Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Moving Day~

What better day than yours truly's birthday to unveil the new blog. All two of you are going to kick yourselves when you see the link and how easy it was to find me. Come visit and feel free to let me know what you think. Here's to the next 43 years, happy birthday to me!!Birthday Balloon Pictures, Images and Photos Be sure and change your bookmarks!Click here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

hmmm

I guess i was gone so long no one checks here anymore :(

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Surprise!

New blog is up and running. First one to find it and post a comment gets a virtual hug and smooch! Love you. --Cyn

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Update

Sorry yall. I'm okay. Things are settling. Just no time for blogging while I put my life back together. Working really hard at saving some cash to find a permanent place to live. It won't always be this way. Glad to know some of you still check here for me. It's wonderful to have caring friends. My personal email is cgreen7090@yahoo.com if you all would like to email me. I check it daily due to work and will respond if you need an update. Other than that, I have many things going on in my mind that I would like to write about, but time constraints have me strapped right now. And I guess staying busy is not a bad thing. Write me. --Cyn

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Talked to God Today--

And He wanted me to tell you that He loves you beyond anything you could ever comprehend. He has a definite plan for your life that He wants you to fulfill. It may not be an easy road. It may not be always joyful and fun, but at the end of the journey there is peace and life if you follow Him with all of your heart. He says whatever problem you are facing, He is the answer. To come to Him with a trusting spirit, and He will work it out.


He said to tell you that He knows you've been hurt, that the ways of the world have tried to pull you down and make you feel less of a man. But He has you in the palm of His hand. He created you. He knows every detail of your life. And all He wants is to fellowship with you, His prized creation. He says He knows you've become skeptical and hardened in your faith because you have not seen men who are true to their convictions. But He says to tell you, they are there. There are a faithful few. That the gospel is real and His word has not changed. There may be men who speak His word whose lives do not live up to what they speak. But He is saying to you, if it is my Word, it is true, no matter which messenger brings the message. It is not the messenger that is important. It is the message. You must seek Truth. And you must seek it out for yourself.


He wants you to know that He is the one true God and the only one whose judgement matters. Anyone else who judges you does not have all the facts. They do not know the secrets of your innermost soul. But He knows. He says to look neither to the right nor to the left, but look above. The man on your right may not be serving God. The man on your left may have his own agenda too. But God has your ultimate good at heart. You are His creation and He wants to walk with you and give you the desires of your heart. But you must be willing to let go of some things. For he who would lose his own life will save it in the end.


Let go of the anger. It is as destructive as cancer. It will eat your soul until there is nothing left to give anyone else. Let it go. Forgive as I have forgiven you. Forgive and I will forgive. Let go of pride. False pride makes fools of men when they fall. Let go of the hurt. Give it to me, He says. Pour it all out at my feet as a sacrifice unto me. Humble your heart before me, and I will come to you and heal you. I will take it and do a new work within you. If you trust me. Let go of fear. Fear has no place in your life. Fear is for the judgment I have reserved for the wicked. They shall fear and tremble in the awesome and terrible day of my coming. But if you love me and keep my word, you have nothing to fear. You are my beloved. I desire to bless you if you will let me.


Where are my chosen ones? Where are the ones who will obey me and walk upright before me? Where have you hid yourselves? Is it because there is sin in your heart? Did you not realize that I would know it dear one. I knew it before the world began. I do not want you to have this burden on your life. I sent my only begotten as a payment for this sin. Accept it. But when you accept the forgiveness of the blood, honor and respect this as I have given you my best. Honor me with your life, so that I may joy in the work of my hands and not repent of my creation, as I did in the day of Sodom. Behold I stand at your door and knock. My greatest longing is to dwell within you. Let me fill the emptiness with my love. You will never regret it

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

WW on Hiatus?

I just realized that Sista Cala hasn't posted a Worship Wednesday since July 30th. She is working Saturday and Sunday nights now, 12-hour shifts; so I am sure her schedule has been revamped. I know it takes her a couple of days to recuperate from it, so I will cut her a little slack.

As for me, I'm not sure what's going on with my blogging--or writing for that matter. I'm ready for things to settle into a "normal" routine, whatever that is. I miss my buddies here, but I know that you all drop by when you can, and I visit you all from time to time. It is just hard to maintain any kind of focus right now. But I'm holding up. And holding on. Hope you are too.

Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Just Before Dawn



Light Shining Out of Darkness
by William Cowper



God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.


Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.


Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.


Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.


His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

THIS MEANS WAR!!!

You may not realize it, but there is a force in this world that seeks to destroy you. Your being tuckheaded and passive does not assuage him. You may have held the philosophy that if you mind your own business, keep to yourslef, and don't go looking for trouble that you will be okay, safe from harm. Just mind your own business, and everything will be fine. This, I have come to realize, is a fallacy. There is a real enemy. And he seeks us out. What choice,then, do we have but to get some backbone and stand up and defend ourselves--and our families?

For many of us, spiritual warfare is an uncommon term. We think we know what it is. We have heard it sung,"When the battle's over, we shall wear a crown," and we undoubtedly if we are Christians, refer to ourselves as being "in the Lord's army."
But sometimes those words just fly right over our heads. We are comfortable. Complacent. We live a convenient Christian life of going to church, going to work, enjoying our families, and living our lives, and it is not until we are faced with a crisis that we tend to think in those terms.

The enemy uses this complacency to his advantage. He waits for that opportunity when we are lulled into a soft slumber to gather his forces. And he will strike. He will push--maybe gently at first to test the strength of your front line. If there is no resistance, he knows you are an easy target. You have not watched and waited for him. You have not taken him seriously. There has been little to no preparation. No wonder it is so easy for him to bring us down into the depths of despair and defeat. No wonder we crumble when he shows himself.

I, for one, am tired of caving to the enemy. I am tired of cowering in fear. I am tired of trying to guess what his next move is. I am tired of being bullied around by him and made to feel that I am inferior--damaged, useless, and broken. He found my weak spots and battered them hard. He laughed at me when I fell. He said, "See, I knew what you were all along. A weakling. A mere human. You have no strength. You cannot fight me. You cannot fight this."

But the enemy is wrong. He is the father of lies. He is limited. The only power he has is the power I allow him to have over me. And when I take that from him, when I stop letting him to do it. When I begin to stir up the gifts within me...when I begin to fill my mind with the things of God and call the things that are not as though they were, when I take hold of the Power that is within the blood of Jesus. And begin to increase my faith and refuse to accept the lies...when I call upon the name of the Lord of Hosts, the Almighty, who was and is and is to come, the Great I Am, the creator of the universe, the El Shaddai, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of PEACE, the Comforter, the Shepherd of my soul-- the chains begin to fall off me. The enemy trembles and runs in fear. There is victory in the camp!

It is then that the songs become more than mere words but anthems. "Victory in Jesus" is a battlecry. "Power in the Blood" is no longer a traditional hymn but a testimony. Therefore, "Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Be filled with it. Fill yourself up so much that there is no room for anything else. No room for bitterness. No room for despair, depression, self-pity, self-loathing.
Equip yourself for battle. Put on the WHOLE armour of God. Not just a piece here and there. Not just a helmet. Not just a breastplate. Guard your heart AND your mind.

There is a real enemy. But there is hope and protection and power at your service. I am preaching to myself more than anything here today. But I hope these words encourage you as well. Continue to keep us in your prayers. I feel the strength of them when you do. Love to all.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

God is Good--All the Time

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

"He restoreth my soul."

"The eyes of the Lord upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry."

Matthew 11:28 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

2 Corinthians 1:5 - For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Amazing Love

Woops...has it been a week without me posting? Well, Sista Cala is switching over to a new job shift and has the week off, so I promised I would fill in Worship Wednesday. Here is one of my all time favorites.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WW: PC Reminders



Last night I spent a considerable amount of time updating my computer.It had been quite a while since I had done a complete scan and clean up procedure.When I checked the virus vault, I found 3 trojans. Good thing they were the type that could be auto healed. There were 68 warning messages related to tracking cookies. Are they harmful? I'm not sure. I just deleted them all. Actually, I was wondering why they were there. I run the CCleaner after every use and it is supposed to catch all such stuff. At any rate, my computer is clean again.

What about my human hard drive? Often it is cluttered with tracking cookies, viruses, worms, and extensions left over from situations that I thought I had un-installed. The brain is really a complex organ, not to mention the "mind" part of it. And the soul? Who can know it except my Maker? Yet He has given me some tools to keep it all clean and running right.

The conscience is a built in helper. He put it in right from the start. I have downloaded portions of the Bible, "basic instructions before leaving Earth" over the years. Actually, I have an automatic update scheduled for that every day. That is if I have left the power on. I mean, if/when I open the pages and begin to read. The Holy Spirit is another great installation that keeps me on the right track. He is all the anti-virus protection that I will ever need.

Really, there's no need for me to continue with this analogy. I'm sure the point has been made. We have to have our brains working, our minds clean, and our souls pure. Thank God, He has made it all possible.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One Writer's Angst

Sometimes I wonder if the rather great writers are distinguished from the rest of us merely by being true to the words they hear from within. Many, many times I have proposed to put my thoughts into some concrete form and promptly rejected the ideas out of fear. Of what I am not certain. Of rejection? Judgment? Of being misunderstood? Of being labled eccentric--or worse, stupid. All these fears keep me from that stream of consciousness sort of writing and brain storming. I fear the best words are left to rot--shackled within the dungeon of self-doubt.

And it does occur to me that if people had any inkling of what cues I garner from watching them--from the very minutiae of their lives--if they knew how closely they were being scrutinized, they would shiver with uneasiness as if being stalked by a very strange and very fat old woman with weird ideas and worn out shoes.

Perhaps this writing life is a strange habit, indeed. It requires this keen eye into the essence of life. Anyone can string together a list of characteristics and behaviors. But it requires some measure of talent and elbow grease to make the character live as one of us--to make his presence felt in the very room with you as you read. That takes a fearless writer. One who is not skittish about being seen scribbling in public places. One who does not care if others find it odd to see a washed out, frazzled figure bent over a tablet in the park, chronicling details of the setting and trying to find precisely the right word to describe the color of the berry she smashed beneath her summer sandle as she walked.

How strange it would be for others to know the writer was overly concerned about this particular shade of fruit lying on the ground or planning how best to describe the splinters in the oak bench and the way they snagged her britches as she slid across it.

Somehow it is in the details. But which to gather and which to discard; that is the art. Too much or too little of this or that in either direction will leave your reader looking as if the berry were sour. Distasteful on his tongue.

What does the reader care if this berry is red or blue or purple--unless of course it is to be smashed into a poison used to kill or simmered on a pot over an open flame to make a war paint for a young Apache warrior's first dance with war. What if this berry lured a species of bird known only to some exotic southern hemisphere, and you were the first to spy it munching mildly on this berry at your feet? What then?

It may not be all about the berry. But it is what happens to and with it in relation to life and the things that are unfolding as the berry juice splatters on an unpainted toenail and note is made of the stark contrast of purple on pale, pasty skin that has not seen enough summer days in the park. Concepts of life and death emerge as the writer ponders how the berry needed the sun to make it sweet and juicy and ripe. And how dry and dull your own days have become as you have been left to rot, withering on the vine. How choked you feel by the weeds. Untended. Neglected. Unloved.

All this the writer feels but is afraid to write.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Little Soul Searching Today

I suppose one of the biggest things I have learned going through my recent separation is a healthy dose of respect for others who have been there. I will admit in the past I have judged people for their decision to divorce. This comes from my very ingrained beliefs that divorce is wrong. It has taken me a long time to concede to the fact that in some cases it the best thing for everyone concerned.
One of the things that has helped me has been the admonition in the scriptures when, I believe it was Paul who said: "If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, live at peace with all men." Romans 12:18.
Now, friends, I realize he is not speaking in particular about marriage. But I do know that God wants us to live in peace. And that "If" right there is an important word. Also, "as much as it is up to you." There were many things gone wrong with my marriage. Some of them out of my control. I finally came to the realization that there were some things, though, that were up to me. No one else. No one else was in my marriage. No one else could make the call.
My mother was in a bad marriage for years. She stayed because she loved him. She stayed because she did not believe in divorce. She had grounds--both Biblical and otherwise. She took care of my father when he was ill and could not see for himself. She gave up her very life to sit with him 24/7. There are very few women who would stay in the mess that my dad created were they his wife. This is the example I grew up with. You didn't run when things got hard.
So it has not been an easy decision. Ultimately what made the decision for me was not one of convenience. It was not whether or not I loved him. It was not whether or not he provided for us (although survival did become an issue). It became a matter of my staying mentally and physically healthy to raise my child. It became a matter of ensuring my child had a roof over his head and at least one stable parent. But ultimately it became a matter of having some peace. As I have said repeatedly, you cannot make a good decision when you are mentally stressed to your limits. You cannot make good decisions when you have run for months and into the years on minimal sleep. And this is what I have been trying to get him to see. Neither of us were headed in a good direction. We were slowly but surely destroying each other. And allowing the Enemy to do so as well.
I tried every way imaginable to maintain peace. I went along with whatever he said. I did whatever he wanted. I did things I did not want to do. Things that went against my upbringing, my conscience, and my good sense. I tried it both ways. I tried to be passive. Things got worse. I tried to be aggressive. Things got worse. I got assertive and insisted on counseling. Things got 3 times worse. I tried to predict his responses to head them off. I covered for him to keep him happy. I tried to maintain his reputation in the community. I tried to get him medical help, psychiatric help, financial help. I worked hours upon hours to make sure the lights stayed on and there was food in the house. None of it was successful in maintaining peace. I struggled to keep him awake, balanced, and in church. Whatever he was needing out of life I could not give him.
I tried to do it all for him. But what it all boils down to is, I can't do it for him. Yes, we are married. Yes, in God's eyes we are one. But he will stand before God and give an account. And I will stand before God and give an account. Did I have a part in destroying this marriage? Yes. As I said, it takes two to make a marriage and two to have a split. I am not blameless. I am not perfect. God can change both of us. But I can't change him. I can only change me. And I'm not sure I can change me. I am going to have to let God.
All I know to say is pray for us. We need intercessory prayer. God is bigger than all of this. He knows the future. He knows us. He knows our getting up and our laying down. He formed us in our mothers' wombs. He can make all the difference. I may be cast down, but I am not destroyed. Nor forgotten.
Thanks for listening

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Eat Cake

The last 2 posts are gone with the wreath...it's time for a commercial break. hippie debbie Horney Little Debbie
little debbieLittle Debbie

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Joy Will Come....

...Or what woman who has 10 silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls her women friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!' Luke 15:8,9

Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:4,5

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 2:4-6

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Anyone Out There?

Anger. Relief. Sadness. Anger. Contentment. Sadness. Then a good day comes along. Peace. Peace. Peace. Wonderful peace. Some days I wonder if I will ever be truly happy again. Sometimes I wonder if I ever was. More than a month has gone by. I'm still living by my same M.O.--survive until tomorrow. Many things are in limbo still. Still have questions about where my son will attend school. How long will I be in this rental home? Can I afford anything else? Will my old car hold up? What are my options? And then there are just the everyday issues like--do I get dressed today? Am I going anywhere? What do I fix for dinner? How long til bedtime.

I am finding out more and more the things that I do not want out of life. Eventually when that list gets full, then perhaps by process of elimination I will know what it is that I DO want. I do know that not going to bed angry or upset is conducive to much better sleep. And that leads to clearer thinking. Or it's supposed to, lol, but you might not can tell that from this post. Oh, well, at least I showed up. I miss you guys. If you're still out here.....let me know.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

WW Fireside Testimony


Earlier this week I awoke to the smell of smoke. It was just a faint odor but enough to arouse my curiosity. I went to the front door and looked around my yard. The grass was charred within 25 feet of my porch and I could see flames in the brush.

Then I yelled,"Dale! Fire!". Without hesitation (or shoes), I ran to the well-house and grabbed the hose. I ran as fast as I could through the back yard and around the side where the flames were nearing our propane tank. As I began to spray the water, I looked up and saw a young fireman working to quench the flames. He said, "We're taking care of this." I replied with a thank you and retreated into the house.

Long story short, the fireworks fun of the previous night turned into a fire that could have easily taken our lives and destroyed our home. Thank God for an observant neighbor. Thank God for our local Volunteer Fire Department. Thank God they got there in time. Thank God for sparing our lives and our home.


Praying that you will have a happy, fun, and safe Fourth of July. Remember those who paid the price for our freedom and give thanks to the One who gave His life that we could be free. And if you happen to see any of your local firemen give them a smile and an encouraging word for me.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

'Til the Storm Passes By

Around the first of this year I posted a few Worship Wednesdays that were built on a stormy theme. The most dramatic was the one about the February tornadoes that ripped through Union University. Today's post is a video of the late Vestal Goodman singing a comforting song about the safest place to rest until the storm ceases.

The video quality is not so great, but there is no equal to the lyrics or the voice that brings them to life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Powerful Memory Enhancers




A Mayo Clinic report states: "Ginkgo biloba has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the top selling herbs in the United States. Although not definitive, there is promising early evidence favoring the use of ginkgo for memory enhancement in healthy subjects, altitude (mountain) sickness, symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and reduction of chemotherapy-induced end-organ vascular damage."


While Ginkgo biloba may be known as one of the oldest memory enhancers, it can not be compared to the One that was present when the worlds were framed.

But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. John 14:26


The Holy Spirit was sent not only to remind the disciples of the teachings of Christ, but to empower them to witness to those both near and far. Peter experienced and demonstrated this power on the Day of Pentecost when he justified the behavior of the 120 who had been filled with the Holy Ghost.


This same promise has been extended to us today. Acts 2:39 states it this way; "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call."


I had a great ending for this post, but...... I can't seem to remember how it goes. Guess I should grab some Ginko on the way to my prayer closet. (smile)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The D Word

I know I haven't visited and commented on your blogs. I have been a bit preoccupied with the separation going on. I still cannot wrap my mind around the "D" word, and so I will cloak it with a kind euphemism for now. When your entire world is turned upside down, it takes a while to get your bearings.

I have mixed feelings about airing my dirty laundry here. And then again, I think that by now the faithful few who are still reading are truly interested and care. So I stop by and update you. And this also helps as a kind of therapy.

For the record, I was the one who chose to leave and chose to file. It was not an easy decision, nor a hasty one. I felt it was my last option--my last hope for change. To stop the downward spiral, the bleeding that was draining me of life, no mere tourniquet would suffice. Too much damage had occurred.

Now we could play the blame game all day long, but the truth of the matter is it takes 2 to make a marriage, and 2 to cause a split. One morning I woke up and did not want to get out of bed. I just wanted to cover my head and pretend the world did not exist. And it was then it dawned on me--that this is what my husband has done for the past 3 years. (And I have asked him recently, "So how's that workin' for ya?" ) Doing nothing was not the answer. Not an option for me. Something had to be done. And soon. So you can call it running all you want, but I know the truth. I'm facing life head on. It is not something I relish doing--would rather not have had to do. But I'm going into it with my eyes open and my head on straight. And I'm going to be okay. Eventually.

Remember us in your prayers. The three of us. This is a drastic adjustment. Bub and I need to get our acts together. Whether we are married or separated. There is this wonderful, beautiful life we created. And he needs us. Both of us. He is the one thing we did right. So we definitely don't want to screw it up now. Thanks for letting me unload here. I will get back to your blogs eventually. Love to all. Cyn

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gone Fishing


So sorry for the delay in posting today's Worship Wednesday. Generally, I try to get it written on Tuesday night and post it soon after I get off work. Last night was so busy that I didn't even get a real supper break, so there was no chance to even start a post. Afterwards, my Golden Boy came to spend the night with me. So..... you know I had no time for sitting around the 'puter.

Bright and early this morning I was awakened by the creaking of my bedroom door. Peeping in ever so quietly, was my Golden Boy. He wanted to know when I was going to get up and when we were going fishing. Oh how I wish I had the energy of an eight year old boy. Long story short, we got up and went fishing. Sad to say, we didn't catch anything. Maybe next time we should do our casting from the other side of the pond.

3Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. John 21:3-6

Hungry and exhausted the disciples could have easily blown off the advice of the man on the shore. They had no idea that the man was the One that controlled the sea and all that it contained. It was only after he revealed his identity to Peter, that they understood why they hauled in more fish than their boats could hold.

Oftentimes our circumstances are less than ideal. Sometimes there is little or nothing to show for our labors. The feeling of failure fosters the idea of throwing in the towel or in Peter's case, the net.

But rest assured, Jesus will show up in our times of difficulty. It is up to us to be looking for him. We may not recognize his hand at work, but his voice will reveal his identity to us. So, we must ever be listening for his guidance and be willing to follow his directions.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

One Day at a Time

A LOT has changed in the last couple of weeks. I have moved back home with my son. We are adjusting. But we are okay. Someone told me before I left that they hoped I found what I was looking for. It's not necessarily that I was looking for anything. I just needed some peace. And rest. Three years without sleep will turn you into someone you don't even recognize. I did not like what I was becoming. And so I guess you could say I had lost me. And hopefully, in the months ahead, I will indeed find what I am looking for--the me I want to be.

I have gone through many emotions--the full range of anger, sadness, relief, confusion, bitterness--you name it. But I came to the conclusion that the only person I could control was me. And if things were going to change, it had to be up to me to bring it about. And so here I am. Just taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

WW: Making Progress

Salvation is more than walking an isle, shaking the preacher's hand, and repeating the sinner's prayer. It is a crossing over the threshold from death and destruction and into a new life replete with new activities and a brand new eternal destination.

Scripture tells us that we are saved by faith and not of works. And then again, it says that faith without works is dead. The following verses found in Jude, give us a few more instructions for our daily walk with the Lord. I like the part that says, "make progress". That really sums up the whole matter. If we are not progressing in our faith walk then we are most certainly sliding backward. Limbo is not an applicable term when it comes to Christianity.

20But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [[a]make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit;
21Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)--[which will bring you] unto life eternal.

22And refute [so as to] convict some who dispute with you, and on some have mercy who waver and doubt.
23[Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

24Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]--
25To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it). Jude 1:20-25 The Amplified Bible

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Things Change

If things look different around here, it is because they are. I moved over Memorial Day weekend, and the wreath blew out of the truck and got run over twice. It is somewhere between here and there. Therefore, the new name, "Gone With the Wreath." Eventually I will have something more creative or create an entirely new blog. But for now it will suffice.

As for moving, it has been quite the experience, as moving tends to be. It has not been without some little kinks, but nothing that could not be straightened out with a few days work and a little ingenuity. I know one thing. I have been spoiled for the last 12 years. But living beyond my means is partially what got me here, so I am learning to conserve, make do, do without, and I am trying to develop a healthy attitude about it. That part is hard for me.

But I am blessed to have a wonderful extended family, and they have chipped in and done whatever needed doing. For that I am forever grateful. Hopefully soon I can get back on a regular blogging and writing schedule. I miss you all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oracles of a Wise King

Solomon received wisdom from God because he asked for it. He received favor from God because he asked for wisdom instead or riches or fame. He had the three most coveted things of men everywhere; wealth, wisdom, and women. Yet in all of his majesty, he was not satisfied.

8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. 9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:8,9 NIV

Reality shows are the latest craze in television. People are airing their business to the world. Many call the shows entertaining. But what can be so good about exposing all that negativity? Solomon captures the real world and sums it all up as vanity. Entertaining? I think not. If any thing, his words will sober the reader into an objective look at life.

9 Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what man is has been known; no man can contend with one who is stronger than he. 11 The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? 12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone. Ecclesiastes 6:9-12 NIV

God is the only one that knows every aspect of the past, present, and future. Our lives are held in His grasp. A Christian's past has been covered by the blood of Jesus, his present is being shaped by the Holy Spirit, and his future is determined by the choices that he makes.

12 Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow. Ecclesiastes 8:12,13

In the end, it will be truth that will stand the test of time. Truth that can not be refuted or changed. The living Truth within the Christian gives him both strength and hope eternal. Outside of the Truth, there is no life.

10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. Ecclesiastes 12:10,11

Friday, May 23, 2008

Update

You all may have been wondering, "My goodness. Where has she gone? Why hasn't she posted?" You may have even stopped coming by. I don't know. I've been on a break. I've needed time to regroup. To think with some clarity about my future. To take care of business. To tie up loose ends. To effect change. I've been dealing with highly personal issues. Unpleasant. Frustrating. Stressful. Overwhelming. I am in a valley. And the climb back out might get steep. But I will look unto the hills from whence cometh my help. So, while blogging and writing have taken a back burner, they are still simmering. And I can imagine that before long they both will take on a new life. As I will have much to say. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Psalmist & The Preacher

1 I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my prayers. 2 I will call on Him as long as I live, because He has turned His ear to me. 3 The strings of death are all around me. And the fear of the grave came upon me. I suffered with trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I beg You, save my life!"
5 The Lord is loving and right. Yes, our God is full of loving-kindness. 6 The Lord takes care of the childlike. I was brought down, and He saved me. 7 Return to your rest, O my soul. For the Lord has been good to you. 8 For You, O Lord, have saved my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. 9 I will walk with the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:1-9 New Life Version

On February 27th, 1859 the REV. C. H. Spurgeon delivered a sermon entitled "Prayer Answered, Love Nourished". The following is a portion of the introductory remarks.

"In the Christian pilgrimage it is well for the most part to be looking forward. Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love, the future after all must be the grand object of the eye of faith. Looking into the future we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect and fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. And looking further yet, the believer's soul can see Death's river passed, the gloomy steam forded; he can behold the hills of light on which standeth the celestial city; he seeth himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than a conqueror—crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with him, made to sit together with him on his throne, even as he has overcome and has sat down with the Father upon his throne. The sight of the future may well relieve the darkness of the past, the hopes of the world to come may banish all the doubtings of the present.

Yet nevertheless the Christian may do well sometimes to look backward; he may look back to the hole of the pit and the miry clay whence he was digged—the retrospect will help him to be humble, it will urge him to be faithful. He may look back with satisfaction to the glorious hour when first he saw the Lord, when spiritual life for the first time quickened his dead soul. Then he may look back through all the changes of his life, to his troubles and his joys, to his Pisgahs and to his Engedis, to the land of the Hermonites and the hill Mizar. He must not keep his eye always backward, for the fairest scene dies beyond, it will not benefit him to be always considering the past, for the future is more glorious far; but nevertheless at times a retrospect may be as useful as a prospect; and memory may be as good a teacher as even faith itself. This morning I bid you stand upon the hill-top of your present experience and look back upon the past, and find therein motives for love to God;"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How Would You be Greeted?

Today I want to examine the first sixteen verses of Romans chapter sixteen. The text is lengthy but the observations brief. Here the Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Rome. He begins with a recommendation of Phoebe, a sister in the Lord.

He speaks of her as being a helper to the multitudes. He refers to her as a servant of the church.
Although the word that he uses for servant is the same one that can be rendered as deaconess; we can gather from verse two that he means to accentuate her servanthood rather than an office.

All but one of the following 14 verses, begin with the word, "Greet" followed by a name of a brother or sister in the Roman church. What is interesting to me is the descriptive words that he adds about each person. These descriptions range from extended compliments to just stating his relationship with them. And a few greetings are extended to nameless groups of folks.

How would he have qualified his greetings had he been writing to your pastor? Would you be considered his fellow-worker? Would he have recognized you as the first convert in your area? Would he have expounded on your faithfulness and maturity in Christ? Would he have labeled you a hard worker or just a relative?

Would you be miffed if he greeted you only as motheror sister? Or would you swell with pride at the suffix "chosen of the Lord"? And what if he openly stated his love for you?

It is a lot to think about. There may have been one listening to the letter and wondering if their name would be mentioned and what glowing remarks would be added. Still others may have gotten their feelings hurt when their names were not called. Perhaps some were tempted to be jealous or resentful. It is impossible to know for sure.

One thing is certain, Paul knew his flock. How else would he have had the confidence to instruct them to greet one another with a holy kiss? I'm afraid to contemplate the repercussions of such an act in today's churches. Holiness is considered old-fashioned by today's standards and is near obsolete in many congregations. And kissing in church? I think that there's a lot more than that going on behind some church doors. God have mercy!

I didn't mean to slide into the rants of moral decay, it just somehow came to my mind. Nevertheless, I want my name to have some goodness attached. I want to be remembered as a fellow-laborer in the Kingdom. I want to be able to give and receive holy greetings, salutations, and kisses.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Things You Keep

Ain't this one precious!



Things have been quite stressful since my father-in-law passed away…the business to tend to, the packing up and putting away of both material things and memories, the grieving and acceptance that a precious little man is no longer with us. I say "little" because Dad was about my height (5'5") and weighed around 110 pounds. But he had a big heart. And a wonderful sense of humor. And a laugh that would brighten any room. He was also a packrat, as many of his generation are. So the going through of his belongings is no small task. Especially since his wife's belongings were never put away after her death 10 years ago from leukemia. Fifty years of accumulation of stuff is overwhelming to say the least.
Of course, there are many things his son and daughter will keep—pictures, keepsakes, small treasures. And they have to go somewhere, so this has led to nights of cleaning our own garage. And you've heard the saying, "Like father, like son." My husband inherited the packrat gene.
In going through our garage, we unpacked tubs that had not been touched since our move 4 years ago. Most of it was just things that we had owned for years and hated to part with. But there were a few sweet surprises tucked inside some of the boxes. I ran across some pictures of my son when he was 18 months old asleep in his great Granny's lap. And great Granny asleep with him. Pictures of him kissing his "Nanny" while she slept. Pictures of him in his Papa Carl's boots on the front porch of the old homeplace. I sat in my metal chair and boo-hooed like a baby. If you're going to be a packrat, these are the things you save. I hope they make you smile today.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mile High WW

As some of you may know, I am currently vacationing in the mountains of Colorado. While snow scenes are not my favorite, the snow-capped peaks fill my view with the beauty God's handiwork. I can't help but smile.



Right now I am in an airport cafe getting psyched to fly on the little turbo-prop to Denver. It will be a bumpy ride. Thank God it will only be an hour in duration. Something about flying always reminds me of this little tidbit of scripture: "....lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20



It is a two-fold reminder. No matter where I am, on the ground or in the air; He is with me. And while I travel, I am to be telling the Good News. It is a great opportunity to leave some tracts here and there.



I just had a scare. They announced that the check in for my flight had been closed. I thought I heard that boarding for my flight was closed. Talk about a jolt. Reminded me of the Rapture Drills we had at church camp. Missing a flight is a real pain. Thank the Lord I was mistaken about the announcement.



Left behind. I just don't want that to happen to me; in this life or the next.

Don't be left behind!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WW D&D Treatment

Lawn specialists will tell you that it is good to aerate your lawn from time to time. It gets the thatch loose and opens the way for the soil to soak up more water and nutrients. Fertilizer is also a good booster for lush lawns, dazzling blooms, and thick hedges.

Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. Luke 13:7-9

Like the unproductive fig tree, we often need some disruptions to jump start new growth.

Monday, April 28, 2008

If the Shoe Fits...

Shit hit the fan


So many things I would like to say right now. But you wouldn't believe or understand any of them. If you were me and walking in my shoes right now, you might not even get it. You might do things differently. You might have more strength, more wisdom, more courage. You might be more honest about your feelings, your actions, your sins. You might say and do exactly the right thing. In fact, you probably won't be in my shoes, because you are too smart for that.

BUT, if you ever are in my shoes, let me just say this. IF you ever find yourself in my shoes, be careful where you step. You just never know sometimes where all the poop landed after it hit the fan. And as Forrest Gump, my favorite movie character says, that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Potty Mouth Prayer?

Having a potty mouth could be a form of prayer.

The cries of agony, loss or pain are expressed in many different ways. They are expressed in a wordless whimper, and God hears them. They are expressed in bloodcurdling screams, and God hears them. They are even expressed in a way that would offend the offhand listener. No matter how they are said, God knows how to interpret them, and God hears them.

The problem is we often close our hearts and our ears to the kind of language expressed in that level of pain. We do so because we think pain ought not be offensive. "Pain should be neat and controlled," we reason.

That's not the way the Psalmist saw it when he wrote, I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. -- Psalm 142:1-2

And it certainly wasn't the way Job saw it when his entire family was taken away. Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. -- Job 7:11

I'm not saying this is the kind of language we encourage in everyday talk. I'm not saying it is appropriate. I am saying God hears even the most excruciating levels of pain. He doesn't turn his ears away from it. Why should we?

I like what Susan Lenzkes says about beating upon the chest of God with her anger. In her book, "When Life Takes What Matters," she says, "We beat on His chest from within the circle of His arms."

Taken from an article in the Jackson Sun and reprinted with permission from Chaplain Norris Burkes. You may read the full article at TheChaplain.net.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Looking to Jesus

Please continue to pray for the Green family. In a previous update I mentioned that sister's father-inlaw had actually improved. This turn in his health was short-lived. I received word this morning that his earthly journey had come to an end. The funeral will be on Friday.

The days ahead may be grievious, but they will not be unbearable. I know that the Comforter will be near. Thank you again for your prayers and words of encouragement.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

He'll Do It Again

We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don't want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 The Message

Timothy, my child, Christ Jesus is kind, and you must let him make you strong. You have often heard me teach. Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others. As a good soldier of Christ Jesus you must endure your share of suffering.
II Timothy 2:1-3 CEV

The Apostle Paul was an educated man, a Pharisee of Pharisees. But his education was of no comfort to him when he was persecuted. Neither was his lineage. Many times there was no earthly way out of his trial. No solution outside of the divine intervention of God Almighty. Through hardships he learned the value of fully trusting in the Lord. His perserverance earned him the right to pen the majority of the New Testament. Without a doubt, he knew in whom he had believed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Prayer Changes Things

As you might guess, this past week has been exhausting both mentally and physically. Sandwiching in as much work as possible between hospital visits has left very little time for blogging and internet, but I did happen to see where Big Sis has been updating you all and requesting your prayers. I am very thankful for friends like you all who took the time to pray for us. At one point, I was sure that the only thing keeping me on my feet were the prayers of my family and friends.

I must admit my faith was weak. When you get a bad report from the doctors, who are generally less eager to give time frames, and they say 24-48 hours, it is hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, we even began planning a funeral. But God has different plans for Mr. Green. It was not his time to go. Today he is talking, walking a few steps with a walker, and feeding himself. He has not lost his sense of humor either. He still gets disoriented, but he was doing that quite a bit before this hospitalization. We will talk to the doctor's tomorrow about moving him to a Skilled Nursing facility. They took his oxygen and IV's off today.

Just wanted to stop in and share this news with you today. I love and appreciate each of you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Update on the Family

Forgive me for the delay in posting. And thank you all for your prayers.

Mr.Green Sr. lay in a coma-like state for about 24 hours, then began to respond to family members and caretakers. At present he is feeding himself, talking a little bit, and will soon be transferred to a skilled rehab unit. God answers prayer.

Initially, I notified my supervisor that I might need a couple of days off pending Mr.Green's condition/demise. She and my co-workers agreed to be flexible under the circumstances. God still answers prayer.

My Golden Boy has been a real trooper. He has been faithful to pray for his grand-daddy. He has exhibited that child-like faith that we all should possess. Thank God for a child that has been taught the value of prayer.

Though the past few days have been difficult for this family, we have not been without comfort. Only the Lord knows what lays ahead for each of us. But there is one thing for certain. He will never leave or forsake us, nor leave us alone.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Like an Olive Tree

History tells us that all of the trees in and around Jerusalem were cut down when the Romans conquered the city in 70 AD. Yet there are olive trees there today. They could even be off-shoots of the trees that were growing in the days that Jesus walked the Earth. It has been said that olive trees can regenerate from their roots. This means they can be cut completely down and sometime later sprout, flourish, and bear fruit again.

"For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant. But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep." Job 14:7-12 ESV

As long as there is breath in a man, there is hope. Hope for salvation. Hope for regeneration. Hope for an eternal life with Jesus Christ. We must never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit. He searches the depths of man’s soul. He is the one who pricks the conscience of man. He is the one who draws man to the Father. He is the one understands the non-verbal communications of man.

God created man in His image. He put within man a place that can only be filled with Him. Many search the world over for something to satisfy. Drugs, alcohol, sex, and plastic surgery are a few things that have been sought to stop the gnawing of emptiness. Oftentimes a person will have to hit rock bottom before they realize that Jesus is the answer to their woes. But some only need to witness a life that is vibrant with the love of Jesus.

Our mandate is to go and tell. To that I add; and live well. So what if you have been battered and cut down? Let the Holy Spirit water you soul today and you will begin to sprout again. As long as you have breath, there is hope.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Calling All Intercessors

Dear Readers,

Just a quick post to alert all prayer warriors of an urgent need. My sister's father-inlaw has had a massive stroke and his death is expected in less than 24 hours. He has been sick for an extended period of time, but that does not lessen the pain of what is now evident.

The Green family needs your prayers. The usual ones for comfort and guidance will certainly be of value in this circumstance. But I am asking you to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as you intercede. Surely He knows exactly what each member of the family needs during this difficult time.

Please offer continued prayers for my Golden Boy nephew. He is 8 years old and has experienced the pain of losing a grandmother, great-grandmother, and a great-grandad in his few years. He is a thoughtful child that ponders many things in his heart and is slow to share his feelings. I know that he would like for his Aunt Cala to be near to console him at this time. Due to work constraints, my time with him is somewhat limited.

This leads me to one more request. Pray for my employers to be lenient with me so I can be a help to my sister and the family, so I can be with "my boy" as I so often call him.

Thank you for your continued support. I will update as I am able. As always any comments or emails of encouragement will be appreciated.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Got Salt?

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:113-16

You may have heard that old cliche, "not worth his salt". I don't ever want that to be said of me and my Christian walk. I posted these verses today as a simple reminder that others are depending upon us to be salty. Not like the old sailors, but like the Light of the world.

where o where has my big sis gone?

Looking for Sista Cala and Worship Wednesday? Me too....Where are ya, Sis??? Did you work last night? Check back when you can. Maybe she's just runnin late.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Faith of a Child

A beautiful thing happened to me nearly first thing this morning. It rained all night and was still storming when the alarm went off. Nine days straight of typing had taken its toll. I awoke with my arms aching and feverish. They felt like lead and hurt in all the joints.

What is beautiful about that, you ask? Well, as is our morning custom, my son and I pray together before he leaves for school. We pray for my neice and her husband in Iraq. We pray for my other neice and her husband and the pregnancy. We pray for protection for Chase at school. And this morning, I asked my child to pray for Mama's arms.

What followed was a precious moment. My 8-year-old son began rubbing my left arm and praying. And this is what he said: "Dear Lord, Help Mama's arms not to hurt today. Energize them, and let no weakness be in her hands. In Jesus'name, Amen."
I hugged him and told him how wonderful he was and sent him off to school. That was 20 minutes ago. There is no fever in my joints now. My fingers are beginning to loosen up. My arms do not feel as heavy.

God looked down from heaven and was touched by the faith of that little boy this morning. He saw a little boy who accepted God's Word at face value--without questioning or wavering. My heart is full this morning. My cup runneth over. I just wanted to share that with you this morning. It may be raining outside, but it is, nevertheless, a beautiful day!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Puzzle in Progress

Last night I managed to pound out about 1,000 more words for Rose Hill. It was nearly 2 a.m. when I finally cast the old laptop aside and went to bed, the story still strong and fresh and beckoning me. When this urge hits me, I find it almost impossible to ignore, despite the need for sleep. There is an urgency to spill the words from within onto a page, to see them in concrete terms, to be able to read them aloud for once. Until then, they seem to be just a jumble of disconnected scenes popping up into my subconscious. I know what I'm supposed to say. The puzzle lies in how to say it.puzzle

And I've always been one to love puzzles. This time it is taking shape a bit awkwardly. Instead of fitting all the border pieces first and filling in, I am finding many of the missing middle pieces that match and putting them together. The first novel was written from beginning to end in sequential order. Rose Hill seems to be coming in scenes, none of which follow the outline. But, I tell myself, that's okay. The important thing is to get it all out and into files. Then I can rearrange it and play with it and put it into some semblance of a novel.

If you've followed my turtle-like progress over the past year, you know I have fought my feelings of inadequacy. You know I have struggled with subject matter and whether to deal delicately with the demons or just proclaim all out war on them. This one is going to be a long labor, but I'm hoping that when the "dust" settles, there will be something left worthy of the craft. I will keep you posted. Thank you for not giving up on me. Smile****

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Excerpt from Rose Hill

I finally had some time last night to drag out Rose Hill again. I've been away far too long. But looking back over what I've written, it seems the writing is of much better quality, so I will just keep plugging along, be it ever so slow. I am up to about 10,000 words, but I have approximately 2000 more that I have not formally put into a file.

As I was reading back through some of the scenes last night I began to doubt myself and my ability to fully expand this story into 90,000 words. The material is there, though, and I just need more time. Sadly, that is the commodity I do not have a surplus of at the moment. I admit that my committment to the work has faltered as I spend most days typing other people's words. Most days while I am at work I am feeling the tug to get back to my baby, but what can I do? The light bill has to get paid. The Internet has to stay connected. The boy still needs his lunch money. Still, I find myself thinking that these are all just excuses, that a true writer would find the time. Make the time.

Things have been rough here the last 2 years. God is taking care of us, though, so I try not to let worry get to me. He is still working in me on the need for complete trust in Him. Perhaps the stripping away of everything else is just a way to emphasize my dependence on His care. That's all I can do, is trust that He has a plan. And let Him work it out. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Below is a small excerpt. Any thoughts/critiques/musings would be welcome.

Spring 2006

I hadn’t been back in town long, just long enough to catch a cab to the house and hug my mom. It was good to be back, to see green trees and grass and blooming flowers--good to be able breath air that did not scorch the lungs and smell of spent ammo and charred flesh. I remember thinking how vibrant and alive and beautiful the old neighborhood was, a welcome relief from the unspeakable scenes I had encountered in Iraq. I was relieved to have left the realities of war and death behind me.

I surprised her in the backyard last Tuesday morning. She had on that same blue housecoat she always wore over her gown to go the mailbox and was bending over her flowers, I suppose to pluck away the withered blooms and admire God’s handiwork.

You should have been there when I tapped her on the shoulder. Startled, she screamed, hands flailing right and left. Until she realized it was me. And then it was all joy and smiles. My mom had the prettiest smile. I always thought she resembled Natalie Wood, though of course, my mom was the prettier one, and I can’t imagine her ever playing the part of Deanie Loomis in “Splendor in the Grass.” There was never a stronger woman than Ellen __________ .(Last name?) Living with Dad would have utterly broken a lesser woman, but not mom. Not even living with cancer could do that. But as I said, Mom was different than most.

“Oh Sonny, you startled me. Why didn’t you call? I would have put dumplings on and made a coconut cake.”

“You don’t know how good that sounds, Mama.” Her short pudgy arms squeezed the breath from me. “There’s plenty of time for that.”

Mama pushed me back to arm’s length.

“You definitely could use a few pounds. Oh, Sonny. How long are you home for?”

“Just a few days. I wanted to surprise you.”

I remember walking past the flower beds, the picnic table, the tree with the bright blue bird house. I remember thinking that some things never change. Mama was jabbering about who all she would need to call, her blue fuzzy house shoes almost racing to get to the back door. And then everything seemed to happen at once; she was down. And my first thought was that she had tripped. Over the water hose maybe. Or the cat Bojangles. I didn’t even have time to catch her.

“Mama!” I remember kneeling beside her. She was too still. Visions of the Iraqi woman lying on a gurney beside me blipped across my mental radar. I turned Mama to face me. Her eyes were blank.

“Mama, can you hear me? Mama!” I knew the look; I had seen it too many times. But still I felt for a pulse. I checked her airway and began CPR. But Mama was gone. I knew she was gone. And still I pumped. I pumped until my arms ached and my throat burned from screaming for help. Finally Mrs. Harper appeared on her back steps and upon seeing us gasped in horror.

“Call 9-1-1. She’s had a heart attack.” My mind was reeling. This can’t be happening. Mama don’t go. I just got home. Mama I need you. Not now, Mama. Oh God, don’t let her be dead. I couldn’t even cry. Instead I brushed the grass and dirt from her cheek, closed her eyes, and covered her with my camouflage jacket. I couldn’t cover her head. I had done this on the battlefield more times than I had cared to, but this was Mama. My mama. I didn’t even have time to tell her the news.

I found out later from her oncologist that Mama’s heart had been damaged by the chemotherapy she had taken to combat the cancer. I blamed myself for exciting her so with my surprise visit home, but Dr. Gamble just shook his head.

“Son, your mom has known about this for a couple of months now. We discussed it, and your mother felt it would be better not to tell anyone, that she would live out her last days at home and have some quality of life. There was nothing I could do for her. She was worn out, Sonny. She was tired. It’s not your fault.”

Hearing him say the words did not make me feel better, not really. I mean, I knew Mama wouldn’t live forever. We had faced her mortality so many times during her bout with cancer. I thought I had come to terms with her dying. We had talked about the cancer returning and that that was probably how it would all end, finally metastasizing to other places in her body. I was the one who had gone with Mama to the funeral home to make pre-arrangements. She had insisted it all be taken care of beforehand. So we all knew the day would come. But a heart attack? That never crossed my mind. And it certainly wasn’t on my mind today when I returned home.

I had so much I wanted to tell her that I never got to say. War will do that to you. Make you realize what’s important in life. Make you say the things you never had the courage to say before. It made a man out of me in more ways than one. And I needed to tell her. I needed her to know that something good had come out of my life. I needed to tell her that I never forgot the lessons she taught me, that the scriptures and little Bible songs she taught me carried me when I couldn’t walk, carried me in the desert when I couldn’t see for blinding sand and raining artillery. She needed to know that before she died her son had found his way to the Cross and the blood of Jesus had saved him. She needed to know I had found forgiveness--that I had finally been able to forgive Daddy.

I sat on her big four-poster bed in shock for the longest time. I should have called my sister Gwen right away, but I just couldn’t deal with her drama at the moment. She was probably still sleeping off a night of partying and drugs. Besides she didn’t even care about Mama. It was all about Gwen. I lived the same life she did growing up, but Gwen had always made it sound like she was the only one that got hurt. I always figured that she stopped eating to get attention. I can’t tell you how many times she’s been in the hospital getting her stomach pumped. And at a hundred pounds soaking wet, it doesn’t take many of those little pills to put her out. I guess that’s when the drugs started, when Daddy got killed. Again, it was all about Gwen. When Mama got cancer, it was all about Gwen. It was always someone else’s fault.

For a moment I thought it would almost be better if she didn’t even show up, if I didn’t call her until it was over. I mean, Mama didn’t deserve to have Gwen throwing herself at every man at visitation in weeping hysterics. But Mama would say to call her. Mama loved Gwen in spite of all the terrible things that Gwen had said and done to her. I guess that’s the beautiful thing about a mother’s love. Yes, I guess I would have to call her. Problem was, I didn’t have Gwen’s number.

We hadn’t spoken in two years, not since that last round we had about her borrowing money from Mama. And you know Mama, she would give it to her. And Mama trying to live off of Daddy’s Social Security. It wasn’t right. And I told Gwen that. She had told me to go to hell, and that was basically when I had written her off. I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere. She was the one on a fast track to hell. God, how did Gwen get so messed up?
Mama would have her number somewhere.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WW Brilliant Character

I once heard it said that "character has to do with what and who you are when no one is looking". If one truly possesses Christian character, he or she will impact others like a candle lit in the darkness. The following paragraphs are excerpts from a book entitled, "Portals to Power". It was written by Louis K. Dickson in 1957.

The central factor in the development of a Christian character that can stand the tests of our time is the increasing of the spiritual brilliance of our lives.

The most essential thing about a true Christian life is the hidden power which springs from knowing Christ so intimately that the spiritual radiance and warmth of His life will emanate to others and draw them into a dominating desire for Him.

No power of Satan can withstand the assaults of a Spirit-filled life. Our hope is found in an unabated emphasis on real fellowship with God and a growth in spiritual power of apostolic quality.



10And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.
11And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. Isaiah 58:11 (Amplified Version)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Update

I have queried to an agent over the weekend who claims to respond within 3 weeks. I got an email back within 20 minutes saying she would get back with me as soon as she had time to review it in detail. This is another small step for me, but at least it is a move forward, however small.

Chase is recovering very nicely from his surgery and is on Spring Break. He is having his frieind, Timmy, over today. So far, no loud crashes, broken bones, or blood. Actually they are getting along great, which is helpful to me because I am trying to work and get caught up from being off taking care of him. Thank you for your prayers for him and us this past week.

March has blown in and managed to blow a section of the metal facia off the top eave of the house. I suppose we now have a another project to work on, but thankfully no other damage. I was watching the news earlier about all the flooding in our region, and I am grateful that we didn't float away.

I know I have been scarce with my son recovering, but hopefully I will get back into the swing of things. Seems I am forever apologizing for not keeping up. Blogging is one of those things I love to do but have to make time for. Thanks for being here.

Technically Challenged.

We tried to post a video today, but neither Sista Cala nor myself could get it going. I am still working on it, so check back later. LOL. Sigh........
video

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WW Planting Season

All my life I have been taught the Word of God. With age, I have found great fulfillment in the study of the Bible. Its depth and richness inexpressible. I find fresh bread every time I read it.

In Mark chapter four, Jesus shared with the multitudes a parable about a sower. Then he turned to the disciples and explained its meaning. He went on in verse 24 and exhorted them to hear the truth and meditate to understand it.

Most of the time preachers focus on the various places/soil that the seed fell on. Others will hammer on the fact that the seed is the Word. Still others who care not for true exegesis will turn it into a message on money. But there is one fact that I have rarely heard anyone give more than a mention.

A sower sows. For the seed to be sown it has to leave the sower's hands. It is essential for each Christian to keep the Word close to their heart. But they also have to be willing to share it in order to reap its full benefit. Saints can carry nothing with them to Heaven but souls that they have won along the way.

That's why I write these posts each week. I'm sowing the Word. Someone will bookmark or digg it. Sometimes a hungry soul will search for this site and receive the seed. At other times my efforts may ricochet off of a heart of stone. And even if a soul stumbles upon this seed of Truth and embraces it for only a moment, it is well worth the effort. And what of the Seed that is eaten by the birds? It will serve to fatten the bird or it will be deposited upon another plot of soil and have yet another opportunity to sprout.

That's why I wear a lighthouse pendant. It is a great door opener. When people ask about its significance I reply, "Jesus is the Light and He lives in my house." Sometimes they are speechless, sometimes they fall all over their own words trying to avoid talking about Jesus, and others just smile and say, "that's nice". Oh, but there is so much joy when there is that one with a genuine interest in learning more about my Savior.

"...For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap." Galatians 6:7b

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow Fun



I know Diane and the rest of you are probably sick of the snow, but we rarely get enough to actually play in, so I posted some of my boys fun. Now that that's over, bring on the Spring!!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WW: Stay on the Wheel


The Book of Jeremiah is a weighty presentation of prophecy concerning the nation of Israel. As such, it is often overlooked by the casual Bible reader. My intent is not so much to deal with the prophecy, but rather a few simple observations found in Jeremiah 18:1-6.

The Lord commanded Jeremiah to go down to the potter's house. There He would speak to the prophet and use the activities of the potter to illustrate His message. 1) We often need to be in a certain place to comprehend the fullness of what God is speaking to us.

Jeremiah obeyed. 2) Obedience is essential to receiving all that God has for us.

There he found the potter doing what exactly what a potter does. 3) God is a God of order. He speaks within the confines of order and never confusion.

Verse four states that the vessel of clay was marred. It had never left the potter's control, yet it became flawed. 4) One can be right in the Master's hand and still sustain hurt/damage.

5) As the vessel is repaired, it may be changed in appearance and/or function/purpose.

6) As long as the vessel remains in the potter's hands it will be fashioned as he sees fit. And it will be good just as God made man good in the beginning. Genesis 1:31

7) God has control of every situation and the power to shape us in every circumstance.

We may tire of going round and round in circles, but we must stay on the wheel. The pressures of this life may bruise or nick us, but we must remain pliable to the Master's touch. Even the heat of the kiln will serve to strengthen us if we stay as long as the Potter deems necessary.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. II Timothy 2:20,21

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Truth Stranger Than Fiction?


Lately I have been on a reading kick. Late at night after all my work is done and the boys are tucked in and snoring, I find the "me" time I crave. I've discovered Ann Rule, a true crime writer who has covered many of America's prolific murderers and their victims. It surprised me to know that she once worked side by side with Ted Bundy before the world figured out what kind of monster he was.

I have read several of her books, the latest one being Green River Running Red, over 650 pages, 49 victims, and a serial killer that ran amok for 22 years uncaught. Creepy! The next book of hers on my list is Smoke, Mirrors, and Murder, in which she covers several cases, one being the Mary Winkler case. This is of particular interest to me because it occurred here in Tennessee, just down the road a piece. (In Southern speak, that translates a few towns over.)

I'm not sure what intrigues me most about these cases. I have the same fondness for CSI. Part of it is knowing it is a puzzle and that it can be solved in most cases by the evidence, the minutiae, the tiny things that others have failed to see. I know there are thousands if not millions of unsolved crimes in the United States alone today. But many of them probably could be solved with the right person dissecting the cases. In my fantasy world, that person would be me. In real life, I would not have the stomach for such grisly details. And the nightmares would probably haunt me forever. Still it intrigues me to no end...this science of dissecting particles and interpreting clues.

Another aspect that I find interesting is that of the profiler. This is someone who can read the clues left behind and get inside the killer's head. They can form a profile of what the killer may or may not be like by looking at the body and the way it was disposed of or not disposed of, the way it was murdered, the area the crime occurred, and in a thousand other ways. It fascinates me how all those details can add up to a physical and psychological profile. This, I think, I might have been good at.

And then I look at the book itself. The writer has all the sources available to her. She has access to witnesses, evidence, reports, case files, experts. She has become an expert herself. She takes all the information and compiles it in a compelling fashion--and sells books from it. I would probably struggle with the fact of making a living off others' misfortunes. I wonder at times if Ms. Rule ever feels like this. I have read enough of her books to know that she is adamant about speaking out for the victims, and she is careful to protect their dignity, and always treating them as a person with a name and a family. Still, it must be hard for the families of these victims to have the world entertaining themselves at their loved ones' expense. Still others, probably prefer that their stories be told--to memorialize their loved ones, to keep them from being forgotten.

I cannot say that I know how these families feel. I have had 2 such murders in my family, one unsolved and one solved. But both were in the 70's when I was but a child in grade school, and I only know what I have been told about them. My grandmother's brother's killer is serving time in a Tennessee prison. We recently found out that he had been released on parole, and the only reason he is back in is because he violated that parole. This is a man who stabbed my great uncle repeatedly and then played tic-tac-toe on his back with the knife and dumped him in a pond.

My mother's brother's killer was never found. My uncle David was found near train tracks in Redbud, Illinois where he had been working for the railroad. He was still alive--his neck broken, skin torn from his body down his back and legs as if he had been drug by the train. No train had run during that time. Someone had run over him or drug him with a vehicle and placed him on the tracks to die. He died a few days later in the hospital. My mom was 9 months pregnant and delivered early. I remember kissing his forehead and telling him goodbye. This was a man who had been honored in the Army for his bravery in Viet Nam. He lived through the terrors of war only to come home and be killed by one of his own.

These are the stories I would like to have told. These are the stories I would someday write given the luxury of time and ability to pursue them. How would my grandmother feel about this? How would my Uncle David's only living brother feel about it? I don't know. I suppose if I ever decide to follow in Ann Rule's footsteps, these are the questions I would ask...along with about a million others. What's your verdict? Is truth stranger than fiction? Which would you prefer reading? Which role would you prefer, the forensic analyst, the profiler, or the writer? I'll be the first to admit that when the light goes out at 2 a.m., I would prefer to believe these kinds of crimes and criminals never existed. Thankfully, I have another Book I read as well that comforts me, and as Paul Harvey is fond of saying, tells the rest of the story. Be sure if you only read one good book this year, that that is the One. BIBLE