Monday, July 27, 2009

Holiness is Right

In order to save time and money the automotive industry has come up with a plan. With the lagging economy they have met to look for ways to cut cost, not only within the industry, but also for the cities and states that have all the enormous expense of upkeep on highways and roads.

The first thing is to do away with seat belts and air bags systems in all vehicles. Also, they have decided that it would be cost effective to remove the lights from the back of the vehicles, eliminating the need for blinkers with this move.

Next, in order to cut down on the need for patrolling the highways, they will remove the speed limits and red light/stop signs, etc. This will invoke a system where the individual driver will be truly in the driver's seat, going when he is able instead of waiting.

It will be up to you, as a driver to decide if the vehicle in front of you is just slowing down, or stopping, and you will have to use your own judgment as to whether they are turning or whether you have time to go before another car does. There will be no rules to guide you, no safety measures to keep you from crashing and burning, just you against the other motorist on the road, kind of like every man for himself.

It is thought that with these few adjustments the industry and the country as a whole will save millions upon millions of dollars.

Sounds ludicrous doesn't it?

To me too. But so many times I hear the words from people, "all of those things from the Bible were for that time, not for now," or, my personal favorite, "that doesn't matter anymore."


Without guidelines we are wandering around with no real purpose, nothing to save us from the world, or OURSELVES.

Is it important to look different than the world? Absolutely. I have heard so many say Holiness is inward. Indeed, it is! But as your inward self changes you should see a reflection on the outside also! There should be a notable change. Your entire countenance should be changed!

The world would have us believe that rules and guidelines are passe', that they no longer matter. But the Word of God has not changed, there has not been a re-write of the Bible, it is the same as it was yesterday, the same as it will be tomorrow.

And there is a reason behind it, just as there is a reason we have tail-lights and blinkers. It is a protecting us from crashing and burning. The Bible is not a suggestion, there is no guessing about which direction to take. It provides us with a perfect road map to help us arrive at our desired destination.

Do you want to make it all the way? Then follow the path. Stop where it says stop, turn where it says turn, yield where it says yield, and go where it says go. Keep your eyes on those around you. Don't allow them to run you off this road.

I have told the story before of my patient many years ago. After a confrontation with someone who wanted me to detour off my path I was downhearted. My prayer before leaving the house that morning was "Lord, I need You today, I need to know You are with me."

My patient suffered from Alzheimer's and was having a bad day. But as I was caring for her she grasped my hand and looked at me with suddenly clear eyes. She said, "You are on the Highway to Holiness. Don't let anyone or anything take you off of the path."

And then, she was gone again, but I was found!

Isaiah 35:8-9 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness: the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

"There's a difference between wrong and right,
There's a difference between darkness and light,
There's no compromise, we must draw the line;
Sin is still our reproach, but holiness is right.

Now the world is living all kinds of lifestyles,
But the life of a Christian should be pure and undefied.
Everybody has faults to repent thereof,
And then walk in the light because holiness is right.

God is God, and He'll always be the same,
His word is the law, not one tittle will ever change.
We must distinguish between clean and unclean,
And then walk in the light because holiness is right."

There IS a difference!! And holiness IS right!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time IS On My Side....I think

I have had an event filled few days. I left Georgia Saturday Morning with my parents, their 2 dogs, pulling a trailer. I have never really pulled a trailer before but I knew I was going to have to learn within the first 2 seconds how it was done, and believe it or not, I made it without hitting one single thing!!

It took us about 12 hours to get to Louisiana from here. I didn't drive above 65mph so we went slower than usual.

My poor parents. I was trucking along while they napped, listening to a Deeann Gist book, eating Combos and Bottle Caps when I got sleepy. At about 4pm I thought, "Gee, I haven't fed my parents!!"

I asked if they were getting hungry to which I got a resounding YES! So, we found a McDonalds.

I was able to visit my brother and his family at the church he pastors in Pineville, Louisiana. (The church is called Truthway if you ever are in the area. There are some great people there) They were not expecting me so it was a very nice surprise. My Sister-in-law's face when she spotted me was priceless. To make the trip even more wonderful, my husband's brother rode with me. I haven't been able to spend any time with him in FOR-EV-ER so that was nice to get caught up during the 4 hour round trip there and back

My husband's sister was wonderful enough to keep my farm going on FarmTown. If you don't know what I am talking about, you are better off not knowing...that's all I am saying about that.

Monday morning my husband and I started the trek back to Georgia with a few notable stops. We stopped in Scott, LA and had some Boudin Balls from the Best Stop. Then we went to Don's there in Scott and had a meat pie and some stuffed bread. I really wanted some Kolachies while we were in Sulphur, but Vee's Donuts was closed.

We detoured to the Big Easy and made a stop at Snow Wizard. There we saw the future snow ball stand of our dreams. Plus we picked up a couple of new flavors and went to the Snow Wizard stand on Magazine Street where Luis gave us the tour. Then we had to try one, of course. Bobby got Cajun Red Hot and I got Cake Batter. Needless to say we returned to the main office and left with Cajun Red Hot and Cake Batter is on the list for the next order!!

We found a dive before we left and had a Po-Boy. I had shrimp and I ordered Bobby Roast Beef dressed with gravy. It really is heartbreaking to see NO all these years past Katrina and see all the empty houses and empty streets.

We spent the night in Gulf Shores, AL and ate that night at Lambert's Cafe. If you have never experienced Lambert's you owe it to yourself. Of course, after eating everything else we didn't do it justice, but the atmosphere is great and the food is yummy. We left with a box full and left it in the truck overnight...bummer.

We had a nice time together. Not too often we get to spend time just the two of us. But I am SO glad to be home. I hated missing church last night as we got in late after Bobby visited with some retailers on the way, mixing business with pleasure. I know they had a great service!!

Well, I got back to work this morning, tired, but generally feeling good about life, till I got home and checked the mail.

I had an offer from AARP to get life insurance!! WHAT!!! I've got at least 8 more years here people, quit rushing me. Time is speeding by fast enough on its own!!

OK, that's my update. I will post some pictures from the trip on facebook later. Didn't take many, but I have a few. Wish I would have gotten some of the sugar cane and the rice fields. So Beautiful to me....

Until next time!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Illusion Of Peace

When I was a teenager my best friend was a girl named Sherry. I know, you're are thinking, "How confusing is that?" but we managed quite well.

Sherry and I were polar opposites in every way, but we had (and still have) a great love for one another. Sherry was always outgoing and out spoken. I loved spending time at her house with her boisterous family. They were so loving and so much fun. They always called me "Sheri-Sheri" and that has stuck through all these years.

During our Freshman year, Sherry was given the superlative of "Loudest Mouth" while I received the votes for "Quietest Girl." I guess that says it all.

Sherry did not take any gruff off of anybody. I cannot tell you the times that I stood behind her while she was pounding someone in the face saying quietly, "Now, Sherry this is not solving anything. And you are just going to get into trouble. Please, don't fight."

We laugh about it now, but she did not think it was funny at the time. Although she never got angry with me she told me I used to drive her crazy, her little voice of reason running behind her.

She has always been that way, never afraid to run head first into a situation and confront whatever and whoever the problem is.

Me, not so much.

(unless it involves my family, but that's another blog)

Through the years I have allowed many things in the name of peace. Just to "keep the peace" I have sat back on my hands waiting for my problems and circumstances to disappear.

Only there has been no peace.

Isn't that just like the devil?

"Now, Sheri you know you don't want to fight this. Think of all the trouble you are going to cause. Just don't fight this."

So, I haven't.

And by doing that I have spent year after year living on the edge, afraid to make a sound, afraid to take a stand.

But, it occurred to me recently that all I have done in the name of peace has been wasted because there has been no peace.

And if there is no peace through my peace-keeping tactics then I'm changing my course.

I'm putting up my dukes, and I am going to fight.

I am going to fight the devil who would like to see me bound by this illusion of peace.

I am going to stand up to situations that I have tried in the past to just smooth over to avoid any conflict.

There is a new voice ringing in my ears, infusing me with the strength I need.

"In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." (Psalm 56:11)

Now, before you think otherwise, NO, I am not going to be running around willie nillie punching people in the faces, and YES, I still think Sherry should have done less pounding.

So, what in the world am I talking about??

I am talking about warfare, spiritual warfare. Warfare that has come against my home, my church and my walk with God. I am talking about the things that I have not fought against on my own battlefield, the things that I have not stood up for because I knew that the battle would heat up if I did. And if you have never attempted to live your life for God surrounded by those who are not as sold out as you are this will probably make no sense.

And if you have, then you completely understand. I continue to live it, full force, but I have been living it quietly, and I thought peaceably.

But, I have been wrong. I have not had peace. And if I have no peace by being passive, then I might as well roll up my sleeves and come out fighting. I might as well stand up to the bullies of this world who tell me I am oppressed because they are the ones who have been oppressing me.

I might as well pick up my stones and grab my sling and stand up to the giants of this world instead of crouching behind and rock and pretending they aren't there.

This world will tell you that if you just keep your mouth shut and don't cause any trouble everything will be OK.

But it's not OK. It's time for battle. No longer will I hide in the bunker while the world drops bombs on all that I believe. If I get my eye blacked, then so be it. I will be fighting for everything that I am.

The time has come that we rise up against those that tell us that it is OK for them to talk about us, but not OK for us to say "you got it all wrong, buddy." It's time we stood up in the face of the opposition and said "If it's not in the Bible then it's wrong. Period."

It's time we worried less about offending someone and worried more about them being lost.

And when we do that, when I do that, I can say:

6For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Like, Totally~~

I was in the kitchen yesterday, cooking, when some sticky pork blood got on my hand.

Suddenly I was 16 again...

"EWWWW! Grody to the max!!" I exclaimed, then quickly gazed around the kitchen to make sure no one heard me.

I have listened to my elders, noted their wording, admired their phrases, with my tongue in my cheek, but yesterday I had my own flashback reality check.

My children often tell me when I utter certain phrases, or butcher one of the modern slang of today, "No, Mom. Never say that again."

And I have found that things that used to mean something else now mean...well something else. As Jeff Foxworthy once commented that one day all parents just get off of the fashion train, I guess I jumped off the "slang train" back in 1984 and have been wondering around those deserted tracks in a stupor every since.

Even when I do try out one of the modern sayings going around it sounds, well, lame coming from my 42 year old lips.

There are days it seems like it was only yesterday that I was young and speaking the same language as everyone else....then I face my children's shocked faces when some of the eighties slips out of my mouth and I feel like Michael Fox when he went forward in time.

"What?!?!" I will say, perplexed by their amazement.

"No, Mom. Never say that again."

Someday, sometime, they will understand. And when they question me, wonderingly, if this shock they feel as middle age slaps them in the face for the first time mirrored my own feelings when I saw the slang train barrel away leaving me lurking in the abandoned station.

My answer will be..."Like Fer Sure!"