How are y’all doing? We hope life is treating you good!
Tonight we had a little bit of porch sitting! First lightening bugs of the season! I just love all the glitter they make, sparkling here, and sparkling there. So lovely!
Then there were the wonderful Whip-poor-wills! Even a peacock or two!
Fun fact – Other than a one year stint I have never lived away from the sound of peacocks!
Being able to walk outside, take in the flowers, have a sit in the evening, have the occasional bonfire a few times a year, see and hear the wind in the leaves of the trees, watch Ole Glory wave in the wind on a summer evening, or a blustery day…these things matter to me more than I can explain.
Just going outside for a few minutes a few times a day is such a treat. My heart doesn’t understand how people who are surrounded by skyscrapers can get by like that. I know there is a different energy and benefit there. But, I would be lost.
Grateful for where the Good Lord planted us. There’s a verse I like in a favorite Psalm of mine. It comes from Psalm 16, which is just a short but powerful psalm.
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance” — Psalm16:6, NKJV. I often tell the Lord this verse, ‘The boundary lines You have given me are good, Lord, they have fallen in pleasant places! I have a good inheritance! We have a good inheritance! The life You have given us us good! It’s better than we knew how to do on our own! Thank You, Father! For everything!’
That’s all I have tonight! Just grateful for my Batman! Grateful for our porch sitting time! Grateful for lightening bugs and Whip-poor-wills! Grateful for our wonderful sons, and daughters In loves, beautiful and handsome grandchildren, sweet, sweet siblings, and their spouses, nieces and nephews!
Oh! That reminds me! Batman got the honor to help a nephew get his tie just right for his prom date tonight!! So sweet to see!
I got to see him be born!! It was a first for me so it was a big deal!! where does the time go?!
Before you go to bed, I hope you can step outside and look up at the night sky, feel the night air! It’s just good for your soul!
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” — Isaiah 53:3
He’s still despised today. We still hide from Him. We turn our backs. We try to approach life intellectually, so as to show we are more sophisticated than the theology of Christ needing to die for us, to be pierced and crucified, to be buried and rise again, that we may have fellowship with Him and The Father forever through the Holy Spirit.
Paul said “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and the Greeks foolishness.’ — 1 Corinthians 1:23
I always look for Easter to speak to me, I seek for different angles to think about it and meditate on it, let it saturate me and become more real to me. I don’t ever want it to be stale to me.
This year it’s been without question Isaiah 53, and Mathew’s account in the Gospels.
I’d like us to think a little more about Judas this Easter. Because it’s important in these days when no one escapes unscathed by betrayal, and we grow in danger of ‘the love of many’ growing cold because of offense. Jesus was not immune to this. Every disciple fled. Every. John did come back. But in the Garden, they fled. They slept when He needed them to pray. They ran when He was taken. Cut and run. And He still loved them. He totally forgave them.
And Judas. Smh. Selling Him out. Really? Kissing Him as the sign that He was the One they should take. So bitterly ugly. So painful. Jesus knew it was coming. And that it was coming through His friend, and that His friend had really chosen not to be His friend.
When I was reading Matthew 26 tonight, I realized Judas was disgusted and JEALOUS. How sad. Tragic really. He had a front row seat to the greatest show on earth, and Judas’ response is ‘Who does he think he is?’ And Judas makes the decision right then and there, ‘What will you give me if I give him to you?’. It seems to me to be completely ego and pride fueled jealousy. I always thought of Judas as a thief and motivated by greed, but tonight it hit me differently.
Because we all get hurt by jealousy. It’s sad really. No one is immune. And Jesus feels that pain with us.
I’m going to put the part that hit me here for you to pick up on it, see if it speaks to you like it did me.
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 THERE CAME TO UNTO HIM A WOMAN HAVING AN ALABASTER BOX OF VERY PRECIOUS OINTMENT, AND POURED IT ON HIS HEAD, as he sat at meat.
8 BUT WHEN HIS DISCIPLES SAW IT, THEY HAD INDIGNATION, SAYING, TO WHAT PURPOSE IS THIS WASTE?
9 FOR THIS OINTMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SOLD FOR MUCH, AND GIVEN TO THE POOR.
10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, WHY TROUBLE YE THE WOMAN? FOR SHE HATH WROUGHT A GOOD WORK UPON ME.
11 FOR YE HAVE THE POOR ALWAYS WITH YOU; BUT ME YE HAVE NOT ALWAYS.
12 FOR in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, SHE DID IT FOR MY BURIAL.
13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
14 THEN ONE OF THE TWELVE, CALLED JUDAS ISCARIOT, WENT UNTO THE CHIEF PRIESTS,
15 AND SAID UNTO THEM, ‘WHAT WILL YE GIVE ME, AND I WILL DELIVER HIM UNTO YOU? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” — Matthew 26:7-15
See how through the bountiful, luxurious worship by that woman, of Jesus, her spirit responds to to the Holy Spirit’s prompting? Holy Spirit inspired worship bypasses our mind and what we know, and goes straight to our spirit, where we know something, and we might not can explain it, but WE KNOW IT. And when we act on it, it’s beautiful, and powerful and pleasing to the Lord, and along with that may appear senseless to others, but do it anyway!
There will likely be a Judas around to be jealous and hate it blindly, not even understanding what’s motivating them. Shake it off. Bring Him your alabaster box!
We have two examples in Matthew 26, we can worship the Lord, with abandon, without reserve, in a very insensible fashion, we can choose to PARTICIPATE in the worthy worship of The King of our heart!
Or we can be the observer, cynical, unfulfilled, empty, and because we are empty, we are jealous and disgusted and we refuse to participate. It will make us destructive. Destroying what other people build. Judas. It’s the difference between participating and observing.
In the Church today, in the Body of Christ, choose to be the Woman with the Alabaster Box!
May His GIFT that sets us free be more real to you than ever before this Resurrection Weekend.
“…I PLEAD WITH YOU TO WALK holy, IN A WAY THAT IS SUITABLE TO YOUR HIGH RANK, given to you in your divine calling. WITH TENDER HUMILITY AND QUIET PATIENCE ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE GENTLENESS AND GENEROUS LOVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, especially toward those who may try your patience. BE FAITHFUL TO GUARD THE SWEET HARMONY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AMONG YOU in the bonds of peace…” — Ephesians 4:1b-3
A wise woman who I miss very much, taught me when I was very young, that when we become elderly, and are at or near the finish line, we can at times, become sort of caricatures of ourselves, depending on the choices we make in our lives.
Sometimes, as the end is in sight, we may not have all the strength of our reasoning in its normal state. Our reasoning, or our governing of ourselves, I should say, may be a bit relaxed or off balance from in our younger days.
Whatever we have fed in our lives may end up holding the larger sway. All the more reason to each day, walk in the Spirit, because when we do, then we do not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh”, Galatians 5:16b, as each decision makes a path in our heart and in our mind. The Word tells us, to not to be “conformed to this world” but instead to be “transformed by the renewing” of our mind(Romans 12:2).
The wise woman I knew, she worked in healthcare, and had seen a lot of this latter stage of life for people, who were not feeling themselves. It was a cautionary tale for sure.
I guess I have had some cause to think about the culmination of the daily little choices we make, and what those choices do to us in the inside of us, the most real part of us. Those things we choose to think about, and either appreciate or fester over. I don’t want to be one who festers. I want to be one who appreciates. The sunshine, my husband, our good health, our children and grandchildren, our siblings, that we have had good parents, greatest of all our salvation and relationship with Jesus!
I don’t want to waste time on the real (hurts) or imagined (worries). I want to process them, somewhat like laundry, learn from them, forgive myself or others, give it to Jesus, move on. —“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” — 1 Peter 5:7
I know some hurts are monumental, and it’s easy to say. “But, you don’t know how badly they have hurt me” and to that, I say you are right. But, I also know you deserve to live and love, and enjoy what is here right now. Don’t let them rob you, not one more day. Not one more minute.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this ONE THING I do, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, and REACHING FORTH unto THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” — Philippians 3:13-14
Love either near (those in your now circle) or from afar (those in your past), pray for them all, every day, but that doesn’t mean they get to sit in prime real estate in your head carving their initials. Evict them from your heart, as well as the well rehearsed pain.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” — Philippians 4:8
Remember, our Father God sees our end from our beginning (Isaiah 46:10) He has good for us, if we will accompany Him to the future He has yet ahead for us!
“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. BUT THEN I WILL COME TO YOU AND DO FOR YOU ALL THE GOOD THINGS I HAVE PROMISED, and I will bring you home again. For I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” says the Lord. “They are PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR DISASTER, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE. In those days when you pray, I will listen. IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME. I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU,” says the Lord. “I WILL end your captivity and RESTORE YOUR FORTUNES.” — Jeremiah 29:10-14
What inspired this? The passing of time, the loss of relationships, the finality of the passing of a good and precious life and the vacuum that has made. The choices we who remain make now, to hopefully live leaving a trail of love, hope, joy, affirmation, faith, and much grace, for our loved ones to follow. May our trail be clear, filled with good things to help them along their way!! — “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 11:1
Thank you for stopping in!! It means so much to share these thoughts in hopes it might encourage you along your way!!
I leave you with the closing of a favorite poem of mine, by Robert Frost, who I so enjoy!
“Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special.” — 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, The Message
We lost my Daddy on 1 January this year.
He and my Mom had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my youngest brother and his wife and their daughters, and I am pretty sure that my Baby Sis and her family made it there as well.
In our family we did not have a set routine to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, each year we all did our own things, sometimes some of us connecting in various ways at various times.
A few scant days after, he took ill. It happened horribly fast, no time to adjust at each step of decline, before another step overtook us.
We are all walking with a limp now, I guess you could say. Walking it out, figuring it out, praying it out, talking it out, loving it out, faithing it out, sometimes crying it out.
Questions. So many questions. Memories. Unaccomplished wishes. Things to hold onto that make you feel close to him. Like he can live on in your lives and be instilled in your family dna.
Beyond the thousand little cuts where you can’t hug him, can’t introduce him to great grandkids, can’t text him, can’t call him, or drive the backroads to visit him, beyond all this hangs the question, ‘What’s he experiencing? What’s Heaven like for him right now? What is he doing?’
I don’t doubt it’s beyond our ability to conceive. Far, far richer, far sweeter, far deeper. But, I want to know. And I feel the Lord encouraging the question. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. — Proverbs 25:2
Yesterday afternoon, all the way through last night, my thoughts and pondering peaked in this regard. Jesus taught during His time on earth, through the rabbinical style of asking questions, and still does today.
I found myself the last week or so wondering if my Father in law had met up with Daddy yet, for a cup of coffee and ‘catching up’, welcoming him to the place. We lost my Father in law in December 2014. I think of him every day. Miss him very much. See him in his son, my Batman, everyday.
Then I realized likely my Granddaddy would be at that table for coffee. We lost him in late March of 1983. I picture the men on the outside of a wooden building, under an overhang, as to a porch on an old style of a General Store.
I picture them smiling, talking, sipping, contemplating. The question came ‘Do you really think so?’ Yeah, I really kinda do. ‘Ok. Can you think of what you know from The Word that can help support that?’
I can. God is very relational. He created us for relationship with Him. He designed us not only in His image to have relationships, but also that we need one another, and each have different parts and pieces that only work best in collaboration with each other. The Church (Body of believers) is designed for us to work and be in relationship with each other. He designed us so that some friends are like family and some family are like friends. Yeah, I think that continues at a higher level in Heaven.
He let me steep in that picture for a little while and then took me around the table to what they might be saying:
My FIL, (sweet smile he had when he’s tickled): “I tell ya, I never imagined how much I would like it here. How welcome I would be. How much at home I would feel. I had no idea how good this would be!”
My Daddy, with eyes in wonder: “It’s more than everything I ever dreamed! I did not realize or expect to be so near to the Father and His Son, to be so near to Jesus, to see where all the prayers are kept! It’s absolutely overwhelming! It makes all the hell seem trivial in comparison to this!”
My GrandDaddy, looking at his coffee cup, kinda smiling: “You boys haven’t seen the half of it! Wait until you see what they’re working on!”
“Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.
One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. TODAY you will join me in PARADISE.” — Luke 23:32-43, KJV
First apologies, profusely, for being so late! Life is so very full right now! Jerry put out a fantastic group of sunrise photos! ‘Morning’s Glory’! We are both so glad to get some of the glorious beauty of the Lord into people’s hands, in order for people to appreciate the hand of God at work for us.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” — Psalm 19:1
So, how are y’all doing so far this year? We are running our race this year strong and steady, counting the literal work days and until Batman retires! And counting the months and weeks until each two grand babies are born!
Not gonna lie, having a hard time processing all the emotion of joy of this year and the work to make time for writing or making podcasts. But, my heart is so here every day, looking for opportunities. I am sure we all struggle with that juggling thing though.
What are you listening to lately? This year has brought some wonderful praise and worship music and just uplifting music in general. My sound track this year has included Dante Bowe and his album Circles. All. Of. It. What I loved about this album is he is a devout Christian artist writing and singing with so many in the current Praise and Worship circles, like a bee from one group to the next, cross pollinating from one part of the Body of Christ to the next, which I think is one aspect of the epitome of healthy Christian living. The kicker though for this project, in my mind, is it is a Christian singing his faith as it looks in his every day life, like we ought to live every day, not as a praise and worship project but just reflections on life, naturally reflecting his faith. Totally relatable to anyone, whether they care for Christian music or not. Every song has a reason to choose it. I think ‘Joyful’ and ‘Family Tree’ are great choice to give a listen.
The Maverick City, Elevation Worship project called ‘Old Church Basement’ is a whole experience!! There is no skip song at all, on this or any of the great albums I’m digging this year! Some faves? ‘Wait on You’, ‘Shall Not Want’, ‘Million Little Miracles’, ‘Come Again’, and ‘Build Your Church’. It just transports you.
And can I just say I am superrrrr late to the Crowder party???? The Crowder ‘Milk and Honey’ album is a whole entire planet of wonderful!! A Southern Rock girl to my core, this music feeds my soul because it magnifies Jesus AND gives me that bit of the South sound that makes my heart happy. Again, no skip songs! Listen to it all…twice or thrice!
Also, I forgive y’all for not telling me about ‘We The Kingdom’. Did I mention I’m a Southern Rock girl? Yes! These people are making music that just isn’t out there, Jesus and the Kingdom and sung in Southern! ♥️♥️♥️ My heart sings and my windows rattle as I’m driving down the road! ‘Don’t Tread on Me’! Kicks the devil in his teeth and EXALTS our Jesus!! All the while making my Southern roots tingle! ‘Take Me on a Ride’ is such a great picture of the adventure our faith walk is supposed to be. What a great witness and joyful song!
An extraordinary experience I had one Friday before work, back in early May, was impulsively purchasing an old album by Pastor Clint Brown, from about 12-15 years ago.
Background: The church I spent 20 years in, and raised our boys in, sang so much of his music! He visited a good number of times and preached with fire and he’s just a work horse for the Kingdom of God. Good man. Super anointed. Well, I had been missing Praise and Worship from my old days at Family Worship Center. Which inspired me to get ‘Fall Like Rain’ that fateful Morning.
WOW! It lifted my spirits so much. I had not realized how VERY MANY songs we did of his until that day! It blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined, because I knew literally every song, and it was such a wonderful, joyful experience to get to sing these songs at the top of my lungs, while also remembering Sunday after Sunday and Thursday after Thursday doing the same, and it took me back, in the best way, to service after service of knowing that the Holy Spirit had just done surgery in my heart before the preaching even had begun! Again, no skip songs, some of my faves being ‘Awesome God’, ‘I Can’t Get Enough’, ‘I Will’, ‘I’m Forgiven’, and ‘Fall Like Rain’. He’s from Louisiana. And it shows!! Fan-flippin-tastic!! Music is such an incredible gift of God.
What brought me here tonight though, was Batman discovered a YouTube channel by the sweetest, most fun young couple, it’s called ‘Rob Squad Reactions’ . Not only are their music choices SUPERB! But, their heart shows through every upbeat amazed reaction, as they discover old music that Batman and I just love because it’s music from the soundtrack of our lives as younguns. They are all about the joy of musical craftsmanship and it’s a lot of fun to watch them discover and/or just enjoy it with us. Like us, they see music as a unifying element that people across all groups can appreciate and take pleasure in. We all need more of this!
Tonight as we sat listening to Stevie Nicks signing ‘Landslide’, I actually was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion that made my eyes tear, which is not a reaction I have to music hardly ever. So many thoughts about appreciation for Batman, and our life together. It was like a wave washed over me. Or maybe bubbled out of me is better expressed.
I met him 5 March 1982 with friends on the way to an Alabama concert in a neighboring city. Our journey amazes me. It’s not that we have a flashy story. Nope. We are not flashy people. But, we were kids. Born to people who were extremely working class. Salt of the earth people. Our parents were born to people born and raised during the Great Depression. They had some wisdom to live by. And we had things to learn beyond that. Like every generation does. Just very grateful how the Lord has helped us to learn and grow and GROW TOGETHER. What a gift.
I think listening to these old songs and the memories and joy and the tears and the MILES the Good Lord has brought us through just has really moved me tonight! So, I wanted to jump on here and talk about what the gift of music is doing in my life this summer!
Today is a great day, we finally got Peach’s podcast started. That’s right, I’ve harped and nagged and muttered and mumbled and she finally recorded one, the introduction to a series where Peach hopes to make a community of God fearing people, feel welcome and possible learn some things in the Bible. The podcast is on Stitcher and Spotify and we are trying to get it on Apple podcasts also.
This is a very first recording and you can tell Peach is a bit hesitant, but as it progresses she settles down and speaks easy and without hesitation about a subject she’s passionate on. I did my best to edit the audio so you all don’t laugh at my effort (my youngest son is the audio engineer not me) I think she sounds perfect when she gets going.
This is a learning experience for us as much as a teaching experience, we hope some will listen as the podcasts are put up, and someone who needs it gets something from them. I know in my heart that as Peach does more they will flow and give off valuable insight into the Bible and Gods word.
We welcome comments, critical (not demeaning) as well as encouraging ones, as we want to learn and give the information in a manner that’s easy to listen to and follow.
Y’all take a listen if you get time, they are never really long and we will post them on a more regular basis as we get in a rhythm. The podcast series is called:
Starting a series I think, it will be a few of the pictures Peach and I took/take of what we consider interesting or pretty things and or places.
Each of these pics were taken either by myself or Peach, and we have such similar tastes and styles relating to photography it’s as if Peach took them as I was contemplating the exact picture or vice versa. There are so many beautiful things to see if we would just stop and take notice, there is beauty in every corner of this good earth, and Peach and I will tromp along and try and get it on camera, to share with everyone.
Sit back, close yours eyes, then open them to the world we all see, but not all take the time to notice…
Every place, every critter, every thing, has a story, we just need to open our minds and hearts to hear the stories and see the beauty.
Hope Y’all enjoy these as much as we have taking them.
“Yes I know you told me to charge the camera batteries Peach, I forgot”
Happy Monday, Y’all! Today was filled with work and chores and learning and connecting and all things important to adulting! 🙂
On the drive home I had several choices for how to spend my drive. I chose to turn on my Terry Savelle Foy book about Vision Boards and Goal Setting. Every time I listen, I get fresh insight and inspiration. I have thoroughly enjoyed it! Highly recommend!
Tonight, what really stuck out for me, was the principle of focusing on one thing at a time, knocking those things off the the list, so to speak, building off of each accomplishment’s success, like stepping stones. She quoted John Maxwell, who I will paraphrase since I can’t remember the exact words, at this moment: ‘Too many priorities leads to paralysis’.
The thing about truth is, when you hear it, you recognize it! Knowing it to be true!
Turns out that in years gone by, you would see animal trainers go into the pen with the lion or tiger, carrying that four-legged stool and hold it legs outward. Any guesses why? It is said it so occupied the fierce felines trying to focus on each of the four legs, it would weaken, distract and help them into a very still state.
Don’t be the frozen feline trying to focus on all FOUR legs of that stool!!
As for me, I’m crossing those goals off one at a time, thank you!! No more paralysis here!!
Thanks for dropping by!! It’s great to be back!! God bless!