5 things to make 2018 the best year ever

I have some good news to bring to y’all today.

Public Service Annoucement:

You are the President & CEO of your life.

You are the direct product of the choices you make. A friend of mine sent a safety email out at work with the following thought:

Here are 5 things to take you to some better choices, in the new year:

  1. Pray about it. How about taking it to the Lord before you take it anywhere else. Be sure to realize He is the One to help make things happen. He can give you strength & courage, when you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV)
  2. Make a list. I am a list person. If I want to tackle a certain situation, I have to list out everything I need to do to get there. A wise man once called this a “critical path”. When I would bring things to my former boss, to help me figure it out, he would say, “What is your critical path?” That’s when the list making would begin. I like to think of it as the old saying, if you want to eat an elephant how do you do it? One bite at a time. You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? II Kings 18:20 (NKJV)
  3. Gather your team. You can’t do everything by yourself. AHEM, I said, YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING BY YOURSELF. This is a hard pill to swallow for someone as stubborn, hard headed, subject to resist change type person I am. But y’all. It’s so true. Many a great people have a team. Do you think the president of the United States runs this country on his own? Do you think your elders or deacons run the church without help? NO! No one is an island. Get your people together. Tell them your plan. They may have already walked the road you are going down & can give GREAT advice. The Lord may just be waiting to fill your life with good using someone else. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV)
  4. Put your plans in action. So many people are crippled by fear. So many people don’t finish because they don’t start. Don’t let this be you. Find some way to make things happen. You never know, others may be encouraged by you & start doing some things, as well! Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31 (NKJV)
  5. Pat yourself on the back. Hey, if you don’t appreciate how far you have come or where you are going, no one else will. You can’t depend on others for your happiness. You have to make it. Be proud of yourself. Others will be, too.Ya’ll, let’s make 2018, the best year ever. God wants to help you. All you have to do is ask. But you need to have a plan. The Lord feeds the birds, but He does not throw the worms up in the nest! For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. II Thessalonians 3:10(NKJV)

I hope everyone is having a blessed 2018. We had our collard greens, hog’s jowl, & blackeyed peas. We are ready for the new year. Bring it on, 2018! Until next time I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

Psalms 84: 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.(NKJV)

Some sweet faces for your viewing pleasure.

 

Advertisements

Purple hull peas & teaching kids about Jesus

peasI don’t know about y’all, but my most favorite part of summer is all the fresh fruits & vegetables. We had our little container garden on our back deck.  It’s certainly, a do again.  I like having the fresh cucumbers & tomatoes.  And the fresh herbs have simply made our grilling out of this world.  My uncle called me the other day & said,

“Do you want these purple hull peas, I just picked out of the garden?”

Why yes, I reckon I do.  These are the peas that are grown in the same ground my grandparents had their garden.  So, it kinda tugs at my heartstrings. These are also the same peas Miss Neenee told me about Sunday night,

 “Mama, I was hungry, when we were at church.  All I could think about was eating peas & cornbread, when we got home.” 

I’m not saying we are properly raising our daughter, however, I just don’t know of anything else you could take away from that. Raising a proper Mississippian takes a little time and effort, and having a palate for southern cooking doesn’t hurt either.  Because we LOVE to eat.  And Miss Neenee does, too.  Thank the Lord.

aneely

We had one of the people from Lads to Leaders come speak to us at church Sunday. If you are wondering what Lads to Leaders is, it’s the largest training tool the church has for our youth.  However, I guess that’s not really right.  Adults can participate, as well.  But it’s mostly youth driven.  Bro. Roy Johnson talked about doing all we can to keep our kids in church.  He said statistics show that at a young age children make up their minds about the Lord, Bible, & church.  And a lot of it has to do with who is responsible for their upbringing.  I’m not talking about the parents that don’t take their kids to church.  I’m talking about the parents that have the kids at church.  Sometimes the ones who darken the door every service.  Those kids, that decide,

 ”This is not for me.”

 And by the time they get old enough for car keys, they are gone from the church.  Or when they are finally old enough to move out, from mama & daddy’s house, that is all of their church going.  Those kids, are the ones, that may have not seen mama & daddy love the church like they should have.  Those are the ones, that may have always been present, but on the car ride home heard about how it was too cold in the auditorium or too hot.  Or how long the preacher made the sermon, or did you see what kind of dress so & so had on?  Or did you notice those kids running around, babies crying, or the BIG one- Mr. Brown that sits way up front in the church building, doesn’t speak to Mr. Smith who sits all the way in the back corner of the other side, because when he was little his grandfather & the other guy’s grandfather had a disagreement.  We think.  They don’t really know about what or who.  But they can’t speak or look at each other, anyhow.  Y’all.  This really hit me hard, because I know all about this stuff.  My Daddy was the preacher, when we were growing up.  We heard everybody’s business.  But you know what?  My Daddy & Mama loved the church & taught us kids to love the church.

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up. Deuteronomy 11:19 (KJV)

That’s what I want to teach to my kids & grandkids. I want my family to go to heaven.  However, I can’t expect my kids& grandkids to learn about the Lord, love the church, & want to be a part of something, that I don’t whole heartedly believe in.  You have heard the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Believe me that doesn’t work here.  I just pray the Lord will see fit to help me be a good example to my kids, grandkids, & family.  I don’t ever want to be the reason to make anyone stumble.  Some may believe wealth & success comes from the world, jobs, what you own.  I would think you should feel the richest & happiest in the world if your family were faithful Christians.  Nothing beats that.

It’s August.  As in August.  Summer is on the downhill stretch.  And if you ask me how many of my summer goals I met, well, not many.  I don’t like to point fingers, but this thing called a broke foot didn’t help the cause much.  Now, don’t start gettin’ all worried.   I am fine.  It’s just a ridiculous inconvenience.  That’s all.  I hope you have had a great summer, minus the broken bones.  I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

august

Wednesday night blessings & I didn’t know what day it was until today

Friday kiss

LORD HAVE MERCY. Is it Friday, yet?  On Wednesday, at work, I sent out a cute little meme about it just being Tuesday.  One of my sweet friends, from Ohio, was kind enough to say,

 “But it’s Wednesday, right?”

 It’s just been these past few weeks, that all the days are running together.  SO, I would like to officially say to Friday,

 “Thank you for showing up.  I appreciate that.”

good newsWednesday night at church, I got some sweet news. There are 2 little girls in my Wednesday night Bible class that are living at our local children’s home.  They are twins.  And precious. And spunky. And are so smart in God’s Word.  I fell in love with them the 1st time I met them.  They told me before class started, they were being adopted.  They were so excited.  They told me what their new name would be.  They hugged me & I told them I was so proud & what great news to have in our class that night.  One of the girls said,

“Yeah, but who’s going to bring us candy now?”

We sorta have candy, gummies, chocolate, cookies, or whatever else I can come up with, every class.  I reassured them I knew they would have a wonderful Bible teacher at their new church & hopefully, she would bring candy to class.  What a joy for these kids.  They told me this would be their forever family. Goodness gracious.  What a true blessing.

It made me think of how many blessings you can have, that comes out of trials. No matter how grim a situation may seem, God has a plan.  The Lord promised Abraham & Sarah a baby. (Genesis 18:10)  They waited about 25 years, after that promise was made, before Isaac was born.  The apostle Paul was locked up in prison for preaching the gospel.  He still found a way to write letters to the churches & help them, even while he was in jail. (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, & Philemon)  Lazarus died, while they were waiting on Jesus.  However, Jesus turned sadness to joy, when he raised Lazarus up. (John 11:43-44)  Joseph was thrown in prison & waited 2 years for the king’s butler to remember he interpreted dreams.  After all that time he was released from jail & gained Pharaoh’s good favor. (Genesis 41:12) And do I have to even mention Noah building the ark?  It took him about 100 years to build the ark. Then he gathered everybody up & God shut the door.  (Genesis 7:16) Then, he waited for it to start this raining stuff that no one had ever seen or heard of.  That took about 7 days.  (Genesis 7:10) Talk about some good endings to bad situations.  God can & will take care of us.  Sometimes we may just need to wait through the problems in life.  God uses hard times to develop us into the people he needs us to be.  So, don’t get too discouraged with hardships.  They won’t last.  I saw this saying one day & loved it.

God recruits from the pit, not the pedestal.

I love this, because it lets me know, even when I am in the valley, God’s plan is still at work. I know God has been at work in my 2 little friend’s lives.  He is putting them in fertile soil to grow & bloom.  They may have had to wait, but the Lord has always taken care of them.  I hope you know today that the Lord loves you. I hope you know how blessed you are & how God can make any mess a beautiful message!  You just have to be looking for the good, not the bad.

friday II

Can I end by saying THANK YOU LORD FOR FRIDAY??? The sunshine is glorious.  I am very delighted that you decided to stop by today.  I hope you have an amazing weekend.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

FRIDAY lOVE ii

**For those of you keeping up with my Dad, he is still in “rehab”.  He has good days & bad days.  His blood has still not thinned out to the doctor’s liking.  His sugar is getting better controlled for the moment.  We are hopeful he will be able to go home at some point.  Prayers are much appreciated!  Love y’all.

photo credits : clipart panda, http://www.imighthavestolethat.wordpress.com, pinterest

Cell phones in church are the devil & why # 4 is my favorite number

cell phone church

Technology sure enough has its way of butting its way in & taking over everything. Sometimes I want to tell that guy to slow himself down just a bit.  But then, I turn around & let my cell phone be the boss of me so much.  Y’all, it’s just too easy to do.  I know I shouldn’t be so weak.  Even when I am sitting talking to my sweetie.  I’m just going to briefly check my emails while he is telling me about his day.  Then, all of a sudden y’all, I see an email where Vera Bradley is having a sale & it’s off to the races!  The next thing I know of

He’s saying, “Did you hear what I just said?”

I’m like, “Sure, but could you repeat it just to make sure?”

He does the same thing to me so not much harm done. But do you see what’s happening here?  DISTRACTIONS folks!  Those of the technological kind.  They run our lives.

Here is my message to technology:

“While I appreciate all you do for us, there are some things you should just be ashamed of.  That’s right.  You know what you’ve done.  Stop it with the distractions.”

I will tell you, I do have an apparent pet peeve that is, looking on your phone during church. I get using a Bible app on your phone.  I am talking about checking Facebook, looking on Pinterest, texting, etc.,. did I say DURING church?  It’s so easy to be distracted by a phone.  Even though you are supposed to be at church worshiping the Lord, that died for your sins, some people can’t give up the phone long enough to do that.  And that’s WRONG if I’ve ever seen it.  Just don’t do it.  Don’t.

Coming up y’all, how I really feel about it.

I think this is a commandment or something.

I think this is a commandment or something.

I know it could be something as innocent as getting on your Bible app. In the process, you see you have notifications on Facebook or Pinterest.  You are just going to glance to see what’s going on & before you know you are scrolling & looking & not paying attention to the preacher & the lesson being taught.  Satan will try everything he can to take you away from the Lord.  Even, using your phone.  And why not?  You can access anything on your phone & I mean ANYTHING.  You have to be stronger than that & resist what the devil is laying out there at your feet.  Or in this case, your fingers.

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

If we are at church to worship, let’s worship. I don’t think the Lord really wants any less.  Ya know?

John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

How can we worship in spirit & truth if our mind is on what’s going on with Facebook? What did we ever do before social media & knowing what others are doing ALL. THE. TIME?  Let the Lord have His time in your life.  That’s what’s most important.  Not “Suzy’s” new outfit or what “Bob” had for breakfast.  You can get the 411 after you finish with worship service.  I know. I know.  It’s the whole fear of missing out thing.  I addressed that here.  We need to give God our best.  Not what’s left over. Pretty sure the above scripture is a commandment, not a suggestion.

I hope everybody has had a blessed weekend. We attended a football game where my nephew played like a champ.  Right now, the number 4 is truly my favorite number.  (More about that later.) However, a grand time was had by all.  Which means we saw our peeps & ate like pigs.  Our favorite.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

My favorite number 4.

My favorite number 4.

Me & my favorite number 4.

Me & my favorite number 4.

More faces I love.

More faces I love.

photo credits: http://www.compliancesigns.com, http://www.smartsign.com

12 reasons I don’t attend sporting events anymore

sports balls over a grey background

Ok, so I saw this on Facebook & just chuckled when I read it.  In lieu of all sporting events everywhere & those who love them (especially SEC College Football) here are:

12 reasons I don’t attend sporting events anymore (not me, I’m going to a sporting event tomorrow. It’s just what the article was titled.  Oh, nevermind.)

1. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
2. The people sitting in my row didn’t seem very friendly.
3. The seats were very hard.
4. The coach never came to visit me.
5. The referees made a decision I didn’t agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites—they only came to see what others were wearing!
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyway.
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.

Of course this is a play on words for those who make excuses to why they don’t go to church.  Pretty thought provoking if I might say so myself.  I will give you more information on the said sporting event, soon.  It’s surely to be delightful.  I hope you are having a wonderful week.  It’s been BEE-U-TIFULL out.  I love fall.  Until next time, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

HalloweenI have fallen victim to this.  My pants are not impressed with me right now.  Love y’all like I love Smarties!

Photo credit: pinterest, someecards

Why I go to church & what’s up with all the rain?

 

why go to church

 

If someone were to ask you, “Why do you go to church?” or “Why don’t you go to church?”  what would your answer be?  Some folks may not go to church because they have had a bad experience there.  Some may not go because they just don’t feel the need to.  Some may not go because they don’t know how important it is.  You may say I go to church because I want my kids to go.  Or some may go to church because that’s what their parents did.  Others may go to church because they are Christians & it’s the right thing to do.  Today, I want to talk about why I go to church.

First, I want to go to heaven.  With that, I believe Jesus created us to be social creatures.  He was with His friends, a lot.  He was a preacher to audiences of thousands on several occasions.  He fellowshipped with many & hung around with a group of guys, most of the time.  It goes without saying, we need to be with other like-minded folks.

The Hebrew writer gave a commandment in Hebrews 10:25

not forsaking

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.  (NKJV)

What assembling was he talking about?  Worship service & whenever else the church decides to meet.   That commandment was given to me, you, & whoever else is a child of the Lord.  With that, I have a responsibility to the Lord to be with my group, the church, when they meet.  Not because the Lord is trying to be mean & keep me from sleeping in on one of my days off.  Or because He doesn’t want me to catch my favorite t.v. shows.  He knows us.  He made us.  He knows we are like those that made the golden calf to worship, when Moses didn’t come down from the mountain quick enough.  (Exodus 32) He knows we have to be reminded of His love for us & His purpose for us.  What better way than by taking the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week?  I Corinthians 11: 22-26

 

lords_supper

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat;[b] this is My body which is broken[c] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

He knows we need each other to help each other along.  Life is hard.  Sometimes we may not have a physical family on Earth, we can count on.  He knows we need to know we aren’t in this thing called life alone.  He knows what I need. Which is the company of others. He knows I am stubborn & if He did not tell me to do something, I might not do it.   One reason I go to church is because I want to go to heaven.

Second, I need the support of the church.  I need people who love me & know my heart.  I need people who I can count on in this ol’ world.  My church family is that.  Those are some good, salt of the Earth people I am with at each meeting.  If I need anything, they are there for me.  They are there to support me when things are good.  They are there to see me through when things aren’t so great.  I need that fellowship.

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (NKJV)

 We had a lady that came asking for prayer on Sunday night.  Her grandson prayed for her & his family.  It was truly God at work.  The young man was tearful & hurting.  He prayed a short prayer for help to make it through their hard time.  I know the Lord heard it.  Some of us didn’t even really know the grandmother or grandson.  But that did not stop us from standing in line to tell her we were there for her & her family.  That we loved her & that the Lord loved her.  And it don’t matter if anybody in that church house knew those people or not, they needed help & prayers.  That’s what we are there for.  When I am involved in church, I never have the feeling that I don’t have anyone to turn to.  Feelings of hopelessness aren’t common.  I know there are people in my life that care about me.  Those are people from my church.  As a matter of fact, I kinda like those people.  When I say kinda I mean REALLY love my church peeps.  Another reason I go to church is I need the support of Godly people.

Third, I want to help my family go to heaven.  I believe it is just as much my responsibility to raise my family spiritually healthy as it is to raise them physically healthy.  If I don’t tell my loved ones about the Lord, who is?  If I don’t try to teach my family about Jesus, they may just believe anything anyone tries to tell them.  Whether it be true or not.  And that’s not good.

Train+Up+a+Child~

 I go to church because I want my kids to learn about Jesus & become spiritually strong.  I want to give my kids the best chance they have at knowing the Lord & going to heaven one day.  And isn’t that all we can hope for?   No matter what is going on around me, I have to make sure I am a good example.  I can’t expect my kids to love the Lord, if I don’t.  I can’t be disappointed that my kids don’t study the Bible & go to God for help, if they don’t see me doing it.   Still another reason I go to church is to help my family go to heaven.

Fourth, I go to church because I NEED it.  I need to hear the preacher tell me what I should be doing & how Christians should act.  Not that I don’t know, but because I’m just human.  I need reminding, continually.  I need to see my brothers & sisters in Christ.  I need to feel the comfort & warmth of being with God’s people. I need forgiveness.  I need to remember what it’s all about.  I need to sing songs & pray prayers.  I need to listen to scripture read.  I need to be held accountable for my life.  I need my faith strengthened.  Just like the members of the early church had the same need:

Acts 14: 22 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”(NKJV)

Humbly, I need to remember Jesus died for me on a cross from my sins.  If I am not there, all these things may begin to seem not so important.  And these things are the MOST. Important. Things. Ever.  Last but not least, I go to church because more than anyone, I need it.

Thank you for listening to me tell why I go to church.  Please don’t think I look down on people who don’t go to church.  I’m just telling you, though, if you don’t you are really missing out.  The blessings you receive & the standard of living is like no other. On a random note-I cannot even handle hearing people say they don’t go to church because of the hypocrites there.  There are hypocrites that go to the grocery store & Walmart.  Does that keep you from going to one of those places?  I will tell you like I tell my kids.  Church is a public place.  Anybody can go.  That means there may be some hypocrites there.

My father-in- law used to always say this,

“You can either go to church with hypocrites, or you can go to hell with them.”

I don’t think I have to say much else past that.

I am so glad you stopped by to visit with me today.  I hope you are having a good week.  I hope it is warm & sunshiny wherever you are.  Because it is NOT here in northeast Mississippi.  However, I will choose to think of the long, stiflin’ hot, muggy, humid days of summer & thank the Lord for a little cold weather.  We have had our fair share of rain.

raining

I don’t even know what our weather is doing anymore.  Rain.  And lots of it.  Cray. Until the skies are full of fluffy clouds and bright sunshine again, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

You don’t have to go to church, you get to go to church.

photo credits: heartprintsofgod, http://www.cedarspringschurchofchrist.org,www.exclusiveblend.wordpress.com,pinterest

The best gift you can give to your kids & how it’s never too late

Santa & Neely

When I think of Christmas, I think of kids.  I don’t know about you, but Christmas was always a special time at our house.  Homemade cookies, candy, parties, toys, & family were the best memories I have.  As a child growing up, I always had the security of a good family.  I never knew what it was like to go to bed hungry or not know I was loved beyond belief.  I was very blessed.  It humbles me to know what a wonderful childhood I had.  It could have very easily been another way.  You don’t pick who you are born to.  Thankfully, I was born to two precious people, who had a way with a feisty little girl.

snowment

At this time of year, I get to thinking about what would be the best presents, for my kids, at Christmas. What special memory can I give them about this time of year?  I came across this article & wanted to share it with you.  It is the best gift you can possibly give your children all year long.

We should conduct our homes so that children will remember:

  • Daddy & Mama were kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Home was a happy place, governed by the law of love (Psalm 119:165).
  • Each child was treated fairly and required to obey his or her parents (Ephesians 6:1-4).
  • Sunday was a day of worship (Acts 20:7).
  • The Bible, God’s law, settled everything (Psalm 33:4).
  • Home was a place where friendships were dear, but truth was dearer (Proverbs 18:24, 23:23).
  • Although mama & daddy worked hard, they took time to read the Bible daily & pray (Hebrews 10:22).

There is still time for many of us to create good memories for our children & grandchildren.  One of the best things I remember growing up, was how special church was to my family.  At the church we went to, my Daddy was the preacher, my Mama a Sunday School teacher, my Papaw a song leader, who they also called on to pray & serve the Lord’s table, my Mamaw cooked for those in need, was at every service (with the rest of us), & loved our church family dearly.  I had aunts, uncles, & cousins that were also serving the congregation.  It’s funny, I never really thought of this being one of my Daddy’s jobs.  It was just my life & I have been so blessed to have lived it.  Me & my brother did have some requirements.  (Some of which were perhaps a smidge challenging to an active/high spirited/could not keep her mouth shut/curious type child).

We were to be attentive. 

We were to be dressed properly (hair combed, teeth brushed, & in our Sunday best). 

We were to be cordial & kind to others. 

And never, ever, ever were we allowed to go to the bathroom close to the end of Daddy’s sermon. 

Doing this would possibly create a need to walk back to our seat while the invitation song was being sung.  That was Daddy’s moment to help those that needed prayer, baptizing, or other spiritual assistance.  My Mama was not going to interfere with one of her kids walking up through there, appearing to come forward. (We sat on the front bench.)  So, she made sure we went to the restroom & got a brief drink from the water fountain in between Sunday School & Worship Service.  I haven’t had to have therapy or counseling due to this, so I’m sure it was just an inconvenience we lived through.  As a matter of fact, it taught us to watch what was going on & be aware of other people’s feelings.  Not just a great memory, but good upbringing.  Sometimes at church, I see kids & adults walking around during the invitation song.  I’m like, “Wow, my Mama would have never had that.”

We may not have had the very best of everything life had to offer.  But we had a stable, loving family.    That’s what I strive to provide for my own kids & grandkids.  Is it perfect?  No, but they know they are loved & we are here to support them in all the ups & downs of life.  That’s more memorable than any Ipad, Dr. Dre’s Beats, or 4 wheeler.***

 

I do hope you were raised with wonderful memories at Christmas.  If not, it’s not too late to be the person who makes special memories for others.  Children are a blessing from God.  We should always treat them as such.  That means not letting them by with everything in the book, teaching them to be respectful, & honest.  However, that starts with us, first.  My prayer today is that you will have the courage & braveness of heart to do right & good.  Not just for others sake, but for your own, as well. I know of some adults, who as children, did not have a regal upbringing.  However, now their parents have come around & taken care of their own problems.  They have become wonderful grandparents & not to mention a great support to their kids.  It’s never too late.

Wall Paper by Thomas Kinkade

 

I hope you are having a wonderful & magical holiday season.  We are ramping up for a big couple of days at our house.  There will be family visiting, kids squealing in delight, & we will be cooking.  A lot.  It goes without saying, my usual New Year’s resolution of losing weight will be on my list.  As for now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Mr. Sweetie Pants having his cake batter & banana, too- in his undies, nonetheless.

Mr. Sweetie Pants having his cake batter & banana, too- in his undies, no less.  That’s how we roll.

 

photo credits: pinterest, Thomas Kincaid collection, & my trusty Iphone

Parts of this was taken from a House to House, Heart to Heart bulletin.

***On a side note, I am not trying to be disrespectful to those who buy expensive gifts for their kids.  I am just saying all those things can break, be stolen, or wear out.  The things you instill in your kids can never be taken away from them.  Just a thought.

 

Preach it brother & what happens if you ask a truck driver to church

Preach-The-Gospel-(Elder)

You know life has a funny way of doing things. Sometimes funny in a difficult way.  Other times funny in a, “Wow!  I wasn’t expecting that!” way.  Whatever the way, God has a plan.

This morning, a guy I work with, came to my office. He told me about meeting a driver, that had come in for a load.  He said yesterday, he had gone to a local eating establishment for breakfast.  While there, he commenced to talking to a guy from out of town.  He found out he was in town, because he was picking up a load at our company.   After having breakfast together, the new found friends parted ways.  As my co-worker walked to his truck, he thought, “I should have invited him to church.”  So he turned back around &  that’s just what he did.

The driver said, “I don’t have anything to wear.” 

My co-worker kindly reassured him it really didn’t matter.  He told him he would give him an hour & he would come back & pick him up. The driver agreed & in an hour, they were sitting in church together.

What was so remarkable about that situation is my co-worker was ready. He was presented an opportunity & he acted on it.  What happens to a lot of us is we miss our times to present the Lord to people.  I know I am at fault of the “I wish I had said this or I wish I had done that,” when it comes to sharing the Lord.  And too, there are times we may do our daily Bible readings, go down our prayer list & pray, & may think- is this really doing any good?  Well, yeah.  We have to prepare ourselves for the times we run across someone who needs our help & encouragement.  That’s how the Lord uses us for His will.

keep calm

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Jesus came across a Samaritan woman who needed encouragement & salvation. It was just a normal day for this Samaritan woman.  That is until she met Jesus.

John 4: 7-9

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

This lady was so intrigued. She wanted to hear more about this living water.  When Jesus was finished talking to her, she told anyone who would listen to her about her time with the Lord.

How do we know where we will find someone to share the good news of Jesus Christ with? Standing in line at the grocery store?  At the convenience store, where we get our gas?  At the fast food restaurant where we eat breakfast on Sunday??  God is working.  Whether we see it all the time or not.  He’s there, making plans, making things happen, for plain, ordinary folks like you, me & other people.  People that we may not even know, yet.

Which also brings me to share with you about to an awesome project, I am so excited to be a part of. Melanie over at Only a Breath has started a “Secret Sister” mission.  You can read about it here.

SecretSister_Fall2014_Blog

What it is , is a way to strengthen & encourage others- like total complete strangers.  It’s for ladies only, sorry fellas.  We shared our addresses & we are given 2 ladies addresses.  We send a handwritten note of encouragement & hope to that person at least once a month.  I got my addresses yesterday & I can’t wait to send my “Secret Sisters” a note.  This will be such a wonderful way to further the cause of Christ.

I am so proud of my friend for sharing Jesus. He truly blessed someone else,by his act of kindness.  You just never know when you will get a chance to make a friend.  Now you know what happens when you ask a truck driver to church.  Sometimes they will go with you!

I hope you are having a blessed week.  We had a busy weekend.  Miss Neenee had a friend sleepover.  Then, after church Sunday, I got to play with my grandbabies all day long!   We had an area wide youth devotional at church Sunday night.  There were 269 people in attendance.  God is so good to us.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: courtneyaitken.BlogSpot.com & keepcalm-o-matic.comuk

Neely & Christina

Miss Neenee & her friend having a good time touring the local boxcar.

Some high priced fun.  Which mainly involved some water, dirt, mud, buckets, & 8 handsome rounders

Some high priced fun. Which mainly involved some water, dirt, mud, buckets, & two handsome rounders

 

What would a weekend be without a good ol game of Chunk a Chicken?

What would a weekend be without a good ol game of Chunk a Chicken?

Are you blood kin? & Mamaw’s Sunday Dinner

blood-of-Jesus

I am so fortunate & blessed to be surrounded by good people.  And when I say good, I mean Godly folks.  I come from a family full of Christians.  My church family is wonderful, as well.  It is such a great feeling to know my blood kin are related to me through Christ, too.  My Sunday School teacher made such a terrific point Sunday about our relationship with Jesus.  He posed the question,

“Ain’t it wonderful to be blood kin to Christ?”

He went on to say that we are made “kin” to Jesus through His blood that He shed on the cross.  We come into contact with that blood through baptism.  I always knew that, but it was a nice warm fuzzy reminder that Christ is my blood kin.

Matthew 26:28 (NKJV)  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Acts 2:38 (NKJV) “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

 

In the South, we take kinfolk pretty seriously.  We take care of our own.  We love our own.  We are proud of our own.  We are loyal to our own.  It doesn’t matter if one of our relatives is a little off or strange.  We just shake our heads & say bless their heart.

I remember very well the Sundays growing up.  My Daddy was the preacher.  So, we got up & went to church every Sunday.  We worshipped with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, & cousins.  We ate Sunday dinner, that my Mamaw fixed, every Sunday.   She cooked fried chicken every Sunday.  Her table was full of peas, potatoes, slaw, casseroles, deviled eggs, homemade pickles, cornbread & whatever else this sweet lady came up with.  She always made a cake, a cobbler, or some sort of delicious dessert type dish.  It did not matter what you had going on.  If you weren’t there for Sunday dinner, well, let’s just say she did NOT understand.  Also, she made such a big dinner so that if a visitor showed up at church, she could invite them over.  My Mamaw was just awesome like that.

Blood kin means a lot to me.  That’s where I feel safe & secure. My Mamaw’s brother, my great uncle would hug us kids up, every Sunday.  He would say,

“Ya’ll my kinfolks.”

As I get older, I love knowing about my ancestors & where I came from.  I have pictures of my great grandparents hanging in my house.  I look into their eyes & there I see who I am.  It’s an interesting thing to know what you are made of.  From a religious standpoint, I am made up of my blood kin- Jesus.  I love that!  I just want others to see less of me, in me, & more of Jesus.  That’s the kind of resemblance I want to have.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  Thank ya’ll for always listening to me & what I think.  The weather has turned back off H-O-T.  It rained & stormed some this weekend.  Since then, it’s been so muggy.  I think we are making up for the nice weather we got in July.  Ne’er a summer passes in Mississippi without hot, humid, can’t let the kids out outside to play kind of weather.  Before I go, Miss Neenee came home & asked could she be in the chess club at school.  Since she does not actively play chess, I asked the crazy question,

“What made you interested in the chess club?”

She matter of factly replied, “Well, that’s the only club they have for us.”

Oh well, then.  Looks like we will be learning to play chess.  Until then, I will be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits:writtenreality.com, pinterest

More stuff that I think:

big biscuit

What I know about raising kids & why it’s good to have a strong will

Me & my partner in (raising kids) crime

Me & my partner in (raising kids) crime

 

There are few fields I am an expert in.  One thing I do have experience in, possibly not an expert in, is raising kids.  The Lord blessed me with 5 kids.  Three are my step kids.  At this point in my life & theirs, we don’t even really like to acknowledge they are not my own.  Reason being is that I see no difference in them & my own two.  Strange how years of being right there for everything makes me feel like we are more blood than not.   My last baby did tie all the kids together with having a sister.  I pity the person that refers to her as their half sister.  They will tell you, real quick she is their real sister.  Nothing half about none of that.  People rave at the resemblance of me & my two step daughters.  We just laugh quietly to ourselves, hardly ever admitting we were bound by anything else other than genetics.  My husband & I have been married for 15 years this year.  So, we have all put our time in, together, to make this blended family what it is today.  The youngest, which will be 20 her birthday, had just turned 5 when I became her step mama.  She doesn’t remember when me & her daddy were not together.  Along with my son, for years, we had 4 kids like stair steps.  It does not seem like that long ago, that they were in kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, & 3rd grade.  Now, I have grandbabies.  Time stops for no one.  Have times always been candy canes & fluffy clouds?  No.  Have I learned something about kids during this time?  You bet your bottom dollar.  That is why I feel so strongly about young people & the direction some of them are taking today.

I watched parts of an episode on Dr. Phil last week.  It was a teenage girl, that is from a nearby town.  Evidently, she was reeking havoc on her mom.  She smoked dope, drank, was actively having sex with a boy over 18, kicked her mama’s windshield out of her car, shoplifted, & various other things, that I may have not caught.  Dr. Phil was trying to counsel her.  He asked her why she shoplifted.  She said it was the people she was with & that if her mama had of given her money, she would not have had to. Come to find out her mama had given her $800 for clothes & she spent it all.  Now, let’s stop right there.  My 19 year old, knows this girl.

She said, “Who gives their kid $800 to spend on clothes?” 

She was amazed & perplexed at this.  She said this because, brace yourself , we did not give our kids wardrobe money.  It’s not that we hated our kids, or that we did not want them to be able to go out & buy whatever their hearts desired.  I felt it my duty, as a mother, to be a part of the clothes buying process.  Have you seen some of the stuff these girls wear these days, in the name of trends & fashion?  Between me & their grandmother, we made it our job to keep them in modest clothing.  Today, as young ladies, my two oldest daughters dress appropriately.  Why?  Perhaps because as teenagers, they had to pass by their Daddy’s recliner, as they made their way out the door.  He would stop them in an instant & send them back to their room to cover up whatever it was that needed it.  Now, did they stay covered up after they left the house?  I don’t know because I wasn’t always with them.  However, they knew what the right thing was.

I will give you my best shot at telling you what I believe is going on with some of these young kids, these days.  Why the rebellion & the acting out some kids do in the name of trying to get attention?  First off, many parents do not want to parent.  They want to be their kid’s friend.  Why you may ask?  Because parenting done right, is hard.  It’s exhausting & tiring & a headache.  Sometimes you feel like you are fighting a battle.  Who wants to fight a battle, if you don’t have to?  You have to have a lot of self confidence & conviction in you to stand up to a 16 year old boy, who is already a head taller than you.  And to tell him, in no uncertain terms he is NOT taking your car out, because he made the bad choice to not study & make a less than stellar grades on his report card.  No matter how much he wants to huff & puff, he ain’t blowin’ my house down.  (Whew! I think this just got personal.) All that strong will, I have always had, would be mush if I did not use it for the good of my kids.  Many parents today are afraid of making their teenage kids mad.  You know what?  I was never inclined to “pacify” my kids.  They knew how I felt & what I believed to be right, good, bad or indifferent.  Sometimes, you could cut the tension with a knife.  But I was never miserable in my own house.

Thus the passive parenting begins.  The path of least resistance.  A parent has to have their stuff together, to pass that along to a child.  So many parents are off chasing a rabbit.  They, themselves are not growing up.  They are still partaking in things of the world that is not good.  Parents of children are on drugs, taking alcohol to the extreme, involved in unhealthy relationships & barely able to take care of their own basic needs.  A person has to be serious about this parenting thing or you are setting yourself up for disaster with your kids.  Kids are very monkey see, monkey do.  It they don’t see the mama & daddy monkey with it together, chances are, they are going to follow suit.  If the mama & daddy aren’t going to church & don’t care about the Lord, don’t be surprised that the kids aren’t going to be that interested either.  And who’s to blame there?  Not the kids.

Now, saying all of that, can you do your very best to do everything within your power for the good of you kids & your kids still turn from the way?  Well yeah.  Kids are free moral agents.  They have a mind of their own.  You & your household is not their only influence.  Does that release you of your responsibility of doing your part to raise a child to not be a menace to society?  I think not.  It’s our whole duty to give it our best shot.  You can’t make me believe that even the ones that go astray don’t have the solid seed of the Lord planted deep down in their soul.  We have to pray that they will come back.  We must stay on the straight & narrow path ourselves.   Some good advice my aunt gave me-

“Your kids ain’t ever gonna do exactly like you think they should.” 

(so quit with the wringing of the hands & worrying.)

& another wise woman said,

 “You can’t let your kids run your house.”

 Oh how true.  I am not going to live in a house where everything revolves around the kids.  I love my kids more than life itself.  Too much to let them go out in the world with the false sense of believing they are so special they are not responsible for their actions.  Letting them live in a kingdom, in which they rule, is a recipe for disaster.  Especially the reality check they will get when they step out on their own in the world & realize they are not the center of the universe.

My Daddy told me one time when I went to him for advice about kids,

“Do you think you are better than God?   Look at Adam & Eve.  Even God had problems with His kids.”

So, don’t beat yourself up too bad, when kids get on the wrong path.  Pray & let God handle it.

Here is what Solomon said about raising kids- (remember when God was handing out wisdom, He gave Solomon an extra helping of wisdom – just because he asked for it.)

Proverbs 22:6 –  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (NKJV)

Proverbs 22:15 –  Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. (NKJV)

Proverbs 23:13 –  Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.

Proverbs 29:15 –  The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Just to clarify- these last verses have things about beating with a rod.  I don’t believe in child abuse.  I don’t think that’s what King Solomon was saying.  I do believe in getting a child’s attention when they do wrong.  Whether it takes a belt or time out.  Each child is different.  One of my sons would not straighten up until my husband got his belt out.  My youngest daughter, I believe we could have beat her to death & she would have still been doing what we told her not to.  She got lots of time outs.  That’s what worked on her.  The main thing is correction & consistency.

Granted my kids are not perfect.  I was not a perfect parent. I did faithfully take them to church & involve them in lots of church activities. They are all Christians, they work, & provide for themselves & their families.  They are God-fearing.  I just don’t know if I could ask for anything more.  I am proud of each & every one of them.  And we still have Miss Neenee at home with us.  There is still time for improvement!

I am so glad you stopped by to visit with me today.  Sorry if I got on a bit of a tangent.  I do hope you took something positive away from all this.  Don’t take raising kids lightly!  When they are grown, you will be glad you put the time in!  I hope you have a great rest of the week. This weekend I will be doing a 5k at Woodall Mountain.  Pray for me that I don’t pass out. 🙂  Until then, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

My kids & kids in law (minus my son)

My kids & kids in law (minus my son)