"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

All Seriousness Aside

My blog has been so serious lately, I decided to bring a little levity into it. I was reading a story in the latest Redbook magazine, and I remembered something that happened in 1973...and I started laughing all over again. I hope I can describe it so that you will at least smile!

I was pregnant with my first child...mom and dad owned a "cabin" on Lake Bistineau (for those of you not from Louisiana it's pronounced Bist-in-no'). Dad had bought a "houseboat"...using that term loosely because only one person could fit in the "house" part. It was really a boat with a camper shell on it.

Dad, Mom and I decided to go fishing on a sunny summer day. (My husband had joined the military so he was in basic training.)

With my mom, it was either all or nothing. Several times while dad was guiding the boat through all the cypress knees, mom would get a dramatic 'nibble' on her line. Dad would scream "Jerk it, Wilda" and each time, my mom would slowly pull up the line to have no worm left on the hook.

Mom refused to bait her hook, so dad or I would have to bait it for her. Dad got so frustrated he refused to bait it anymore, so I started baiting hers and my hooks while dad kept running into cypress knees. Two times dad ran into the same trunk of a tree filled with bees...and I laughingly suggested to mom that dad was trying to get her stung. Well...she decided that was what dad was trying to do...and at the same time, she was getting another nibble all her hook.

Dad was yelling "jerk it &(*&(#^W&* (his favortie curse word) and mom did.

Now I was sitting on top of the "camper shell" house on the boat and this is what I witnessed.

Mom jerked her line so hard that as she did...there was a small piece of fish on her hook going over the top of all of us, and a huge part of a fish fell back into the lake.

From my eyes it looked like mom literally jerked that poor fish's head off. And I started laughing. It became so infectious, that Mom started laughing trying to get her line untangled from a bush behind her...

I was lying on the cabin shell by this time thinking I was LITERALLY going to die laughing...mom was laughing so hard that she couldn't see what she was doing...and my dad was trying to untangle the line and now the pole wrapped around a cypress knee while we ran back into the trunk of tree that had the bees in it...

which just got funnier. I don't think I've ever laughed that hard in my whole life...to the point of breathlessness.

Well...it turned out that mom had caught a tiny bream...just a baby (which she killed by slamming the poor thing into the tree behind us). A Gar had been trying to eat the little bream as mom jerked the line up out of the water....

for just a moment there... it would have been one of the greatest fish stories ever...and we all lived without one bee sting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pride or Righteous Indignation?

When something bothers me to the point of anger...I know I must take it to the Lord. I need to find out if that anger is pride motivated or "righteous indignation."

If it is pride motivated...then "shut my mouth" I always tell my Father in heaven. If it is indeed righteous anger, please don't let pride come between me and the person that has caused me to be upset.

If the person who is telling me that God has changed her/him in such a way and I ought to follow their lead yet they are dilly-dallying in worldly practices, I question that they can teach me, show me or even convince me that what they are doing is "God-deemed". And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. (Romans 16)

One of the things I try not to say is "The Lord told me to share this with you." I truly believe God speaks through His Holy Spirit through the Bible, Prayer, Circumstances and the church to motivate, change, encourage and reprimand us as individuals. (Thank you Henry Blackaby). Now people have asked me what I think God is saying...and if you know me...you know I always have an opinion! When someone comes to me with a problem and I pray with/for them, then that day or a few days later I read something in the Word or in my devotional that awakens the spirit within me, I will share those words with someone and say "This is what God told me and I wanted you to hear it because I think it will help your situation." But I need to remember to use caution in saying "God told me to share this with you." No...God was telling me...not the other person.

Conversely--I think of David's sin with Bathsheba --how God separated Himself from David because of David's refusal to accept responsibility for his sin. Nathan came and didn't accuse David...he told a parable. When David became aware of the horror of this suggested person's sin, that's when God used Nathan to say..."it is you." There was no slap on the face, no screaming at him to get his attention...no piousness on Nathan's part to be the deliverer of the message--I am sure Nathan did not want to go to his king and be this messenger. But notice, Nathan does not say "God told me to share this with you." Nathan allowed God to use his mouth...but did not allow pride to come between the words. This is a whole 'nuther' blog.

As fellow sinners, we need to use much caution as we hold on to our own causes, creeds and "God changes" in our lives. That's where God has YOU...not me. I may not be ready to accept the teaching that is so prevalent in someone else's life...and visa versa... the things I've learned through trials, hardships, quiet times of sitting in God's lap...they are for me. They are my lessons; and even though I feel that everyone needs to learn my lessons...that's my pride...making me a god in my own eyes. When God speaks to me He is telling ME that this is the change for MY life...and maybe perhaps as I change my wicked ways, people will notice, and thereby be changed. But telling people how they ought to change "like me" and receive the "blessings" I've received... THAT is pride...

Let God be God in my life...and let me learn the lessons in His timing...not in someone elses.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Words That Heal

If you know my testimony, you know growing up was difficult. I've been through counseling went to many Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings and had many friends who listened to me. I also wrote many of my frustrations out in diaries.

Thank goodness God is in the business of changing us. There's no way I would want to be that girl that had to deal with all the grief, sadness, rejection and abuse that took years to get past.

But this one thing I know...a phrase, a look, a touch and being real changes things.

Needless to say, my relationship with my parents was always slightly strained. God walked me through learning how to forgive them...many times I handed my parents my heart...many times I walked away empty-handed, many times I walked away in tears. Most times I walked away with my head up, knowing that I would never give up on either one of them.

I never stopped giving my heart to them. Not out of wanting it to hurt again, but out of the pure love that God poured into me as He continued to show me what I needed to change about me...what I could do different...how I could respond to the sometimes careless, thoughtless words and actions. God continued to show me that what I do with His love is even worse than what my parents did to me.

Through the years, my heart became so soft toward my parents, that it was easy to give it to them. Mostly, I could look beyond their words and see the pain that caused them to feel, react, or act the way they did.

In Dad's later years, he would come to the church I worked at in Shreveport and just sit there. He wanted me to just go about all my work. His words still echo softly in my ears, "Baby, I just want to be near you." My dad always called me his baby. I always thought my dad was immortal...I never thought he'd get sick...never thought I'd live on without him.

My dad's last words to me were "Baby, I'm so proud of what you're about to do." I didn't get it then. I smiled at him and told him I'd see him after he got out of the operating room. He never lived past the time they brought him out. And I think of those powerful affirming words my dad gave me. Words that heal.

In my mom's later years, I had grown up a little, realizing that she was not strong enough to be immortal. I knew one day she would leave this world. I would listen to her words of condemnation about my brothers my sister, her one friend, the neighbors. She was so very unhappy. However, within me there was a knowledge of her deep core of woundedness. I learned to listen between the bitterness and hear a little girl just wanting to be loved, wanting to be accepted and wanting to make a difference in someone's life.

The last time my mom clearly spoke to me, I was sitting on her bed. Just her and me. She spoke in an unknown language---every once in a while I could glean a word. Realizing she was speaking the Lord's prayer, I started saying it with her and she said "YES! YES!" After we were done, I told her that she could go be with Jesus anytime she wanted. In a clear, concise voice she looked at me and said, "I don't want to go."

My mom always me told that she hated that I didn't have any family with me in North Carolina. She didn't like the fact that no one would 'protect' me if someone broke into my house. She didn't want me to not have a husband to lean on when times got rough.

I asked "Why, mom, Why don't you want to go be with Jesus? There will be peace and no pain. You'll be happy and God will be there."

At that moment, she looked square in my eyes and said, "I don't want to leave you alone."

True words spoken from a mother's heart. Words that heal.

God welcomed my mother on October 7, 2008. No more pain, no more sorrow, praise God she has broken free.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Could I let go of all that you've given
If it meant that it all would be yours
Could I sit at your feet? And forget about me
And remember what I’m here for?

Honestly I need to be broken
Honestly I need to fall down
Go ahead and shake my foundation
Cause honestly I'm figuring out
That out of all that I have
All that I need is you

If I leave behind all that’s familiar
Can I do what has never been done?
If I believe in you like you believe in me
Can you finish the work you begun?

Honestly I need to be broken
Honestly I need to fall down
Go ahead and shake my foundation
Cause honestly I'm figuring out

That out of all that I have
All that I need is you

You’re all that I want
You’re all that I need

I heard the words to this Carl Cartee song about 3 months ago. I've got the song in my CD player in my car...and I keep listening to it.

My heart's desire is to be honest in front of God. Listening to these words makes me realize still how far I have to go.