Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thank Him Anyway

With family here and more coming, the next few days will be busy ones. We'll have about 17 here for dinner.

If all our plans materialize, this holiday will be the first we've spent with my two girls and their families since we got married. The last time I was with both of them was at Christmas in 1997, the first holiday after my husband's death. I couldn't face the holiday alone and got up a family outing to Disneyland. We had a great time, but when I got back home, I still had to grieve.

I learned from that experience that you can't force or escape certain experiences that are bound to happen. Last Christmas I tried to force a family holiday. It didn't materialize and became one of the saddest holidays in my memory. I didn't try to force this holiday reunion. A few weeks ago it began to fall into place.

If all goes as planned, and sometimes plans fall apart, I'll thank God.
If it falls apart--well, I hope I have the good sense to thank God then, too.

I hope your holiday is filled with whatever floats your boat--and there are no leaks to sink it. Even if there are, I hope you'll still be thankful.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

God, Family, and Good Health

After ten days of detoxing/sinusitis/coughing/sneezing/blowing---you name it, I finally feel like a human again.

I woke up this morning and decided I'm tired of being sick, tired of feeling puny and tired of looking like it. I washed my hair (I have washed my hair before this), dressed and am ready to greet the family for the holiday.

One of Reid's sons, Joe, his wife Jenny and their daughter Jaiden will fly in from North Carolina on Sunday. Both my daughters, Jo Lynn and Sherri, Sherri's husband John, two grandsons, Cory and Taylor and great granddaughter Amiyah will come Wednesday. While they are all here, we'll be able to get with Dave, Lorraine, Mason, Jade, Reagan, Pierce and Thatcher--the son and his family who live here. What a fun time is ahead!

God, family and good health. That's what life is all about. And this Thanksgiving those are the things I'm thankful for.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

God's Answer

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog and in it, I said I had asked God for His opinion about a subject. Yesterday afternoon I received an email from a friend who gets daily emails from www.heartlight.org. Many times she forwards them to me. I think she must have read my blog and that's why she sent this one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Jeers of the Cruel Condemners

Some of the people there spit at Jesus. They covered Jesus' eyes and hit him with their fists. They said, "Be a prophet and tell us who hit you!" Then the guards led Jesus away and beat him. -- Mark 14:65 (ERV)

KEY THOUGHT: I never cease to be amazed at the thoughtless cruelty that human beings can inflict on each other. No wonder that we human beings needed a Savior who would bear our insults, our violence, our injustice, and our humiliation.

TODAY'S PRAYER: O loving Father, my stomach turns at the inhumanity and senseless violence that permeates the world in which I find myself. Forgive us.. forgive me ... forgive our propensity for returning violence for violence and our willingness to inflict violence even when there is no rational need to do so. Redeem our time and our world through the powerful reminder of your Son, who bore our sins and carried our sorrows while under the most inhuman and violent abuse. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

This is answer enough for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I haven't heard anything from God about yesterday's post, so let's move on to something lighter.


As a person who has had trouble sleeping in the past, I do not believe we can do without it.

Studies show that sleep is as important to our health as diet and exercise. We need between 71/2 and 8 hours of sleep every night. The dreams we have work out our subconscious thoughts, categorize them and sluff off the least important. Keeps us from going crazy.

A recent study at the University of Chicago School of Medicine restricted the sleep of young, healthy test subjects to four hours for six consecutive nights. At the end of that time, tests showed that each of the subjects was already in a pre-diabetic state. Lack of sleep caused a drop in levels of leptin, a hormone that tells our brains when we aren't hungry. (When the students were allowed to sleep normally, their health was reversed)

In our society we believe the lie that our true worth is in what we produce. Because of that belief we quit "wasting time" sleeping. Then the wheels come off and we slog on physically and emotionally as if through molasses. Also, the person will be fat and sick. Does that sound like something we want?

Being sleep-deprived is awful. I speak from experience. On the days after not sleeping at all or much the night before, I could hardly function. No writing. No talking coherently. Just sit and eat. Grumpy, mood swings, "hell on wheels" is a good description of the chronically sleep-deprived. On top of the risk factor for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and stoke can be linked to sleep deprivation.

I've heard that Einstein only slept four hours a night and was a genius. I don't know that for a fact since he isn't here to tell us. After someone in a minister's family died, his young daughter was so worried that someone else in her family would die that she couldn't sleep. She went into her big brother's room and he told her, "You can sleep because God stays awake." God doesn't sleep but he wants us to so He can do within us what we can't do for ourselves.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How Does God See This?

We watched a Barbara Walters special the other night and I've been thinking about it since then. I know many people who read this will not agree with the subject, but what I have to say isn't about what is right or what is wrong.

I'll begin by saying that I know what the Bible says about homosexuality. Once that's out of the way, I want to go on to something deeper.

Barbara interviewed the "pregnant man" and his/her wife, who is lesbian. If you haven't heard about him/her, this man was born a girl. He never felt like a girl and always wanted to be a boy. In adulthood he fell in love with a woman and decided to become a man. He had his breasts removed and started taking testosterone. He looks like a man. Since he still had his reproductive organs, he stopped taking testosterone and was impregnated with sperm and became pregnant. This couple now has a baby girl. He didn't start back on the testosterone and now is pregnant again. He is one of about 35 men who have had babies. The others (from what the show said) just didn't become public like he has.

My dilemma about this isn't whether he is right or wrong, or whether their lifestyle is right or wrong. They have received horrible, ugly, hate-filled letters, emails and phone calls. I want to know exactly how God sees this? I believe God loves these people. Don't give me that old thing that God loves the sinner and hates the sin. That doesn't cut it. Those are just words. The most scathing language on record from the lips of Jesus was not directed at adulterers, homosexuals or others whose sexual behavior he regarded as ethically wrong. It was against self-righteous religionists. Those people then and religious people today, are some of the most intolerant people on the globe. Bigotry and hatred are evil. Fanaticism in the name of the Christian religion is both malevolent and dangerous.

So, how does God see all this? He certainly has forever been aware of it. These two people were so happy and their baby seems normal. Her family has opened their arms to them, but his has not. They have nothing to do with him. Is that right?

I haven't told you what I really think about all this because I honestly don't know. I do know I wouldn't send them hate mail, and I wouldn't shun them. Because they're so alone in the world, I just might love them more.

I want to know how God feels about this. I've asked Him. If He tells me, I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Listening to Wisdom

Funny how great minds work together. This morning I talked to God just a little and journaled that I hadn't heard from Him in awhile but it was probably because I hadn't sat still long enough to listen. Then I read my brother's blog.(http://jimmiesblogspace.blogspot.com/) He wrote about listening to his head instead of his stomach. (I've been known to do that myself.) I went to what I call my Sun Room (or Son Room) and opened my Bible. It didn't take me long to find Proverbs 1:20-33. In my Bible this is titled "The Call of Wisdom." The content spoke to me about our economy and the people who made the decisions that put our country in this precarious position. On another level I saw it more personally.

Wisdom (God) is always calling out to us. Solomon says Wisdom is calling aloud, raising her voice, crying out, speaking. You'd think if God is speaking that loudly, someone would listen. Me, for instance. This morning I listened. I heard my own body's complaint about something I've been overeating the past month. Since this is what I've been most concerned about, I'm glad I'm hearing the complaint. I'm hopeful I won't let it go in one ear and out the other. (Or in one fat cell and never out again!)

But more important than my personal foibles is how all this applies to our country, and to those of us in the country who can't do anything to turn the economy around. We are the ones (are we the complacent fools Proverbs speaks of?) who have to live through it while the "simple ones" (Proverbs's words, not mine) in authority try to get us out of the mess. The final verse in Proverbs 1 reads, "But whoever listens to me will dwell safely and will be secure, without fear of evil."

Listening to Wisdom is where I plan to hang my hat. I hope my brother will hang his there. But even more than the two of us, I'm hopeful there's someone, or many someones, in Washington who'll hang their hats there, too.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Our church is looking to hire a new minister. The team working through all the candidates has taken eight months to come down to four candidates. In the past we would have had to wait until each candidate showed up and preached to us. From that limited information we'd make a decision. But with the world of Internet technology we can go to the churches' web sites and the candidates' blogs and get a pre-sermon look into the man and his thoughts.

Yesterday at church, when we were introduced to each man and his family via pictures and a little background information, one candidate stood out in my mind. (I've talked to two other people who felt the same way.) As I've gone into the sites, I still like this man. In a few weeks we'll get to meet him in person. I wonder if that first impression will stand up.

First impressions are definitely important, but we have to be open to realizing those impressions might not be "right on" about the person. I've met people I didn't think I'd like, but after getting to know them, I realized what I first saw wasn't who they really were. It works both ways. What might look like unfriendliness can be shyness or fear.

This journey to find a minister is kind of fun--reading blogs, talking to friends, meeting the people in person when they come for their week end "try-out" and listening to God. Does it really matter which one is chosen? Aren't all the men probably fine ministers or why would the search team have come down to these four? Would they all be a good fit for our church? Does God really care which one we choose? He loves all of them. Still, we'll pray and the one we all agree on (or most of us agree on) will come, and we'll say God sent him to us.

I wonder sometimes if we try to put God's stamp of approval on everything we do just to make us feel better about out decisions. Or--is He really more involved in our lives than we think? We won't know that answer for sure until we step into eternity with Him. Until then we continue walking through life and trying not to stumble.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Natural or Supernatural?

One of the blogs I read (Inkhorn Blue on my blog list) had a posting that got a lot of comments. The writer told about her experiences with ghosts. One of the respondents wasn't a ghost believer and quoted scriptures to prove these "things" were the devil. Sorry, but I'm so sick of hearing people giving the devil credit for everything we can't explain.

Why do people do bad things? The devil makes them do it.
Why am I tempted although I love God and want to do good? Must be the devil.
Someone I know says the devil is so smart he tailor makes temptations for each one of us.
Give me a break.
Is the devil omniscient and omnipresent?
No, but God is. And if you want to quote scripture, the Word says the devil was destroyed at the cross.
Now, who's bigger? The devil or what Jesus did at the cross?

I don't get on a soap box too often (my friends would probably disagree), but this is one I can live on. Stop talking about the devil. Stop giving him credit and making him out to be stronger than God.

People are inherently sinners. That's why God sent Jesus. Only knowing Him can change a person's heart.

OK. So what are ghosts? I don't know, but I believe we are closer to the spirit world than we realize. After my husband died, I looked for an easel. He had put it away, and I had no idea where he'd put it. I looked all through the house and garage and couldn't find it. Finally, exasperated, I said, "Jim, where did you put the easel?" Immediately a place in the garage came to my mind. I went there and found one of the three parts of the easel. Since Jim had taken it apart, I knew he had stored the other two parts somewhere. I looked some more. Nothing. Again I asked him where the rest of the easel was. Immediately I thought of a place to look and found the cross piece. The chain and the screw was still missing, so excited that I was being led in some way, I asked where the other pieces were. Their hiding place became clear and I found them. Do I believe it was actually Jim? I don't know, but you'll never make me believe this didn't happen. I had a couple of other experiences like this after he died, and I know someone somewhere was helping me and sending me comfort.

When the blogger says she experienced something supernatural, who am I to say, "Oh, no, you didn't. The Bible says it isn't possible." She'll read the Bible and find out for herself, but no one will be able to convince her what she experienced was anything except a ghost. And no one can convince me something supernatural wasn't at play when I found the easel. Let's open our minds and see that in the world God created are things we don't yet understand. Wait! I believe Jesus said He had things He wanted to tell, but couldn't. Maybe that was because of the closed minds of his followers. Sounds kind of like today, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Ruminations

We have a new President. He promised change.
His promises aren't new at all.
Take from the rich and give to the poor.
The more evenly distributed the wealth is, the more people are able to participate in the government and the better the economy. (Can you prove that?)
Health care for everyone.
Make everyone like us. (Never going to happen unless we give in to them. Then they'll hate us even more.)
Change is good. (Is it always?)
Change what? (National pride?)
I never thought anything or anyone could make Hillary and Bill look good. (I was wrong.)

To quote P.J. O'Rourke: "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!"

Our prayers may have been answered and we don't even know it. What better way for God to become important in the lives of people than for the people to go through rough times? I hope it doesn't work that way, of course. A friend wrote a morning-after rumination about his disappointment. He gave me permission to use it here, and I thank him.

Last evening, when I came to the realization that many of the things I have always believed were not so important to the majority of this country's voters, I felt devastation and despair. What's to become of us now?

Didn't do much thinking about God, until this early morning, when I picked up Emmet Fox's book, "The Sermon on the Mount."

The first Beatitude: Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. What was Jesus saying?

To be poor in spirit means to have emptied yourself of all desire to exercise personal self-will, and, what is just as important, to have renounced all preconceived opinions in the whole-hearted search for God. It means to set aside your present habits of thought, your present views and prejudices, your present way of life if necessary; to jettison, in fact, anything and everything that can stand in the way of your finding God.

What I've been doing lately hasn't brought much comfort, so think I will try the Beatitudes. May not help, sure won't hurt, plus, God and I might become buddies again.


Maybe, after we experience some of the changes coming upon us, God will find a whole nation of buddies. Listen to the song below and sing it to God.


Monday, November 3, 2008


From the time we're born until we die, we are on a journey. I wonder if God is on this journey with everyone or just those who want Him to be. I'd like to believe it's the former rather than the latter because there have been times in my life when I felt I was journeying alone. Besides, if He isn't with those who don't know Him, how will they ever find out who He is?

In 1960, when JFK was elected President, I thought the U.S. would surely fall. (I gave up working in politics that year, but have always voted. What little I could do didn't seem to matter in the whole scheme of things.) The same feeling appears to abound with this election--the fear that our nation may not survive as we have known it.

Many years ago I made two lists. On one list were the negative things in my life. On the other--the positives. For every negative I gave a positive. The outcome of this endeavor brought peace to my soul. Life has many negatives, but when we look for them, there are as many positives.

What does this have to do with the election? Who knows God's plans? What I want is for hearts to be turned to Him. I want people to know His favor, to know His love. My prayer has been that whatever happens will turn the hearts of people to God. I believe God is on this journey with America and with the people of this world whether they know it or not.

If I didn't believe this, I'm not sure I'd ever be able to rest again.
If God be for us, who can be against us?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday morning after falling back in time.

Early. A full day ahead--as well as a full day tomorrow.

All I'd like to do today is shut the door and write.
Can't. Too much to do.

When I thought about retirement before I retired, my ideas were: do whatever I wanted to do when I wanted to do it: write, watch TV, sleep late, no make up or bra, read, read, read.


Retirement is busier than ever, only I don't have to wake up to an alarm clock.

But I'm happy I don't have to show up somewhere every Morning.

Complaining? Not really. Life is good. I believe it's better to have something to do than to just be able to sit around all day and indulge myself.

I hope your day is beautiful whether you're busy or not.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Good-bye Halloween

Halloween is over for another year. Not one of my favorite "holidays", I'm not sorry to see it go. Trick or Treating and dressing in a costume used to be fun for me and for my kids, but today it is just scary.

We had three people come last night: a boy, and later, his sister (guess he didn't want to have to be out with his sister), and then a family--two or three kids, a father, mother and baby. One of the malls in Tulsa has a T or T'ing night for families. In front of the stores someone gives out candy. I never attended it, but I think scores of people showed up for the "safe Halloween."

I remember my oldest daughter's Halloween when she was old enough to know what was going on. At almost three she wasn't ready to go T or T'ing, but she loved answering the door and looking at the goblins. If I had to grade it, that night was a 10 for me. Another memory was an October 31st in Amarillo. The girls were about five and seven. Cold and rainy outside, still the girls insisted they go out in their costumes (which were hidden under rain gear). Their dad took them. They only lasted about three houses before they wanted to come home.

My best Halloween was when I was a senior in high school. Several of us drove to a high-end neighborhood in Amarillo and went door to door. The people invited us in, gave us hot chocolate, cookies and friendliness. What a great memory! But that was before the scariness of present-day Halloween where you can't trust anyone; where you can't allow your kids to go anywhere alone; where you can't open your door just because the bell rings and it's Halloween.

Last Thursday we attended a Halloween party at the children's home. One cottage dressed as the Addams family, one board member came in 70s costume (which is back in style today), lots of costumes, food, games and fun for the kids.

Now it's on to Thanksgiving and Christmas. At least we don't have to wear a costume.