Posts from the ‘Faith’ Category

Deep Thought For The Day

From the updated edition of My Utmost For His Highest (is that kinda like the NIV version of it?)

Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith.  But common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense.  In fact, they are as different as the natural and the spiritual.  Can you trust Jesus where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus, while the realities of your commonsense life continue to shout “It’s all a lie”? ……

Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict…

Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith.  There is continual testing in the life of faith up to the point of our physical death, which is the last great test.  Faith is absolute trust in God-trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us. (see Hebrews 13:5-6)

Oswald Chambers was da man.

A Piece of the Pie

It has been an exhausting weekend and I can’t remember the last time I was as physically tired as I was last night when I laid down to go to bed, but, this last 48 hour period has, without a doubt, been one of the most surreal, unbelievable two days of my life.  It all hasn’t sunk in yet. 

This right here…is my Special Happy Place.

Reason #3,875 Why I Hate Cancer

I hate cancer.  It’s always been lurking in the background, which I guess, it does for a lot of people.  My mom was the latest family member to have a round with it of late. 

Back in January, I did a post on the cool fundraiser, Driving For A Cure, to raise money for Breast Cancer research.  In that post, I talked about my Aunt Junie and her gallant battle against breast cancer and that’s part of why I’m so interested in the whole thing.

I found out this morning that Junie’s daughter, my most wonderful cousin, Judi, is now facing the same damn battle.  It pisses me off.  It just does.  In fact, I emailed Judi this morning after I found out what’s going on with her and instead of throwing some heavy, Jesus-y stuff at her, this was my greeting to my beloved cousin:  “Well, shit.  This sucks.”  It does.

I know that Judi is going to be fine.  She taught Middle School for 30 years and survived that.  She’s always been an independent, free spirit…heck, she raises mules.  Me and Judi can get on the phone and just babble for hours, solving problems of the world and what-not.  I wish there weren’t something like 1500 miles between us or I’d be hanging out at Judi’s farm in Texas all the time.   Hers was caught during a routine mammogram and she’s always been pretty diligent about matters of health.

I know Judi’s gonna be fine.  Still, it pisses me off that she’s got breast cancer. Why?

I guess it was about 1972, her mother, Junie…was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was diagnosed after being mis-diagnosed for a long time.  I don’t know how long it was, but, it was awhile.  I also realize that in 1972, they didn’t have all the stuff they have now to diagnose, treat BC. 

Junie fought that danged cancer.  I swear….8 or 9 years.  She fought that sucker tooth and nail.  She died in June of 1979…I will never forget that day…we went to Opryland with my Louisiana cousins.  I heard my mother’s name paged over the loudspeaker and even though I was 10 and was not told a lot of details about Junie’s illness (it was kinda whispered…like in that movie “St Elmo’s Fire” where the girl’s mother whispered anything negative like “cancer”) but I KNEW that Junie was probably gone and dadgum…a little later, me and Buddy walked up to Mom and her sister sitting in that theater there in the 50’s part of Opryland and she blurted out that Junie was gone.  Weird how some things stay with you.

Anyway…it makes me so mad that my Uncle Wesley, who is 80 years old, in the last year has dealt with the death of a grandson…he watched his wife suffer and die with cancer and blast-it…now his baby girl has to confront the same thing.  I’m more worried about him than Judi, really.  Stuff like that’s  hard on a Dad. 

Judi, though…she’s gonna be fine.  She’s having surgery next week and I have no doubt she’s gonna be an octagenerian on her farm with all her various and sundry critters and will outlive all of us.  She is blessed with two sisters, who will stand with her through this whole ordeal, the rest of us in her family, lots of friends….she’s gonna do fine.

I still hate she has to even deal with this at all. 

 

Beyond Words

I can’t even wrap my head around the tragic news of Steven Curtis Chapman’s little daughter being run over by a car driven by his teenaged son.  Even more so, this is the second situation like this I’ve heard about this week in our area.  I had heard Sunday about the friend of a friend’s son backing over his young son with the same horrifying result. 

A contrast to these stories, I went to the funeral home last night for my next door neighbor’s mother…a precious, 90 year old saint who lived with them for a time and I had the priviledge to get to know a little.  I always got a kick out of Miss Windolene because she made me think of my own sweet little Grandma Collie. 

I don’t make it a practice to question God and what He allows to happen.  I am of the mind that even though my mortal mind can’t make sense of two preschool aged children, being run over by family members who loved them dearly, I HAVE to believe that He sees the whole picture and somehow, some way He is at work through horrible tragedies like this. 

How is that father of little Caleb and the big brother of Maria going to cope for the rest of their lives?  Why is it that terrible things like that happen to little children while others, like my neighbors mama, live 90 full years on this planet?  There’s no answer or explanation that would make sense to a mortal mind. 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD. 
 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

I guess this is the problem some people have with the whole God thing.  I can understand that.  We like to think of God as this Big Dude in the Sky and if He really loves us, wouldn’t make bad things happen.  I don’t feel like He makes the bad things happen.  I think He allows them for various reasons.  Sometimes those reasons are obvious and sometimes they aren’t. 

I’ve had my share of loss and crosses to bear that have not seemed just or fair. (Still do)  I could sit here on my earthly soapbox and try to figure out the whys and whats of everything, but if I did that, I’d be a bigger nutcase than I already am.  For me to get through everyday, I HAVE to believe that this ain’t all there is.  I mean, heck, there’s just some things I’ve experienced that I’m not going to have answers for until I get to Glow-ry.  I can tear my hair out and whatever other forms of self-destruction I can find to bring me momentary comfort, but, those sorts of things just don’t work. 

The junk I’ve gone through and still go through…it’s like that old Andrae Crouch song says…”If I never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that God could solve it and wouldn’t know what strength in His Word can do.”

I know the Chapman’s are clinging to that this morning as they cope with losing their little girl.  Keep them in your prayers.

 

The Doors Of Clay Are Gonna Burst Wide Open…

Still remembering and celebrating Dottie Rambo…dang, ol’ Vestal could flat bring a song.
Sometimes I think this is my favorite Rambos song, until I hear something else. I do love this muchly.

Dottie and Vestal was good pals. I swear, I always thought if I was ever sick, I’d want Vestal to pray for me. Dottie used to say that the demons would scatter when Vestal would show up. Heh. I don’t guess I’ll ever have Vestal pray over me, but, if I’m ever on a deathbed, y’all have to call Buddy Dotson.

New Every Morning

A good friend of mine said to me today that when you watch the sun rise, that it’s a reminder that God can do anything. 

I saw lots of things out there about 6 this morning. It was a totally random, compulsive detour, but a detour I needed to take.  How come I’ve never thought to go out by Old Hickory Lake and watch the sun come up and have my quiet time…just me and God?  I can tell you one thing…I’ll be doing it again. (Not tomorrow though.  Heh)  I was reminded of many blessings that I often overlook. 

 I saw these guys fishing together and it reminded me that the Good Lord has seen fit to drop lots of really wonderful people into my world and that I’m not doing nothing alone.

When I looked down and saw footprints in the early (dang, it was early) morning dew, I was reminded that I got Him carrying me.

The early morning mist on Old Hickory Lake reminded me that sometimes things are a little hazy and unclear but if you keep perservering, keep trusting, keep seeking…The sun peeks through, brightens the landscape and makes everything pretty vivid and clear. 

I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say  “my splendor is gone and all that I had hoped for from the Lord.”  I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me. Yet, this I call to mind and therefore, I have hope.  Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning [notice it doesn’t say “On some mornings” or “Every once in a blue moon”] Great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:21-23

 

  

Wait A Little Longer, Please Jesus

I’m sorta mad that I missed the Earthquake.  What aggravates the pee-waddlin’ outta me is the fact I missed it by about 30 minutes. 

Your Sista doesn’t sleep well, as a rule, and I had woke up about 2 and was awake til about 4 or so.  I miss all the good stuff.  Dangit.

The Holy Tara, on the otherhand, did not miss the EQ.  She felt it, thinking it was the Psycho Cats on her bed.  (She’s kinda like me about the cats).  The Boys and me…we’re bummed. 

What was funny to me was having my cousin in Southern California ask ME if I felt the earthquake.  I don’t know why, but, that struck me as funny.

The more I think about it though…had I felt it, I’da probably gotten scared that Jesus was on His way back.  Not scared…I’m not scared of Him showing up, but, I’m sure that would’ve been my first thought.  Like the first (and only) time I’ve ever seen the Aurora Borealis.  I can tell you exactly when that was. (Warning…Rainman alert)

April 14, 1981.  Now, I did not remember that date.  I looked it up.  I remember that was a Sunday night and we were at Gee and Geega’s house.  I remember exactly when it was cause it was the day the very first Space Shuttle went up.  We were on the first Spring Break we’d had in years cause we used to get snow back in the olden days around here. 

Linda Gossett came over from across the street and said “Come out here and look”…it was nighttime and the sky was pink-like.  I thought fo sho Jesus was about to come down to Derby Lane.  Here He comes.  I can remember that feeling of massive butterflies in my stomach, thinking Jesus was about to burst through the pink part of the sky.  He didn’t though.

For months and months after that, I was sure everytime I saw light reflected on the night sky that Jesus was a’comin.  Shut up…the Bible says to watch for Him.  I was just doing what the Bible says. 

Then, I got scared to death the next year when I saw this book at a friends house…”88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Occur By 1988.”   Well…dadgumit…I would miss graduating from high school (which I did anyway) and I’d never get married, have kids.   I prayed and prayed Jesus would just hang on.  That song “Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus” rang through my head (with Carl Smith singing it, of course). 

Between you and me though…at that point, as the song says, my concern was not about getting a few more loved ones in, but, I wanted to grow up and drive and do fun stuff.  I didn’t know enough about sex or nothing at that point (and certainly that that was not a big deal) so it wasn’t that.  Just wait a little, Lord Jesus.

Now, I’ve grown up, I’ve learned a lot more about things of a Jesus nature and matured and I can say right ‘chere and now, I don’t worry about stuff like that no more. 

I used to get all freaked out (even after I married) if I passed that man and woman on the tv that have that show that’s about nothing but that…can’t think of their names now….yankees….I would get all scared.  No more.  He can come on back whenever He pleases. 

I came to notice that the TBN people would start picking dates and stuff just about the time they were having a telethon to raise money.  Funny how that is.