Friday, January 9, 2015

Read this if you might be a 'black & white' person...

Sometimes I tend to be one...

a 'black or white' person.

I am sometimes guilty of making a strong sweeping decision and declaring it boldly! On MONDAY, this diet is going to swing into full speed ahead, only to find that by Wednesday, (or Tuesday) there have already been stumbles.

or...

I am NEVER going to do or say THAT again, or...

You get the idea.

My daughter sent this from her devotional the other day, thoughts by Paul Tripp, which I hope he doesn't mind me quoting. It is pretty awesome...

He was writing on New Years Resolutions, but the same principle applies to ALL of our big self made declarations of change.

"Can be I honest with you? I think your New Year’s resolution isn’t going to be as effective as you hope it will, if it works at all.
Is change important? Absolutely. Is commitment essential? Of course. Is improving your lifestyle a wise decision? Without a doubt. So I don’t want to discourage you from writing or keeping a New Year’s resolution, but I do want to challenge the way you think about biblical change.
You see, Christianity – which has the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center – simply doesn’t rest its hope in big, dramatic moments of change. The fact of the matter is this: the transforming work of grace operates in 10,000 little moments more than it does in a series of two or three life-altering events.

In other words, the character and quality of your life won’t be defined by two or three life-changing moments. No, the character and quality of your life will be defined by the 10,000 little decisions, desires, words, and actions you make every day.
How you can you be a better you in 2015? Confess in 10,000 little moments of conviction. Be courageous in 10,000 little moments of faith. Obey in 10,000 little moments of decisions. Choose the kingdom over God over the kingdom of self in 10,000 little moments of desire.
You don’t need a big resolution to change your life, because your life isn’t established in big moments. Your life is established in 10,000 little moments, and Jesus Christ is present and active in all those moments. In these small, seemingly insignificant moments, he’s delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these 10,000 little moments, the Lord is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness.

By sovereign grace, God places you in 10,000 little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom, and grace so that you'll seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again - exactly what each one of us needs!"

Those words really hit my heart, for me. I think you might feel the same. It's one step at a time, one thought, one decision, not one big declaration of all that we are GOING to do. Our slates are wiped clean when we accept Him, but the ongoing process includes 10,000 choices on our part, every day.

I love that! God's grace is there for every one of the 10,000 and more.



(image courtesty of Google)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

3 blocks from the Rose Parade...


That's where I grew up... 3 blocks south of the Pasadena Rose Parade.

I've been sitting here this morning watching the parade, and it takes me right back to South Parkwood Avenue. 

Every year my dad would take 2 ladders, and the 3 of us kids brought a long piece of wood. We went right up those 3 blocks and got one of the 'good seats', just a few rows back. Dad set the ladders up and put the long board between them That was our seat, no one blocked our view. It was perfect!

A side thought... many many years later, after dad had died, as we went through their things, there was that original ladder, with many splotches of paint colors applied through the years, and a little shabby, but the same ladder that went to the parade every year.

During high school, I worked on the floats a few days before the parade. They were constructed in huge ice cold warehouses, to make sure the flowers stayed fresh. The flowers were flown in from all over the world and they were absolutely amazing! Each float was carefully put together and then each flower petal glued on to become part of the design, the only rule was it had to be made from growing plants, petals, seeds, grasses. We shivered all through the nights as we put those beauties together.

New Years Eve in Pasadena was so much fun! Our church youth group parked and walked the long main street of Colorado Blvd., as the crowds began to gather 2-3 days before New Years Day. By New Years Eve, they had set up little kerosene heaters, sleeping bags and blankets to keep warm, as they 'camped out' right on the sidewalk. We walked up and down the street, talking to people, dashing into one of the restaurants for a quick burger, and having the time of our lives. Van de Kamp's, Gwinn's, Scarantino's, all of them were open as people came in an out all through the night.

Finally we headed for home, only to take our walk up the street with dad early the next morning, we were tired and excited.

It never disappointed. Even this morning, I am enjoying the floats and marching bands, just like so many years ago...

Happy New Year to all of you!




Monday, December 29, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving X 8...


Thanksgiving at our daughter's home... could it be any better! These 8 fill our hearts, and for sure, they fill a home! 

I'm thinking of each one of you as we move into December and Christmas. The traffic is already increasing everywhere I go, but the sounds and joys of Christmas are filling the car and our home every day. I'll be back, but for now, wishing you all the joys of these days as you prepare. I can just imagine busy hands, crazy kitchens and music filling the air.

Happy December!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The wordless wonder...

That's me.

The wordless wonder.

I don't seem to have a creative word to say these days, at least not on my blog. There is plenty going on around here, everything but writing...

Funny thing is that it doesn't seem to be bothering me, so I will be visiting your blogs, as always, but sitting on the sidelines with other bloggers in our own special group for an undetermined period of time. We come and go. It's okay. It isn't even my first trip to the sidelines.

Make sense??

I knew it would. I've seen some of you in this crowd before, and others who may visit down the road.

Apparently, just telling you this took quite a few words, so maybe they aren't ALL gone. :)

Until later...


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rumors abound, all around...

Ebola here, ebola possibly there... 

Ebola seems to be everywhere right now. For sure it's been here in Dallas where the first U.S. Ebola patient died this week. He was at the hospital where 2 of my 3 children were born and where I  visited my own doctor through the years before he retired. By the way, it's a wonderful hospital, despite what has happened.

My point is... Ebola, just like fear, abounds in the world around us. It's bad enough that I lean in that direction without much help needed, but now... this world is so full of reasons to be fearful. The news, the papers, the world situation... it all paints pictures that inspire worry and fear.

Where is God in all of this? 

HE IS RIGHT HERE WHERE HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE. FOREVER UNCHANGEABLE.

He still holds this whole world within the powerful grip of his hands, and he holds me there as well, and you too.

Do you believe that? In a world that tries to give us every reason not to, on a daily basis, do you still claim that God is still God?

Yes He is, and yes I do!

2 Timothy 1:7, and I love the King James for this one:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind".

Don't you know that satan is laughing with gleeful malice at the world we are living in, and that he understands full well the doubts and confusions that trip up saints and sinners alike when fear abounds.

So what do we do about it all?

The very same thing we have always done, after we wring our hands and worry our hearts about it all... we go straight to the God who never changes, whose faithfulness is the same yesterday, today and forever. And... we leave the rumors and the fears of what we know and what we don't know... IN HIS HANDS, one more time.

There is no other solution...
There is also no better solution...

Ebola, wars, rumors of wars, terrorists, finances, families, sickness, small faith, large fears ... all of it!

Not one of these things, or any other thing is surprising to our God. I already KNOW that, but sometimes I need to be reminded again, and when I am... 

Back it all goes to Him...

Praying, as I literally 'dump' all of it into His care... 

Exactly the place where 'it' and 'I' belong. 

Don't you love the sense of calm that comes when we do that? Nothing has really changed, the world is still full of chaos and our problems may still be unanswered, but my heart is still, and my faith is steady.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tiny Round Top, Texas, and even tinier Warrenton, Texas...

Janette, you started it!!

For 14 years I had an antique booth at the Warrenton and Round Top, Texas Antique Fair, every April and October...

I stopped doing it about 5 years ago, it had become so big, and lasted so long, and was a lot more fun in the early days. But... I still get withdrawal symptoms when April and October roll around.

This year Janette went to Round Top, so her blog and comments have me all excited again...

Those days, and those years, were some of the most fun I have ever had. Lots of my friends in Dallas shared the spaces all around me, and we all became family. They are still some of my closest friends.



Round Top is now the home of the Junk Gypsies, but their first home was right outside of our little antique show, down the highway 4 miles, in Warrenton... 
with their pink car and longhorns mounted on the front, and their huge white tent where they sold their goods. We used to chuckle at them, they had so much fun and such a funky flair with their decor. I'm not chuckling anymore... I am wide-eyed at their amazing run... tv show, huge decorating business, their compound at Round Top, and now a line for Pottery Barn teens. 





 
I started out at Zapp Hall, a small former dance hall with wood floors and no AC, run by an amazing family who lives in Houston, but all of the kids and cousins spend many weekends coming out to this family compound and they all pitch in to help run this show twice a year. They are all Christians, and we have had some amazing fun and fellowship through the years.

Later, since Zapp Hall has no AC, I moved down to the Red Barn in Round Top, where my friend from 35 years ago in Austin, Susan Franks, bought the original show and continues to do it so well... this girl does NOT know how to NOT work hard!!
So... 

If you are looking for some fun, to walk until you are worn out, and to see a little bit of everything and maybe even buy a few treasures, not to mention the good food... you MUST get to Round Top one of these days, and if you do... 

stop by for Janette and I, and we will go with you and have a bloggers blast! 

Right in the middle of nowhere!




Monday, September 8, 2014

What do you want?...

Have you heard this quote?

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

There some real truth to that statement. We all have 'stuff' to contend with, some far more than others, but life holds challenges for each one of us. If you don't believe that... just wait a minute, it's coming!

Don't you find that word choice cropping up over and over again? I do. Sometimes I make my choices right off the bat, even some hard ones, knowing that it's the best thing to do. Other times, I postpone or deny the obvious, and eventually have to make hard choices anyway. 

Not choosing to do what I know is the best thing, is also a choice.

Going a step further...

I remember a former pastor saying:

We have as much of God as we want.

That truth hits right into the heart. 

How much of God do I want? 

God invades... when we really want Him and His will, it is often NOT comfortable, sometimes even painful, but always... ALWAYS... it is the very thing that fills our hearts and makes us sing, even in the midst of hard things and faith testings. He will not leave us alone if there is 'stuff' that needs dealing with. It's like my brother used to say... 'sin is not fun anymore'...

When we desire more of God... He is going to give us more, and the process doesn't always look or feel as good as we want it to, but the results are SO worth it!!

Finding myself wanting more of who He is and what He wants for my life... I am pushing deeper, finding again that the age old truth...trust and obey...is what He wants from me... God's simple and plain truth is always the answer... sometimes we are guilty of watering it down or even ignoring it. 

He has a way of bringing us back to the basics!

There is no other way, and there is also no better way, than to take Him at His word and ...DO it!

He has already promised to both be there in the midst of it, and lead me through it.... His song is growing, deeper and stronger...


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Speaking of heroes...

I have written so many things about my dad during these blogging years, and all of them are true. He was the minister, and we all looked up to him. 

But SHE was the light in his eyes, and the sparkle in our home...

As I reflect now, so many years later, I can see clearly why God lead my dad and mother together.

He was deeply spiritual. So was she, but she was also down to earth, practical, realistic, and... so much fun! She always used to say that while he had one leg in heaven, she was pulling on the other one to bring him back to earth!

My dad traveled all over the world, preaching and teaching, equipping the saints. My mother stayed home and raised 3 little urchins, trying to make them into 'future saints'.

He went into his study and prayed, and pored over the scriptures, writing books and preparing sermons.

She read and prayed every day, in the midst of the reality of raising us, keeping a home, working as a nurse, and speaking to women's groups all over the country, lots of it while dad was in another country.

He was strong.

She was strong.

Dad always knew that she was handling the home front as he traveled. She was! It gave dad the freedom to study, write and go preach.

As I look back now, I think what a blessed necessity it was for my father to have my mother. She supported him in every way, and he knew it. She was never a little quiet person in the background either, her personality drew others to her, she was one of those 'special ones' that people love to be around. There was always lots of laughter wherever my mother was, especially in our home.

I wonder how often she crunched the numbers and tried to stretch the dollars while dad was preaching overseas. She never made us feel like her budget was slim, even though it always was. She cooked like a chef, made life fun every day, and her joy was full. 

It was always important to them that we have good home cooked food on the table every day, and... good shoes. The rest of it was always on a shoestring. That makes me smile now. We always had both the food and the shoes, and somehow if we were short on the rest of it, we never felt it.

My mother celebrated life, every day. 

Today I'm celebrating her life. So much of who I am is because of who she was. I learned from her when I didn't even know I was learning.

Her life gave deep meaning to the phrase "little is much when God is in it". 

I am so thankful to be one of the 'nuts' that fell from their tree...



(the above photo is my mom with our daughter some years ago.)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Swatting at nothing...

Here I sit,  trying to work on my computer...

A tiny tiny head-of-a pin sized gnat is flying around in front of my screen. He actually doesn't fly, not in a direct easy to hit line, this one jumps around erratically.

Have you ever tried to GET one of those things??

I have swatted... fast, I have clapped my hands thinking I was trapping it in the middle... and as if to mock me, it flies around right in front of where I just clapped!

It just flew by again and landed on my nose. That does it!

Now I'm stopping everything, on high alert... I dare it to come by again.

I am sitting as still as a statue, going to fool him this time. 

He knows.

He is nowhere to be found.

Maybe I got him during one of those claps.

He isn't here anymore... 

Now I'm getting back to work.

It does make me wonder though, if his sisters and brothers are lurking.

It's now about 5 hours later, I'm back... and he just flew by! I KNOW it was him,  I recognize his flight pattern.

The moral of this story...

Don't just swat at those pesky little irritating habits that buzz around and distract your attention... deal with them decisively, or they will be back, maybe even bringing their sisters and brothers...