Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What/Who Do You Treasure?

This was written by a friend. Makes us think, doesn't it? 


A  teenage boy walked over to his neighbor's house as his neighbor was washing and waxing the new Lexus he had just purchased.  The boy had never seen such a beautiful and expensive car up close.  With pride the neighbor showed the young man all the fancy gadgets and luxurious features of his new car and even allowed him to sit in the driver's seat.
After looking at the car for a few minutes the teen asked the man, "Do you think I could borrow this to go out on the town Saturday night?  I'm a real good driver and I'll take good care of it."

At first the man thought the boy was joking, but when he realized the boy was serious about wanting to borrow his new Lexus, the man responded indignantly.  "Are you crazy?  Do you know how precious this car is to me?  Do you realize how long I have had to work and save to be able to afford this car?  It is brand new.  It doesn't have a scratchon it and I intend to keep it that way.  You are only 16 years old and I know how 16 year old boys are...I used to be one.  You are much too inexperienced and immature for me to trust you with my new car.  What could you possibly be thinking?  What would give you the audacity to ask to use my new car to go out on the town Saturday night?"

The boy ducked his head and apologized, "I'm sorry Sir, I didn't know the car meant that much to you.  Is it still alright if I take your daughter out on the town Saturday night?"

"Sure," the man replied. "Just be sure to have her home by midnight."    
  -By Wendell Ingram, father of two girls and one boy.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Whatever You Do

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. 
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” 
Proverbs 16:2-3

Maybe it's out of duty. Maybe it's out of pride. Maybe it's out of selfishness. Maybe it's out of love.  Whatever we do and with whatever motive we may think we are doing it out of, God knows the truth.  Our motives are weighed by Him.  

In our busy and hectic lives, it's easy for us to get into the mindset that what we are doing is right. We can justify our behavior, our attitudes, even our 'busyness', but God knows the real reasons of why we are doing what we are doing.

The key to the passage above is committing our lives to the Lord.  Instead of us doing OUR WILL, we allow God to establish our plans and we do HIS WILL.  

It's not easy!  In fact, it's really hard to give up what "I" want to do what HE wants.  It's a constant battle of self vs. God.  I want Him to win the battle, don't you?

Today is a new day.  Today commit to the Lord in whatever you do and He will establish your plans.  And then wake up tomorrow and repeat it again....and again....and again. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Chronicles of Biscuit - "The Snack of a Lean, Mean, Fighting Machine"

The Chronicles of Biscuit: Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

It's been a long time since I had a "The Chronicles of Biscuit" story, it seems. Interestingly enough, Biscuit, himself, said I should blog this story.  I think he likes it when I read him the "Biscuit" stories from his younger years. He can't help but laugh about them and be interested in the fact that he was a pretty deep thinker about spiritual and life matters.  He looks forward to the stories being given to him one day. I look forward to his own children reading them.

So this week began football practice with pads.  As soon as I picked up Biscuit from school Wednesday, I could tell something was going on.  He said he was just tired, then just hungry, then seemed better, then a little down again.  I asked if it was because his oldest brother had left for college. He said it was.  I know that's hard.  I didn't think much more about it.  Later, at bedtime, I could again tell something was wrong.  Biscuit finally told me what was bothering him:  Tackling the bigger boys that were older than him.  He wasn't sure if football was going to work out.

Last year Biscuit didn't practice for football at first.  He decided AFTER the first game to play.  His dad thought it was okay to ask if he could play and so Biscuit asked the coach.  The coach happens to be his cousin, which makes it a little scary to ask, even though our nephew is very nice.  I didn't want him to allow him to play just because he was related, either.  He said he could play and he didn't have a problem with it one bit.  

So since that had happened, and he ended up playing after not starting out, I wasn't wanting him to just quit since he had enjoyed playing last year.  But, on the other hand, our nephew has said about our middle son who didn't play last year, if there's any fear there, it can cause a player to be hurt more. Football is just different.

My husband was asleep already when this happened, but has told Biscuit in the past to get down low to tackle...that even big NFL guys can be tackled if you get low enough.  His next oldest brother gave him the same advice.  My advice was for him was to pray that night, the next morning, before practice, and any time he got scared.  I shared with him the verse, "Perfect love casts out fear" and told him that God would give him the faith and courage and strength to do what he needed to do to be braver and not as scared.

When Biscuit got up for school yesterday morning, I could tell he was better, but I still went through everything again with him, reminding him to pray.  His dad and brother again reminded him to go low to tackle.  I also thought of a funny thing that is on a bug show at Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  There's an anteater character on a 3D show and he stands really funny and sticks out his long nose. He says, "I am a lean, mean, fighting machine.  I can destroy."  Biscuit thought that was funny as I told him that was his new motto and to think of that as he tackled. He got a kick out of me standing and acting like that anteater!  The anteater then 3D blasts the humans with sticky goo, which leaves the audience yelling and screaming!

After school, as Biscuit go into the car, I asked how his day went.  He said, "Good!  Guess what?  I tacked _____!  Not all the way to the ground, but I stopped him!"  We high-fived, I yelled, I chant, "Lean, mean, fighting machine"!  I was so excited!  He kept telling me it wasn't really that big of a deal, but I assured him it was.  I asked if he had prayed.  He said, "Yes, I prayed every hour yesterday during school".  That was in addition to the times I had told him to.  It WAS A BIG DEAL!  In fact, that's a huge deal.  That's how we all should do when we have a problem, or when we don't have a problem, for that matter.

So, I felt like the lean, mean, fighting machine needed a celebration of some kind.  I even offered him a trip out of town to eat or do something since everyone else was going to be gone for the evening. He opted for a trip to our only convenience store for Powerade and Funyuns!  Ha ha! We deemed this photo "The Snack of a Lean, Mean, Fighting Machine".  I'll take his word for it :).

So proud of you, Biscuit!  You learned that prayer can change things.  It can change you.  God can give you strength when you're afraid.  Thank you for that example for all of us.  I love you! MOM

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Seasoning Your Words

At the beginning of each new school year we begin a new ladies' Bible class study on Wednesday nights.  This fall we are doing a book by Nancy Eichman entitled, "SEASONING YOUR WORDS - 
GOD’S RECIPE FOR CONTROLLING YOUR TONGUE". It's a great study and very needed for me, but it seems like everyone else things they need it, as well.  

The scripture the book is based on is this: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone,” Colossians 4:6.  Learning to have gracious speech, which is well-seasoned, is difficult, yet necessary for the child of God.  Striving to imitate our Savior, Jesus, we must learn to control our tongues better.  Consistency of life must be followed by consistency of speech.

 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:23-24.  

The words that come from our mouth are almost always from the motives of the heart.  When we are murmuring and complain, we have a critical heart.  When we say mean, ugly, nasty, foul things, our heart is unholy.  When we gossip and tattle, we have a careless, thoughtless heart.  And when we boast and brag, we have a proud heart.

It can be summed up with this quote:

***Usually when our mouths speak out of order, it’s a sign that our hearts are out of order.***

How is your life?  How is your mouth?  How are your words?  How is your heart?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to College Time!

After a little more than three months of having our two college kids home, our son had to go back yesterday.  I got to help him move in, which made the whole process a lot more bearable for me.  This closet area is really nice! He's an R.A. (Resident Assistant) this year, so his room is FREE, bigger, and has a bathroom he shares, but is in between his room and the other, so he doesn't have to go to the general dorm floor bathroom.
We quickly filled up that nice closet, making it for clothes and a mini kitchen.  His bbq grill lives in his trunk, along with all of his grill utensils, so that frees up a lot of space!
The room is basically like last year's dorm room. In fact, pretty sure that he set it up almost the exact same!
Making up his bed made me feel like I was getting to do something big! I doubt it stays looking like this, though :).
His desk area was expanded a bit with some shelving.
It's not all put together yet, but will be soon. He took his really nice desk chair, so at least he'll be comfy when he sits there.  He doesn't like the window open.  I sure would!  Maybe he will sometimes, though.
He got the TV all hooked up, even though he's really disappointed that he won't be able to watch the Olympics at college. The college cut cable.  Guess the tens of thousands of dollars tuition couldn't cover that! Ha ha! (Thankfully we're not having to pay all of those tens of thousands due to scholarships and awards, but still.....cutting sports channels is crazy! Gonna be lots of unhappy college kids!
The bathroom is so big!  It must be handicap assessable, which is very good to do in all private bathrooms, of course.  It will be so nice to not have to go down the hall if he has to get up during the night.  I wouldn't have liked that, either!
And now something interesting: Zachary had a ziplock bag full of sunglasses.  I displayed them for him, commenting on how many he had.  He said, "Oh yeah, if you didn't know, I collect sunglasses!  I pick them up whenever I can!"  Ha ha! A lot of these were free!  Some I know he'll never wear (thankfully!) :)  

As I hugged Z bye last night, I cried. I cried leaving, but not for long.  This morning I get a little sad when I look in his room. It's straighter than it's been in many months, not just because of his stuff, but with our kitchen remodel, a lot of things were stored in his room.  His bed is straight. His high school graduation t-shirt quilt is laying out on top, showing me years and years of memories.  It's bittersweet.  I'm proud of him and excited for him.  I want him to be where he is and to be doing what he's doing.  But I'm selfish, too.  I miss him.   It takes me a few weeks to adjust to the "new" and since the two oldest are leaving at different times, it gives special time with me and our daughter to do some things before she leaves.  

God has ways of preparing us for all of these transition times.  It also brings us closer to Him.  This morning I'll start writing out my ladies' Bible class lesson for our new year which begins Wednesday night.  I've had a long summer break from that, so it's time to dig deeper in God's Word in a different way that I did this summer.  That's a good thing.

Please pray for all of the college kids as they begin this new semester.  They are at such an exciting time of life, but, sadly, for so many, it's an unsure time of life. They need our prayers.  They need  to know people care about them. 
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