Monday, April 30, 2007

These first two songs....

Just make me smile. :)

See? You're smiling, too.

(Oooh Yeaaah... Yes Indeedo.)

Love ya, T

You're my Mountain Man. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I love this picture. In spite of the fact that this little one is holding a hot coal. Children in the villages routinely worked with fire at a young age, because it was the center of the home and a way of life. So while this scene probably would not be playing out in the states, at least not without government agencies investigating afterward, it is one that I love to look at. Grandparents are part of everyday life here. We see them caring for their grandkids, teaching them, holding them...just like in the states. And the grandchildren honor their grandparents. This little boy in the photo is performing an act of service for his grandfather.

Grandparents are a huge part of a family's identity. I love hearing stories about my grandparents. My mom's aunt would tell about her mother not wanting to go home when she was little, and would dig her feet into the sand to keep from moving in that direction. Sounds a bit like me. :) My dad's dad was a mean little man (5' 4") walking around ready for a fight, until he got saved and his life did a 180. He also hated to have anything between his toes. It was a little factoid his boys would take advantage of when he was sleeping.

Hearing our family's stories give us a sense of history and rootedness. It also links our kids to the past, and causes them to realize that things are not just about them.

We are enjoying filling our kids with stories from our past, from our parent's and even our grandparent's past. My daughter knows why the Sears catalogue was so important in my dad's day. She also likes to hear how her Mamaboo and PapaDon met. Her namesake, Mimi, is a wellspring of stories. My sons enjoy stories from their Grandpa's firefighting days, and had a wonderful time visiting his firehouse, seeing their great-grandfather's name listed in the log book from the 1950's. Knowing their drawing and artistic abilities are probably linked to Gramma, or that special connection with PapaDon being the one to baptize them...all of this allows our children to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It is a training ground for bigger things. Grandparents are important. Your turn:

What do your grandparents mean to you? How did you connect with them?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

High Calling membership

The nice thing about membership at High Calling is the ability to comment on articles written. Your membership allows you to keep track of the articles you have commented on, and it also allows you to tag articles for future reference.

If an article speaks to you, you can journal about it right there on the site, and you can also subscribe to podcasts to listen to when you're on the go.

The editors have thought of just about everything to keep Christians in the job force connected and on the same page when it comes to seeing our work as a ministry. I hope you enjoy the work that has been done on this site, and spread the word!

Monday, April 23, 2007

More on the High Calling

To continue with my review of the site, I first want to talk about the articles you may be interested in reading. As L.L. Barkat said in my comments on my last High Calling post, "There are some great writers over there." I especially like the idea that this site is for lay people, working normal jobs, and seeing that work as a way to minister to those around them. It is our mandate, isn't it? Taking the Gospel to the world? I think the world is way past just the words. I think they need to see the Gospel in action. The writers at High Calling do just that: they relay their experiences in the work place in the form of stories, devotions and Bible Study. They are encouragers to those who are afraid that the only people qualified to tell others about Christ are missionaries and preachers. They are real, and it's refreshing.

Camy Tang, in her article "Even Pit Bulls Make Mistakes" talks about making mistakes in the workplace, and owning up to them. She recognizes that this act of ownership builds trust and integrity in the eyes of those around us. It also pleases God. Doing the right thing in difficult circumstances, especially when it means we might not look good in the eyes of our colleagues, is where the rubber meets the road as far as truth and living according to scripture is concerned. Be sure to check out her article.

Gordon Atkinson wrote a great piece entitled "A Burning Bush Would Be Nice." I love his style of writing, and this piece just has to be read to be enjoyed.

Tomorrow I will discuss membership and the benefits it provides. In the meantime, enjoy the articles!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

When You're Mad at God

I noticed him sitting in the porch swing as I walked up the driveway of our home. It was a long walk, but I could still see my little brother sitting there, and knew something was not right. I walked up to the porch and took off my backpack, and looked over at him. He had a burden on his shoulders that no nine year old should have to bear. It was called aplastic anemia, a rare blood disease. They just discovered he had it, and were determining the best course of treatment for him.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I have to have another bone marrow test," he said. "I asked God to make sure I didn't have anymore, and now I have to have another one."

I didn't know what to say. He seemed so fragile at that point. He never really seemed fragile before then. But now he was broken. He had put his faith in the fact that if he asked God to help him with the bone marrow tests, God would help him.

It was no small thing he was asking. Bone marrow tests are painful, and done with local anaesthesia and a large needle. The pain killer only helps with the incision. He felt everything else, including the bone biopsy. He had had three, and that was enough. He wanted no more.

I'm sure the news of the test was a trial to his faith. He was disappointed, scared, but more than that he was angry. I left him there on the swing and went about my afternoon business. That was until mom came into the room. She was crying.

Seems she asked Chris to go take a shower. It would make him feel better, she said. So he obeyed. And there in that shower, where he thought no one could hear him, Chris began to talk to God. Not in prayer form. He talked.

"I'm mad at you, God." He was feeling it, and he needed to say it.

"I said I didn't want any more bone marrow tests, and now I'm getting one. I'm MAD at you!"

Mom could hear his anger, his tears, his lamentations. Then she heard silence. The crying stopped. The tears stopped. The anger stopped. But the grace began.

See, God knew Chris was mad. He knew there were even more bone marrow tests in his future, and that he was going to need to get through this one. And he needed a little extra grace for this one as well. So God gave it to him. And in that moment, when Chris met God in that conversation, God revealed to Chris His nature, compassion, omniscience and the freedom that confessing our anger to Him brings. God accepts us where we are at, as is, because that is how He loves to reveal Himself to us and meet our needs.

For our family, it was a huge lesson. We knew God wants us to tell Him everything, but we saw, in action, His grace at work in a difficult situation. And it is a lesson that has remained these 30+ years later: God knows when we're mad at him. Just tell him and then the healing can begin.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Great New Site and Resource

I'm going to be spending the next few days reviewing a new site called

I've known of it's existence for a few weeks, because it is linked to Marcus Goodyear, a person in my blogroll (Good Word Editing) and sometimes commentor on this blog. The premise of this site is to be a helpmeet of sorts to the spiritual walk of the every day, 9 to 5 professional. The writers are experienced, and enjoy communicating truths revealed to them in their daily walk. Over the next few days, I will point out various aspects of the site, tell you how to join, explain the benefits of joining, and suggest some articles I found helpful.

There are other people also giving their insights on The High Calling. They are listed below. Feel free to visit their sites and hear what they also have to say about this exciting and wonderful resource for professionals.

L. L. Barkat

Gina Conroy

Craver VII


Milton Brasher-Cunningham

Mary DeMuth

Karl Edwards


Every Square Inch

Amy Goodyear

Marcus Goodyear

Al Hsu


Chalres Foster Johnson

Mike McLoughlin

Eve Nielsen

Ramblin Dan

Charity Singleton

Camy Tang

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sad state of affairs

After watching the news this morning, I'm just sad. Another assault on our young people at Virginia Tech University, and it is just hard to see. I guess I was already in an agitated state regarding the issue of safety and our young ones, mainly because I'm speaking in the Women of Worth class this week about personal safety. It's a subject that I have reluctantly taught to middle schoolers in the aftermath of Jennifer Odom in Florida, seeing as her little body was found very close to the middle school where I taught. It was a tragedy that struck close to home, and because of it, talking about personal safety to middle schoolers became part of my lectures. But it gets me mad to have to teach it.

I was listening to the radio after Michael Jordan's dad was so sadly murdered, and a statement was made that changed my thinking. Until this statement, people were saying it just wasn't smart of his dad to pull over into a road stop to sleep. But someone on the radio finally verbalized what many where thinking: "Why not?" Why is it a stupid decision to pull into a road stop to sleep? Why shouldn't we feel safe to do so? If I need to pull off the road for the safety of others, why shouldn't I be able to? Or why shouldn't Bill Cosby's son stop and help someone change a tire? Those are the questions we need to be asking.

So now I'll be going into that classroom and I'll be a little bit mad. I'll be talking about the Jennifer Odom's and the Carlie Bruscia's and Drew Sjordin's to young ladies who have never known violence like this. But I do it because they need to know. They live in a world where it's not OK to get off of a school bus 400 yards from their house, or to walk behind a carwash for a shortcut home, or walk to their car after work. They need to know not to sit in their car with the doors unlocked, or not to let a person within arm's length if they don't know them. I know freedom is a good thing. But freedom without morality causes the innocent to suffer, and that just gets me mad.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Peacemaking is a lost art, I believe. In the post-Donahue/Jerry Springer world, confrontation is at a premium. It is a desired trait, with even Christians jumping on the bandwagon, their "Speak the Truth in Love" banner waving high. Debate and winning-at-all-cost have become priority, and right-fighters are in their hey-day, seeing peacemakers as weak and even non-spiritual.

One of my friends was truly a peacemaker at heart, and today she reaps the benefits that this particular quality is promised. I envy her, because I am a peace lover, but not necessarily a peace maker. I lack the creative, on-your-feet thinking that she has mastered (which is required in some spur of the moment circumstances).

On one occasion, there was a group of us sitting by the pool, when one of our group started discussing the inappropriateness of a certain bathing suit a teenager was wearing. I personally thought it was fairly decent, and had seen other bathing suits that were less appropriate for that particular environment. I jumped to her defense, and the conversation began to get a little tense. All of the sudden, my friend piped in.

"You know what I hate?" she began. "I hate it when I kneel at the altar to pray, and my thong underwear sticks up out of my skirt in front of the whole congregation."

Dead silence. Then complete laughter, because imagining this friend kneeling in front of the congregation with thong underwear exposed was a funny picture indeed. Of course that never happened, but she was able to, in that moment, combine the very things we were discussing, put them in a laughable picture, and in turn enabled us to see how small and insignificant this debate actually was. What a talent. In that split second, an argument was diverted, and we went on to enjoy the rest of the afternoon, and even relived that moment for additional laughs later in the day.

Peacemakers value relationships. They see the big picture and recognize when a silly argument or disagreement is in danger of fracturing a friendship or even ruining an otherwise perfect day. They have the ability to see people from God's point of view, and realize we are all a work in progress. As a result, they know where their priorities lie and act accordingly.

Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called "the Children of God."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spitting and boys

It's a genetic thing, spitting. It has to be. With the exception of Aunt Colleen, I've never met a girl who could spit out of a car window without getting it back in the face or dribbled down their chin. Even those tough girls in my Texas high school who chewed couldn't muster a decent spit.

My three boys have all been spitters. (Except when trying to get the toothpaste closer to the drain.) The mentality seems to be: "I'm male. I'm outside. I spit."

There's an impressiveness to their spitting as well. Not just how much, but how far. Really. They can get it out there.

Hence the rules to spitting. There are rules, and boys will be the first to tell you what they are. It's a trial and error thing.

1. Don't spit into the wind. (You know the song)
2. Don't spit hockers in front of mom.
3. Do spit outside.
4. Don't spit inside.
5. Thanks to the movie "Tall Tales" and the code of the west: "Protect the land, defend the defenseless, and never spit in front of women and children" helped my boys learned more appropriate times to spit.
6. Don't be sitting in the back seat with an open window, while someone in the front seat is spitting.

I'm sure there are more, and I'll be happy to add them later. But I think it takes awhile for boys to find out that girls find this disgusting. Even longer for them to care. In some ways the old adage is true: boys will be boys. Now if we ever get into boys and their toys.....

Great Resource

There is a speaker I've been listening to for quite awhile. He has podcasts available, and is a great resource for those who are seeking. He gets to truth, not through political, personal or organizational agendas, and is a great apologist. I like that he gets a person to analyze their own stance when asking a question. It's really affected the way I ask questions of myself. I like the site a lot.

His name is Ravi Zacharias. His site is, and the name of his program is "Let My People Think." There is another, smaller program called, "Just Thinking." That one is only 13-15 minutes long. If you click the archives button, you will find many links to older programs.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Bits and Pieces

There are only disconnected bits and pieces of my earliest memories. The place is a small house in Texas. I remember brick roads, Chippy the Siamese cat, the smell of christmas trees in the christmas tree lot. My red tricycle, the green volkswagon, the cemetery across from the church that prompted our own versions of urban legends. The doctor pricking my finger with a pin, crying children scaring me in the room next door. Bunkbeds, treehouses and doll furniture complete the memory, at least to my present recollection. Combined, they are good memories, with loving parents allowing me to explore.

*My earliest memories, in exactly 100 words. That was a fun one.

Check out the new happyslip video on It's worth a view, as are all of her videos. We just love this lady. Our favorites are "home" and "Mixed Nuts." But the soap operas and the Mac lover song rank up there.

We love you, happyslip!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Calling All Pumpkins

*The name has been changed to protect Kim.

*Janice* was my room mate in college, and we were pretty close. We spent almost every day together for three years straight. Even with all of this contact we managed to stay friends, mainly because we had an unspoken “space” rule (when you’re getting on my nerves, you need to give me SPACE), and we both had a love for good practical jokes.

She and I endured the dating scene together, dorm life, and all of the fun that comes with college life, including nicknames. One night, Janice went out on a blind date with a sumo-wrestler kind of guy. He was just a big and husky person. So when he looked at her and told her that her head was too big for her body, she didn’t know what to say. “You’re a freakin’ Pumkinhead!” he said, then he head-butted her. She spent all night with a red dot on her forehead. The dot went away. The name stuck. You can imagine the fun we had with that one. Barbie dolls with pumpkins where their heads used to be…Halloween took on a much different tone.

One summer Janice didn’t want to go home, and I did, so she came home with me. We decided to get a job at a local department store to save money for school, and so that we could buy all of the frozen yogurts our hearts desired. We both interviewed and started working immediately, Janice in the jewelry department (she has always been able to talk her way into cushy jobs!) and me in the ladies fitting room.

Part of my job description (besides keeping little guys from peeking under dressing room doors and reminding women that they cannot try on underwear) was answering the phones. People would call, ask for an item, then I sent their call via intercom to the correct department. Having only been on the job for a couple of days, Janice had not learned to listen for the intercom. I received a call for jewelry.

“Jewelry, you have a phone call on line four. Jewelry, line four.”

Then I sat and watched the blinking “hold” button to make sure she answered. She didn’t.

“Jewelry, you have a phone call on line four. Jew-e-l-r-y, line f-o-u-r,” I enunciated as clearly as my Texas accent would allow.

The phone rang back and the lady on the other end was getting rude.

“Jewelry,” I said in a you-better-pick-up-NOW tone, “pick up line four. Jewelry, line four!”


Finally, I was desperate. I was at the end of my rope. I had tried all of my options short of…..then the thought hit me.


People stopped in the aisles and looked up. Crickets chirped in the background. The whole world was silent as I watched Pumpkinhead walking toward me.

“You’re dead meat,” she said.

And I was. But it’s a great story.


Well, I haven't been writing here much, have I? I need to refocus my attention to these two blogs. I have discovered a whole world of writers, and it's been so fun. All I can say is that I'm finding out how LITTLE I know of the writing world. It has been a challenge, though (try writing a prompt with exactly 100 words!), and a welcome one. And the world of writers is so encouraging. It's not competitive, like I thought it would be. Maybe writers are teachers at heart, and enjoy helping others. I don't know. I just know it's a whole new, fascinating and enjoyable world. :)

So back to writing on my blogs. I'll try not to neglect. This has been a fun outlet, and I've been able to get to know some pretty interesting people...most of whom have helped me in the other venue. So thanks!

I have a few stories floating in my head for this blog, and a few updates on the other blog, so keep checking. :)


Monday, April 02, 2007


(As he walked into his classroom this morning)

"Smell the color 9, people.

Smell the color 9."


My gardenias are blooming, so T brought a pot of them into the house and it smells SO good. I love my gardenias. :)