Saturday, July 30, 2011

Witchcraft in the Church

There is witchcraft in the church.  Does that freak you out?  Have you seen anyone doing seances in the auditorium?  Are there Ouiji boards spread across your altar?  Are people drinking blood or cutting themselves?  Are they casting spells or putting pins in voo-doo dolls?  Are there statues of idols on pillars spread around your sanctuary?

They might as well be---if people in your church are in rebellion.  I Samuel 15:23 says, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images)..."

I was praying with Andy and some friends last night and God gave me this visual.  People rebelling in the church are no different than someone desecrating the house of God in those ways.

If we've rebelled or if our hearts are stubborn, we've committed spiritual adultery.  Have you ever walked with someone who's discovered their spouse has been unfaithful?  It's horrible.  They go through a grieving process because they've lost the most precious thing of their marriage--the intimacy of their oneness.  And we're commanded in Ephesians 4:30, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

As we prayed last night, I saw the spiritual adultery in the church (in my own life) in a new way.  We've broken our oneness with God...and His Spirit is grieved.  God is urging us to cast off our rebellion, our stubbornness, our hard hearts and come back to Him.  He loves us and longs for restoration of our relationship.  He wants us for Himself.  He aches for us to be His alone.  He's willing to forgive us and receive us in His arms.  He yearns for intimacy with us again.

Let's cleanse our churches of the witchcraft.

Friday, July 29, 2011


What could God do through us if we were totally submitted to Him?  That's not a question I've responded to well most my life.  I've not been a submitter.  In fact, I had to confess to a pastor a few years ago that I had trouble submitting--to anyone.  And I'm ashamed to admit that.  It's taken me too long to get to a place of submission...and it hasn't come easy.

Honestly, if you think of almost any situation where there's conflict, complaining, disunity, disloyalty, rebellion or unforgiveness you can trace the root to a lack of submission.

Am I submitted to God?  Am I submitted to my husband (and he to me--the mutual submission talked about in Ephesians 5:21)?  Am I submitted to church leadership?  If not, why not?

And what is the opposite of submission?....REBELLION...which is like witchcraft. (I Samuel 15:23)  This is how the dictionary defines it:

1. open, organized, and armed resistance to one's government or ruler.

2. resistance to or defiance of any authority, control, or tradition.

Tonight, I was confronted again with my rebellion.  My open, organized, and armed resistance and defiance to my authority.

Father, give me a submissive heart.  I want to see what You can do through me with a totally submitted heart.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Speak to your Soul

Psalm 103: 1-2
"Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!  Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits--"

This past weekend, I was riding in the car with Zach and he was talking about hearing a sermon or song which talked about how often David (of the Bible) spoke to his soul.  I've been mulling that over.

Our soul is our mind, will and emotions.  And I think David, from reading his writings, was a melancholy person.  Not downhearted all the time---but he had his highs and his lows.  And I think he spoke Truth to his soul to get back on track.

Have you ever had a day of great highs and great lows---all in the same day?  I have.  Even since Zach & I had that conversation.  And I found myself speaking to my soul.  Demanding it to get back in line with the Word.  In fact, God used the very verses above to help me.  I told my soul to name all of the benefits God has blessed me with....and to not forget one of them.

I highly recommend speaking to your soul.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More Grandkids

Amy & her children were here this weekend.  They were on their way to spend some time with other family.  We were glad we got to spend some time with them!  And guess who else has a knife?

8-year-old Isaac!!
And guess who doesn't have a knife yet?

Just turned 6-years-old Josiah. 
And guess who doesn't care if she has a knife?


And trust me...this little ham doesn't stay upset for long.
He's all about getting a laugh.  And I happily oblige.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Addilyn Turns 6!

How many 6-year-olds do you know who choose to have their birthday parties at Outback?  Well...that's our Addie Belle.  This girl LOVES her steak!

Mom & Addie as they arrive at Outback.

Her dress even advertised that she was definitely the birthday girl!

Uncle Casey & Ryan were in attendance.

Three adorable Duhon kids were there.

In fact...we had quite a crowd!

Pops & Addie are steak buddies.

David & Lindsey have some wonderful (and beautiful) friends. 

Before things got started, Ryan & Addie wanted to do something.  So I pulled out their first gift.  They each got a turkey baster.  You heard me right---a turkey baster.  They spent over an hour at my kitchen sink recently playing in the bubbles with a turkey baster.  So I decided they needed their own.  The boys stayed well-entertained.

Guess what turned up at the party?  Yep...Ryan's knife.  And it came in so handy when he needed to pick his teeth later (notice the white toothpick that comes with it).

Some of the Ator kids were there.

Pretty mom.

The guys.

Time for candles and the Happy Birthday song.
These gluten free birthday cupcakes were made out of black beans.  Yummy!

She got a card from Granny---with MONEY!

Is this girl excited or what?  It didn't change...she was that excited with each gift!


She got lots of clothes, but I think she was pretty excited with this new Bible from Ryan.
Happy 6th Birthday, Addie Belle!

Monday, July 18, 2011


I've been thinking about the need to write about this for quite some time.  The Vietnam War.  I know it may sound crazy---I didn't fight in the war.  Heck!  I was only 10 years old when Lyndon B. Johnson escalated the war against communism in Vietnam in 1965.  But I was 20 years old when the war somewhat ended.  I just thought my kids need to hear what it looked like from my perspective as our nation walked through that turbulent time.

My first real understanding that there was a war going on was when my girlfriend, Janelle Bevel, showed up at junior high school with a silver I.D. bracelet on her arm.  She told me it had the name of a soldier on it and it was to remind her to pray for him.  She also had an address so she could send him letters.  It was a cool bracelet!  I went home and asked my parents if I could get one and my dad's unequivocable response was, "Absolutely not!!"  I was sure, even then, that his was a response of a former navy man who knew what those men might think.

Skip to high school.  There was a draft going on.  Young men were needed to fight this war.  Women did not fight in Vietnam combat.  They were doctors, nurses and office support, but did not fight in combat.  So they began drafting young men into the military.  They had to register as soon as they turned 18 and then numbers were drawn.  If your number was drawn, you had no choice---you went to Vietnam.  Well, unless of course, you defected to Canada and hid out from going to the war.  There was palpable fear about your number being drawn...or great pride for those families who were very patriotic.  I was terrified that my brother would be drafted!  Thankfully, he never was.  But the thing you have to understand is that there were a lot of people who did not believe in it--at all.  It was a horrible time.  I'm sure there were many things that led to a great rebellion among young people:  the music we listened to, the advent of illicit drugs, and the whole "peace, love, and free sex" culture.   But it was a wave of rebellion hitting our generation.  You didn't have to be a part of those things for it to affect you.  In high school, kids began to stage sit-ins.  They would walk out of class and move to the front yard of the school and sit down together as a form of protest.  It was an epidemic across our nation.  I can remember feeling fearful when a group of kids had a sit-in at Pampa High School.  I had a fear of repercussions and what was happening to us as a school.  It was something I heard on the news--not something I thought I'd see at my own school.  At graduation ceremonies, guys would walk across the stage and burn their draft cards in front of everyone.  And of course, there was rebellion that was just for rebellion's sake--people began to streak for no reason at all.  It became a game to see if they could do it without getting caught.  I remember being at college and having a fire alarm at our dorm one night and being out on the lawn when a bunch of guys came streaking in front of us.  (If you don't know, streaking is just running naked.)  It was fun and games until there was a shooting at a college--aimed at streakers.  Then that caught on and even WTSU had a lock-down because of a threat of a shooter.  There were celebrities like Jane Fonda who were protesting the war loudly.  Not only did they protest the war themselves, but they also tried to work young people up into a frenzy with them.  They thought if young people got riled up and banded together, they could walk on Washington D.C. and get the war stopped.  But these protests were presented as peace-seeking.

So imagine that whole scene going on and some brave men fighting a thankless war in Vietnam.  Some went willingly.  Some were drafted.  But they were all there fighting for the freedom of us--our country--for those people protesting the war which they were fighting to win.  It was a horrible war.  The Viet Cong ignored any humane rules of warfare.  Many men who came back from the war wouldn't talk about what happened.  It was atrocious.  I've heard of stories of U.S. military found dismembered and in humiliating poses.  It was insanely hot in Vietnam, the terrain was full of bamboo trees, and thick vegetation that had to be hacked through as they walked and waged hand-to-hand combat.  Many men came back addicted to drugs.  I know some would be on the front lines of war without food or water for terrible lengths of time.  One man told me they were given C-rations (food) from War World II.  They fought hard...and many fell.  It was the longest war in American history and over 60,000 Americans died.  Local newspapers would have a daily list of local heroes who had died that day.  We all hated opening the newspaper.

And then they began coming home.  There was no victory.  There was no heroes' welcome.  No flags waving.  No pats on the back.  There were some yellow ribbons tied around oak trees--because Tony Orlando's song became famous then.  But the men and women who fought in that war came home in confusion and anger and shame.  The  anger was theirs.  The shame was ours.  We were all confused.

It was after this war that "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" was given a name.  I knew men who were seeking psychiatric care because of that war.  I know all wars are stressful; but I'm convinced the reason this war was more stressful on our military was because they came home to a country who didn't support them.  They were never thanked.  We didn't call them our heroes.  And it affected our generation in a terrible way.   It was a funk some men could never climb out of--they gave themselves over to drugs or alcohol.  But there were also some men who were proud of the job they did and came home with their heads held high regardless of how they were treated.  And some were treated horribly--people even spit on them in airports as they came home.

I believe we have a responsibility to redeem ourselves.  If you know a Vietnam Veteran, thank them.  You can't imagine the sacrifice they've made!!

I know there are people who could tell you so much more about this war and understand what was going on politically that I didn't understand at that age.  But this is what I remember and it's my perspective.  To all the Vietnam Vets I know, I stand proudly and salute you and tell you how much I appreciate you and how much I thank you for the war you waged and for how proudly you fought.  You are my heroes!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Best Day of a Boy's Life--Post 2

There are some moments in a grandparent's life that take you back about 25 years to a time with your own children....or boys, in particular.  David & Ryan were spending some "Father-Son" time today and went to Wal-Mart just to look at knives...since that's all that Ryan can talk about these days.  Before they left, David had spent time teaching Ryan about knife safety with David's knife.  (This goes back to David's R.A. days and his "Cut & Carry Card."  Thanks, Mike Green!!)  Lindsey had told me that David had recently told Ryan that he needed to be 9-years-old before he got his first knife.  But I think Ryan's excitement got to him today.

They came home from Wal-Mart with this little treasure--laying on the table. 
And one excited little 7-year-old boy!

He was so excited, he had to give his mom a kiss!  In fact, kisses and hugs were flowing all around.

Daddy also bought a bar of soap for Ryan to use to practice with his knife.

Doesn't this just make you laugh---seeing this boys' excitement??

He was very serious about learning knife safety.  I heard a lot of "Yes Sirs" as his daddy instructed him.

He was pretty proud of what he was creating.

Dad was quick to show him when he did something wrong.

Look at all the gadgets on this knife!!

Ryan will NEVER forget this day!!

He made short work of this knife sliver at a time...

...until this was all that was left.

A Swiss Army, Classic Black, #139, people!!!

Weekend with Grandkids

Thursday evening, Caitlin & Alexis called to see if they could come spend the night.  They wanted to come help out at Living Water on Friday morning.  They were my two lovely assistants as we gave out prizes that morning.  And we had fun all weekend.  Friday night, David & Lindsey and Ryan & Addie came and added to our fun.

Alexis is 9-years-old and quite a beauty.  If her hair was red, she'd look just like her Aunt Amy at that age.  But she also looks like her mom.  (She has the longest lashes known to woman!)

Caitlin is a 12-year-old beauty and is 1 inch from being as tall as me.  She wore her Aunt Lindsey's clothes today!!  Oh man!!  (Look at those dimples!)

Addie & Alexis--sweet cousins.

Caitlin showing Ryan a game on her phone.

Dr. Alexis put braces on Addie.

Alexis, Mama & Caitlin

Addie Belle--she never meets someone who doesn't comment on her big, beautiful, blue eyes!!  She's adorable.

Pops with 4 grandkids.

Daddy began giving Ryan Knife Safety Lessons.  See Lindsey's blog for more details.

David & Lindsey being quite serious---Addie just being cute!

David & Ryan---I think they bonded.  Two Mr. Cools.

Alexis took my camera and came to show me this photo and the one below that she took.  I was very impressed.  But I told her to go take photos of ordinary things in a different way--at an angle or different perspective.  That girl was a quick study!  Below, you'll see her artwork through a lens.

I think Alexis has earned the right to my camera when she comes around!
We had a blast with the grandkids this weekend!!