Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday Reflections

 
Once again I'm not really sure where to begin.  For several years now the ladies Sunday School class that I teach have been doing Beth Moore's Bible Studies.  That is our "book" so to speak.  We take our time.  Dissect them.  Discuss etc.  So we are in the midst of the study of " James Mercy Triumphs".  Now let me tell you, it isn't for the weak kneed or the faint of heart.  It is kicking us HARD!!! And we are only in chapter 2.  I also should mention (not sure if I have before or not) that there are so many times that we have a good lesson and we get to the sanctuary, we have our praise & worship & D begins to speak.  More often than not, it goes right along with & often picks right up where we left off.  It may not be the same scripture but, it falls right in line.  Now I don't know about you, but, when this happens I am awe struck.  It blows me away at how God works.
 
Yesterday was no different.  Only it was.  Our lesson dissected James 1:25.  To look intently, to walk away & be changed.  Not touched.  Changed.  Not to be like the one who looks intently in the mirror then walks away and forgets what he has seen. 
We also discussed James 2:1.  "Our glorious Lord Jesus Christ".   The glory of God.  We all left that room just almost mad.  (I say that with a smile)  God moved in that room.  No doubt.  I love those women so much.  I can see their mind racing.  Not a one of us enjoyed that lesson yesterday.  Not a one could walk out and say it was a good lesson.  Because that is what one might do if they are becoming a forgetful listener.  I will go out on a limb and say that the women in that class, along with myself, want to be changed.  We want a word from God and we want it to change us.  We don't want to do anything that will hinder the Glory of God showing up and revealing Himself to us. 
And then we left that room.  Went to the sanctuary.  Had our praise & worship.  Then D gets up to speak.  Before he ever gave a scripture reference I knew we were in trouble.  So did one of the ladies that had been in class.  She leaned up & said "So help me if he goes to James I'm leaving!".  In which I replied, "I will be right behind you."  It isn't that we wanted to miss what God might say, we already knew.  D didn't go to James.  Instead he slid 2 Timothy 4:3 in there.  And if that wasn't enough he throws us back into Ezekiel 33:30-32.
Why do you go to church?  Where's the commitment?  Are you a forgetful listener?  Do you want the Glory of God? 
We say we want the Glory of God to pour over us.  We want to be there, fully present when the Glory of God is present, but the thing of it is we don't want to do anything about it.  2 Timothy 4:3 states that there were those with itching ears.  Ezekiel 33: 30-32 states folks would go & listen but never do anything about what they heard.  More or less the same thing James said in James 1:25.  
There's just so much that I could add.  There's so much more for me to ponder.  But of this I am sure,  I want change.  I don't want to just be touched.  I want to be changed.  I want to see & feel the glory of God.  I want to be committed. 
Of this too, I am sure,  I'm so thankful that God saw fit to send us to that country church.  To that group of people.  To that group of people who love us but more than that, they love our Lord.  I'm so thankful that we get to serve there.  So to that country church, thank you so much for putting up with us.  For loving us.  For praying for us.  For spoiling us.  But most of all for loving Him. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

First Fashion post ever!


This is a first.  Maybe of many.  Maybe the only one.  We we will see what kind of response I get.  If the over all response is good then look for a fashion post on Thursday's.  I've told you all that I was looking at making some changes.  This was one of them.  I'm passionate about a lot of things.  Fashion has always been one of them.  I remember growing up I paid attention to the styles and what the older girls around me were wearing.  Mom & dad lived on a budget, which was fine.  I had what I needed.  Not always what I wanted.  That didn't keep me from noticing the details.  As I grew it intensified.  Again, there was a budget.  That budget thing is a killer.  Still is. But it still doesn't keep me from paying attention.  I have had women to comment on my selection of clothing & style for some time now.  Thing of it is this, you either like it or you don't.  Pretty much my theory on life.  You either like  me or you don't.  Anyway, I thought we would try this approach.
I like to take pictures, just not of myself.  So don't expect to see a lot of me posing in outfits. (or at least I don't plan on that.  Again, this is a trial run.)   This may be a hodge podge of outfits I find on Pinterest that I like or would do differently.  This is the first example:



 
I found this on www.atlantic-pacific.blogspot.com.  I like the overall look. I'm  just not that crazy about the horses on the dress or the very tall knee boots.  I had rather the dress be solid & the boots be shorter.  However, if you like horses & tall knee boots, go for it.  I think it is modest enough yet very trendy & stylish.
 


 
I found this outfit on pinterest.  I love a good bell bottom jean.  I finally found a pair last winter.  Yes, I have to wear heels with them, but that is fine by me.  One of the most irritating things I have found about being over 40, is finding a good jean.  It seems that the jean makers have forgotten that women over 40 still like to wear fashionable jeans & not everyone is a size 0. 
 


 
I absolutely love this.  I can hear my daddy now.  He would have a comment and so would my boys.  D would just roll his eyes and shake his head and go on with it.  Of course being over 40 I would pair this with a longer skirt or skinny jeans.  Maybe even a pair of distressed shorts or jeans.  I love the whole look though.  Even the hat. 
 
I realize that in our neck of the woods if I were to actually wear some of these styles I would stick out like a sore thumb.  But some days I think that would be just fine.  It is style that sets us apart from everyone else. 
 
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday Reflection



I'm praying & seeking what to do here.  In this little spot.  To grow this place.  So there may be more changes on the way.  Eventually a different look.  Hopefully a pattern.  A schedule of sorts.  Something you may can count on.

This is the first "for sure thing" to hopefully be a constant.  Something called "Sunday Reflections".  A post that will be here on Monday mornings.  A post that will be my thoughts on the Sunday message or maybe our Sunday School lesson.  Or, maybe, just something that God shared with me through both.  Either way I hope it will be something that you will look forward to.  Something that will encourage you.  Something I hope you will enjoy.

I'm going back to last week.  D's message was titled "The Backside of the Desert".  I have to admit he went a totally different direction than what I thought he would when he gave the title & the scripture.  (Let me take the time right here to say that I find out what the message is the same time the congregation does. I'm always as surprised as they are.  It is usually never discussed.)  The scripture was Exodus 3:1-6.  Now when he said the back side of the desert my first thought was, "Yes!  I've been on the back side of the desert.  To that dry, lonely spot. So thirsty for God.  Longing so much for a move.  For His presence."  That was where I thought we were going.  But instead D took us to all the platforms that God has used to speak.  In this case it was to Moses through a burning bush on the backside of the desert. 

But I still wonder about those that have been like me.  On the backside, no let me rephrase that, IN the backside of the desert.  In that dry place thirsty for more.  Waiting and longing.  I know there were things, events so to speak, that led Moses to the desert.  And I'm not sure that he was expecting God to show up.  But God did.  And He spoke to Moses.  Right there in the desert.  So if He would show up and speak to Moses right there in the desert, don't you think He will show up and speak to you in yours?  We sometimes just have to be willing to wait.  On Him.  Because it is ALL done in His time.  Not ours. 

Have a Happy Monday

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Matters of the heart



I usually begin preparing the Sunday School lesson on Monday morning.  I read over the lesson, make a few notes.  Let it all sink in.  Be on the lookout throughout the week for what God will lay in front of me for the lesson.  Then, by Friday or Saturday night I am knee deep in it and something will always pop out then that didn't on Monday.  This past week it was this line:  "At the end of the day, what impresses us dictates us." (Beth Moore in the study of James) I have whirled that around in my head.  I touched on it in class Sunday.  I even asked the question on Facebook.  What is it that impresses you?  Because whatever it is that impresses you, you will chase & find a way to have.  Needless to say we didn't finish the lesson Sunday.  So, by not finishing the lesson Sunday that allowed me to dig somewhere else Monday.  I was struck by the Hebrew meaning for Sanctuary.  "A consecrated or holy thing or place."  Our hearts are to be a Sanctuary.  The one holy thing about us.  It is, after all, where the Spirit of God abides in us. Right?  So, if that is the case, how is the condition of your heart?  Is it impressed with all things God or does it have a tendency to chase after the things of the world?  The Message translates Matthew 6:21 this way, "The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, & end up being."   So where is your treasure?  What is your treasure? WHO is your treasure?  I know all our answers will go something like this:  well, God of course is my treasure.  Then there's my spouse, my kids, my parents.  I love my car, my house, my clothes. Oh not to mention purses, shoes, food.  Really?  

  Yesterday I was getting myself dressed & ready to go get my hair cut.  Last mother's day my boys gave me a bracelet.  One with charms.  Let me set this scene up really good.  The oldest had been telling me for weeks that he already had my mother's day gift.  We were all at the lake that weekend working on the place & I mentioned to D that if they didn't already have the gift I might would ask for one of these bracelets.  The youngest, with the help of the aunt, got the little book & took pictures of the bracelet & charms that I had circled.  ( I had no clue they were doing this)  All of a sudden the youngest announced he was leaving to go home.  I ride home with him.  On arrival home he & the older one waste no time in saying they needed to go to wal mart for paint balls.  Let me give you a bit more detail here.  They both have on khaki shorts, nasty white t shirts, dirty shoes. (We had been working at the lake remember? Not play, work!)  They were gone forever.  Sunday morning came & they presented me with a little white box.  In it was the bracelet & some charms.  I can just picture these two teenage boys walking into this Jewelry store looking like they did.  I may not wear another piece of jewelry but you will most always find that bracelet on my arm.  Until yesterday.  I have a little OCD tendency & I've been meaning for some time to arrange the charms a certain way.  I just haven't taken the time until yesterday.  And when I did the end of the bracelet broke off in one of the charms.  I got my hair cut & immediately made my way to the jewelry store.  They got the end out of the charm & the said bracelet was replaced.  The bracelet isn't my "treasure" but the man & kids that gave it are.  I wasn't going to go one day with out it.  Could I? Yes.  Did I want to?  No!  So I did what I had to do.  Now, you know where this is going don't you?  When was the last time we broke our neck to get to the Father whether it was over an earthly treasure being broken or maybe because our own heart was in such sad shape.  If we let Him dwell there, in what should be our own sanctuary, we wouldn't be in the shape we are now.  Would we?  If we let all things God impress us, they would dictate us.  So how's your heart?  What is it that is impressing you the most?  Because whatever it is, it is dictating you.  Scary isn't it?

Friday, September 5, 2014

On Marriage

 
 
I  read a post on facebook in which she explains that she & her husband have just celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary.  She asked him how in the heck people do it for 50 years.  In which they both laugh.  Someone then replied that it is dang hard.  I have to agree.  Those first few years are tough.  But somewhere along the way you both mellow out.  You learn what is worth the fight and what is not.  The kids become your focus.  And before long, you wonder what in the world would you do with out each other. 
 
 
 
 
My last post was another insight to my life.  He has always been on the look out for a good deal.  How else do you think he found me?
 

 
This man of mine has very few serious bones in his body.  I wouldn't have it any other way.


 
There is never a dull moment & some where along this path I just learned to accept it & laugh. 

 
If you are at wits end with your marriage let me encourage you to just tie a knot in the end of your rope and hang on for dear life.  It is worth the fight.  Better yet,  let me also say this, more than hanging on to your rope, hang on to Jesus.  A good, solid marriage takes more than the two of you.  If God isn't in the center of it you are in for a struggle. 
We both know, all too well, what life is like outside of God's will.  And I will say this til they put me in the ground:  I will face anything that life throws at me knowing we are smack dab in the middle of His will than facing anything knowing we are out of His will. 
The best thing you can do for your spouse is this...Pray.  Pray for them daily.  More than once a day.  If you aren't praying for them who is?  When you take that person as your spouse, the other part of you, you leave & cleave.  Yes their mother & father can pray for them, but not like you can.  And I don't know, maybe your spouse isn't praying for you, but that doesn't mean you can't pray for them.  It may just change everything.  It will certainly change you.  As I said earlier, marriage is a three way street.  Look at it like a highway with God as the line down the middle. There is give & take on both sides, but He doesn't wavier. 
  We are rounding the corner to 25.  I can't possibly be that old can I???
I would do it all over again. 
So hang in there! 
 

Monday, September 1, 2014

The way a man views a yard sale..

This isn't a typical post for me.  And truth be told, it may be a turning point for this blog.  It's just an honest post. And again, truth be told I have to laugh at what I'm about to share.  In fact I will laugh about it for years to come.  My boys may laugh about this for years to come too.  You on the other hand, just may not get it or you may just sit and shake your head. 

Labor day weekend began for us on Friday.  We took off and headed to the lake.  We all went in shifts.  The dog & I headed out early Friday morning.  D followed about an hour or so behind.  My job was to be ready when he got there so we could head out to the "Bargain Highway".  (It's a yard sale that has been going on Labor day weekend now for approx. 15 yrs).  Now D & I took a jab at this yard sale last year.  We didn't score big then.  He's got a long way to go before mastering the art of yard sale-ing.  (I don't even know if that is a word.)  His idea is this, drive by doing approximately 45 mph (if he can) & say "you see anything?"  In which I reply "Well, it was all a blur."  Or it may go something like this..."You wanna stop at that one?" In which I reply "whatever", "it doesn't matter", "just stop where ever you want to.  I'm just along for the ride."  We practiced these skills until we were hot & tired.  We returned to the house & I felt somewhat ok about the day. 

Saturday morning came.  One child had gone to Wal Mart.  The other was going to shadow a nephew & go to the "yard sale".  I knew his trip would go very similar to my Friday.  The nephew has taken lessons from D. Or maybe it's just a man thing.  Anyway, D said let's go.  I, being submissive, say "ok."  I didn't ask.  I just commented that he had some grass on his socks in which he said "where I'm going, it won't matter."  Once we are out on the highway, he turns left.  Care to take a guess where I'm going?  Yep.  Back to the "Bargain Hwy."  (I really had no idea it was called that until Saturday.)  So we're off again.  He scored on the first stop.  Now let me add this important piece of information... He had said he was looking for something he could put to use now.  You know, something beneficial. Like rod iron hand rails for a porch, or chains for the tractor.  Do you have this picture yet?  Good.  I on the other hand was on the lookout for old green/blue ball jars, old/vintage bowls etc.  I want you to know I've seen land I had never seen before.  I rode for miles & miles on what felt like the back side of nowhere!  And the one thing I learned from this two day yard sale trip was this: my man & I have a completely different take on yard sale items.  Here's an example:

 
Old bed linens.  They feel so soft & are even prettier in person.

 
My favorite purchase of the trip.

 
Glasses & jars.
 
 
I can't forget this basket.  D just didn't see my vision in this.  He even tried to talk the man down a dollar or two.  I was fine with the price on the tag. 
 
And now we have come to the highlight of the post.  D's idea of a great yard sale find:
 
 
Y'all he never ceases to amaze me.  It was in a yard & it was for sale.
I still can't help but laugh. 
(yes, he bought it)