Tuesday, July 28, 2009

City Slicker or Country Bumpkin....God Provides

Song of Solomon 2: 12-13

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell….”

As I read over these verses of Scripture, I was yet again overwhelmed by the tender love and provision our LORD has for us!


And grapes! (Mississippi Muskadines)

All these He has put right in my yard!

I originally wrote these thoughts down today in a spiral notebook while sitting at the kitchen table in my Daddy’s house. My stepmother has been sick and us kids are taking turns staying with her. Up until I got married this was home to me. As I look around today there are many memories here. And a lot of random thoughts. Such as wondering how long it would take me to adjust to hearing traffic all night again. Or how it would feel to have streetlights lighting up the sky if I walked outside at night.

I grew up in “town”. Not a big city, but large enough that I was a “city girl”. Living only perhaps the length of a football field from the main highway that ran through our town there were very few totally silent times. Even in the dead of night. There was never a time when there was total darkness unless the electricity happened to go out on a stormy night because there were so many bright street lights lining our street.

Where I live now is totally different. When we have company usually the first words out of their mouth is, “It’s so QUIET here!” And most of the time it is. But sometimes the crickets and birds get louder than you can imagine. We’ve had visitors who have asked how we can sleep at night with the Whippoorwills calling so loudly to each other. My awfullest sound has to be when I hear a pack of coyotes howling though! Ewww! It makes my skin crawl.

And the lights here! On a clear night it seems you can see a million stars in the velvety black sky untouched by any manmade lights. But on a cloudy night….watch out! It can be so dark that if you go outside without a flashlight you could not see your hand in front of your face!

As I look out the window of my Daddy’s house I realize that in spite of all the differences there are some things alike. All of the same things that God has placed in my yard are also here in my Daddy’s yard. Flowers. (I think my step-mother must have a BRIGHT green thumb!) Singing birds. Fig bushes loaded with green figs. And a grape vine heavy with bronze Scuppernongs (wild grapes).

So it seems that, town or country, God provides!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

From Sad to Soaring

Monday morning: Early dentist appointment. I was not dreading it because it was only a checkup and cleaning appointment. I have been having problems with my blood pressure getting really high during dentist visits for a few years now but didn't think it would affect me for just a checkup. Especially since I had been walking every day for the past 3 weeks and my blood pressure had been great. But I was wrong! I should have left well enough alone but I ask the dental hygienist to take my blood pressure just for "fun" to see if only being in the office would make it high. Oh, yeah! It does! It was 180/119! Soooo....I took a blood pressure pill right then and there. Actually felt bad the rest of the day though.

Tuesday morning: Woke up with a migraine headache. Not good. I fought it most of the day. Also high blood pressure again. Had to take my medicine again....which is just prescribed for "as needed". Finally about the middle of the afternoon I was able to get my house work.....dishes, laundry, floors....done.

Wednesday morning: Was to be at my step-mother's house at 8:00 a.m. to take care of her until 8:00 p.m. She has been real sick lately and has to have round the clock care right now. I didn't feel really well but knew I needed to go and take care of her. Took my blood pressure at her house and it was high. Took another blood pressure pill. Third day in a row! And this after it had been great for over three weeks! I was getting pretty down in the dumps.

About 9:00 a.m. my cell phone rang. It was T., one of the directors from Sav-A-Life where I work once a week as a volunteer counselor. She had a story to tell me that would take me from down in the dumps to soaring in the clouds! Let me fill you in. A local pastor's wife, B., works with some teenaged girls in a summer youth program. She called T. early that morning to share a story with her. Here's what B. shared:
"Last week one of the girls in the youth program approached me wanting to know if she could talk with me about something. I told her she sure could and asked what it was. She said she wanted to know how to keep from going to hell when she died. I asked her what got her to thinking about that. She replied that she has a baby only a few months old and that she had gone to Sav-A-Life for her pregnancy test and also for parenting classes. She said that every time she would go, someone would talk to her about the Lord and about how important it was to know for sure where she would go when she died. That she had also been given a tract about salvation which she had read. The girl said she just kept thinking about it over and over and wanted to know how to be saved. I asked her what all she wanted to know and she said she wanted to know EVERYTHING! So I went over the plan of salvation with her and she was wondrously saved!"

I was just about to cry tears of joy listening to T. tell me about this! And then when she told me that the girl was one of my clients, I really did cry! Sometimes we wonder if our young clients are listening when we talk to them about the Lord. What a blessing to hear that at least some of them do! This was a great encouragement to me and a reminder to just keep sowing seeds of Truth in the hearts and minds of these young women.

That's just like my God to send me a reason for rejoicing just when I'm feeling blue! What a great God we serve!

"Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD;" Jeremiah 31: 16

We will be having our annual fundraising banquet for the Sav-A-Life where I work in just a few weeks. This is the way we raise the bulk of our support for the year. This year we are in the process of building a new center which will be more adequately equipped to meet the needs of the women we serve. Please pray for us that the Lord will send the funds we need to meet their needs!

Thank you!


Saturday, July 18, 2009



Every year when the corn gets ripe in our garden we have problems! It will be almost ready to pick and then we go back to get the ripe corn and we find empty cobs! Some "varmint" gets to the corn before we do! Come to find out, it was several 'coons (raccoons for those of you not from the south!) coming in and stuffing themselves with a free, all-you-can-eat corn buffet! Didn't make us happy!

Last fall our son-in-law had a deer feeder on our farm and the corn disappeared quicker than normal. He put up one of those motion detector cameras and when the film was developed he saw the reason. More coons! One picture had about 6 really fat coons around the feeder. And not only did they get what corn was on the ground, one fellow climbed up the feeder and hung upside down to get his fill.

Our sweet corn just didn't "do" this year because of the weather we've been having. So we didn't think we would have a 'coon problem. But then something started eating our tomatoes! They were few and far between as it was and to go out and find the prettiest and the ripest eaten and left hanging from the vine looking like the core on an apple was very aggravating!

Solution: set a live-trap so we could move the pesky animals to someplace where there were no gardens close by. The bait? I would never have believed this but hubby used marshmallows to entice the beasties into the trap! Pretty, white, fluffy, sweet-smelling marshmallows.

And they took the bait. He has caught a coon the past two nights. Each morning when he finds them he takes them several miles from here where there are no houses and lets them go in some nice woods.

Aren't we a lot like the little masked robbers that have been in our garden? We sometimes sneak around and do things that we know we aren't supposed to do as Christians. We think nobody will every know. We forget that God never leaves us and that He sees and knows all we do. So then the devil decides to set a trap for us. (1 Peter 5: 8 "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.") He puts something in the trap that will tempt us to come in. It might be something pretty for me. It might be something sweet for you. It might be something expensive or sensual for another. Whatever our favorite things are the devil will use them to try and get us to do wrong.

When we take the bait and get caught one of two things will happen. Either the devil will finish us off and our testimony as a Christian will be ruined forever...or...we will do like Jonah did in his trap (the belly of the whale) and cry out to God to rescue us.
(Jonah 2: 2 "And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I , and thou heardest my voice.")

"I will be glad and rejoice in they mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble, thou hast known my soul in adversities." Psalms 31: 7

May God help us to be able to see more than just the "bait' the devil tempts us with! May we always also be able to see the "trap" waiting to capture us when we take the bait!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Broken Fellowship

I am still hot and sweaty from my mile-and-a-half walk this morning but wanted to write something down before I forget it! I like to get out and walk earlier than this but was running late today. I know.....some of you younger women who are into running are thinking what's the big deal about a little mile-and-a-half walk??? Let me 'splain it to y'all....as we say here in Mississippi. ha I'm old! I'm not in good shape. It's very hot and VERY HUMID here in Mississippi. Nuff said? :)

While walking I happened to look up at the trees. An unusual gesture for me as I normally keep my eyes on the road so I won't stumble on a rock or a tree root or some such thing. As I looked up I saw a lot of brown leaves on one tree. Because we have been very low on rain the past month I was afraid it was beginning to die from lack of water. After further inspection I saw that the limb had been broken and was just hanging. It was probably broken by some high winds months ago and was just not noticed.

I immediately thought about "broken fellowship" and how it dries up our spirit. It doesn't matter it we have broken fellowship with a friend or a relative or if we have gotten mad at God Himself. When we are not right with others we are not right with God. And the nourishment we get from a relationship with Him stops. We start to dry out and not be productive Christians anymore. We're not any good and might even have to be removed. That's what needs to be done to this dead branch on our tree. It needs to be cut off and thrown away.

I needed this object lesson this morning. It's so easy to get our feelings hurt. It's so easy to hang on to those mean words someone said to us. But when we do, we are cutting off our life-line and dying up little by little.

Hebrews 10: 24 "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:"

Today would be a good day to get back into fellowship with God if you have been shunning Him for whatever reason. I talked to a lady recently who told me that when her mother died she got mad at God and would not go to church for many years. She finally started going a little and then her sister died two years ago. She said she got mad at God again and didn't think she would ever go back to church. She said her thoughts were if God didn't think any more of her than to take away two of her most precious relatives then she didn't want to have anything to do with Him. Of course, that's just Satan's way of getting us to doubt God and His goodness! But...happily...this lady is now coming to church and seems to be interested in knowing more about God. I can see her "coming back to life" and soaking up the water of the Word. Pray that she will soon totally give her life to Christ.

"He watereth the hills from his chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;" Psalm 104: 13 and 16

May we all grow in grace today!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where Has the Time Gone?

Where does the time go? Thirty-one years ago today I gave birth to our first son. He was a big boy when he got here weighing in at 9 lb. 4 oz. The picture above was taken in the car as we were leaving the hospital to go home. He and I both still had the I.D. bracelets on our wrists. Even back then they wanted to make sure the right Mama had the right baby. But there were no laws yet about taking the baby home in a carseat. As you can see, he was riding in Mama's lap!

Back then it seemed almost as if time stood still for long stretches. But now, as I look back, it seems like I've been on a fast train roaring down the track. This son is the one who has made me a "GanMamma" twice now. He's the one who was in the Marine Corps and seriously injured in Iraq. He is the one who my husband laughingly says caused him to get the job he's been working for over 31 years now....because we needed the insurance to pay for having kids! :)

I'm proud of all three of my children. They have been the primary focus of my life for many years. I sometimes marvel at how God let me be the one to put the pencil or crayon in their hands and teach them how to write. That I was the one to teach them their letters and their numbers. The one to see their faces light up when they were able to sound out a word and then to put many words together to make a sentence. And every one of them are still great readers. I was so blessed to have been able to be with my children so much while they were small. I just wish that I had realized that at the time!

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4: 14

So, today I am thankful that God has blessed me and my husband with children. Happy Birthday John!

Maybe you don't have biological children. Perhaps you never will. Look around you. There are children everywhere who need the love and encouragement of a Christian adult. Maybe the Lord wants you to be there for them in the place of the parent(s) who can't or won't be there.

Luke 18: 16 "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, 'Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God'."

One of my favorite children's songs says: "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world."

Today I celebrate not only the life of our first-born son but the lives of precious children everywhere!

Whizzing along the road of life.....


From Circus Lion Cakes to Marine Corps

This year he had TWO birthday cakes! The chocolate one with pecans on top was from one of hubby's aunts. Oh, what I would give to have a big slice of that right now! ha The Circus Lion cake I made for him. I used to keep a Wilton Cake Book on hand and before each of my children's birthdays I would give them the book and let them choose which cake they wanted. This one turned out well I thought. And he loved it!

This picture was taken outside our home several summers ago when he was home on leave from the Marines.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Know That My Redeemer Liveth

This morning I finished teaching the last chapter of the book of Ruth to my ladies Sunday school class. It was so rich. I loved teaching this book of the Bible. I learned so much in my studying. Today was my favorite of the chapters though because it talked so much about the "redeemer".

Before Boaz could redeem the land of Elimelech he first had to make sure the nearer kinsman did not want to redeem it for himself. When he told the nearer kinsman about it in Ruth 4: 3-4, the kinsman told Boaz that he would redeem it. But when in verse 5 Boaz tells him that when he buys the land he must also purchase a wife...Ruth the Moabitess, then the nearer kinsman changes his mind and says that he can not redeem it! Now Boaz is free to purchase both the land and Ruth for his wife.

I had heard so many times that Boaz is a picture of type of Jesus but I had never heard much about the nearer kinsman. I found that many scholars believe that this unnamed kinsman was a picture of the law. Before Jesus came to earth the Law was our nearer kinsman. Law accepted the responsibility of salvation. BUT....the law failed. There was nothing wrong with the law! Psalm 19: 7 says "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul". But there was something wrong with man. The Law had to admit that he could not redeem mankind because for the law to redeem meant that flesh had to keep the law. The flesh is too weak so there was no redemption possible.

So, now what happens? Along comes the kinsman who CAN redeem us! The word translated "kinsman" here in Ruth is the same word translated "redeemer" in Job 19: 25..."For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;". Jesus Christ kept all the law and was perfect. Because of this and because He was God in the flesh, He was able to redeem us and pay off all the debt of our sins. Where the Law could not redeem, Grace could! Praise the Lord!

Songwriter P.P. Bliss conveyed it beautifully in these words:
"Free from the law, O happy condition, Jesus hath bled and there is remission. Cursed by the Law and bruised by the Fall. Christ hath redeemed us once for all."

I join with Job today to joyfully say that "I know that my redeemer liveth" !

I hope that you can say the same!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Getting Used To the Dark

I know the picture today looks like I let one of my grandbabies paint on it! :) But, no...I did that myself to try and give you a graphic of my vision. The picture is not of any particular place. It was taken several months ago as my husband drove down the road. The spots and circles and squiggles on the picture represent how this scene looks when I look at it. (I only used the color white so they would show up) Let me explain:

One day almost twenty years ago my left eye was itching as I read to our family from the Bible during daily devotions. I stopped for a moment to rub my eye while still still looking at the printed page with my open right eye. I was stunned by what I saw. A round black blob appeared on the page. When I moved my eye, the black spot moved with it. It scared me. And well it should have. I didn't know at that minute but would find out when I went to the doctor that there was bleeding in the back of my eye. On the retina. Dangerously close to the macula. They determined that it was caused by something called Histoplasmosis. I was immediately sent to a very good eye specialist who did laser surgery to stop the bleeding. He told me that I would always have a scar where the surgery was performed and because of that would be missing a part of my vision in my right eye. (This is represented by the solid white spot on the picture) Then he said..."But you will get used to it over time." And he was right....I did.

From time to time I would have little black spots or little lines in my vision but nothing major. Then several months ago on a Sunday when we had stayed and had lunch and afternoon services at church I noticed something strange in my vision on my way home. It looked like a "bubble" in the far left field of vision of my left eye. It was almost like having a raindrop on my glasses or a window pane except that I could not wipe it off. When I tried to look away from it, the "bubble" followed! (White oval with dots in it at far left represents this in the picture) On the next day I visited my eye doctor. He did a lot of looking and probing on my eye and then told me the news. He said that "because of my AGE" the gel in my eyeball was drying up and pulling away from the retina. That in itself is not particularly a bad thing because the eye will then fill in the gap with fluids, but the problem comes when the gel is in the process of "pulling away". There is a risk of getting a small tear in the retina or even getting a detached retina. So he told me to carefully watch for any more changes in my vision for the next six weeks. He did say that the "bubble" would never go away. And then he said...."But you will get used to it over time." And he was right......I did.

In a couple of months I woke up one morning to another "bubble" in my eye but this time it was in my right eye. Just about the same place as the one in the left eye....on the far outer side of my vision. (Represented by the white oval with dots on far right of picture) This time since I knew what was going on I just called and talked with one of my eye doctor's assistants. She advised me to just keep a watch on my vision and to call if I ever got any blurred vision. For a couple of weeks all was well. Then one morning I noticed the right eye was blurry. Not so blurry I could not see but enough to really get on my nerves! So I went back to see the doctor. Again he looked and probed and came to the conclusion that the same thing was happening. I was getting old and my eyes were drying up! :) He said that in addition to the new "bubble" in my right eye that he also saw a lot of "stringy, hairy" stuff floating around in the front of my eye. (Represented by the little white lines on mid right of picture) And then he said...."But you will get used to it over time." I'm sure he's right again, but so far I'm not totally used to it just yet.

Yesterday afternoon I listened to a radio preacher talking about our American history and how we have gone so far away from the Christian roots of our Founding Fathers! Gradually, little by little, we have turned away from God and ...sad to say....we have "gotten used to it"! It made me remember a song that I haven't heard in many, many years. The McKamey's sang it and it was called "Getting Used to the Dark". Here are some of the words:

Christian lives are wrecked by sin....
and we blame it on the world we're in.
We say there's nothing we can do.
Instead of being a shining light,
we're just doing right in our own eyes.
As Christians we're not doing our part,
we're just getting used to the dark.

Sin is all around us, but we don't think....
this world's as bad as it seems.
We just close our eyes to what's going on.
We're not burdened for the sinner man...
won't give our brother a helping hand.
It's time we show the world a little spark,
instead of getting used to the dark.

I think that being able to "get used to" the blank spots, spots, and bubbles in my vision will be a good thing for me. On the other hand, I think that "getting used to" sin is never a good thing for any of us!

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" I Peter 5: 7

I pray God will open my eyes to sin in my own life. And then I pray that He will open my eyes to ways that I can help to right the wrongs of our world today.

How's your vision today?


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July!

I'm a little short on words today but my friend Liesa has posted a beautiful tribute to our country HERE if you'd like to visit her and read it.

God has blessed our nation so greatly. We have so many freedoms not present in many countries throughout the globe. Yet as a whole, our nation is no longer seeking the face of the God of heaven. May God help us to return to Him!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

May God bless you!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

'Dem Dry Bones

Early this morning I took my coffee and my Bible out on the deck for my morning devotion. First time in quite a while because we have been having oppressively hot and humid days here in Mississippi and I have not been stirring much outside an air-conditioned house! Thankfully, the Lord has sent some drier and a tad bit cooler weather this week! So nice!

As I sat down at the table on the deck I noticed a strange, lacy looking something on the floor. I reached down and picked it up. It was the "skeleton" of a leaf! I don't think I have ever seen such a thing before. It was actually beautiful. So fragile and lacy and transparent.

I could not help but think about the "dry bones" that Ezekiel saw in a vision from the Lord in Ezekiel 37. He saw a valley of skeletons. Dry bones that had once been living breathing human beings. In his vision he saw God put muscles and skin back on these dry bones and then breath life into them. God is the only One who can do that! He created and breathed life into Adam and Eve.

The leafy skeleton that I saw this morning was to me a thing of beauty. Even though the "life" is gone from the leaf, there is a beauty there that is not in the green leaf you see lying just beside it. Will the "skeleton" of our life be a thing of beauty when we are gone from earth? Will our family and friends remember our life with a smile.....or with a grimace?

Now while we are alive is the time we are weaving the pattern that will grace our legacy. Hopefully it will be a pattern that our loved ones will enjoy over and over!

"He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour." Proverbs 21: 21

May God bless you with a great day!