Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I was a child the first time the classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas appeared on American TV. We all know the Dr. Seuss tale about the green Grinch who couldn't stand it when the Whos celebrate Christmas. He wished to destroy the entire holiday; trees, songs, gift giving, and the feast. The idea of someone trying to destroy a holiday that extolls the virtues of peace, love, and giving seemed completely ludicrous to the child I was.

--But perhaps the forward thinking Dr. Seuss was secretly a friend of a time traveling Doctor. --Or maybe he simply realized where the tides of political correctness (though that was not what it was called) would lead. He realized that an innocent holiday, a way of life, was under attack.

American Atheists was the movement catching the media's attention then, just as Freedom From Religion does today. Like the unsuspecting Whos of the Dr. Seuss story, the Christians slept while atheist groups attempted to restrict their cultural celebrations and rewrite their history.

Most American Christians trusted that capitalism would make sure that Christmas would always exist. As long as it had commercial value, Christmas would be encouraged. The unexpected twist to this is the inclusion movement. Christmas is now a part of a series of winter holidays. The Christmas tree is now a holiday tree. Christmas shopping is called holiday shopping. Carols--what a joke. Last week a public school was in legal hot water over the singing of Silent Night. Just as the Grinch removed the giant Christmas tree from the center of Whoville, The Freedom From Religion (and similar haters) snatch the nativity scenes from town squares.

Seuss' story has a happy ending when the Grinch repents from his hateful ways. He sees that the Whos don't need the outward symbols. What they have is deep within each of them.

Yes, we are under attack. There are angry people who want to strip from Christians all signs of their cultural heritage. We mustn't sleep as the Grinch steals Christmas from us. At the same time, we must remember that what we have is far more than plaster statues and wooden crosses. It is something that is real and dwelles within us.

That, no one can steal.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


As Americans enter the holiday season, there is a mixture of joy and sadness. Why? Holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas, evoke nostalgia. 1) We think of past holidays and recall unsatisfying experiences or 2)we mourn who or what we have lost. I have known and still know people stuck in this cycle, like an old fashioned record stuck in a groove, they yearly relive a sad childhood experience or mourn the family member no longer with them, rather than reflect on the joy that could be found in the present.

I am nostalgic about Thanksgiving. Yes, there are some really unhappy holidays in my past, but even in these times I managed to focus on the reasons for the holiday celebrations. Thanksgiving is about focusing on what God has provided. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. That helped me push my own hurts and disappointments aside. Sometimes going through the motions is what you need to do to get to a better place in your life.

This week I heard a news report that said that people with a thankful, grateful spirit are both more physically and mentally healthy than those who are ungrateful. No doubt they are happier.

This Thanksgiving Holiday let us have a thankful heart. Laugh about the burned marshmallows on the yams. Joke about the jiggling cranberry sauce. Scarf down the dry stuffing and lumpy gravy, but remember to enjoy the moment.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


A short time ago, I was driving along the highway and saw a group of people wearing bright orange vests, collecting trash along the highway. As I approached, I noticed the trash collectors all had their backs to the passing motorists, clearly trying not to be identified. On the back of each vest, in bold black print, were the words: I DRINK AND DRIVE. These people were all working off their crimes. They thought the crimes would be secret, but they were exposed in the light of an autumn morning.

To me, there was something powerful about this sight; people getting the chance to work off their debts and looking to tomorrow with clean slates. Since making amends is part of many 12 step programs, I wondered why it isn't a condition of other non-violent offences.

--But the vests conjured up the memory of Hawthorn's, THE SCARLET LETTER, where people wore the initial of their sins upon the breast of their clothing.

Then I wondered about myself and harm I may have inflicted upon others. What would be embroidered upon my lapel? What would be emblazoned upon the back of my vest? Would the crime be something I could work off or had the harm I had caused be far to deep? Are my sins those of omission or commission?

It is confusing sometimes, trying to make it through this life. After all, there are no real victimless crimes.

Monday, October 31, 2011


It occurred to me, as I sat in my Sunday school class, that each person in that room had been hit with some sort of serious hardship. Some were mourning the death or separation of loved ones. Others are unemployed or underemployed. Some fear losing their homes.

That is why I was so delighted to see my friends laughing and playing with the children at a Fall carnival yesterday evening. Children, dressed in warm costumes, had a chance to play in bouncy castles, eat popcorn, play carnival games, and get lots of candy. Laughter filled the air.

We needed to hear laughter. We needed to laugh. We need to keep laughing.

A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine . . . Proverbs 17:23.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Have you ever had one of those days? Sure, we all have. After sharing snip-its of my Tuesday adventure on Facebook, I thought I would give a few more details on my blog.

Well, Tuesday morning started like most. I got up and looked for a substitute teaching job on my computer. Unfortunately, there were no jobs available, so I thought I would attend a job training program in Memphis. Maybe I could pick up some Saturday work to go along with my regular job.

Because I had just gotten my car back from the mechanic, I was a little concerned about driving along the interstate. I did have things to do, so I went against my best instincts and headed into the big city.

The car drove without any hesitations along I-40 and I traveled downtown, into Memphis. That was when it happened. The car stalled at the intersection of Bellevue and Poplar. When I went to restart the car, nothing happened except a simple click.

After a moment a kind, African-American woman stopped and tried to help me jump start the car. Since I had a new battery, I didn't think that was the problem. The car would not start.

Two men volunteered to push the Saturn into the parking lot of
The Dental Connection, on 1195 Poplar Ave., in Memphis. When the car was finally parked, both men began to aggressively demand money. Frightened, I gave them a few dollars cash and locked the car doors until they went away. I called for help and waited.

In time my brother arrived and we tried again to jump start the car, but there was only the clicking noise. I went into The Dental Connection to tell the owner that I would be making arrangements for a tow. The heavy set woman was extremely upset that my car was in the parking lot and insisted that I move it instantly, handing me a phone book and telling me to have it towed immediately.

I tried to explain that I have roadside service and had to work out the details to find out which tow service to call and which mechanic to use. This woman wanted to hear no excuses. She wanted the car moved or would make arrangements to have it moved. I asked her to give me a little time. She said that I had till 6:00 pm. It was all ready 3:00.

Eventually the car was moved. As if to completely mock me, the mechanic was able to instantly start the engine. It seems that the starter was warn out, only working sometimes.

That evening I decided to try to lose myself in a chef salad and mindless TV. As I sat curled in my bed watching a show, I looked at my bedside table and my loyal dog was snatching croutons and chunks of cheese off of my salad. Even Man's Best Friend turned against me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Last night, as I drove through the back roads, enjoying the scenic trip to a friend's house, I thought about how autumn signals a lengthy time of celebration. As the weather turns cooler in Tennessee, towns have their street fairs that usually showcase art, folk art, and crafts. Block parties and tailgate parties are also commonplace.

Next comes the Fall Festivals, Harvest Parties, and of course, Halloween. Both children and adults get to act silly and participate in fantasy.

Thanksgiving is a more subdued holiday, but still, it is so much fun. I love the bright decorations, usually made with colorful leaves and foods. What about trying new recipes and gathering with loved ones? Even when I gather with not-so-loved ones I have a good time. And yes, I can't help but be thankful.

Christmas and New Years are no-brainers. We know they are the ultimate in celebratory times.

So what is the point?

I have met people, often religious people, who just seemed dead set against having fun. I can't imagine why. It's as if they were too happy, God might take away their blessings.

As I search the scriptures, I see the opposite.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NKJV),

Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.

Yes, we should work hard, but we should also have time to enjoy life, too. As I enjoyed times with friends at a harvest party, I remembered this verse from Proverbs 17: 23,

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine . . .

Yes, celebrating with friends & loved ones is a very good thing and a gift from God.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I have been at my new job for 4 full weeks now and I like it, very much. I am a substitute teacher, now. That means that each day I am at a new location with a new group of children. I never know what I am going to teach, either.

I find that this job is really going to stretch my faith. You see, there is no guarantee that I will have a job on any given day. With so many teacher layoffs, there is a lot of competition for sub work. I get up every morning and check my computer for a job for the day--almost like an act of faith. The job may be there or it may not. I keep checking. It was pretty hard to find the jobs at first, but am getting better.

As I said, this is really stretching my faith. I have to believe that there is a reason I do or do not get the work. Maybe there is something else I need to be doing on my "off" days. I find myself really focusing on how I spend my time, lately. I hope the focus pays off.

Anyway, I find I am grateful for the work that comes my way. I am happy to go to my job and maybe that will eventually pay off with increased work. I hope so.

Learning to live by faith sometimes takes a lifetime to learn.

Monday, September 26, 2011


About a year ago I posted that I felt that changes were coming to my life. Little did I know that the changes would be so very dramatic and would test me and my beliefs--to my core.

As I have shared previously, I have had a real roller coaster ride. I worked at a job that decided not to honor the contract to which we had both agreed; slashing pay, benefits, and requiring me to work extra hours for which I received no pay. There was no negotiation to this agreement. In fact, I was brought before the rest of the staff for a period of public humiliation when I expressed displeasure at the changes.

Those last few months I was made to feel as if I were on Survivor Island and that deception surrounded me. There were alliances surrounding me and I realized that as people struggled for leadership, no one could be trusted. This was unexpected in what was supposed to be a Christian environment. I hope the children were unaware of what was going on with the adults.

In the end I moved on. However, I found that I didn't qualify for unemployment benefits and my car died

--But changes kept coming! That was fortunate.

I have a friend who knows a mechanic who is giving new life to my car. I now have a new job that I really enjoy. Life is good again and I am reminded of this scripture:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result . . . Genesis 50:20 English Standard Version

Now, if I could get this writing thing going, I would have a perfect life.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


What can I say about this day that hasn't all ready been said? 9-11-01 is a day that is marked in U.S.A. history that may only be equaled to 12-7-41, Pearl Harbor Day. I remember watching the news day after day, praying that people would be found alive in the rubble of the Twin Towers. I was appalled to see the damaged Pentagon. I wept over the courageous passenger of flight 93. I wept and wept and wept.

Eventually, all the tears were gone. It was time to live again.

Ten years have come and gone. I have watched documentaries reliving the event and again I find myself weeping.

Tomorrow is 9-11. I will pay my respects. I will have a moment of silence. Then I will live again.

There are people out there full of hate. They never want us to get over 9-11. To love our country and to have joy in our lives would be our best revenge.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I have been thinking a lot about what makes a business a "Christian Business." Why? I have worked as a teacher in both public and private, Christian schools.

Here is what I liked about working in Christian schools (listed in no particular order) :

1. Children and staff were held to a certain moral standard and this standard kept behavior problems to a minimum. This maximized the learning environment.
2. Christian issues could be openly discussed. Discussions were often encouraged.
3. Honestly, rather than political correctness was encouraged.
4. As a teacher, I had a greater freedom with my curriculum.

Here is what I disliked about teaching in a private school (in no particular order):

1. Not everyone (student or staff) has to follow the same rules. What applies to one person, may not apply to another.
2. Many Christian school refuse to follow the same worker related laws that govern public businesses, such as salary, compensation, and worker safety laws.
3. Religious rhetoric may be used against and employee who feels unfairly treated during his/her tenure.
4. Most required chapel programs are more geared toward adults than the children or teens that are in attendance.
5. Many teachers in Christian schools have little more than a high school diploma and few have even completed college teaching courses.

Naturally, I have not seen these dislikes at every Christian school at which I have taught. Many of my teaching experiences have been quite pleasant. However my last teaching job was at a school that was desperate to keep its doors opened. Desperate times called for desperate measures. Those in charge felt they must do almost anything to keep the ministry alive. That included breaking contracts with teachers, withholding promised benefits, and extending workdays. It meant being less than truthful to parents. These were things that, as a Christian, I found to be dishonest

If God wants a ministry to survive, He will bless it. If He is finished with the ministry and ready to move to a new ministry, He will let the first ministry die. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Ecc. 3:1.

A Christian ministry should be more than rhetoric. It is about treating both customers and staff in a Godly way.

Perhaps there is no such thing as a Christian business. Maybe it is about Christians going about in the world, living Godly lives.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


It has been a strange odyssey for me. I left a secular job as a teacher in order to work at a Christian school. There were multiple reason for wanting to do this, but one was about the desire to want to impact the lives of young people in a spiritual way.

The experience of working with Christian schools has affected me in ways that I didn't expect. It also has caused me to wonder this: What makes a business Christian?

Is it about the rhetoric that makes a business Christian? Is the business Christian because employees know Christian phrases and Christian symbols. I can't count the times that someone
(usually an auto salesman) has handed me a business card with a fish symbol on it.

Is it a Christian business because the owner is a Christian? By that definition the convenience store on one end of the street might be Christian and the one on the other end might be Muslim, and so on.

Is a business Christian because it makes products generally used by Christians; Bibles, crosses, photos, stained glass? If so, where do we draw the line. Is the business that makes church pews a Christian business.

Is a business Christian because it caters to a certain group of people? I love Chick-fil-a and it does cater to Christians with its contemporary gospel music piped in the stores and its policy about being closed on Sunday. Does that, however, make it a Christian business?

I don't know. I would, however, like to hear what others have to say about what makes a business Christian. I think people need to know--especially if they are considering becoming involved in a Christian organization.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Life comes in waves, it seems, and the economy has taken its toll on us all. Stress levels are high.

My grandmother used to say that misery loves company. I have seen evidence of this. During job searches, associates have deliberately withheld information that would have helped me obtain employment. I have watched coworkers set each other up for failure.

This all got me to thinking. In a time when life is so difficult for so many, shouldn’t we be trying all the more, to reach out to others, to cause healing, not more suffering?

I’m not saying that we can all become Mother Theresa, but couldn’t we do just one thing a day--or even a week--to help someone else? Check on a neighbor during this heat wave. Call a shut-in. Collect for the food bank. Give blood. It doesn’t have to be Nobel Prize worthy, just something to help make life worth living.

The day of my grandmother’s funeral, a policeman introduced himself to me. He said that growing up during the Great Depression, he and classmates used to practice baseball in my grandmother’s pasture. After the practice, my grandmother would always fix all the boys beans and cornbread for dinner.

Forty years later this man remembered the kindness shown during a time when people had little to share. The Bible tells of the blessing of sharing a simple drink of water.

Yea, it’s hard out there and few are immune. Maybe if I practice what I preach, I’ll get through this and be a better person, too.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Recently, was sent an advanced copy of a story that I wrote for an international publication. The topic to which I was assigned was quite a challenge and the end story was somewhat emotional to me. I shared the final product with someone who asked, "Why did you write this?"

The question took me by surprise. The publication was a reputable one, and the pay was average for this kind of publication. I am always excited when my name is spelled correctly in the byline.

I'm not sure that is what this person was asking. I think she wanted to know why I write--period. That is more complicated. I have heard people say that the reason they write is the same reason they breath. I don't think the non-writer understands that.

I think it is the same thing that makes the chef work at a signature creation. It is what drives the painter to design a masterpiece. It is why the dancer pushes her body to exhaustion to perfect her number.

I used to think that writing a book would be a way that I could live on, but I realize that even books have a shelf-life, especially now with ebooks replacing hardcopies. No, literature doesn't live on like it once did.

The rejection is difficult. Just like any form of art, writing has its critics and even a kind letter from an editor is painful. Yet I still write.

Maybe it does some good. Maybe someone finds it entertaining. Maybe.

Would it be selfish if I write for me?

Saturday, June 4, 2011


During the time I was unable to get away for a work-out, I tried to establish a walking routine. I find walking a neighborhood, track, or treadmill tedious, at best. Walking without a destination is just boring!

I bought my first MP3 player to encourage me to walk more. I haven't found the time to download songs myself, but my son, Adam, decided to help. He transferred some tunes for me, music he felt had a beat that would encourage exercise.

Now my song selection includes Edgar Winter's--Frankenstein, The Who--Pinball Wizard, Tom Petty's--Refugee. Because we live in the south, he went with Lynard Skinnard's--Free Bird. Keep in mind he was trying to pick songs from MY youth. He wasn't even born when these songs were hits.

The result was a much more enjoyable work-out, whether it was simply walking a track, using weights, or a cardio program with the elliptical, nu-step, and bicycle. Time seems to move quicker and I think I work harder, especially when moving to a fast beat.

Sometimes you just need to find the proper motivation to help you get the job done. What are some of the things that motivate you to get the job done?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I have been very neglectful of things these past three weeks, or so. Life sometimes becomes full of stuff that has to be done.

For about a week I felt tethered to my home due to the flooding Mississippi River. I don't live on the river, but on one of the tributaries. When the Mississippi rose above the flood stage, tributaries began flowing backwards--a sight that will cause the heart to race! Compounding this was the fact that many of the tributaries were all ready flooded from the same storm system that brought tornadoes through Alabama.

Mine is an old '70s style home and a sump pump keeps rising water out of crawl spaces and out of the house. This pump has to be constantly monitored during emergencies like this.

A week later I was hit with a new emergency--the serious illness of a family member. I was spending much of my after work time sitting with an ill relative. That can be stressful. Did I do the right thing? What if?

Then there was the end-of-the-school-year chores and the transition involved.

These challenges have kept me from two things that I truly enjoy, 1)writing--including blogging, and 2) working out at the Wellness Center. My body and spirit are both showing the neglect.

--But our challenges make us who we are. The flood waters have receded and my family photos are back on the mantle over the fireplace. The relative I sat with appears to be stronger. My students are enjoying their summer vacation and I am working at a day camp. In fact, I am writing this during nap time. Yah!

Perhaps the challenges have subsided--for awhile.

Please feel free to share a challenge you have faced and what, if any, benefits resulted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Between weather (the Memphis flooding) family, and personal issues, I have neglected my blog and am sorry. I will try to do better.

It is really apparent that weather has begun to impact many people in the U. S. Many people are trying to reach out to those who have lost so much, either through floods, or tornadoes. Even as I write this I am listening to a weather forecast that predicts more tornadoes this afternoon. I have been inspired by the ways that people have stepped up to help others in need. Some have volunteered to help the Red Cross. Others have put together supplies to take to areas in need.

If you are involved in a group that is helping those impacted by weather issues, please share your experience. If you know of a group that needs help, share that, too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Evacuating--What Would You Take?

I have been wanting to make my blog more interactive, like a conversation. This week I have had little time to spend blogging. Let me explain why.

All along the Mississippi River there is massive flooding. My home is located along a river that feeds into the Mississippi. Because of a week of tornado producing storms, the river near my home had already left its b

I have little space upstairs and perhaps little time to save property. What do you think I should save. If you were in my situation, what would you save?

I'd better get back to work packing.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Couple of Days Left

We still have a couple of days left on the Easter Challenge that I put forward last week. I am sure that all of us found some way--other than on the Internet--to share the Gospel with someone else. Please feel free to share that experience with us, whether it worked out the way you wished, or not.

With all the horrific events that have occurred lately, maybe you can find a way to reach out to someone who is suffering and provide them with relief. If so, perhaps you could do this as an act of sharing your faith. Gently suggest that you were motivated to help by your faith in Christ. It is a powerful thing.

I remember being stranded on the highway after a divorce and being unable to change my flat tire. I wondered what would become of me. Then a man dressed in a nice suit stopped to help me and invited me to church. I knew, from that point on, that God hadn't deserted me and He would make sure I was all right. The man didn't just change my tire. He helped strengthen my faith.

Please do that for others--and please share the experience with us.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


On Resurrection Sunday morning we pause to remember that first Easter, the joy--so great that followers could not contain it. They could not keep from telling the story.

I remember being in college and having a month long assignment. Instead of writing a paper, we had to keep a journal containing methods we had used to share the gospel, daily. Each day, for a month, we had make a new entry. Missing one day without being a witness meant failure. It was a pass or fail grade.

This was in the day before Facebook, blogs, and most people didn't have cell phones. In fact, email was a very new concept to me. Though I did use snail mail to complete my assignment, this was a very difficult challenge.

On this Easter Sunday, I would like to give readers a slightly similar challenge. I would like for readers to, at least once this week, to share the gospel with someone in a creative way--without using the Internet. You can use the phone or mail, though.

Then I would like you to share your experience on this forum.

This challenge will serve to encourage other and strengthen us all.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Circumstances in my life are changing. I have shared some of these changes in my little blog. Now it is time for that blog to change, once again.

I will occasionally give you some health updates, but 2 things have caused me to change the focus of this blog. One is the memory of Mrs. Ruth Wilburn, a great encourager. The other is the Make a Difference Monday, sponsored by the syndicated radio station, KLOVE.

Every Monday I found myself thinking, "What can I do today to make a difference in someone's life?" It is a good thing to ponder.

Sometimes making a difference is a thought that is so overwhelming that we dismiss the idea altogether. That is where I hope to help. I would like to encourage action and give a forum for people to share their experiences.

Let's begin sharing today.

I once organized a Sunday school class to have a monthly random acts of kindness. It really changed the lives of others, especially those who were doing the acts of kindness. It seems that doing good is medicine for the spirit.

Now it is your turn to share some of your experiences!

Sunday, April 17, 2011



It is something many of us seek. We wonder how we will be remembered when we cease to walk this planet. When I was a teen I attended a small country church. The pastor at the time was a man named Harry Wilburn. Though he was a wonderful pastor and a greatly loved man, as I look back on those days, I kind of think that much of the spiritual power brought to that church came from his unassuming wife, Ruth Wilburn.

Mrs. Ruth, as she was known, was a quiet woman, an exhorter, a cheerleader of sort. She was a walking example of that scripture, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things." Perhaps that was the reason I was unable to ever say, "No," to her.

It was about 15 years ago that I last saw Mrs. Ruth, but we exchanged Christmas cards every year. She always included photocopies of magazine articles or newspaper stories about her 3 sons, all of whom were preachers. She was a very proud mother.

Last year I didn't get a Christmas card and that concerned me. Only this week did I learn that Mrs. Ruth did not see last Christmas here on Earth. It was a loss for this world, but for the first time in 20 years, she was reunited with her husband at Christmastime.

It is with true sadness that I know I will not receive another Christmas card from Mrs. Ruth. I have met few in my life (men or women) who have won my respect as Mrs. Ruth did. She was a woman of greatness.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


When I was in high school, my history teacher asked me, "What is faith?" I replied that, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things yet unseen." You see, I had memorized my Bible verses well.

The teacher challenged me further.
He did enjoy challenging his Christian students. "Just what does that mean?"

I muttered something, but both he and I knew that I didn't have a clue what the scripture meant. Over the years I have remembered that conversation, because I don't think I really ever discovered the meaning of that verse until recently.

When I lost my dream job I hoped for a new job and a better day. When I went with my son on visits to see my ex-husband before he died, I hoped that someday I could laugh and be happy again. When I got a new teaching job, I hoped it would be the one that could satisfy me. When I write at the computer, I hope that it will lead to the manuscript that others will wish to read. As I try to put my life back together in this bad economy, I hope for a better day--or even a day like I used to enjoy.

About 1 1/2 years ago I was in chronic pain, so bad it regularly woke me from my sleep. I had seen doctors in the past who told me it was all about my weight. Doctors didn't realize at the time that my weight gain was a symptom along with the pain--not totally what was causing the pain. Time after time I visited doctors, hoping to someday escape the pain.

Visiting doctors was an act of faith. When a diagnosis was finally reached--I was given specific instructions for a lifestyle change, but no medication. To comply with these activities was an act of faith.

Faith is not a noun. It is a verb. Hope is seeing something--visualizing it. Faith is moving toward that vision. Faith is the actions you take to reach the goal for which you hope. When I worked out to strengthen my muscles and relieve my pain, it was in essence an act of faith. I hoped to someday be able to walk without a limp, to be able to sleep through the night again, to escape the chronic pain. Today I was able to work in the yard, to rake, to shovel, to sweep for over an hour. That was such a victory. Faith and hope took me there.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."

I will someday find a satisfying career again. I will write something that others will want to read. I will someday find a way to overcome, even in this economy. I have hope. It is what keeps me filling out job applications and typing on this computer. Hope is the goal. Faith is the action.

It took about 30 years, but now I can explain it to my history teacher.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Focus

Once again, I feel the need to change the focus of my blog. In the beginning it was about me, as a writer, making observations. Then it moved to my focusing on my New Year's Resolution (both 2010 and 2011) for both physical and financial health.

I have seen great strides in my New Year's Resolution. I have lost over 20 pounds, 1 dress size, and am walking without a limp, again. My stamina has increased.

I will occasionally update you on my Wellness Goals, but I think it is time for the focus of this blog to broaden once again.

I hope you will enjoy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finishing Projects

I have been out of the loop on the Internet for a few weeks, closed off of Facebook--account hacked. I have been focusing on a proposal for a Work in Progress and trying to keep up with a day job.

I am sticking to my work-out plan and taking a healthy cooking class, too. I am feeling healthier, stronger, and a little lighter, too.

Though I do have more Internet access and Facebook access again, I still have a lot of work to do with this manuscript, so my Facebook time will be limited.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lost Facebook Access

I haven't posted in awhile, mainly because I have been trying to fix my account with Facebook. For whatever reason, I can no longer access my Facebook account and since there is no way to contact a human, I am unable to find out what is wrong or fix the account. I have tried everything, only to be continually frustrated.

It appears that I may have to open a new account, but I don't know how I can close the first one. This is s-o-o-o frustrating. If anyone has had this problem, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This world is an isolating place and it is often difficult to make connections with other. I attend a large church and we solve the problem of isolation and loneliness with with small groups--study groups & Sunday school classes.

I brought that same idea into my work-out program. I have little time to socialize and my time at the Wellness Center did give me an opportunity to meet new people and experience new things. Of course, working out with equipment wasn't going to afford many chances at conversation.

First, I tried out the Ai Chi class. It was a good beginners activity, relaxing, and a lot of fun, too. Eventually, I pushed myself and tried the water aerobics.

Then it came time to graduate. How was I going to make myself keep working out when I was no longer interacting with others? I really wanted to be a part of a group.

I finally figured out what could work for me. I decided to do my heaviest workouts on Tuesday and Saturday. On Thursday I would do a cardio workout (a briefer workout) and attend a healthy cooking class. That would give me a group with which to connect.

I have tried this out for a couple of weeks and it seems to be satisfying--so far. I enjoy the work-outs, the class, and when I go to work on Fridays my co-workers want copies of the recipes.

Ecclesiastes says that a three cord rope is not easily broken. So true.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I am a person who believes in action. If there is a problem, I want to solve it. I don't want to wait till tomorrow. In some cases that is a good thing. On other occasions I just make a mess of a situation.

I have had 3 bad years in a row; deaths, the economy, a loss of a job I enjoyed, health issues and no health insurance. I am underemployed and have serious financial problems. I have prayed and prayed. I have begged God and advised Him as to how I would like for my problems to be resolved.

My Sunday school teacher, Al, advised me to meditate on this scripture: Be still and know that I am God, Psalm 46: 10. I am not really a be still kind of person, but I agreed.

I remembered this being a specifically important passage, so I decided to the whole chapter of Psalm 46. This may sound strange, but while I was in my private Bible study, the words seemed to run together, to be garbled. I focused on verse 10, but the rest didn't speak to me.

A week passed but my mind kept returning to the passage and my conversation with Al. I returned to Psalm 46. This time the scriptures opened up to me and I instantly remembered the powerful passage. It is broken into 3 thoughts, all focusing on the God who is vastly powerful, but is also a refuge for those who trust in Him. He is with us in the powerful earthquake and He is the One who brings peace. This time I found the passage very comforting.

Also brought to my mind was a popular scripture: Isaiah 40: 31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength: They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.

When I first started my exercise program I thought of this passage--a little sarcastically--since I could barely walk the track--even once--without being left gasping for breath. As my strength grew, I claimed the scripture more as a promise.

Again, I decided to go back and read an entire passage. What a powerful passage. Verse 25 asked us who can be compared to God? He created and named the stars. In verse 27 we are reminded that that God knows about our just claims, even when we think He is ignoring them. Then there is the theme we are familiar with. God does not grow faint or weary. Though young men eventually fall from exhaustion, if we wait on the Lord we will run tirelessly.

Both scriptures have the same theme: The power and justice of God, waiting for God, and that God doesn't desert the just. I needed to be reminded of these things. In fact, this week I have made a habit of reading both passages daily. I don't know how long I will do this. I just know that, for the moment, I need to be reminded of the themes in these verses. I feel uplifted as I read about the God who is my refuge. The verses make it easier for me to be still.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I just caught one of my favorite movies on TV today, The Untouchable. Yea, I know. It is a movie with graphic violence and profanity. I didn't say it was a family movie and it is definitely not a movie for children. Edited versions of the movie clean up a lot of the blood, but the time period was an ugly time and people were brutally killed by Capone's men. They bled and died.

--But this blog isn't about censorship.

There is a scene in the movie where Elliott Ness must send his family away, for their own safety. All the Untouchables; Ness, Malone, Stone, and Wallace are standing in the dark street, armed with machine guns, discussing how they wish to bring down Al Capone. After discussing the plan they, almost jubilantly, run down the street, machine guns in hand, ready for battle.

There is something about that scene. In one moment Ness is terrified for his family, but then he regroups and is ready to fight the enemy. There is significance to the scene. Ness, Malone, Stone, and Wallace have a purpose.

As I watch, I envy them. I want to have significance to my life. I want to have purpose.

I want to run with a machine gun.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I decided to change up my exercise routine a bit, and get involved with strength training. I made my appointment with a trainer for 10:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. If you know me, I like to stay in my pajamas till noon on Saturday. For me to be out and about at 10:45 was a BIG deal, but I was determined to learn this new routine. After all, short sleeve season is arriving soon.

As I drive down the highway, with plenty of time to spare, I suddenly see that an 18-wheeler put on the brakes and then realized I was in for a long, long wait. Construction on Interstate 40. Need I say more? Oh, yea, thanks TDOT.

So I waited and waited and waited. The engine began to overheat, but traffic still barely moved. It was time for my training session to begin, but I was stranded.

It seemed like the story of my life.

Then I got to my training session and still more waiting. Since I was late, the trainer had to split her time between me and another member. I exercised and waited, exercised and waited. I understood. After all, I was the one who was late. In the end, I only got to learn how to use 1/2 of the equipment before the session ended.

On the way home I stopped at the post office to mail a letter. On the way, I had to sit through several traffic lights, waiting for funeral traffic. I was now weary of waiting. Yea, I know. It was a funeral procession and I was pretty low down to become impatient.

That was when I remembered this was supposed to be my week to be waiting on the Lord. Be still and know I am God.

It is such a difficult thing to be still, to wait, and to be patient.

I'll have to try harder.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


When I was young I was a real Paul Simon fan, but I did have an objection to his views about God. I still don't agree with his theology, but in the past few years I have empathize with the lyrics of one of his songs, popular in the early 80's. The lines went like this:

God only knows,
And God makes His plans.
The information's unavailable to the mortal man.
We work our job,
And collect our pay.
We think we're gliding down the highway
When, in fact, we're just slip-sliding away.

I look at my life and I wonder, what is God's will for my life? Am I in God's will? If not, when did I get out of His will? I am convinced that I once was in His will. It is all so confusing to me. I often wish it could be clearer--like an email or text message. Walgreen's has a sign that flashes its weekly specials on it. Why couldn't I see a message like that.

Sure, the holier of you are saying God's message to us is the Bible and if we study it, we will know the path to follow, but for those of us who are a bit more dense, the message is still not so clear. Hey, I have trouble working a GPS, so I am easily misguided. Following chapters and verses to help me with specific matters at work or in my life is sometimes confusing.

I was discussing this in Sunday school and my teacher, Al, suggested that I meditate on this verse for awhile:

Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10.

Sometimes we are so busy praying, we don't listen for an answer. I really do want to know what I am supposed to be doing. Perhaps I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I don't really know.

I guess I will just be still for awhile.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


It's a hard thing to say.

It is hard to know when you are really at that point when you are able to say, "Thy will be done." People who want to sound holy say it all the time, but if you really think about what it means--doing God's will no matter what it costs you--your home, your family, your life--Well then, you might pause before you say it.

Over ten years ago I had cancer and was insurance poor, as they say. I had prayed, many times for a miracle or recovery or something. Long story short, the doctor canceled a life-saving procedure within hours of the time of the operation. That phone call, canceling the surgery seemed to seal my fate. What was going to happen to me? I thought I had exhausted every avenue for recovery. I dropped to my knees, leaned on the telephone table, wept and prayed.

"Without this surgery I will surely die," I prayed. "But If this is how it must be, please let me die with grace and dignity. Please let me act in a Christian manner."

I was broken to the point I could fight no more. I sobbed, "Thy will be done."

I meant it.

I can't say how long I prayed, but I was still on my knees at the table when the phone rang again. It was my mother. Her dear friend, who was a doctor, wanted to see me at his office the next day--and he didn't mind accepting my insurance. Dr. Bland saved my life.

This happened right after I prayed, "Thy will be done."

I have gone though some rough times these past 3 years; medical, financial, deaths. Thank God, my health problems are greatly improved. However, other problems linger, problems I have prayed and prayed about.

Lately I wondered if I was really willing to pray, Thy will be done.

Do I really want God's will? That's a hard one. If it means blessings, the answer it yes! What if it means losing everything? I have thought long and hard about this one. I want to obey God, but . . .

I remember being on my knees by that telephone thinking I might die. Death wasn't what I wanted, but I would be submissive to God's will.

Perhaps I need to remember all of that as I face my situation today, accept these hardships with grace and believe that God is in control. Maybe we don't have to enjoy God's will. Jesus prayed about this so much that he sweat drops of blood. Perhaps we need only accept God's will with grace.

That, I believe I can do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I was distressed that a certain attention seeking church (that will be referred to as W.) will protest at the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed last Saturday while attending the public meeting held by U. S. Representative, Gabrielle Gifford, in Tucson, Arizona. This church makes a habit of protesting funerals. Why funerals? I dunno, maybe because that is where the news cameras will be.

It was a twisted mind that caused the death of this precious little girl--God's creation. It is a twisted mind that would cause suffering to those who grieve at her funeral. Enough said about that.

This cause me to think of those people who use the phrase, God said, or, God says. One should be careful when speaking for the Almighty God. He is a very big God and has the ability to speak for Himself. In fact, He has--in the Bible. If one is speaking for God, those words should line up with the scriptures, for God does not contradict Himself.

The members of the W. church have a habit of holding signs during their protest. The signs are supposed to speak for God. They say things like: God hates Catholics and God hates Fags. When I looked in my Bible's glossary, I couldn't find either the words Catholics or Fags in it.

--However, when I looked up hate in my glossary, I found this set of scriptures. A lot of Christians, even those of that W. church should commit this scripture to memory. The verse is found in Proverbs 6:16-19. NKJV. The bold print is my addition.

"These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren."

Hmmm, I know a lot of Christians who manage to do what God hates.

--But what does God love? Try John 3:16. NKJV:

"For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . ."

--Just something to think about.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Assessing Resolution 2010

I made 2 specific resolutions in 2010, to improve my situation 1) health wise and 2) financially. My Sunday School teacher, Al, shared how he mailed a letter to himself midway in the year to remember his resolution. I thought that using my blog might be more helpful to keeping me on track.

Now it is time to assess how well I did in keeping those resolutions.

The bad news first

No matter how I tried, I am not fairing any better financially at the end of this year than at the beginning. In fact, in the past few months my part-time work has been almost non-existent. Well, according to news reports, the economy is supposed to be improving. We'll see.

Now for the good news:

After several doctor's visits and test, I received a diagnosis and a therapy program for a medical problem. A big part of that involves regular exercise at a wellness center. The result are:
  1. I have more energy.
  2. I am stronger and can walk better.
  3. I have lost between 16 to18 pounds and my clothes are fitting better.
  4. I generally feel better.
  5. My blood pressure is better than it has been in years.
So, one of my resolutions went very well, while the other--not so much. After thinking about it--a lot--I decided to keep the same resolution for 2011.

Wish me luck.