Sunday, October 21, 2012

Living the Law of Kindness

Well, this weekend I had the privilege of attending my first E Women Conference - in Southaven, MS. 

Every speaker had a message that went straight to the heart...Passionate Faith was the conference theme.  Convicted...challenged...repentant...joyful...praise...touched....the adjectives for this weekend abound.  Michael O'Brien (sp?), worship leader, was great - genuine. 

Casting Crowns - phenomenal!  What a worship experience - like the best church service imaginable.

Angela Thomas - always "brings it"...please pray for her mother and their family as they experience the ravages of cancer.

But alas, I had to come back to reality.

This afternoon, I opened up my email to find this verse:  "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them."  Ephesians 4:29

When I am on the receiving end of remarks...I am reminded to guard my live the law of kindness.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Law of Kindness

This morning's verse from KLove supports law of kindness...

Some people make cutting remarks,but the words of the wise bring healing.

                                                                                                                        ~ Proverbs 12:18, NLT

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Relationally speaking...

Just thinking about relationships this morning.  Wondering why something so important to our well-being is SO hard.  How do I know they are important to our well-being?  In His very first book God says, "It is not good for man to be alone."  We NEED each other. 

Our relationship with our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ is the foundation for our relationship with others.  My husband has preached so many times, "You can't be wrong with God and be right with others."  Or, "If you are wrong with others, you are not right with God."  The Word is chock full of how we are to relate to others, treat others...and how those relationships flow out of our relationship with Him.

One of my sons went through a time in the 2nd grade where he came home from school everyday - upset and troubled.  He had trouble with all the kids, he had trouble with his teachers - and let me tell you, as his mother - I was TROUBLED!  No mom wants her child to be mistreated, or without friends, or feeling left out.  I struggled with how to help him (just one of those many times we wish for a "how-to" manual for rearing children).  Finally, I told him this - "If you are having trouble with EVERYBODY - the trouble is you."
And believe it or not, the trouble began to cease.

Relationships are hard - because we are a sinful people.  We are self-centered.  We are lazy.  We are not always listening, or aware.  We too often interpret words and actions through a filter of our own issues or  experiences - which results in misinterpretation.  We need to learn to put others first.  You know the principle of reaping and sowing works here too.  If I put others first...that's what I will reap.  If I work at being sensitive and caring...someone, somewhere, sometime  will be sensitive and caring to me.  What goes around, comes around - I'm sure that's in the Bible somewhere.  Ha!

Do I have perfect relationships?  Unfortunately, no.  I have differing relationships with each person in my life. I have six wonderful children - so unique and different.  I love each one with all my heart, and I'm pretty sure they know it.  At the same time, I have differing relationships with each one.  Relationships grow, change, deepen, fade - depending on what we invest in them.  Relationships are a two-way street.  It's very difficult, almost impossible to have any quality relationship that is totally one-sided. I so love those heart friends who I don't get to see often, yet every time we meet - that instant connection is there!  Some relationships do seem to be easier than others.

 This is a photo of a few of my grandchildren building their relationship on a love of chocolate gravy and biscuits.

And when we consider the most amazing relationship of all...that the God of the Universe desires to have a relationship with ME.  He desires me to know Him intimately...and to become more like Him as I learn about Him.

Oh, I could go on and on and on - and I am no expert; there's nothing new here. I'm just a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend who looks around and sees how I fail in my relationships. Then I am reminded that God is my #1   I cannot expect others to fill my needs, to make me secure, to bring me happiness or joy.  That is unrealistic and unfair to those dear people in my life, because they can't do it!  No one can fill me except God and if I understand Him correctly, I am to be serving and trying to meet others' needs, not seeking my own.

So, help me, Lord, to forget about me and follow in Your steps.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Precious Words...Precious Freedom

Isn't it a little ironic that the great brouhaha (is that spelled right?) created by a businessman verbalizing his own beliefs - that his words have brought down great wrath upon him - in a country where we are said to have freedom to express words?  It is becoming evident, that some would allow us the freedom to express views they agree with and no more. 

The truth is...the truth hurts. It and of itself - it exposes lies.  It is Light and it exposes darkness. God's Word always evokes a does not return to Him "void" or without effect.  It moves people - we either receive His Word or we reject it.  We cannot ride the fence...we cannot be neutral.

One of  my favorite quotes (I do not know who said it.) is: "All it requires for evil to for good men to do nothing." Today, many of my fellow Americans got up and did something!  What a blessing to witness!  One of my nephews said they waited in line one hour.  I could not help but think - what is one hour? Our founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor to birth this nations of laws and freedoms.  They gave everything. 

The truth is...God is Right.  We can oppose Him all we want and that does not change.  We can ignore what He says, go our own way, accept the lies of our enemy - He is still Right.  I pray I do not offend anyone - I shouldn't.  But if what God says offend them, I am sorry - they have a problem with Him, not me.  I do not judge anyone - He already has (John 3:18) and He has generously and graciously provided the Remedy - Jesus!

It is the Precious Word that gives all of us our precious freedom.  We must remember and be willing to take a stand, to do something or we will soon find ourselves with no freedom at all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Random thoughts...

This week, my precious Lord has brought several various and wonderful things to me. Books, Bible studies, quotes (I LOVE quotes), blogs, recipes, beautiful things, visits with my children...MUSIC. 

  • Delight me
  • Inspire me
  • Challenge me
  • Fill me
  • Soothe me
  • Convict me of sin

Isn't He GOOD???

I jokingly say that I am the most trained woman in the world - a gross overstatement.  I will, though, have much to give account for when I meet my Savior face to face.  I want to know about every ministry, how to do it...I want to do every Bible study.  I am always manage to gain one truth from each study, but in no way could I say I have successfully applied every truth from every study to my life.
Here's a sample:

  • Sign Language
  • Clowning
  • English as a 2nd Language
  • Women's Ministry - (have almost completed basic certificate)
  • Crisis Pregnancy/Abortion Trauma/women in Crisis
  • Christian Education
  • More Bible Studies than I can count
  • Leadership Training
What does this mean to me?  I am accountable. 

I am reminded He is always working on me, and in me, and through me. He always has my best at heart,
even then I can’t see or understand this. I can TRUST Him.

I don’t always like myself...but He DOES.

I don’t have any power to change myself...but He stands ready to do it, if I will just cooperate. Lately, I have felt very inadequate...somewhat frustrated...dissatisfied.  These feelings drive me to His Word. And He has been faithful to point out things in me that needed to be addressed, changed, repented of, abandoned forever if possible.  Isn't He FAITHFUL??

I am SO thankful for the age, the place, and the family (both physical and spiritual) He has chosen for
me. In this stage of my life (sigh), I believe I may already be in “winter” – I am thankful He is allowing
me to invest in the lives of others. I am trying to be sensitive to His Spirit and willing to spend myself
and my resources to enrich the lives of show the help promote simply
demonstrate love. I am equally as thankful for those He sends to enrich my life, love me and invest in me.

We live in a marvelous age of technology...we are exposed to more teaching and resources than any age
before (which will bring a higher level of accountability). We get updates to let us know when there are
new books, new experiences through which others have learned more about our Father – and
they share it with us!  I am so thankful for these obedient ones, who faithfully share what God has done in their life.

So thankful, Lord!

What came your way this week?  What blessed you?  Challenged you?  Convicted you?  I am sure He has been around your place this week too!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Belinda and the King

Today, I watched Anna and the King, the remake of the much older The King and I - classic movies.  As I watched this time, though, I noticed something I'd never noticed before...the authority, the honor...the obedience given to the King.   No matter what the King said or was right and it was done immediately - he is the King!

In this America where I live, we do not have kings.  We are taught independence and initiative and to think for ourselves.  Our allegiance is given only where we choose to give it. Who have we ever bowed to? Whose commands do we jump to obey?  I can think of no one.  Even our leaders are held in disdain, many times due to their own behavior and character, or lack thereof.

Maybe this is why we do not honor Our KING, Our Savior, the King of Kings as we should?  Jesus, My King is always right.  He is always good.  His character is above reproach, it is His character we all come short of.  He deserves all glory, all honor, all praise and definitely my highest esteem and obedience.

My life will be titled, Belinda and the King.  How will it be read?  Will I please my King, or bring Him shame.  God is recording every aspect of my life, even my thoughts and motives.  I hope to remember this lesson I learned today...and give Him the honor due Him...and live pleasing to Him.  What a wonderful King we have!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Benefits of Praise

This week, I have found myself feeling unhappy, down, sad, lonely...just about any description of the darker side of one's emotions. I could have cried at any moment. Why? No reason that I can think of. For two days I struggled with these feelings. They made me feel unspiritual, inadequate...lacking. I kept thinking, "What is wrong with me???"

Yesterday on my way home from work, I inserted Travis Cottrell's "Beloved Disciple" cd into my player...and hit 4 or 5. I do not even know the name of this song, but I listened again, and again, and again...singing at the top of my voice...

I have found Your love feeds my soul... I have found Your love feeds my soul... You're better than life, so I'll glorify You... Spirit within me, cry out Your Name... I have found Your love feeds my soul. (I'm not even sure these are the correct words, but these are what I heard.)

When I got home...I inserted the cd in my kitchen player...and went to get the mail. I piddled around for some time while Jay moved a huge fallen limb and took care of the weekly yard work.

Some time later, I noticed it - my unhappy, down, sad feelings were gone! Believe it or not, I had spent time daily in my devotional guide, my Bible, praying and journaling as usual. What made the difference? PRAISE...praise that touched me deeply within, waking that gratitude and awareness of Who Jesus is and all He is to me every day.

Later, I went to the piano and spent time playing and mood was light and peace filled my soul again. I truly have found His love feeds my soul...even when I don't know what's missing. Proof we can be "in the Word"..."on the pew", and still drift away. Nothing we can "do" fills us up...HE feeds my soul, gives me peace...and joy.

He instructs us to praise Him...not for His benefit, but for OURS.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Again

Life is funny.  I can honestly say one thing I never thought I'd do - is attend my own mother's wedding.  That is exactly what I did yesterday.  Daddy has been gone for over 2 years and God brought LaVaughn  into Mom's life soon after.  (LaVaughn's wife passed just a few days after my Dad, by the way.)

                                           "Here comes the bride!"  (with my brother, Kevin)

I have to mention the church was packed - folks standing in the back!  Over 200 people came to see this couple unite in marriage.  Our two families had not met and we had a great time getting to know each much in common, especially in the Lord.

I have watched my mother bloom in this new relationship and it's been a joy to watch.  My brother's grandson gave her this touching poem he wrote about watching the love between his grandmother and LaVaughn (we call him L.V.)...

I cried when I watched her come down the aisle.  Later several said, "It'll be okay..."  misunderstanding my tears.  I was SO happy for her.  Mom and Dad did not have a "wedding" - this was a big deal for her and she was so excited.  At 79 years of age, she had her special "princess" day!

Afterwards of course - we had two-steppin' and partied the afternoon away...

                                                                      Kealee and L.V.

So, congratulations to my Mom...a beautiful, brave woman who is not afraid to live life to the fullest.

                                                    Mr. and Mrs. Moody - Happy Again!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Actually Thinking...

Of trying to write a book.  For years I've insisted, "There's no book IN me.  I have nothing to write about."  Today, my hubby and I were reminiscing and I said, "We were insane!"  He said, "No, we weren't insane. We were young, adventurous..." to which I replied, "and insane!"  We laughed and laughed.

I often look back and share with my children different places we lived, people we met, things we tried, regrets, adventures, etc. I don't share with strangers, because they look at me "like a calf looking at a new gate" (don't feel bad, I don't know what that means exactly either - but it's always said here in Arkansas). 

Today, as Jay and I laughed and remembered - I thought, maybe I COULD write a book.  Maybe some of these hilarious things, would make good reading.  We are so blessed to have lived in a generation that was able to do things our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will never be able to do. 

So, yes - I am thinking, but only thinking at this point.  I may try a little and find out quickly that I was right in the first place - we'll see and I'll let you know!


Friday, March 30, 2012

Please Help Me, I'm Falling

It reveals one's age to admit we remember the song, "Please Help Me, I'm Falling..." - but that first phrase of the song is what came to my mind this morning.  Also, the well-known commercial - "I've fallen and I can't get up!"  You might ask, why all the reference to falling?  It started when I read my daily scripture from K-Love this morning...

Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.  ~ Psalm 55:22, NLT

I found myself saying, "Oh yes, Lord!  Right now the ground beneath my feet feels shaky and uncertain.  You know I continually ask You to show us the way to go.  Please do not let us slip and fall!  Thank You, Lord for this wonderful promise!"

Whatever your burden, whatever your uncertainty, whatever your complaint...give it to the Lord.  Your burden may not feel any may still not know the way to go but He will NOT permit you to slip and fall.  Praise His Holy Name!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Quotable Quotes

Today, I am going to share two quotes I've heard or read lately - that made an impression on me.  I become ever more aware that I am the sum of all the people and events that have impacted my life.  There are no "self-made" people in this world.  So, here we go!

#1 - "An acceptable sacrifice was always one without spot or blemish, the best one might have. All were required to offer and it was always for God's glory...never for the person offering the sacrifice. When we offer a 'sacrifice of praise' we should do no less!"  (Ed Steele, New Orleans Seminary professor)

We are such a blessed nation, we seldom do without anything.  We struggle, I fear, to fully comprehend the meaning of sacrifice - and we take so lightly what we offer up to our God.  We are commanded to offer the sacrifice of praise - the fruit of our lips (Hebrews).  How often do I just throw something out there...without spending quality time preparing, practicing, striving to give my very best praise to Him?  How often to I give Him my leftover time...the crumbs of my self.

 #2 - 1 Timothy 6:6(posted by a sweet, young mother on FB)...

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."

I usually seem to focus on the word contentment exclusively...but today both godliness and contentment captured my attention.  It isn't merely contentment that is great gain, or profit - it is godliness AND contentment that bring great gain.

Godliness: Being more and more like my God...
  • in my attitude and my actions
  • filled with His Spirit
  • demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit
  • knowing Him and seeing everything the way He does
Contentment: Being satisfied with my...
  • possessions
  • situation
These are quotable quotes...worthy to be read and re-read...
and shared.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Got Peace?

We are studying the fruit of the Spirit on Sunday nights.  So far, we've looked at love, joy and this past Sunday, peace.  We spent a lot of time defining and describing peace.  A few of the results were...
  • calm
  • quiet
  • free of chaos or strife
  • serenity
  • being right with God
  • being right with others
Scripture defines a godly woman as one with a meek, and quiet spirit.  I think she has an aura of peace that those around her cannot miss.  I so desire to be that woman.

Lately, I have felt "not at peace" about a couple of projects.  One I've been involved with for awhile, and the other was a new project I'd been offered.  You know that uneasy feeling you can't get away from.  I have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of being challenged and stretched by God when He calls me to something new as well.  When I know God has told me to do it, I just have to step out in faith, beyond the discomfort.  This time I wasn't sure if God was telling to do it, so, I finally let them go. (secretly hoping and praying I was making right choice)

Not too long ago, I accidentally visited a site I rarely go to, and I saw they were seeking pastor's wives to write devotionals for a book that will be given to pastor's wives at the SBC National Meeting in June.  I thought, "I want to do that."  So, I sent her my information, thinking they would never select me and forgot about it.  Yesterday, I got the email that I will be writing one!  I don't know my topic yet, but I have perfect peace about it. The "funny" thing about all of this, is every single project involved writing or speaking to minister's wives.

I couldn't help but wonder if it was in letting go of the things I wasn't supposed to do...that the thing I am supposed to do then came to me?   I thought of the milk campaign, "Got Milk?" when I started to write this post.  What sort of picture would illustrate, "Got Peace?"

My daily scripture yesterday was Proverbs 16:1..."We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer." (NLT)  How timely.

So, how about you....Got Peace?


Monday, February 27, 2012

Prayer Monday

Yesterday was a good day!  Got to be in God's House with His people...worship Him in the Word and in song.  Our choir did an awesome job singing "My Lips Will Praise You".  A message on pride...ouch! 

A lazy afternoon...worked on my canvas project...

It actually should be turned landscape direction.

I also worked on learning sign language to Amazing Grace, the new song for AWANA this week.  It went great!  They learn so quickly. We are planning big closing program for the parents and grandparents.  I'm beginning to get excited. 

I've been praying all morning. As soon as I woke this morning, people started coming to mind and I started praying.  So many who are sick, hurting, dying, grieving, lonely, trying to make decisions, trying to be patient, trying to find love goes on and on and on.  All I can do is pray. Then I have to remind myself that is where the power is! 

The very best thing I can do is pray...on Monday and everyday.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday, February 25

I've been home all day today, except for a quick run to the store.  I am working through my little projects one by one.  Last night I worked on my music hangs above my piano. 

                                I still have to find or make something for the center...any ideas?????

Today I've done the mundane things we all  I've tried to hang my flower lamp in the sunroom, but haven't succeeded in getting a hook into the mortar of the brick wall.  I have started on my canvas project, and didn't get to the curtains.  I made a big pot of soup (how do you make a little one?), cornbread and made this cake I saw on pinterest:

                                                                Strawberry Yogurt Cake
Yum!!!!  Fresh strawberries, lemon zest and Greek can it not be luscious?

I'm in baking mode the mood to try new recipes!

I'm not sure if it's been a productive day or not, but I know we won't go hungry.  Ha!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine Thank You

We just had the ultimate "heart" day - Valentine's Day. I saw lots of flowers, balloons, teddy bears, and jewelry. Every year I get to take a valentine treat to our widows and single folks. I love that God gave me a little ministry to those who no longer have a loved one to give them a valentine; or maybe they have never married.

I spend lots of time looking for a new treat to make. It's so much fun! I love the search equally as much as the making and the taking. I have made sugar cookie hearts - half dipped in chocolate...chocolate peanut butter fudge...and a cupcake with a chocolate heart on top. This year...

Pecan Shortbread Hearts

Jay was my delivery man this year as I was scheduled to work. I was able to add ribbon to hang them on the door if not at home. I could not have done it without him.

We are studying the fruit of the Spirit on Sunday nights. The first fruit in the list is Love. My favorite truth about love is this...
"You can give without loving....but you cannot LOVE without GIVING."

God is LOVE...and God gave His own Son for me. Romans 5:8 says that He demonstrated His love by dying on the cross in my place. Love is meant to be demonstrated. Someone has said that love is a verb...not a noun. (smile)

There is a hymn I love entitled, “Here I Am, Lord”. (Forgive me, I always turn it around because in my KJV Bible, Isaiah said, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” Isa. 6)

I love the chorus:  “Here am I, Lord....Is it I, Lord?....I have heard You calling in the night...I will
                             go, Lord...if you lead me...
this is my favorite part - I will hold Your people in my

That is what God has taught me in the short time we’ve been in our present pastorate. My biggest ministry here is to love “our” people. It’s important to treat everyone the care about them equally. This time, I have made a conscious effort to LOVE...and to demonstrate that love by giving. I try to be sensitive to the Spirit, so I will know when this demonstration of love is most needed. It is not always a physical need, and doesn't always involve food.

It means paying attention (something I am not naturally good at). Knowing someone’s favorite food, or preferences. I have one member who loves pimiento cheese! So, every time I come across a new recipe using pimiento cheese...I file it away. So far, she’s gotten pimiento cheese soup...and pimiento cheese cornbread.

The crazy part is who gets blessed the most????   Me.  Well, God did say... “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

I often fail. I get busy and I forget. My own difficulties get in the way.

Thank You, Lord, for Valentine’s Day - my opportunity to minister.

Help me to hold Your people in my heart.

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Look and Craft #2

Well, it's taken me awhile to get back to this...and you might notice my blog has a new look!  Thank you, Faith! I love it.  My new look has made me want to add a fresh post.

I promised last time to reveal my 2nd craft project.  It also involved a new look ... for the bathroom/laundry room.  What do we do in a bathroom/laundry room????  We...

Yes, we wash!  My friend, Janet Slate, crocheted the doily for me years ago - and I love it,
but it looked quite lonesome on this big wall.  I am very happy with these patterns which are
full of the colors I really like right now.

My inspiration: "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow"...the old hymn based on Isaiah 1:18.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Crafting

I have fretted, literally, since we stored away the Christmas decorations, because my front door has been NAKED!  I put up a "fall" wreath before we ever got to move in - and then, of course the Christmas wreath. But what does a January, or winter wreath look like????

After looking and looking, I decided to go ahead to Valentine's Day.  I found the decoration on Pinterest that I loved - but it has taken me two weeks to get the supplies (our town is very small, and even the one nearest us - had nothing).  Finally got everything yesterday and last night I went to work.


(Notice my turquoise mailbox?  It used to be black - I love the pop of color!)

Here is the close-up - I love the ruffly look and the way it feels...

It's not perfect - but it's exactly what I wanted.

Will share my other weekend craft next time!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Listening to the Thunder

As usual, I just woke up...I've fallen asleep in the recliner...missed the ending of Chopped...who won?
Never mind - it really doesn't matter.

It's raining (pouring) outside and as I sit here, I can hear the train whistle in the distance.  It's thundering...that slow, distant rumble...and at times, that crackle that tells you  there is lightning somewhere too.  Do sounds bring back memories to you?  They do to me. 

Thunder makes me think of...
  • My kids coming and crawling into bed with us (when they were small) 
  • Lying in bed at my Grandmother McMahan's (Ma) the hot was SO dark...crickets (or was it frogs?)chirping...going to the dreaded storm cellar
  • Watching the night sky for tornadoes when we lived in Denmark, AR
  • Just loving a steady summer rain
  • The 12" snow we got in Batesville the year Cary was it thundered!
  • It's the "angels bowling" is "God giving us water"...all the things I used to tell my children when they were afraid...singing Philippians 4:8
Listening to the thunder, I'm reminded of those who have no home...or who are cold and wet...or hungry...or in despair...or lonely.  I am so blessed.