For goodness snakes no! & things that happen when you buy dirt and containers

My people ready for summer.

My people ready for summer.

Mr. Sweetie Pants ready for summer.

Mr. Sweetie Pants ready for summer & looking all dapper for church.

When it gets to being the hot part of the year, y’all, I have so many things I think back on.  Sipping red Kool-Aid on my Mama Boyce’s car porch ( as she referred to it).  Playing outside in the yard.  Catching lightning bugs.  Eating too many strawberries out of my Papa Clyde’s strawberry patch.  Swimming in the branch at my Mamaw & Papaw’s house.  And going to the garden at both sets of my grandparents’ houses.

My Papaw & Mamaw Austin were very well versed in growing gardens.  They worked so hard to make sure we had our freezers full for winter.  I remember one steamy summer morning, I was about 7 years old.  The daily plans included, going to the garden.  My Papaw had already been to the barn, that morning, to milk the cow, feed the mule Kate,  & other farmish related duties.  When he got back to the house, he perhaps made mention that one of the barn cats had had kittens.  Well, don’t you know that perked my ears up real quick.  Then, y’all I started with the begging to go see them.  Goodness Gracious why would they expect me to wait around whilst there were things at the barn that I needed to be looking at?  Mamaw said it was time to go to the garden anyway, so off we went.

The barn was situated right beside the garden.  So, once we made it down there, it didn’t take long until I had worried Mamaw down to a frazzle & she said I could go in the barn to search for the newly born kittens.  However, she wanted me to wait for Papaw to go inside with me.  Being the obedient & always minding child I was, I started to sneak off to the barn by myself.  Papaw was just taking too long.  I walked up through the dirt rows & when I about got to the end, I heard Mamaw holler.  I turned around & looked & Papaw was beating the ground with his hoe.  Right in the spot where I had been walking.  Well, needless to say, he wasn’t just beating the ground for nothing.  There was a black racer snake that was chasing me up the garden row.  I didn’t even know it.  My Papaw had come in & killed it to protect me.  Even when I was being disobedient.

Now, does that not sound like the Lord?  Even though we may be on a path He told us not to go on, He still watches over us.  Even when we don’t deserve it.  That’s called grace.  The dictionary.com simply gives this definition of grace:

favor or goodwill.

The Lord takes care of us when we have done nothing whatsoever to deserve it.  I have heard it called “unmerited favor”.  That’s what the Lord does for us.  He steps right in & protects His children whether we know it or not.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  NKJV

The Lord is really good at working behind the scenes.  As a matter of fact that’s where He does some of His best work.  So, today, if you feel like you are going through a hard time by yourself, you aren’t.  The Lord is always there watching over us & keeping us from harm.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe. NKJV

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” NKJV

So, we have done our little version of a garden this year.  It’s a container garden on our back deck.  Because who doesn’t want fresh vegetables?   I reckon we do.

We started out planting. This is the peppers.

We started out planting. This is the peppers.

This is just when we got finished planting. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, & herbs.

This is just when we got finished planting. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, & herbs.

This was the cucumbers one day this week. These guys have grown right before our eyes!

This was the cucumbers one day this week. These guys have grown right before our eyes! Don’t that beat all?

And what about these? We may be fancy gardeners, yet.

And what about these? We may be fancy gardeners, yet.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  Summer has come in full force here in northeast Mississippi.  We are going to reach the high 90s this weekend.  Along with that comes humidity & mosquitos!  It will be so hot we won’t be able to let our kids go outside & play.  Y’all, it will be hotter than blue blazes.  There is no wonder there are so many Christians in the South. 🙂

Hope you have a blessed day.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

And here is a random picture of my brother & mama, just because I miss her.

And here is a random picture of my brother & mama, just because I miss her.

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The Voice! The Voice is back on! & matters of the heart

I want to thank everyone who told me to get well soon last week. I think it must have really helped. Because I am feeling so much better this week! You all are the best!

The-Voice

I have been very delighted, to say the least, that The Voice has started up a new season. I have already made some picks on the ones to watch. I must say I get a tad emotionally attached to these singers every season. Last season’s winner Sawyer Frederick was so cute. I just wanted to put him in my pocket & carry him around. I put him on one of my Pandora stations. REALLY liked him. He reminded me of my own rockstar son. Also, a few seasons back there was Cole Vosbury & Nicolas David. We really rooted for them. When the season was over, I was sad & I missed seeing them every week. I added them to my Pandora station, too. So, it’s kinda like they aren’t really gone. BUT I LOVE that Gwen is back this season. I just really like that girl. She seems like a genuinely nice person.

So, I have had something on my mind this week, that I want to talk to you about. I know there are a lot of people that are doing their best to live a life for the Lord. I know we may not do some of what the world classifies the “BIG” sins. We don’t kill, steal, or commit adultery. We give of our means on Sunday & don’t miss church services, so we are good, right? Let me ask you this, when’s the last time you have taken inventory of your heart?

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (NKJV)

We can’t really talk about what is in a person’s heart without talking about what comes out of their mouth. Do we look down on others, that they aren’t as “good” as we are? Do we love to “tote the tale” as my Mamaw used to say? Does it seem to please you to hear something maybe not so flattering about someone else, because it makes you not feel so bad about what you have going on?

Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. (NKJV)

Do we think, “I would never do that.”? Or I may do this, but she does that & that’s worse. Do we put others down instead of lifting them up? I really believe the devil comes at us in a different direction. He knows we try to keep a certain standard of living, so he comes subtly, in the form of jealousy or envy. He enters in our hearts with hatred for each other. Or the feeling of pride & I’m better than others. If you go to church every time the doors are open, but are quick to judge & make a biting comment, that’s a heart problem.

Woman-pointing-her-finger

Instead of pointing your finger at someone & beating them over their head with their sin, why not show you care?  Let’s have a gentle & caring spirit, like the Lord commanded.

Galatians-6-1-10-Loving-One-Another-Featured-Image-400x400

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. (NKJV)

You never know what kind of situation someone else is in & why they are doing what they are doing. Shame on us, as Christians, if we can’t stretch out our hand to help, instead of pointing our finger to criticize. How many times have YOU changed because someone was trying to shame you into seeing the error in your way? I’ve never seen those tactics work that well on adults. That’s why it is so important to do our best not to be judgmental. Because you never know when you will be on the receiving end of a bad situation.

Things happen to all of us in life. I have a son, that was raised in church, however, is not faithful at this time. I have had people make comments to me about his appearance & how they cannot believe that’s my son. Well, you know what, y’all? That’s rude & hurtful. I pray for him every day the Lord gives me breath. This has been a real game changer for me & I don’t specifically need others pointing his bad choices out to me. I know what they are. I pray for these people making these comments to me because, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, we are all in this together. Let’s act like it & help one another. Even when it pushes us out of our comfort zone. You never know how much an encouraging word means to someone who is going through a difficult time. We are to have a spirit of kindness & meekness. Not a spirit of judgment & critical opinions. Because y’all, that’s just what a person who is looking down their nose is doing. Giving their opinion. AND everybody has one. A person, who is truly caring & concerned for others, will react in love & humbleness to a troubled soul. That’s what Jesus commanded. This other stuff does not come from the Lord. Let’s make sure our words are seasoned with goodness & kindness for others.

colossians4_6

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (NKJV)

Let’s not take things so seriously that we mouth off & hurt other people’s feelings in the process. Let’s not let the devil get in our hearts & give us a critical spirit. Let me also add, I am looking at myself, as I write all of this. I am guilty of these things myself. I do pray to be a better person & a faithful servant to the Lord. If I am busy doing the Lord’s work, I won’t have time to be on point to criticize others. I don’t want to lose sight of my purpose of serving the Lord, by letting the devil convince me it’s ok to be hateful when something doesn’t go my way.

Ephesians 3:17-18 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; (NKJV)

I know I am kinda all over the place with this. I just know how important it is to do our best to live a life without a critical spirit. You can have so many more blessings if you will keep an understanding & loving heart. We should pray for the Lord to direct our hearts. (Because Lord KNOWS I can’t do all this by myself.)

II Thessalonians 3:5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (NKJV)

I hope everyone is having a blessed week. The weather has just showed out this week. It has been so pleasant outside. I want y’all to know since I felt bad last week, I have the ultimate Mount St. Laundry that has made an appearance in my bedroom floor. Yes, we are dressing out of the pile. So, until next time I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: pinterest,duoparadigms

be kind

 

Understanding God’s Grace

my grace is sufficient

II Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficent for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”…

Do you know how many times I have asked God to make certain parts of my life, not so hard? Probably 26,439 times… a day. Maybe not that many, but you get the picture. Sometimes I just pray & pray & pray to God to help me, & to make things easier, & to help my loved ones, & to bless me & my family & to not let this happen & to not let that happen & then I end it up with whatever Your will is, help me to bear it. But, do I really mean that?
I feel a lot like the apostle Paul did when he was praying for his thorn in the flesh to be taken away. Now, we don’t know what this thorn in the flesh was. Some say it might be that his eyesight was not the greatest in the world. Some say it was either a physical, spiritual, or emotional affliction. But it really does not matter. What matters is, it was something that Paul hated dealing with. Something that he would really just rather not have happening in his life. Paul may have thought if he did not have this “thorn in the flesh” he might be able to have a better ministry. Perhaps he thought he could serve God more effectively without this happening to him. Whatever it was, it kept him humble. He prayed to the Lord 3 times for it depart from him. But the Lord just said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

” In II Corinthians 12:7-10 the apostle Paul talks about what he has going on:
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was give to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
v.8Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
v.9And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
v.10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It’s not specific what Paul’s thorn in the flesh is, maybe so that we can relate to him. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” could very well be our answer, too. Why don’t you try plugging in your trial? With this method, Christ teaches Paul, we could use this as our answer, as well.
When we feel discouraged & just want to give up remember Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” When it seems like everybody & everything is against us, remember Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” When our health fails, when loved ones turn their back on us, when we lose our job, when our child is sick, when we just don’t have enough money in the bank, when we don’t look like the gorgeous size 2 models that are plastered all over the t.v., magazines & internet, remember Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

his love

We just don’t need anything else but the Lord’s blessings. And we have so many of those. Food to eat, clothes to wear, cars to drive, air conditioning to keep us cool in the summer, heating to keep us warm in the winter, shoes to wear, people to love us, see where I am going with this? We don’t have to have it all, to have it all. We don’t have to have all of the material things money can buy, to have all the love God gives to us freely. He takes care of us. No matter what. God did not take away the apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh. He just showed him how to handle it. This goes to show us, even the most important people to the Lord, still do not miss out on the problems of the world, the flesh. Jesus gave Paul a way to bear his problems, but did not take them away. I just think sometimes if I had a lot of material blessings, would that make me humble? Maybe not.   Jesus wants us to be humble so that we may serve Him & tell others about Him. It humbles me to think God’s grace is sufficient for me. Grace -being the Lord’s love, salvation, blessings that we do not deserve, but is given to us anyway. Wow. That really is sufficient for me!

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me. I love it when you come by for a while. Today I need to remember-I need to quit looking at what others have & be thankful for the blessings God has granted me.  Little ‘ol me!  I am important to Jesus & he blesses me.  He does the very same for you.   God won’t take away all of our problems, but he will always, always show us how to handle them.  I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

***This blog post was inspired by our preacher Bro. Brad’s lesson Sunday. Thank you Bro. Brad for proclaiming the Word.

All access pass

Sometimes I am in awe of God. I mean, I have been so fortunate to have been brought up in church & in His service all my life. I think, as a human, one gets to going through the motions, & we take for granted or just plain forget all that God is & does. Mostly, how much He loves us. When I think of how much he loves me, little ol’ me, that just takes up about 5’6” of this ol’ world, I get teary eyed. It just tugs at my heart that I am significant to this Spirit, so indescribably powerful & in control of everything. In the same sense, I know to have an all access pass; I have to do my part as well.
In Chronicles 28:5-10 King David was advising his son Solomon about what he could have if he followed God. Here is how King David set all of this up:
5 And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. 6 Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. 7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.’ 8 Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, be careful to seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever.
Here is the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say. For Solomon to receive the blessing he had a few stipulations to meet.
9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. 10 Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”
Doesn’t this sound like God’s grace for us? We have all these blessings, if we are willing to follow God’s plan, whether we deserve it or not. And like my Daddy always tells me, “You better hope you don’t ever get everything you deserve!” God is not playing hard to know. For those who seek Him & do his will, He is all in. However, just like Solomon, we have a responsibility to God. After that, if we are faithful, we have an all access pass to God’s love & blessings. But watch out, because God knows our hearts & the intents of our thoughts. We have to learn to love without regard. All the hate, deceit, & grudges our heart can hold, ain’t nobody got time for that! Especially God. So, just go ahead & get rid of ‘em!
What a wonderful life to live! All we have to do is submit to Christ. That’s all. I just pray that I will always be in awe of what a BIG God we serve, so that I can have my all access pass. I am so glad you stopped by today & visited with me for a bit. I hope you have a great week. As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes….