Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sports and All That

I love watching football--the pros, college--either one. Tomorrow is the saddest day of a football-lover's year. The Super Bowl is the final football game until next season.

I grew up with sports. I was told that when I was a baby my parents took me to the Amarillo High School Sandie games. Back then you could park behind the chain link fence and watch from your car. We did that until I was old enough to go sit in the stands. I waited for half-time to see the bands and majorettes. To twirl a baton like those girls! That was my ambition. I never learned to do it.

One of my fondest memories was watching the Amarillo Gold Sox play baseball and eating peanuts with my dad. I think Mother stayed at home with my little brother most of the time. He was such a run-away kid that it was just easier to rein him in at home.

As I grew up we attended Kids, Inc. sports where the sons of my parents' friends played baseball, football and basketball. As an adult I've spent many a Sunday afternoon watching games on the television. Of course, our favorite pro team has always been the Cowboys. (That may change if they don't get their act together!)I like the Sooners and OSU Cowboys, Longhorns, Texas Tech, Texas Aggies---all of them.
I like the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals, too. In fact, I just like watching football!

So, sad as it may be, football is over for another season. But, look! Basketball is here! We will watch the Lobos, the Kansas Jayhawks, the. . . well, you name it--we'll watch it.

My daddy is a member of the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame. He played football, baseball and basketball for West Texas. Unfortunately for my brother and for me, the only part of sports we inherited from him was his love of sports. As a post script, I might add that our daddy had a great singing voice and played the clarinet. We didn't get any of that either. If you don't believe us, just listen to our rendition of Happy Birthday and try to guess what we're singing!

Friday, January 30, 2009

When Will I Learn?

When will I ever learn?

We had haircuts this morning--have had appointments set for four weeks. We got up earlier than usual so we could make it to the salon by 9:00. Got a call at 8:00 that our hairdresser was sick. The receptionist, Gayle, said she could get us in with someone else if we wanted.

Now you'd think that was a no-brainer, but it confused me. Should I or shouldn't I?
One look in the mirror told me I should. (Talk about your long, gray messy hair!)
As it turned out she was good and my hair looks great.

What is it I need to learn? RELAX when the schedule changes at the last minute.

Maybe I'll remember that things tend to work out. I hope so.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


We've had our Google page theme as a snowy mountain scene. It's beautiful but every time I look at it, I shiver--so this morning I changed it.

The morning paper's headline is about the huge stimulus (?) package the Democrats pushed through congress. No Republicans voted for it. (Guess we don't have a checks and balance Senate any more.) I made a C in Econ in college and was happy to get that. I only made that grade because the teacher averaged all the grades from all his classes. What I know about econ you could fit in a thimble and have room left over for a quart of milk. Because Pelosi was so animatedly excited about this package, even with my limited knowledge, I feel sure the package isn't going to do much for the economy except further bankrupt the U.S.A.

For that reason my new Google page theme is the American flag.

Seriously folks, I'm not sure we'll make it two years with these spendthrift Dems in control of congress before America turns into third world country.

Sound pessimistic? Sorry. I'll go on to higher things.

We are supposed to teach a small group class on the book of Jonah. I'm seeing something in that book I have never seen before. If you know the story, God told Jonah to go prophesy to Nineveh and tell them that He was going to destroy them unless they repented. (Evidently they were a ruthless, cruel people.) Well, Jonah ran the other way and ended up in a storm on a sinking ship. His crew mates threw him overboard, only because he told them to do it, and the storm immediately ceased. Knowing it was Jonah's God who started and stopped the storm, they all worshipped Him (God)the rest of their lives. Which brings me to the moral of this story. Even when we (the U.S.A.) disobey, God makes good come out of it.

If this is true then all is not lost for our country. There are enough of us around who still revere God and his sovereignty in this world. We can continue to pray and trust that God will turn all this around for His good.


Monday, January 26, 2009

What If?

Lord, if you let me win the lottery, I promise it won't spoil me.
I read this on a bumper sticker recently.

I woke up this morning thinking about money.
Without going into details, all my life the thought that "I never have enough" is ingrained in my mind. It came from my daddy, who was raised pretty poor.
With the economy in a downturn, our retirement money is dwindling, jobs are hard to find. Some in my family need jobs.
Once upon a time we thought we could just sell our house if we needed more money, but that's out the window now, too.

God tells us not to worry about tomorrow. I know deep inside of me that He takes care of the sparrow and knows the number of hairs on my head. Still, I get into the "what ifs."

I can't imagine the amount of dollars being thrown around in the media: millions, billions, trillions. I can't imagine being paid the amounts given to atheletes, film stars, CEOs. I wonder what it would feel like to do something that someone thought so much of they'd give me a million dollars every time I did it.

It is hard to stop the "what ifs" when the news is so full of them. What I need are my own "what ifs." What if God is really who He says He is? What if God really will take care of all my needs? What if I can enter into the rest Jesus tells us we can have in Him? What if I remember that He has never failed me yet? Always answered my prayers? Always made things work out for the good for me and my family?

What if I just live today and let Him worry about tomorrow? What if, in the long run, none of my worrying matters anyway?

I think I'll go do my laundry and let God work out all the rest.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Time flies and time crawls.

Time crawls when I'm waiting for someone or something. Time flies when I look back and see how quickly my life has changed, my children and grandchildren have grown up, when I have a lot to do and time runs out on getting it all done.
But, thank God, I'm still living in time.
One of these days it will all be eternity.

I'm working on book number two of a detective series. As I write it I see how many changes I need to make on book number one before I think about trying to sell it. But how do I find the time to do that when I'm working on #2 and have to have submissions for two critique groups? My days are pretty full although I'm retired and don't have to show up every morning for a "real job."

Time's a-wasting. I need to get on the eliptical trainer and do some exercising, then take care of the laundry I'm doing on some baby quilts for CareNet, set the table (or begin so I'll know what I need) for a dinner here tomorrow night, go over what I've written for a Saturday critique group meeting, (I have another critique meeting in the morning so I won't have a lot of time tomorrow to do some of the things I need to do for the dinner), make sure the house is presentable. . .

Tonight I attend my first meeting of a ladies Bible study on the book of Esther. That will take study during the week. My husband and I agreed to teach Jonah in a small group meeting that's studying the minor prophets. We don't have to do it for about four weeks, but we need some time to look into the book before teaching it.

Right now, in my life, time is flying. Retirement is not for sissies!

Yet, as I write all this I'm mindful of several friends whose lives made a shift recently when cancer was discovered in their bodies. Time to them means "what kind of treatment am I doing today?" Time to them is "will I live through this so I can go on with my life?" All these "little" things we do every day mean nothing unless we have our health. For these people time has a completely different meaning than it does to mine. All the things we think are so important can be changed in an instant.

So, as I go about doing all that I think needs to be done, I have to remember to tune in to the Holy Spirit so He can tell me what I really need to do while I still have the--time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Big Day

Today is a big day for a lot of people. Even if we didn't vote for Barak Obama, he will be our President for the next four years--and depending on how he does, he may stay another four.

I can understand why so many African-Americans are excited. On the TV this morning they showed an old black man being pushed in a wheelchair, wrapped in a blanket, his breath making frosty clouds. I know why he's there. I don't blame him and hope he makes it through those crowds.

No matter who we voted for, only in this country is the transition of power carried out so flawlessly. I salute the Bush's for making their part of that change easier than it was for them when they took office.

I pray Obama can unite our country. I pray people don't hate him and make personal hate attacks against him like they've have against George W. Bush.

President Bush had a hard job to do, and he did it as best he could. I believe he's an honorable man, and loves our country. Laura Bush is the best first lady this country has ever had. They will be in my prayers.

I'll watch all of the festivities today. I'll be praying for the new President and I hope others will do the same.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random Thoughts About Hell and Love and Being Skinny

I had a "discussion" (one-sided when I realized this person believed what he believed and I couldn't change his mind, so I stopped talking) last night. Someone suggested at a small meeting we attended that sometimes we need some "Hell and Brimstone" to set us straight. I disagreed saying hell and brimstone doesn't change people. Love does. Then this other man began his harangue assuring me, and all of us in the group, that the Bible is perfectly clear on this subject. "Some would like to believe that God is just about love when in fact He is a just God and sends people to hell." That was just the beginning. He went on a little more saying the same thing. See why I quit talking?

I've had one other "discussion" with him in the past about God healing people today. He doesn't believe it happens although I said I'd seen it and experienced it myself. You just can't change some people's minds with truth, can you? I know something about this person's personal life and wonder if his attitude had something to do with how it's turned out?

As for the hell and brimstone--where in the Bible does it say that's the Good News and we're to spread this gospel?

Now that this is out of my system, if you notice the very small picture on this page, you will see a woman, a man and a baby in front of the wildest wallpaper in known history. That is a picture of myself, my daughter and her father taken in
1958. What I want to know is, where did that dark-haired, skinny woman go? I want her back!!

Recently I read Christopher Kennedy Lawford's autobiography, "Symptoms of Withdrawal." He talks about his uncle Sarge Shriver, married to one of the Kennedy sisters, and said this uncle told him that "everything he wanted and tried hard to get in his life never brought him the happiness or satisfaction he thought it would. All the stuff in his life that came to him freely and unexpectedly brought him meaning and joy. He looked at those things as God given and figures that God knows best what we humans want and need."

I guess I don't need that skinny, dark-haired girl any more. I don't mind the hair being gone, but the skinny.....? I'd like to have that back.

Just one more note. Happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you have.
I have a body that works and that's good enough for me.

By the way, God has never sent anyone to hell. If hell exists, then that's a person's personal choice. (I just had to get in that last lick!)

Monday, January 12, 2009


How did I forget?

As age tramps over me, my forgetfulness increases. I know it's not the dreaded "A" disease. Still it's frustrating when I want to say someone's name and can't remember it. A little later it will come to me clear as crystal and I have no idea why it escaped just a bit ago. Forgetfulness happens when I'm writing. I know there's a perfect word but can't pull it up. Drives me crazy!!

But the worst forgetfulness is when I think things aren't going well, when I'm afraid something isn't going to work out, when there are other fears plaguing me. That's when I have to remember how God saw me through dismal days when I was out of answers. I have to remember how he provided for me when I didn't know how I was going to make it. Remember how he provided for the Israelites in the desert; for the hungry when he fed 5,000 and 4,000. That's when I have to remember to rest in Him. Rest--not because I'm tired, but because He is my rest.

Even age can't make me forget all this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Dreams have always fascinated me. Probably because I am so aware of how much I dream. I've had some where the colors are beyond anything I've ever seen in real life. Some have been so pleasant I didn't want to wake up but to keep dreaming them. Some have been troubling and stayed with me for days.

Why do we have recurring dreams and what do they mean? What do dreams respresent in our lives? Who do the people in our dreams represent? In this Google age a person can read many different interpretations of dreams on line--what they mean and why we have them. But we don't know the authors these sites. Many are trying to sell dream books. I could write a dream book, too. That's why I don't read the sites.

If I remember correctly, we dream even when we don't remember them. They are important (so I've heard) because we're sifting through what we've experienced consciously and discarding those things that aren't necessary. (Can you imagine having to remember and relive EVERYTHING that happens to us?)

At one time I thought all dreams were prophetic and tried to read them. Some of the dreams I've had and others have had, have been prophetic in some ways. (I don't think I'm a Joseph and haven't met anyone like him.) But maybe this happens because subconsciously we have thoughts that haven't surfaced yet.

When I was young, I had two recurring dreams. Both were about being in a car with all my family, or just my mother, and the car goes off the road. I'd start the dream over and over trying to keep it from happening. Lately I've had a recurring dream about being with my husband or members of my family and they leave me. Very troubling to be alone, usually in an unfamiliar place.

A few years ago I attended a workshop about dreams. The woman who led it said that everyone in a dream is you. If I dream about my husband, that's really some aspect of me, etc. So what is it about being abandoned? In her explanation, abandonment in a dream is a way of being or behaving that is left behind. I like that. I have many ways of being or behaving that I'd like to leave behind. I won't list them here but if you meet me some day and wonder, "My, how Barbara has changed," you'll know my dreams have come to pass.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

You'd think all we have done lately is go to movies. But we saw another one yesterday that's worth talking about. It's called "Slumdog Millionaire." The story is about two little boys living in the slums of India. When their mother dies, they have to run away and find a way to survive all their young lives. We see them grow up into young men; one takes the easy way working for a criminal. The other gets on a television show and not because he wants money.

The story revolves around two themes: One is Jamal's search for the girl who travels with him and his brother. The other is his appearance on India's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." As he answers the questions he remembers his life and how his experiences gave him the answers.

Finding God in a story like this isn't hard. Jamal's success on the TV show can be chalked up to (a.) cheating, (b.) he's a genius, (c.) he's lucky or (d.) It is written. Jamal's answer is (d), of course.

In many ways our lives are like his. Hopefully our successes are because God has written it. And again, just like Jesus, someone gives their life so another can live.

Thought provoking movie. Makes me grateful for being born in America.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dying for a Cause

We think we have "drama" in our lives. Real drama is depicted in the movie "Valkyre," a movie in the theatres now.

In an attempt to retake Germany from fascism, Claus von Stauffenberg and a host of others commit treason by planning to assassinate Hitler and Himmler. Their plot fails and almost all of the plotters are killed; some by firing squad, some commit suicide and many by the slow painful death of being hanged with piano wire. Baron Philip von Boeselager, the lone survivor, died at age 90 last May. He helps to tell the real-life story on a DVD, "Operation Valkyrie", that's due to be released January 26th.

After the plot failed and so many were murdered by Hitler's SS, 90 days later Berlin fell to the Allies and Hitler committed suicide.

How many of those plotters might have survived the allied invasion and been reunited with their families had they not tried to kill Hitler? How many might have still been tried for being Nazis? We have no way of knowing.

When I see people running around dissing this country, I wonder what they would do if they had to make the hard choice von Stauffenberg and his fellow "freedom-fighters" made? Could I make the same choices they did to protect my freedom? Could you?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Blessing Breaking On My Head

Many years ago I painted. I painted with oils mostly. Then circumstances changed--physically circumstances which gave me no place to paint. I tried to pick up the paints again when physical circumstances allowed the room, but my artistic, creative muse had left me. So I wrote.

I've been writing for several years. Last year circumstances changed once more. Circumstances that have pushed my muse into a corner where she has fallen asleep. I hope her disappearance isn't permanent. I don't know how long muses live when they are ignored and aren't fed. But all that used to feed her has gone into keeping my physical and mental person functioning.

I make no resolutions, but I do have goals. One of my goals for 2009 is to awaken Muse. Thinking this as I awoke this morning, I remembered reading that Peace isn't a state of being. Peace is a Person. That Person lives in and with me. My 2009 goal is to allow this Person to carry those burdens and bring Muse back to life. With this in mind, I came to my computer and read what someone else had written.

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

Thank you, God, for the clouds--and for the blessings breaking on my head.