Thursday, April 29, 2010
I have this problem. I think it has evolved because of the hustle and bustle of life for me.
You see...normally I am pretty even tempered. It takes a lot to get me worked up.
A doctor I used to work with was telling the other nurses one day that he didn't think I would ever get excited about anything. He said he expected me to come to him and blandly say,
"Doctor, the patient is about to deliver."
When the fetal heart rate would be concerning and my waiting parents would pick up on it and begin to panic I would always tell them, "When you see me panic....then you panic."
I might be jumping up and down in my head, but I always did my best not to let them see my concern.
So many times I have been told, "You keep your head in a crisis," or "Nothing ever seems to upset you."
I remember when I was a kid there was this song called "Junk Food Junkie." I have never forgotten that song.
It was this guy talking about how healthy he always ate, you know, bean sprouts and all that stuff. But, there was a side to the guy that no one ever saw...
I just have to share the words with you.
You know I love that organic cooking
I always ask for more
And they call me Mr Natural
On down to the health food store
I only eat good sea salt
White sugar don't touch my lips
And my friends is always begging me
To take them on macrobiotic trips
Yes, they are
Oh, but at night I stake out my strong box
That I keep under lock and key
And I take it off to my closet
Where nobody else can see
I open that door so slowly
Take a peek up north and south
Then I pull out a Hostess Twinkie
And I pop it in my mouth
Yeah, in the daytime I'm Mr Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a junk food junkie
Good Lord have pity on me
Well, at lunchtime you can always find me
At the Whole Earth Vitamin Bar
Just sucking on my plain white yogurt
From my hand thrown pottery jar
And sippin' a little hand pressed cider
With a carrot stick for dessert
And wiping my face in a natural way
On the sleeve of my peasant shirt
Ah, but when that clock strikes midnight
And I'm all by myself
I work that combination on my secret hideaway shelf
And I pull out some Fritos corn chips
Dr Pepper and an ole Moon Pie
Then I sit back in glorious expectation
Of a genuine junk food high
Oh yeah, in the daytime I'm Mr Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
Oh, but at night I'm a junk food junkie
Good Lord have pity on me
My friends down at the commune
They think I'm pretty neat
Oh, I don't know nothing about arts and crafts
But I give 'em all something to eat
I'm a friend to old Euell Gibbons
And I only eat home grown spice
I got a John Keats autographed Grecian urn
Filled up with my brown rice
Yes, I do
Oh, folks but lately I have been spotted
With a Big Mac on my breath
Stumbling into a Colonel Sanders
With a face as white as death
I'm afraid someday they'll find me
Just stretched out on my bed
With a handful of Pringles potato chips
And a Ding Dong by my head
In the daytime I'm Mr Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a junk food junkie
Good Lord have pity on me
I have always had this mental picture of this guy that never fails to amuse me.
Well, I too, have a problem.....
Oh, please....not the "I'm gonna pull up next to you with a gun" kind....
More the "WHAT are you DOING? Who gave you a license????? Aren't you like 90, for crying out LOUD!!!"
"You could have passed them 10 times by now!! What are you waiting for? An invitation?"
"OK, Buddy....The rear end of this car is about to be on the market and YOU are the highest bidder if you don't BACK OFF!!"
I don't know what happens to me. Like the guy with the junk food problem, I am normally FINE!
But today, as I was traveling my lovely South Georgia country roads and I got behind PawPaw, and a tractor, and a guy with a bunch of stuff in the back of his truck with no tailgate, and the guy that pulled out in front of me when NO ONE was behind me and then went 10 mph and promptly TURNED causing me to have to slam on my brakes, I could feel sparks shooting out of my eyes.
My Name is Sheri....and I have road rage....
Good Lord, have pity on me.....
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Luke 24:49 And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:37-39 Now when they (They being the Jews that were in Jerusalem who heard every man speak in tongues and were amazed because they could understand them since they were Galileans. But, when they began to mock and say that everyone was "drunk," Peter stood among them and preached the gospel. Peter is the one that Jesus gave the KEYS to the Kingdom.) heard this (what Peter said), they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
I was headed to tour a potential new Personal Care Home today. The road I travel to get to the town is long with nothing but pine trees for miles and miles.
I was riding along, listening to my iPod, thinking about various things; my family, my church, my job, how blessed I am.
Suddenly, I started crying. I felt overwhelmed and began to pray. I didn't know what the need was, but I began to pray and before long I was interceding for some unknown (to me but not to God) need.
My husband called shortly thereafter, and as we have been concerned about his job situation I figured the call was not good news and perhaps God had been preparing me by whispering to my heart as I was praying "I will make a way."
I asked, "Are you OK?" And he was. So, I told him what had been happening and we talked for a few minutes about our future and how it is resting solidly in His hands.
I made a stop in town and could not find the road I was looking for. I called one of my Case Managers and she told me that I needed to turn around because it was on the other side of town, the way I came in.
I did find the road. And I did find the Personal Care Home.
But, I had no idea He was waiting for me there.
I knocked on the door and no one answered, so I went back to the car and called the number for the home. An older gentleman answered and told me how to come in the back door.
When I got inside, we introduced ourselves and he told me to look around. Turn on the light and explore and then come back and he would tell me about the home.
So I did.
I returned to the den where he sat in his lift chair, hooked to the big oxygen tank I had seen in the other room. And I sat, and I listened.
He talked about the home and what their plans were with it. He talked about the process of getting it ready to be a Personal Care Home.
And he talked about his children, and his life. He talked about growing up poor and making something for himself.
And I listened.
In the midst of our conversation he said, "I know this is personal, but looking at you I can tell you must be a really religious lady."
"Well, I am glad you can tell. I try to live in such a way that His light shines out of me."
He assured me it did.
So, we talked about God for a while, about His goodness. He said he knew he had not done some things right, but he tried. And we talked about that some.
Finally, I knew I needed to go, but I didn't want to leave him. I had told him about my father passing and about some of his life in the newspaper business.
I stood at the door and told him I would be back, just to see him. He said he hoped I would.
Then, he began to weep, (he had done so many times during our conversation) and he told me how God had been so good to him. I then told him about those last few moments with my Dad, about hearing him crying, just as he was now, and hearing him praising God just as he was doing. I told him how much that memory meant to me, and how I replay it over and over.
He said he wished he could do more, but he was in constant pain. He could not take any medicine to relieve the arthritis that plagued him because of his heart problems and his diabetes.
And as I stood there, I knew He was there too. I found myself saying, "Let me pray for you before I leave."
I went over and asked him where he hurt the worst, and I laid my hand on his left knee and prayed.
I left him sobbing in his chair with the promise of my return.
I don't tell you this to puff myself up (after all, it's not about me), I tell you this because God manifested Himself to me today.
Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be will unto you.
I have been hungry for God to use me. Not how most would think. I don't need public adoration, I need Him. And, I know there is a lost and dying world out there who has never known Him.
One of the terms that is most hated in today's world is *OBEY.* We don't want a God who tells us what to do, we want a God who lets us do what we want and turns the other cheek.
See, this is where I am crazy, because I LONG to obey. I want to walk in His ways, not my ways. I want Him to be with me!!
Jesus gave a message to the disciples before He ascended: "but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
*Just go where I tell you and wait on Me, and I will fulfill My promises. *
And they did.
Acts 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart for Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Now they weren't just sitting around waiting...
Acts 1:13-14 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Because they obeyed, there were about 120 filled with the Holy Ghost there in the upper room, including Mary, the mother of Jesus.
And, because of that experience, there were about 3000 souls baptized as those in Jerusalem "gladly received his word."
I have been asking God to use me, for His glory, to reach the lost.
And He sent me. He made a way for me, just as I knew He would, to be a witness to this man, to bring the gospel to him.
I will obey.
Lord, help me to walk in the ways You have commanded me. I know it is not the popular way, but it is Your way. I want everything You have for me. Everything. I want to live by Your Word. Help me to always be sensitive to those that are hurting. Help me to be ready at all times. I will go where You send me, Lord, for I know Your promises are true.
Friday, April 23, 2010
It's been hard for me to go there
Because you are everywhere
But I did
And you were everywhere
Pictures I had never seen
Receipts with your boldly scrawled name
(I tucked one into my pocket)
The notepads from your desk
And then I ventured into the bedroom
The room I have most avoided
Your cologne on the counter
Next to your shaving cream
And your shoes
Florsheim's, of course
The boots you always wore
Back in the day
There were suits hanging there
So I dug in all the pockets
It became a treasure hunt
Little post-it notes with numbers
Receipts from buying the suits
Folded up paper towels
And then I found the most wonderful secrets
I kept one for myself
And I held it to my face and cried
The thing is
You left all of these things there
Because you were coming back for them
You left them in drawers
On the counter
Because you knew they would be there
When you went to look for them
And more than anything
At this moment
I want you to come claim them
But I know that's not God's plan
For either of us
So I claimed a couple of your treasures
Just for me
Maybe you left them there
So I would not forget
Like I ever could
I miss you......
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
We decided we would tell about the highs and the lows, but we knew in the end it would be a story of triumph.
And the name of the book was going to be "Standing on the Mountain of God," because through the valleys of illness we were determined to *press our way higher* to the prize He had in store for us, to the finish line.
I was thinking about Moses when Amalek came to fight Israel in Rephidim.
Exodus 17:9-13 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hand, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Moses made it to the top of the mountain. And he did what he was supposed to do. By lifting his hands he declared his dependence and faith in God and through drawing near to Him through prayer, faith and obedience he had all of the tools in his hand to help Israel achieve victory.
But, during the course of the fight, he became weary.
And in his weariness he began to droop. His prayers faltered, his hands dropped, his back ached.
When that happened someone was there to help him continue on. Someone was there to say, "OK, I know you are tired, let me help to hold you up so you can *press on.*"
And then there was Joshua, down in the midst of the battle, leading the charge against the enemy.
I know that my father became tired. Oh, he fought, he fought hard. But, there were times when the fight would drain out of him.
That's where we came in, to hold him up. And that's when we would go ahead of him in the battles of the spirit and fight when he was not able.
Did my Dad make it to the top? You bet. And the most beautiful part of it all is that we were right there with him, we were there to help hold him up and we were there to see him become victorious over the battle he had fought so long and hard.
Today, I am still writing his story, the story of victory. And I stand high on the mountain of God, looking back at all the miles we journeyed as a family up until this point.
And, I look through the tears of one who has won and lost at the same time, knowing that the view from the top is bittersweet.
I'm thankful today. Thankful for the blessings in the thorns of my life. Knowing that had God chosen a different path for us I would not have the same *view* I do today. Thankful for ALL of it. I can't complain.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This is old, but it has been on my mind. I don't know if you have ever read this before but it is so true. "Oh, be careful little eyes!"
"A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'big brother' and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors-- Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.
But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening.
If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched.
He was Iike a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind-but sometimes Mom would quietly get up-- while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places-- go to her room, read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house-- not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.
He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger,
As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name? We always just called him TV."
-Told by Keith Currie