Friday, December 13, 2013

The Man's Opinion

My husband, the Man is of the opinion the world is not ready for an decaffeinated Annette - EVER. I wake up much earlier than he does most days, dutifully drink a couple cups of coffee so that I can make a serious attempt at not hating the morning and be nice to him when he awakes. I've also been accused of not being with it the 1st hour I am awake. Yesterday the theory was proven fact when I tossed spinach, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries into the blender but failed to put in the blade 1st. Thankfully I noticed it before I pressed pulse.

If we are not careful, we can "sleep walk" through our spiritual life as well. We may not engage our brain, we may be stuck in a spiritual rut, we may be so worn down with grief, anxiety, or _______(fill in the blank)autopilot seems like the only way to proceed.

I encourage you to take a spiritual inventory as we close out 2013. Are you dealing with your problems in a spiritually healthy way or are you stuffing them down? Do you need to jump start your time in the Word? Is your Bible Study bland, dry, or not edifying an any way?

Take a look ladies, let 2014 be the year we truly grow in Christ - living out His Word in love with boldness and without a trace of self-righteous, holier than thou, and or Pharisee in us.

I pray celebrating the birth of Christ brings joy no matter the circumstances you are facing at this time.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shining Star

The other day I came across a card Kathleen gave me when I was 12 years old. She wrote encouraging words concerning how well I danced my duet "Icy Wind" with Sally in the Wizard of Oz. She was cast as the Wicked Witch of the West. Dance wise - perfect for the part - personality wise - not so much!

That was Kathleen through and through - someone who encouraged others. Her legacy in the dance world is numerous dancers who still love her dearly and still perform or teach themselves.

I am thankful for the 40 years she was a part of my life, I won't lie - I would love another 40 years.

I will always remember her dancing as well as her smile and laugh.

She has been a light in my life through thick and thin, a shining star.

I love you Kathleen and look forward to the day I join you dancing on golden streets.

The next time I eat at Cafe Adobe, I will think about the time you asked me to pray and mentioned after the prayer I didn't ask the Lord to bless the food and I remarked I didn't have enough nerve to ask Him to bless spinach enchiladas and queso. You laughed so hard you cried.

Thank You Lord for the gift of Kathleen.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Didn't Know She Smoked

Over the last month, many people have contacted me for information because they want to help a mutual friend who was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer which spread to her lungs, bones, and brain. I am amazed at the number of people who asked how long she smoked or when did she quit smoking? Hello people...she never smoked - it is breast cancer which spread. And does it matter anyway? She is our friend and is very ill and could use help and prayer.

I've spent considerable time praying for forgiveness because I harbored very angry thoughts and feelings toward a few people.

We reap what we sow which leads me to believe I am reaping annoying words because I have sowed many words that were less than Christ like in my life which happens when one has a big mouth and has spent decades talking when perhaps I did not need to talk and should have listened. I could even spin it - I told Susie Q what I thought in truth and love.

My friend Norma Dearing (author of an excellent book The Healing Touch) reminded me years ago - we have 1 mouth and 2 ears, speak less and listen more. I am doing much better in that regard. Let's face it, most people are not asking for us to solve their problem when they tell us their story, they want someone to listen.

As Advent progresses, I hope to spend more time listening than talking.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Faith, Hope, Love

Yesterday I talked to Suzanne, a woman who has been a part of my life for decades. She was my dance teacher and influenced me on many levels during my pre-teen years on into adulthood. I am so thankful we are friends. I love her so much. The Lord convicted me during our conversation about a family member of mine. I don't like her, don't dislike her, I feel absolutely nothing for her. I gave her a "special" name and cannot begin to count the tacky remarks I've made about her over the years.

So as a Christian, how have I excused my behavior regarding my family member? How have I excused telling other family members I don't want an update about her life? How have I excused making people laugh until they cry with the one line remarks I make about her? How have I excused not seeing her when she is in town? I haven't excused it, I've totally ignored my ungodly attitude toward her. Apathy not love describes my feelings (or lack thereof) towards her.

After Suzanne and I ended our conversation, I repented and prayed for forgiveness. I also prayed for my family member. Because if I have no love...I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Looking Over 2013

This has been an odd year for me beginning with the loss of a grandchild whose birth we anticipated with great joy. One day I'll get to meet this precious baby. I was ill in Feb & March with walking pneumonia and totally blessed by a visit from Aunt Ginny and Cam. (Love them so much.) I was ill from the end of May almost to Labor Day with a respiratory virus and wondered a couple times if I would ever feel 100% again. I lost 3 people who were a big part of my life. I am standing in faith and prayer with 2 life long friends as they battle cancer. As mentioned in an earlier blog - I feel as though I am standing on the Texas coastline watching giant waves crash over my family and friends.

Though there has been sadness there has been much joy. There have been many tears but there has also been much laughter.

I look forward to the rest of the year as well as 2014 knowing there will be love, peace, joy, and hope. (I can't believe 2014 marks the 35th year since graduating from high school. Better schedule a face lift and major liposuction procedures. Just Kidding!)

I am so thankful to the Lord for Who He is and His everlasting love and mercy. I am thankful for His peace. I pray my friends and family are also filled with His peace.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope

Monday, November 4, 2013


I became friends with the dancer who was my classroom assistant when I was a young ballet dancer. By the time I was 12 in 1973, our dance teacher left her in charge of my jazz class while she took a 15 minute break. Kathleen was known to give us very hard combinations. Looking back on this, it may have been an attempt to quiet a chatty class of 12 year old students.

I was fortunate enough to be in the advanced ballet class for a couple years while Kathleen was still at our studio. Over the years our friendship grew. I taught for her at her studio for years. We've attended numerous Bible Studies together. We've endured many hard situations together and celebrated many joyous seasons together.

She was given a hard diagnosis last week concerning cancer. I told her I am there with her. My faith is not shaken, neither is hers.

People sometimes ask why God does this to people. I do not believe sickness, disease, and evil come from God, they are a part of living in a fallen world.

I stand on covenant promises and remain in prayer for Kathleen and her family just as I do for other dear friends who are critically ill.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul

Below is the link to a song Kathleen introduced me to years ago.

He Covers Me:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Coffee Anyone?

Ever wake up and feel like you are in a fog? I did today. My first thought was: Maybe this is a sign from God I should go back to bed. (I am not a morning person.) I threw a load of laundry into the dryer, made coffee, and went back to bed. The dog got in bed and snuggled under the covers, he seemed pleased with my decision. (He's still under the covers over an hour later.)

As I sipped coffee and thought about my friends who are in need of much prayer as well as the situations in the world which also require much prayer, I decided going back to sleep was not an option. I need to remember this is a day the Lord has made and rejoice and be glad in it. I find on mornings like this it is a good idea to read uplifting passages in the Bible. One of my favorites is Matthew 5:

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend and Gig'em Aggies!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


After my brother-in-law's funeral, we gathered in the fellowship hall of his church. Family caught up with one another. I had a short visit with someone I'd not seen in almost 10 years. It was a little awkward as we tried to converse. It seemed I was getting on her nerves and decided it was time to shut my mouth. There were several people at our table who could carry the conversation without my input.

The next day I said goodbye to my dear, friend Patty.

After her service, I reflected on the plans Patty & I had over the last 2 years. Many of the plans never came to pass because she was ill, but some did and I treasure the time we had together. My brother-in-law and I had a few plans that fizzled because of one thing or another.

I found time 2 days in a row to attend funerals, but how often in life have I not made time for family? I want to make sure I make time to spend with family I rarely see. So it begins this December, several of us are going to meet at a restaurant for dinner. Those who can make it will and those who cannot, hopefully will join us the next time.

My prayer is the fractures in my husband's family will heal and once again spending time together will be a joy not something we do because it is the right thing to do.

So here's to brothers, sisters, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins...May the grace of Jesus abound in our lives, may we die to self, walk in love and forgiveness, and have healthy relationships from this time forward.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I am in one of those seasons of life in which I feel like I am standing on the Texas shoreline watching as very large waves crash over my friends and loved ones. We all have them. In the last 2 weeks one of my best friends died, my brother-in-law died, and suddenly a loved one is declining at a rapid pace due to Alzheimer's.

My friend fought valiantly against cancer for 8 years, my brother-in-law fought bravely for 13 years, and my loved one has been fighting Alzheimer's for 11 years.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to stuff down the fatigue, grief, and sorrow but I know it doesn't work and only festers when you bottle it up inside. The world offers a myriad of things to turn to when a person is emotional; however I am choosing to turn to my Lord and Savior and ask Him to help me in my sorrow.

I encourage anyone in a difficult season to keep your eyes focused on the Lord. Stay in the Word and in prayer. Ask your friends to pray for you.

I part with words of hope:

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Sometimes there are friends who are such a blessing to us it we cannot imagine life without them. Patty was one such person in my life. For years we knew who each other were but our paths never crossed...until we began ministry training for a program called Community of Hope through the St. Luke's Hospital System. After being "locked" in a room each Sunday for 3 1/2 hours for 14 weeks - we got to know each other VERY well!

I treasure the years she was in my life. I hope to remember her smiling face and loving words the rest of my life.

We shared life's ups and downs from very serious matters to the sublime. Her mother-in-law was a very unique woman. When anyone visited her mother-in-law, we called it going to the Big House. One Christmas Eve, I gave her a beautiful cross taped to a miniature bottle of wine with a card saying to keep the wine in her purse in case of emergency at the Big House. She laughed so hard, her husband was too stunned to react since I handed it to her before the Christmas Eve service began that night. I told Joe the Lord knew I bought the bottle as a joke, so why not give it to her at church.

She was at my side during the 11.5 months dad was in the hospital. I remember cringing a week after dad died when she popped over with a meal. My house was so messy - it looked as if the washer and dryer had exploded in the den and there was dust and dog hair everywhere. I told her to sit on some of the laundry so she would remain dog hair free. We laughed until we cried.

We loved to eat a local dive our husbands preferred not to frequent. One more than 1 occasion we headed to our dive for lunch and our husbands would see each other at another restaurant and laugh. She hoped to feel well enough to go to our dive again for breakfast or lunch, sadly that plan did not materialize, but several of our plans did.

We did numerous Bible Studies together, one of her favorites was Beth Moore's Psalms of Ascent. So I leave you with this, Psalm 121:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Church Family

Yesterday, I worshiped at a church I belonged to for over 25 years. It was wonderful to see so many people who comprised my church family for years, many of whom are still dear friends. As I visit churches and wait to see where the Lord plants me, I have to wonder if I will ever have the type of church family I had at Calvary Episcopal Church or if it was a once in a lifetime gift from heaven.

I know if I remain on the path the Lord has ordained for me, I will land in a wonderful church. If I remain quiet, I will hear the still, small voice. I want to grow in Christ wherever I am planted. I want to heed these words:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Neighbors Abound

So I post Who Are My Neighbors and the Lord gives me opportunities to practice what I blog. Difficult people have popped out of the woodwork. I will admit I almost ignored one and decided I would not return the communication and made a list of reasons why it was OK to ignore the person. Less than 5 minutes later, I had to admit I was wrong and answered the person. That same day, I heard from 2 more difficult people and had to laugh. Part of me wanted to wave a white flag and say OK Lord!

His grace is enough, His love is enough, through Him I can do all things - including treating difficult people with love.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Who are My Neighbors?

Growing up in the Episcopal Church, I heard the following words every Sunday in a slightly different version from the Book of Common Prayer (the 1928 as well as the "new one"):

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I knew my neighbor was everyone from the girl who sat across the aisle from me in school to the crabby, old man who lived at the end of the block. I failed at loving my neighbors frequently whether they were cousins, friends, or strangers. I dealt with whomever entered my life well or not well at all.

As I matured, I noticed in some seasons of my life I was making strides loving my neighbor. Not giving myself a pat on the back here, trying to paint an honest picture of my walk with the Lord. Then low and behold, I experience a family feud with an in-law. At first I was stunned. I cried about it, laughed about it, talked about it (not exactly in truth and love), then simply grew used to it. There were times I wanted it worked out for another relative's sake as well as the young children in the family, but I did not steadily pray about it. Fast forward a decade and it appears it will work out...ultimately it did not.

The children were grown, the person I thought who would benefit the most from the feud ending died, and life went on. A pattern had begun which I did not recognize until recently.

I began withdrawing from difficult friends and family members. It is very easy to do now there are no PTA meetings, no gift exchanges for little children in the family. Holidays can be at my house, my way, with guests I choose. My home can be filled with laughter instead of someone complaining about their ex or their father or their boss or their spouse or their children. My home can be filled with fun people who won't sit on my couch telling me I cannot possibly understand how much my dad meant to him and how much he loved working for my father and how sad his life is now.

So I fooled myself for a while about loving my neighbors as myself, it is time to really love people. I have no trouble pouring out love in ministry to complete strangers who are often times emotionally wounded. It is time to look at the mission field of those I know.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hot Hot Hot

A few days ago, we in southeast Texas experienced our 1st HOT weather of the season. It was over 100 to 107 for 3 days in a row with nary a cloud in the sky. (It still seems to me if the humidity is 90%, there should be a cloud in the sky.)

I sought refuge in the great indoors with books, water, and air conditioning. I do not know how my Texas ancestors lived in Texas without air conditioning. This is the time of year I watch Snapdragons and Delphinium wilt as Verbena and Salvia flourish.

I tend to shut down in the heat. I slack on exercise. I put off errands. I pretend I do not see the weeds thriving in the flower beds. When did I change from a summer person to a winter person? What happened to the girl who stayed outdoors fishing, sailing, and swimming as often as possible during the summer?

I look at the ways I've changed over the years. I look at changes in my life due to family dynamics and the deaths of friends and family members. I look at changes in society. I've seen a lot of politicians and dictators come and go over the last 50 years. However according to the Bible we are assured God never changes and His love endures forever:

Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Psalm 118:9: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

So take your eyes off the world and focus on Him, He will never fail you.

And now it is time for me to tie my shoelaces and go for a 3 mile walk. I've put it off as long as possible.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Carefree Summers

I've been ill the last 9 days with a viral, respiratory infection which led to many hours in bed unable to read or sleep due to intense coughing fits. I've had a lot of time to think; even thinking back to the carefree summers of my youth. Memories of the scent of honeysuckle and gardenias; swim lessons at the YWCA, VBS, trips to the library, asking why I had to work arithmetic problems in the summer, (The answer could be another blog post.)and playing games of Hide n Seek and Kick the Can with my friends and cousins.

Summer days included activities as well as rest; adventures to the beach and quiet time with coloring books; housework with my mother and trying to stand still on a chair as she fitted clothes she sewed for me. Whenever she called me in for dinner it was too early. I might miss finding a ladybug or doodle bug with my friends. I might miss the best game of Kick the Can ever. (I've yet to find out if I missed the best game ever.) And what if my friends jumped on their bikes and formed a posse while I ate dinner with my parents???

Summer always ended too soon for me. I hope we can all take time this summer to watch the clouds, listen to the squeals of delight as children chase lightning bugs or the popsicle truck, or simply stop and smell the flowers. And as you take time to be still and enjoy the simple things, remember to be still and know He is God.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hope & Peace

Sometimes in the middle of reading a heart wrenching letter from a friend we find the most profound hope and peace. The message in the letter is not something I want to read or believe, but I know every word is true. Instead of being in tears over the contents of the letter I should let the author's hope and peace in the Lord wash over me.

Healing will occur either here on earth or in heaven. I will continue to stand and pray for a miracle; I may grow weary but I will not give up, I am contending for the author of the letter.

We've shared many sweet moments together in laughter and in tears over births, deaths, lunch, Bible studies, and ministry training classes. I look forward to more laughter with her in the months to come.

My hope is in the Lord, His Word tell us:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


As details of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado's swath of destruction pour in, one detail broadened my grief in a significant way: As parents waited for news of their children, a man with a megaphone called out the surviving children's names. I can barely type the words because I am overcome by tears.

The first few days after a tragedy the Body of Christ comes together in prayer for the victims. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army arrive along with the National Guard to provide much needed assistance. The Governor of Texas sent one of our most elite search and rescue teams to help with the search and rescue. (I pray it is rescue and not recovery.)People from across America will descend on Oklahoma to help our fellow Americans.

After a little time passes our lives will go on as "normal". However the tornado victim's lives will be far from normal. My hope is we continue to lift them up in prayer and continue to support them for weeks and months to come. My hope is that amid the destruction, they know God is with them. His Word tells us:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

I pray those grieving the loss of loved ones experience healthy grief and if they only know 1 thing, it is God loves them, He has not forsaken them, and He is with them every step of the way through the healing process.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013 Siesta Verse

My Siesta verse is John 15:6 from the ESV:

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Great Grandmother

As I searched through old pictures earlier in the week, (desperately trying to find my 8th grade class picture to scan and post on Facebook) I saw many pictures of my great-grandmother. I don't think of her often these days, though she was a profound influence on my life. Lena Bell Hays 11/09/1898 - 12/14/1976. I spent a lot of time with her until I was 9 when she had a major stroke, she lived the next 6 years in a nursing home.

She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. She relished being a wife and mother. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with all her heart. I saw her pour out love on family, friends, and complete strangers. Her bank account was slim, but her faith was huge.

My great-grandparents sold their farm and moved to Whitney, Texas before my great-grandfather died. After he died, she sold the car and walked everywhere. (She never learned to drive.)We walked to the grocery store and post office. We stopped along the way to talk to people in their yards and on the street. I realized she knew almost everyone in town, knew their physical needs and spiritual needs but yet she never talked about people. I never heard her gossip. (Wish I lived my earlier years without the need to gossip!)I never heard her speak an unkind word until Dr. Martin Luther King, JR was murdered. I also remember she prayed civil rights would not be set back. It then dawned on me, she not only made meals for the people of her church and circle of friends, she sent meals to all people of every color she knew were in need. Sometimes they lived too far away for her to walk over with the meal and she would ask her daughter or son-in-law to drive her over or even her neighbor Mrs. Sally. (Mrs. Sally had a 1946, steel grey, Buick which she drove at an alarming rate of speed - 54 miles an hour city or highway...stop signs schmop signs was her motto. And besides, did one really need to see over the steering wheel???)

Lena wanted to live out the Bible in her every day life. She did not care about a person's color or religion. She was not afraid to embrace an African American woman on the street or hold their baby in 1965. She was not a missionary or pastor in a church but she pastored me in living out God's love and showed me the entire world is the mission field. She radiated God's love and joy though her life had been hard.

I hope when I die, I will be remembered for loving the Lord and serving Him not as a hypocrite. I want to live my life pouring out His love.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1, 2013 Siesta Verse

My verse is John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Finding Joy

I have been accused of being a Pollyanna, always being happy no matter what. I have been told I've never experienced the hard knocks of life. Let me state clearly, on the record, neither statement is true. I am not always happy; I've experienced tragedy just as you have.

The USA experienced a bombing in Boston nearly 2 weeks ago, people were injured and killed, the Midwest experienced flooding, and a small town "up the road" from me in Texas experienced an explosion at a fertilizer plant. All of these incidents brought sadness and grief to my heart. I didn't put on a Pollyanna hat and play the glad game; I cried.

No matter what life brings, I try to cling to the joy of the Lord because it is my strength. The Bible tells us:

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

For his anger is but for a moment,and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

If you think your life is lacking in joy, pray about it. Circumstances can anger us, fill us with grief, fatigue us, numb us, etc - but they cannot take away our joy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Winter of my Discontent?

Southeast Texas received what is probably the winter of 2012-2013's last blast this morning. Does it bring discontent to my heart? No! It delays our main season which is HOT for a few days. The Pansies I planted in my yard last November seem thrilled with it too. However judging from Facebook posts, I am in the minority around my little town.

Many times our emotions are influenced by life's circumstances, the weather, a person driving their car slowly in the fast lane, a baby's laughter, time spent with a precious friend, a phone call, a flood, a terrorist's bomb exploding at the finish line of a marathon. Our emotions can become a roller coaster ride if we let them.

One constant we can depend on is the Lord. When life is hard, we must continue to press into the Word and pray. If we are exhausted, we must ask our friends to carry us in prayer as the paralytic's friends carried him to Jesus. The night of the Boston bombing and then again the night the fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas I had trouble sleeping. My heart ached for the victims of both incidents. Thankfully I could dwell on Scripture I sowed into my heart which helped me sleep. It is never too late to begin memorizing Scripture. Below are a few of the verses I memorized as my dad was hospitalized for 11.5 months in 2008:

PS 29:11 NIV The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Phil 4:8 NIV 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.

PS 19:1-3 NIV The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.

Remember He will never leave us or forsake us!

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013

My Siesta verse is John 15:4 from the ESV:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

I pray I abide in the vine and bear good fruit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Things Left Unsaid

A friend asked if anything was left unsaid between my father and me. I told her no and thankfully my last words to him were I love you and I will see you later. (I meant in a couple of hours after I returned to the hospital from work and his CT Scan was finished and he was in a room.)

I began to think what have I left unsaid to friends and loved ones? Are they words which need to be spoken or are they judgments and opinions I should keep to myself and repent of before the Lord?

As I read through the Bible in a year with a group of women; part of today's reading is the last words of David. (2 days in a row, last words are mentioned, seems to be a theme.) Below are his words from II Samuel 23:

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
his word is on my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken;
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
ruling in the fear of God,
he dawns on them like the morning light,
like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.
“For does not my house stand so with God?
For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
ordered in all things and secure.
For will he not cause to prosper
all my help and my desire?
But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away,
for they cannot be taken with the hand;
but the man who touches them
arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,
and they are utterly consumed with fire.”

After reading this portion of Chapter 23; I pondered if given the opportunity, what would my last words be? It is my desire they would not be words of judgment and criticism. I want them to be encouraging as well as a testament to God's enduring Love, Mercy, Grace, Truth, and the gift of Everlasting Life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


March arrived like a lion and went out somewhere between a lion and lamb. I don't recall a windier March in years. The Azalea blooms are fading, Bluebonnets abound around Texas which means our main season - HOT - is around the corner, it will settle here for months. Its friend Humidity will be its ever present company. It can make a woman wish she played the lotto, won the lotto, and bought a summer home in Colorado or Maine.

It is time to prune shrubs, plant summer flowers and vegetables as well as fertilize the lawn. It is also time for another Siesta verse which will nourish my spirit. My verse is John 15:3 from the ESV:

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 2013 Siesta Verses

I had a little trouble Blogger earlier in the month and as a result did not post the verses I picked for March. They are John 15:1-2, ESV:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Please leave a comment with your verses on my blog or FB page.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Get my Goat

Yesterday out of the clear blue, a woman I've known 30 years set me off and "got my goat". It shocked me. She made a sarcastic comment to me and I almost erupted. The rest of the day I had negative thoughts about her and the way she's conducted her life the last 5 years. Can anyone say judgment??? Who am I to point out her sin? It's a big job trying to keep up with my own sin.

It was as if I was flipping through a Rolodex of her sinful moments. I was not comparing myself to her, didn't feel better than her, just wanted to throw a few zingers her way.

I still do not know why I reacted that way to 1 measly comment. Maybe instead of flipping through the imaginary Rolodex, I should have repented and prayed for her as well as her fractured family. (I did later in the day.)

I woke up today with a better attitude toward her, but it still is not where it should be. Our Lord said:

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?

He also said: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

So as you can see, my time is better spent removing the log from my eye than alerting her to the speck in her eye.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Doggie Door

Thursday night our dog Shorty treed two large possums. One looked down on him with great disdain, the other seemed a little frightened of him. My husband had to go outside, pick up Shorty and carry him inside because he was so fixed on the possum he tuned us out as well as everything else in the world. As soon as my husband put Shorty down on the floor in the kitchen, Shorty spun around and ran into the sun room to zip out his doggie door which much to his chagrin was closed.

After my husband and I went to bed, we heard Shorty trying to open the doogie door. He finally gave up and slept on the couch most of the night. I am sure he dreamed of getting outside and finding the possums. One word aptly describes Shorty: tenacious.

As Christians tenacity is a good thing, if we are seeking the Lord with all we have tuning out the distractions of the world, clinging to him and adhering to His Word. However, we must be mindful of being tenaciously legalistic,Pharisaic, and driving people away from God because they see no love in us only a ceremonial adherence to rules and regulations.

Beating people over the head with the Bible or telling them where you think they will spend eternity (BTW we are not God, I would not go there.) is not a way to spread the Good News. Read through the passages in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Look how Jesus treated people. His is the example we must follow.

John 13:3-17 shows us He served others, which is what we should strive to do.

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Siesta Verse 02/15/2013

So far I've memorized John 1:1-5 in the ESV:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Now I move on to John 3:17-18, I must begin with verse 16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Please feel free to leave your verse/verses in a comment.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Want to Talk Some Dirt?

The last two Saturdays I've spent time shoveling a couple of yards of top soil into my flower beds. There were spots missing top soil due to wind and erosion caused by HEAVY rains and others spots with slight depressions. If the weather is clear this Saturday, I will spread the last 1/2 yard.

The new top soil not only filled in void spots, it nourished the plants which were planted over the years. The blossoms and foliage brightened in a short time. The new flowers are healthy and growing.

The Word of God is like top soil in our spiritual lives, it brings nourishment and fills void spots. Many times I've told myself it's OK, I didn't have time to pick up the Bible today but somehow I had time to breeze through Southern Living or goof around on FB. I have to ask myself, am I filling void spots with the Word of God or other things? It is not necessarily bad stuff, but it certainly isn't time in the Word or with prayer.

I want 2013 to be the year I consistently seek Him first.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


In my area we can garden year round. I've been busy working in the yard to keep ahead of a winter weed what we call Velcro Weed. It sticks to you, your gloves, and clothes. If you do not pull it in time; seeds stick to you as well as scatter through out the flower beds and grass causing more work the next winter. (I've spent time picking the sticky seeds off pants and shoelaces all the while contemplating throwing the pants and shoes in the garbage can.)

Velcro Weed is an example of how something well established is hard to eradicate. If I let it remain in the garden it will stick to everything in its path, smothering some plants as it grows and then finally when I've about given up, the heat causes it to go dormant for 7 months or so.

Sin is the same way. If we justify it, excuse it, refuse to acknowledge it, fail to confess or repent, it will stick to everything in its path. Sin can smother. We need to nip sin in the bud before it takes over our lives. Over the years I've not only sinned, I've listened to Christians who stumbled and those who fell. The difference is those who stumbled repented when the sin was a thought or they had not fully acted on it yet. Those who fell didn't stop until the sin encompassed every area of their life and brought destruction.

Weeding, pruning, watering, and feeding the garden bring health and vibrancy to it just as confessing, repenting, and time in the Word and prayer bring health and vibrancy to us. In Mark 4, Jesus says:

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

I do not want to be rocky ground or a thorny patch, I want to be good soil. I want to hear the Word of God, receive it, and live it out in my life. Back to weeding in the garden and in my heart.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Last night we learned our friends' son died due to a work related accident. Their son leaves behind a wife with a baby on the way as well as another child. He was to be his brother's best man a week from today. I do not think there are any words to aptly describe how the family feels today. Devastated may come close.

Last night the question why came up in conversation. Why God, why? When in reality the questioner was thinking God, why did You allow this to happen? He didn't phrase it this way because he didn't want to accuse God. No matter how we word it, God knows what we mean.

I cannot answer the question as to why this young man died; but I can with complete faith state God is pouring out His comfort and sustaining love on those who grieve. He gives us assurance in the face of what seems to be a hopeless situation. He calls those who mourn to Himself. He brings peace to a situation in which you think there will never be peace. He binds up broken hearts. He will not forsake us.

My prayer is the family and friends who are doubting God at this point will find His comforting presence and will know He is with them. These words from Matthew 5 are true: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Siesta Verse 02/01/13 - John 1:5

I continue with John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (ESV)

Please feel free to leave your verse/verses in a comment.

With Christ and each other's love and support we can do this thing!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


The last week our weather has been sunny and unseasonably mild even for southeast Texas. Highs in the 70's, lows in the 60's. The birds seem to be enjoying it, people are outside working in their yards, the numbers of walkers and joggers has increased in our neighborhood over the last week.

Later this week when our version of winter returns, I think many people will be disappointed. Winter is not over; though I love winter, I must admit the glimpse of spring buoyed my spirit and increased my joy.

The same thing happens when we put our trust in someone or something other than the Lord which is called idolatry; though we don't hear much about such a thing in many churches today. When we first trust in the idol, all seems well, then before we know it life is not good. In fact by the time we realize the someone or something was a false god, we are heading downhill at a high rate of speed about to crash into the bottom of a pit.

Climbing out of the pit is usually a long process. We are shattered emotionally, spiritually, and or physically when we begin our ascent from the pit. I ask you this to day to look closely at your life and see if any idols have crept in and replaced God. If so, repent and confess your sin to God. He is quick to forgive, according to PS 103 His anger is as far as the east is from the west.

The Bible also tells us: Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.

Paul writes: As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


A woman who made a big difference in my spiritual life died suddenly yesterday. Though she was older than my parents, in the back of my mind it is as if I thought she would be here for a few more decades.

Edith met my father at Christ Church Cathedral when he became a member. She met mom after my parents were married there and mom joined the church. Edith also took care of me in the nursery for 3 years at Christ Church. I used to joke she was 12 at the time.

In the 1970's we moved to Sugar Land and landed next door to her best friend. It was great catching up with her. In the early 1990's Edith became a member of my prayer team at church. She (along with April) was my prayer partner for years and years. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes at Calvary Episcopal Church for years. I learned much about serving the Lord from Edith.

She always had an encouraging word and a smile. Our joke was she would attend my annual New Year's coffee with bells on; she usually wore a jingle bell on a necklace or bracelet so she would not be a "liar".

Edith was such a part of our family, we asked her to sit with us at dad's funeral. It is hard to imagine an Easter Sunday without her, no more birthdays with a card from Edith, and no more Edith hugs.

I was blessed to have her in my life for so many years. I can only hope to be such a positive influence on younger sisters in Christ.

Goodbye Edith. I love you. I'll see you again.

Friday, January 18, 2013

In the Quiet

I am not a morning person. It does not matter if I sleep 2 hours or 8 hours, I am a zombie when I wake up each day. The first thing I do is head for the coffee pot and hope I do not sin before I walk into the kitchen. However, there is one thing I like about the morning. The quiet time in the Word and prayer before the man is awake and before our dog is awake and turbo charged for the day. (I am so thankful the dog sleeps late.)

As I wind up my quiet time, the Cardinals are beginning to sing, I hear Black Belly Tree Ducks as they fly over our house. Streaks of sunshine are beginning to make themselves seen in the morning sky, the moon is fading. I am always so aware of God in these small bits of nature.

I am thankful for this day. I hope I sense the presence of God through out the day and I am a good witness to Him and extend His love to all those whose paths I cross today.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Siesta Memory Verse 2

I cannot believe tomorrow is January 15 and it is time for another Siesta Scripture Memory Team verse! I continue on in John chapter 1, verse 4: In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (ESV)

I've fallen in the love with the ESV and decided to use it for memory work because I am not as familiar with it as I am some of the other translations. I use it to hand write books of the Bible as well. (There are are too many I's in this post.)

As American Christians we are able to freely buy Bibles and worship. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ do not have the same luxury; many are in danger from radical members of other religions and or radical governments who oppose all religions. As I memorize Scripture this year; I hope I remember them.

Again, feel free to leave your verse/verses in a comment.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 2013

It was exciting to view the blog and see the number of women committed to memorizing Scripture this year.

I am memorizing the 1st few verses of John 1 in the ESV this month. Hopefully by the end of the year; I will know the verses in the ESV and not combine the ESV, NIV, and KJV.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Feel free to leave your memory verses in a comment.