Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's Here!

Well, Easter is finally here. The holiday that all Christians eagerly await all year. Oh, we love the meaning of Christmas, but it is just the beginning. Easter is the observance of our Christian faith that reminds us that Christ has given us victory over death and sin through His Resurrection. I read each morning from "Our Daily Bread". It is published through RBC Ministries and every day I find spiritual truths that I need for that particular time in my life. I hope that I won't violate some law by posting here some of today's lesson, but I thought it was so relevant to the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. So if I get in trouble, I am going to plead ignorance!

The Day With No Name
In Louisiana, a woman lies buried beneath a grove of 150-year-old oak trees in the cemetery of an Episcopal church. Only one word is carved on her tombstone: "Waiting."
A friend of mine knows an elderly pastor who delivered a stirring Good Friday sermon titled "It's Friday, but Sunday's Comin'." In a cadence that increases in tempo and volume, his sermon contrasts how the world looked on Friday - when the forces of evil seemed to have triumphed - with how it looked on Sunday. The disciples who lived through both days never doubted God again. They learned that when God seems most absent, He may be closest of all.
The sermon skips one day, though - Saturday - the day with no name. What the disciples lived through in small scale, we now live through on cosmic scale. It's Saturday on planet earth; will Sunday ever come?
That dark, Golgothan Friday can only be called good because of what happened on Sunday Easter opened up a crack in a universe winding down toward decay. And someday God will enlarge the miracle of Easter to cosmic scale.
Meanwhile, we wait in hopeful anticipation, living out our days on Saturday, the in-between day with no name.
it's Saturday. But Sunday's comin'. -- Phillip Yancey
Thought for the day: God took the worst deed of history and turned it into the greatest victory!
Happy, Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009


It has been a long time since I have blogged. I didn't realize how long until I started this post and saw the date. I have been on the computer in small spurts (Facebook and such) because with a broken foot, I do better with it up instead of in a sitting position. Hopefully, after this coming Friday and with a good report from the Dr. and x-rays, I will be able to take off the boot and get back to a somewhat normal existence!

In the last post, I reported that I was on a diet. I am still on a diet (as I have been most of my life!). Since I began on 1-1-09, I have lost 18 1/2 lbs. Because I have broken my foot, in the last 5 weeks I have been able to do no walking. That has limited my loss per week, but God is good and has allowed me to loose or maintain. I am on this diet with 2 friends who are prayer warriors - you know - people who promise to pray and you darn well know they're going to pray! We not only pray for one another but we also encourage and support one another. It is soooooo easy to get discouraged when you slip up and eat something that you shouldn't. Confessing to someone who is going through the same temptations you are and knows how you feel, is a great way to get back on track fast.

I finished up my Bible study of Daniel last week. WOW! How exciting this time around. I have studied Daniel in the past but not with the intensity as this past 12 weeks. I learned so much. In the past I have never really wanted to know what is going to take place in the last days. It didn't matter to me - I was saved - ready to go - knew He had a mansion prepared for me - couldn't wait. With this study I have learned much about His plan. How to reconcile Daniel and Revelation - that they go hand in hand. My mind has changed. I hunger to know more and am going to other sources to use along with His Word. Daniel lived a life of integrity. I want to be a Daniel. I want to live my life so that God can use me.

Well, spring has come and gone here in East Tennessee. Yesterday it was in the mid seventies - sandal weather. Today it is 36 and snowing - fuzzy sock weather. We have this beautiful red bud tree outside our living room window. I should have known when it went into full bloom, we were going to get a snow! That's the way April is - very unpredictable!

At the top of this post is a picture of my grandson Brandon and his fiance' Keyna. It was taken at their wedding shower yesterday. It was a fun time with family and friends. The ladies giving the shower had more than outdone themselves with food, food and more food (all the better to have fun with!). It was a perfect occasion to cheat on a diet!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weight...Memory Verse....Study of Daniel...& More

Much to talk about. Much to share. Since I am a couple of weeks out from my last blog, I am not sure what I should share first. About the weight thing - there's good news and then there's bad news. Since my last Dr's appointment the week of Thanksgiving I have lost 11 lbs. That's the good news. The bad news is - I am impatient. I do not want to wait for months to loose 25 lbs. I want it off in weeks. I know. Slow weight loss is lasting weight loss. Can't swear that is true. The last time I lost, I lost it over several months and I gained it back (within a few lbs). I think the truth has something to do with me and how I think about eating and changing my thought patterns that were instilled in me from the time I was small. Eat everything on your plate - EAT IT ALL! Clean your plate so the sun will shine tomorrow. There are children in Africa that would just love to have what you have on your plate - they are STARVING -EAT! Good Southern Mothers love to cook for their family, and more than that, they love to see their family eat, and eat, and eat.

Now - that has not worked for me. Everything I eat over what my body needs, turns to fat. Since I have gotten older, it is even more of a problem. It is a problem that I am coming to terms with - knowing the why of the problem is half the way to whipping it. In studying Daniel, the Lord again has shown me that self discipline is a must for our every day lives. That includes eating. Please continue to pray for me in this journey.

Again, I must say that the Bible Study of Daniel is awesome. We are now finishing up Chapter 5 and in studying each day I see how precious I am to God. In fact, He regards me as Holy. Because I am Holy to Him, I must treat myself as Holy. I must be set apart from this world. During Daniel's time the Israelites and their low regard for the temple and its furnishings, opened the door for their captivity. They had come to live too much in the world around them, deciding that it had more to offer than their God. The Israelites had ceased regarding the holy as holy. The same thing can happen to us. When we have a low regard for what God has called holy (Himself, followed by what belongs to Him), we open the door for captivity. I do not ever want to be captive to this world. God isn't looking for perfection. He's looking for purity of heart: our authentic desire to do His will and give Him glory and He wants us to regard ourselves as precious and holy. I love this statement that Beth made: "God will call your enemy, the devil, to account for every single time he treated you, God's holy child, as unholy." Yes! I can't wait!

Memory Verse for 2-15-09 I Cor. 2:9 "No eye hath seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." ( NIV) I probably should have already memorized this one but better now then never!

Valentine's Day was good at our house. Hubby and I went to one of our favorite restaurants and points were NOT counted that night. Bodie and Chessy talked Dad into getting me some beautiful flowers (he wanted candy) that I am still enjoying. It was a good weekend and a great time to reflect over how fortunate we are to be where we are, doing what we are, and headed in the direction we are. We are truly blessed!

To quote another famous blogger - enough randomness! It's good to be back and I'll try not to stay away so long next time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Some of the Things I am Learning..............

As I may, or may not, have reported in blogging, I am taking a Beth Moore Bible study on Daniel - Lives of Integrity - Words of Prophecy. Each Wednesday morning I am blown away by this study. Each morning in my quiet time I am learning that the times of Daniel are exactly what we are living this very day. Some of the things I want to share with you this morning will not be my own original ideas. They will be Beth Moore's , but in sharing her thoughts I will share some of my own insight. The things I am learning are "for such a time as this" and have come at just the right time in my life and in the life of our nation. Here are some truths I have learned thus far:

Lives of Integrity - I want to be a person of integrity. I am afraid that we as Christians have allowed ourselves to get used to decaying morals and standards. This has been a slow and tactful advance in our lives - one put into action by satan - without our even realizing it. There are things that we see on television and on movie screens that should actually make us die from embarrassment yet we allow these things to pass right on by without recognizing them as satan inspired in order to chip away at our integrity. We can not get used to this. We as parents have the obligation to begin teaching our children when they are young what is acceptable and what is not. Whenever I am in any way subjected to ungodly language or behavior on television, I think of my two sweet little grandsons. Their Mommy and Daddy are setting the standard for learning and for what comes into their lives. We have been watching television together and when I have control of the remote(which is not often) they will give me specific instructions on what shows they are allowed to watch. Their Mommy and Daddy only allow them to watch appropriate shows - no violence - no bad language - shows that are morally good. Even when their parents are not with them, they are quick to let me know the shows they can and can not see. I commend my daughter and her husband. I thank God for their commitment to Jesus and what is right in His sight for their children. They are setting the example of integrity.

Humility - No one rich or poor, powerful or oppressed, healthy or infirm, enslaved or free, male or female, old or young, from east or west, of color or not, is exempt from the temptation to dangerous pride. One of Beth Moore greatest points, in my opinion, is the fact that some of our egos are swollen over what we do and others are swollen over what we don't do. It is sooooooo easy to get puffed up. We as Christians are not to be prideful. Worldly Christians are snared by things like power money, appearance, and position. Perhaps we are prideful over the good works that we do - helping the poor, giving to missions, taking food to the sick, singing moving solos in worship, teaching Sunday school after we have given of our time to study. Perhaps we are prideful over the things that we do not do -never drinking alcohol, not telling a lie, never missing a worship service, never gossiping, never loosing our temper, never using ungodly language, never being critical. We as Christians can not give into pride. It ruins our testimony, makes us unattractive to others, and in the end will cause us to be disappointing to God and disappointed in ourselves.

Prosperity - America enjoys prosperity. Most people want to be prosperous. The definition of prosperity is living in the lap of luxury. Having all the stuff we want and finding more stuff that we think we want! In today's study, Beth asks the question, "how important is our stuff?". What would happen if we lost everything? There are many in America that are experiencing that right now - some through no fault of their own. How would we react? Perhaps we are thinking of prosperity in the wrong way. Perhaps we should think of it as living in the luxurious lap of Jesus. Experiencing all the spiritual stuff he can supply us with and not all the worldly stuff we can supply ourselves with. We need to prosper ourselves with an abundance of Jesus. We need to live so that no earthly luxury will ever cheat us of true prosperity.

Contentedness - Curling up in my comfortable chair, covered by an afghan, Chessy, my dog, beside me, watching a chick flick, things going my way, safe and secure - that's my definition of contentedness! That is not all of it. One of the most difficult things I have had to learn in my 62 years is that being content is being happy within myself, which comes from the Lord. He has given me the freedom to be happy. He takes away the insecurities that cause us to doubt ourselves and fills us with the knowledge that we will never be happy until we completely surrender to Him and His will for our lives. He gives us the security that we so desperately crave. Nothing - not money, youth, relationships, beauty, professional status - can give us satisfaction and contentment within ourselves but Him.

I do not want to live my life by the Babylonian motto: "I am and there is none besides me". I do not want to think myself more important than others - I do not want to be puffed up and prideful. I do not want to be a modern daughter of Babylon. I want to live a life of integrity. I want to be humble. I want to be content because I am secure in Jesus. I want to be prosperous but prosperous in the things of Christ. This is my prayer.

I have written these things because they are the truths I am gleaning from this study. Maybe something I have said will be something someone needs to hear. There will be more to come in the weeks ahead and I can't wait to share!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snow! Snow! Snow!

It's finally here! The snow is here and it's a perfect day to blog! The logs are on, and it feels so nice to sit with my feet propped up and drink a cup of coffee and know that I can't get out. As I have said before, winter is definitely not my favorite time of year, but a day or two like this is great.

We were not able to go to church yesterday because of ice so this is the second day of staying inside. I know that my northern friends think that we down here in the south are wimps especially in light of what they have been through this winter, but using the weather for an excuse to do nothing except stay by the fire, sip hot chocolate and relax is okay at least for a little while. The forecast is for another day tomorrow like today. Maybe I will be able to go to my study on Daniel on Wednesday.

My memory verse for January 15 is Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. NIV What a promise! I am so awed that He would love me so much that in spite of my disobedience and all my faults he assures me that He will always be with me, strengthen me and help me. The problem lies with me - I need to not fear - not be dismayed at all the junk that upsets me and that I have NO control over - and allow Him to strengthen me and help me.

In the study of Daniel, which I am just really getting started in, I am learning again about how God honors discipline and self control. At my last Dr appointment, Dr. McDavid shared with me that I was definitely on a downhill path. My cholesterol was high (299), my triglycerides were high, I am bordering on diabetic and my weight was up. At that point I decided that I must, whether I wanted to or not, loose weight and watch what I am eating. That would fall into the self control and self discipline. I have two friends who are in the same boat. We began on a new regime of diet and exercise on the 5th. On the 7th I began the study of Daniel. God truly is using the example of Daniel to show me how I am not to give into the temptation of eating. My friends and I pray for each other, encourage each other, and because of those prayers and encouragement feel the strength we need to overcome satans powerful influence. Oh yes, I almost forgot the most important part - I have, since the 5th, lost 5 pounds. That might not seem like much, but to me it is tremendous. By the first of May, when we go back to the campground, I hope to have several more pounds off. Please pray for me to be victorious in the weight loss, and faithful to exercise.

Saturday was Kaden's birthday (bethanne's baby boy), his 5th, and one of the Mommies there was my blogging buddy, LuAnn. She has lost 40 some pounds and looks so good! Her loss is also a great boost to my loosing morale. Each time I see her I am so proud of her and want to forge ahead with my own plight. LuAnn - thanks so much for your example. You are a real encouragement.

Guess I have rambled just about enough. This afternoon will be devoted to washing and the study of Daniel. Stay warm and dry!

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's A New Year!

I am almost ashamed to post! It's been soooooooooo long and there have been times I could have put down some thoughts, but was just too lazy. It's been a busy few weeks and when I had down time I did just that - was down. I will confess, I have thought about giving up my blog (one friend did) but because I prayed for some months before I started blogging and because I really believe that the Lord led me into it, I will continue on - boring or not, spiritual or silly, funny or serious - whatever comes to mind.

Christmas was good here in Tennessee - family, friends, presents (more than any of us deserved) and warm weather! No snow for Christmas - unlike our Chicago friends! I have pictures and if I can get hubby to help me, we will post them soon.

If feels good to be on this side of Christmas. Those of you who know me really well know that Christmas is not my favorite time of the year. Sad things have happened in December and January in my life and I am better satisfied in the months of March to November. I will admit that time is flying by and I plan on staying busy until March comes.

Wednesday morning I am starting a Bible study on Daniel at our church. I have a quiet time each day and read my Bible, but I need an organized study to be accountable to. I have always wanted to go deeper into the book of Daniel, so I am really looking forward to it.

I am asking those of you who read this blog to please pray for a friend's daughter who is having a really hard time right now. The daughter has been a victim of identity theft and there is no way I can even begin to tell you the problems that this has brought to her life. Please pray for the Lord to intervene and stop this fraud against an innocent person. Her life has been taken over by this injustice and is effecting every aspect of her life - mentally, physically, financially. She has two children and a husband who is also being effected. Pray also that through this she and her family will be brought closer to the Lord.

Today hubby and I went to see Marley & me. I still have a headache from trying not to cry out loud! As most of you know, dogs are my weakness and I had read the book so I sort of knew how it was going to come out. Didn't matter - I still cried!

As I close tonight, I will not make any promises or resolutions, but I will make the statement that I hope to do better at being consistent in posting. Hope that's good enough!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Few (I should say many) Thoughts From the South

A friend of mine sent me a reminder of what my growing up world was all about and is still about somewhat because of where I live. I liked it so much I thought I would take the time and effort to post it on my blog. There are many of us women here in the South that can identify with much of the dialog below. Also, when you (me) are going through a sort-of dry blogging spell, funnies like SOUTHERN WOMEN fill the gap! (It's a little long but bear with it to the end) Greg P - this one is for you!

Southern women appreciate their natural assets:
Clean skin.
A winning smile.
That unforgettable Southern drawl.

Southern women know their manners:
"Yes, ma'am."
"Yes, sir".

Southern women have a distinct way with fond expressions:
"Y'all come back!"
"Well, bless your heart."
"Drop by when you can."
"How's your Momma?"

Southern women know their summer weather report:

Southern women know their vacation spots:
The beach
The rivuh
The crik

Southern women know the joys of June, July and August:
Colorful high-heeled sandals
Strapless sun dresses
Iced sweet tea with mint

Southern women know every body's first name:

Southern women know the movies that speak to their hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind

Southern women know their religions:

Southern women know their country breakfasts:
Red-eye gravy
Country Ham
Mouth-watering homemade biscuits with Momma's homemade jelly

Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Foat Wuth

Southern women know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler

Southern women know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon

Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food

Additional Suthen-ism's:

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you do not "HAVE' them, you 'PITCH' them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc make up "a mess".

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder".

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in "Going to town, be back directly".

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece". They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck and a good ol' boy and Po white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines,...And when we're "in line,"...We talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to cook and eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk". Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and LOTS of it - we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you do not want buttermilk.

And true Southerners know that you do not scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 mph on the freeway. You just say "Bless her heart".......And go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff,....Bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southerness as a second language!

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could".