Sunday, May 31, 2009

LEARNIN' ALABAMER

First you must learn how to pronounce the major cities ... Burminham; Huntsvul; Mobeeeel

Driving Information:
Alabama has its own version of traffic rules. The truck withthe loudest exhaust goes next at a four-way stop. The truck with the biggest tires goes after that. Note: Blue-haired ladies driving anything have the right-of-way anytime.

To find anything in Burminham, it is required that you know where Malfunction Junction is, which is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. It may be one of only two 'cloverleaf formation' interchanges in the world. We invented it and only one other city was stupid enough to implement it again Atlanta -- making them only a wee bit dumber than we are. The morning rush hour is from 6:00 to 10:00. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning. If the term 'merging delays' is ever used by the person reporting the traffic, even in passing, call in to work and tell them that you will be at least 30 minutes late regardless of where you are in your commute. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be (at the very least) rear-ended, cussed out, and possibly shot. This applies to male and female drivers alike. You must know that 'I-459,' 'I-59,' 'I-20,' and 'I-65' are the same road. They just loop around, cutting in and out of each other's path. We think this was a ploy utilized to confuse outsiders and discourage visitors after the War of Northern Aggression. Always, always, always, find out if it is a race or football weekend before you get on any of these highways to travel somewhere. If it is a race or football weekend, stay home. You won't be pleasantly going anywhere else.

Construction is a permanent fixture in Alabama. The barrels are movedaround in the middle of the night to make the next day's driving a little more interesting. If someone has their turn signal on, wave them over to the shoulder immediately to let them know -- you can be sure it was 'accidentally activated'. The minimum acceptable speed on 'I-65' (see above) is 85 mph ... Anything less is considered downright sissy. This is also Alabama 's state-highway-sponsored version of NASCAR -- especially during rush hour (see above) and everyone in the city is driving at once, bumper-to-bumper. If you are in the left lane and only going 70 in a 55-65 zone, you are considered a road hazard, and will be'flipped a bird' accordingly. Do not gawk at the woman in the car beside you in traffic who is applying make-up, drinking a Diet Coke, smoking a Marlboro, and maintaininga steady speed of 85 mph on I-65 in rush hour traffic. If she is coming from north of Burminham, she might be packing. If she is coming from south of Burminham, she IS packing and is not afraid to use it.

Weather Information:
If it's 110 degrees, Thanksgiving could be next weekend. If it's 10-20 degrees and sleeting or snowing, then watch out. Burminham residents consider this 'demolition derby' day and will be all over the roads (front ways, sideways, etc). Please proceed with caution, as you could be the next target.

Seasonal Information:
If you stick to the seats in your vehicle, it is Spring. If you need to let the car 'get some air' while standing next to it with the doors open for a minute before you can stick your upper body inside to crank it and get the air going, it is Summer. If you are sweating even with the windows down, driving 55mph, it is Fall. If you finally turn the AC off and roll your windows up, it is Winter.

General Information:
Do not ever speak during the song ' Sweet Home Alabama ' unless it is to sing along with the lyrics. This is a form of heresy and will erupt in a brawl if everyone doesn't show 'proper respect' to the band who gave us Free Bird. This is especially true if alcohol is present (notice I didn't say 'sold at this event,' but 'present'). Yes, we know that Vulcan is mooning the entire city ofBurminham. It's not that funny to us anymore, and by now we're used to it.If you ask someone for a 'coke,' they will often ask you, 'What kind?' This is not a trick question. Tell them what you want: Sprite, Dr.Pepper, Root Beer, etc., it is all 'coke'. All tea is sweet. If it's not sweet, you are in a Chinese restaurant or have crossed the Mason-Dixon Line. Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air. There are 5,000 types of snakes on earth and 4,998 of them live in Alabama. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Alabama, plus a couple no one's seen before. If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites. Onced and Twiced are words. It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy. People actually grow and eat okra. 'Fixinto' is one word. There is no such thing as 'lunch.' There is only dinner and then supper. Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar!Backwards and forwards means 'I know everything about you. DGeet is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?' You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see. You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them. You measure distance in minutes. You'll probably have to switch from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked. You carry jumper cables in your car . . . for your OWN car. There are only own four spices: salt, pepper, Tabasco and ketchup. The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and sports. The first day of deer season is a national holiday. 100 degrees Fahrenheit is 'a little warm'. We have four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, still Summer and Christmas. Going to Wal-mart is a favorite past time. Fried catfish is the other white meat. We don't need no stinking driver's ed .... if our mama says we can drive, we can drive. If you understand these jokes please forward them to your friends from Alabama (and those who just wish they were). EVERYONE can't be a Alabamian; it takes talent. You might say it's an art form or a gift from God!

HUH?

Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day.

As they walk, they come across a sign:
"Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world."

"I am entering!" said Snow White.

After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, "Well, how did you do?"
"First Place!," said Snow White.

They continue walking and they see a sign:
"Contest for the strongest man in the world."

"I'm entering," says Superman.

After half an hour, he returns and they ask him, "How did you make out?"
"First Place," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"

They continue walking when they see a sign:
"Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?"

Pinocchio enters.

After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.
"What happened?" they asked.

"Who the hell is Nancy Pelosi?" asked Pinocchio.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug(MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..I think a few chopped pecans or walnuts would be excellent in this as well.

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT ! (This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

NEW CHURCH SIGNS








FIRST THOUGHTS


My first thoughts of today have grown and traveled a while, so they have changed and expanded as the day grew.

I had those vivid dreams again - after Lee woke me this morning to say "good-bye, I love you." I was working for this horrid female attorney (again) that I had worked for a few years ago. And my clothes were hideously filthy. I found a bunch of my clothes, but they were all filthy. I was trying to drive to whomever lived the closest and wash my clothes, change and get back to work before being noticed. I don't think I made it. I never do. The day grows into night and I wake before there is any resolution, as per custom.

I am on a new muscle relaxer for the Fibro that I am to take three hours before bedtime. I only take this one tablet at night because it takes about three hours to infiltrate the system, and then lasts 8-10 hours. It is said that I will feel better during the day, for one reason, because I have gotten a good night's sleep. I suppose it is taking some time on one hand, because I'm still waking 2-3 times a night. I noticed on Sunday night that I was very confused when I awoke at 2 a.m. I thought I was someplace other than my bed and my room. It felt very strange. And since I walked into the armoir in my sleep about two months ago, Lee has plugged in a night light and it bothers me. I like it DARK! I will take the medication about an hour earlier tonight and see how I feel. It was very hard to get out of bed this morning and I struggled at work through sleepiness.

I feel like I'm falling apart. In my youth, I was a vivacious and sporty tomboy, full of energy, doing gymnastics, and playing softball and basketball. The state of my health is not critical, when I know of so many people who are suffering life-threatening diseases, so I know that I should not complain. Fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and high blood pressure are not going to kill me if I take care of myself. Yet, it is hard to accept the limitations that are now being put on me as a result of age. I still want to chase the grandchildren around the yard, I want to hit a softball and run the bases, and I want to do cartwheels and back flips across the yard. I am not growing old gracefully.

I'm having a myelogram on Thursday to see what is going on with the nerves in my thoracic and cervical spine. The rheumatologist and neurosurgeon are both anxious to pinpoint the source of my pain . . . but they could never be near as anxious as this girl is to find out what it is and a cure for it.

All three grandchildren made All Stars again this year. Games begin in about 10 days and we will be passing ourselves coming and going to ballparks. It is such an honor to be chosen and that is something that we all try to instill in Hannah, Bailey and Riley. That and to "do your best and have fun." We cannot grow too serious about youth sports as some parents do. It would take the fun out of it for the children. If none of them made All Stars, it wouldn't matter to any of us.

I'm really bummed out about Dale Jr.'s performance this year. If you know me or knew me better you would know that I adopted Jr. after his father was killed at the 2001 Daytona 500. He is like a son that I never get to talk to personally. I've followed his career avidly for years and was elated when he walked away from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., where I felt his career was being stifled. His first year with HMS (Hendrick Motor Sports) was terrific. It looked as though a championship was eminent within the next couple of years. But, this year has been a complete and utter disaster. We can all speculate as to what is going on there, but nobody knows but the people involved. My take on it is this: Jr. is adamant that he always wants Tony Eury Jr. as his crew chief. And, yes, the buck stops there. Tony has a lot on him because Jr. has not performed this year. Then you think, "well, maybe Jeff and/or Jimmy whined a bit last year because Rick [Hendrick] was giving all the R&D to the number 88 team (Jr.)." My third theory is that Rick is leaving them alone to see how they do by themselves. Lee and I kept speculating that by mid-season, there would be a shake-up in the No. 88 team if improvement was not seen. It has not failed to come true as yet, and the team performance has failed miserably. They couldn't possibly do worse, unless they had a series of DNF's (did not finish). My heart responds like a mother and I know that Jr. wants the championship, and I know he has to be so, so frustrated and maybe down on himself. I can only imagine what is going through his head when I see those camera shots through the driver side at the handsome young driver, wearing his helmet, eyes staring straight forward. I hope he realizes that everyone has a "bad" season - Jeff Gordon had the most awful season I've every seen in him last year. I only wish I had the hot line to talk to Dale Jr. and give him a few words of encouragement, but right now, I'm pretty down myself about the season and I'm only one of millions of fans.

We're about to embark on that period (of some months) where television won't have much to offer. I ordered some used books from Amazon.com. They should be arriving this week. My future daughter-in-law and I share a common interest in books so we will be swapping as we go through the ones I ordered.

It has rained here in the Southeastern USA for days and days, it seems, and it will be Friday or so before it stops. It's interfered with our fun at the lake last weekend, ball practices and games, and our cookout fun. The flowers are growing at record speed and I suppose the hot, dry weather is just around the corner, so I should enjoy the beauty and savor it slowly.

My daughter and I continue to work toward opening an online gifts store based primarily on spiritual items. We will be going to market in Atlanta in July and I'm anxious to see all the goodies that are there. We are small and our funds are limited, so we'll have to make some good decisions. A lot of prayer will be going with us, as it does every day for this new venture.

I've inquired about baby Rebekah, for whom I asked your prayers. Just as soon as I receive an update from our Prayer Warrior leader, I'll post it here.

Last, but not the least, I wanted to tell you all that I have been a "social smoker" most of my life. I have gone years and then started again several times in the course of my lifetime. I always enjoyed it when I was having a beer or a cocktail. I never took them to work or smoked in my car or house. When I met Lee and fell in love, I swore that if we made it and married, I would lay them down and I did. But, about a year and a half ago, I decided I was going to smoke again, "just when I'm having a drink", which lead to even more, but never more than I've described above.

Now, I am facing these health issues and every doctor I see looks and says, "you need to stop that!" My husband is the kind of man who feels disappointed, yet that it is my choice. He doesn't like it and we promised we'd take care of ourselves for each other. So, I ask again for your prayers. I stopped smoking this past weekend. My grandchildren were elated. It has worried them a lot and I'm sorry for having worried them that way. I want to live a long, healthy life, and this is the beginning of the rest of my life - free from smoking.

With that, I'll leave you be for a while. May the Lord bless and keep you always.


VERSE: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:13

THOUGHT: God wants us to seek him. In fact, he made us to seek him! Unfortunately, however, we often seek God along with the other things that draw our eyes for a moment or two. We must never let anything distract us from God having first command of our hearts. Only God is worthy of our full devotion.

PRAYER: Righteous God and Holy Father, please bless me with an undivided heart, one that seeks you as the first and ordering priority of my life. Forgive me, dear Lord, for letting other things distract my focus from you and interfere with my service to your Kingdom. Fill me with a holy passion for Kingdom matters above all other concerns and interests. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

WISDOM: He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. ~Proverbs 28:26, King James Version

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

PRAYER REQUEST


From the Prayer Warriors of my parish:

Please pray for Rebekah Ann and her parents!

My friend Susan sent me this picture of her niece Rebekah Ann, who was born prematurely at 28 weeks and is fighting to stay alive. They have already revived her once on Sunday and she had seizures last night. She is a little fighter!!!

Thank you for all your prayers in advance!

UNITE BEHIND OBAMA? NEVER!

Written my a local citizen of Alabama:

I have noted that many elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, called upon America to unite behind Obama.

Well, I want to make it clear to all who will listen that I AM NOT uniting behind Obama!

I will respect the Office which he holds, and I will acknowledge his abilities as an orator and wordsmith and pray for him, BUT that is it. I have begun today to see what I can do to make sure that he is a one-term President! Why am I doing this?

It is because I do not share Obama's vision for America; I do not share his Abortion beliefs;
I do not share his radical Marxist's concept of re-distributing wealth; I do not share his stated views on raising taxes on those who make $150,000+ (the ceiling has been changed three times since August); I do not share his view that the military should be reduced by 25%; I do not share his views on homosexuality and his definition of marriage; I do not share his spiritual beliefs (at least the ones he has made public); I do not share his beliefs on how to re-work the healthcare system in America; I do not share his Strategic views of the Middle East, and certainly do not share his plan to sit down with terrorist regimes such as Iran.

Bottom line, my America is vastly different from Obama's, and I have a higher obligation to my Country and my God to do what is Right!

For eight (8) years, the Liberals in our Society, led by numerous entertainers who would have no platform and no real credibility but for their celebrity status, have attacked President Bush , his family, and his spiritual beliefs!

They have not moved toward the center in their beliefs and their philosophies, and they never came together nor compromised their personal beliefs for the betterment of our Country! They have portrayed my America as a land where everything is tolerated except being intolerant!

They have been a vocal and irreverent minority for years; they have mocked and attacked the very core values so important to the founding and growth of our Country!

They have made every effort to remove the name of God or Jesus Christ from our Society!
They have challenged capital punishment, the right to bear firearms, and the most basic principles of our criminal code; they have attacked one of the most fundamental of all Freedoms, the right of free speech!

Unite behind Obama? Never!

I am sure many of you who read this think that I am going overboard, but I refuse to retreat one more inch in favor of those whom I believe are the embodiment of Evil!

PRESIDENT BUSH made many mistakes during his Presidency, and I am not sure how history will judge him.

However, I believe that he weighed his decisions in light of the long established Judeo-Christian principles of our Founding Fathers!!!

Majority rules in America , and I will honor the concept; however, I will fight with all of my power to be a voice in opposition to Obama and "his goals for America ."

I am going to be a thorn in the side of those who, if left unchecked, will destroy our Country!! Any more compromise is more defeat!

I pray that the results of this election will wake up many who have sat on the sidelines and allowed the Socialist-Marxist anti-God crowd to slowly change so much of what has been good in America !

"Error of Opinion may be tolerated where Reason is left free to combat it." (Thomas Jefferson)

God bless you and God bless our Country!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

INVISIBLE MOTHER

Thank you to my niece, Lindsay, who sent this to me today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become. At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there..'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know. The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you. This is beautiful and makes a ton of sense. To all the wonderful mothers out there.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am in much debt to my invisible Mother. I thank my wonderful children for making me so proud of them, and for the examples that Mom's before me have set.

HEARTLIGHT


VERSE:

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, thathe may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; forhe careth for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:6-7

THOUGHT:

You've probably had a similar experience to this one. Someoneasks you how you're doing. At first, they seem interested, but asyou begin to share the burdens of your heart, you begin to realizethat they aren't really listening and aren't really interested;they're just being polite. Most people have so many burdens theysimply don't know what to do with more. Our Father in heaven,however, says "Cast all your anxieties on me. You can share all ofthem with me, because I genuinely care for you."

PRAYER:

Father, I have been blessed in so many ways. Thank you so verymuch. I do have some really burdensome things, however, thattrouble me. Please do with the following concerns what is best foreach of the people involved and what brings you the most glory.(Please share your burdens and concerns with the Lord.) I thank youfor listening to my words and my heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

FIRST THOUGHTS


Saturday, May 16, 2009 ~ I didn't sleep well last night. I woke several times, to the potty and back. Tossing, turning, no dreams came . . . until early this morning, which is per custom. I have found through paying attention not just to the dreams, but when they appear, that they always come in sometimes violent waves in the early morning, after I have be awake and gone back to sleep. Lee wakes wakes me before he leaves for work each day to kiss and hug me, and tell me that he loves me. After falling back asleep, I dream vividly, and lately, those dreams have been dreadfully frightening and confusing at the same time.
The pain hit me dead center of my back and I was immediately taken down about three levels in my excitement about the morning, and the day. Saturday is my favorite day of the week. I thought I felt better last evening; perhaps it was the medication.
I dressed, didn't even make my bed, which is something I never fail to do. To the kitchen where Lee has a nice pot of freshly brewed coffee awaiting me. His absence lets me know that he is already in our favorite place, the covered patio. I know he is having his coffee, and is reading the newspaper. How many sections lying in a random heap tells me how much earlier he rose than me.
Cup of coffee perfectly seasoned, I venture downstairs and there is my love, just as I knew he would be. It's comforting, I know I can depend on him, he's always there, wherever I expect him to be. That's evidence of lots of time spent together, knowing ones habits, etc. I walked out and was greeted by the usual, but nevertheless affectionate, "hey Boo."
I note the pain is now radiating into the left shoulder and my elbow feels like something is pinching a nerve. I stand there, Lee is looking at the Sports page .... I began to tear up. I've done extremely well, not allowing the pain to interfere with work or my normal day-to-day life. Although, I have skipped a few ballgames with the children due to not feeling well - or generally, just listening to my body saying "you need to rest".
Lee says he is sorry that I am hurting and hopefully, we fill find an answer soon. I have two medical appointments this week. One is with my neurosurgeon. I made this because the pain in the thoracic area feels all too familiar. I have DDD (degenerative disc disease). I have had both lumbar and cervical fusions in the last six years. I am also seeing a rheumatologist, a specialty area not yet explored, but I do feel that this is where I will find the answers to what ails me.
Here I am, drinking my second cup of coffee. The tremors in my hands and arms frustrated me to the point of not reading the paper. I asked Lee to catch me up, and he does. There is thunder and grey skies. It rained a little, but has stopped. Yet the thunder continues. I see some very tiny birds going in and out of the birdhouse on the tree. I'm happy . . we put it out first of spring 2008. This is the first year babies have been born in the tiny cedar house that was a gift two years ago from my best friend, Fannie D. Brown. I hear the trickle of the water fountain, more thunder, and I am tired. I am thinking of resting until Mass this afternoon, and the domestic chores will, and can wait until tomorrow.
Please pray for me, as I pray for you.

HEARTLIGHT

This is so timely ... I thought immediately of my Mother, Father and Daughter.


VERSE:
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my
commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall
they add to thee.
~ Proverbs 3:1-2

THOUGHT:
Those who are older are not as respected in Western cultures
today as they once were and as they are in other cultures. The
Bible repeatedly reminds us of our NEED to honor those who are
godly and who have gone before us. Whether the father behind this
passage is the physical father of the person receiving instruction
or is the teacher of this student seeking wisdom, either way the
principle is the same. We have much to learn and much to gain from
heeding the voice of those who have served God for many years and
have proved themselves wise and faithful.

PRAYER:
Loving God and Almighty Father, thank you for those wise people
in my life who have shared your wisdom and their experience with
me. Please help them know how much I appreciate their investment of
love and guidance in me and please use me to do the same for those
who come after me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Piece of the Puzzle

I just receive from a family member two photographs capturing my Great-Grandmother on my Father’s side. I am a lover of antiquities, especially photographs of my ancestors. As I’ve said before, I engage in long conversations with my older relatives, querying about days long past. I want to know of my legacy; I want to pass it to my children and their children.

This is my Great-Grandmother, Savannah Lamar Slayton Hampton. When she bore my grandmother, her name was Slayton. Savannah left my Great- Grandfather and her children, my grandmother, Leta Mae, and her brother, Jim (and who I have always known as Uncle Happy) and moved to Arizona “for health reasons”. It was said that she had some kind of respiratory inflammation and said she needed to live where the air was dry.

At some point, she and her husband, my Great-Grandfather, divorced. My grandmother and Uncle Happy were left with relatives and I do not know what became of their father.

Savannah moved to Texas and over the years, made infrequent visits back to Alabama to see her children, and always on the arm of a different man, whom she would say was her husband. She eventually came home with the man in this second photograph named “Mr. Hampton”. She had been living in El Paso, Texas and they supposedly met and married there. When they grew older, and my Grandmother, Leta Mae, married, had children and was keeping a home of her own in Rogersville, Alabama, Great-Grandmother Savannah and Mr. Hampton moved in with them, and lived there until they died.

There is a cemetery that is mostly my relatives on the side of the road between Athens and Decatur. Perhaps she is buried there? I don’t know. They still have “decoration” every May. I could drive up there sometime and walk around and what ancestors are there. At the least, I’m keeping good notes for my legacy.

I have blown these photographs up as much as I can using computer-based photography programs so that I might examine every line of Savannah’s face, hands and body. One thing that I did discover is that her hands remind me of my daughter’s. Isn’t that amazing? That would be Savannah’s great-great granddaughter, and also of Hannah’s, my granddaughter and Savannah’s great-great-great granddaughter. I love history, especially my own.

THIS DAY'S . . .

You who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, meaning to clear them up some day; you who are keeping wretched quarrels alive because you cannot quite make up your minds that now is the day to sacrifice your pride and kill them; you who are letting your neighbor starve- until you hear that he is dying of starvation; or letting your friend’s heart ache for a word of appreciation or sympathy, which you mean to give him some day; if you could only know and see and feel all of a sudden that time is short, how it would break the spell! How you would go instantly and do the thing which you might never have another chance to do!

~Phillips Brooks
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I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

~ Psalm 119:59-60, The King James Version


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The free man is he who does not fear to go to the end of his thought.

~Leon Blum

Thursday, May 14, 2009

THIS DAY'S . . .

As the Prophet says: “I am not weary, following thee” (Jeremiah 17:16). Who can be weary following Jesus? For he himself says: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Let us, then, always follow Jesus and never falter, for if we follow him we never fail because he gives his strength to his followers. The nearer you are to this strength, the stronger you will be.

~ Ambrose of Milan
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Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

~ Proverbs 13:12, The New International Version
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A man is led the way he wishes to follow.

~The Talmud

ARE YOU FREE?

A friend sent this to me this morning and by the Grace of God, it touched a place in my life. It is from the heart, a profound statement from a woman who works at another law firm in town. I wish every Mother and Father could read it. God bless you as you read this.

A quote by Nancy DeMoss:

“Some believers stay stuck in sin and its consequences and don’t move on into the place of blessing. “

As I read that quote this morning I was given a “go ahead” so to speak, to share something that I was contemplating whether to share or not. Though part of me hesitates to share this for it is personal, I know there are many who go through this every year and thus I pray for their release as they read this. It is through our own personal experiences and victories that we may help other. This concerns parents and their children. And there may be dad’s who go through the same thing and need to hear a word of freedom.

This past Mother’s Day, my sister Teresa and I made a bold decision to celebrate Mother’s Day together at the beach. No kids. No one knew except my husband that we were going to the beach by ourselves, to celebrate Mother’s Day. Between my sister and me we have 5 children. Sadly, each year, on Mother’s Day, birthday, even Christmas, neither of us is remembered by 4 of these children. Why? Were we such bad mothers that we do not deserve the right to be called Mother, or recognized on such important days? No. We were no different than anyone else. We have yet to understand the reason, except that we know God is in control and we trust Him.

In my case I have 3 sons. Two of them I do not see and one I see when I make the attempt to go to him.

One has chosen not to see me since his father and I divorced in 1983. He chose his dad’s money and things which was the ultimatum given to him. He has also chosen a lifestyle that he knows I will not support. I love him but will not put a stamp of approval on his lifestyle. After repeated attempts of trying to contact him and no response, I finally have left him alone.

Another one was angry for years because of the divorce and always let me know how I failed, how I raised him, how I did everything wrong. He too chose his dad for some years but then for some years we had a relationship, but only on his terms. I endured the verbal abuse of my failings in order to see him and my grandchildren. This son then made a sudden decision to alter his lifestyle in such a way that I am no longer in touch with him unless I adhere to what he wants me to, call him what he wants to be called, or say what he says and no more. I cannot speak of God, Jesus, etc. I have said that I have the right to speak what I believe if he has the right to speak what he believes. But this is not the case. Once again, I am held hostage on his terms in order see him. I don’t see him.

The third one has been in my life but also on his terms. Usually when he needs monetary help. We have a relationship but that relationship is soon forgotten on Mother’s Day, birthday, etc.

Even growing up my sons were not prompted to remember mother’s birthday or Mother’s Day as it was not important to their dad and he usually did not remember himself. And I am one that refuses to remind someone that they need to remember me. There is no joy or love in gift that you must remind someone to give you. I know you understand this. So, partly I guess that is my fault and partly their dads.

I think you all get my point here. If you are reading this and thinking “You must have done something terribly wrong” then you need to stop and check your own life before pointing a finger. If you are reading this and thinking “This is the way my life is with my kids” then you are the one God has put on my heart to talk to.

Since Mother’s Day, besides my sister and myself, I have heard of three other women going thought his same scenario. It has weighed upon my heart that there must be many more out there as well so I am sharing this in hope that you might get free.

I came to conclusion this past weekend that I have allowed (yes, I allowed it) my kids to hold my emotions and feelings hostage. I have allowed my past mistakes, and the ignorance of my youth of how to raise children, to cause guilt, shame, and whatever else pops up to hold me hostage. Father God showed it to me plain as day. I have been forgiven through Christ, but I allowed my children to bring up the past and thus my feelings are intertwined and I am unhappy, sad, mad, all of the above. No one can live like this without breaking down somewhere. Please heed this if you are one who reminds people of their failings. If Jesus has forgiven them, you have no right to hold anything over someone else’s head. You are the one who will reap what you sow. Breaks can come in the places you least expect them.

I realized I had been stuck in my “hurt feelings” and “poor me.” All because my children do not do as I would like them to do. When we focus inward no matter who hurt our feelings, it is the devil’s tool to stop us in our tracks and there we stay for a few months, and even years. Hurt, angry, and feeling less than because our children or someone else makes us feel we do not measure up. This past weekend Father graciously opened my eyes to this and I am able to let all of that go. Does that mean I forget about my children? No. It means I double up on prayer for their soul because I know that because of their actions they will reap what they sow. That is my love pouring forth for them. Praying for mercy and not judgment for they know not what they do. It also means I don’t wait for phone calls and get sad, hurt when they don’t come. I don’t expect them. Reality is reality. Most of all, it means that GOD IS ABLE to keep me.

If we continuously look for approval, love, from anyone (even our children) we are held hostage in some way. We expect it and when it doesn’t come it disappoints. When it disappoints we stay locked into ourselves. Satan’s fall began with inward focus. Lord God, let us not be like him.

I must say with all sincerity of heart that this year I had one of the most enjoyable, fun, relaxing Mother ’s Day that I’ve ever had. Why? I let go! I did not wait to hear from children who might or might not call. I decided to celebrate me this year. I am worth it. God says I am worth much to Him. My focus became about who I was in Christ and not who I was to my kids. Don’t confuse this with inward focus of pity and poor me. They are two different things. I realize that God loves me and I am not dependent on anyone else’s love. Not one person’s. Not even my own children. Talk about a freedom. It is a good place to be.

Chuck Pierce wrote a prophetic word 2 weeks ago about some people having a “moat” around their emotions. They were held hostage and unable to let go, come forth, break out. He also said God was putting fire in the moat to burn the enemy’s blockage down that we may be set free. I believed that prophetic word and received it. This past weekend was the fulfillment of that word. We choose to get out or stay in bondage by others.

I love my children. That is a given and will never stop. I will continue to pray for them. But I will not dance their dance in order to have relationship with them. I dance with Jesus now and where He leads I will follow. Jesus knows what rejection by family and peers, is like. He knows it all too well. He refused to allow people to dictate his actions, control his emotions. He followed his Father God and only Him. This is the lesson we must learn in order to be truly free. We ether go on with Christ or we stop and camp out for years in stagnation because we have looked within and been found in pity and self-consumption and/or serving man. That doesn’t mean we don’t hurt. It does mean that with Christ we can go forward and not be caught in a trap of the past or held stationary by anyone, not even children.

I choose (it is a choice) to let God have my children, see them when I can, but lay them down before Father God, and walk forward in Christ. You cannot walk forward by looking backwards. I no longer look backwards nor am I held hostage by my feelings nor by what anyone thinks of me. Jesus said in John 8:36: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Has the Son of God made you free?

My destiny is not in my children. My destiny is in Jesus. We fail to remember we belong to Him and He has set us apart and sanctified us for Himself. For Himself! Not for ourselves. Yes we are still human but we can live above the world’s standards if we so choose to trust Jesus for all things in our lives. Even our children.

I pray that those of you who identify with this come to the full realization that you belong to Christ. You are loved greatly. And He wants you to look to Him and allow Him to take those things that keep you bound (emotions and feelings), give them to Him willingly, and watch what He can do with them. But don’t wait around looking, hoping, expecting instant results. Go on with Jesus in your life and trust Him that when that day comes and He has made a bouquet of sweet smelling fragrance of your life, your children, you will be surprised, and pleased and know that because you trusted Him with your prize possessions, they were made whole.

I also pray that as you read this the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Jesus whom Father has put within you, (Gal. 4:6) will cause you to say today.

“Today is my Mother’s Day! I am whole! I am loved! I will focus on what I have and not what I don’t have. I AM FREE!

FIRST THOUGHTS

When you wake up in the morning, and in my case, there is nobody home but me, and I’m going through my ritual to prepare for work. The first thing I do is make my bed. Second, I turn on the television to “Good Morning America”, and I listen to the day’s news while I am in my dressing room. As I brush my teeth, wash my face and then sit to apply my makeup, one ear is tuned to the television, and the other is tuned to the most inner canals of my brain where thoughts explode at random. These are snippets of thoughts, usually, and sometimes a little more. For example:

Valerie Bertinelli and her new bikini figure, and her comments about her former Jenny Craig partner, Kirsti Alley. Oh those pictures of Kirstie in “People”, I can’t believe that she put all that weight back on. Who am I to judge – oh Lord, how am I going to lose weight? I know the medications that I have to take have an impact on my weight; what can I do?

Barrack’s going to Europe first of June? Well, they’re making the rounds in record time. I guess Michelle’s mother will care for the girls in their absence. Speaking of, I haven’t seen anything about the two young ladies of the White House; oh, I’m sure that the President admonished the media to leave the girls along. I suppose I would feel the same way.

Why do they refer to Dick Cheney as “very unpopular” and why is he living “in an undisclosed place”? Hm, he speaks very eloquently. It infuriated me when Obama joked and make such disrespectful remarks at the White House dinner for laughs at the expense of Republicans, i.e., human beings with thoughts and feelings. I detest that on any level, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, or any individual. Wow, he’s skinning his ignorance and his true colors are revealing.

Diane Sawyer has never changed – her hair, her voice . . . just like the beginning of her career.

Why didn’t Lee want to watch the Anthony’s on Larry King … hrmph! He said I was asleep when he change it . . .oh well, it’s nothing new on that story.

Heavens, all these weeks of muscle relaxers and heating pads and my back hurts every morning just as bad or worse than the day before. I can’t wait to get some relief.

Imagine that your baby was switched at birth, and some 18 or 20 years later, you find out? Wow, they are meeting their biological mothers for the first time. Gosh, and the whole family is there and they have made a pact to become one big family. God is good!

I am in the car now, the radio is playing, and I’m on the 40-minute drive to the office.

“Can you tell me ‘bout the Midnight Rider . . .” …. I haven’t heard that song in years. Hmm, good beat … first time I heard this, I was living in California and in the throws of my first love affair.

My daughter calls on my cell: “What ‘cha doin”? /“I’m just on my way to work, my back is killing me as usual. I’d just like to wake up one day of my life and not be in pain. What’s up?” / “I’m sorry, Mom, maybe the doctors will find something next week to give you some relief.” / “I hope so, sweetie. Have you dropped off the kids, are you on your way home?” / "Yeah, I’m almost to 52, Bonnie hurt her foot so I’m taking her to the vet.” / “Aww, how’d she hurt it?” / “Well, Bailey was holding her and Riley came at him real fast, he was just playing, and Bailey dropped her. Hannah said she fell on her back, but a little while later, she started limping and favoring her right foot; she was lying around and not running around and playing like she usually does. Keith said give it a couple of days, but I’d rather go ahead and have her checked out. Well, I’m at the vet now, so I’ll talk to you later.” / “Okay, sweetie. I love you.” / “I love you.”

I think that same girl pulled out in front of me a month ago and then crept down the road. Doesn’t she know that’s dangerous?

“Come on, come on now, touch me babe, and you see, that I am not afraid ….” The Doors. I need to put them on my blog playlist. Why can’t I remember all of these groups. This medication has to be what is causing my memory problems. Gosh, surely I’m not getting alzheimer’s at my age? Dear God, don’t let that happen. Should I keep the appointment with the neuro-surgeon AND the rheumatologist? Yes, I need to see the neuro, the pain in my back just feels familiar … I know I have another disc problem. I’m going to type up the list of all my meds and everything I can think of by way of my symptoms for the rheumatologist. Please God, somebody has got to find a diagnosis for my pain. Let’s see, neuro on Tuesday, rheumatologist on Friday.

That Riley, what a little woodpecker! The game ball from filling in on a team that is the next league up . . . he’s so relaxed, beautiful to watch him play; he just does it like second nature … standing at the plate to bat, no fidgeting, just calm concentration … I think he has the makings of a professional athlete one day.

Why do people pull in front of you and then not go anywhere. I’m going over to the next lane and speed up. Christie told me that she and Keith think when I die, it’s going to be in a motor vehicle accident because of the way I drive. Hmm, that’d be quick. Would I rather have some disease and slowly fade into the sunset or just die quickly? I don’t think I could handle the disease and the slow death … I’d much rather the Lord come and take me quickly, but that’s not my call.

I need to embrace the crucifix hanging on the rear-view mirror … dear Jesus, please protect me as I walk through this day. Our Father, who art in heaven; hollowed be thy name; Thy Kingdome come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without sin. Amen.

I feel more relaxed, look, I’m not even speeding …. I am actually flowing with the traffic and not racing to get through by changing lanes .... this really does feel good .... hmm, coffee almost gone ... so nice of Lee to make my coffee every morning, I'm really very lucky to have him ... I love that man. I really need to work on that. 8:29 … just enough time to park and be in the office at exactly 8:30.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

THIS DAY'S . . .

Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by day.

~ Richard of Chichester
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He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

~ Proverbs 21:23
The New International Version

HEARTLIGHT


WISDOM: Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

~Proverbs 13:21, King James Version


VERSE: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

~ Matthew 5:13

THOUGHT: Jesus wanted us to never give up our moral distinctiveness, our redemptive influence, or our loving impact on those around us. The purpose of our presence in the world is to be an influence in our culture against further decay and to season the bitter, dog-eat-dog world with grace and mercy.

PRAYER: Dear holy and majestic LORD, please help me resist being conformed to my culture. Instead, dear Father, please use my distinctiveness as a Christian to bless others and to expand the influence and impact of your Kingdom. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Monday, May 11, 2009




Simple Women's Daybook is hosted by Peggy. Pop over to her site and see what other simple women do. The members of this unique club grows every week!


For Monday, May 11, 2009


Outside my window... The skies are rather hazy; rain was predicted but hasn't reared it's head yet.

I am thinking ... About a time when I wasn't in constant pain. I broke down and called the Neurosurgeon and made an appointment today.

I am thankful for... This past Mother's Day weekend. I had THE best Mother's Day dinner on Saturday night. It was full of laughter, and yes, I teared up when I opened the framed photograph of my son in his suit with his fiance on the deck of "Glory", their cruise ship. Funny, he and his sister who gave me a beautiful new handbag started jabbing each other about next year. She said she thought he'd "on-upped" her and she'd have to come up with something better next year. I told them both, "I love jewelry!" Just seeing my two grown children clowing around like they used to really filled my tanks. It was a special evening.

From the kitchen... I have my famous chicken salad with bread and butter pickles prepared. It will be sandwiches since we have ballgames tonight. Both the boys play at the same time, so I will sit and watch Riley, Lee will walk back and forth between the two fields, and my daughter will watch Bay's game. Keith will be helping coach Riley's team. Just when I feel the season is almost over, I realize that All Stars are next! Hannah plays the championship game for the girls softball tomorrow night.

I am praying ... That the Lord will guide me and my daughter in the right direction In His Name.

I am wearing... SUNSHINE! At least that's what my co-worker called me! I have a bright orange sleeveless sweater pullover and a broomstick skirt that fades from yellow-gold to cream to pastel orange to deep orange (going top to bottom) - sort of like tie dye, and Yellowbox beaded and wedged platform sandals.

I am creating... A bookeeping and recordkeeping system for a little side business that Christie and I are starting. (Hint: "I am praying ...")

I am reading... An enormous catalog for the Atlanta market, which Christie and I are going to attend in July to find vendors and items for our business.

Around the house ... Lee was gone to his Mother's this weekend and I rebelled - I left dishes in the sink overnight and a big mess on the kitchen table. The bathroom counter was a mess, too! When he called and said he was on the road toward home, I knew I had four hours to get the house back in shape and cleaned. And I made it with time to spare!

I am hearing ... Some old Fleetwood Mac songs that I downloaded from iTunes this weekend. I make special cd's, filled with songs that I like. I keep coming back to them and every time I do, I realize that they are the truest representation of an enormous milestone in my life. The memories, they do a'flow ....

One of my favorite things ... My grandchildren's new puppy, Bonnie. She has the sweetest personality and is so "peppy" ... although I did find a couple of little doodies behind the table after they left yesterday. We had a bad storm come through, and she was really frightened. We think maybe she has been abused by the way she reacts to certain things and people, but we're going to wash those memories away real quick.

A few plans for the rest of the week: We should finish up regular baseball/softball by tomorrow night, if it doesn't rain. I am planning to join the "Y" and begin water exercise with a girlfriend. I believe it will be good for my pain, and then we can also use the pool this summer.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Herod's Visit to Notre Dame


Top Vatican Official: Notre Dame’s Honoring ‘Anti-Life and Anti-Family’ Obama ‘Is a Source of the Gravest Scandal’

Monday, May 11, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer


(CNSNews.com) - A top Vatican official said Friday that Notre Dame’s intention of granting an honorary doctorate to “anti-life and anti-family” President Barack Obama at its graduation ceremony this coming Sunday is “a source of the gravest scandal.”

The Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, who serves in the Vatican as the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the church’s highest court, gave the keynote address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

“In a culture marked by widespread and grave confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, our Catholic schools and universities must be beacons of truth and right conduct,” said Burke.

“Clearly, the same is true of our Catholic charitable, missionary and healthcare institutions,” he said. “There can be no place in them for teaching or activities which offend the moral law. Dialogue and respect for differences are not promoted by the compromise and even violation of the natural moral law. The proposed granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our President who is aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda is a source of the gravest scandal.”

The comment was interrupted by a 34-second standing ovation by about 1,300 people in attendance.

“Catholic institutions cannot offer any platform to, let alone honor, those who teach and act publicly against the moral law,” Burke continued. “In a culture which embraces an agenda of death, Catholics and Catholic institutions are necessarily counter-cultural. If we as individuals or our Catholic institutions are not willing to accept the burdens and the suffering necessarily involved in calling our culture to reform, then we are not worthy of the name Catholic.”

Obama is scheduled to speak Sunday at the commencement of Notre Dame, a prestigious Catholic university based in Indiana. The pending speech has stirred controversy because of Obama’s pro-abortion stance, his support of tax dollars going to embryonic stem cell research and his support for granting same-sex unions that same legal status as marriage.

The Cardinal Newman Society, a national student Catholic group, has circulated a petition that has gained almost 360,000 signatures asking Notre Dame not to have Obama speak and not to award him an honorary degree.

The university has not rescinded its invitation to Obama or its offer of an honorary doctor of laws degree. The White House, meanwhile, says that Obama looks forward to giving the speech.

More than 60 American Catholic bishops have objected to Notre Dame honoring Obama.

Some Catholic clergy in attendance at the prayer breakfast shared the bishops’ view.

The Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, is a graduate of Notre Dame.

“I’m ticked,” Euteneuer told CNSNews.com. “This is the most recent in a long line of egregious violations of the spirit and teachings of the church. They have a gay and lesbian coalition on campus that is allowed almost full expression, their openly dissenting faculty members and now Obama. It’s more than Obama though. It’s a flagrant rejection of the bishops’ authority and directives.”

The Rev. Michael Beers, Frackville, Pa., said Notre Dame “is the most clearly recognizable Catholic institution in the country. Any person who takes a strong position in favor of abortion, as President Obama does, clearly sets himself at odds with Catholic teaching, Catholic practice, in no way should be given the forum that he is being given at Notre Dame.”

The church has to retain its identity, said Rev. Stefan Starzyski of St. Mary of Sorrows in Fairfax, Va.

“Having Obama speak goes against the core of what we believe in as a church,” Starzyski told CNSNews.com. “He is probably one of he most radical pro abortion presidents we have ever had is speaking at Notre Dame. We’re acting as if abortion is not an issue. We shouldn’t be giving honors to a man whose fundamental beliefs are contrary to what we believe.”
This Day's Smile made me LOL ....
For the sake of each of us he laid down his life- worth no less than the universe. He demands of us in return our lives for the sake of each other.

~Clement of Alexandria

For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

~Colossians 2:9-10, The Revised Standard Version


Knowledge is the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify.

~Ambrose Bierce

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I AM

A STORM


"I have always ...... been a storm ..."

Stevie Nicks
Fleetwood Mac

Abbey Is Listening To ....

As I was reading "jme"'s writing regarding "Herod", this song was playing on my cd, and it just seemed so timely. I loved this album when I was in my twenties, living in Los Angeles, and I had forgotten this song. I downloaded it yesterday, along with some others from this album. Do a "Google" for this song and listen. It's very moving ... at least to me ... but then, I have always "felt" music.


HOLD ON
"Leftoverture"
Kansas

Look in the mirror and tell me
Just what you see
What have the years of your life
Taught you to be
Innocence dyin' in so many ways
Things that you dream of are lost
Lost in the haze

Hold on, baby, hold on
'Cause it's closer than you think
And you're standing on the brink
Hold on, baby, hold on
'Cause there's something on the way
Your tomorrow's not the same as today

Don't you recall what you felt
When you weren't alone
Someone who stood by your side
A face you have known

Where do you run when it's too much to bear
Who do you turn to in need
When nobody's there
Outside your door He is waiting
Waiting for you

Sooner or later you know
He's got to get through
No hesitation and no holding back
Let it all go and you'll know
You're on the right track

Hold on, baby, hold on
'Cause it's closer than you think
And you're standing on the brink
Hold on, baby, hold on
'Cause there's something on the way
Your tomorrow's not the same as today

HEROD at Notre Dame: A Novena For the St. Joseph's of Our Time

Herod at Notre Dame: A Novena for the St. Joseph’s of Our Time

May 7, 2009 — james mary evans

AUSSIE MOM: THERESE

I encourage you to go to Aussie Coffee Shop and see the video and the Mother's Day post. Therese is one of my BBF's (that's "Best Blogger Friends"). She is an inspiration and a joy. She is the tireless and dedicated Mother to seven beautiful children, a Biblical wife, and a devout Catholic. Reading her blog, I don't know where she finds the time to do all that she does. She has determination and discipline in her daily life, and that includes time for the Lord, which she shares and instills in her children's lives every day.

I also made a comment, which may not be up yet, but when it is posted, I'll edit this one and include it at the bottom. As I wrote it, I realized I was telling her a part of my conversion journey, and it is something that I have long-wanted to write about here, but have failed to do thus far. Look back here for it later.

Enjoy Aussie Coffee Shop on this Mother's Day. And whether you have children or not, there is a "Mother" in each of our lives, and not to forget the first and most Holy Mother of all, the Virgin Mary.

THIS WEEK'S . . .

Money and Fear
By Eric Elder
http://www.theranch.org/


I’ve been talking to people over the last few months about our trip to Israel this fall, inviting them to come along. While many people would love to go, there are two hurdles that often stand in the way: money and fear.

I totally understand! In fact, those same two hurdles often stand in the way of many of the things we feel God is calling us to do. How can we possibly afford it? And even if God does provide the money, what might happen to us if we go ahead and do it?

These are such universal questions I thought I’d address them today because the truth is, there’s one thing that can help to overcome both hurdles: faith.

When God increases your faith, it helps you to see your way through the hurdles that stand before you. I know, because I’ve had to face those hurdles as well.

The first time I felt God calling me to go to Israel, I had just quit my secular job to go into full-time ministry. I only had $1,500 in the bank, with a wife and three kids at home. It seemed impossible, I thought. I didn’t even know how to get to Israel if I wanted to go. What city would I fly into? And what airlines flew there?

Yet the thought wouldn’t leave me. I felt I should at least check into it, even if it was just to confirm that there was no way I could go. I called an airline and asked how much it would cost to get there. She looked it up and came back with the price: “$1,498.”

Two thoughts immediately went through my mind: “I don’t have enough!” and “You have just enough!” I sensed that one of those thoughts was from my own mind and one was from God. Which was I going to believe?

It was too big of a decision to make on my own, so I asked my wife, my pastor and some faithful prayer partners to pray with me about what I should do. The answer kept coming back that I should go. I knew that if God was calling me to it, He would help me through it. I had to decide whether or not I believed that God would continue to meet all my needs, as Paul said to the Philippians:

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

But I still had another hurdle to face: fear. Wasn’t it dangerous to go to the Middle East? News reports always seem to highlight the violence that happens there. Yet as I talked with others who had been to Israel, they told me that they felt safer walking around the streets of Jerusalem than most any other major city in the world. The heightened security in Israel has led to one of the lowest crime rates in the world. It came back to a matter of faith. If God had called me to it, He would walk me through it.

Joshua and his people had their own fears to face the first time God called them to go to Israel as well. But while there was much to fear, there was much more to be gained. So God said:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9b).

Joshua and his people believed God, and in so doing, received blessings beyond their imagination--just like I received when I finally went there myself.

If you feel like God is calling you to do something, ask Him to confirm what He’s calling you to do. Ask others what they think about what God is calling you to do. Then ask God to give you the faith and wisdom to keep walking forward until you see His will fulfilled.

Don’t let money or fear stand in the way of doing what God has called you to do. Reach out to God in faith. Put your full faith and trust in Him, believing that if He has called you to it, He will walk you through it.

Let’s pray...

Father, I pray that You would confirm to me what You’re calling me to do. Help me to see Your plans for my life with eyes of faith, not eyes of fear. Help me to know how to accomplish all that You’re putting on my heart to do. Help me to overcome my unbelief, and to trust in You completely again today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Fr. Corapi on Notre Dame Scandal

I proudly voted against the presence of Obama at Notre Dame's commencement. It would be my hope that every student, in protest, refuse to take the stage to receive their degrees personally. This issue is higher than a photo op for parents and families. While I recognize that the memory of walking up and accepting one's degree is a monumental event in one's life, it is even more monumental to say "I refused to go against my Faith and my principles, and moreover, the Word of God." Please pray for the University, it's Board and the Bishops. This travesty brings me to tears.

Friday, May 08, 2009

JUS' TALKIN'

I am presently sitting on my upper deck and the skies of Alabama are so beautiful! It is the most perfect evening. I've been here a while, reading "The McKade Brothers" by Nora Roberts ... I'm in the second book ... and I've seen the sun go down and now the stars are peeping through. There was, at dusk, a few stars and very visible contrail of a jet that was slowly diminishing toward the east. I have the perfect home. It is a north facing house; therefore, the sun rises to the east and makes it's way over the house, horizontally, to the west. I love a north or south facing home because you don't get the heat of morning sun or especially evening sun. It is absolutely perfect.

As the seasons change and the earth tilts, the sun in winter is more directly over the top of my home. As spring comes, the sun moves slowly toward the backyard. I have planted my pots and a few things in the garden. Lee has lovingly placed pine straw all around the perimeter (following the garden) and it is fresh and lovely. I have two rose bushes that produce YELLOW roses, which is my mother's favorite. It is so appropo because I was raised in Texas and "The Yellow Rose of Texas" is the only girl fir me .... yada yada. But I love Texas and am so proud of my heritage there. I miss HOME.

I have a lot of canas and they are a bright orange/red. I divided the bulbs last year and placed three plantings on the left side of the yard. They are going wild with growth. It is going to be so beautiful when they bloom.

I have three Amaryllis' and they are presently producing the most beautiful blooms. The white ones are not doing as wonderful as the magnificent reddish orange that is in the garden close to the house. There were four HUMONGOUS blooms while Mom and Dad were here. It was with pride that I specifically called my mother , "come, I want to show you something," and she relished the sight of the Amaryllis as much as I.

I have talked before about inheriting my precious Grandmother's green thumb. My husband looks at me with total puzzlement when I direct him, as my yard-boy to plant this over there and such. After 7 1/2 years of marriage, he's still a pessimist, in all things. People don't change; they adapt.I must give credit where credit is due. Our Loving Father, my goodness, how could he have thought of every single minute thing when he created this earth? Do you ever stop to wonder? Does it make your brain go bumfuzzled to try and think about every little detail that Our Father has created?

My hummingbird feeders are out and filled with nourishment. My husband put them out in spite of my protest that it was way too early for hummingbird, of which I have an special fondness. Low and behold, there was a solitary hummingbird at one of the feeders this past week. I am in awe of these tiny creatures; they are entertaining and gloriously beautiful creatures.It is now dark, and I am awaiting the stars.

I don't know where they are; perhaps our world has not yet turned enough to reveal the heavens. Growing up, I used to lie in the yard, in Texas, where they have THE most beautiful skies on God's green earth, and look at the heavens. I have always been so fascinated with the heavens; the thoughts of how very far away this twinkling light lives. I look for the big dipper and the little dipper - that's about all I know about the constellations ..... but no worries, I am totally in awe of this most spectacular site. And I mean that in the deepest heartfelt sincerity.

God is so gloriously wonderful. He is so very wise, creative, humble, loving, fair, honest, dependable, and a host of other descriptive words. I cannot describe the feeling of the blessing of living this life, how grateful I am to be in His presence, how grateful I am for His Saving Grace. Simply put, I am in awe and I am elated!

Signing off now, I wish all of my blogger mothers the most blessed Mother's Day, a day full of family and fellowship with Christ at the center of every moment. I love you guys, truly I do.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

FROM WILL ROGERS



Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash with Wylie Post in 1935, was probably the greatest political sage this country has ever known.



Enjoy the following:

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

ABOUT GROWING OLDER...

First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf

And finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

Bristol Palin: Our Role Model???

I feel compelled to speak on the topic of teenage pregnancy. The news of Bristol Palin’s joining in and being a representative of the fight against teenage pregnancies was of questionable timeliness, and has provoked many questions and thoughts. It has served to push my mind back to a time where morals meant everything to a young girl. I wonder to a time when women were still virgins when they married, and imagine the innocent fumbling and miscues on the wedding night. The young women of today don’t know what they’re missing.

My mother is married to the only man that God created just for her, and she has never had a sexual relationship with anyone other than my Dad. I have the greatest respect and admiration for her. She tells stories of her time as a teenage girl, dating different boys. I laugh when she says “I would go out with [this guy] when I didn’t have anything better to do,” which brings a gasp from me! I don’t picture my Mom as being a flirty girl or even knowing how to “play” guys, but she did her share, all while maintaining the respect of the boys she dated and her girlfriends, too. She was chaste; she had innocent fun – movies, drive-ins, and going to church together, YES, TO CHURCH! Church was at the center of my Mom’s upbringing. My Granny never missed. She was there every time the doors were open until the day she died.

It’s difficult to contain my disgust with today’s “parenting skills”. Is that an oxymoron? I think so. There are fewer parenting skills than ever, and specifically, any counseling from parents regarding sexual activity. I hear parents saying that they would rather put their daughters on “the pill” than to really do what is right, and that is to instill a sense of morality in their daughters and sons and to encourage them to be chaste at all costs.

It saddens me to see young girls who have babies when they are obviously way too young for this huge responsibility. It is so romantic, falling in “love” confusing love with sex, and if that “mistake” should happen which wouldn’t happen if one abstains, well, it is just so romantic na├»ve; marrying the man you love who talked you into giving it up to him and feeling that you will be together all of your lives hoping beyond hope that he shores his responsibility. Everything will be perfect when he leaves you home with the baby and goes out with his friends night after night; he’ll get a job but he won’t make near enough to support a family and you’ll stay home and take care of the baby and the house and he will come home everyday wondering how did he get himself into this. It will be just lovely, won’t it?

I believe that every young person (teenager) develops dreams of how they feel life should be when they are grown and on their own. Teens are in such a rush. Why? I don’t have the answer other than perhaps peer pressure. And I still place the responsibility with the parents. Values that are instilled in you from birth rarely deviate. Sure, it happens, it happened with me. No, I am not ashamed. I have a beautiful daughter with whom I share a very loving and Christ-like relationship. But what I suffered at the hands of the young man whom I trusted with my chastity is unspeakable. I write here as the voice of experience.

Do you find it odd that Bristol Palin has popped out of the woodwork just as Levi has made the talk show circuit? It is such a shame that Levi has poured out his guts via the national media about their relationship, the baby, the family and the breakdown of his relationship with Bristol. I cannot apologize for saying that I believe full well that this is “damage control” by Sarah Palin. This is a control freak at her best. She has her sights set very high and I do not believe that Bristol Palin would have stepped up to this particular plate without a strong nudge from Momma. I don’t begrudge her doing it; I just want her to do this for the right reasons. She is privileged, lives at home, doesn’t have money woes, and has hired help with her baby. Life is good, even as a single mother. I don’t begrudge the Palin’s for helping their daughter. But Bristol Palin is not the example that I feel will bring home the message to teenage girls about pre-marital sex.

These young women need more than anything to see the dark side of life as a teenaged single mother. It’s not a bed of roses; it’s pure hell in most cases. You love your baby, but you can’t help but be angry at their presence; that it’s caused you to lose your freedom, your friends, some ostracized by their families, relationships with the babies’ fathers that break down so quickly when they realize what a humongous responsibility they’ve taken on. The men usually walk away and the girls are left with the baby. The every-other-weekend visit is nothing compared to a 24/7 life being responsible for everything, every need, every hunger, every hurt. You lose your youth, you don’t go out on dates anymore, you probably won’t get to go to college and if you do, hey, you’re a single mother and you’re not really part of the gang. It’s hard to study when you have a baby to tend.

You miss dances, your senior prom, that beautiful wedding, time with your husband before babies are brought into the picture, time to get your feet on the ground, get your careers going, buy a home, get settled, socialize with friends . . . there are so many, many things that I know because I missed out on all of these. My friends were going to the movies, the malls and hanging out at the drive-in. Where was I? At home with my baby girl. Where was my husband? Riding off at night on his motorcycle, coming home at all hours smelling of cheap perfume.

The ONLY way to prevent pregnancy, at any age, is abstinence. And I just do not, for the life of me, dear Lord, understand why parents do not love their babies enough to give them the moral values that are RIGHT in the eyes of God. Maybe not in the eyes of society, however. That’s a whole ‘nother issue. Society has suffered such deep moral decay that I feel it is irretrievable broken. It’s tough for a young person these days, to fight a social atmosphere that is so permissive. Children certainly have to be strong, stronger than when I was a teen. But it can be done. Keeping Christ at the center of their lives, keeping the family close, having open communication, being involved in everything in their lives are all good starts. I think a lot of parents are just plain lazy. Give them tons of electronics, then “out of sight, out of mind” and they don’t have to tend to them. They’re too caught up in their own lives. So why did they bring these babies into this world?

I find that I don’t have an ending for this diatribe. It is what it is. It is my deepest feelings about the topic of unplanned pregnancy, particularly in teens. I hope it touches just one teenage out there in cyberspace and prevents just one unplanned pregnancy. And always remember, ABORTION IS NOT AN OPTION!