Sunday, December 28, 2008

I will Not be Enslaved

Recently God has been dealing with me on some very weighty issues. Specifically, what my weight reflects when it comes to where and what I turn to other than my heavenly Father in satisfying my needs.

I shared these revelations God was revealing to me with my niece Jessica a few weeks back.

Shortly afterword, Jess posted the following note on her Facebook page. With her permission I share it with you.

With New Years just a few days away, so many good intentioned resolutions we tend to make - then break, it seemed only fitting.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

I’ve decided the best way to get my point across with loosely applying this passage to overeating is just to replace some words.

Please don’t get the fire burning. I’m not trying to be heretical…I realize there are some flaws to my logic, but I also know that I’m not trying to start a new idea or anything and this isn’t a “word from the Lord.” I’m just taking a passage that deals with a sin and applying it to another sin.

Here’s what I think Paul would have written if he were a woman dealing with food issues, LOL.

“All food is legal for me to eat, but not all of it is healthful. All food is OK for me to eat, but I will not be enslaved by it. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food and they are both temporary and will not be important in the end. The body is not made for gluttony, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of the Pillsbury Dough Boy? Never! (My substitutions for verse 16 just got silly…I digress!) But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee gluttony (the running wouldn’t hurt, either.) Every other sin a person commits outside the body, but gluttonous person sins against his own body (I know this may not be correct and go against what Paul originally said, but it makes sense, right? Without making me a heretic? Am I way out of context here?) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.”

I know some might think it extreme to compare gluttony to sexual sins. I think that may be because most of the time gluttony is socially acceptable. Only in America, folks. Home of the super sized, drive thru, delivered fast food, all you can eat buffets and restaurant meals that really should take a day to eat.

With some people, we have been taught to overeat. I don’t use that as an excuse, but we are not satisfied to just be full most of the time. It used to be that you only stuffed yourself that full on Thanksgiving, but now it seems like a more regular occurrence. If our stomach was meant to only hold so much food, why do we overfill it on so many occasions? We even make jokes about wearing our “eating pants.”I guess to some people this might seem extreme.

It’s just food, right?

If you have food issues, like I do, then getting to the heart of why we overeat is so important.

For me, I’ve narrowed it down to 2 words: Idle and Idol.

I eat when I’m bored and I try to replace God with food. Thinking that it will make me feel better. Choosing to comfort myself with food instead of God's Word.I’m hoping to do some more Bible “study” about this topic.

If you have any insight on this, please share! I think we do this by ourselves so often and it really is a big issue for some people.

Thanks, Tammy, for spurring my brain on this topic!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nativity Stories

Like many of you all, we have been busy these last few weeks decorating hearth and home and for my crew this means displays of three nativity sets...yes three.

My sweetie and I each have one that was part of our marriage dowry and the grands have their own kid friendly Little People version. Mr. B's nativity was one he grew up with being passed down to him by his grandparents. As I set it up this year I again noted it was the only one I had ever seen with 4 Magi. Makes for a very full stable.
My niece recently shared this video with me, pointing out that it appears there may have been some creative license with the retelling of nativity story through the years and perhaps my husbands nativity may be closer to reality than we knew.

Do you have any of your own nativity stories you care to share? I'd love hear them.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Oscar De La Renta and Suicidal Skunk

Not long ago I swung by a popular donut shop for a cappuccino to go. As I rolled down my window to pay, my nostrils were filled with the most amazing aroma. I whipped my head around startled at the fragrance that was most definitely filling my head.
My granddaughter in tow, I called for her to scoot up, take a whiff, and tell me what I was smelling.

Naturally, her first response was to state the obvious,

"You can't smell Maw Maw."

I assured her I was aware of that, but I was certain some scent was permeating my head, I just had no idea what it was.

The child pulled up, inhaled and said "It smells like coffee and cake, uh...donuts."

I turned my schnoz again to the window that was now closed and waited for the servers return. Once the window was opened, I took in a long deep breath, closed my eyes and concentrated hard, wanting to brand the scent on my memory.

Could this truly be what smelling is?

It was fantastic!

For the majority of you, registering the scent of glazed donuts and freshly brewed java wouldn't be that monumental and would come as no big surprise...what should it smell like....turpentine?

Weeks ago, I wouldn't have known the difference. More precisely, I could not smell all.

My nose has operated like this for as long as I can recall. I have never able to smell any kind of fragrance, good or bad.

Your question might be: "Can you taste things?"

Yes, as my full body documents, my taster functions very well.

'but' you ask, 'I always thought if you can't smell, you can't taste?'
Yes that is the general consensus, if the difficulty is physically related: If the nose has a deviated septum, polyps, was broken or had physical damage or trauma.

My nose has suffered none of those things. There is no physical reason for the defect.

After extensive examination and testing which include multiple CT's and MRI's, the results are the same: This makes no sense but has been my reality.

It appears God had another plan.

The coffee and baked goods were just the beginning. I now have a running list, I lovely refer to as my "Schnoz Journal".

In order of occurrence I have smelled the following:


Baked Goods

Body Powder

Roast Beef


Cigarette smoke

Burning Firewood

Pumpkin Pie

Suicidal Skunk (twice...ew!!)

and most recently Oscar De La Renta perfume.

The perfume was just this weekend, completely marvelous and no, I don't know what flavor it was...I didn't know to ask!

You no doubt noticed a few on that list that emit a pretty wretched scent, but for me they have all been good.

The fact that I could smell their wretchedness was a gift from God.

With each odor taken in, I smile, laugh, do a happy dance and thank God all at once.

I can smell!

I must confess, lately with every fragrance revelation I have paused to ponder.

What kind of scent do I emit?

I have always tried to compensate for my deficiency by scrubbing things that much deeper, using cleaning and fragrance products others taut as the most pleasant, having no working knowledge of this particular sense I've looked to others for direction and clarity in everything I thought mattered.

But how pleasing do I God that is?

This is one scent that really should matter most to me.

In reading Philippians 4:18 I wonder , does God find my fragrance sweet, acceptable and well pleasing?

Or is it more often like that of turpentine and suicidal skunk?

I must confess, this newly restored sense has awaken me to a greater understanding of my relationship with God.

My Heavenly Father does not know me through my color, gender or denomination but my heart, soul, motives and most obedience.

In reading 1 Samuel 15, we find King Saul totally disobeying God's instruction to completely annihilate the Amalekites and all their live stock. When confronted about usurping Gods authority, Saul justified by stating only the best were spared so they might be used as sacrifices to the Lord.

Samuel then reminded Saul that to heed God instruction, obeying Him in all things is infinitely better than sacrifice I Samuel 15: 22 , (a better smelling I suspect)

Obedience has been something I have struggled with a lot through the years. In retrospect I'm bowled over that the Lord has been so generous and allowed me so many do overs, showing such grace and mercy to this remedial child of His.

I don't want to find myself like King Saul, rationalizing that the things I do and people I help are for Gods good and glory-all the while secreting a stench to the highest parts of heaven.

Oh that He would close His eyes at each thought of me and giggle with delight at the fragrant bouquet of my obedience.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Siesta Ornament Exchange '08

The gals over at the Siesta Fiesta Blog hosted an ornament exchange
as result I received a sweet snowman picture frame ornament and bag of Peppermint Bark candy from Cheryl at the 29:11 Promise blog.
Funny, turns out Cheryl is a Georgia Siesta who lives within 20 minutes of me and some of her favorite quotation's are from my own pastor....and the world gets smaller and smaller!

Every time I hang this little fella I will be recall a few of my favorite things:

Snow, photos and my Siestas!

Thank you Cheryl for the cute ornament and the Peppermint Bark you packed it with, very tasty and should seriously be consider the green alternative to Styrofoam popcorn. Yum!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Passion for Pageants

This week has been very full as we put finishing touches on our annual Christmas festival.
After weeks of preparation, we're in the mist of final dress rehearsals-ironing out kinks in music, lighting, sound and other pressing matters.

The program has been billed as a night of 1, 000 voices and will include singers of all ages from kindergarten through our Senior adults. We will be accompanied by one of the finest volunteer orchestras you might ever hear. This musical mosaic will be melded together with powerful narration that presents the complete unabridged meaning as to the celebration of Christ birth.
Basically we're talking a Christmas pageant on steroids...the good kind.

I have known and loved Christmas plays and musicals my entire life. Those pageants that bring us back to the true essence of what we should be celebrating at this time of year. The programs that share the complete story of Gods amazing grace as witnessed by the gift of His Son Jesus.

Some of my fondest childhood memories include the annual pageants held at the church's and schools I attended. I was fortunate to be live during a time when Christmas plays included traditional Christ centered themes and music. My passion for pageants took root early in life. Most of the time these productions were based on the story of Christ birth as told in the second chapter of Luke , and you just doesn't get much better than that.

As a child, my six brothers and I rounded out the cast of several local productions. We did our share of shepherding sheep, bringing treasure from the East, donned a few angel wings

and filled a stable or three with sheep, cows and other exotic livestock.

Yes, my clan played a part in many such annual presentations and have been all the better for it.

I'm excited to say that this year another generation makes their debut in sharing the Christmas story. Miss Kyra has worked hard to learn several intricate choral numbers and will be joining over 300 peers, her grandmother and many others as part of a thousand voice choir that will be telling the real story of Jesus in the next few days.

I can think of no greater legacy to pass on to my baby grands than knowing the reality of what God did for them by sacrificing His Son so many years ago.

I grew up with simple plays, scripture reading and traditional Christmas carols. Those were the pageants of my day and I am still reaping the benefits of those experiences.

My grands will know these same wondrous truths but with greater depth and richer understanding as to the fullness of Christ sacrifices by way of same scripture, powerful music and a bit more glitter.

Either way: It's all very good!

Should you be available to join us this Saturday or Sunday night, please check over here for details and directions. If you make it by the church, give me a holler, I would love to meet you afterward.

If you can not make it in person please join us online. Be sure to check in here by 6pm and don't forget to crank up the volume.

Blessings ya'll!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We have a winner!

and the winner of the
EVH 2008 Ugliest Christmas Sweater contest

drum roll please!!

Whoop! Whoop!
Our hats are off on to you Mama!

Big thanks and another 'Whoop! Whoop!' to each one of you for your encouragement and creative input, without which my girl may not have won or at least had so much fun creating such ugliness.

love to ya'll,


Friday, December 5, 2008

The Electric Horsemans' got nothing on us!

Here is the final product.

Lest you get distracted with all the glam and glitter
we added

a Holly wreath around the collar,

and 24 Real twinkle lights

(that's lighting on all sides)

accessorized by a Santa hat with same holly trim

and sparkling red Light bulb drop earrings.

It's good, no?

The party is Saturday, I'll be sure to report how she fared.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Need Some Serious Help

So what do you think?


Have one in the backside of your closet?

Seriously...uh daughter is competing at work in an Ugliest Sweater contest. The prize is a gas card (whoop! whoop!) so she came over this morning and here be the results
(pirate jargon, um...where did that come from...would everyone sit down in there)

again, seriously

Can you think of anything else that might really put her over the top?
We would so appreciate your input

Sunday, November 30, 2008

and it was very good!

A few weeks back I was given a vicious bug from several preschoolers in the Sunday School class I teach. I pretty much know the exact moments they shared their precious gifts as more than one repeatedly coughed directly on my face....we then spent a few minutes learning and executing the proper way to cover and cough into ones elbow.

This lesson was too late for my benefit.

Two days later the yuck had set in. In the four weeks that followed, things went from bad to worse culminating with a diagnosis of pneumonia just days before Thanksgiving.

Those who know me well understand I'm a fairly high energy-on the go caregiver and not one who easily sits back and allow others to pitch in and help out...I'd much rather do it myself.

I can be a real control freak at times.

As Thanksgiving neared, my breathing and energy wained. I was ready to abandon any thoughts of business as usual.

Reluctantly we cut out all the fluff foods, decorations and preparations leaving us with the bare boned holiday essentials. Truth be told, were it not for my determined little family, I would ordered a pizza or two and called it a day.

Instead, a few of my resident angels rolled up their sleeves and saw to it that some semblance of Thanksgiving would grace our table this year.

Paw Paw and Kyra did the grocery shopping which included raw and prepackaged food stuffs.

This was okay with me.

We made a few phone calls and delegated some side dishes.

This was okay with me.

Then there was the pie.

I don't know about the rest of you, but in our house besides the bird, celebration of this holiday must include pumpkin pie.

Now Madame Publix is a mighty fine baker, but let me tell you, she has nothing on Miss K.

At 5 years old, Thanksgiving 2008 marked our baby grands first solo baking experience.

And she did good!

Actually, little Miss did very, very good!

Using her radical reading and math skills, she gathered all the necessary ingredients and proceeded to make pies.

First, Baby Grand measured and mixed the sugar and spices...

lots of spices.
Next, she broke some eggs...
Eggs can be messy!
with only a few pieces of shells

Then little Miss beat the eggs...
After which she added some pumpkin...
and more pumpkin....
Next up adding the wonderful sugar and spice...Yum!
and mix!
Mixing can be hard...Sometimes, this requires two hands
BG added some milk
(one of only 4 things Maw Maw got to do help with) More mixing...
then pour!

It was as easy as pie!
and of course, you've gotta lick the spoon.

Ready for some heat
Into the oven
(another of the things Maw Maw was allowed to do)

While the pies baked,
we set to work tending the turkeys...yes, I said turkeys-plural.
LOT'S of turkeys!
we cleaned up...
made bubble sundaes....
Until the pies were done...
to perfection.
With requisite goodies prepared, we headed off to bed.
Early Thursday morning we wrestled the other bird and had him in the oven all of an hour before a power outage struck our section of town. After an hour and a half, as we readied the grill-planning to smoke our fowl (stuffing and all), the power returned.
By the time our family gathered later in the day, a few more plans had fallen by the wayside,
but nothing we could not do without.
The bare essentials were in tacked.
Football was watched, kiddos played, the grownup caught up trading stories and laughter.
We spent Thursday and few days more
giving thanks for the bounty of that is our lives.
and it was very good!

I hope you and yours were blessed in similar ways during this time of thanks.