Archive | April 2013

GARDENING DAY!! And, God is with you through any and all pain, always.

Well, today is the day! We are planting a HUGE garden! Actually, we have a good portion of it planted already, but there is still so much to do and I hope my back and legs hold up at least long enough for us to get done!

We have already planted about 10 rows of potatoes, 8 rows of green (snap) beans, 6 rows of purple hull peas, 6 of blackeye peas, and 4 long rows of corn! Our rows are approximately 120 feet long so that’s going to be a lot of veggies when they start coming in!! Needless to say, there will be a lot of canning going on around here at that time.
We still have cucumbers, pickling and straight 8, to plant, as well as squash, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and peppers. We will be making a trip to our lawn center locally to get some bell pepper plants because we forgot them!

I think that is all we have left to plant, at least in the big garden! I know it may not sound like much, but believe me, it is! With God’s blessing on that garden, we will be sharing our bounty with may who are less fortunate. I know of lots of folks that get canned goods, and boxed items through our local food pantry, but I hope to be able to find a few families maybe that we can provide with fresh veggies.

It would be nice if they have a group of kids as well! The kids could help with harvesting and learn a few lessons at the same time! They would learn that you have to be responsible and plant enough of what you love to harvest some for immediate consumption, as well as some to either freeze or can so you will have it throughout the winter! Then they will also learn the lesson of hard work to get what you want/need.

I am a firm believer in helping anyone who is willing to help themselves first.I have seen so many that make the choice to live off the government and it just aggravates me to no end. When I see a young person, usually female, usually under the age of 25, with at last two kids in tow, sitting at the nail salon having her nails done! That’s not a big deal by itself. It becomes a problem when you see that same individual with the same kids in tow at the local grocery store with a basket full of JUNK food! Cereal (full of sugar), juice boxes, sodas, candy, just plain JUNK! You rarely see anything healthy in those baskets. You rarely see and fruit or veggies, and then people wonder why these kids are routinely in the doctors offices always ill! OK….climbing off my soapbox now….

I have also planted myself a small flower garden that I am calling my prayer/meditation garden. I can go sit by my garden and listen to bird chirping, hummingbirds buzzing around and then a couple of them will chirp like crazy at each other as they fight over the feeder! I do believe my garden grows significantly every day. I will get some pictures of it today and post so you can see what I am talking about. I love my “me and God” place! Everyone should have one!!

Well, I believe it is time for my to make a morning round and check on my chickens, bantams, and goats. Then I’m going to sit in my garden for a while. I have a few things I need to talk to God about today. Maybe in a later post I’ll go into some of it with y’all. But for now, I just ask for prayers for myself, my husband, and our children. It is so difficult on everyone when one of your chicks has to return to your nest, whether for a few days or, WORSE!! It’s just plain difficult. But I know that by the grace of God, we will make it through this roadblock as well.

Stay tuned! Lot’s of updates planned for the future, possibly this weekend! So, if you are happily out working in your yard or garden, or one of those unlucky folks who has to be in the office today, make today a beautiful day! Stop being grouchy, it’s Friday after all!! You know what is so special about Friday? It means there is only 2 days until we get to go to the House of the Lord, Peachtree Baptist Church, and sing praises and worship songs, study, discuss, and learn about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What could be better than that?

Now, don’t take that as my saying that you only do those things on Sunday. NO!!! You do those things every day, all day! But on Sunday, you get to gather with many other believers and do it as a group!! FUN!!!

I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Do you? Do you know Him? I’ll be happy to talk to you about Him, or point you to someone who could most definitely do a better job than me!!

God bless all and have a BEAUTIFUL day!!!

WHERE IS GOD WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN?

I wrote this post a few days ago, when I learned that this precious 9  month old child had been granted all the necessary approvals and would finally be place on the waiting list. I was both happy and sad at the thought of her finally receiving the necessary treatment and preparations in anticipation off the chance for Baby Parson to receive her transplant. Meanwhile, another family is faced with losing their precious angel and answering questions about how they feel about organ donation, something they have probably never even though about. Don’t take anything for granted and remember, God IS always there.  Even when you feel like there is no way He is anywhere around, He is there.

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FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2013

As I sit outside on this gorgeous day, looking over my meditation garden I am reminded of just how fragile life is. Whether you are talking about human life, the life of a beloved pet or farm animal, or the life of a beautiful plant, they were all created by THE one and only, The alpha and omega, THE GOD of all. Isn’t that kind of cool? To think th the same God who created me, created the little lizard I am currently watching run across the ground hoping to escape my dog!! I’m listening to birds sing, bees buzz, the breeze blowing through the trees. Talk about peace and tranquility  This spot has it. With a few more blooming flowers, it will be almost perfect!
I am reminded though, just how fragile and unpredictable life is. You wake up each morning ready to get your day going, as you normally do. You get your coffee drank, everyone dressed and sent off to wherever their day may take them, and then you start your day. Everything in our perfect lives is, well, perfect. We have no major ordeals to overcome, no obstacles in our way. Yet we take all that we have for granted. It could be gone in an instant. Reminds me of an old hymn, “I know who holds tomorrow”.
“Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”
We all go throughout our lives and moan and groan about our aches and pains, about the fact that something didn’t go the way WE wanted it to, or the fact that we are having a bad hair day. But stop for a minute and think about those who don’t know if they even have a tomorrow, or if someone they love dearly has a tomorrow. Oh, we all claim to have faith that God will get us through whatever trials He sends our way, but do we really? How would you handle it if you got a phone call telling you that your spouse has been in a terrible accident, your mother/sister/cousin/best friend has just been told they have cancer, or your child is ill with what you think is a really bad cold so you go to your pediatrician to get it taken care of and get your baby to feeling better.
But at that doctor appointment things don’t go as you had planned. The doctor doesn’t like something so he runs numerous tests and you wait, and wait, and wait for the results. Finally, the doctor comes in the room with a nurse, social worker, and who knows who else with him. Instantly you know something serious is going on.
As he begins to speak, telling you that he has no clue what is going on with your baby and he doesn’t know how to help her feel better, so he is referring you elsewhere. But the referral is not a typical referral. He’s not sending you to a larger city to a more specialized physician. No. You are being referred to THE children’s facility, the best in the country, and to one of the best physicians in the country, to treat YOUR child for whatever ailment she has. Now is when your faith really begins to be tested. What is your response?
I know what mine would be. Tears, anger, confusion would be some of the emotions I would freely express. The first thing I would do? Call my husband, of course. After all the confusion of the day somewhat settles down, then, and only then, I would finally remember to talk to my Father. Finally, at the end of one of the worst days of my life I would remember to pray. Is that true faith? If I wait to talk to God about what has me so upset until the end of the day. Am I really trusting that He is going to help me get through this? I don’t think so.
I should have stopped as soon as the doctor finished telling me his wonderful news,  got down on my knees right there in that doctor office, and thanked God for giving me the beautiful child that I have had for a few years, few months, few days. We should be thankful ALWAYS for the wonderful gifts God gives us, but are we? No. We are too busy being selfish, wanting to feel better, wanting everything to be fixed and we believe it is up to us to fix it, so we trust only in ourselves.
That is not the case for a young couple in my community. I don’t know the details of that first fateful doctor visit. I don’t know how they were told or how they reacted immediately following the relaying of the news. But I do know what I have seen since the beginning of a rather horrendous journey this family has had to endure. And it’s not over yet.
As is the norm for our Sunday school class, and I’m sure many others as well, we start our class time off with a prayer list. Everyone has an opportunity to place someone’s name on the prayer list and this typically involves a brief explanation of the reason for the prayer request. When Ms. Emily spoke up and began to tell our class about little Parson, an infant barely three months old, if that, it became very difficult for anyone to keep the tears from falling.
We heard of breathing difficulties, lung infections, abnormalities, doctors being baffled, and the fact that there have only been 5 other children with this disorder treated at Texas Children’s Hospital. We also were told of the possibility of this tiny baby needing a lung transplant. There was not a dry eye in our classroom.
Then something amazing happened. We began hearing of the faith of this young family. Even in what some would consider the darkest hour of their lives, this young couple turned their eyes up. I’m sure there were tears, but through those tears, they thanked God for the gift of Parson in their lives. The thanked God for the doctors they had been sent to. They told anyone who asked about their situation that God was going to get them through it. They shared their faith every chance they had. They gained strength through their faith in Jesus Christ.
Through all of the sorrow and heartache, fear and uncertainty, this couple is still maintaining strength through their faith in Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. Because of the faith this family has shown, many more people in our community have had their faith strengthened. Even through times when they have to watch their young infant struggle to breathe, or be placed on a ventilator to breathe for her, through surgery for placement of a feeding tube or IV lines, they maintain their faith. They continue to thank God, even through the hard times.
Most of us are grateful to God for all the good things He give us, all the wonderful gifts He gives us, our family, our children, our homes, cars, etc. But how many times do we stop and thank God for the difficulties He allows us to endure? More likely, we are blaming God for our difficult times. We accuse Him of turning His back on us, leaving us alone to deal with whatever we are going through. We are always asking where is God or where was God when tragedy strikes. When 9/11 happened there were people everywhere asking why God wasn’t on those planes, or where was He when the few attempted to regain control of their plane.
Questions were asked recently after the horrible school shooting in Newtown, CT where numerous children lost their lives and even more witnessed the evil as it happened.
Where was God? He was right there. God has a plan for everything. We have no clue what that plan is, and if we knew the plan, we would never be able to understand it. Consider the complexity of mapping out a plan for billions of people, all at one time!! I’m going crazy just trying to plan a vacation for two people, for five days! God has mapped out a plan for every man, woman, and child, for their entire lives!! Think about that!! If that doesn’t make your jaw drop in awe of His amazing power, I don’t know what will.
Today, a small, precious, always smiling infant was placed on a waiting list to receive a double lung transplant. Thank God for that, but at the same time, I am saddened by it. For this precious child to receive her lungs which will enable her to prayerfully be able to live a little more normal life, for her to be able to do that, another child has to die. Another family, probably totally unsuspecting at this moment, will face the most horrendous of trials in their lives. They will be asked to say goodbye to their precious child, and then they will be asked about donating organs. They will be horrified at first, but after a few moments of serious thought, they will agree, and Parson’s new lungs will be on the way to her.
It’s not really that simple, but I think you get the idea. While one family rejoices at the fact that their child will be receiving a chance at life, another will be grieving the loss of their child.
It is my prayer that the donor family will have even a small portion of the faith that Jennifer and Rodney have, to help them through the most difficult task of their lives. As you consider the pain that family is going to feel, imagine the pain God feels when we turn our back on Him, or we fail to thank Him for our lives, for the very air we breathe, for everything! Imagine the pain God feels when one of His children takes His name in vain, or worships some silly idol. Imagine the pain and disappointment God feels each and every day when we climb out of our comfortable bed and head to the coffee pot, because we don’t function well without our coffee each morning. But then, one thing leads to another and before you know it you are climbing back into that bed for a night of rest before you do it all again the next day. Only we left out the most important part of our day, the most important task we left undone. We got the laundry done, we made dinner. We made phone calls or attended a church service. But we forgot to include God in any of it. Imagine how that hurts Him when we do that each and every day, numerous times each day.
I have been so guilty of this myself but at this time I am making myself a promise to do my very best to speak to God before I ever climb out of that bed, and then to sit and have coffee WITH God as we plan out my day. I am going to do my very best to be sure to spend much, much more time with God and thank Him for all the things in my life, good or bad. Because I know He has a reason for sending me the trials as well as the triumphs.
Stop right now and pray for Parson and her family. Pray for the family that will become her lung donors. Pray for the medical personnel involved in every aspect of the donation process and the care of Parson and her family as well as the donors family. Pray for all those people that we come into contact with each and every day that do not know Jesus as their personal savior. Pray for yourself to have the courage and the words to speak when you speak to a non-believer. Pray for opportunities to speak to someone about Jesus.
Most importantly, live your life in such a way that everyone who sees you knows you are a child of God and there is something special about you. Make them want to know what is so special and to have the desire to be special as well.
I know this post has been all over the place but I had a lot on my mind and I felt it needed to be said. I felt God leading me to write at least 75% or more of this.
God bless you all and kiss your children and grandchildren. Thank God for them. Remember, we are not promised tomorrow, or even 10 minutes from now. A very smart man told me not long ago that every time he tells someone goodbye, he does it as if it is the last chance he will have to do so. He makes sure that those he is telling goodbye know that he loves them, EVERY TIME! Let’s all make a conscious effort to do just that.
Go visit the blog of Jennifer Herrington and learn about the mountain her family is climbing. See for yourself how strong their faith is. You will be glad that you did.

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

What if tomorrow never comes

This morning I am sitting out in my garden, enjoying the cool breeze, listening to a rooster crow, and just thinking about some things. Sitting here enjoying the peace of a pre-dawn morning, when no one else is awake but me, gives me time to do some serious thinking. Unfortunately, I have some serious things to think about right now. 

This morning, two young adults will wake up to deal with the loss of their parents. In a pretty closely knit family, both parents were tragically taken home to be with God yesterday afternoon in a horrific traffic accident. They were on a motorcycle, struck by an SUV. I don’t know who hit who, but the end result is that two people with many close friends, loving children and grandchildren, are no longer on this earth. When you hear of something like that, it makes you stop and think about your own life, your own relationship with God as well as with family and friends, or at least it should!

I have a good relationship with my God. Jesus Christ died on a cross, rose again on the third day, taking on all of the punishment that was due to me, you, and everyone else, just so that we could live with Him in eternity one day! Could you do that? 

Could you agree to the torture that Jesus was put through if you knew it would save one of your children, two of them, all of YOUR children? What about if it wasn’t for your own children, but the neighbors, if the child you were saving was the child of someone who had hurt you in the past and never apologized for it? What if the child you were saving was an 18 year old kid who had been driving the vehicle in which your child was a passenger when the vehicle swerved off the road, flipped a few times an your child was ejected from the vehicle, dying instantly? Could you do it then? Could you allow yourself to suffer horrible pain, just so the very person that caused your child to no longer be with you, could live? I don’t think I could. I would be way too angry I’m afraid. Could I be that forgiving? God tells me to, but can I do it?

Every day we are asked to do something that makes us uncomfortable, something that we just don’t believe we can do. Sometimes we manage it, most of the time we don’t. Every day you pass someone, somewhere, that does not know Jesus. Do you take the time to tell them about Him, about our Lord and Savior? Do you take the time to let that person know that you care about them and their eternal soul? Do you spend the extra few minutes praying for them, with them? Typically the answer for all those questions is no. 

We decide we just don’t have the time, or we believe it is inappropriate, wrong time, wrong place. Often times we feel like it’s not our place to talk to this person because perhaps they are older than us and we feel like we should be soaking in their wisdom rather than trying to “convert” them. 

Perhaps the individual is a friend of your child’s. Whether 6 or 16 we should be taking the time to talk about Jesus to everyone, especially the children. 

When you do, make sure you are being truthful and accurate about what you are telling them. Be sure you are sticking with what the Bible, God’s own word, says. Tell them how God so loved his one and only Son, who had been born of a virgin and lived a sinless life, to be tortured and killed on a cross, to take on the sins of man, not just one man, but ALL mankind, and not just men but women as well!! Tell them how Jesus taught us all to love God with all our heart, and soul, and mind. Tell them how wonderful things will be when we all, those of us who have accepted Jesus as our savior, meet again in heaven. 

Then tell them about Jesus’ death. How He was beaten and flogged. If they are old enough to understand, explain flogging to them. Explain that He wasn’t just beaten with a whip, but that whip had several ‘tails’ to it, and at the end of each ‘tail’ was an additional weapon designed to inflict more pain, more injury, more suffering. Tell them how this flogging would rip the flesh right off Jesus’ back, or wherever it happened to hit Him

Be sure to also tell them about how Jesus had to carry the very cross that He was to be hung on, a pretty long distance, after the beating and flogging. Jesus barely had the energy or strength to breathe, yet He was  what was happening to the man who claimed to be the Son of God. Don’t leave out the fact that the public had been given a choice of prisoner to be released as was the custom on the Passover.  Explain how the public chose a man who was a convicted murderer, a very bad man, over Jesus. Tell how Jesus was being hung between two thieves on their respective crosses, and how one of the thieves mocked Jesus, telling Him that if He was indeed the Son of God, the Holy One, that He should save himself and get down from that cross. Meanwhile, the second thief, believed in Jesus, and begged forgiveness even as He hung on the cross, dying. Tell them how Jesus assured this man that he would be with Jesus in heaven before the end of the day!

Then continue with your story explaining how Jesus died, and was placed in a tomb, sealed closed. Yet on the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus was found to not be in the tomb! He had arisen!! Don’t let your story stop there.

Explain how, as Jesus hung on that cross, as He was being beaten, He was taking on the sins of ALL mankind, including those that had already been born, as well as those yet to be born, like you and I. 

Be sure to take every opportunity that you are given, even if only for a couple minutes, to talk to someone about Jesus. You never know. You may be the last person that individual has a conversation with and wouldn’t it be comforting to know that the last conversation you had with someone, was a conversation about Jesus? 

Folks, we are not promised tomorrow. We are not promised today. We don’t know what our future holds, but we can know WHO holds our future. I know who holds mine. Do you? Image