Why I love fall & what’s on everyone’s mind

Y’all. I hope you are having a wonderful week. I know this weather has just showed out these past few days. The humidity is all but gone & there’s a crispness in the air. I can put pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee again. People are decorating their yards. I saw some of the cutest kids, you’ve EVER seen, at church Sunday with their smocked pumpkin brother/sister outfits on. (Those grands of mine really are the cutest!) We are planning a trip to a fall festival in a couple of weeks. The leaves are starting to turn. And I know the colors will just be gorgeous! I just LOVE FALL.

Now, to get to what is on everyone’s mind. I know your heart has been heavy, just like mine, with the awful shooting that happened in Las Vegas. I pray for the families of the ones hurt,and the ones that lost their lives. I pray for the ones that were helpers in their time of need. I pray for the ugly hearts of those that plan & bring about such destruction. There are just no words for how hard this hits everyone as a nation. It’s devastating.

I know so many people just ask, “Why?” And then again the same anger starts coming out of our hearts and we want to know where God was. Why did God let this happen? We just want answers & want someone to be accountable for this mess. That’s just human nature. That’s how God wired us. However, we just need to remember- no matter how dark a situation can be, good can come out of it. And that’s where God is. He is the good that comes out of tragedy. He will always triumph over evil.

I Kings 19:11-12

11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (NKJV)

When I looked at those pictures, on the internet, I saw people running crazy. I saw scared people, people who didn’t know which way to turn. People trying to get away from the gunfire. Then, I saw the police & first responders coming in to help. I saw people helping other people. And I bet you, I just BET YOU, no one was asking if they were a democrat, republican, what their views were on the national anthem, or  if they ever picked cotton. You see, all this division the media is honing in on is nonsense. I just don’t believe it’s really out there in the masses, like they want you to believe. I don’t believe we live in a country with hate right around every corner. I believe in the scripture

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (NKJV)

Because if you look around & notice, there’s a lot of  good going on everywhere. It’s just a few that are trying to bully & make us afraid. But if you live in Jesus, there’s no reason to fear. Even if they go to the extreme of killing you, they are sending you home to be with the Lord. That’s what we are all working toward, anyway, right???

Matthew 10:28 

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (NKJV)

Don’t live in fear. Let the Lord shine so bright in you, that there’s no room for any kind of darkness to come in.

I hope you are having a blessed week. Please be in prayer for all of the evil that’s happening in our world right now. But, thank the Lord, too for all the goodness. Until next time I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

When you want to take your 1st grader to the homecoming game to cheer with the big girls, because they went to mini cheer camp. Then, you realize she IS one of the BIG GIRLS & this is her last middle school homecoming. (Insert lots of tears here.)

If you want to read more about where God is in time of trouble, click here, here, or here.

Advertisements

Learning to trust & can I get a marshmallow peep?

 

calvin

I can remember when I was little, if I was scared, I would run & hide behind my mama.  This was mostly when I had maybe perhaps done something to my brother.  He would chase me & I knew, if I could find mama, I would be ok.  I can remember her saying to him,

You have to be good to her.  She’s the baby.  You have to show her how a big brother acts.” 

(This was promptly followed by me poking my head out from behind her sticking my tongue out at him.)  And oh MY  word ya’ll, if that hasn’t been a reality check for ME in life.  Because, you know what?  People aren’t always nice to me.  And they really don’t care if I’m the baby or not.  But my sweet mama used this tactic to try to get us to behave. I can remember her having to stand in between me & my brother & I would hold on to her just as tight as I could.   I always trusted her & whatever I did, if I could get to mama, she would take care of me.  No matter if I were right, wrong, or indifferent.  I had that wonderful, special trust.

Do you ever have troubles?  Sometimes problems arise from a wrong choice or decision that you’ve made.  At other times, you don’t really have to be responsible for any of it & here it comes.  Either way, problems in life are just plain unwanted.  What makes an incredible difference in bad situations? How you handle it.  We can be afraid, angry, disappointed, or have a multitude of emotions.  We might start to ask God, “Why me? Why us? Why this?”However, we can trust, in the middle of all the heartache, that:

1.  The Lord will not leave you.  Hebrews 13:5  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(NKJV)

Hebrews-13-5

 

2.  The Lord will take care of you. I Peter 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  Things may not be exactly like you think they ought to be.  However, there are times the Lord takes care of us in a way we don’t understand. Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  If we only go to Him & trust Him, He will help us, period.  He will NOT leave us hanging out to dry.

3.  The Lord will turn tragedy into blessings.  One of the worst things that has ever happened to me is my mama’s sickness & untimely death.  I will Never. Get. Over. It.  But you know what?  God has blessed our family with deeper love for each other.  He sent people to help us through our hard times.  We always had someone we could depend on, around us.  He has caused me to appreciate life & to remember the wonderful example my mama left for us.  I realize that for 30 years, I had a precious mama.  Some people don’t have that.  Some folks have never known their mother or don’t have a Christian mother.  I was very fortunate to have had that.  I can pass along those qualities to my children & family.  I have a hope that I will be with her again one day.  Until then, I have got to keep on keepin’ on.

John 16:22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.(NKJV)

The Lord is always working behind the scenes for us.  We just have to trust in Him.  We readily accept good from Him.  As a part of life, sometimes we will have to accept bad, too.

Job 2:10  Shall we indeed accept good from God & shall we not accept adversity?(NKJV)

JOB

Life goes on.  Even in awful circumstances.  It’s ok to grieve the loss of a loved one, to get down & depressed about an erring child, or to feel like no one has any idea what you are going through.  Those are human feelings.  We just can’t unpack our bags & live in the land of desperation.  There are times we get stuck going through the struggles of life.  Just like a big ol’ tractor pullin’ a truck out of the ditch, the Lord can send people to help.  Let them.  I have said it once & will say it again & again.  Folks, we are all in this big ol’ mess called LIFE together.  We have to depend on each other.  I hope you are at a point in your life you have finally relented to this fact.  It makes things so much easier knowing you have people, who care about you.  Isn’t it wonderful to know we don’t have to go through trials alone?  We always have the Lord there with us.  He can do things for us no one else can.  We just have to simply trust.  Is there a struggle in your life today?  Pray about it. Seek others to help you.  Look to the Lord for comfort.

The psalmist David said in Psalms 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (NKJV)

I’m not saying your problems will vanish overnight.  I am saying you will be able to bear whatever it is, until things are better.  You will find peace of mind.  Only if you are willing to trust.  God’s love never fails.  We must give Him a chance to show us that.  Whenever I am facing something hard in life, I have to remind myself, there’s someone out there who has a worse situation than I do.  There’s always something to be thankful for.  Maybe it’s that things aren’t as bad as they could be.  No matter what, I have to be thankful for a loving God I can depend on.  It’s hard to see the other side of trials sometimes.  We just have to remember to slow down & take things day by day & trust the Lord to take care of us.  In times like those, we don’t know what we need.  We have to let the Lord handle our needs.  He’s good at that.   Just like the trust that my mama was going to make everything all better, God can do the same thing.  Even bigger & better.  Promise.

I am so glad you came by to visit me today.  Goodness gracious, I about got too serious & heavy hearted with all of this.  But sometimes it’s just that way, ya know?  This Sunday is Easter.  I sure hope you have your Easter frocks ready for church.  My grandbaby girl is going to look so sweet.  If you see her, you will be tempted to eat her with a spoon.  I would discourage any of that.  She has a tad of a mother hen for a mama.  My Miss Neenee is ready all but the shoes.  We will be getting those this week.  Oh the fun!  The kids & grandkids will be coming over after church.  We will be dying eggs, hiding eggs, running around chasing kids, eating good food, & oh the Easter candy.  There is nothing that suits me more than a marshmallow peep.   Until then, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

Easter-Bunnies-Image-Graphics-Fairy1b

photo credits: graphicsfairy, pinterest

 

 

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

Why we have pain & suffering & yes, I’m a band wagoner

godDo you ever ponder the question why? Why do we have pain & suffering?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why are there starving people?  If God is all He says He is, then why do all these terrible things exist?  I think I found out.

This morning, I was listening to Matthew 26 & 27, on the way to work. The scripture was at the point where Jesus was prepping his disciples of what is fixing to happen to Him.  Jesus was getting ready to suffer beyond belief.  Not only was He going to be crucified on a cross for our sins, His very best friends in the world, were one by one turning their backs on Him.  Judas betrayed Him. (Matt. 26:25)  Peter denied Him. (Matt. 26:74)

The other disciples ran off & left Him.

Matthew 26:56 ….. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

And now, He was being hung on a cross.  Jesus begged God to rethink His plan.  But, ended up praying

Matthew 26:42 ….“O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”(NKJV)

I think I’ve got problems.  My problems will never match up to what Jesus had going on.  I haven’t ever been treated the way Christ was.  So, I start to ask myself

“Where was God?”

Why did He let this awful thing happen to His own Son?  It was God’s plan to save mankind.  He knew what He was doing.  Why does God allow bad things happen in the world?  It’s in His plan. Job said in

Job 2:10 Shall we indeed accept good from God & shall we not accept adversity?(NKJV)

We are so willing to take all the goodness God gives. However, just can’t understand when bad things come our way.  God gave His only Son for our sins.  He let Jesus go through some awful things.  Remember that then next time you ask God, “Why me?”  Why not you?  He crucified His own Son for our own good.  He may let some less than pleasing things happen to us, for our greater good.  It’s all in His plan.  He has promised He will never allow satan to tempt us over & beyond what we are able to handle. The apostle Paul wrote in

I Corinthians 10:13

 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

We have to trust in God to take care of us. Even in the worst times, we have to have enough faith to say, “I have some big problems, but I have a really big God that’s going to see me through it.”  Always remember, God promised us a safe landing, not an easy passage.  He allowed His own Son to die on a cross.  I am fairly certain that turned out pretty good for me & you, huh? That was God’s plan.  We just have to trust Him.  He’s got this.

I hope you have had a good week.  We had a wonderful time with my family in Oxford, Mississippi, this past weekend.  We may or may not have had the biggest tailgating tent at the entire Ole Miss campus.  Just sayin’, it was pretty fabulous.  Normally, I could care less who is playing ball.  But this year, yep, I’m on the band wagon! :)I love being with my family.  I got home just in time to be with more of my family.  This grandparent gig we have going on is the cat’s pajamas.  We play all day & it’s a good thing.  I always get a wonderful night’s sleep on Sunday.  (Not that it has to do with all the running around those kids have me doing.)  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

Ole Miss UM

Not that ya'll care, but this is  where the tailgating fun is.

Not that ya’ll care, but this is where the tailgating fun is.

Inside the Hotty Toddy Hangout...

Inside the Hotty Toddy Hangout…

Ole Miss Stadium

If I were a bettin' woman, I bet this guy was pretty tired when he got home. He did this every time Ole Miss made a touchdown.

If I were a bettin’ woman, I bet this guy was pretty tired when he got home. He did this every time Ole Miss made a touchdown.

Lovely cousins

Lovely cousins

 

These sweet girls had such a good time together.

These sweet girls had such a good time together.

Me & my Miss Livy

Me & my Miss Livy

Was God in Oklahoma?

oklahoma

I am a “Why” person. I like to know “Why” things happen. Sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me. However, I have learned that sometimes it’s not necessary to know why, but to know how. It’s no secret there was a tornado in Oklahoma City this past week. Some people like to start with the why’s when tragedies happen. “Why did God let this happen?” “Why did this happen to innocent people?” “If God loves us, why did he not keep those people safe?” These are all very good questions, but maybe the answers are outside the box. Some people might get angry at tragedies & ask, “Where was God?” I will tell you where God was. He was in heaven ready to help. The Bible tells us in Psalms 46: 1 He is a “very present help in time of trouble”. All through the Bible, God was there, when people were experiencing a hardship or problem. God was not with these folks to answer their whys. He was there to show them how He loves & cares for them all through hard times.
God was there with Joseph. Early in his life, it would seem that Joseph had problems. His brothers were jealous of him, so they sold him as a slave. They deceived their father Jacob into thinking Joseph was dead. Later in life when his brothers needed him, Joseph responded with kindness. He told them how God was working in his life in a special way. (Gen. 50: 20)
God was there with Moses. When he was placed into the water by his mother to escape being killed, God was there. Through divine providence, Moses ended up being the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Later, God chose him as His mouthpiece. (Ex odus 4: 15)
God was there for Jesus. Even though Jesus was despised and rejected by many. (Isaiah 53:3) God was with Him. When He hung on the cross, He was carrying out the plan of God. Jesus was doing the will of the Father. (Luke 2:42; John 6:38)
God was there for the apostle Paul. Paul suffered for the gospel of Christ. Among those problems were being shipwrecked, beaten, and in perils. (II Corinthians 11:23-28). He also prayed that God would remove his thorn in the flesh. (II Corinthians 12:7) Yet through it all God was with Paul. Paul declared, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Corinthians 12:10). This strength was not his own. In prison, he stated, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”(Philippians 4:13)
The Bible makes the simple point that God does not prevent trouble from happening. He is there in the midst of our troubles. A small child can fall with a parent close by, however, the parent is there to help and pick up the child. God works in the same way. He will be there for us when trouble comes. The Christian has the assurance that, “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (I John 5:14) The Bible promises us that, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers.” (I Peter 3:12) God has promised to be with His people (Heb 13:6) When a person is a Christian, trouble may come (II Timothy 3:12), but God is there.
I am so glad you have come by to visit with me today. It just makes my heart happy when you stop by! I have been so busy here lately with kids, Miss Neenee’s softball & school coming to an end. I may have to change my blog to I should be washing dishes because they are about to take over my kitchen! I do have to go now, because I should be washing clothes.
Parts of this article was taken from “The Messenger” from the church of Christ at Marion, IL with Brother Bill Brandstatter