Friday, May 28, 2010


You may remember that last year we had to cut down a tree because of bores.  At the same time, the 2 oak trees out front became sick. 

We now call this tree our "Charlie Brown Tree."  So sad.  (Look at that pitiful shadow!)

So today, we went tree shopping.  We didn't know what we wanted....until we saw these trees.  We got 2 pecan trees, 2 redbud trees and 1 ash tree.  The 2 pecan trees will replace the 2 sick oak trees out front.  The larger redbud tree will replace a blooming bush in front of our dining room window.  We hate this bush!  It constantly needs trimming and gives us allergies!  (Notice the crummy "siding"on the house.)

This is the topsoil we'll need to use to plant them. 
(You must know you can't just go dig a hole!)

The small green "bush" to the left is actually a small redbud tree that will go in a corner behind our living room that will replace an identical flowering bush on the other side of the house....the bush we hate.  You can also see a couple of tiger lilies we purchased to plant in this sorry little garden spot.  I'm really behind on my you can tell.  Allergies have kept me inside this month.  (See the old, crusty windows?)

And Andy has decided the ash tree will go "right here!"  I'm hoping to get a fruit tree to plant later.  I'd love a peach tree--or nectarine tree!  Can you find one of those?  I'd love to landscape this whole back yard--it would be nice to actually use it!  And we're hoping to replace this ugly fence this summer, too....and windows...and siding...and garage doors.  A summer facelift on Crockett St.!   We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Corn Nuts

I bought these "for the guys" at Living Water.  But this week, they've been calling my name.  I don't usually go for these treats, but I found there's just something about crunching into these nuts...corn...snacks.  (What are they, exactly?)  Of course, if I had weak teeth, I wouldn't dare try them.  But my teeth are healthy and strong.  And today?  They're taking away the burned bite of a blueberry donut out of my taste buds.  Nasty!  Some nameless baker needed to change their frying oil.  We eat very healthy snacks at Living Water. 

As a kid, I remember going to the "Little Store" (not really the name) a few blocks from our house with a NICKEL, mind you, and standing around forver trying to make up my mind how to spend it.  At that time, it would usually be a toss-up between a banana fudge bar or a Hershey bar.  Yes...for a nickel.  And sometimes I'd go for the fresh pomegranate.  It was a dime.  And the Little Store.

What treat from your past calls your name? I like the things not good for your teeth---things like Big Hunks and obviously, Corn Nuts. OH! And Cherry Mashes...and Hot Tamales...and Zeros...and....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

Ok...I understand that you probably have to be 50 or over to understand this line.  But this is what the robot on Lost in Space would constantly say to Will Robinson on the show.

But I feel a little like that robot.  I feel like I should be shouting--Danger, People, Danger!  Are you paying attention to what is going on with Israel?  Israel is beginning a five day nationwide drill to prepare for war.  In the past, they've had this drill with the military, but they're expanding it to include municipalities, law enforcement and civilians.  Gas masks will be distributed while people seek shelter.

A year ago, I blogged for 31 days about how the Bible's prophecies were meeting todays headlines.  And on Day 3 of that series, I told you to begin looking for an alliance between Russia, Iran, Lybia, Turkey--all mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39.  That alliance is shaping up.  The world, I believe, is being set up for the Ezekiel 38-39 war.  (Actually, people smarter than me believe this...and I believe them.)  Russia and Turkey are both providing uranium to Iran.  Israel believes that Iran is now nuclear capable.  And Israel this week, is practicing and preparing for war. 

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure."  Psalm 122:6

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It clicked!

Don't you just love it when everything falls into place?  With one little click, it all lines up?  That's what happened for me today.  And it all started 16 years ago.
Sixteen years ago, I began to immerse myself in I Peter 3.  I wanted to learn how to be a good daughter of Sarah.  And I can tell you that I Peter 3 has become like a good friend to me.  I have learned much through the years from this one chapter.   
Things like: 
  • Submission is not a four letter word
  • What "adapting" looks like
  • That this chapter isn't just about responding to husbands who are unbelievers, but any husband who doesn't obey the Word in some respect
  • The importance of respecting your husband
  • The priority of a gentle and quiet spirit over outward beauty
  • God speaks to women first because they seem to be first responders
  • How it must have felt for Sarah to be offered to another man by her own husband
  • And many other things....

But today it clicked....and all of the balls fell into place.  This past week, I told you that I drew a line in the sand to fear.  I was tired of living in fear.  And I chose to be fearless.  And the results I saw were not natural...they were supernatural.  It wasn't until I was praying with a friend this morning, that we realized that being fearless is a part of the instruction in I Peter 3.  It will directly affect your marriage...I guarantee it. 
I discovered that it's a key to this passage---and it was there all along!  I think God has just been waiting for me to "get it!"  But hey!  It only took me 16 years.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dogs & Grandkids

Ryan and Addie started out on my bed tonight watching American Idol with me.  Then I opened my facebook and they both wanted to write a message, so we did that.  Then we started talking about dogs. (They've been promised a dog since they got a house.)  So I decided to look up some pictures on the internet to show them. 
We started with this one:
Awwww...isn't he cute?  That was their response, too.
But then Ryan told me he wasn't getting this kind of dog, he was getting a poodle. 

So I looked up a poodle and showed him this:
AAAAAAIIIIIIIIII!!!  That was his response as he fell in a fit of giggles!  We were all laughing hysterically and we all decided it's NOT going to be a poodle!

Daddy got home and we showed him our pictures and he decided to look some up. 
He showed us this dog:
NOOOOOO!!  At this point, Addie's head goes under the covers.

So he unveils this beauty to us:
Ok...I couldn't find the exact photo David found, but this is close.  By this time, Addie was screaming and crying.  She didn't want to see anymore ugly dogs.  Only cute ones.

But this is the one that really did Addie in:
David actually thought he was showing her something "cute" that she would laugh about!  But she screamed, "I DON'T LIKE POODLES!!!!!"

So David showed Ryan this picture:
And David told Ryan that they had owned a doggie like this when Ryan was a baby.  Ryan couldn't believe it!!  He asked his dad what the dog's name was and David told him it was "Forrest."  Ryan began crying and came and fell in my lap to grieve for the dog he never knew he had.  And of course, I did what any good grandmother would do.....I was laughing hysterically!!!  Addie still had her head under the covers screaming about not wanting to see anymore ugly dogs (I'm just praying there's enough fun conversation on the way home and enough time lapse so there are no nightmares tonight!) and Ryan's crying over the dog he never knew he had.  I can hardly contain myself at this point.  But I begin telling Ryan that Forrest had gone to live on a farm (true) with a family and was probably chasing cows and chickens just like Jack on Little House on the Prairie.  Ahhhhh.....the tears stopped.  That did the trick!  Thank goodness they've been watching Little House so I had something that would compute.

  And with that.....the computer was closed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I had a unique experience a few weeks ago--at least, unique to me.  I drew a line in the sand and stood fearlessly.  Not alone.  I'm not sure that's even possible.  But with God's Spirit filling me.  It's been in an area that Satan has attacked me most of my adult life.  But with God speaking to my heart and preparing me, I knew He had the final outcome in His hands and I could fall into those arms and trust Him with my life.  And something amazing took place.  I began to soar.  And I decided I never wanted to go back.

Tonight, I talked to a friend that took the very same step...the step into those arms.  And she's soaring. 

It's not a matter of a settled outcome.  God didn't give us that promise.  But it's the same attitude that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had:  "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."  Daniel 3:16-18 

That's the line I drew in the sand.  It's not about the outcome anymore.  I'm just tired of serving fear.    You can throw me into the fire, but I'm going to trust God for the end result.  And regardless of the outcome, He'll be glorified.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Trip to Kansas City

I didn't take my camera to Kansas City this weekend.  We went to Tyler Dietz's wedding (Andy's nephew).  It was a beautiful wedding and he married a beautiful girl--Hillary!  Lissa was the photographer and Shanna was the 2nd shooter, so you see, I didn't really need my camera.  But I found out that my cell phone takes pretty good photos!  See this one from Friday night:

This is Zach in his 3-D glasses after we'd gone to see a movie.  

And doesn't Zach's cell phone take exceptional photos?  How pathetic is that?  All I can say is that it was a l-o-n-g trip!!  I'd add more, but I must protect the innocent.  And then I'd have to tell the stories...and I shouldn't.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Inopportune Opportunity

As I was reading in Luke, I came upon some other opportunities mentioned.  "So they watched [for an opportunity to ensnare] Him, and sent spies who pretended to be upright (honest and sincere), that they might lay hold of something He might say, so as to turn Him over to the control and authority of the governor."  (Luke 20:20) 

Or how about this one?  "But [then] Satan entered into Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve [apostles].  And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and captains how he might betray Him and deliver Him up to them.  And they were delighted and pledged [themselves] to give him money.  So he agreed [to this], and sought an opportunity to betray Him to them [without an uprising] in the absence of the throng."  (Luke 22:3-6)

How did Jesus meet these inopportune opportunities?  BOLDLY and with TRUTH!  In the first instance, Luke says that Jesus recognized and understood their cunning and unscrupulousness and spoke to them.  He saw their hearts.  And he met them head on. 

Have you ever been challenged by someone who you knew was trying to manipulate, threaten,  intimidate, control---or even destroy you?   We can be destroyed by the fear alone that enters our own hearts from such a confrontation!  But Jesus didn't walk in fear.  He walked in love, power and a sound mind.  (The same attributes afforded to us.)  Jesus knew the Pharisees wanted to trap him.  He knew Judas had betrayed him.  And he knew Satan wanted to destroy him.   But instead of cowering in fear, it became Jesus' opportunity to turn and confront them with truth.  He was lionhearted.

I desire that kind of discernment.  But mostly, I desire that kind of fearlessness. 

"And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God." 
Philippians 1:28

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Opportunity's Coming!

I don't know if you're like me, but I find it hard to find my place in the midst of the political turmoil of our day.  Do we, as Christians, speak out?  Do we just love and pray?  What is my position?  I've honestly meditated on this for months and felt like I was just grasping for my place in it all.  And in the meantime, I emailed my senators and congressmen over issues that concerned me.  I figured that was the least I could do.  I believe with all of my heart that we are on a preordained path.  God has a plan for these days---and it's going to happen.  I just need to know my role.

This is the conclusion I've come to:  I am to be alert.  Not daydreaming.  Not so busy with life that I'm not aware.  Not involved in the wrong things.  And certainly not deceived!

My favorite Bible story of all time is Esther.  That story resonated in my heart when I was a child.  I felt like God was speaking to me the same infamous words Mordecai spoke to Esther:  "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

This morning, I was reading Luke 21.  In this chapter, Jesus is warning that a time will come when we will be hated by all nations for his name's sake.  And we  will be handed over to authorities by our own families.  And then this verse:  "This will be a time (an opportunity) for you to bear testimony."  I don't know if you've noticed...but I think that time is here/near.  We are hated by all nations.  And opportunities are coming.

I've decided my position in this political climate is to be walking with Christ.  If he tells me to speak out, I will.  If he tells me to be quiet, I'll do that.  If he gives me a royal position to save a nation, praise God.  But I must be alert.  I must be walking with and listening to the Father.  And I must be a friend to Israel--and praying for the peace of Jerusalem.

Yes, I honestly believe...opportunity is coming!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

This Christian fiction book doesn't just deal with scary things going on in a community...things like two animals being mutilated and reattached to one another...but it also deals with emotional issues going on in the same community. Kristen is brave and deals with issues in her book such as a battered childhood, a germaphobe, betrayal, sibling rivalry, rejection, alcoholism...and an issue that becomes the surprise ending in her book.

Having read a similar book by Ted Dekker that totally took me by surprise, I have to say I wasn't completely taken off guard in Kristen's book. But I thought the surprise ending issue was pretty brilliant.

I love Kristen's writing. It's easy to read and it's a book you won't want to put down. I heartily recommend INDIVISIBLE to you. You can take a sneak peek at the first chapter here.

This book was generously provided by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my review.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

My favorite Mother's Day story of all time comes from Amy:

Isaac came RUNNING out of Children's Church tonight grinning from ear to ear with a gift in his hands. He couldn't wait to get home and show what he had made for me. When we got home, he made me sit down and very seriously presented me with his gift.
In his package were little cards, each one describing ways he would help me this week.

Monday: "If we go on a walk and I see a blind person, I will take them by the hand and lead them home."

Tuesday: "If I meet a little girl, I will tell her about Jesus."

Friday: "Oh yeah, I'll help you sweep."

Saturday: "I'll help you clean the potties."

Sunday: "If we find an arrow, I'll clean it."

I asked him what happened to Wednesday and Thursday, but he didn't seem too concerned.

What is your favorite Mother's Day story?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Before our weekend was cut short..

Alexis came to stay with us this past weekend. 


 We had a great evening before Andy had to go and have heart problems. 
She thought I was just taking pictures, but I happened to capture an entire dance that she and Caitlin choreographed together on video.  You won't be able to hear the music---she was the only one to hear the music on her iPod.

Look at that form!  Pretty perfect--especially for a 7-year-old!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Do you see signs of overindulgence around you?  I have and it's been pricking my conscience--big time!  I was reading a Hatian missionary's blog last night and an article she posted quoted this verse:  "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."  Ezekiel 16:49

Didn't you think Sodom's sin was homosexuality?  Nope.  Pride, excess of food, prosperous ease and not aiding the poor and needy.  Wow.

These are some things that have stood out to me this week as I watched some tv.  The new show, "Selling New York" on HGTV.  Have you seen it?  I've only watched it a couple of times--because the opulence bothered me.  (I couldn't find the most overindulgent photos!)

And then there's the new advertisement for Storage Pods.

The ad is trying to convince us to rent a storage pod for all of our things.  We can store a room in a pod, tuck it away in their climate-controlled storage building and then they can move it to a new location across the country--if and when we move.  Do you have anything in storage?  Can you tell me what is in there?  I stored things for years after we moved to Borger and by the time I moved it out of there, I realized how much JUNK I'd been paying hundreds of dollars to store.  

And then I see pictures like this from another missionary's blog and realize where my money should go:

Or this from Joel Rosenberg's blog on helping Israel and it's neighbors:

I think these things may just be a little more important than this:

"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."  Ezekiel 16:49

I guess the question is....What am I going to do about it?  I think I'd like to try and see how little I can live on and how much I can give away.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Matt & Laura Chandler

LifeToday Video

Don't you hate seeing someone walking through something so hard?  But don't you love it when you see faith in the midst of suffering?  That's when you get a peek and wonder if that's why God has allowed it--to confound the faithless and to bring widespread glory to His name.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Everything's changed

God told me that about a week and a half ago:  "Everything is about to change."  Of course, in my mind, I immediately went to the worst-case scenarios.  And a week and a half ago, I didn't even know Andy had heart problems.  Wow.  It's been quite a week and a half.

But instead of dwelling in the negative, I just asked God what He meant.  And He told me that times might get hard, but He was in control and wants to display His power.  And He has.  I've also learned He wants to change me and strengthen me.  I don't know if it's like this in your life, but there seems to be a great stirring everywhere around me.  There's so much stuff going on in all of my friends and family's lives.  Overwhelming stuff.  But recently, I saw the power of the Holy Spirit move into a situation and realized that's how I wanted to live every day of my life.  And I think that's the kind of work God is wanting to do in me and through me.

We saw God move into our situation this week.  And I saw God work in my heart.  I normally would have feared throughout our ordeal with our insurance company and with our finances.  But instead, I saw how God had gone ahead of us and told Andy to take out some of our retirement.  Andy didn't just obey---he was driven to obey.  And he made sure he took care of it before he went to China.  That was not normal for him.  We had no idea at the time why we were doing it.  But because he'd done that, we had the money to enter the hospital twice this we wouldn't have had otherwise. 

There's something else that was going on at the same time.  My faith in God was growing.  There was just this knowing that God is a Man of His Word.  I can trust Him.  Bad things are going to come into our lives--things like finding out your insurance doesn't cover outpatient care.  But He's our Daddy.  He's gone before us and He wants the best for us.  That doesn't mean there will always be a positive outcome.  It may just be bad.  But He'll be there with us in the midst of it.  And I know this:  "What Satan means for evil, God will use for good."  A friend posted this today on facebook by someone who has experienced the flooding in Tennessee:  "@ThomRainer: We have no flood insurance because we are not in a flood zone. We therefore have no coverage. I will still praise Him."  Satan wants to destroy us.  But God wants abundant life in us.

I also learned it's time to be through with my independent nature.  I need people.  And I need them to be a part of these moments in my life.  When I think I might actually be protecting them and saving their energy, I may be preventing them from what God wants them to invest in emotionally and spiritually.   For that, I'm sorry.

Having said all that, Andy's doing great.  Our finances are fine.  I'm learning.  And God is the BEST!

(Even though the medical professionals tend to put the fear of God into you---going home with a wound in a major artery that needs to heal---or you'll open it and bleed to death!!)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

1 Heart Stent

Andy & I spent the night in Amarillo last night since we were told to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. to register.  So we were here at 6.  But no one else was.  We came to NWTH Heart Center and we learned that they don't register on Saturdays.  So Andy found a phone and we were told to go to the hospital's main registration area---but it wouldn't open until 7.  Really, people?  I could have slept an extra hour??  So we went around and waited.  After registering, we were handed some papers and told, "They'll see you at 10 at the Heart Center."  What?  I could have actually slept until 9:30?? 

Mom showed up and we took her out to see the house Matt built and went to Wal-Mart--two things I didn't expect to do today.

THEN we went to sit and wait 1 1/2 hours.  A nurse came out about 9:20 and said, "Robert Dietz?"  Andy stood up and she began explaining that they don't do outpatient procedures on Saturdays.  Not again!!  We explained it wasn't outpatient and she told Andy to have a seat while she went to make some calls.  She came back about 30 minutes later and said, "Ok.  Since you're already here, we'll go ahead.  But we don't do heart caths on Saturdays."  I could tell she was ticked, but couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on.

Mom was here and as soon as Andy went back, Bill & Kaye Smith came to wait it out with us.  We'd been told it would take about 45 minutes.  At 11:30, Dr. Hernandez came out to give us the report.  The heart has 3 arteries going into it.  And he showed us the photo of one of those arteries that had been 97% closed off.  But he'd put in a stent and it was flowing at full capacity.  He told us, "He is one lucky man.  He was a walking time bomb that could have gone off at any time."  He told us they'd probably keep him until Monday. 

Then he told us they hadn't been able to find us this morning.  The nurse had called him and told him that we were no-shows.  He knew we wouldn't be and insisted that they find us.  Dr. Hernandez told us that when they do a heart cath on Saturdays, it's usually for someone already in the hospital or an emergency, so they were looking for us up on the floor.  I'm assuming that's why this nurse was ticked!  The CCU nurses couldn't believe we weren't furious over the whole episode.  We had to explain about our whole week and that we were just grateful that we were inpatient!  (We're also convinced our doctor arranged this all just for our benefit.)

Andy had to lay flat on his back for 6 hours this afternoon, but has done remarkably well--the nurses keep telling us.  We're certain it has to do with all the prayers!  His biggest complaint has been wearing the blood pressure cuff for 24 hours.  Chris McCollum got to come by and exchange war stories with Andy and then we had a great prayer time with Ricky & Pam Griffin.  (Boy!  Do we miss them!!)

The nurse has suggested that we ask to go home tomorrow.  She thinks the doctor will agree because Andy is doing so well.  Thank you so much for praying for us.  I have a nice little cot that I'm fixin' to stretch out on!