Friday, February 27, 2009

The Back Roads

The back roads, like the back door, are just better somehow.  

Driving on one Thursday evening, I passed this old pick up truck.  I have seen it before and thought, "I want that in a picture".  Instead of passing by this evening, I threw on my brakes, brought my car to a stop, put it in reverse and backed up to the corner of the pasture where this truck sits.  Don't worry, you can see in the picture that we can see forever out here, there was no one out there but me.  It's loaded down with rusty barbed wire in the back and it looks like it has been used as target practice.  
It calls to me, hey, take my picture, back in my day 
I was somethin'.  If I let my imagination roll we will be here all day so I better get on with it.
There's just something about old things, that whisper of times gone by, of their day passed, of what was, and the the love that remains in the memories.
My grandmother turned 98 yrs old on the day I took these pictures.  I can just picture her, my grandfather, my dad and his brothers bouncing down the roads in a truck like this.       

Is that a grill guard on the front of this thing?  This truck must have made many a years to have a grill guard put on it.  Homemade, for sure.

Mam-ma had a lot of old friends come by to see her today.  One of the ladies asked her, Sara how old are you?  She said, "69".  Her youngest, my uncle Larry was there and he said, "Momma, your not 69 yrs old".  
"Well, how old am I"?
"Momma your 98".
"Well devil, I'm not asking you anymore"!
Vintage. :)

And finally, Yahweh, paints a glimpse of His majesty.  Dawn tells me that in the book "Captivating" the author talks about God romancing us.  She writes that He has been romancing us since our birth and every time you see something or hear a song, or anything that gives you chill bumps, that's God woeing you into a deeper relationship with Him.  I think that book just jumped up to the top of my 'to buy' list and will jump to the top of my 'to read' stack on the night stand.  Even when He paints a beautiful sunset He does it just for you.      

God is saying I love you, child.
I have a little gift for you.  
Happy birthday Sara Elizabeth Hatfield LeGard.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book Review Tuesday

I have a stack on books on the night stand just waiting for me to finish one, so that I can start the next.  Most, I have to read the front flap to tell you what it was about.  Some books, however, have the ability to jump on top of the pile, insisting that they be next.  If I hadn't been so close to finishing the one I was on, I would have laid it down and began reading the one that was yelling, read me! read me! "Same Kind of Different As Me" is one of those, "I can't be put down, I will make you laugh and then you will cry to the point that you can't see the page, in public no less, books".  

Two words, READ IT! 
Another word, if you haven't read it and you are going to, don't go any farther, I will give too much away.  O.K.

So, this is where I should leave the story, but no, I have more to say than that.
Help me Lord, to write from your heart, help me Lord to make sense of so many things that are  running into each other (thoughts and emotions) in my mind.  Help me Lord to begin and to finish.

I guess the first thing that stands out is, I would never have the courage to reach out like Miss Debbie did.  Never.  Though I should, I would rather turn my eyes away.  I want to love the ones I love.  I want God to help the ones who matter to me, and that in turns helps me, so really all I want is God to help me.  Awful.  Pitiful.  Filthy Rags. 


Second, I found hope when she didn't want to die, now there I go ruining it for all of you.  Anyway, as a Christian I have struggled with not wanting to die, wanting to stay here, and wondering if that was ungodly of me.  I mean, aren't we suppose to want to go to heaven?  I find myself very happy right here.  I love my life and it scares me, thinking I may not be heaven bound, because of the love I have for my life right here right now.  Food for thought, no, food for prayerful soul searching.  

This isn't going exactly as I had hoped it would.  Ouch!

My twins were born during my 25th year and my struggle in raising them was giving up my selfish thinking.  I wanted "my life" back.  I never really thought about living for others, I thought only of how others would benefit me.  Little children could care less that you have, want, or need anything.  They need you and you are there for them.  End of story.  

Best story God ever wrote into my life.  My oldest daughter was easy.  Raising her was a piece of cake, and she made me look good doing it, too.  Do you know what I mean?  Some babies just make you look good as a parent.  I was told one time and I have claimed these words as my own ever since,  "It's not really parenting until the kids out number you".  Now that the kids out numbered me, God had my attention and began changing my heart.

Through this story, Debbie Hall shows us what one person can do.  One person who completely gives herself over to God.  Isn't that what Jesus ask of us.  He doesn't want parts, he wants all.  And then go without fear.  A friend of mine says that the bible mentions "do not fear" 365 times, one for everyday.

I want to highlight some of the things that struck me in this book.  No way the whole of it, but they said something to me. . .  

"With our new spiritual eyes, . . .,we set about saving them from eternal damnation with all the subtlety of rookie linebackers.  Looking back now, I mourn the mutual wounds inflicted in verbal battles with the "unsaved."  In fact, I have chosen to delete that particular term from my vocabulary as I have learned that even with my $500 European-designer bifocals, I cannot see into a person's heart to know his spiritual condition.  All I can do is tell the jagged tale of my own spiritual journey and declare that my life has been the better for having followed Christ."  Ron Hall. 

"I was hoping you'd go with me," she said, smiling and tilting her head in a way so irresistible I sometimes thought she should register it for a patent.  Ron Hall about his wife Deborah.

That night she dreamed about the mission again-and this time, about a man.  "It was like that verse in Ecclesiastes," she told me the next morning over breakfast.  "A wise man who changes the city,  I saw him."  Deborah Hall

"That's him," Deborah said again, eyes sparkling.  "I think you should try to make friends with him."  Me!" My eyes widened in disbelief.  "Did you not notice that the man you want me to make friends with just threatened to kill twenty people?"  She laid her hand on my shoulder and tilted her head with a smile.  "I really think God's laid it on my heart that you need to reach out to him."  "Sorry," I said, trying hard to ignore the head tilt, "but I wasn't at that meeting where you heard from God."  Ron Hall.
"God has blessed me that someone would come to me that was concerned about me and not interested in whatever bad places I had come from." Denver Moore.

"If you looking for a real friend, then I'll be one forever."  Denver Moore.

We hadn't seen Denver since the cancer diagnosis, and I was concerned he might be feeling he'd been caught and released.  I asked Chef Jim if he'd seen Denver that day.  "He's probably sleeping," he said.  Sleeping!" I blurted.  Lazy,  I thought.  Jim raised an eyebrow.  "You don't know?"  "Know what?"  "Well, when Denver heard about Miss Debbie, he told me she had a lot of friends that would be praying for her all day.  But he figured she needed someone to pray all night, and he would be the one to do it."  So he goes outside at midnight, sits down next to the Dumpster, and prays for miss Debbie and your family . . . til sunup." 

I think that one gets me the most.  To think of a prayer warrior sitting by a dumpster praying for an angel all night, sets me straight in this crooked world.

The type of people we walk by and turn our heads away from or think we just can't help.  "They deserve it! or They chose it."   This rational settles in but at the edges of my mind God tugs at my heart for the ones he sees as his own.  He knows. . . everything about our hearts, about the what makes us cry and why.  He knows what we don't know about how we ended up where we did.  I stood on a hilltop and looked out over this ranch and  wondered, "how did I end up here?"  Nothing I ever did brought me here.  This is a gift of God, but I do not want it to be my reward.  I want my reward to be in heaven, but that means that I must lay down my life for the not so lovely and use this gift as a means to help others.   

As I re-read this paragraph tears stung the back of my eyes as the hatefulness of my words jump out.  Shows how our very best is filthy rags to the One who is holy.

One more thing, you can go to the web site and see the comments, and I'm thinking that everyone of them state this is a life changing book.  I knew when I laid it down today that I would never forget it, but as I write this I'm beginning to see, it changed me.  You can not go back to the way you were before picking this one up.  

Read with abandon.  Let God enter in and change the way you look at people.  Lord I pray that the eyes of my heart will be opened to the work you have for me to do.             

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Taking Chance

My husband and I spent the day feeding the cows.  It was a lovely day, I really enjoy spending time with him on the ranch.  We came home late in the afternoon, I fixed supper and we settled in for a movie.  He had heard of this movie on HBO and he had the channel paused so that I would not miss any of it.  It turned out to be "Taking Chance".  It is the story of a young marine killed in battle in Iraq.  

Majorly moving, I cried through the whole thing.  My eyes are totally swollen, I will not be looking to good for church tomorrow.  But they are worth it, you know, they are worth it.      My God, they are worth it!  

I was born in 1959, and the Vietnam war was very real to me.  I remember seeing the evening news and my Mom suddenly sending me to bed.  I remember praying for the soldiers during those times, I felt like they were my brothers over there.  

After 9/11, I realized that if someone was going to kill me for my religion then I better know what I believed in and why I believed it.  I sat in stunned silence that day.  I never took my eyes off the TV news and for that matter still haven't.  After that I began my study.  

I came to experience Jesus in a personal way, through many avenues.  Two of the biggest things to impact me was a bible study called "Breaking Free" written by Beth Moore and the Walk to Emmaus.  After these two events I became aware of how just dry I had been and just how free I can be.  Prior to this I just claimed Jesus and that I was a Christian, but I did not know Him.  I am serious about it now.  I do not want to be lukewarm.  I ask God for the fire of His Holy Spirit to burn inside of me everyday.  I do not want to go before the judgement seat and hear, "Depart from me, I never knew you."   

Now, it gets personal, now it is our sons and daughters fighting for our freedoms.  I have said before that I did not deserve the children God gave me, but He gave them to me anyway.  My son, Jeremy, joined the army reserves at 19 and at 22 he joined the active army.  He is now on his first tour of duty in Iraq, stationed at Camp Liberty, in Baghdad.  He is a gunner with a convoy security detachment.  To you who understand military verbiage, forgive me, I know that is not the proper way to say that, but it is what stuck in my head.  

When he joined the reserves, I called my preacher and talking real fast I asked him, "When it is your time to die, God knows that, right, but when you make decisions, can that affect when you die,  I mean, I know God knows when you will be born and when  you will die, and..... "  That is not a quote, but it is the best I can do right now.  I hope you get the picture of a fast talking mother who is scared to death of what her son is going to face.  His answer was, well first he asked me what I was talking about!  Then he reminded me that God has a plan for our lives and that this just may be a part of God's plan for Jeremy's life.  Yes, oh course, that's right.

Beth Moore wrote a bible study called Believing God.  In it she asked, do you believe in God, or do you believe God?  

I have learned through my own walk with God that His Word is Truth, that He is Truth and 
Truth never changes.  No matter what the world says, no matter what the circumstances are, God's promises are true as are His warnings.  

I know; I believe with every fiber of my being, deep down in my bones, that God is who He says He is and I am, you are, and Jeremy is who God says we are.  He will see Jeremy through this and through all the times to come.  Before he left for Iraq he signed up for six more years of service. He called and said, "Mom I have good news!  First, I got a raise!  I said, Oh that's great son, then he said and I joined up for six more years!" . . . "I said congratulations on your raise."
I am proud of him, though, I did not have the nerve at his age to stand up for anything.  He has much more metal in him, than I ever did.  This must be "the greatest generation".

I pray for Jeremy's safe return home, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  And for his buddies too.  They mean everything to him.  I am rambling, I can tell.  Please forgive me.

He called me about a week ago and he was barely able to get the words out, "Mom, I don't think I am walking with Christ anymore!"  I asked him why he felt that way.  He was just so empty, nothing around him holds up.  He said he tries real hard to be apart of the prayers before they go out on a mission, but they mean nothing to him.  The spiritual warfare there must be overwhelming.  I know that coming into this thing he was scared, probably scared to die, scared of what he was going to see and maybe even scared of what he might become.  He is desperately trying to hold onto who God says he is.  I guess right now it doesn't seem so apparent.  The thing that I understood from this conversation is that they need the word of God, more than ever while they are there.  Not just soap and magazines but soap with scripture attached to it that tells of the cleansing power of Jesus.        

My sweet sister in Christ, Dawn Jenkins, she blogs as Daughter of the King of Kings, started a troop project last year in her church.  She involved everyone at her church and sent packages to the soldiers.  These packages have scripture all over them, the plan of salvation is in there, it is truly an idea from heaven above.  
This year she is welcoming me to walk along beside her to learn what she is doing and to expand the outreach.  Along with her home church of First Baptist Church in Levelland, Tx, my church, FBC Childress and Church of Christ in Childress, we are joining forces as the body of Christ, to show our sons and daughters the love of Christ, while they are so far away.  It gets dry over there and I don't mean the weather.  They are hungry for the word of God, they are thirsty for the Living Water.  They need to know these things, that they are not alone and just being told "thank you" is not going to carry them through the dark times.   And for me there are no words of my own that can fully express this, but God's Word never returns void, it always finds it mark. 

If you have a minute, please lift our soldiers up in prayer and if you feel so lead send a soldier that you know a piece of home wrapped in the Word of God.  Or send me your soldier's name and we will get him on our mailing list.  Also, we need financial help, $5.00 per soldier just to send the box.  

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen Jeremy (your soldier or loved one's name here) with power through His Spirit in Jeremy's inner being, so that Christ may dwell in Jeremy's heart through faith.  And I pray that Jeremy, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that Jeremy may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more that all Jeremy can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in Jeremy, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:14 - 21      

Thank you.  I love you guys.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Boys

The boys ran into the house this summer, excited for me to come see what they found.  I just want you to know it was all three of the "boys".  I look into the face of my grandsons and then at the face of my beloved and I saw the same expression.  I love that man.  Anyway they took my hands and outside we went.  Their prize, a baby horny toad!  He was so cute.  Also just to let you know no horny toad was harmed during this episode, he was properly released to feed in the back yard.  
Pappaw, being the cool Pappaw that he is, lead the boys in a discovery of the wonderful world of horny toads.  Tyler started out a little scared but Caleb was all about it.  Here is the series of pictures I took that day and have been promising to post for a few weeks now. 

 Mom, hope you enjoy this.  By the way my brother and I use to play with these every summer, and they do spit blood out of their eye, huh Stanly.  Sorry to any horny toad lovers out there.  We didn't kill him, but we must have really p_ _, um made him mad. 

How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Psalm 104:24

Creation is filled with stunning variety, revealing the rich creativity, goodness, and wisdom of our loving God.  As you observe your natural surroundings, thank God for his creativity.  Take a fresh look at people, seeing each one as God's unique creation, each with his or her own special talents, abilities, and gifts. (NIV Life Application)

I couldn't say it any better.
Praise you Father for your creation. Amen.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hey Sherry, Where Did You Go?

My internet has been down for almost a week.  I have found out that I am a bit addicted it.  It comes on at night, but is off during the day.  I don't like it!  I'm fixing to go to bed but I had to send out a message to Sherry.  Hey, where did you go?    And Dayna too.  I miss you guys.  

I visited Boo Mama's site, she is so funny, I love reading her post because she can take the simplest things and write about them and they are so funny.  Anyway, I bring that up because this song was playing on her blog and it came with me to mine when I signed off.  It has some great guitar in it, but it keeps saying something about covering up that acne.  Just some more bloggy goodness, I guess. :)  

I have a great set of pictures I want to post of two of my grandsons.  I hope to get that up tomorrow, if the internet is working.

Until then, I want to leave with a thought about men.  Our men to be exact.  I watched the end of a movie "Love Comes Softly" tonight  and in the scene where he rides off to get his women back, it struck me, that's what our men want.  They want us.  They want to love us, protect us, provide for us, be with us.   

I watch my husband's face in the mirror one morning when I had said something that hurt him. He was just trying to please me and I didn't stop long enough to see the heart of the matter. Men are not made of steel, though they might like us to think so.  They had dreams as little boys, just like we did as little girls.  Their heros were the men who saved the day, did the thing that made the women fall in love with them, rode off on the horse to get their women.  They need us and we need them and I am just so happy to have one who loves me and that I love.  That's all I have to say about that, it's getting late and I must be a little sappy right about now, plus mine rode off in the truck to go get some cows.     

Love really is the most important thing.  Must be why Jesus said it was His greatest command: Love each other.  John 15:19

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Summer Fun with Sarah

I am longing for my grand-daughter, Sarah Kate and summer's warm, no make that hot, temperatures.  This is a series of pictures that I have been wanting to put on for some time now.  This is for you Mom and "mommy" (Sarah's Mom) :) and Aunt Kristen and Uncle Jeremy and anyone else who just wants to remember care-free summer days playing in the water.

Oh, Lord protect their innocence.   

And, as a grand mother, I can see more clearly the miracle of our bodies.   

Children's children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.
Proverbs 17:6

You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field 
will clap their hands.  Isaiah 55:12

Next, the boys.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thank You for your Prayers

From one mother's heart to all the other mother's hearts, thank you for your prayers.  I haven't had a chance to talk to Jeremy since Friday night but the reports from Iraq are amazing!  Aren't they!  Yea, God!!! 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 
Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take you stand against the devil's schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, 
but against the rulers, against the authorities, 
against the powers of this dark world 
and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, 
you may be able to stand your ground, 
and after you have done everything, to stand. 
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  
In addition to all this, 
take up the shield of faith, 
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and 
the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and request.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Ephesians 6: 10 - 18

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