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Friday, October 21, 2016

Forty years: Number four

Continuing on in my "Forty Years Series", here is thought number four:
Be careful when judging others - especially in matters you know nothing about.
The scriptures are very clear: passing judgment on someone else is a very serious business. Unless you are ready to be judged by the same measure in which you are judging others (Matthew 7:2), it's best to just keep your mouth shut and work on yourself. But even keeping your mouth shut is not enough!! The Lord knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. If we really have a grip on what it means to love, we would just simply treat others like we would want them to treat us (even if that's not how they are treating us!).

Jesus says: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." James says: "Judgment will be shown without mercy to those who have shown no mercy."

Mother Teresa said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Forty years. Number three.

Continuing on in my "Forty Years Series", here is thought number three:
3. Though you may not understand everything, God's way is always best.
I seem to be learning this in a deeper and deeper way as each year and/or each new trial comes and goes. I will never forget the first time I really lost it when talking to David (my pastor - he called and checked on me long before we ever moved here). I unloaded on him and was a complete mess. After I was done letting it all out he just calmly said, "Well, just go through it." That has stuck with me through every single trial and struggle ever since and I am so thankful!

No, we may not understand everything ... and really, that's probably for the better. I mean, if I would have had the full picture of how my walk with the Lord was going to be way back when I first started walking I would have never took more than a step - maybe none at all!! But as you 'just go through' each trial that comes your way (embrace it, don't kick against it) you learn and grow in ways the Lord wants you to learn and grow.

He really does know what is best and we just have to trust him. He is shaping and molding us into the person he wants us to be.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Forty years. Number two.

Here is my second thought. For the first one please see this post: Forty years. Number one.
2. As a young person, no matter how smart you think you are and how much you think you have figured out, you will realize some day (hopefully without too much regret and too many souls harmed) that you were not as smart as you thought you were and you will never have much figured out. Be swift to hear, slow to speak.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Forty years. Number one.

A few months ago I started a list ... it was supposed to be a list of 40 things I've learned in my forty years here on this earth. I had **planned** to publish it as a blog post :) but alas, it never got done. So instead, I will turn it in to several blog posts. We'll see how this goes.
  1. We must love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves. It's easy to say, but if your heart is not in the right place, it's impossible to do.
The number one thing I have learned in my forty years on this earth is: Following Jesus is rooted in a foundation of loving God and loving others. That's it. If it's rooted in anything else, it is your own religion.

What is love? Well, I actually did a post not too long ago about that very thing. Here is a link to it - LOVE - but I'll just post it below because it's not that long.

The bible has a lot to say about it, but how many really believe it? It is the fulfillment of the law - a pretty serious thing as far as I can tell. According to 1 Corinthians 13, even if your faith is so strong that it can move mountains, if you do not have love your faith means absolutely nothing. And even if you give every last thing you own to the poor, if you do not have love it profits you absolutely nothing. Or even if you have great knowledge and understanding of all mysteries, if you do not have love your knowledge is all in vain. You could even give your body up to be burned ... but if you do not have love, it means nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. ...
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Is this you? If you had to stand before the judgment seat right now, would the Judge say this was you? Do you suffer long with others? Are you kind to everyone? Do you seek to put the needs of others before yourself? Are you slow to anger? Do you think kind thoughts of others instead of evil thoughts? Do you shun and reprove gossip? If someone else falls, do you help them up?

It seems to me that as long as we have true LOVE for God and others, everything else will eventually fall in to place. If we are able to love others as Christ loved/loves them, we have his heart and are walking in his path. We are branches in the vine.

It starts and ends with love and love fills up everything in between.
~~~~ (end)

We show our love for God by putting action to our love - and that shows most by how we treat others. First, others in our home, then in our neighborhoods, then communities, and elsewhere. I've been really blessed reading Mother Teresa again here lately. She stresses that love starts at home. If you cannot behave in a loving way towards those in your very own home, how can you love your neighbor? And how can you love God whom you cannot see if you cannot love those in your own home whom you can see? (my thoughts, but they stemmed from something I read of hers)

It's easy to go out into the world and help others. Put on a good face, do a few good deeds, and feel good about what you did. But then when you go home, do you suddenly change? Are you as nice to your husband and children as you are to those you just helped out in the world? Do you serve them with a smile on your face and thankfulness in your heart? Or maybe you do not have a husband or children at home? The thought still applies; you know what I'm talking about. How do you treat those who are closest to you?

Do you love yourself as you are right now? There's something to that! I mean, if you do not love yourself as you are right now, how are you going to be able to "love others as you love yourself"? If something is not right, pray to God for help and strength to make things right. You must desire to change - desire to be pleasing to God.

So, love really starts first with YOU, in your own heart, and then at home with those who are around you every day.

Opportunities to be a blessing are ALL AROUND YOU!!! Purposefully look for them. Every morning when you wake up think, "How can I be a blessing to others today?" Maybe the answer will be something as simple as "be patient" or "smile more". "How can I show that I love this person?" Make a list if you have to :) :) :) and check it often. Sometimes that helps keep it in the front of your mind.

A word of caution. The bible warns us about women who are idle, busybodies, going from house to house talking about things they should not be talking about. In today's world, this can happen without even leaving your home: the internet and social media. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder what is being neglected so mothers and wives can spend time catching up on the latest gossip. It happens. It's very sad, but it happens. Satan is ***robbing*** you and your loved ones!! taking you away from your God-given responsibilities (blessings!) to participate in things that are not pleasing to God. Be careful! This is not the fruit of godly love!

Instead of being busy on social media, be busy filling your day with being a blessing and loving others. In return, YOU will be greatly blessed!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Don't be so busy 'wishing' or 'praying' things were different that you totally miss all of the blessings and lessons the Lord has for you in your current situation.

If you cannot be content right where you are, what makes you think you'll be content in a different situation? God is Good. Trust him!!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Son.

Danny and Tylor

Danny and Tylor

Today, while I was reflecting on the anniversary of the death of my only full blood sibling (my brother Danny, born June 12th 1975, died June 7 1999), I remembered what someone very close to me said when they heard about the death of their child. "I'm being punished for getting an abortion with my first child." While I cannot say I agree with that statement (God is merciful and forgiving if we would but turn to him!), I can say that it was obvious this woman was greatly grieved over the loss of both of her children. I mean, if the abortion didn't bother her conscience, that would not have been her reasoning for her other child's death.

But this post is about my first-born child, Tylor. I was 16 years old and thought, "Something just doesn't seem right. Maybe I'm pregnant?" I talked with a friend and asked if she would take me to get a pregnancy test (I did not have a vehicle). She said she'd be glad to.

I told her, "Planned Parenthood is right up the road; we can just go there."
She said quite passionately, "I REFUSE to take you there!"
Of course my natural response was, "Why?"
"Because they push abortions!"
"What's an abortion?" Yes. That was me. I was 16 years old and didn't know what an abortion was. I LOVED human growth and development class. I could tell you all about growing babies, both inside and outside of the womb. I faintly remembered hearing the word in school, but what it was all about never really stuck in my mind ... probably because the truth and reality of it all was glossed over.

She went on to explain what an abortion was, AND share her personal story. Are you ready for this? Here it goes. SHE was the result of an "abortion gone wrong." When her mother was pregnant with her, she had an abortion. They threw her in the garbage. But something did not "work" right. After all was said and done and everyone had left, a nurse was cleaning things up and noticed the baby did not die. I am not 100% clear of the details, but the nurse took her out of the trash, I assume she cleaned her up, and then some how took her to an orphanage. Whatever the case, she was later adopted and grew up to be a beautiful young woman. I have long ago lost touch with her, but her story will stay with me for the rest of my life.

She took me to a crisis pregnancy center, I had the test, it was positive. They piled me up with a bunch of literature, and I went home to face my dad. Naturally, he was quite upset. He gave me three choices, and I quote: "Get an abortion, give him up for adoption, or get out of my house." Needless to say, I chose option number 3 (and needless to say, the first time he held Tylor he said, "I cannot see how I ever asked you to give him up.")

Today a thought occurred to me that never has come before.

My friend was an angel sent straight from God.

What if I had asked someone else to take me? Or what if I had walked? What if I went to Planned Parenthood and never had abortion properly explained to me?

My son is a miracle. A true gift from God. Thank you Lord.

We've had our ups and downs with this young man, but I wouldn't change it for ANYTHING. He is a true blessing and I am eternally thankful that the Lord trusted me with his little soul. For all that knew Tylor when he was younger, I'm sure you have many, many stories!!! I cannot help but tell ONE story because it explains him quite well. He was 5 when my brother died. We were all sad beyond words. I was in a daze for weeks. Months. Years. Anyway, we were all sad, standing there at the grave site. Tylor starts stomping on the ground (he was standing on the fake green grass carpet thing). He says quite loudly and animated (in his own way), "I'm stepping on something hard. I think it's a head!" Yeah. That's Tylor. We were all thankful for the laugh.

Please enjoy these photos :) He's always been quite artistic and musical ... be sure to inspect the drawing later on and watch the quick video after that of his homemade xylophone.


First birthday :)



And a few of Danny. First with me, and then with my dad.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Pebble

How true! May our words (and thoughts!!) be pleasing to the Lord and others around us.

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

Author James W. Foley