You big dummy, why didn’t you let us know you were hurting? You have friends who would forgive you anything, and do our best to help you get through anything. You made the one decision that leaves us totally helpless. The store is so quiet, people with swollen eyes and weak smiles, trying to hide our sorrow and the thoughts we can’t help but have. Did I in some way contribute to the pain you could no longer bear? Was there something I could have done to help? You’ve left so many questions without answers. Why Ray? What made you decide this was the only way?

 

I have every confidence, my friend that we will meet again, some day. Right now I don’t know if I want to hug you or knock you on your butt, probably both, and each just as heartfelt. Until then, rest in Him, and enjoy the peace you couldn’t find here with us.

 

On Wednesday, September 2, Ray R. Vickers Jr. took his own life. He was a good man and my coworker and friend. He is already much missed.

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This is an answer to Corina’s Prompt/Challenge
 
Reading her ad, she realized the dress had survived the past twelve years better than she had. No dry cleaner could fix what the stress had done to her body and face, but she thought she could. With a wry smile, she hit delete and threw the damn thing away. 
The schedule said I got off work at 11pm. I finally clocked out at 12:15am. Walking past a few folks waiting to clock in I thought to myself, “Welcome to hell.” To say it was a rough night at the BECG (Big Evil Corporate Giant) would be a huge understatement. My legs, feet, and back hurt, and I still had to shop, before going home. The searing pain in my hip hit as I was putting the cart up, after loading my groceries into the car. Thanking God that the car was close I limped to it and got ready to head home, wanting nothing more than to cry all the way. I turned the radio on and “There’s a Light at the End of the Tunnel” started to play. Thanking God again, for knowing just what I needed and forgetting the tears, I turned it up loud, and sang most of the way home.
 
Did God know I would need that close parking spot, 11 hours before I did? Did He make sure I got it? Was He responsible for the DJ’s choice to play that particular song, at just the moment I needed it? Is God concerned with the little things?
 
I have friends who hold the opinion that we shouldn’t bother God with little things and should only ask His help with the big stuff. But the Bible says that God will provide the things we wear, eat, and drink.
 

“Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” Luke 12:22-31

I guess the argument could be made that those aren’t little things, after all we were taught in school that food, clothing and shelter are necessary for life.

Let’s take a look at Luke 12:6,7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

The very hairs of our heads are numbered! God knows every time one of us looses a hair! I know there are some who count the hairs left behind in the brush, but that’s such a small thing, most of us don’t even notice.

Is God always going to make sure I get a nice close parking space? Of course not, because that might not always be His will for me and might not be the best thing for the circumstance. Will He see to it that I am never hurt or disappointed? No. Will He heal my hip or fix my feet, legs, and back so they don’t ache at the end of a rough night? Probably not, and that’s okay. He is the Lord God, Creator of all things, and I trust him to know what’s best, even when it’s unpleasant or even painful. Is it silly to thank God for a parking space or a song? Not according to the Bible.

Ephesians 5:15-20 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

We are to give thanks always for all things.

For all things?! Yes, for all things. It can be tough to give thanks for the things that hurt or are unpleasant. There is only one way to reach that point, prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Pray without ceasing is a big goal, and not one we are ever likely to reach, but it’s absolutely worth the effort, as is learning to give thanks for the things in your life you wish weren’t happening, because that’s were internal peace comes from.

Philippians 4:6,7Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Father, thank You, for the parking space.

 

 

 

 

Who stole it from The Havens.

1. Who was your first prom date? I skipped prom to give birth.
2. Do you still talk to your first love? Yes, and that’s all I have to say about that.
3. What was your first alcoholic drink? Jack Daniels (yeah, I know)
4. What was your first job? cooking at Sonic
5. What was your first car? 1975 Dodge Dart
6. Who was the first person to text you today? Tracfone, to let me know my minutes had updated
7. Who is the first person you thought of this morning? I was feeling selfish, so it was me.
8. Who was your first grade teacher? I can’t remember her name, but I almost quit school the first day, because she didn’t teach me to read.
9. Where did you go on your first flight in a plane? Lubbock
10. Who was your first best friend and do you still talk? Marty, yes
11. Where was your first sleepover? my granny’s
12. Who was the first person you talked to today? I told Sister dog to stop whining until I got my eyes more than half open.
13. Whose wedding were you in for the first time? mine
14. What was the first thing you did this morning? let the dogs out
15. What was the first concert you went to? I went with my mother to see Little Jimmy Dickens.
16. First tattoo?

my only tattoo

my only tattoo

17. First piercing? nice, normal ear piercing
18. First foreign country you went to? Japan
19. First movie you remember seeing? Wizard of Oz
20. What state did you first live in? Texas
21. Who was your first room-mate? I’ve never had a room-mate.
22. When was your first detention? Junior year
23. If you had one wish, what would it be? for everyone to know the love of my Lord and Savior.
24. What is one thing you would learn, given the chance? I would like to read music.
25. Who will be the next person to post this? Your guess is as good as mine.

I’ve been playing with my new digital camera lately. It sucks, but some of the pictures are still worth sharing.

never leave an empty bag on the table

never leave an empty bag on the table

safe from the dog mud

safe from the dog mud

just before he kicked the food dish off

just before he kicked the food dish off

When someone says “God” what image comes to mind? Is it an all powerful angry being waiting above to thump you on the head or make things go badly for you, if you do the wrong thing? Are you convinced that you been so awful, gone so wrong, that He couldn’t possibly love or forgive you? Do you feel as if you’ve been picked on by the All Mighty? That’s not the image the Bible gives of our Creator.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us what God thinks about us.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Child, God is not mad at you.

1 John 4:8 tells us that God not only loves but is love. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

And there is the ultimate expression of God’s love.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 4:9 “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

We call Him, Father, but we must be careful not to let the imperfect image of out earthly father overshadow who God truly is.
Luke 11:9-13 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Child, God is not mad at you, and he doesn’t want you to be afraid of Him.

Yes, I know the Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10) But the word “fear” here means “respect” not knee knocking fright.

Like any good father, God will let you suffer the consequences of your own actions, although many Christians, including myself, have noticed that said consequences are often muted by God’s mercy. And like any good father, God will discipline His children.
Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

Correcting one’s children takes time and effort. It would be much easier to allow them to do as they please, but of course, because we love them we take the time and put in the effort to discipline them properly. God does the same for us.
Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Child, God is not mad at you.

In fact, He’s crazy about you, loves you, and wants to spend all eternity with you.
2 Peter 3:8-9 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God is not mad at you.

He has made a way for you to spend eternity with Him. It’s yours for the asking.

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

I guess by now everyone has noticed that music is a huge thing for me. A song can effect my mood for hours (sometimes days), so I choose my radio stations carefully. Of course music is also a large part of my worship, sometimes a song can say the things I’m feeling with much more elegance than I could ever manage.

The healing process is well on it’s way, since allowing myself to grieve. I can even manage a prayer that isn’t exclusively for someone else. Some of you know what a big step that is.

This is where I want to be.

The Motions –Matthew West

This might hurt, It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care, If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just ok, Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

No regrets, Not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love, Make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
‘Cause just ok, Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way

I don’t wanna go through the motions

It seems one must admit how hurt they are, before healing can begin. It’s amazing the lengths God will go to in order to bring said healing and peace to His children. I wish I had the words to describe yesterdays service, how the Spirit settled over the entire congregation, and how He used a song to begin the process for one broken, battered, weeping child of God.

Cry Out To Jesus – Casting Crowns

To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
They’ve done all they can to make it right again
Still it’s not enough

For the ones who can’t break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame
And your suffering

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

Father, thank You, for loving this selfish, arrogant woman. Thank You, for bearing my anger and pain, and showing me the way to peace.

I haven’t forgotten or abandoned you guys, and I’m not really missing, just quiet. It’s kind of dark in my world right now, and it’s taking awhile to work through it. I don’t get down often, so my coping skills are lacking.

My friend thinks it’s grief, and she may be right, but I still don’t know what to do with it.

I’ll be back on the “swing” soon.

Angela issued a challenge, by saying no one would do this, so here’s mine. 😉

FILL IT OUT! Learn 44 things about your friends, and let them learn 44 things about you!

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yummy!

2. Do you scuba dive? I did, twen a number of years ago, but can’t anymore because of my asthma.

3. Do you own a gun? I have, but don’t now. I am thinking about getting a shotgun for snakes and coyotes.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? Pink Lemonade

5. Do you get nervous before a doctor’s appointment? I’m more likely to get irritable.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Quick, easy, and filling, who could ask for more?

7. Favorite Christmas movie? “A Christmas Carol” the 1951 version.

8. Favorite thing to drink in the morning? COFFEE!!

9. Can you do push ups? Not even on a bet.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Diamond earrings Doug got me “just because”

11. Favorite hobby? Painting

12. Do you have A.D.D.? More like OCD

13. Ever saved someone’s life? Yes

14. Middle name? Dawn

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I’m tired. I’m glad my internet is working. The little chewy cat may have to die.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee, water, Mocha latte

17. How many siblings do you have? Five, all brothers

18. Current dislike right now? Laundry

19. Favorite place to be? Home

20. Favorite seafood? Lobster

21. Where would you like to go? Jerusalem

22. Name three people who might complete this: I seriously doubt any will.

23. Do you own slippers? Red-neck women don’t do slippers.

24. What shirt are you wearing? None, I’m in my nightie.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No, and it’s a good thing. Cat and dog claws are heck on them.

26. Can you whistle? No 😦

27. Favorite colors? Yellow

28. Would you be a pirate? And have to run around without my makeup and hair products! Not happening.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Whatever I’m practicing for church.

30. Favorite girl’s name? Nela

31. Favorite boy’s name? Timothy

32. What’s in your pocket right now? No pockets

33. Last thing that made you laugh? My Husky/Lab rolling on his back, being cute and funny

34. What vehicle do you drive? A paid for (which is the best part) 95 Ford Escort wagon

35. What’s your worst injury? A broken tail bone

36. Do you love where you live? Love might be a bit strong. I do love my house.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3

38. Who is your loudest friend? Otica!

39. Do you have any pets? 3 dogs, 3 cats, and a bird

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Oh, I hope not. Who has the energy?

41. Your favorite radio station? KLTY

42. Do you collect anything? Cats, dolphins, and from the look of things today, dust

43. Would you rather be in the mountains or at the beach? Mountains!

44. What songs do you want played at your funeral? “Home” by Chris Daughtry, “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)”, and “Softly and Tenderly“