Tuesday, April 29, 2008

~Press On~

13 ...one thing I do--forgetting everything which is past and stretching forward to what lies in front of me,
14 with my eyes fixed on the goal I push on to secure the prize of God's heavenward call in Christ Jesus.

Believers face many difficulties. Trials. Adversaries. Doubts. At times we're all tempted to quit. The struggle seems too much, and we wonder if it's worth it to continue, to hold on to our faith when there seems to be no hope left.

But there is a goal -- supremely worthwhile: life with our wonderful Lord. Not just existence, but intimate fellowship.

Fix your eyes on the goal -- God Himself -- and press on!

9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

1 PETER 5:7-10 NCV
7 Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you.
8 Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat.
9 Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith.You know that your Christian family all over the world is having the same kinds of suffering.
10 And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever.

Notice that suffering is caused by your enemy, the devil, and its purpose is to attack your faith. Also notice that God only allows you to suffer a short time.

"But," you say, "it's already been a long time."

Not really. It seems like a long time when you are going through trials, but afterward seems like a short time. Even a few years is nothing when you look back on it. Ask God to help you see things from Heaven's perspective.

"But why does God allow me to suffer at all?"

Because people make wrong choices. Conflict causes suffering. But God believes in you! Why should He yank you out of the arena? God believes that with His grace and help, you will overcome and experience victory.

The end result is what really counts. God will make everything turn out alright. (Read verse 10 again.)

Maybe you feel like your faith is barely hanging by a thread. Just hang on. With God holding the thread -- and He is -- your faith will survive. You will make it! God will help you.

Today I had lunch with a very good friend from church. This here is a picture of her TWIN girls. K. (left) and C. (right). It is not a current picture. This picture was taken just weeks
before K. was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2004. This was just a few weeks before she was to start kindegarten. I had been the girls Wednesday evening teacher at church when they were 2-4 years old. I didn't really get to know Misty until during the time K. went through treatment. This is when our friendship really began to grow. It had only been a few years since my dad has passed away from cancer when K. was diagnosed. I had never really been this close to a child with cancer.
Very rarely did K. miss church while she was undergoing treatment. If she did, it was mostly when she was undergoing bone marrow transplant or if her counts were too low. Otherwise, if there was church you better believe she would be there.
K.'s cancer was under control for quite some time and I had the honor of being K. and C.'s Sunday School teacher the year they were in 1st grade. We had such a great year. In the spring of 2006 testing showed that the cancer was taking over. Her Daddy and Mommy left no stone unturned regarding available treatments.
On Sunday morning June 4, 2006 at about 5:00 a.m. K.'s Daddy was at her side at the time and he saw the expression on K.'s face when Jesus came to take her to heaven. I remember K.'s Daddy calling me while I was driving to church because he wanted me to know before I got to church where his little girl was. How honored I felt and still feel to this day that a parent who just lost their baby girl would call me.
Misty and I have had many a talk about the pain and suffering they have had to endure. It has been extremely hard as we can only imagine. It will continue to be a hard road to travel, but they are able to walk this road with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We know we are going to go to heaven one day. But until you have someone or more than one person there you don't give it that much thought. Once people you care about start leaving this earth you think more about what it will be like. We do know it will be better than what we experience here on earth.
I told Misty I would be there anytime she needed someone for whatever reason. She could call and just talk about K. I have heard it mentioned by others that they just don't know what to say. It really isn't hard at all. Even if you aren't close to the person, all you have to say is "I'm praying for you." They want to be able to talk about their child. They don't want their child forgotten. I'm simply treating Misty how I would want someone to treat me in similar instances. So, if you know anyone who is hurting for whatever reason, reach out to them. It would mean so much to them.
I cannot begin to imagine what my dear friends have had to go through these last few years. I have laughed and cried with them many times. They are doing an awesome job in their healing process. They are allowing God to use this for His Glory!
They are now beginning the process of adoption. It looks like they may be adopting here rather than International. Please pray that this goes smoothly. They have so much love to give.
As for C. she is doing amazingly well, especially since she and her "sissy" were extremely close. Her parents have been very wise in helping her in coping with this. They have provided the resources to help her deal with this. The above picture of C. does not do her justice. She was having a "wild" hair day.
God provides what we need when we need it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

~Need a Haircut?~

"Seventy years are given to us! Some may even reach eighty. But even the best of these years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we are gone... Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom...Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us see your miracles again; let our children see your glory at work." (Psalm 90:10, 12, 14-16)

After working at the garage sale Saturday and packing up I came home. I had thought I would just rest and finish studying my lesson for Sunday morning. Well, I did rest for a few minutes and loved on Ripley a bit. After my failed attempt at grooming Ripley myself several weeks ago, I haven't really had the time to attempt this again. His hair grows so fast and is really thick, especially in his chest area. With his hair longer he sheds more and has a harder time breathing. I don't think I've ever let his grow long like a lot of Peke's do. He was beginning to look like a little butterball. Anyway I decided to attempt the grooming again. I got out the new clippers and started buzzing away. I started with a longer blade to try to get some of the hair off first and then switched down to a shorter blade. I spent 1 1/2 hours buzzing this hair AND I'm still not done. It is a good thing he sits still for me especially since I'm not the one who usually grooms him. I guess this comes from getting groomed monthly. Now I just need to go back in and shape his hair and even him out a bit. My main goal Saturday was to get all the hair off. Even though we are not finished, he still looks so much better. I'm sure he feels better to get that hair off.

I was really surprised that once all the hair was off he didn't look like he's gained any weight at all. So, he's probably lost a few pounds in the last few weeks and I'm sure the hair made him look bigger.

He's still confined to the crate the majority of the time. He's tolerating it well. I don't want to take any chances. I'm a little worried about the leg because of the accident. We return for a checkup in a few weeks and they will x-ray the leg and hopefully it will be healing nicely.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

~Daily Thought~

Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done.Galatians 6:4 (NCV)

It's easy to judge others. It's much harder judging ourselves. So how do we do this. Jesus is ultimately the one that we should model. Will we live up to his example? Probably not. But as long as we do our best, God is happy. So if I'm going to compare my life, my lifestyle, my actions, my thoughts, etc. to anyone, it should be to Jesus. I'm not going to be perfect. I must simply strive to be. Then I can be proud of who I am.

~Big Success~

Today was the third and final day of the garage sale for Jan. I'm happy to report it was a BIG SUCCESS. There were so many people who so generously donated items for the sale, as well as their time and money. It wouldn't have been possible without each and every one of these people. Since we had so much furniture and such, we thought we might have another garage sale next week at my house, but we made some really great sales and I'm happy to report there is very little left. It has been a long 3 days, but well worth the time. We want to support Jan/Gerald in every way possible on this journey.

Jan was able to help at the garage sale all three days. I personally think she pushed herself a bit too much, but she wanted to be able to contribute as much as she could. I understand this completely.

The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may support those whose heart completely His. 2 Chronicles 15:9

By the way, M.L. I talked to M.M. and she said B.A. is the one who said you had the "great finds. But, really what's up with all this?

Friday, April 25, 2008

~Cracked Pots~

For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong. 1 Corinthians 12:10

Yes, God's power is a mighty, prevailing force that cannot be withstood by His enemies. Job 42:2

In my quiet time today I read:

*God uses "cracked pots" to minister. "We have this treasure from God, but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that the great power is from God, not from us" (2 Corinthians 4:7). Isn't it amazing who God can use to change the world? He can use people like you and me!

*God leads through humility: "But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant" (Phillippians 2:7). In God's desire to have a relationship of love with His people, He doesn't boss them around, but serves them. In emptying himself of power, He conquered the power of death.

*God sacrifices himself. "In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people" (Mark 10:45). The earth shook and the skies went black in the moment of Jesus' death. But what appeared to be defeat was actually the hour of victory. It was then that Jesus "destroyed death" (2 Timothy 1:10).

*God never forsakes us: "I will never leave you; I will never forget you" (Hebrews 13:5). Only Jesus experienced the horrific moment when God turned His face from His dearly beloved Son. That allowed the rest of us to live with the confidence and assurance that He is always present in our lives. That means we are connected to the ultimate source of power.

*God is at work in the invisible: "God's Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). No, God does not always announce His power with a fireworks display or other impressive signs and wonders. But where life matters the absolute most, in the spirit realm, God has already won and assured the victory we need to live with Him forever.

There is no danger, no enemy, no circumstance that can equal God's power in our lives.

This life here on earth is temporary. Whatever trials, problems, sufferings, etc. that we experience here in the long run don't matter. This is a stepping stone. Yes, there will be trials. There will be bumps in the road and mountains to climb. But, there is a bigger picture. We have so much more to look forward to. In the end, none of this will matter!

~Another Day at the Garage Sale~

This was our second day of the garage sale. While it started off a bit slower than yesterday we still had a good turnout and good sales.

When I took Ripley out this morning about 7:00 it was about 73 degrees, humid and partly sunny. After he finished his business, I had to drop off my work and then I headed to Tuttle. From Moore where it was partly sunny I headed west into dark rainy weather. Before I even made it to Tri-City (for those of you who know where Tri-City is just a few miles) the temperature had dropped 10 degrees and I drove out of the dark clouds. This is typical crazy Oklahoma weather.

Once I got to the church I was very glad I had worn jeans and a jacket today. Good thing I listen to the weather. Otherwise, I would have froze for sure. I already walked/sat around with a blanket on all day. We spent a portion of the morning moving furniture and other items in and out of the building because everytime we moved it out a few minutes later it would start raining. Finally the sun decided to stay out and it got to about 73 degrees, but it didn't seem to warm up to me because the wind was blowing.

We didn't have as many early people we think because of the Newcastle city wide garage sale. We think most people came to ours after hitting the Newcastle sales first since this was our second day. We've sold so much, but still have a lot to sell. We have one more day and have some really good furniture and other things that we would hate to give to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, so we talked a bit today and decided to take all the really good furniture and items to my house and have a one day garage sale next Thursday in Moore. This is our plan unless we have a huge turnout and get rid of most everything tomorrow.

I thought I had heard that someone by the name of Mary L. had some really great finds and she was going to bring them to the garage sale. I've been waiting to check them out. What's up with that?

The picture above is the coffee pot I bought yesterday. The picture doesn't really do it justice...

Thursday, April 24, 2008


With God's Grace even the most damaged relationships can be restored.

In Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Jesus tells His disciples: "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven. If you don't forgive them, they are not forgiven" (John 20:23). In the Lord's Prayer, He teaches us: "Forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us" (Matthew 6:12).

One of the most important "soul matters" in God's eyes is reconciliation. Just as He sent His son Jesus into the world to reconcile people to Him (Colossians 1:20-22), so He gives us the mandate to be peacemakers, to be reconciled even to our enemies (Matthew 5:44).

It is obvious that one person cannot control or force the process of reconciliation. That's why we are told to keep peace "as much as depends on you" (Romans 12:18 NKJV). Before ignoring the call to reconciliation as too hard, too painful, and very unrealistic, we need to remember --

*Reconciliation is God's idea and His way of doing things (Romans 5:8-10).

*Reconciliation is tied to our worship of God -- He wants us to come before Him with right relationships (Matthew 5:23).

*As we forgive others, we are forgiven by God. (Luke 6:37).

*One of the blessings of walking with God is peace (Galatians 5:22).

There are some notes of caution --

*Reconciliation does not always happen all at once, but can take place over years, so don't get discouraged or give up by lack of results (Galatians 6:9).

*Reconciliation does not mean we submit ourselves to abuse and the cruelty and lack of response of others. Even Jesus told His disciples to avoid this. (Matthew 10:14).

Additional verses on reconciliation:

Heal and restore ~ Isaiah 61:3

Turn enemies into friends ~ Isaiah 11:6

Bless peacemakers ~ Matthew 5:9

Redeem your tears ~ Psalm 126:5

Remove your sorrows ~ Zephaniah 3:18

He does everything just right and on time ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11

~A Day of Garage Sale~

Day One of the Garage Sale for Jan is over. We had a good turnout. We've done really well and we made a big dent in the merchandise. It was my plan not to bring ANYTHING HOME. I took all the stuff I had planned on putting in the garage sale I was going to have and gave it to Jan. What better cause? I had looked around the other day just a bit and didn't find anything I couldn't live without. Well, I guess being there the majority of the day I got to digging and a few new things arrived today and my plan did not work. I FAILED. But I did come away with a couple of great finds. One of which is an old coffee pot. Kind of decorative. I'll take a picture and post it soon.

When I arrived at the sale this morning a friend that I had gone to grade school with was at the sale. This is someone who I had been very good friends with who had moved while we were still in grade school. I've known she lived in Tuttle, but this is the first time I've seen her since grade school. It was great to see this friend from so long ago. Maybe it won't be so long before our next visit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


1 Thessalonians 5:15

15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Monday, April 21, 2008


"Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere!"

When I look at a rocking chair I feel peaceful, which is the opposite of worried!

Isn't peace what we long for?

Paul wrote about finding peace in the midst of our worries in Philippians 4:6-7. He said, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

I want God to guard my heart and mind with peace as I tuck myself into Jesus and live in Him. The NIV translation says, "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I wonder if God's peace could transcend my need to understand! Sometimes that is my biggest problem, I can accept what God is doing if He can just help me understand why He's doing it that way.

So, how do we get God's peace that is far more wonderful than our minds can understand?

Paul gives us a prescription for the antidote of worry, and a thankful heart is one of the main ingredients...

Stop worrying
Start praying - tell God what I need.
Thank God for what He's already done

How many times do I take the wrong prescription? Here are the ingredients for worry: Do not be calm about anything; instead complain about everything. Tell God what He should do.

Then take control if He doesn’t listen. And the anxiety that consumes your thoughts will devour your peace as you fold your arms and turn away from God!

We need a new drug! Pauls reminds us that God offers just what we need to experience peace. So, today when our concerns consume us, let's choose to stop and empty our hearts of our worries, talk to God about what we need and THANK HIM for His faithfulness and provision. I try to do this in my journal by listing all the times God has been there for me or my family. It's amazing the peace that comes when I choose to do these things and put my trust in Him.

“You will keep in perfect peace, (her) whose mind is steadfast, because (she) trusts in you.” Isaiah 24:4

Sunday, April 20, 2008


"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." - Steven Wright

"I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific." - Lily Tomlin

“The 12-step chocoholics program: NEVER BE MORE THAN 12 STEPS AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE!” – Terry Moore

“A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.” – Frank Crane

"Live today as if it were your last." - Anonymous

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elizabeth Kubler Ross

“Be still and know that I am God.” – God

"A face without freckles is like a night without stars." - Anonymous

“God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all.” – William Goldman

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.” – Henry Ford

“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – M.K. Gandhi

“Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Franklin P. Jones

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” – Thomas Jefferson

Do you have any quotes you'd like to share?

~I Am Single. Please Walk With Me~

God understands humanity. He knows that we are so very weak, in spite of our best efforts to be strong. God has showered us with promises that should be enough to send us anywhere, to do any job. But the truth is, we don’t. We freeze in fear. Thankfully, God in His mercy doesn’t zap us for our timid resistance. Instead, in His compassion, He dispenses grace beyond what we even thought to ask.

God’s grace is like manna. Remember the small loaves of bread God supplied for the Israelites each morning. He supplied just what they neededfor the day. Every morning, the wanderers awoke to little loaves outside their tents. If they tried to store it up, it rotted. If they didn’t bother to gather any, they went hungry.

God always provides the sustenance to press on through the wilderness. Somehow, in my wilderness experiences, He manages to give grace to take another step. If I look at the miles stretching across the sand, I am engulfed in fear. There is no way I can make it. But if I look at the loaf in front of my foot, I can take the next step. There’s manna for the moment. And there will be manna for tomorrow’s moments, too. When I get there, He’ll provide.

Singles often wander in the wilderness of broken relationships, with fear as their companion. Having been deeply wounded by the rejection of someone they loved. After being wounded, it is hard to think about future relationships and hard to even think about getting close to anyone in a dating relationship again. There are no guarantees about how things will turn out. Fortunately, when you muster the guts, there are guarantees of grace loaves at their feet. You also have to trust God because there can be a lot to gain in a future relationship.

One of the greatest sources of manna in my life comes from people around me. While everyone needs encouragement, singles especially need people who will walk with them. Regardless of the road – relationships, careers, habits, involvements – as a single adult, I don’t have the built-in support system provided by a spouse. I don’t have a constant someone to recognize the difficulties I face and help me find my way through them. It’s a matter of survival for me to have friends who can lend faithful support and encouragement. Like fearful Moses needed Aaron, I need encouragements beside me, friends who see the things that make me afraid and help me move right through them. They are friends who become what Isaiah might call “pools of water” in the desert (Isaiah 41:18).

There was a time in my life when I wasn’t willing to let people walk so closely with me. I wouldn’t even let the people closest to me see where I struggled, much less ask for any help.

Somewhere along the way, I learned better. I look around at several key friends now and can only imagine how horrible it would be to walk tough roads without them. They have been “gifts" to me when I perhaps would have shrunken back from divine direction.

Friends like this don’t lurk behind every corner, but they are worth looking for. They are worth every ounce of vulnerability I can squeeze out, because they are the ones who push me forward when I cower in fear from the risks of relationships, new ventures, and changes.

These are a select few friends who understand; some single; some married. They listen when I talk. The one thing I can always count on is the simple fact that they LISTEN!

On a different note, Ripley has had the brace off his leg for about a week now. He is using his leg pretty good. I'm limiting his activity, so we can get this leg healed. He is tolerating this well especially since we've been at this for so long. He looks like some weight may be coming off as well. I need to try to get the clippers after him, but I've been busy with getting the settlement finalized on the wrecked car and then turning right around researching vehicles and then buying a new vehicle. We also have family in from San Antonio. I had planned on having a garage sale last fall which didn't happen, so I cleaned out my garage and loaded all that up and took to the garage sale that I now get to help with to raise funds for treatment and such for Jan this coming weekend. All of that just to say, I've been busy and haven't sat down to trim Ripley's hair.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

~Living Beyond Yourself~

I started a new online Bible study today. It is one that I actually had planned on starting around the time Jan had her surgery because the Bible study at church in the fall was going to be held during a weekday morning and I thought it would be too difficult to fit into my schedule. I had actually forgot about this one and have done another one in the interim. Anyway, Lifeway Ministries & Beth Moore offer a few online studies.

This is a Bible study on Galatians. And, on day 1 assignment we spent some time in Act 13. I found this quite interesting: "For reasons we may never know, God entrusted to womankind a most wonderful and terrible gift: the power of influence. This is the foremost quality highlighted in our earliest heritage. Whom did the serpent go when he sought the ruin of Adam and Eve?

Consider the power of feminine influence. God selected us as the bearers of children and, in our society, women assume the greatest role in childrearing. Our day-cares, Mothers Day Outs, schools, and Sunday Schools are over whelmingly staffed with women.

For better or worse, our self esteem has probably been influenced most at the hands - and mouth - of our mother.

How do we use the fearful gift of influence? At its best, it teaches, nurtures, encourages, exhorts, evangelizes and disciples.

At worst, it cripples and kills.

The line between influence and manipulation is extremely fine. Influence is so easy to use, it's frightening. Maybe it's the reason God exhorts us to "gentle and quiet" spirits. We need to think before we speak and act. The warnings in Scripture are not provided because we are so lowly, but because we possess such an awesome gift."

To this date there are times I remember unkind words of people. I'm taking a look within. I don't want to be a person who's words cripple or kill another person(s) spirit. But I do want to have a gentle and quiet spirit.

~Dealing with Disappointment~

“ ‘Take away the stone.’ He said. ‘But Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.’” John 11:39 (NIV)

Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus, was sick. Really sick. In fact, they were sure he was close to death. So they called for the one man they knew could heal Lazarus. That was their friend Jesus.

Messengers found Jesus about a day’s journey from the sisters’ home in Bethany. But when Jesus got the message about Lazarus, He didn’t pack up and leave immediately. In fact, Jesus stayed put … for two more days.

It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t care. He did. Jesus didn’t lose track of the time either. No, the Bible tells us that Jesus intentionally delayed going to help saying “… it is for God’s glory, so that God’s son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4 NIV). Jesus had a plan, but Mary and Martha didn’t know that. All they knew was their brother had died and Jesus didn’t come in time.

The sisters were clearly disappointed in Jesus’ lack of response. In fact, they both told Him so. Martha chided Jesus first, then Mary fell at Jesus’ feet and echoed her sister’s words, “Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died.”

Jesus knew their pain. He felt it too. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus wept with them. Together the group of mourners made their way to the tomb, and when they arrived, Jesus made an unusual request – that the stone in front of the opening be removed.

The sisters were shocked. Why would Jesus make this request? Didn’t He realize how bad the body would smell? Martha even told Jesus so, perhaps to “remind” Him that her brother had been dead for four long days. Mary and Martha were devastated. Not only had their brother died, but they knew Jesus could have changed the outcome of their brother’s illness. In their minds, Jesus abandoned them in their time of greatest need. The sisters were grieving the loss of their brother, but I wonder if they were grieving because Jesus hadn’t done what they asked. In fact, they were so sad and discouraged, when Jesus made a move to help, they wanted to leave the stone in front of the tomb.

It’s disheartening when you know God could immediately change the outcome of your circumstances, but He seems absent. So there you sit, in the pain, grief and fear while God delays.

Martha even seems to have given up and accepted her grief and disappointment. She was ready to live with the “fact” that Jesus didn’t care enough to heal Lazarus.However that “fact” couldn’t have been further from the truth. As the sisters gave in and moved the stone, Jesus showed them just how much He loved them. In a loud voice Jesus called, “Lazarus, come out!”

Jaws dropped, hearts pounded, wails turned to screams of joy as a formerly dead man walked out of the tomb … very much alive. Jesus had never ignored their cry for help. He didn’t disregard their pain. He hadn’t abandoned them. He had a plan that included a delay.

Sometimes God’s plans for us might include a delay. As we wait, may we learn from this story to not give up, to not accept grief as our lot in life and to expect God to turn our mourning into joy. Remember, He’s coming right on time.

I seem to struggling with several circumstances in my life at this time. I try not to focus on the negatives, but this day I question WHY?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

~Loving Others WELL~

I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. — John 15:12

What is love? This word (in our society) has become so watered down. It is used to describe feelings for inanimate objects, food, television shows, and every once in awhile, people. When all is going well, there is an abundance of love, but when things are going poorly, we blame others and our love is gone.

The love that Jesus talks about is not a passing or temporary emotion, nor is it superficial. Rather it’s a choice, a decision, a commitment, an action. Love is not based upon attraction, but virtue. In order to love others in the same way that Jesus loves us, we must learn how to love the Lord, and then how to love ourselves.

Love the Lord

If you love me, obey my commandments.
— John 14:15

However, God distinguishes one as the most important.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.
— Matthew 22:37-38

I do love the Lord, but do I actually do it with all of my heart and all of my soul and all of my mind?

All of Your Heart

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.
— Psalm 51:6, 10

The word heart comes from the Hebrew word lev, which carries the simple meaning of center, as in the will or intention of a person.

My intention is to love the Lord, but the state of my heart (selfishness, negative thoughts, doubt, fear) tends to inhibit me.

To cleanse my heart of all impurities (not of God), I must start by admitting my weaknesses, asking the Lord for forgiveness and forgiving myself.

Spending time with the Lord—in his Word and in prayer, reconciles me to God and enables me to love him with all of my heart in the same way that he loves me, unconditionally.

All of Your Soul

Honor the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly.

Put away forever the idols … Serve the Lord alone … Choose today whom you will serve … As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.
—Joshua 24:14-15

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.
— Luke 16:13

To truly love the Lord with all of my soul (and passion), I must reevaluate my priorities and not create or serve any other god before the Lord; not money, not fame, not power, not love (of any thing or anybody).

All of Your Mind

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

— Romans 12:2 The Hebrew word dianoia translates to the word mind, meaning to think through and think over in meditation and reflection.

In order to love the Lord with all of my mind, I need to be one with the mind of Christ. That takes time, patience, and perseverance, as it would with any relationship.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
—1 Corinthians 2:14-16

Love Yourself

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
— Romans 12:3

What is your immediate thought when you hear that someone loves themselves? Conceit? Arrogance? Pride? “Loving yourself” in today’s world usually translates to mean that you love some thing (usually superficial) about yourself, such as looks, possessions, status, money, or a significant other. The reason some people do not love themselves is because they have based their self worth upon these things and currently lack them.

A large percentage of our television shows and advertisements are focused on surgically altering (cosmetically), physically changing (weight loss/quick fix exercises), or superficially covering (make-up/fashion) one’s body these days. Billions of dollars a year are poured into “making over” the way God created us, which means there are a lot of people who don’t genuinely like how they are, let alone love who they are.

Don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing?
—Matthew 6:25

And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. —Matthew 6:28-29

Oswald Chambers says this about the “lilies of the field” and us:
“They grow where they are planted. Many of us refuse to grow where God plants us. Therefore, we don’t take root anywhere.”

We refuse to grow where God plants us because we tend to not like who we are, where we are, or what we are—God’s intended creation. Many of us look at ourselves each day through the world’s point of view. Instead we need to look through God’s eyes.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
—Psalm 139:14

Until we are able to love ourselves and accept God’s creative work in us, we will fall short on loving others as the Lord has commanded us to do.

Love Others And the second (commandment) is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
—Matthew 22:39

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers asks us the question:
“Are we experiencing the ‘much more’ He promised? If we are not, it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us and have cluttered our minds with confusing thoughts and worries. How much time have we wasted asking God senseless questions while we should be absolutely free to concentrate on our service to Him?”

And our service to him is “to love each other in the same way that I love you.”

Are you absolutely free to concentrate on your service to him, able to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind, able to love yourself as God’s creation (not the world’s), and able to love others in the same way that he has loved us?

These questions shouldn’t make us feel defeated, rather they should inspire us to work harder, love better and serve more sacrificially.

(Excerpts taken from Cliff Young at Crosswalk)

I know I struggle in some of these areas.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

~Where Does My Help Come From~

Just a quick note, Jan had her MRI last night. For whatever reason they did not get out of there until 11:00 p.m. They were shuffled around some. She made the trip quite well this time. She is not on chemo this week, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Her white count showed some signs of possibly developing into pneumonia, so she has been given some medication, so she will not. But overall her counts are good.

Her MRI looked the same. STABLE. We've come to love that word. They had planned on having her on a higher dose of one of the medications, but she is a small person and so they are keeping her at a lower dose for now. So stable is good.

Her oncologist wasn't worried about the headaches. They are mild, probably medication effect.

She does not have to return to M.D. Anderson until June.

Thank you for praying. We are thrilled with these results.

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Well it has definitely been a week that I could have lived without. But God said we would have struggles. First thing Thursday morning I was able to get the rental vehicle and also get Ripley in to see about his leg. The surgeon thinks it is going to be okay. He got his stitches out and he even got his bandage off.

I actually felt worse Thursday and Friday than I did Wednesday, so I probably will go to the doctor to make sure everything is okay. I also went to where they had towed my car and got all my belongings out of my car Thursday. It was odd, it didn't even look like my car. And, I had a message when I came home Friday evening that my car was "a total loss" and asked me to call them Monday. I'm not looking forward to this. I've been looking and I don't have a clue what kind of car I want to get.

Jan and Gerald leave for M.D. Anderson Tuesday morning. She has a MRI Tuesday evening. Lab Wednesday morning and she sees her onocologist also Wednesday morning. Her doctor had not planned on doing an MRI this month, but she's been having headaches for the last couple of weeks. This is the month her doctor said they should see "big tumor reduction." Please pray that this is the case. Please pray that there has been no increase in her tumor size. Please pray for PEACE for Jan and Gerald, as well as our family. This is very hard road to travel.

Life goes on, with bumps in the road that vary from pebbles to rocks to impassible boulders. It seems there have been impassible boulders lately. We all have our share of every kind because somehow in His wisdom that’s what He has decided, and it’s not going to be any different until Heaven.

Life is a funny creature, it comes at you from all directions- throwing things at you. Sometimes you see them coming from far away and have time to prepare for them, other times they sneak up on you and tap you on the shoulder. Either way, you make a choice. You choose to face what ever it throws at you head on, dealing with it now. Or you chose to bury your head in the sand and ignore the issue.

It's a choice. It's all in how you face it.

I choose to face it with Christ by my side, holding my hand all the way.

He is the only way I can face LIFE.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.-

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

~The Day After~ & The Church of Oprah

Here is a picture of Ripley taken this evening. He looks like a chunky-monkey (to me). I'm not used to his hair being this long. You can't really tell though in the pic. This next picture was also taken tonight. I wanted to show you his splinting.

It really looks like his leg is in a sling. Because they didn't wrap it tight enough where it wouldn't slip, they made a sling-like and it wraps around his body. It holds it very well. He handles all this well. You would think when we get to the surgeon's office anymore he wouldn't want to go in, but he doesn't seem to mind. That's a plus since we have to go so often. We will be going back tomorrow morning to have the stitches removed and to have his 2 week check up and also to make sure that nothing happened in the accident.

This morning he was using his wrapped leg to swat at a toy. So I guess he is making do with his circumstances.

When I got up this morning my neck and upper body was sore and this has increased a bit throughout the day, but it is just general soreness. I notice it most where my seat belt was and my right arm is pretty sore. The area where the air bag hit my air is now bruising. I am still definitely feeling blessed.

Now on with the hassle. The insurance company has been contacted. The lady who hit me has the same insurance carrier. At first today when the person who handles the accidents through my carrier called me to take my statement and such, she told me the other driver was disputing that her light was green. That bothered me at first, but when I thought about it for a minute I knew she didn't realize that her light was red. I wasn't too worried as there were witnesses. But when she was contacted for her statement she did not dispute this.

They are supposed to go take a look at my car tomorrow, but that probably depends on the weather. It has been rainy, actually it has been POURING today.

I was so frazzled yesterday plus it was just too difficult to get everything out of my car. There really isn't a lot, but there are some things. It's been kind of odd because I think I'm remembering bits and pieces of things. Like, I think I had my sunglasses on my head and I think I remember them flying off.

I was all set up for my rental car. I made the decision for them to pick me up at 5:30 p.m. so I could work as much as possible today. I had a couple of conversations with a certain person and everything was arranged. They had originally started working the claim under my insurance so they could get it moving and after talking to the other driver they switched to hers. When I called the car rental place at 5:00 to give them directions I was advised that this had been DENIED. I wasn't able to talk to the same person from earlier and this person would not listen to anything I had to say. She didn't know what she was talking about. had completely different information than I did. So as it was 5:00 I just gave up because I didn't want to argue with her. I knew it wasn't going anywhere.

So, the insurance claims adjuster arrives at 8:00 and I have to be at Ripley's appointment at 10:00. I have to leave my house at 9:30 to get there in time. Do you think I can get a rental car in time to make that appointment?

Now I wanted to switch to something else that I think needs a lot of ATTENTION.

I got an email from a friend with a youtube link. I had heard about this book and online class, but not any detail.

I think you will find this interesting. OPRAH TOUCHES SUCH A LARGE AUDIENCE...THIS IS NOT GOOD.

After I watched the youtube I went on Oprah's message boards to see what the people were saying. I was thrilled to see that a lot of people were standing up for God. But, I was saddened to see that there were people buying into this.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Yesterday after getting home with Ripley from having his bandage changed I noticed that it seemed rather loose. Later in the evening it had slipped down and some of his stitches were exposed. I took some gauze and tape and put it around the top of his leg to cover the area that was exposed.

This morning when I went and checked on the fella, low and behold he had managed to get the bandage all the way off. It was somewhat frustrating as the surgeon's office is at least 30 minutes from my house and I had quite a bit of work to get done today.

So..as I also needed to run to the office this morning I packed Ripley up. We were going to run by the office and then head up to see the nurse to get his leg re-wrapped.

I was once told (I haven't checked for sure yet) that most accidents happen less than 2 miles from your home. Do you know where I'm going with this?

We were sitting at a stop light waiting to turn left. Ripley actually was laying in the front passenger seat asleep because I had given him part of a sedative because I do not want to go down this road again with him. He was being very calm and good. He normally wants to see what all is going on while we are driving.

My light turned green. I sat there for a moment before starting to initiate my turn. I had just starting making my turn.....when the next thing I know my airbags have been deployed..Ripley is in the front passenger floorboard..and I just sat there for a moment while my windshield is cracking and the airbags are going down and there is smoke from the airbags. I then panicked a bit as I tried to get Ripley out of the floor to see if he is okay.

When I pulled the airbag up, he was trying to peaking his little face out from the airbag. We were probably seeing the same look on each other's face. My first thought to myself was "WHAT NEXT?"

There were a lot of people who stopped to help and to call the necessary people. It seemed like they arrived instantly. Ripley sat in my lap shaking for a very long time. This poor dog has been through so much in the last couple of months.

This all still seems so unreal! An elderly lady who I guess never realized her light was RED came through the light. That is very apparent by the impact. There were numerous witnesses to the accident who stopped, provided help where it was needed and also provided their statements.

Other than being really shaken up, I think Ripley is okay. He is being checked Thursday. As for me, the only thing that is evident at this time is some cuts and burns on my right arm, I guess from the air bag.

My car most likely is totaled. There wasn't much left to the front of it. I could be wrong. Doesn't it always happen just about the time you have it paid off? It was towed to a place just right by my house. I couldn't really think today, so there are things I need to get out of it.

For the biggest part of the day I kept thinking "what else can happen." I wasn't planning on getting a new car when I paid mine off. It is still in good condition so I thought it would be good to keep it for a while.

My sweet niece, Jenny called me this evening after Donna my sister told her about the accident. Jenny has recently bought a new car and is selling her old car herself. She offered to let me drive her car if I needed it. She was asking about the accident and I told her "at first I kept thinking, what else can happen. Okay, I've reached my limit." But...then I took a moment and thought...if I had started driving right when the light turned green or if I had been up just a bit, it could have turned out totally different.

So, I'm feeling BLESSED today. Even though I didn't want to be involved in an accident. Hassle with all of the things that go along with the accident, leasing a car, possibly finding a new car...AT LEAST IT ONLY APPEARS AT THIS TIME THAT I HAVE SOME MINOR BURNS AND CUTS FROM THE AIR BAG AND RIPLEY IS OKAY.

Monday, April 7, 2008

~Trust & Lies~

Brief Update on Ripley

Ripley felt rather well today. He was actually a little "too" playful for his "circumstances" should I say. We had to go in for a bandage change this morning. The bandage has been slowly creeping down and in fact when I took him out this morning it had slipped down a couple of inches and was causing him some difficulty with hopping/walking/limping or whatever it is he is doing at this time, so I took it off. We headed up to the surgeon's office then because I don't want him to reinjure his leg. He's not trustworthy at this time. He usually rides in the passenger front seat of the car, but he likes to either stand with his paws on the back of the seat or on the console, so I've been making him ride in the crate when we're in the car. But today since he didn't have the bandage on, he rode in my lap (I know that's illegal, but I wanted control over what he did).

So we got his bandage changed and on the way home he did get to ride in the crate. HE DOES NOT LIKE THE CRATE. He made sure I knew it. He did some whining and then he did some very loud barking. It was so funny. He doesn't bark much, but he really got going today. Wait till Thursday when we go back for the surgeon to check his leg and to get the sutures removed. I might ought to get some ear plugs.

How can relationships be mended when people are unwilling to be honest? What do you do? How do you handle this? I don't understand how or why people would make serious allegations against a person that are blatant lies? There have been problems leading up to this blow-up over the last several months. It is evident where the problems lie.

This is not what I want for my life. I don't want these types of relationships.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

~Dog Grooming~

I thought I would post pictures of my little fellow when he was just a small pup.

I can't believe how small he was. He's grown quite a bit. But still such a fun, playful loving doggie. He's doing well. We are on the anti-inflammatories. His leg is still wrapped so he hops. But he still gets around good.

He hasn't been groomed in 2 months. Usually he is groomed every month. He sheds more when his hair gets long. In fact he hasn't even been able to have a bath. He doesn't stink, but he is very shaggy. It doesn't bother him, but it sure bothers me. So I decided I would try to groom him, so I went and bought some shears. I usually keep him cut pretty short and then leave his tail fluffy and leave some fluff around his head and ears.

Years ago my Dad used to take our cocker spaniel (an outside dog) in the summer and groom her himself with scissors. I remember thinking "this poor dog, what is he doing to her."

I sure don't want Ripley to look like that. So this morning I thought I would attempt this task. I thought I would start with his feet since that seemed like a safe place. I actually bought the shears when I was out on Wednesday, but I've been a little intimidated by them. I've never done any dog grooming and no cutting of human hair to speak of. I only have three paws since one paw is wrapped from his surgery. I started on the front paw and it didn't seem to bother him too much, but I can tell you the scissors that came with the shears weren't worth a dime. He laid on his back in between my legs perfectly still. And all-in-all I did a decent job. So I moved on to the back paws. Now that was a different story. For some reason he was either tired of laying there or the back paws were more sensitive. But it was a definite fight to keep him still. I won the fight with bribes, but I did win. I was unsure after all the messing with his paws if he would allow me to trim his nails, but he did.

So for the time being we are done with the paws. They don't look as good as when they are done by his groomer, but they look better than they did before I started. So I was feeling pretty good after that, so I moved on and cut the hair around his ears some. I didn't have time to do any more as I had to get ready for a wedding that I have to go to day. We'll see how the rest turns out. That's okay. I'm still intimidated about the buzzing. My neighbors will be home later, so maybe they can supervise me on that.

Ripley is feeling so much better now which makes me feel good. Now comes the time when I can't let him out of my sight in fear that he will do something he's not supposed to. Unfortunately for the next 3 months there is VERY LITTLE HE CAN DO so we are in for a rough time. I'm so thankful there are sedatives that I can give him that are no addicting.

Have a Great Day!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

~Riches in Grace~

Wednesday afternoon I spent with Jan. I took her to get her blood work done. Next we went and had lunch. Then we were off to look for a dress for her to wear for her son's wedding in June. We were very successful. She tried on several dresses and the first dress she tried on was the one we both liked the best. It is a simple but very classy dress. It will be just perfect. We had a really good day with lots of laughs.

She showed me her new hair growing back in. She had lost a lot of hair where she had the radiation treatment, but it is really coming back. She started back on her chemo last night. Please pray that she tolerates it well this week and especially that it is killing this cancer. She is having some mild headaches. It's always nerve racking because you don't know what is causing the headaches. She returns to M.D. Anderson on April 16. She wasn't scheduled for an MRI, but she has talked with them about the headaches, so most likely she will have an MRI. Please pray for good results.

"Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God's throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it." Hebrews 4:16

Did you know God favors you? Not because you are the smartest; not because you have lots of talents; not because you do many good deeds--though all of these characteristics may be abundant in your life!

No, God favors you out of His deep, abiding love for you, a love that is not contingent upon any effort you put forth. In fact, if you declared yourself to be God's enemy today, He would love you just as much.

God's grace is a wonderful reality that is available for you right now. Here's some aspects of grace that just might be what you need to hear today--

*Grace means God loved you and knew you before you were even born. The prophet Jeremiah says on behalf of God:

"Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (1:5).

*Grace provides the gift of salvation, a gift that can't be earned. Paul says: "I mean that you have been saved by grace through believng. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. It was not the results of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

*Grace is available to us when we are weak. Paul says: "So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ's power can live in me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

*Grace is sufficient for absolutely any need we have--whether health, finances, relationships, temptations, or any other need. Paul says: "My grace is enough for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

*Grace provides us with the strength we need to overcome temptation and live a victorious Christian life. Says Peter, "Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God" (2 Peter 1:3).

Whatever need we have in our life, be assured, God is on our side. He is ready and able to help us as we respond to Him with faith.

This is a very trying time for our family. To add insult to injury we have a fracture in our family. It absolutely breaks my heart that my sister is having to fight one of the most aggressive cancers, as well as dealing with this most petty family matter. We are pretty much at a loss as to how to remedy this situation at this time, other than by prayer. Prayer is very powerful and maybe instead of trying to figure out how to resolve this situation, we should just have our faces to the floor asking God to touch hearts and to handle this problem for us.

I would ask that you pray especially for Jan. Pray that the chemo, along with the other medications she is taking are working to kill this cancer. I would also ask that you pray for our family. We have a very difficulty situation here. I can see it taking a toll on my Mom. This breaks my heart!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

~Looking Forward to Wednesday~

Ripley ~ When he was about 6 -7 weeks old.

Isn't it sad how at times we seem to take life, family, friends for granted until we are hit in the face with things such as the serious illness my sister is going through. We don't seem to always make the time that we should to be with the people we care the most about. I know since November I have made a point to do whatever is needed and spend as much time as I can with my family, but most especially my sister. I am in no way assuming she's leaving us ANYTIME SOON, but I want to make things easier for her. I cannot begin to imagine how tough it is to walk in her shoes. I've tried to put myself in her shoes, but its impossible.

I don't want this cancer to consume her life or any of the lives of anyone in our family. I want her to have fun. I want her to feel good. I want her to know that God is there to carry her when the load is too heavy and that we are there to walk beside her to do whatever it is that she needs us to do.

She is the youngest of three girls. She has a mother and two older sisters that would do anything for her. If her Dad were still here and cancer hadn't taken his life, he would be right here with us. She's our baby sister. She also has the most wonderful husband who loves her. He has shown his love more than ever in these last 5 months. She has shown such Grace as she has walked this road of almost 5 months now. We Praise God she's doing fantastically!

We have set up a blog that she updates with her day-to-day happenings and needs. There are people all over checking her blog and they are praying for her. My heart is overflowing because people that do not even know my sister care enough about her to come to her blog to check on her and to pray for her.

But, Satan is working to try to break up our family! Right now it seems he's getting his way in some regard. He doesn't want us praising God. He doesn't want us using the blog to tell the World what Our God is doing for our precious sister. But Jan will not stop her blog and neither will I. We want everyone to know that because of God's Grace Jan is alive today. Plus all the great things he has done and continues to do.

Please pray that our family will be restored as it is fractured at this time.

Tomorrow I have the honor of spending the day with Jan. We have lab work, nail appointment, shopping for Jan's wedding dress for Dewayne's wedding, and looking for a new wig on our agenda. I'm so excited to spend the day with her.

This is how Ripley has spent the majority of the day ~ on his egg crate bed next to my office chair.

Mr. Ripley is really have a tough time with this surgery. I'm not sure if it is because it is so close on the heals of his last surgery (7 weeks). But I can tell he is struggling with some pain issues and such. He's having a hard time getting comfortable with this wrap on his leg. He has done nothing but sleep which I guess is good, at least that way he is staying out of TROUBLE. But I am a bit concerned about him. I guess I'll probably see how he is doing tomorrow and then check with his surgeon.

Why turn anywhere for help in time of need except to God? He is ready and able to help.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9