Thursday, September 15, 2016

Guilty

This...is the age of the Judge TV Show.

This is the age of lawsuits and demanding my rights.

Lawyers on TV offering to get you what's coming to you. 

Divorce for under 100 bucks  150 if with kids.  What???







Yes, we do have "rights".

Yes, you can demand that someone recognize "your" rights...after all, you have the right to be happy...right?

You have the right to be #1 in your life...right?

You have the right to get what you deserve...right?

Demanding "rights" won't make you...well...right.

Christian, your standard bearer gave up HIS Right as King to die for your right to be forgiven.
He asks us to forgive others.

If we claim Christ is our savior while harboring, nurturing, feeding a bitter unforgiving heart...we may need to reconsider the way God views "our rights".

Good news is not found in a gavel...a pounding demand of  "self" rights.
Good news was found in a single act of forgiveness when Christ dropped his right to rule in favor of forgiveness, sacrifice and love.

So...who deserves your anger?
Who are you mad at?
Who deserves your unforgiving heart?

A neighbor?
A child?
A boss?
A spouse?
An employee?
A politician? 

According to Christ...if you claim to be a follower of HIS...an image bearer...then no one does.

If you have any complaint against those whom God has called you to love...pick up your cross, not your gavel. The Bible tells us we are to forgive...not harbor a grudge. Hebrews 3:15 tells us not to harden our hearts as it is rebellion.

Christ was declared guilty in your place. Who then are you to hold someone guilty? If someone in your life has repented and asked for forgiveness, do not withhold that from them...your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 


Proverbs 19:11

A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.
Matthew 6:14

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew 18:33

Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?'
1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
2 Corinthians 2:7

So instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
2 Corinthians 2:10

If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And if I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven it in the presence of Christ for your sake,
Ephesians 5:1

Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children,
Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive any complaint you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.


...............
Put down your list of complaints...pick up forgiveness.

I need to clear the docket of my list of complaints today...In the case of me against (fill in the blank) CASE DISMISSED!

How about you?

(We never advocate staying in an unsafe environment or situation. Abuse is NOT the subject of this message. Seek immediate help for yourself or anyone you know is in a dangerous place)
-Prayer Team.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

FOCUS


The bible tells us to THINK ON THESE THINGS:
Whatever is lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy...

Do we do that?
Do we think the best of others? Do you LOOK for lovely?
Or, do we focus on that weakness or deficiency or inability of others in our life?
Do we focus on our own deficiency or weakness?
STOP THAT! 

I was reading a chapter in Ken Davis' book "Fully Alive" which made me evaluate what I focus on...(don't evaluate that poorly constructed last sentence, please).
Ken writes about a time in college when a speaker challenged the audience  NOT to lay down in bed that night and think about Brass Monkeys! Well, you guessed it! Ken no more than pulled the covers up and couldn't think of anything but brass monkeys (pg.122).

What is the focus in your marriage? 

On your job? 

With your kids? 

Your neighbors?

Do you zoom in on those things that bother you; the weakness, the deficiency, the habit...or even worse make comparisons? Making comparisons can lead you to be critical, envious, or leave you feeling superior -- Not the most pleasant attitudes to deal with, perhaps.

Are you missing the chance to see the wonderful qualities that are praiseworthy...excellent...
admirable...lovely in the lives of those around you?

No more brass monkey-pointless-obsessive-critical thinking! 

I sure hope those that love me don't put all my flaws under a magnifying glass. I don't wish to do that to those I love...but it sure is easy for us to go there. STOP THAT!

Philippians 4:8
 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

God calls us to LOVE
Scripture tells us that love is patient, kind, doesn't envy, doesn't boast, is not rude, not selfish (self seeking), not easily angered, doesn't keep score, doesn't delight in evil (deed or thought), is joyful with truth. Protects, hopes, trusts, perseveres (keep going). 
So...based on this definition of love...
DO I LOVE OTHERS? 
DO YOU?

What are you focusing on today? Brass monkeys or THESE THINGS?

May your thoughts be lovely...

I will work on this. 

YOU?

Just Thinkin',
Kathy
Focus on what is right!

Friday, September 2, 2016

When You Discover You're No Fun!


Watched a movie with the family...and made commentary as it unfolded. Yep...I have become the dreaded "movie talker"!

As I was analyzing the bad theology and social message of a movie that may or may not have included a talking rat and turtles with masks and weapons... I later received this gem:

"Mom you're no fun."

Of course I'm  not.

My job for 29 years, it seems,  has been to systematically suck the fun right out of this family by keeping 4 little buggers alive and out of mouse trap sticky pads, stop them from finger painting with diaper deposits,  teach them that vegetables are not the enemy, and idiots are not dating material, encouraging them not to squander money -time and talent, and mostly...ruin family movie nights by philosophical lamenting.

Apparently...I'm very good at my job of *funsucking (don't say that too fast please)!

As it turns out-I am supposed to always be smiling and only speaking or commenting with joyful insights and approval. Not just during movies...everyday all day, and then create cute Pinterest posts telling you all about the joys of parenting. Otherwise- back to the 'No Fun' Corner for me!

This is the part where you now imagine me singing 'this little light of mine....and so forth'!

How exactly did 'fun' become the default expectation in my job description?

What? You mean motherhood is not fun?

I never said that.

Did I mention being misunderstood also seems to be part of this gig?

I Love my kids! I dig being a mother...until...I don't.

At which point I usually run into a closet...slam the door sit still and completely lose my marbles... uttering words like "ungrateful lifesucking monsters"...or "pint sized pains in the..." ask me if I remember  'A Gentle Answer' Turns away wrath- at this particular moment...Umm...Nope!

And usually...mostly...okay often...my trip to the woodshed closet...ends by me realizing I am actually lacking in the 'fun' department and asking the God of all creation to help me be content...to laugh more...to be joyful.

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”


I want to find joy in these little moments.
I want to take off  the Sherriff badge of 'Proper Town'.
God has given us a command to love one another and my tendancy to analyze everything as a wife, mom, Nana is often NO FUN!  This can put a damper on the way we love in this house.

When I dare confess this to God, He helps me clean up the sorry mess left behind from the giant pity party raves I throw for myself.

A bucket of 'forgive me'  and  mop of  grace is usually  a better sanitizing agent to clean the stains  a vomitus monolog of all the ways I am now offended by being told 'I'm no fun' leaves behind.
He  reminds me that I can move past my lousy reactions...not because of any brilliant religious cleaning solution I have come up with, or by a perfectly justifiable explanation to my family member for my short temper and hurt feelings,  but because He promises never to leave me...even when I blow it.
He gave me Christ as a picture of what forgiveness (given or received) without a guilt trip looks like.

Do I always like the wife/mom/grandma gig? Nope...

Do I always handle myself in a wise mommy Christian sort of way? Nope...

Am I saying not to train up a child in the way he should go? Nope...did not say that. We MUST train-teach...but don't harp. (Ouch)

Do I love these imperfect creatures who may or may not be able to rise up and call me blessed ( Ode to Proverbs 31)?
Yep!

Mommy -wife-sister-friend out there--may I tell you--even if you blew it today...in this very  minute...be still...I have a feeling...if you ask God to guide you... you're gonna make it just fine.

I am NEVER going to tell you to 'Let go and let God' (gag)...
I am telling you to Get a Grip...CHILL...Find a moment to enjoy this wild ride.

Spend 15 minutes just enjoying your family today and again tomorrow, even if family at your house means only a spouse, a child, several kiddos, a parent, a roomie...whatever your 'another' in the 'love one another' command may be.
Then keep trying again the next day...and the next...not by your might or strength, but by God's ability to help you.

I can't tell you it gets easier...just find the joyful moments and stay awhile.

But... if you ever do need to know how to get dried playdough out of the dogs tail...or why quiet with a toddler in the house means trouble...just call me! I can put my badge back on!

Sincerly,
The Mom Formerly Known As No Fun

Friday, August 19, 2016

Neither Death Nor Life...

Some of us are sending our kiddos off to school this week. Some are relieved...some are not ready to let go just yet. Our youngest is -today-on his "Last First" day...a Senior.  

As a mom...these are tough but important milestones.
May God bless and protect your littles, middles and bigs!

I am sending a story from the archives today...

This is about God's protection for our oldest son a few years back.
Thanks for reading and we will start our regular weekly post again in September.
Tell a friend...and keep sending us your stories of hope.
~Kathy


6:13 am? Are you kidding? I really was grumbling a little hearing Richard's cell phone ringing on a cold Wednesday morning in February. Didn't the caller know I had 12 wonderful minutes of sleep left in this warm bed before the alarm went off? 

This was the precious sleep. 
The 'in between' sleep. 
The 'finish the good dream' sleep.

Even if I tried I couldn't get to the phone in time. So I pulled the cover up and rolled over.
A beep, indicating a message was waiting, naggingly chirped until I gave in and got out of bed. Thinking I really need to get an extension cord, I drug myself across the room to Richard's phone which was charging.

    It flashed with the words           “Missed call from Jake”.

I yawned.
Suddenly my phone was ringing back across the room on the night stand near the bed.
The caller ID read “6:24 AM ...Jacob”.

I answered the usual “Hi honey” to which Jake responded,

“Mom...I'm bloody. I...I think I'm okay, but please help me I...” click....no signal.

 And with that, I now knew two facts.
  1. My son was hurt in some way.
  2. As of 6:24 AM on a Wednesday morning in February...he was still alive.
An ice bucket of the unknown was dumped on my head abruptly sending adrenaline and fear through my body. I was now wide awake, and shaking.

Dialing Jake's number I only knew fact #1 was valid. The call went straight to voicemail. Dial again. Voicemail! It was now about 6:28 AM.

Was fact #2 still true?

Richard, my husband, was just finishing getting ready for work. Splashing on some cologne, he was ready to head out the door for his usual 45 minute drive North to Kansas.
Last I knew, Jacob was 90 minutes South, In Oklahoma City.

With tears streaming down my face I yelled frantically for Richard to come upstairs.

The panic on my face while pointing at his phone was all the communication he needed. He dialed his voicemail and listened to the voice of our son. Shaky and sounding confused, Jake told his dad in the message that he thought he was on Macarthur somewhere. He was cold. He was in the snow. 'There's a lot of blood on my face.' He finished the message with "Please help me"!

We called 911. We gave the scarce detail to the operator. Jake lived in Oklahoma City near Edmond. He would normally be going to work in a few minutes which was downtown, but he said he thought he was on Macarthur. Macarthur was West of where he lived in the opposite direction from his office.

The operator told us that the unusual fog that morning was to blame for an almost 40 car pile up on 1-40. We gave them the description of Jacob's car. We called all Oklahoma City hospitals. We waited. We got a call back from the Oklahoma Highway patrol telling us that Jacob was not found among the vehicles involved in the Oklahoma City pile up. We began trying to call anyone who might know where Jake was.
At around 9:30 we received a call from our daughter, Kaylee, who was a student at OBU in Shawnee Oklahoma.
She was at a hospital in Shawnee almost 40 minutes away from where Jacob lived.
Having been one of the last numbers on Jake's phone, someone dialed Kaylee's number and gave her Jake's location.
She grabbed her room keys and her shoes. Running barefoot in the snow the few blocks from her dorm to the Hospital in Shawnee, she was uncertain of the condition in which she would find her older brother. She only knew there had been a car wreck. It was a stranger that called her phone.

Jake was driving back to Oklahoma City early in the morning after spending the night with his good friends in Shawnee. Jonathan and Lisa had gotten married and were finishing up the last semester of school. Jake and Jonathan had the tradition of watching Lost together on Tuesday night when they were in school together. Missing his friends, Jake made the trip to their apartment which was on MacArthur in Shawnee. After a heavy fog set in that night, he decided to spend the night and head out in the morning for work in Oklahoma City (which is a town that happens to also have a major street named Macarthur --little c).

The fog had not lifted much in the morning. Heading for work, a man in a Ford F250 was going the full 55 mph speed limit ...in the fog. As the man approached an intersection on an unfamiliar road, he could not see the stop sign in the fog and slammed into Jake's car. He “T-boned” Jake on the driver's side. We would later find out that the bumper of the man's truck actually hit directly into Jacob's head rest.
Kaylee called us. We called My sister and brother-in-law in Edmond. They were closer in distance to the hospital so they took off to get to Jacob.

We headed South.

There was a quiet panic in our car. We hadn't known where to look for Jake. We had the right name of the street...only...the wrong town. We missed him by searching in the wrong place. We had only a little information. Once we understood where he was, once we had the truth... we at least had some measure of peace. We could now head in the right direction.

Jacob belonged to the Lord. Jacob was a child of God. Jacob was our son at least for the time God placed him in our care and we were the stewards of this wonderful human being's life. What a privilege.
We began praying out loud for healing. Even though God promises to never leave us or forsake us...we don't always know what He will allow in our lives.

We prayed God's will, his favor, his mercy. "Please...please don't take him from us" I pleaded.
In my mind I wondered if I would need to make funeral arrangements...but I only had to wonder momentarily...

Richard's phone rang. It was the emergency room Nurse. “Mr. Lonsinger, someone needs to talk to you.”
I think I could hear Richard's heart pounding. Then, he put the phone on speaker...the voice on the other end said:

“Dad... I think I need a new car.”

By God's mercy, Jake was alive. After being knocked unconscious, suffering a severe concussion, bruising on his entire left side, a shoulder that was going to possibly give him trouble from now on, some teeth that were cracked and a bruised jaw...Jake was alive.

His sense of humor was in tack as the nurse shared a few cute answers he had given during his assessment when he woke up from the accident.

Dana and Shawn got there right away and later that same day, Jake was released into their care. They took him to the temporary spot where his car had been taken. The car was totaled.

When they arrived, a man was cleaning out a few personal items from a Ford F250. He was still shaken and in tears. He walked over to Jake's car where Shawn was trying to get Jacob's wallet and one of his shoes and a few items which were misplaced during the wreck.

“The man crying just kept saying, I killed that boy. He was so bloody, I killed that young man.”

They took the man to the car where Jake was resting and showed the gentleman that Jake in fact was perfectly alive and recovering. The two shook hands. The man smiling and relieved asked Jacob, "How? How are you okay?" Jacob asked the man if he knew who Jesus was. The man replied, “Yes, Yes I'm a Christian.”
Smiling, Jake said, “That's how.”

We all met back at my sister's house in Edmond where Jake would stay to recover for a few days.
The next morning as I was making breakfast. Jacob smiled and said, “ Mom...did you see my car?” “No, Jake, I haven't seen the car yet.” His uncle Shawn showed me a picture from his phone.
 The door was smashed so far into the car that the steering wheel was in the middle of the dashboard where the console had been. There was a streak of blood across the airbag on the passenger side of the car where it looked as though Jake had been drug out of the car.
He somehow was found in a ditch in the snow face up.
Jake continued, “Ya know...it just dawned on me that you should be making funeral arrangements...but instead...you're making me pancakes!”

Oh how great the Father's love.

The peace Richard and I experienced if even for a brief time in the car before we knew the fate of our son...was real. The unknown was also real. Do you trust God even when you don't have the answers?

How great is the Father's love for you. Some of our stories don't end with this outcome. Many have lost their loved ones and wonder if that means God was not merciful or good.
He has promised never to leave or forsake (forget) you if you are HIS child.
I believe God is good, All the time.

Peace.
Blessed assurance.

Are these truths we can experience in the middle of the storm?
Praise HIM in the quiet. Praise HIM in the steady. Praise HIM in the secure. Praise HIM in your daily life so that you will remember how to Praise HIM in the storm. Nothing can separate us from His love.

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

With the right information we were able to find Jake.

Do you have the right information about finding the ONE TRUE GOD? Do you know how to find out if God, The God of the Bible is real? He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to save you. Are you lost? Have you been seeking help in the wrong place? Have you looked in bars, in an affair, in false gods/idols or false teaching or by trying to be 'religious' ?

Do you listen to "another gospel"? One that doesn't claim that Jesus was the son of God sent to die on a cross to bear your sins so you may have eternal life...or does not teach that He was buried and resurrected on the third day according to scripture?

Seek God...in truth...and I promise you will find Him. There is NO OTHER NAME but the name of Jesus by which you must be saved. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I am happy to tell you that Jacob has since recovered, met and  married his beautiful bride Adrianne and they are the loving parents of a precious one year old daughter.

Just Thinkin',

Kathy

Friday, August 12, 2016

"This Little Piggy Should Have Stayed Home" or "How to Lose a Flip Flop in One Easy Step"

From The Archives:
Many of you know our story of job loss after 9/11. Unless you've heard me speak, you might not know the back story of the Kathy Jekyl and Mrs. Hyde during the attempt to sell our two, yes two, homes following said tragedy. If it were a script:


THIS LITTLE PIGGY SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME
EXT. HOME IN BEAUTIFUL SUBURB OF TULSA - MORNING.


KATHY
helplessly watches as RICHARD her aircraft engineer husband, firmly plants FOR SALE sign in front yard of home they just recently purchased, both with solemn looks on their faces.

RICHARD

I'm sorry! I wish I could make it go away!(CONT'D)
(apologetically)
We should have stayed in ADA. How could we have known two planes flying through buildings in New York, would land in our living room?


INT. ELEGANT FORMAL DINING ROOM OF LARGE HOME IN AN EXCLUSIVE COMMUNITY IN ADA-LATER THAT SAME EVENING.

RICHARD

We've always said we trusted God no matter what. Now, we get a chance to prove it! I should never have bought the new house without this one selling. I never dreamed this could happen to us.

All eyes turn to Kathy to see what her reaction to her husband will be. They see a tear silently fall down the side of her cheek. No other expression or sound.

RICHARD (CONT'D)

We will be pulling up the realtor sign and putting FOR SALE BY OWNER in it's place in the morning. Only, the owner isn't us anymore. We have to give it back to God. He knew this would happen...it's HIS to sell. There's no way we can pay a realtor's fee and sell both houses.

The sense of peace in the room is interupted by the cry of the couples 2 year old son.

The night rolls by the morning sun rises and you hear a phone ringing. The startled couple, still sleeping, jolts awake to scrounge for the phone. Again baby crying in the background.

Cut to- smiles on faces, moving truck in driveway, clearly the Home for sale by owner has been sold and the family is moving today.

Richard and the children drive off behind the moving truck in a Suburban while you see Kathy return to the porch of the house. She is left to do minor clean up before the new owner will arrive in the next scene/next day. She is reflective as music plays and emotions of saying goodbye in each child's room and a pacifier is discovered behind a curtain as she dusts. Tears well, smile remains. Next scene.

MRS. G. NEW HOMEOWNER INSERTING KEY INTO FRONT DOOR CLEARLY BEFORE AGREED TIME TO TRANSFER
OWNERSHIP-DAWN!

KATHY (embarrassed) fumbles for a robe and asks the new owner to wait a moment before entering the master bedroom.

I thought you were not coming until 3:00pm. (CONT'D)
Kathy
I'm not quite ready to go yet.

MRS. G.
(impatiently)
I'll wait!
The silence is deafening as the two women stare at each other awkwardly as Kathy bounces from room to room trying to get the last minute things out of the house.


Kathy
I'm sorry for the garage not being ready yet, I thought I had all day to get it done. I'll hurry and get out of your way.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay gang....so you get the idea. We had 2 mortgages, 2 car payments, 4 kids, 1 dog, NO JOB! God allowed our house in Ada to sell one week to the day after Richard was laid off due to 9/11. She bought the house for exactly what we paid for it 2 years earlier. We got all our equity back in cash at closing with no realtor's fee and lived off that money for a few months. God had just done a wonderful act of mercy and provision. It was like watching the feeding of the 5000. But don't you remember, the disciples who just witnessed the miracle, got into a boat and started complaining and doubting Jesus! God just sold our house! So why, overnight, was I now angry, and having a pity party? Well this God-send of a women who provided an answer by purchasing our house the day before, was now on my "DUH" list for not giving me enough time to leave peacefully! So...Plan B!

Okay, I thought to myself, I have the use of Richard's truck, ADA has a landfill...that is plan B. After all, we lived without this stuff for 10 months who will miss it now? Right? Am I Right?

I popped a mint in my mouth, put my hair in a ponytail, stepped into my flip flops and slapped on some deodorant. I gathered the last few things from inside the house which included a full set of pots and pans, random kids toys, slightly forgotten last seasons clothes and the pacifier I found the night before. I headed to the garage as I watched strangers take over the interior of my home...I mean former home.

I gathered everything left in the garage (which was quite a bit) and stuffed it all into hefty garbage bags. Tossing one by one the remains of our life on the hill with matching country club rights, into garbage bags!

My plan was...get the stuff to the dump...get the check to the bank...get out of town..get on with life...SOUNDS GOOD RIGHT?

So I drive into the Dump..which I found by following the gulls....that is until I no longer needed their guidance as my nose was now clearly able to sniff out the rotting garbage land I was approaching. I drove up a steep muddy hill to find a round little man...with only a few teeth and a wheat shock sticking out of his mouth. Harvest time I guess...I THINK I CAN I THINK I CAN...kept racing through my head as I followed his hand signals to direct me to back up into the space closest to his big bulldozer. I could think of a few hand signals for "Goober" as he kept grinnin' at me like "THIS SHOULD BE GOOD". He signaled me to stop...he smiled really big and goofy..and went back to leaning on his bull dozer...UH...HELLO..a little help here! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Nope! He just watched...and grinned!!!

Okay..I CAN DO THIS...HAD FOUR KIDS ALL C-SECTION...BEEN ON MISSIONS IN EGYPT AND MEXICO...CLEANED FLOODED TOILETS...WIPED UP MANY OCCASIONS OF PROJECTILE VOMIT...I CAN DO THE LANDFILL!

I held my breath, opened the door...took my usual step down from the tall truck...IN FLIP FLOPS (Which I do not recommend)...and...SQUISSSHHHHHHHH! LOST MY FLIP FLOP ON THE FIRST STEP!

As I looked down to try and retrieve my shoe -- I realized the squishy feeling was not just landfill mud. I could see my flip flop buried about three inches down - inside -A PIG CARCASS!
 Remember the Old Testament?
Pork!
WELL..."UNCLEAN...UNCLEAN"!

Let the yelling, screeeeeaaaaammmmmmiiiingg and -yes- I believe-mild CURSING begin! (Give a sister a break....I was standing in a DEAD PIG!)
 This little piggy - should have stayed home!!!

My little piggies...in a little piggy!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I looked over at "Goober" hoping he would come running to help.
He was too busy -laughing at me!

So- being the tough Chick thst I am, I GRABBED THE SIDE OF THE TRUCK AND PULLED MYSELF INTO THE BED OF THE TRUCK...SHOELESS by now.
NOT HAPPY...NO...DOWN RIGHT FUMING!

 I was Hot! Angry did not touch this temper!
"HOW DARE SOMEONE LEAVE THIS MESS AHEAD OF ME? HOW DARE THAT ROUND LITTLE TOOTHLESS MAN PUT ME HERE...AND LAUGH AT MY LOSS OF SHOE?"

 I started pitching everything in my truck out on to what appeared to be a 20 foot circle of more dead animal parts. Okay, so it was November 1st, Did some weird Halloween ritual take place here the night before or did "GOOBER" and the boys have a Bar-b-q last night?

No matter what the explanation of the dead little piggy, it was disgusting! Again, who would dare do this "TO ME"? I mean, my slightly used toys, my dishes and old clothes...were okay to toss here, but dead animal parts! SERIOUSLY...? Other peoples garbage was horrible! MINE....?????

Oh, Man! Do we do that? Do we catagorize our sin? Their's look like dead pig parts...an abomination to God...but mine? Just a little trash, clean trash at that. No fowl (pun intended) no harm, right?

I mean...other people have murdered, not me- right? Other people have committed adultery...not me -right? Other people have had abortions...not me- right?

So ...my hate, maybe a little gossip listened to in the form of a "prayer request" maybe a little envy here or there, maybe lack of trust, maybe that "STINK-EYE" I had given MRS. G. for coming in too early that morning...not big sins right?

Well, what did God see looking down on the landfill that day?

 TRASH! DEAD TRASH. CLEAN TRASH. ROTTEN TRASH. THEIR TRASH. MY TRASH!

SIN IS SIN....the bible says:

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

My ability that day to go from praise to pity party...brought to light my sin condition. I seemed to not grasp Paul's call to live in contentment NO MATTER WHAT OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

OUCH!!!

Forgiveness was part of my trip to Owasso that night. Begging God for it, and asking Him to allow me to extend it.

I struggled with forgiveness along the way for the next few years as God allowed us to grow through what might have seemed to others as a very unfair situation. I'll tell you...wouldn't trade that time of growth and refining for our entire 401k we spent paying the mortgage, grocery and other bills the next 2 1/2 years. Not even for the 401k plus a million m & m's.

God is GOOD! He knows when to be gentle. He knew how hot the furnace had to be to get rid of some dross in our lives during that time.

I don't want to do it again...but I am ever grateful for God's mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness to us during our rough times. He has forgiven  me of so much anger, pride, sin...I am learning to trust Him NO MATTER WHAT! And someday, no more tears, no more job loss, no more death, no more planes flying through buildings....no more stinkin' pig parts! We will see Him face to face!

Will YOU?

I hope you trust Him. I hope you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and His offer to take your stinkin' trash away and cleanse you.

Just ask Him and He will save you, forgive you of your sins. And you too will see Him one day face to face...when we get...ALL THE WAY HOME.

Just Thinkin',

Kathy












.

"This Little Piggy Should Have Stayed Home" or "How to Lose a Flip Flop in One Easy Step"

From The Archives:
Length warning...grab a snack!


Many of you know our story of job loss after 9/11. Unless you've heard me speak, you might not know the back story of the Kathy Jekyl and Mrs. Hyde during the attempt to sell our two, yes two, homes following said tragedy. If it were a script:


THIS LITTLE PIGGY SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME
EXT. HOME IN BEAUTIFUL SUBURB OF TULSA - MORNING.


KATHY
helplessly watches as RICHARD her aircraft engineer husband, firmly plants FOR SALE sign in front yard of home they just recently purchased, both with solemn looks on their faces.

RICHARD

I'm sorry! I wish I could make it go away!(CONT'D)
(apologetically)
We should have stayed in ADA. How could we have known two planes flying through buildings in New York, would land in our living room?


INT. ELEGANT FORMAL DINING ROOM OF LARGE HOME IN AN EXCLUSIVE COMMUNITY IN ADA-LATER THAT SAME EVENING.

RICHARD

We've always said we trusted God no matter what. Now, we get a chance to prove it! I should never have bought the new house without this one selling. I never dreamed this could happen to us.

All eyes turn to Kathy to see what her reaction to her husband will be. They see a tear silently fall down the side of her cheek. No other expression or sound.

RICHARD (CONT'D)

We will be pulling up the realtor sign and putting FOR SALE BY OWNER in it's place in the morning. Only, the owner isn't us anymore. We have to give it back to God. He knew this would happen...it's HIS to sell. There's no way we can pay a realtor's fee and sell both houses.

The sense of peace in the room is interupted by the cry of the couples 2 year old son.

The night rolls by the morning sun rises and you hear a phone ringing. The startled couple, still sleeping, jolts awake to scrounge for the phone. Again baby crying in the background.

Cut to- smiles on faces, moving truck in driveway, clearly the Home for sale by owner has been sold and the family is moving today.

Richard and the children drive off behind the moving truck in a Suburban while you see Kathy return to the porch of the house. She is left to do minor clean up before the new owner will arrive in the next scene/next day. She is reflective as music plays and emotions of saying goodbye in each child's room and a pacifier is discovered behind a curtain as she dusts. Tears well, smile remains. Next scene.

MRS. G. NEW HOMEOWNER INSERTING KEY INTO FRONT DOOR CLEARLY BEFORE AGREED TIME TO TRANSFER
OWNERSHIP-DAWN!

KATHY (embarrassed) fumbles for a robe and asks the new owner to wait a moment before entering the master bedroom.

I thought you were not coming until 3:00pm. (CONT'D)
Kathy
I'm not quite ready to go yet.

MRS. G.
(impatiently)
I'll wait!
The silence is deafening as the two women stare at each other awkwardly as Kathy bounces from room to room trying to get the last minute things out of the house.


Kathy
I'm sorry for the garage not being ready yet, I thought I had all day to get it done. I'll hurry and get out of your way.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay gang....so you get the idea. We had 2 mortgages, 2 car payments, 4 kids, 1 dog, NO JOB! God allowed our house in Ada to sell one week to the day after Richard was laid off due to 9/11.  We sold the house for exactly what we paid for it 2 years earlier. We got all our equity back in cash at closing with no realtor's fee and lived off that money for several months. God had just done a wonderful act of mercy and provision. It was like watching the feeding of the 5000. But don't you remember, the disciples who just witnessed the miracle, got into a boat and started complaining and doubting Jesus!

 God just sold our house! So why, overnight, was I now angry, and having a pity party, and doubting Jesus?
Why was this God-send of a women who provided an answer by purchasing our house one day ago, was now on my "&#!+" list (I should not have one...I know) for not giving me enough time to leave my home peacefully!

So...Plan B!

Okay, I thought to myself, I have Richard's truck. This town has a landfill. That...is plan B. After all, we lived without this stuff for 10 months who will miss it now? Right? Am I Right?

I popped a mint in my mouth, put my hair in a ponytail, stepped into my flip flops and slapped on some deodorant. I gathered the last few things from inside the house which included a full set of pots and pans, random kids toys, slightly forgotten last seasons clothes and the pacifier I found the night before. I headed to the garage as I watched strangers take over the interior of my home...I mean former home.

I gathered everything left in the garage (which was quite a bit) and stuffed it all into hefty garbage bags. Tossing one by one the once important treasured  of our "life on the hill with matching country club rights", into garbage bags!

My plan was...get the stuff to the dump...get the check to the bank...get out of town..get on with life...SOUNDS GOOD RIGHT?

So I drive into the Dump...which I found by following the gulls...that is...until I no longer needed their guidance as my nose was now clearly able to sniff out the rotting garbage heap I was approaching. I drove up a steep, red, muddy hill to find a round little man...with only a few teeth and a wheat shock sticking out of his mouth. Harvest time I guess.

"I THINK I CAN I THINK I CAN" kept racing through my head as I followed his hand signals to direct me to back up into the space closest to his big bulldozer. I was thinkin' of a few hand signals for "Goober" as he kept grinnin' at me like "THIS SHOULD BE GOOD".

 He signaled me to stop...he smiled really big and goofy..and went back to leaning on his bull dozer.

UH...HELLO? A little help here? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Nope!

 He just watched...and grinned!

Okay. I CAN DO THIS. I'VE HAD FOUR KIDS ALL C-SECTION...BEEN ON MISSIONS IN EGYPT AND MEXICO...CLEANED FLOODED TOILETS...WIPED UP MANY OCCASIONS OF PROJECTILE VOMIT...I CAN DO ...THE LANDFILL!

I held my breath, opened the door...took my usual step down from the tall truck...IN FLIP FLOPS (Which I do not recommend)...and...SQUISSSHHHHHHHH! LOST MY FLIP FLOP ON THE FIRST STEP!

As I looked down to try and retrieve my shoe -- I realized the squishy feeling was not just landfill mud. I could see my flip flop buried about three inches down - inside -A PIG CARCASS!
 Remember the Old Testament?
Pork!
WELL..."UNCLEAN...UNCLEAN"!

Let the yelling, screeeeeaaaaammmmmmiiiingg and -yes- I believe-mild CURSING begin! (Give a sister a break....I was standing in a DEAD PIG!)
 This little piggy - should have stayed home!!!

My little piggies...in a little piggy!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I looked over at "Goober" hoping he would come running to help.
He was too busy -laughing at me!

So- being the tough Chick that I am, I GRABBED THE SIDE OF THE TRUCK AND PULLED MYSELF INTO THE BED OF THE TRUCK...SHOELESS by now.
NOT HAPPY...NO...DOWN RIGHT FUMING!

 I was Hot! Angry did not touch this temper!
"HOW DARE SOMEONE LEAVE THIS MESS AHEAD OF ME? HOW DARE THAT ROUND LITTLE TOOTHLESS MAN PUT ME HERE...AND LAUGH AT MY LOSS OF SHOE?"

 I started pitching everything in my truck out on to what appeared to be a 20 foot circle of more dead animal parts. Okay, so it was November 1st, Did some weird Halloween ritual take place here the night before or did "GOOBER" and the boys have a Bar-b-q last night?

No matter what the explanation of the dead little piggy, it was disgusting! Again, who would dare do this "TO ME"? I mean, my slightly used toys, my dishes and old clothes...were okay to toss here, but dead animal parts! SERIOUSLY...? Other peoples garbage was horrible! MINE....?????

Oh, Man! Do we do that? Do we catagorize our sin? Their's look like dead pig parts...an abomination to God...but mine? Just a little trash, clean trash at that. No fowl (pun intended) no harm, right?

I mean...other people have murdered, not me- right? Other people have committed adultery...not me -right? Other people have had abortions...not me- right?

So ...my hate, maybe a little gossip listened to in the form of a "prayer request" maybe a little envy here or there, maybe lack of trust, maybe that "STINK-EYE" I had given MRS. G. for coming in too early that morning...not big sins right?

Well, what did God see looking down on the landfill that day?

 TRASH! DEAD TRASH. CLEAN TRASH. ROTTEN TRASH. THEIR TRASH. MY TRASH!

SIN IS SIN....the bible says:

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

My ability that day to go from praise to pity party...brought to light my sin condition. I seemed to not grasp Paul's call to live in contentment NO MATTER WHAT OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

OUCH!!!

Forgiveness was part of my trip to Owasso that night. Begging God for it, and asking Him to allow me to extend it.

I struggled with forgiveness along the way for the next few years as God allowed us to grow through what might have seemed to others as a very unfair situation. I'll tell you...wouldn't trade that time of growth and refining for our entire 401k we spent paying the mortgage, grocery and other bills the next 2 1/2 years. Not even for the 401k plus a million m & m's.

God is GOOD! He knew how hot the furnace had to be to get rid of some dross in our lives during that time.

I don't want to do it again...but I am ever grateful for God's mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness to us during our rough times. He has forgiven  me of so much anger, pride, sin...I am learning to trust Him NO MATTER WHAT! And someday, no more tears, no more job loss, no more death, no more planes flying through buildings....no more stinkin' pig parts! We will see Him face to face!

Will YOU?

I hope you trust Him. I hope you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and His offer to take your stinkin' trash away and cleanse you.

Just ask Him and He will save you, forgive you of your sins. And you too will see Him one day face to face!

Just Thinkin',

Kathy












.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dear Church, Don't Forget To Leave The Building...

Dear Local Church,

Moving to a new town presents Church going families with a challenge.

Finding a "Church Home" can be simple, or terribly tough.

My experience of moving three times in the last five years has been eye opening.

Our family has visited an array of churches and found  Church Lite, Church Law, Churchy Church, and on rare occasions...a Church actually teaching scriptural truth, preaching the Gospel while serving those in their community.

It is hard enough figuring out where to go to church if you are already a Christian, but I imagine it may be even more difficult for someone who has never been to church stepping into a local church building.

So -- church -- what is actually happening with you?

Are you "Church Lite", "Church Heavy", "Church Law", "Churchy Word Church"? Well, then...perhaps:

1.  You are pandering to the infomercial-entertain me-scroll down-sound bite-YouTube audience.

I am all for the kids program singing for Christmas, or the occasional drama department production, an attention grabbing video clip and I do love The Skit Guys...but not every Sunday.

              Productions and programs can't be your "go to" 'large bait on a big hook with weak test line- we need more members' fishing tackle.
You may hook a few -- but the line is gonna snap and they are swimming away -- fast! Be fishers of men, not numbers.

Have you heard it said, "you have to keep them with more of how you got them" ? I'm exhausted just thinking about the work that would go into a bigger production, a newer audio visual system, louder music, and a cooler guest speaker! 
Give me Jesus...just Jesus!  I'll come back...really I will.

The world needs the word of Jesus, not your latest program!

Romans 6:23



2.  Your "churchy-talk" is daunting.  How can visitors find the truth if you won't speak to folks in a language they understand?   Someone coming to church for the first time in their lives (yep, shocker, not everyone was raised in a church) hearing that they need to "repent" and be "sanctified", so God will be "glorified",  and they will be "justified"...will only be left petrified, horrified, mortified, or chicken-fried if you never even explained the need we all have for forgiveness and grace...the need for a savior...THE savior...Jesus the Christ.


The world needs a Bible, not a dictionary!


Matthew 6:7



3. Your mission field is not inside the walls of that smartly designed, high tech, contemporary, greatly mortgaged building -- complete with coffee bar and gift shop. Although I do approve of the doughnut ministry...but we are warned about it in scripture...no...REALLY... see:


Matthew 26:41 




Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Not about a doughnut?  Oh...just me then.


Yes, it is nice to have a comfortable space with comfortable seating and a jumbo tron...don't get me wrong...but if your budget reflects making sure people inside the church are comfy while people outside are perishing...then something is out of whack! Please don't take this to be a pastor's salary arguement. Pay your leaders, they have families and mortgages too!  I am talking about investing in people, not just property.

Go!  Reach out!  Meet needs!  Serve!  Tell!  Be the church...don't just be a beautiful church and don't forget to actually leave the building!

 The world needs a heart transplant, not just an extreme make-over!

   Ezekial 36:26 



I know there are so many churches doing it right. Being the church instead of just doing church. But if you have slipped into a sugar coated coma...it may be time to turn around...and for the Churchy word folk out there...that means -- REPENT! 

Thanks for considering the concerns from "the new kid in the pew" point of view.

Just Thinkin',

Kathy


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Looking for a church?
We encourage you to find a body of  local believers. See if they believe
and teach the Word...the truth found in scripture and encourage you to apply what you find in the pages of the Bible to your daily life.




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