Monday, May 13, 2019

The Wisdom of Obedience


On this day after Mother's Day...May I share?

Here are three  quotes on obedience from three of my favorite and  most wise philosophers:

"The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters in not intellect, but obedience."~Oswald Chambers

"Obey God and leave all the consequences to HIM!"~Charles Stanley

"Don't wait for her to tell ya again...just go ahead and clean your room...it works out a whole lot better for ya if you mind her!"~My Unnamed child number 3 to my unnamed child number 4~

2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.


Just Thinkin',

Kathy

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Clutz: It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

Now that we are back in Oklahoma, we send a Christmas  "Just Thinkin' " your way from our Beaumont Christmas past.

We hope timeless stories will help you find perspective. We hope more than anything, that you learn to read scripture and apply the truths found there to your daily lives...for the messages, commandments and  stories you will find in the Bible have proven timeless 

Enjoy. Focus on Christ today...He's got this covered...whatever your THIS might be.
Love, 
Kathy
and the gang at A Gentle Answer Ministries.
12-25-2018
--------------------------------------------------

Christmas Morning 2012

WARNING: No animals were harmed in the writing of this post. One did get his feelings hurt and the use of ellipsis was highly abused.


Those who know me well know the kitchen is my spot.
I love to cook and bake and I am quite happy serving wonderful food . I am actually a good cook. Yep, I do okay in the kitchen.
However, once every 10 years or so I have one of "those" days.

For those who knew of the unfortunate "multi-tasking-Mom- frying mini corn dogs- while wrangling a 5 year old and a baby- whilst also answering a phone to be asked by person on the phone to go find the lawn mowing neighbor (we each lived on three acre spreads so it was a long walk) -to come to the phone because her best friend was in the hospital- and then forgetting mini corn dogs frying in grease-resulting in a  house fire back in '93 - episode..."...well... this was not like that.

Well, sort of...I may not have lost the house this time, just a bit of dignity.
Oh...focus...That's a story for another day.

One morning, I thought I would make a nice brunch since my son was home from college.

The first order of the day was to spill pineapple juice. I did it brilliantly, thanks.

I calmly turned to get the paper towels to wipe up the sticky morning mess and tripped over Shadow the wonder dog.

After he ran from the room with a look of betrayal in his eyes,  I bent down to clean up the juice. Boy did I underestimate how many paper towels this might take!

I raised up to get more towels, I bumped...no...no smashed...no...ummm...let's see...slammed is a better word...yes, slammed my head on the cupboard door corner.  


Flinching in pain, I, slipping in the spilled juice, did my graceful dance across the kitchen floor. Looked like a server on skates at Sonic with the hiccups hit an oil slick!


But don't worry, when I (by instinct from the pain) raised my hand to the throbbing  goose egg on my head, the platter I was carrying of wonderfully prepared sausage, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and a side of  fresh pineapple was somehow left unshaken as I hugged the floor. 

Momentarily, I was quite pleased with this maneuver. I would have beaten Mary Lou Retton's perfect "10" if the kitchen judges had been watching...GRACEFUL MUCH?


Too bad the platter was made of plastic though, because the smell of melted plastic doesn't go well with pineapple. 
Melted you ask? Oh, right... 

You see, as I pulled my slightly disheveled self up, I accidentally set the food down on the hot burner so I could steady myself to stand. 

The platter and only one of the biscuits melted right to the stove! 

So overall...it was a good morning, considering most of the food was saved and there were no vehicles with flashing lights involved...which if I remember back to the fire of '93, brought several off duty fire fighters to my house and I had not even brushed my teeth or put on a bra yet, so I don't recommend that.


Back to the sticky morning... 

I sort of felt like I was stuck in a really bad Laurel and Hardy bit. 

When I finally gained composure to serve brunch, I sat down with my husband and the boys to eat...the phone rang, it was my daughter and we always answer our children when they call if we can.
I raised the phone to my ear...hit my plate and dropped my breakfast on my leg and on the chair and even a little bit on the dog which prompted him to do the "I'm chasing my tail...I'm  chasing my tail" dance since it mostly hit his back side (which is even funnier when you realize this dog has no tail). I ruined my dress...but okay... I'm in Texas and I'm told wearing a little white gravy is okay because it's still before Labor Day (insert  sound of pagent winner rude girl at church saying "Bless Your Heart" in a Southern Accent  here)

Dangit!

I'm not really, usually, all that  clumsy...the floor just hates me, my dog is apparently schizophrenic, the table and chairs are bullies, my kids are so clingy they want to be home on school breaks, the cabinets are co-conspiritors with Satan, and in general the walls are just in the way. I'm Clutzy today but It's NOT MY FAULT!

Do you ever have these kind of days? Days when it just feels like nothing will go right? I know this seems small compared to what some of you are going through...but any delay, distraction, disruption, detour, disappointment in our lives can cause us to lose our focus on Christ, ultimately making us lose our joy.

I felt frustrated after the initial spill, but after the slamming and slipping and then the burning, I started to actually get angry. Somehow, it was now the dog's...my son's (for coming home from college prompting me to feel domestic) my daughter's (for calling), and even the builder's fault for placing the cabinets and stove in the particular floor plan that caused my fiasco.


I lost focus on serving a wonderful meal for my family and actually became resentful over fixing such a spread for a table of people who probably would not even notice how hard I worked to prepare such a meal... yes...quite pitiful. 


Do you do that? Let the picky little failures or disappointments steal your joy? Even ultimately becoming resentful or pitiful or lashing out at others? 


Apparently, I am Ferrari Mom!  

I went from Ego to low self esteem in 5.3 seconds.

One of the messages people have requested when I am asked to speak  "What's In Your Purse?: Understanding Our Worth" compares the way we see ourselves to the way God actually sees us.

I use the Greek words "Doxa" and  "Hustereo"  to give examples of "praiseworthy" or Glory (having value) vs. "hysteria" (lacking in value) to show when we are competent (sometimes even full of ourselves) verses when we feel like a clutz.

Either of these two feelings can be a hazard.

Pride is pride.

Whether on the ego end of the spectrum or the low self-esteem end...it is dangerous.

One says I am good because of my own effort or talent and one says God did not make me very well.


Guess which one the enemy of my soul would like for me to focus on today? CLUTZ MUCH?

Well, just because I have a frustrating or "off" day doesn't change who I am in Christ. Some days are successful, some...not so much.

Some days a brunch is in order... but today, maybe a "fast" is in order.  Or maybe in my case, a  "slow".   A "SLOW DOWN KATHY"... A "BE STILL, KATHY"!

I will choose to focus on HIM and the things that are praiseworthy.
The Bible tells me that  I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). So even if my dog focused more on the fearfully part today, I will focus on the truth found in the bible instead of the mess found on my kitchen floor.


Common Doxology:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise HIM all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!  AMEN.

Clutz...It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore...so at work, at school, in ministry, with your spouse, our clumsy days do not take God by surprise. 

I hope when (not if) you have "one of those days" in the future (even if not in the kitchen) you will remember to feel God's love. He's crazy about you! He knows how and when your "off" day will show up, and He is still worthy to be praised. Be still.


Well as soon as I looked up "how to remove melted plastic from a cook top stove", I was done for the day and seriously, wisely, chose NOT to be moving around or driving or making decisions or possibly even thinking for the rest of the evening.

I reposted this story because...

I just put the milk in the pantry...I may be slow...but I CAN learn from my past mistakes...can YOU?

I better go, I am on an electronic device ya know...I don't recommend I operate any machinery today.

May God bless you even in your "Sticky Mornings" and may you remember to praise the Christ of Christmas everyday of your life...not just today.


Just Thinkin',

Kathy

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Kids In The Fridge

If you are a parent...or a kid...you will know what I am talking about... (so pretty much...everyone):
I have noticed how all of my children...now grown...come to our home and head for the kitchen.
All of them...look into our cupboards, pantry and fridge!
One manchild, JL tothefirstpower, heads straight for the fridge, as he is farthest away and usually thirsty, but then he moves to the coffee stash.
His wife, the beautiful D-I-L, makes sure there is proper chai tea, bread and Herbs DeProvence as she loves to bake/cook and all things bread, cheese related.
Child Dos, KL ('og' and prettiest sibling of the original group), straight to the spices and the gluten free stores in the pantry as she loves to cook as well but has gluten allergy.
Manchild- 3rd in birth order, JL squared, Goes to coffee stash first, bullet proof of course, (scratching my head) then the meat selection in fridge and vegies as he is more the paleo type.
Baby of the family, although an adult, JL tothe3rdpower...comes in from college and after hugs...heads right to the cookie, candy, "kids are home where are the brownies" hidden in the pantry stash.
Now that we have grandlittles, W1 asks for cuties, (mandarin oranges) cheese sticks, lollipops, and W2 asks for french fries and macaroni and cheese... " but not Aunt Kaylee's GWOOTEN FWEE kind" and sausage.
They know we will happily provide what they need.
They know sometimes what they WANT is not always what they need or what WE have prepared for THEM! (No, Wendy, lollipops are not the main course for breakfast this time).
I find myself looking into my own parent's pantry, fridge, and cupboards when I visit them and I am _ _ years oldll! (I can get the senior discount at Denny's)
God welcomes his kids home.
Look into the pantry.
Ask what HE has prepared for YOU!
I will.
Let's ask...
In Jesus Name,
Run to your Dad's storehouse of knowledge...THE BIBLE!
https://biblehub.com/philippians/4-19.htm
Peace to You,
Love,
K

Monday, September 10, 2018

How Did I Get HERE?

How can I be lost?


I was in a new town for almost 9 months.
I had driven the same road everyday since school started for my son's new school
Right turn, left turn, right turn and I am at the school. Then reverse to go home; left turn, right turn, left turn...home.
Could that be any easier?

So...HOW DID I GET HERE?

How did I get distracted? What took my thoughts away? How did I take a different route? I was steady on the path straight ahead...or was I?

A sense of well being comes from the familiar path. A sense of security, a knowing. Pattern (some may say monotony) and routine tend to kick in day to day. Routine becomes habit. Life runs on auto pilot and, often, we like it that way. It becomes reliable. The trouble is, we might become a tad complacent. In our complacency, we miss the turn.

How did I manage to drive this familiar road one morning only to look up to see an unfamiliar street sign?

Just when I felt competent getting around town, I found I was lost! 
Well, lost may be harsh or at best premature...I just didn't know where I was.
Okay, yes, lost.
There are no familiar markers, no landmarks.

I had been following behind an 18 wheeler most of the highway home. I had the radio on to a familiar Christian bible teaching. The pastor was speaking about marriage. About leaving and cleaving. My thoughts began to circle; Have I cleaved to Richard? Have I complained about the move? I began to mull. 

Mulling is good only when making hot cider, not on an open road. While some reflection and adjustments are needed, looking back and mulling can often lead you to become regretful, resentful, or the worst to "what if" yourself into a dead end.
When I saw the truck change lanes I turned right on what I thought should have been the right road; the way home.

I stopped the car, and had just a moment of insecure panic in the unfamiliar... in the “lostness”. 
"Lord, I know the streets are unfamiliar, but the sun rises in the East every morning. I need to get my bearings...I need to focus on the sun."

Right...
I turned the radio off, turned the car around and drove towards the sun.

"Okay...there is the familiar tractor dealer"... so I drive straight ahead. 

Note to Self:
There is a swamp filled with gators just beyond the rice field, stay the course. The largest sink hole in the area is just a mile or two from here.
Caution to note the signs, keep your bearings. Pay attention to where you are, where you want to go, and read the signs. Don't depend on the one in front to be going to the same place you are going. All roads don't lead home.


Signs are always posted; just not always taken seriously.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Have I felt this way spiritually?
Absolutely!

Kathy,
Buckle up...look up...follow the signs...stay on course! If things get stormy or dark or look unfamiliar...wait...turn around...orient yourself toward the Son. He will lead you home.




Just Thinkin',


Kathy

P.S.
Watch out for gators and sink holes...better yet...stay out of the swamp!
(What does your gator, sink hole, distraction or detour look like?)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Dear God, From Children



DEAR GOD,


Dear God,
Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?
Becky

Dear God,
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones,
why don't You just keep the ones you have now?
Jill

Dear God,
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay?
Neil

Dear God,
Thank you for my baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.
Joy

Dear God,
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before.
You can look it up.
Bruce

Dear God,
If we come back as something, please don't let me be
Jennifer Horton, because I hate her.
Denise



Dear God,
I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions.
Rudy


Dear God,
I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the
world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it.
Nan

Dear God,
Of all the people who worked for you, I like Noah and David the best.
Rob


Dear God,
My brother told me about being born, but it doesn't sound
right. They are just kidding, aren't they?
Marsha



Dear God,
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School, we
learned that you did it. So I bet he stole your idea.
Sincerely, Donna

Dear God,
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if
they had their own rooms. It works with my brother.
Larry

Dear GOD,
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't You just keep the ones You have? -Jane


Dear GOD,
If You watch me in church on Sunday, I'll show You my new shoes. -Mickey

Dear GOD,
I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. -Nan

Dear GOD,
In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation? -Jane

Dear GOD,
I read the Bible. What does "begat" mean? Nobody will tell me. -Love, Alison

Dear GOD,
Are You really invisible or is it just a trick? -Lucy

Dear GOD,
Is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? -Anita

Dear GOD,
Who draws the lines around the countries? -Nan

Dear GOD,
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? -Neil

Dear GOD,
What does it mean You are a Jealous God? I thought You had everything. -Jane

Dear GOD,
Did You really mean "do unto others as they do unto you"? Because if You did, then I'm going to fix my brother. -Darla

Dear GOD,
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. -Joyce

Dear GOD,
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about You that people are not supposed to say, but I hope You will not hurt him anyway. Your friend, (But I am not going to tell You who I am)

Dear GOD,
Why is Sunday school on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be our day of rest. -Tom

Dear GOD,
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. -Bruce

Dear GOD,
If we come back as something - Please don't let me be Michelle Horton because I hate her. -Denise

Dear GOD,
If you give me a genie like Aladdin, I will give You anything You want, except my money or my chess set. -Raphael


Dear GOD,
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over. -Sam

Dear GOD,
You don't have to worry about me. I always look both ways. -Dean

Dear GOD,
I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions. -Ruth M.

Dear GOD,
I think about You sometimes even when I'm not praying. -Elliott

Dear GOD,
Of all the people who work for You I like Noah and David the best. -Rob

Dear GOD,
I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible. Love, Chris


Dear GOD,
The bad people laughed at Noah - "You made an ark on dry land you fool." But he was smart, he stuck with You. That's what I would do. -Eddie

Dear GOD,
I do not think anybody could be a better GOD. Well, I just want You to know but I am not just saying that because You are GOD already. -Charles

Dear GOD,
I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool. -Eugene



Well,
I hope you enjoyed these thoughts from the little ones. I wonder myself what I might ask God if I had an audience with Him.
But wait...I do!
 So do you.
 He would love to hear from us too!

Just Thinkin',

Kathy

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Chickens Really Can Fly

I woke up feeling a little under the weather.
What's better than homemade broth to naturally begin to feel better.

I happened to have a rotisserie chicken from the local market in the fridge - so I put it on to boil (the chicken, silly, not the fridge).

A few minutes after the broth began to boil, I noticed the store had trussed the chicken and the string needed to be removed.  

Not wanting to retrieve the hot chicken from the water, I pinched the string that was sticking up out of the water and cut it.  Now, holding one end of the string, I should simply be able to remove the string with a slight tug. Right?

Hmmm.  Seems they didn't just tie the legs, seems they wrapped about 5 miles of string around the chicken and maybe even took a few detours through the middle of the bird just to make this fun!

Still determined not to remove the whole hot bird from the pot...I tugged.  I pulled. I yanked. I heaved - I...well...

Does the word  TREBUCHET mean anything to you?

Suddenly and without warning - the string DID come out of the pot. But so did  the bird - and trust me - there was nothing simple about it!

As I stood there shocked at the sight of a flying bird in my kitchen - I may have slightly regretted not taking the time to research what I was getting into.

Chickens really CAN fly!  Flying poultry -  might look cool - but the landing- it ain't pretty!

Next time - I really need to make sure there are  "No strings attached"  before I commit to something potentially messy!

(see what I did there?)

“Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet errs.”    (Or even hands? Perhaps?)

2 Thessalonians 3:10 


For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
(Just for grins...I posted those scriptures in the much neglected - hardly ever used 'Trebuchet'  font )

Can't say I feel better yet, but  yes - it was funny.  Extremely messy - but funny.

Yep.  It happened about this suddenly!



And for those who might remember...Run away...run away!!!

They say you can tell when pasta is done by flinging a piece on the wall.  I don't recommend this for chicken...much less...a whole chicken.

Just Thinkin',

Kathy

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Got Rocks in Your Beans? Examine, Sort, Rinse, Soak

Ever bitten down on a rock? It happens. No I don't mean on purpose. Not many of us set out to chew gravel...well, not many relatively sane among us do. But, I once chomped on a rock that snuck (it's a word ya know) into a bite of beans.

I am soaking beans today in order to fix a wonderful pot of ham and beans that will sit nicely next to a pan of homemade cornbread. But before I could just rush in and throw the beans in a pot on the stove, I had to rinse the beans and then soak them for a long period of time.

I remember as a little girl I wondered why my dad (the ultimate ham and beans chef) soaked the beans overnight before starting to cook them.  
The answers range from getting the "gassiness" (Yes that is now also a word...I said so) to letting the impurities rise to the surface to be washed away.

Today, I read the following message of actual instruction on the bag (the beans came in):

"Although we clean these beans, stones and debris may be present. For best result, examine, sort and rinse prior to use. Depending on water hardness, soaking time may vary. "


Reminds me of the stones of the heart and debris of sin that may be present in my life. 

*Have I hardened my heart toward God or someone in any area of my life?

*Is there debris from my past that needs to be recognized and cleansed away?

*Do I have anxious thoughts that need to be examined and rinsed in faith?

*Do I need to "soak" in God's word to get the best results in my life?

*Is there an annoying "gassiness" or hot air in my Christian talk, walk, attitude?

*How about you? Do you need to stop breaking teeth on the gravel of sin?


Psalm 51:1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.


Sorting and rinsing...Instructions here.

As for "soaking time may vary"...It may take a lifetime...Sanctification. Keep rinsing... it's a good thing!

Just Thinkin',

Kathy

P.S.  No animals were harmed in the making of this post...however, grammar was slightly abused.


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