What about the big foxes?

We’ve all heard about the little foxes.  Song of Songs 2:15  warns, Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. That is true and valid and we seem to be pretty well prepared to spot those coming from a mile away. But what about the big foxes that you think are not foxes? What about the big, good-looking, safe-looking person standing in front of you telling you that you can’t do it or you’re not anointed, or you’re not gifted, or what do you have to offer? What about the wolves in sheep’s clothing? What about the wolves in Christian’s clothing? That’s a much tougher thing to spot. And most times a painful realization.

People are just people and they are not always so closely clued into what the Lord is doing in YOUR life. And I cut people all kinds of slack because I know they mean well and they want the best for us, etc. But when it comes to what the Lord is asking of us, the buck stops right here, with us.

In my own life, I’ve been through a lot of turmoil. Some of it I’ve handled well, other parts, not so much. But something I am really trying to grasp a hold of with both hands and both feet is doing what God wants me to do, no matter what. And being first and foremost centered on pleasing God, not man. If my heart is soft before God and I’m truly seeking His plan for me, then I know it’s going to be OK. Even if some people around me don’t exactly like it.

Whatever God is asking you to do, whatever urging you feel in your heart, whatever gifts you’ve not been using, I encourage you to take one small step towards that mark. I’m not saying ditch everything and dive into a new life, I just mean take a step, even a small one. Go do something, give God something to bless.

That’s what I did when I started this blog. I’ve always wanted to write, and to help people.  And I didn’t know what to do, or how to start, or how to imagine stepping out in faith, but if you remember reading back in my early posts (go-do-something), I told you that I was taking a step of faith, even a small one, and in that obedience I was trusting God to bless it and expect more manna tomorrow. So far, I’ve written this blog for about a month and a half and God has been faithful to supply my manna, every single day. He will do the same for you.

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Does your child do this?

Does your child do this? If not, would you please make me feel better by telling me what your child does that’s infuriating?

If your child doesn’t do anything that’s infuriating, would you just pray for me?

Thanks.

He gives and takes away?

You know what really irks me? Worship songs that say stupid stuff. I’m sorry, they just really tick me off. I love to sing, I’m not great at it, but I love doing it. I love to raise my hands and close my eyes and just go for it during worship, but then I hear these goofy lyrics and it just messes up my whole vibe.

There’s this song, Praise you in this Storm. It is absolutely amazing, the words are just so great because they’re talking about praising God during difficult times, which I have found myself in a lot in recent months.  Another great one is Blessed Be the Name, such a great song, but in both of them,  lo and behold, they bust out with a He gives and takes away. Uh, what? I hate that! Where are they getting that? Is that in the Bible somewhere? In the New Testament? Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. I believe God is a giver, and the devil is a taker.

I used to just not sing those lines, but then it hit me, maybe the writers meant that He takes away our pain, our sorrows, our struggles, our mountains, our giants! Maybe they meant He gives good and takes away bad. Do you think that’s possible? Because I just don’t know. I kind of think they were probably just rolling up some religion and smoking it.

9 and 11

I really should have seen this coming. Notice the tape? Yeah, they got me good. And after I stopped shrieking from the cold, I could hear their manic giggling from upstairs where they were (still) playing Modern Warfare. Even the dog was laughing with them. But they are 9 and 11 for Pete’s sake, whatta ya gonna do?

I love these boys. One of them came directly through me, but the other one is my precious nephew, Paul’s son, who I love like my own. I’m so thankful that we live close and that these boys can hang out on the weekends and do boy things. Even if they include me getting soaking wet or cleaning up muddy boot prints all over my house.

Here are some photos of those aforementioned “boy things.” Disclaimer: All photos were taken by me pointing my very unsophisticated camera toward the back of the car while I was driving. I’m not sure it was legal, but the photos turned out really funny. Also, don’t tell Jaxon, but Colton beat him, fair and square.

And after the photography was over, I tuned it all out with Abba. There’s nothing like Fernando to make road trips just fly by.

Shrapnel or toxicity?

So we’re driving down Sheridan Road the other day. I think the speed limit on this road is uhhh, maybe 35 mph? But I’m quite sure my dear friend who was driving was going about 60. And Jaxon is in the backseat, it’s right after school. And if any of you have little boys, you can attest to what they like to do right after school in an airtight car.

So as we are about to go under the underpass of the highway my 9-year-old does what 9-year-olds do. And he does it well. So immediately we are rolling windows down and gasping for air, but simultaneously there are pieces of shrapnel flying around under the underpass in this tornado of wind and debris. In typical Tulsa fashion, we were having 40 mile per hour wind gusts and everything was swirling around in a dervish.

So which way do you go? Let your skin melt off your face from the stink, or risk some flying road debris bashing you in the head? Do you see my dilemma? Jesus take the wheel!

Kids are so funny. And boys are just boys. I know some people get all bent out of shape when little boys do little boy things. But you know, they’re only little boys for a short amount of time. We only have the pleasure of picking them up every afternoon at school for a few precious years. I can attest to the fact that I feel like Jaxon was just a baby a year ago, and now he’s 9! I haven’t gotten my pre-baby body back yet! My stretch marks are still fresh. (I may have crossed the line right there.)

So the next time your precious little boy (or girl, can’t call them totally innocent of this behavior) drops a bomb in your airtight car, keep in mind that pretty soon they’ll be dropping bombs in an airtight dorm room and you won’t have to endure it anymore. Until they come home for Christmas, that is.

Nothing shall offend them?

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165

Nothing shall offend them? What the what? I’m almost offended just thinking about that. How can that be in the Bible? How can that be true? Have you seen what people do to each other? Have you seen what Christians do to each other?

I’ve been in and around ministry my entire life, I have seen it all, the good the bad and the ugly, and everywhere in between. I’ve seen my family hurting, and I’ve seen them hurt each other. I’ve worked in ministry, I’ve worked in the world, I’ve attended public schools, I’ve attended christian schools. I’ve attended a secular university, I’ve attended a christian university. I have lived all over the USA. Let me tell you, I have seen a LOT. But what all these things have in common is people. And people hurt each other and people get offended. And no good ever comes of it.

Offense breaks up homes, marriages, friendships, it sneaks into relationships like poison and does its stealthy work. Let’s expose it and expunge it. This is a hard lesson to learn, a bitter pill. I have had some experience with it, but I still have lots and lots to learn. It’s amazing how many opportunities come for me to practice.

First of all, you can’t say nothing will offend you until you do the first part of the scripture, and that is to love His law. That means to love the Word of God, to spend time planting it in your heart, to study it, mediate it, and make it a part of your soul. When you get a revelation of His Word in that area, then you have the authority to stand up and say, no! I love the Word of God and I have great peace and I will not be offended. Then it takes a conscious choice, an act of the will to say, no, I choose to forgive that person, I choose to let that go and not be offended.

A dear family friend, Pastor Larry Ollison wrote a book that literally changed my life. It’s called “Breaking the Cycle of Offense.” When I started to grasp what it really meant to live a life without offense, I can’t tell you the freedom it brought me. I do not get offended. It’s a great place to be really. There’s such freedom in just letting it go!

No doubt we will all have opportunities to get offended today, whether it be a big thing or a small thing, but I challenge you to go look up that scripture and let it sink down into your heart. It’s a whole lot more fun to walk through life without dragging along all of your offenses.

Now, after I have preached this to you all, and to myself, tomorrow I am going to give you an opportunity to give it a shot! Stay tuned.

The cherry on our Sunday

So we got up extra early Sunday morning, like almost still dark, early, to drive 45 minutes to a church outside of Tulsa. We had our coffee / Diet Dr. Pepper and we hit the road. While we were driving, Lynn and I had gotten into such a great conversation about the Lord and about our future and we were just generally having a wonderful time. Suddenly, Lynn looked down at the clock and realized we should have arrived at our destination about 20 minutes ago and he said, “Uh, where’s Pryor?”

It was at that moment that he realized he had blown past our turn and we were encroaching upon the state of Missouri.

About 15 seconds after that he realized how dangerously low on fuel we were. We had gone from counting down the “miles to empty” to “low range.” And my sweet husband has had painful experience with getting his truck to the “low range.” Ask him about that sometime; highly entertaining.

So after we stopped laughing we started seriously asking God to help us make it to a gas station, in fact we were asking God for mercy, getting Jaxon’s agreement with us in faith, confessing that we would make it, I mean we were covering all our bases. We were in the middle of nowhere and we couldn’t see any town in front of us or behind us, which just made us laugh harder. Thankfully, we made it to  the Big Cabin truck stop.

Thank the Lord. And this dude greeted us.

While Lynn gassed up, I went in to find a restroom. And that is when I realized that I had hit the mother lode. (Or is it load?) I had hit the jackpot. This truck stop had a little bit of everything. They had shot glasses and mugs.

They had biker jackets and dream catchers.

But the cherry on the sundae, the pièce de résistance, was the pink camo sunglasses. I could not resist them, oh my Lord, they were fabulous. I did not know there was such beauty to be found on Interstate 44.

So we missed church, but we had a great time that morning, just the three of us talking and laughing. We found a fun little breakfast place, where our waitress looked like Carrie Underwood. We got a little sidetracked yeah, but we enjoyed the journey.  Enjoy your journey today, my friends! And don’t forget the pink camo sunglasses, they were the cherry on our Sunday.

The new kid

I seriously don’t fit into the blog world. I’ve been trying to see what’s out there and make my way through this labyrinth called the blogosphere but honestly, I don’t get it. Most blogs that I am reading have a section on their page that lists all the blogs they read. And there are like 50 listings! Who has time to read 50 blogs? Seriously?

This is how I felt when I started Franklin Elementary school and this boy, Oh Lord, I can’t believe I remember his name. His name was Knox. Yes, that was back in like 1980. He catcalled me on the playground and sang the song to me, Shake Your Booty. Oh yes, he did. I was maybe 8. I may still need therapy, come to think of it.

Anyway, I didn’t know what a booty was at the time. And I certainly didn’t know how to shake it. Well, this is how I feel in the blog world. I don’t know how to shake my booty. I don’t read 50 blogs a day. I don’t know how to get people to come to my site, I don’t get spam, I hear that will happen eventually and there are scads of ways to eradicate it. I don’t even have a catchy name! I just thought, well I guess I’ll just use my own name because that’s what people know. I was grasping at straws.

And then there’s the question of what you all like to read. My sermonette the other day went down like a herd of turtles, and my post about Paula White was a hit. Go figure.

So yeah, I’m the new kid, I’ve got a lot to learn, but I really appreciate you guys for reading. It makes me very happy to think that you are at least interested enough to keep coming back to check it out.

Oh, and one more thing, can I have the day off on Sundays? Maybe just write a couple of lines? I don’t know. What do you think?

Just keep swimming

Do you ever get so mad you could cuss? Me too. Uh, yeah. A lot. And sometimes I have to repent. A lot. So the other day this person, who shall remain nameless, was just daring me to blow my stack. I needed an intervention to save me from being a total jerk. I needed time to cool off but that was a luxury I didn’t have.

So what the heck do you do when you’re hurt, mad, frustrated, want to scream obscenities and write an ugly Facebook status? How do you relieve the pressure when you feel like your head is about to literally pop off? It’s real easy to sit behind a laptop and preach about how to get over it, but unfortunately, I wasn’t in the safety of my house, I was right there in the thick of it. So I started with the only thing I knew to do, I prayed in the Spirit. Thank God for the Holy Spirit, that’s all I can say.

Once I got out of that frying pan, I went to the Word of God. Proverbs 4:24 was helpful. Put away from you a fraudulent mouth, and perverse lips put far from you. Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove your foot from evil.

This scripture actually really helped me, and I’ve read it before but it never struck me this way until today. It tells me to look straight ahead. It says to me, when there are arrows coming at you from the right and left, when your ears are blowing out steam, don’t turn to the right or left, just keep going straight ahead. The moment you turn your head, you’re just asking for trouble. If you keep looking straight ahead and keep moving forward, then you can’t focus on the hurt or the mad, can you? Looking back and side to side just keeps you in the middle of the problem. And replaying the situation over and over just keeps the hurt and frustration fresh. Thinking about what they said and what you said and what you wish you had said only traps you back in the junk. We have to do what Dory from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming.”

I know that’s a simple thought, and there’s so much more to be said about forgiveness and dealing with conflict, etc. But this really helped me through a tough spot and I hope it helps you too.

Another post about nothing

Paula White had a makeover; I like it.

There is always someone in church who twirls like a 6-year-old ballerina. And she’s usually really fat.

When I was little and we took communion, I really wanted to grab a handful of the wafers because I was hungry.

Today is Friday and that makes me very happy.

My son and my nephew have been playing Modern Warfare for about 10 straight hours.

We had steaks at my Dad’s house last night; he is officially the cutest man ever.

That’s about all I can think of right now.

My urge to preach is strong, the force is with me. It’s hard not to give in to the urge.

How about a photo to wrap this silly post up?

These are my Carmony nieces in Texarkana. They are sweet, funny college girls and they make me feel very old. I am holding a green sandwich in the shape of a “1.” Why I didn’t put it down, I have no idea. I guess I was proud of it.

Peace out!