I knew 2 of the lottery winners!

powerball

With all the hoopla about the lottery this past week, I wanted to let y’all know, I knew 2 of the people that won the lottery. I really didn’t think about it until I talked to my cousin.  We had a good friend, who was like family to us, pass away last week.  I was talking to my aunt’s granddaughter.

She said,

On Monday I told my grandmother we need to go buy a lottery ticket. Then, we found out about her friend.  I was over here worrying about winning the lottery, when he won the real lottery,  He got to go home to be with Jesus.” 

Tears flowed & we agreed that was the best lottery there was.

There was another sweet lady, that I had grown up knowing, that passed away, also. She was a school teacher, my school bus driver, an author, a mother, a grandmother, & wonderful Christian.  As long as she could go, she was always at church.  Another lottery winner.

It all made me think of this scripture:

Matthew 16:26

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

I am so proud for these “lottery winners” this week. They finally gained their home in heaven.  I talked to my uncle & aunt, while at the funeral home.  My uncle pointed out that he hated to see our friend go, however it was an appointment all of us were going to make.  I pray all of us will be ready to make that appointment.  We never know when it will be.  However, as long as we hold that lottery ticket in our hand, we still have time to prepare.  Every day God gives us breath, we have the chance to live for Him.  So, let’s do all we can, daily, to be sure we are prepared to have that big win with the lottery one day.

I hope everyone has had a blessed weekend & are ready for a cold week ahead. It was a balmy 21 degrees in our neck of the woods this morning.  Miss Neenee has started basketball.  I will post some pictures on that soon.  She’s already had a couple of games.  I am so proud of her.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

weekend again

Yes, weekend again, please.

And these two.  I can’t even begin to describe the vast amounts of sweetness in this picture.

Neely & kade

Photo credits: http://www.10tv.com & lollywollydoodle instagram

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You missed the point & the dreaded time change

 

miss-the-pointHow many times have you seen people in life that miss the point? While they may be well meaning, their words just don’t help the cause?  I have, first hand, seen people who would rather lash out & “let somebody have it” rather than extend a hand to help.  I have seen those who get in a tiz & their knee jerk reaction is to tell somebody off.  I have actually had someone tell me before, when I have tried to help them see their anger was not beneficial, say to me, “Well, at least they are going to know what I think.”  Really?  In situations when people are maybe not making the best choices & they need our help- they really don’t care what you think.  Being angry with someone for their mistakes & expressing such to them is missing the point.  I know we are all human & want what’s best for our loved ones.  And yes, sometimes you may want to just shake them & say, “What were you thinking??”  All the lecturing & yelling & bawling & squalling will not change the fact that this person needs our love, not our tempers flaring.  I truly believe if we reach out a hand in love, we will get a much more positive response than if we are throwing a hissy fit.  We need to be showing Jesus through us.  How can we do that if we are angry & ranting & raving?  We can’t.  We all make mistakes.  We all miss the point, from time to time, to show Christ’s love.  If we have done that, we should pray & ask the other person to forgive us.  The apostle Paul talks about true love in I Corinthians 13.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NKJV)

I love this girl dressed up for Halloween as "Queen of the Nerds."

I love this girl dressed up for Halloween as “Queen of the Nerds.”

anks

 

This chapter is full of useful & necessary information on how to treat others. From what I can tell, these are commandments.  Not suggestions.  Let’s be sure we treat them as such.  Instead of beating someone over the brow with our version of what they should be doing, we all need to try speaking kindly & understanding where they are coming from with their decisions.  A lot of times, I can be more tenderhearted if I know why someone is doing what they are doing.  Believe me, there are just some people who need guidance.  Even & especially grown men & women.  And sadly, some still will not change, even though you go to them in love.  That’s not your fault.  You have done your part & done it correctly.  Continue to show them love & keep them in prayer.  Hopefully, they will turn to the Lord before it’s too late.  But listen, don’t worry about this.  If the Lord could not turn everyone’s heart to the right thing, what makes you think you can?  It is what it is.  Do your part, with love & move on.

One more thing, you may be asking, “What is “the point” you speak of?”  When I refer to missing the point, I am meaning this is your prime opportunity to show Jesus & His love through us.  Please, please, please, do your best to not miss the point!

love-one-another

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today. We have had a nasty stomach bug going around our house.  I have been able to avoid it, so far.  Well, you know there are somethings a stomach bug won’t even chance. Ha. Hope your week has been full of fall weather & pumpkin spice.  Oh yeah.  And the time changed.  What about that daylight savings time that just jumped up & ran off?  Still. Not. Over. It.   And just to add to your anxiety, Christmas is only 7 weeks away.  Love you like candy canes & chocolate covered cherries! Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

I possibly relate to this a little too much.

I possibly relate to this a little too much.

What to do if someone is drowning & how I am getting ready for a wedding

Drowning

It has been said when rescuing someone from drowning, to approach them from the back.  Because of their panic, if you come at them from the front, they could grab you & pull you down with them. Fear & panic can cause you to think & act unwisely.

As Christians, I think this is the same thing that happens to us sometimes.   We get news that times are a changin’ & we panic.  Bless our hearts.  We start saying things that are not uplifting.  We start acting like we know it all & are sooo much better than what is going on that we forget.  We forget that we are those same sinners that need forgiveness.  Still.  Ya’ll, just because someone is different, than we are, does not give us the right to judge.  We should not spew hate.  Are we not still the same group of people that are supposed to be leading people to Jesus?  Not sending them running the other way.  We, as Christians, have such a terrific opportunity to tell others the truth about what the Bible says about sin.  Let’s not mess it up.  We need to be sure we season our words with grace.  We need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  I was reading in Romans 1 about what the God inspired apostle Paul said about sin.  He laid it down pretty simple about the wicked & Godless people:

Romans 1: 26-27

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.(NKJV)

But he didn’t stop there.  He also called out some other sins.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.(NKJV)

This covers about every sin there is.  He went from one end of the spectrum of envy & murder all the way to being unloving.  Did you notice he mentioned, disobeying parents & gossiping?

gossip

Do you know anyone that’s guilty of that?  Do you know anyone who gossips or stands by & listens to another person gossiping?  Ouch!  That hits close to home.  It’s sin, just like being a homosexual or murderer, according to the passage above.

The scripture goes on to say in Romans 2:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (NKJV)

The apostle Paul was talking to the church at Rome.  Christians that were passing judgment on those around them for their sins.  He was telling them they should not be judging others, because they too, were sinners.  We are taught the ONLY judgment we can speak of is a righteous judgment.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

I read an article the other day written by a person who was an active member of a church.  However, is not now.  He said a secret about a lot of people professing Christianity is that they don’t read their Bibles.  Oh they attend every service, warm their pew, give of their means, & sing loud.  But when they are faced with sin, they start going along with the crowd.  They agree to whatever the Christians are saying.  However, never opening their Bibles to see what God is really saying.

Listen folks, don’t take someone else’s word for what God’s commandments are. Make sure you know.  You are the only one responsible for you.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;(NKJV)

II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.(KJV)

Timothy

I hope everybody has been having a good week.  It has been hot here & you know what?  That’s what it’s supposed to be for July in Mississippi.  But we are still just complaining away.  Now don’t that beat all?  At least it will hopefully not be SO hot when my daughter gets married this fall.  I wonder if there is a way to look at the weather, that far in advance?We want some good weather so that everybody will be comfortable for an outside wedding & what have you.  Until next time, I pray you will stay out of the heat.  I will perhaps be sitting under the air conditioner, staying cool, while watching way too many episodes of “Say Yes To The Dress”.  HEY, we have got to do our research here.  And of course I will do all of this while I should be washing clothes.

biscuit love

Credits: Our Daily Bread, patheos, a happy lass, pinterest

 

My week in a couple of words & my take on the latest Supreme Court antics

Miss Neenee & Mr. Sweetie Pants before church

Miss Neenee & Mr. Sweetie Pants before church

Here are some phrases I’ve used this week:

“You win some, you lose some.”

“Honey butter.  Hello there, heaven.”

  (Maybe I just thought that as I was eating my biscuit.  But, it’s totally conversation worthy.)

“I love all ya’ll.”

“You can only do, what you can do.”

“What does that even mean?”

“You have to remember, at the end of the day, God is in control.”

 

That last phrase, I find myself using it more & more.  There are so many disheartening things happening in our country right now.  There are so many wrong things happening.  However, hasn’t that been the case since the beginning of time?  We don’t live in a sinless world.  Because of that, we encounter all kinds of ungodly things.  Our associate minister brought to our attention that back in the 1970s, the Supreme Court voted to ok the killing of unborn babies.  A flag kinda pales in light of that.

About the gay marriage issue, I addressed that here.  No need to beat a dead horse to death.  I still feel the same way.  Love the sinner, not the sin.  And when I say that, I mean it.  We can stand up for something without making ourselves appear hateful & pretentious.  Really.  We can.

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)

People with sins need forgiven.  Just like I need forgiveness.  Daily.  How can you bring someone to Christ while beating them over the head with their sin?  You can’t.  Plain & simple.  My prayer today is that we love one another the way Jesus does.  Like my Daddy says,

“Love people like the Lord does.  He loves people enough to let them go to hell if they want to.”

True dat, Daddy.

We need to know when to let go & let God.  That’s all we can do.  Hey, I think I need to add that phrase to my list up there!  We do need to be in the Word.  Reading, studying about what God says about all of this.  Please don’t just go off half cocked about something you think is right.  Be sure.

One more note, I did hear a preacher give a word of encouragement about all the happenings here lately.  It was Bro. Knoll.  He came to do a gospel meeting at Pleasant Grove church of Christ.  He said maybe all of the things going on with the flag, legalizing gay marriages, & the recent church killings was this:

“In the depths of despair people are drawn to the Lord.  Maybe one thing the Lord is trying to do is bring people together.”

Think about it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend.  We perhaps cooked a lot & ate a lot.  It was spent with family & friends.  That is what truly makes me happy.  Being around my peeps & laughing til my stomach hurts.  Good times.  And these grands, ya’ll, they are too sweet.  My daughter was cutting a watermelon.  She put the knife in the top of it & Mr. Sweetie Pants yells, “I can’t look!!” & covered his eyes with his little hands.  He was so excited.  He even led “Jesus Loves Me” in Sunday School class.  He was so proud of himself.  His Grand was, too.  Until next time, ya’ll, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

 

Got to see one of our sweet cousins over the holidays.

Got to see one of our sweet cousins over the holidays.

Miss Neenee got her Starbucks on this week.

Miss Neenee got her Starbucks on this week.

And these 2 had a big announcement.  Congratulations to our EA!

And these 2 had a big announcement. Congratulations to our EA & her sweet fiancé!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons from a 6 year old & warm weather where are you?

 

church pews

There are times you just have to know there is good still in the world.  As much as we hear of the horrible things going on, we must be confident there is good going on, too.

I was lucky enough to have 2 little girls, from my Bible Class, to sit beside me Sunday night at church.  They had notebooks & were drawing different things.  When I say notebooks, I mean we live in a place where these are still in style:notebook

They enlisted me to draw a panda bear & a horse.  It was pretty sad.  Their pictures were MUCH better than mine.  I was hoping the people sitting behind us could not see how truly pathetic my artwork was.  I have taken art classes.  However, my abilities are CLEARLY stunted when it comes to drawing things.  The head of my horse resembled a lizard or dinosaur.  I did add a mane & tail.  One of my sweet little friends did ask what exactly the tail was.  So, we made it a little longer.  That helped out a lot.  (Not.)  They were drawing dogs, cats, & the occasional turtle.  Then, I looked down & saw a picture I could not figure out.  It was a stick figure with some lines drawn through it.  I leaned over & asked the little artist to identify her drawing.  She whispered,

“It’s Jesus on the cross.”

Really?  I’m not even sure someone could have told me anything more precious right there in that moment.  Here I am.  Just a sinner, trying to make it through life, trying to make sense of it all, & I have a 6 year old sitting right beside me nailing it with her “what’s on her mind” drawings.  She taught me some valuable lessons with her Jesus picture.

  1. If I keep my mind on Jesus, well, that’s all I really need to do. I won’t have time to worry about being offended or getting my feelings hurt or much anything else.
  2. I need to make sure I am living a righteous life everywhere. Especially in front of kids. Obviously, they are watching & listening.
  3. I need to always be kind to children. Kids are wonderful blessings from the Lord. If we mistreat children, we are mistreating a work of God. Nobody wants to do that.
  4. Kids are people, too. They think about things, wonder about things, & love like nobody’s business. We need to do the same.

Jesus loved children.  He referenced how we must become as children to go to heaven.

child scripture i

Matthew 18:3 .. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

This tells me I must be humble, loving, trusting, forgiving & always anxious to learn about what Jesus wants.

I hope you are having a wonderful week.  I promise to you right now, if we ever get warm weather again, I will never ever ever complain about it.  Well, maybe.  I am just ready to go outside and it be warm.  I heard the other day, this has been one of the top 10 coldest winters, in the Mid-South, since 1875.  Now, you know why I’m so opinionated about the coldness.  Southerners are not made for cold weather.  Word. Until the weather is hotter than the backside of a cast iron skillet, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: http://www.poraora.com, pinterest

What do Jesus & Malcolm Butler have in common & O how I love Mississippi

superbowl image

So, did anybody see what happened on t.v. last night?  As in football?  As in Super Bowl Football?  Well, I may or may not have skipped some of the game.  I did try to watch some of the half time show.  But ya’ll, Katy Perry.  I just can’t.  I can’t get past the kissed the girl & I liked it song.  I did pull my 11 year old out from in front of the t.v. when Ms. Perry started belting that one out.  I would say in the least, she probably has hundreds of songs in her arsenal to sing.  But she chose the kissing the girl song to sing last night.  Sorry (not sorry).  It just aggravates me.  If she were here, my Mama Boyce would say, “She needs them legs striped.”  Meaning in northeast MS language she needs taken out behind the woodshed.  Which means, oh well, she just needs to stop it.

Malcolm Butler - New England Patriots  Super Bowl 2015

Malcolm Butler – New England Patriots Super Bowl 2015

Anyway, let’s talk about Malcolm Butler.  Did you see him make the winning play?  Malcolm. Butler. Won. The. Super. Bowl.  Now, let’s talk about where ol’ Malcolm is from.  West Alabama?  No, that’s where he went to college.  New England?  No, that’s who he plays for.

Did I hear someone faintly say, MISSISSIPPI??

As in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Really? Mississippi?  My Mississippi?  The one that has the lowest education rating in the nation?  The one that has the highest obesity rate in the country? The one that you never hear anything nice about.  Yea, that Mississippi.  The one that gave birth to Elvis Presley.  Well, not really.  His mama did, but you know what I mean.  The one where the famous author John Grisham is from.  The one where other great authors like Eudora Welty, William Faulkner & Tennessee Williams lived & worked.  The same Mississippi, in which I have been asked, if we have indoor toliets & running water.  ms appliances

The one where Eli & Peyton Manning came from.  The one that is home to the John Stennis Space Center (NASA’s Center of Excellence for rocket propulsion testing isn’t in Houston, or even Florida. It’s Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi.)

I’m not trying to chase a rabbit here. I am just trying to make the point that even though Mississippi gets a bad rap, somehow, somewhere we have done some things really right. So for all you skeptics out there, the guy that won the Super Bowl for the New England Patriots was from the wonderful, fantastic, beautiful, & marvelous state of Mississippi. (I must apologize to all of my English teachers for that really long sentence there. When I get excited, I forget that periods are free & I can use them anytime.) You may be saying how could that be that he’s from Mississippi? Well, it just can. (That’s my best explanation right now.)

Nazareth from the South

Nazareth from the South

 

There was a time when someone questioned the place where Jesus was from.  He was from Nazareth.  According to www.bible-history.com, in Jesus’s time Nazareth had an evil reputation .It has generally been attributed to the Galileans’ lack of culture and rude dialect. There was a man named Nathanael, who asked a question about Jesus.

“Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46

Nathanael was himself a Galilean. He may have said that because Nazareth was such a common term of contempt among the more “righteous” Jews in Judea. Thank goodness one of the disciples, Philip, was there to say,

“Come see.”

come & see

I am happy to say Christ’s being from Nazareth has not had too bad of an effect on His message. I would think He put Nazareth on the map. There may have been some questionable things going on in Nazareth, however, evidently, obviously, there were some really right things going on too. Am I comparing Malcolm Butler to Jesus? Well, maybe sorta. Sometimes it’s as easy as looking for the good instead of the bad. The cream always rises to the top. So did Jesus & so did Malcolm. Before you stereo-type me or Malcolm from being from Mississippi, remember, everybody has to come from somewhere. By the grace of God, we were born & raised in one of the best places on earth.

MS poem

 

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me today. You are most welcome to come by any time. As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

 

If you want to read more about how Mississippi is awesome sauce & the cat’s pajama’s, you can go here.

To read more lovely poetry about our wonderful state by the talented Patricia Neely-Dorsey click here.

 

Photo credits:

Yahoo! Sports, http://www.patricianeelydorsey.com, http://www.prayfit.com, http://www.mississippibelieveit.com, blacksportsonline

 

 

 

Reba sings & the storms of life

reba

I was driving along in my car, listening to my radio.  A song by Reba McEntire came on.  The longer I listened to it, the more I liked the message.  It just spoke to me.  You know things just do that sometime.  You can read about how sometimes cooking shows speak to me here.  Anywhoo, this song was called “Walk on”.  Here are some of the lyrics:

Oh ain’t life wonderful

When everything is right

But sometimes wonderful

Can fall apart sometimes

When your troubles knock you down

Pick yourself up off the ground

And walk on, walk on

Nothing ever stays wrong that long

Walk on

Oh don’t, don’t just stand there in the storm

Walk toward the light till you find the sun

You’ll be better off in the long run

And walk on…..

Have you ever been in a storm in your life?  Mama always told me this about life,

“Life is a battle.  You are goin’ into one, in the middle of one, or comin’ out of one.  If things are good right this minute, get ready because something’s bound to happen.”

I know she was relating to this verse.

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

Many times problems come our way, that are just out of our control. We have to go through a storm that we never created. We need to realize, like the song says, “Nothing ever stays wrong that long.” Oh, I mean, you can have a bad day, week, month, or year, but it all go away at some point. I have learned I am going to have problems. It’s all in how I handle them. How I act. How I treat others, that will make me grow in a positive direction.

storm

Something else the song mentions is “don’t just stand there in the storm.” When troubles come our way, we have got to keep moving toward the positive. Finally, we will reach the other side. That’s where we will get some rest & be able to better help someone else through a trial. Ain’t that all it’s about? Serving others & being a light- even when your light may get dim. We have to keep going, so that we can continue to live for the Lord. Jesus will always be our security & He will always be there for us.

Psalm 9:9

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble. (NKJV)

What is your struggle today? Whatever it is, please don’t let it get you down. Keep on moving through the hard time. Before you know it, you will be on the other side of it, with a brand spankin’ new perspective.   Pray for the ones who are having a hard time. There are a couple of people, that I will never get over passing away.  I miss them everyday.   So, take time out to remember in prayer, those who miss their loved ones.  And a totally random note about Reba- when Miss Neenee was about 4 years old we would watch the t.v. show “Reba”. reba cast

One day, Miss Neenee yelled from the living room,

“Mama come here!” 

With a tone of urgency in her voice I went quickly.  When I got there, she was watching a video of Reba McEntire.  She said in her most surprised southern voice,

“Mama, Reaba sangs!” 

Funny, it never occurred to me she knew Reba as an actress & not a singer.

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me today.  I have enjoyed having you here.  As for me, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: pinterest, http://www.hollywoodallstarz.blogspot.com,www.famousbase.com,www.fanpop.com

 

 

Don’t tell me to smile & what to do when it sunshines

 

th

In life, I have found this to be true- you just never know what someone else is going through. The other day, I was at the pharmacy picking up my medicine.  There was a man ahead of me.  I was practicing waiting patiently.  I say practicing, because there are times I get sorta disgruntled, when I have to wait.  These days, I am so busy, that having to wait on someone else can put me out a tad.  This previous statement comes from the same lady that is the biggest time waster that ever was, which also has a love hate relationship with time management.  So, I know, I need to clean off my own door step before I even consider making mention of anyone else.  There, since that elephant is out of the room, I was standing in line at the pharmacy when I noticed the lady behind the counter looking sort of perturbed.  The man, in front of me left, & I stepped up to the counter.  I told the pharmacy tech what I was after & she got my bag.  As she was ringing it up, she said,

“Do you know what that man said to me?  He told me to smile.”

Then she shared with me how her daughter had run away from home at 18 years old.  She said she had not seen her in several years.  She said she had heard her daughter had gotten married & actually only lived a few miles from her house.  She said some days it was all she did- was to think of her daughter.

She then said, “You know with that on my mind, sometimes it’s just hard to smile.”

At that point I felt I needed to share with her the 5 cent version of the situation with my son.  I told her my 23 year old son left home several years ago.  That he’d had 2 car wrecks (while under the influence) & chose to do drugs & drink, still. Now.  BUT, that God was good & he took care of things in His own way & time.  I told her I would be praying for her & she said she would be thinking of me, too.

Nahum 1:7 says

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. (NKJV)

Nahum

Lord have mercy! Who in the world would have known that innocent little drug store visit would have been a chance to encourage somebody?  You just never know what other people are going through.  That’s why I HATE it when some well-meaning person tells me to smile.

If I look that disheartened, just ignore me, or say“Bless your heart,” or how about “Have a good day”?

Those kinds of things would be much better than,

“Smile, it can’t be that bad.” 

Really?  Because you don’t know if my heart has just been ripped out & stomped flat by somebody I love or if I am doing ALL I can to put one foot in front of the other or if I’m just sour person.  Why take the chance?  Just be nice.  That’s all we need anyway.  A little kindness.

The apostle Paul gave this commandment to the church at Ephesus:

Ephesians 4:32

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)

ephesians 4 32

That means I need to be kind & you need to be kind, because God was kind to us.  He sent His son to die on the cross for our sins.  Do you think God was smiling when He did that?  Probably not.  And I bet nobody was saying to God that day:

“Smile, it’s not that bad.” 

Because you know what?  Sometimes it just is that bad & we need to be kind & tenderhearted toward each other.  Many times people need compassion.  Not somebody barking at them to get over it.  What if they don’t know how?  We need to be ever mindful of others.  It’s just considerate.  Be prepared to help & encourage whenever you go.  Kind words will melt a broken heart quicker than anything.

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me today.  Sunshine! Finally, coming through these windows.  Loving this 60 degree January weather. What exactly do you do when it sunshines?  You get out & enjoy it.  Just like we did.

Playing with rocks, no less.

Playing with rocks, no less.

Always a good time with a rock.

Always a good time with a rock.

And this cute puppy dog.

And this cute puppy dog.

I hope you have a blessed week.  Until next time, I should be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: k.love.com,www.dianalamb.com

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

What is really necessary & holiday hair loss

rockefeller-center-christmas-tree-2014

Today’s post is just as much for me as it is anybody.  With it being such a hectic time of year, sometimes our time gets away with us.  Things need to be done, trees are being trimmed, Christmas cookies & candies made, present bought, elves on the shelf are back with a vengeance, Christmas parties to attend, parades to watch,  this list of things going on will run rampant if you let it.  Then, along with the excitement of the season comes the daily things.  You know the things that need doing no matter what.  The dishes need washing, the clothes laundered, the floor swept, bathrooms cleaned, beds made, kids taken care of & with all the other Hoorah, sometimes, just sometimes our time with God slips by us.  With all the stuff we have to do, there are times I fall into bed at night & barely get my prayers said before I am fast asleep.  The next morning I think, I didn’t study my Bible yesterday.  That’s not a good thing.   So that brings me to this question, “What really is necessary?”

There was a lady in the Bible that got a wonderful lesson about what is necessary.  There was a time Jesus went to visit with His sweet friends Mary & Martha.  Now, I can imagine what a serious tiz I would be in if Jesus was coming to my house.  I would be just like Martha.  I would be running around trying to make sure everything was just right.  Martha got caught up, just like I would, with things not really necessary.

Luke 10: 40

 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”(NKJV)

Jesus did not tell Mary to get up & help her sister fix dinner or clear off the table, so they could eat.  He was there to teach & fellowship with them.  Not be concerned with things like is the floor vacuumed, dishes washed, and the throw pillows aligned properly on the couch.

Luke 10:41-42

 And Jesus[l] answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”(NKJV)

Jesus was trying to tell Martha what was necessary.  Serving him in a physical, earthly way was not that important to Him right then.  He wanted her to sit with Him & her sister & listen to what He had to say.  That is what was necessary.  When my Daddy drops by my house unannounced, there are times it may appear there has been cyclonic activity happening inside my home.  I always start out apologizing for things being in a mess.  His response is always the same, “I came to see you, not your house.”  I think this is what message Jesus was trying to drive home to Mary & Martha.  When you get so busy doing stuff, that you don’t have time for God, you have to be reminded.  Is this “stuff” really necessary?

open_your_bible_study_pack

While it’s Christmas time or anytime let’s make sure we don’t overdo ourselves on the unnecessary, that we neglect the necessary.  At the end of our time, will it matter that no dirty dishes were left in the sink or that we took that time to sit down & study God’s words & spend time with the Lord?  I’m not saying don’t clean your house.  I’m saying make your time with God a priority.  I do want to share with you one thing I try to do.  I have a Bible app on my phone.  When I am in my car, I turn that thing on.  If I don’t have anything specific I want to listen to, I will put it on Matthew 5.  This starts the sermon on the mount.  I love hearing the words of Jesus.   Something in that sermon seems to always be what I need to hear.  It just makes my day go better.  It helps me to remember what is really necessary.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  There are a lot of things we have going on for the holidays.  Parties, get togethers, cooking, baking & Christmas shopping.  Gracia, our elf on the shelf, is just everywhere this year.  She’s a busy little elf for Santa, that’s for sure.  I hope you have a plan for your holiday.  Me, not so much.  Thus, the falling out of my hair.  Which I hardly notice for my queasy stomach & frequent heartburn.  You see, I’m an off the cuff type of gal.  Let me tell you, Christmas at my house is not an off the cuff kind of holiday.  There’s lots of preparation.  And I have a big family.  No pressure.  Anyway, I hope all of you are having a blessed week.  I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

christmas keep calmphoto credits: honeynfizz.blogspot, newyorksightseeingtours.wordpress.com, shereadstruth.bigcartel.com