Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ADVICE FROM A GRADUATE

As heard on KVNE 89.5 Encouraging FM

Wear Sunscreen or the Sunscreen Speech are the common names of an essay titled "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune as a column in 1997, but often erroneously attributed to a commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut.
Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.
  

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LIVE WELL, LIVE WISELY

o you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here's what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn't wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn't wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn't wisdom. It's the furthest thing from wisdom—it's animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you're trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others' throats.

Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

James 3:13-18

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Have a Hole in my Kitchen Floor

It started 2 days ago with warm spot in the kitchen floor. Don't worry, I said. I'm sure it's just because the DW finished. by last night we KNEW it wasn't the DW. Leak under the slab from the HW heater.

So my friends from C Woods came to give me the good news. Yes, there is a leak, thankfully it was good copper pipe and could be repaired. We don't have to re-plumb the entire house. PTL!!!

So this morning, I've been serenaded by a concrete drill, a jack hammer and a water vac. There's a pile of mud in my kitchen and it's draped in plastic. But when it's all over the leak will be repaired and HW will once again flow.











So today, I'm thankful for plumbers, good copper pipes and laminate floors!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Tonight is the end of the year concert for my son's High School Band. This is the end of his second year of high school. This Fall will be the beginning of his last two year of High School. This is his last year without a driver's license. That event will lead to a whole world of new beginnings. Leaving home by himself, dating, becoming a responsible self sufficient young man and taking steps toward adulthood.

My granddaughter turns 5 next week. The end of preschool. The beginning of Kindergarten in a new school in a new house & in a new town. That's a lot of beginnings and endings for a 5 year old. But she is so excited about her new room, her new school and all the NEW friends she "gets" to meet.

Makes me wonder if I face all my beginnings and endings with such enthusiasm. I really don't think I do. And why is that? Probably because I am, like many, too comfortable with the present. I like to think I'm a flexible person, but am I really? Not enough.

What if there were no ending or beginnings? We wouldn't have seasons, butterflies, babies, growth, etc...
If the caterpillar didn't end the butterfly couldn't begin. If the seasons didn't end we wouldn't have growing crops, snow to feed the rivers, or fall leaves to enjoy. If the pregnancy didn't end, there would be no beginning of a new life.

We need beginnings and endings.
  • "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1-3 
  • "In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands." Psalm 102:25
  • "In the beginning was the Word" John 1:1
  • "It is finished." John 19:30
  • "Your sins are forgiven" Luke 7:48

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    What am I thankful for today?

    It's been quite a struggle today as it did not start off  well. Suffice it to say I experienced a learning opportunity in front of my son and his friend. SO.......................
    • Thanks to the Tyler PD for patrolling school zones soooooooo diligently.
    • Thanks that Alex didn't totaly ridicule me.
    • Thanks for the fact that there is Defensive Driving. (information courtesy of my personal patrolman.) and that it is online
    • Thanks for being able to see my daughter today and make cute b'day invitations for my granddaughter's 5th b'day party.
    • Thanks for http://www.1001freefonts.com/

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Monday Musings

    Today is a beautiful day in East Texas!

    • My son was up at 5:22 a.m. (his time) and in a wonderful mood. So that is 2 items for which to be thankful today.

    • I am also thankful for music, especially when it ministers and touches my son's spirit and for the HOLY SPIRIT working in his life.

    • I'm thankful for adult role models and great teenage friends to help lead him on the journey to manhood.

    I am blessed.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Music for the Dance - Max Lucado

    Let's imagine that you want to learn to dance. Being the rational, cerebral person you are, you go to a bookstore and buy a book on dancing.
    You take the book home and get to work. You do everything it says. The book says sway; you sway. The book says shuffle; you shuffle. The book says spin; you spin.
    Finally, you think you’ve got it, and you invite your wife to come in and watch. You hold the book open and follow the instructions step by step.
    You continue to read, then dance, read, then dance, until the dance is completed. You plop exhausted on the couch, look at your wife, and proclaim, “I executed it perfectly.”
    “You executed it, all right,” she sighs. “You killed it.”
    “What?”
    “You forgot the most important part. Where is the music?”
    Music?
    We Christians are prone to follow the book while ignoring the music. We master the doctrine, outline the chapters, memorize the dispensations, debate the rules, and stiffly step down the dance floor of life with no music in our hearts. We measure each step, calibrate each turn, and flop into bed each night exhausted from another day of dancing by the book.
    Dancing with no music is tough stuff.
    Jesus knew that. For that reason, on the night before his death he introduced the disciples to the song maker of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. (John 16:7–9).
    Of the three persons of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is the one we understand the least. Perhaps the most common mistake made regarding the Spirit is perceiving him as a power but not a person, a force with no identity. Such is not true.
    The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” He is a person. He has knowledge (1 Cor. 2:11). He has a will (1 Cor. 12:11). He has a mind (Rom. 8:27). He has affections (Rom. 15:30). You can lie to him (Acts 5:3–4). You can insult him (Heb. 10:29). You can grieve him (Eph. 4:30).
    The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. He is not Popeye’s spinach or the surfer’s wave. He is God within you to help you. In fact John calls him the Helper.
    Envision a father helping his son learn to ride a bicycle, and you will have a partial picture of the Holy Spirit. The father stays at the son’s side. He pushes the bike and steadies it if the boy starts to tumble. The Spirit does that for us; he stays our step and strengthens our stride. Unlike the father, however, he never leaves. He is with us to the end of the age.
    What does the Spirit do?
    He comforts the saved. (John 16:7).
    He convicts the lost. (John 16:8).
    He conveys the truth. (John 16:12).
    Is John saying we don’t need the book in order to dance? Of course not; he helped write it. Emotion without knowledge is as dangerous as knowledge without emotion. God seeks a balance. “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
    What is essential is that you know the music is in you. “If Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life” (Rom. 8:10). You don’t need a formula to hear it. I don’t have a four-step plan to help you know it. What I do have is his promise that the helper would come to comfort, convict, and convey.
    So think about it; have you ever been comforted? Has God ever brought you peace when the world brought you pain? Then you heard the music.
    Have you ever been convicted? Have you ever sensed a stab of sorrow for your actions? Then you’ve been touched by the Holy Spirit.
    Or have you ever understood a new truth? Or seen an old principle in a new way? The light comes on. Your eyes pop open. “Aha, now I understand.” Ever happen to you? If so, that was the Holy Spirit conveying to you a new truth.
    What do you know? He’s been working in your life already.
    By the way, for those of us who spent years trying to do God’s job, that is great news. It’s much easier to raise the sail than row the boat. And it’s a lot easier getting people to join the dance when God is playing the music.
    That’s what makes God, God.
    From A Gentle Thunder, Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1995) Max Lucado


    Sundays are made for napping

    I truly believe that Sundays are made for napping. Ever since I was a little girl, Sunday naps have been a part of my routine. I get really grouchy without my nap. And THAT is not a pretty sight. Naps solve so many of life's problems. When Alex was little I would tell him that the only way to get rid of the "grumpies" was to take a nap. You see "grumpies" don't like naps and if you take a nap the "grumpies" have to leave. Works every time.

    So today's blessings are:
    • Naps, naps, naps
    • An incredible Student Choir
    • An awesomle Student Choir director
    • My son worshipping through the music at church today
    • The fact that he shared with me how the music touched him

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    RAIN, RAIN, RAIN

    Thank YOU, GOD
    • for rain
    • for the beauty of Spring
    • Sumatran Coffee
    • Air conditioning
    • Fried Chicken from Brookshire's
    Random list, I know, but I've been in a random mood today.
    Spent a lovely afternoon with an 82 year young friend who had me transferring info from her old laptop to her NEW laptop. It was a learning curve for us both as I was introduced to Windows 7. Pretty awesome. I love the time I spend with her. She has an incredible history and outlook on life. If I live to be 82, I pray that I will be as active and inclusive as she.




     

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    This Ain't Prettyville

    Watched Chonda Pierce's video tonight. I felt like she was telling about my life.
    • Thank YOU, Jesus, that I am beautiful to you.
    • I am so blessed to attend and work at a church that cares for the lost and is bringing Chonda to minister.
    • I am so blessed to have been able to have been a member of a drama group that brought people closer to Jesus through laughter.
    • I am blessed to have friends who force me to "keep it real" and remove my masks.
    • Thankful that I AM forgiven and not perfect.

    Day 3 of Blessings and Thank Yous

    • Thank you God for those who've sacrificed and are sacrificing themselves in the quest for freedom and justice.
    • I am blessed to have a teenage son who still thinks it's OK to go the the movies with his mom.
    • I am blessed to be a second mom to my wonderful daughter.
    • I am blessed to have moved to Texas to discover myself and renew my relationship with the Lord.
    • I am blessed to have a daddy who loved me unconditionally and who is now waiting on me from heaven. He's been living with Jesus for 13 years this month and I still miss him terribly.
    As I think about these and other blessings in my life, it makes me sad that I don't tell people more often what they mean or have meant to me. We are all sooo busy or at least think we are. How incredible would it be if we (I) took time to say "thank you?" What a small price to bless someone else.  I will try to do better.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Day 2 of my Blessings (28 days to go)

    • For a husband who wakes me every weekday with a sweet good morning.
    • Being able to wake my son with kisses
    • For good friends (MM) who inspires me to be a better mom and to reminds me that "this too shall pass"
    • For the ability to worship my GOD openly
    • For forgiveness
    Before I could get started on this list this morning, I had to have a little soul searching and house cleaning. I had an incident this a.m. that really stirred my "righteous indignation." I soon realized that if I had not skipped my devotional time I might not have been so "righteous." Thank YOU, LORD, for allowing me to experience your forgiveness.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Seeds

    Just finished reading (in 1 day) Seeds by Shasha Vekelja, MD., a local oncologist and fellow church member. I've been planning to read it for a while and finally did. What an amazing look at the life of a dedicated doctor, wife, mother and follow of Jesus. She & her mom came to America "with only a few suitcase of clothes, her mother's rolled-up paintings and a handful of English words."
    I cried throughout the entire last chapter. I am so humbled by her dedication and unashamed love for our Lord. I remember the day she was baptized. She literally jumped up from under the water like a cheerleader at a ballgame. Why can't we all be that excited about the Lord?

    To find out more about Dr. V, as she's known around here click on this link http://www.seedsthebook.com/

    While reading her story, I thought about how I too, was transplanted from the MS Delta to the Piney Woods of East Texas. I was a starving plant, ready for a bigger pot and better nourishment. Wow! did that every happen.

    This book combined with my morning devotional today has spurred a quest (hopefully), for the next 30 days to list 5 things everyday for which I am thankful.
    TODAY'S LIST:
    1. My Lord and my God, who never gave up on me. Let me wander and welcomed me back with open arms.
    2. My husband, who loves me even when I turn into my Mother (and that takes a lot of loving.)
    3. My boss, who took a chance on me 18 years ago (against his better judgement, I'm sure). I absolutely would not be the woman I am today without that trust and faith.
    4. Ken Brumley, former Singles Minister / Current Marriage/Family counselor at my church for seeing in me a talent I NEVER would have located or let out. I will be forever grateful to him for his encouragment and love.
    5. My grandmother, who took me to church as a little girl and planted seeds that are now growing into a thriving fruit tree.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    No, It's Not a self appointed title!

    "The Queen of Everything" or just Queen was bestowed upon me by my co-workers many years ago.  It seems, for some first-born, people pleaser, can't say "no" way, I was the "go-to girl."  The title came by floral delivery on Administrative Assistants Day about 15 years ago. And it has stuck ever since. It is great fun and IF I ever have to look for another job, I think I'll list it as my job title.

    In actuality, I am the assistant to the Associate Pastor for Worship at our church. We have over 500 adult choir members and office has a staff of 9. It is great fun and absolutely the BEST job I've ever had.

    As for the Frat House mom title, I have 5 men in my office and 2 at home. You tell me if it's an accurate title?!

    Mother's Day

    So today is my 21st Mother's Day. It is amazing to me to realize that I've been a mom that long. Sarah was 8 when Keith and I married. There was never any doubt in my mind that she was mine. It makes for an interesting conversation when I introduce her as my daughter. I can see the math wheels turning in their heads, trying to calculate how old I was when she was born! It's great.

    Thank goodness she came first, because to the boy (Alex) Mom is not a big deal. I think I'll still love him anyway. One day he may actually realize how awesome I really am! He is my joy and it is amazing to see him grow and mature each day. I can't wait to see what an incredible man he will be.

    Thank you, God for both my wonderful children.