are now free to fall at each and every heart tug.

I weep when deep sorrow or great joy knocks me off my feet.  My tears are no longer for myself--but for all those God has placed in my life to know and love.  At times--I weep for someone I have never seen or will never know.  When the strings of my heart are tugged--the tears now come and often flow.

 I began my day with prayer in remembrance of our great loss and the stark reminder we suffered on this day thirteen years ago.  A reminder of the presence of evil---a reminder of our vulnerability---a reminder of life's briefness.
I prayed for those who lost loved ones, those whose lives were forever changed, and the leaders of this great country then and now.

Driving down the road early this morning, I heard a song on the Christian radio station I listen to---it caused the tears to begin to fall.  It reminded me of what we are blessed with, and how fragile our claim of freedom can be.  I wept for the loss of life and the security I took for granted.  As "The Star Spangled Banner" played, I thought of the multitude of times in my life I have stood for our National Anthem and never counted the cost-- I wept.  

I am reminded today of the great cost of freedom---the huge expense of precious lives which mark the cost of liberty---and I pray we never forget---or become complacent ---or loose count of the millions upon millions of tears which have fallen so that we may awaken every morning with the freedom to pray for our great country.




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

VITAMINS, SUPPLEMENTS AND TONICS

A sickly child---until I was around my early teens---I was a regular patient of our wonderful country doctor---who -SHOCK-  made house calls.  My rear must have resembled a pin cushion I had so many penicillin shots.  Long before the days of mandatory school attendance, I would probably have been held back multiple years if those rules applied then.  One stint I remember vividly was the mumps.  One side for a week and then the other side the next week---so sick I could not eat.  The flu was an annual visitor--pretty much anything going round--came for a visit.

Momma was not pleased with my weakling genes.  She was convinced I was unhealthy because I basically ate almost nothing. The long list of what I did not like stretched to town and back---while my likes were short and mainly starchy. I am living proof you can survive on peanut butter. Never conceding defeat--she enlisted the help of vitamins --and supplements---always liquid form---nasty liquid form.  I distinctly remember the cod liver oil --fishy and slimy--slowly  running down my throat--leaving a film of stink and yuck to taste for hours. 

 Her favorite--go to was Geritol.  


 

Who knew they still make this!  Geritol --made famous by television advertisements of the day --I believe for the "Ted Mack Amateur Hour".  I AM SERIOUSLY dating myself.  ANYWHO---at that time Geritol was a large percentage alcohol.  Momma gave me a dose every night before bedtime--HOW CONVENIENT!

As an adult, I have taken handfuls of vitamins and supplements.  In an effort to promote good health---strengthen my mind and body---and live a healthy life.  Gave all that up some time ago--only taken calcium with D now since I have osteopenia. When I finally discovered eating right would do the trick and the swallowing of large doses of the other only leads to expensive urine--I became free of this expensive obsession.

Meanwhile---I find myself at times weary----tired and weary---with my get up and go having got up and gone.  It is not a physical weariness---but a spiritual weariness.  The world saps it out of me.  I feel like sitting under the broom tree and gasping for breath.  So many problems in the world---so many friends struggling---so much sickness---so much loss---I am burdened to the point of exhaustion.  I am in need of spiritual tonic---a shot of Godisall--a reminder of where my strength comes from and Who is in control.  A large dose of time with Him and His Word--all the vitamin/supplement/tonic I could ever need.


Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.
Psalm 105:4
Seek the LORD and His strength; SeePsalm 105:4

Monday, September 8, 2014

TRUTH

Seldom do I feel the need to give you warning---but all that is being thrown around lately on Social Media has stirred my heart.  I am purposefully limiting my time on the WWW---it becomes a distraction and thief of precious time.  My limited time though has produced a common theme---Blessings.

Post after post of how blessed we are.  How God in His great love has rained down blessing after blessing around our heads.  Yes, I totally agree we are blessed--beyond measure.  The truth of the Gospel message has nothing to do with God blessing us with wealth, possessions, success, or any of the worldly measures of worth.  The Gospel message is pure and simple---


We are sinful
We could NEVER do enough
He loves us
He sent Jesus to us
Jesus died for us
He paid the GREAT price
By our admission of this,
calling out His name,
and turning to Him
His GRACE rains down upon us.

When we start relying upon the distortion of the Gospel that because He loves us dearly--we are blessed---and all the good things of life will be showered upon us-----We are setting ourselves up for a HUGE FALL!  Even worse those who do not share in the bounty of blessings---who are struggling with disease, pain, loss, financial burdens, and even death are lead to believe He does not love them as much.  Surely if He loves them---these things would not happen---Look at your life---You have been good---obedient---and He has richly blessed you.  He must look with more favor upon you. "Our circumstance does not dictate our outcome." Shelly Giglio


CAREFUL---VERY CAREFUL---look at the truth of the Gospel message--the  promise is  His love and Eternal Life--through Jesus---STOP!


No guarantees of anything else---life will be difficult---life will be hard---at some point---search The Word---even those after His own heart---suffered--death, loss, betrayal, old age---the world threw it all at them.  When hard times come--and they will---all you have left is The Truth---and The Truth is more than enough.
--




I am pondering on this---perhaps God will reveal more and I will post--but for the moment---God's GREAT LOVE for you is the Gospel Story---NEVER mistake your abundant blessing with his favor when it comes to the Good Life--in fact--HOLD ON--as you grow--as you mature as a Believer---Difficulty will come.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:23

Sunday, September 7, 2014

THE MOUNTAIN TOP

I have never felt or known God's presence more than when on the Mountain Top!




BLESSED SABBATH !

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

NO ANSWERS HERE

I read LOTS of blogs--especially Christian blogs---many are on my sidebar list of those I read regularly.  There are MANY young bloggers out there---I am impressed with their zeal, fervor, and deep spirituality.  So many seem to have this walk here on this great terrestrial ball ALL figured out.  Even when answering questions about life struggles, they have their eyes up and are inspirations of hope and joy.



I am NO dummy by any means---but the answers seem to evade me.



I do not know why there is war, crimes beyond my imagination, hunger, desperation, loss, disease, trial after trial. Why there are parents who would sell their children, why some are born into desperation, why some choose temporary pleasure over eternal life, why some are profoundly disabled.   I have no answers concerning the Why's of life.


I also dare to question God.  I rant and rave over the unfairness in life.  I challenge what good could come from circumstances.  I get mad and quit talking to Him--give up on the desperation and seeming futility of trying to make it better for those trapped in the pit of despair.  I look up and yell,  "REALLY???".  I become perturbed when He ignores my solutions and things continue to worsen in this world.  I wonder why He stops communicating with me---where He has gone---why He is ignoring me.  Why He has left me alone in the crowd.


Yes, I am a blogger---I have NO answers---I do have God---I cling to Him---I trust He is Who He says He is---I know He is enough---I depend upon Him--He is just---He is faithful--He is ALL the omni's---He is God---and that is the answer--the only answer I can give you---HE IS GOD.


The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10