"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grace Stoops

One of my favorite Christian authors is Max Lucado. I am reading his most recent book GRACE.   Such a short word. Seemingly easy word yet filled with more than our human minds or lips can conceive or speak.

The title of his second chapter is "The God Who Stoops". My connotation of "stoop" is often negative. We often hear it in the context of expressions like "Don't stoop to his level". The literal definition of stoop is "bend one's head or body forward and downward".

Most are familiar with the writing of John 8 where Jesus had been teaching at the Festival of Tabernacles and there was unbelief and division over who Jesus was. Early the next morning Jesus was again at the temple teaching and the adulterous woman was brought to him. GRACE begins!

My NIV translation says "Jesus bent down . . ." Whether it was bending or stooping, it was grace! Lucado gives example upon example of Jesus "stooping" - 'low enough to sleep in a manger, work in a carpenter shop, washing feet, embracing children, pulling Peter out of the sea.'

None of us really know why he stooped. But the important point is that He did! The King of Kings, Lord of Lords stooped. His unconditional love "stooped". His unmerited grace stooped - to reach this woman to assure her - that she was good enough. To assure her that she was important. He stooped to affirm her not to condemn her.

Grace, Grace, Wonderful Grace!

What an example Jesus set - so His spirit is saying to me that if He did this and I am His child then I am to do this - extend grace - bending my head forward and downward to love those who are difficult to love, to love those who need to experience grace.

Grace Stoops Unconditionally!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Loose him and Let him go

In John 11: 38-44, John writes of Jesus calling forth Lazarus from the dead. I have read this scripture many times and each time God speaks to me in a different way about what He is sharing in His word here. There were a couple of things going on as John writes this story but I want to concentrate on the "loosening".

Jesus freed Lazarus from a physical death in the loosening. But He also frees us from a spiritual death. We read in verse 44: "And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. . ." When I read that, the word "bound" jumped off the page.

My mind started thinking: "Bound? Bondage? What binds me?"

What keeps me from receiving all that there is from God? 

Is it unbelief? 

Is it the pressure of the world?

Is it the trials and tribulations in my life?

Jesus can release us from this bondage. Yep, He can! 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Did you read that? A new creation - old things gone - that means release from bondage!

And He said it again here John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." The devil is the one trying to keep us in bondage. Trying to make us second guess everything we do or think. Jesus has brought us forth from the grave of spiritual death so that we might enjoy life in HIM and have that joyful life MORE abundantly. Now you can't beat that!

Galatians 5:1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."  Read that again! Stand in FREEDOM -Freedom from condemnation from the world, from your friends!

Are you in a difficult trial? Do you feel as though you are in bondage? Jesus can set you free!

Here are the words from an old song we use to sing "He Set Me Free"

Once like a bird in prison I dwelt,
no freedom from my sorrow I felt
But Jesus came and listened to me,
glory to God, He set me free!
He set me free, yes, He set me free,
He broke the bonds of prison for me
I'm glory bound my Jesus to see,
glory to God, He set me free!

I am a singing it as I type it - you should hear me - it sounds so purdy :)

God bless you today! You no longer have to live in bondage - He came to set you FREE!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Huffing and Puffing

I am reading Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst and learning a lot about ways to control those moments in my life when I become "unglued". This morning as I was reflecting over some of what I have read I went back to Chapter 1 and was rereading one of the many situations she had on becoming unglued. She wrote: "I headed upstairs in a huff to give the girls a piece of my mind."

Well the first time I read this I was so into the situation that she was about to describe that I did not pay close attention to the word "huff" but as I was re-reading this a.m. it just popped off the page. I think I have more "huff" moments than I do "unglued". I don't always come totally apart which is how I translate "unglued"  - but I am more often in a "huff" - which for me is more like frustration - but big time frustration. Does that make any sense at all?

I had a huffing moment this morning. As I walked into the bedroom my husband's jeans and shirts that I thought he had put away were still where they were yesterday. Since I am 5'4" tall and he is 6'3" tall and the top rack of the closest is 7' tall, my reasoning is that it is so much easier for him to hang his clothes than me, right? Not always so - so I did some huffing this morning. I didn't become unglued but I was having a strong urge :) so I "huffed". 

I am reminded of the childhood story The Three Little Pigs. The big bad wolf played havoc on their lives and he roamed around "huffing and puffing" until he blew down 2 of the 3 houses. So you see you do not have to become totally unglued to do damage to the ones around you. Lots of huffing and puffing can do the same thing. 

I need to remember this scripture all the time: "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and Redeemer." Psalm 19:14 

I think that totally excludes any kind of "Huffing and Puffing"!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Morning Talks With God

I shared a couple of weeks ago how God woke me up at 4 a.m. to have a little talk :) Well we had another good discussion this morning in the shower! I am so glad that there is no exact place that I have to go to to have a little talk with my Lord.

I woke up feeling anxious. My heart was racing because there are lots of things that I have to do today. I am so excited about a ladies bible study that we will begin this afternoon so I am  nervous and ANXIOUS! How many of you can relate to that feeling?

He brought to mind a scripture that has really resonated with me and Charlie - Philippians 4:6-7: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

My heart was saying I want everything to be perfect but He said you do not have to be perfect because I am perfect in you. Wow - that let off a lot of pressure! Why should I think I could do this better than God? I know all of this but I need to be reminded of it on a regular basis - He is control.

He brought another scripture to mind: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord "plans to prosper you, and not to harm you,  plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. So if He has the plan I just need to follow it - less stress for me - right?

He also reminded me that if He is going to be able to do anything for me I have to be empty of "self" so that HE can do a good work in me. Did you pick up on that - - - so HE can do the work - not me!

Love, love, love the fact that I can sit back and let Him do the driving!  Remember the old Greyhound Bus slogan [if you do that would make you really old-like me :) ]"Leave the driving to us" that is what He wants us to do. The key to all of it is that I have to come to the end of myself, I have to die to self. It ain't easy but - what a relief!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Striving VS Chilling

It's 4 a.m. and I am awake. I am WIDE awake! My mind will not shut down long enough for my body to rest. Not a good place to be.

A friend of mine shared with me that when I am trying to be in control more often than not I am striving. Striving keeps me awake at night. Striving steals my joy. Striving makes me a control freak. Striving causes me stress and stress for everyone around me. Striving makes me have a short fuse. Striving causes me to miss the sweet moments in life. Striving causes me to wear my feelings on my shoulder.

I am reminded of the lyrics of an old song: "Slow down you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobble stones. Looking for fun and feeling groovy." I haven't been doing too much of that lately - "feeling groovy" - CHILLING!

Why in the world would I choose to live a life of strife when I know I could chill? Seems like a no brainer to me!

Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

That tells me to Let Go and Let God! He is the wind beneath my wings. When I get ahead of God and I am in the flesh, I am striving.

Jesus said: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Paul wrote: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstancesI know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13 

I call that "Chilling with God".

So it is pretty clear to me that I need to Let Go and Let God. His plan always works.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."


Thought for the day:
"Life is better when you LAUGH a little."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

God says: "I've Got THIS!"

Recently I almost missed a blessing because I was in too much of a hurry. I was at the church office and the Pastor asked me if I wanted to join them for a short devotional when I got through working on something for them. I got through faster than I thought and my spirit convicted me that I needed to stay for the devotion.

Pastor Jerry shared Psalm 91. This particular Psalm has lots of special memories for me as it was my go to scripture during a time I was going through breast cancer surgery and my mom having colon cancer surgery.

As he read, it brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that through "it" all God said "I've got this!"

So bear with me as I share the entire Psalm and watch for His "I've got this!"

Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. (I've Got This)
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  (I've Got This)
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. (I've Got This)
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  (I've Got This)
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.  (I've Got This)
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  (I've Got This)
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  (I've Got This)
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  (I've Got This)
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  (I've Got This)
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

I am so glad that I stayed and let God remind be that He's Got This!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Celebrating Life

What a wonderful opportunity we had July 26, 2012. We celebrated my daddy's 90th birthday! We didn't do anything fancy. It was so special just to be together and have lunch.

I am so proud of him and all he has done. He has taught me so much and I treasure that because I am who I am because of the example my daddy and mama lived before us.

If you go by to see him and have some time,  he would love to play a hand of  "Seven Up" with you! And you had better watch him - He is good! My daddy loves country music and he loves to dance. He has been a trooper since we lost mama six years ago. He still lives by himself and tries to stay as busy as he can.

So here are a few of the photos from our special day with Daddy.

I told you he loves to dance. So here he is with his two great granddaughters dancing to a Loretta Lynn song in the background.

Daddy and Rebekah

Daddy and Anna

Birthday cake with the birthday boy:

My Sister - Tena , Daddy, Me

Kelly, Rebekah, Anna 

Charlie, Me, Daddy

James, Tena, Daddy

Love you Daddy! Thanks for everything!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

40 Years And Counting . . .

My, my, my - how time flies when you are having fun! And I am having fun! Met my soul mate at the University of  Georgia and it has been an adventure every since. On June 17, 2012 we celebrated 40 years of marriage!

What I love most about Charlie Merwin is his love of life. He makes the most of every moment. He is easy going and very patient with me and he makes me laugh when I don't feel like it. He has been my rock and my best friend.

I don't think I would have ever traveled as much as I have or experienced as much as I have had I not met him. I know more about turkeys and deer than I could have ever imagined. I am a pretty good fisherman because of him even though I do still get really aggravated if I have to fish out of the back of the boat. AND he taught me how to ride a motorcycle! I truly believe that God reached down and picked him out and put him in my path 42 years ago.

We have learned so much together too. We have learned to love MUCH and forgive MORE. We know that there are times in our days that we need time to ourselves - to breathe - AND times that we need to cling to each other to get through STUFF. If everything about a relationship was easy, what fun would there be in growing together?

So thank you Charlie Merwin for the time of my life! May God continue to bless us as we LIVE, LOVE, and LAUGH.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Charlie and I love to just get in the car and start driving - not a specific destination in mind - just wherever our spirit leads. We haven't had a chance or I should say haven't taken the time to do that until this past week. So Thursday morning we got in the car and just started driving.

Our first destination was Americus where we had lunch in a Bistro adjacent to a well known hotel there, The Windsor.

Our next stop was Star Racing. Such a great group of people. Charlie got his own personalized tour :) Check with Charlie on the details. I didn't have a CLUE what they were talking about!

They will train you to be NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) certified on this little baby:
This bike will go 1/4 mile in 7.6 seconds!

Our destination for the day was Carrollton where we stopped to visit with friends and share a wonderful meal at Little Hawaiian Restaurant. Great food and desserts!

Since this was our turn around point, we headed south the next morning and rambled through LaGrange and worked our way towards Macon for a Pre-Father's Day visit with my daddy. An added bonus was to see my sister and brother-in-law for a while too.

Our ramblings included having supper with daddy at Jeneane's (a wonderful place for home cooked meals) and riding downtown to check out the filming of the movie "42" about Jackie Robinson.

This Brooklyn 1940s scene was recreated on Second Street in Macon. The cars were amazing!

Some other precious memories made with my daddy and his dogs and his one and ONLY cat:

Yep, there we are with all the dogs: Zippy, Nona and Pretty Girl :)

Then it was time to come on home and we rambled one more time in Tifton with a special friend of ours who has a heart for ministry. He was having a special event for an organization called Hope Ministries. So we ended our day with Earl (the Pearl) Perry :)

As I look back over these pictures, I am thinking that Charlie and I need to RAMBLE more often. It was fun! Love the adventurous spirit in my sweet "Charming" Charlie!

Be blessed today and take time to enjoy TODAY!

Monday, May 14, 2012


It seems like it has been forever since I have done any writing. However, today I was outside doing some gardening and the Lord was speaking to me as I worked. I love it when this happens. It seems I am always so busy that I don't let my mind slow down to listen for His still gentle voice.

As I was working really hard to trim back an Indian Hawthorne that we have, He reminded me of the words Jesus shared concerning the vine and the branches. We had sprayed some Round Up to get rid of some unwanted trees and vines - that's Red Neck pruning - and as would have it got some of it on the Indian Hawthorne which we did not want to get rid of.

However, the chemical got to it and it started to die. As I cut it back trying to get to the root so we can completely get it out and start over, the Lord reminded me of a few things.

Yes, we need pruning and sometimes in the process of getting rid of the bad we also injure the good. Notice I said "injure". The root of the Hawthorne was still strong and underneath the leaves and mulch there was new growth. Amazing! I had to dig deep to find it but it was there.

So it is with us. Things happen in us that cause us to bear poor fruit. God prunes and in the process even some of the good stuff might get hurt. But at the root - new growth occurs!

Aren't we glad!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Little Engine That Could

I have been leading a group of ladies at our church in Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. In our lesson today "Please make everything easy; I can't take it if things are too hard!", I m reminded of a book that most of us read or someone read to us as a child, The Little Engine That Could. What most of us remember about it is there was a small train filled with good things for boys and girls. It had toy animals, teddy bears, dolls, airplanes, tops, (you get the picture) and the "funniest little toy clown you every saw" and they needed to get over the mountain.

We know the story. The little train has a break down and can't move. Several engines come along but all of them have an excuse as to why they can't help the little train. Eventually a little blue engine comes along and saves the day. We remember the favorite line - "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." and as he goes down the other side of the mountain - we remember the famous words "I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could."

We leave the story usually with the lesson being we can do anything we put our mind to. Right?

But let me drop back just a little bit and remind you of someone in the story that is what I feel like the key element and does not seem to be very important as you read. Remember "the funniest little toy clown you ever saw"? Check him out again. Every time one of the engines that they stopped and asked for help gave them "some excuse" as to why they could not help, THE FUNNY LITTLE CLOWN was there to cheer them on, waving his flag to stop the next engine to ask for help. He NEVER gave up! He was their encourager. He consoled them when they were disappointed.

After I read that years ago to my high school students as motivation and encouragement to them, I realized that God was telling me that He has done that for us. Only it doesn't come in the form of a little toy clown. When we became His child, He gave us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. Not just a little bit of it - but ALL of the Holy Spirit. Not just enough to get us through a few things but to get us through EVERYTHING. His Spirit is always encouraging us, nudging us, pushing us, telling us not to give up because we will "at the appointed season" reap! (Galatians 6:9 "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.")

The next time you think you "can't" do something - picture the Holy Spirit cheering for you, encouraging you as you push through a difficult situation so you can say "I knew I could. I knew I could. I knew I could." because HE can!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where Has The Time Gone?

I really don't know what happened. I have not written since October. Maybe my mojo went missing. You know how one day becomes another day and another day becomes a week and then a month and before you know it you have gotten out of the habit of doing something. I truly enjoy sharing here but if I don't make a conscious decision to do something it is like many things in my life it gets pushed aside and usually there is not a good explanation for why.

I really enjoy putting my thoughts into words because at this point in my life if I don't write it down it is gone. Charlie knows all too well what I am talking about. However, he recently shared that I must be Wonder Woman. I couldn't imagine what he meant by that. It seems he had seen this on someone's post on Facebook.
So yes, I am Wonder Woman in that respect. However, I am going to try to do better at journaling so I will not be wondering what I did during 2012.

We had a wonderful Christmas with family in Macon and in Adel.  Both of our daughters and their family were here with us for about 5 days. We were sleeping all over the house. Our granddaughters kept us busy too. We played outside, played inside, had a campfire New Years Eve and loved on each other a lot - so much so that the youngest grand left me with her cold. Still wouldn't trade that time for anything.

One afternoon Anna (our 5 year old grand) was resting in the recliner with Charlie. She said "Gran,  Grandad told me that if we were going to be like the pink bunny that keeps on going we have to lay down and let our batteries get recharged. But Gran, Grandad's batteries are older than my batteries."  You see this is why I need to write - so I can remember these words of wisdom and so she can read them herself later.

Well this has been all over the page but that's what I usually have to do when I have gone so long without focusing on writing. I promise to do better. So check back with me later.