Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bon Voyage!

Andy & I leave in 42 hours for the big, blue sea!  And for those of you who know me very well, know that this is a huge departure for me.  We've never done a vacation like this.  We actually went on a cruise about 27 years ago, but it was part of a youth minister's conference and the youth and youth workers graciously paid my way to go along with Andy.  It was fun.  But I promised I'd never go on another one unless I went with people I knew.  I think it's the only way to have a really great time on a cruise.

A couple of months ago, Lindsey called me and told me that she and David and their kids were going on a cruise.  I knew they'd been contemplating a fun family vacation, but this totally took me by surprise!  I think I jokingly said, "Can we go with you?"  "YES!!," was her answer.  Then she really began trying to talk me into it.  Honestly?  I didn't care if we went.  I'm not a water and sun person (redheaded, you know...).  I knew we'd have fun with our kids and grandkids, but a cruise?  When I asked Andy about going, I was prepared for him to say " I don't think so."  But we tossed the idea around a bit on the phone while he was driving to Amarillo and in about 10 minutes, he called me back and said, "Book it!"  I think my response was, "REALLY???"  And then I became a bit giddy.  I guess I wanted to go more than I thought!

So...we booked it.   And we leave in about 42 hours to begin our journey to Cozumel.  There's been lots of anticipation among the 6 of us--we've had a countdown.  We've looked over the adventures a hundred times and have chosen to swim with the dolphins.  We've looked at all of the food choices and Addie (6-years-old) has declared she's hitting the coffee bar first thing!  Lindsey & I even ordered some new jewelry to wear on formal night from Sam Moon.  (We girls are big spenders!).  And Andy said, "FORMAL night???  I thought we were there to relax!!"  Yeah, well...pack your tie, buddy...cause I'm gonna be lookin' good.  

Think of us Saturday thru Thursday.  We'll be riding the waves.  I'll be the one in the granny swimsuit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wrestling Match

From the time we're saved, we enter a wrestling match.  The struggle is between our flesh and God.  Who is in charge?  To whom will I submit?  Who do I trust more?

Eve was in the same battle.  God had given her everything.  Everything!  He only withheld one thing--for her own good.  But she began to fear.  Who was right?  The serpent whispering in her ear (feeding her flesh)...or God?  Would God really take care of her?  That fear turned into pride.  "I can take care of myself better than God can...or will."  And she ate.

This past year,   I asked my prayer partners, "I wonder what life would look like without fear?"  And I drew a line in the sand.  No more fear.  I purposed in my heart to walk fearlessly.  And I have to tell you, it's been a wrestling match.  But I've had a glimpse of what it's like to walk fearlessly now.  It's amazing.  Peaceful.  Victorious.

The wrestling match looks like this.  Satan either tells you things to draw you into fear or he throws circumstances into your life to cause fear and panic.  At that moment, you have a choice.  You can fear...or you can trust your amazing God.  Can you imagine how many things have come into my life since I drew that line?  Satan can't stand fearlessness.  He knows he's doomed when you become fearless.  And I can attest that it's an exhausting process.  It takes all of your (spiritual, emotional, physical) energy to stay alert.  You have to be willing to take your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  That's where Satan attacks--your mind.  He puts thoughts in your mind to draw you into fear.  And you have to take a stand.  And he keeps circling around to see if there's an open door so he can gain a foothold.  So it's not enough to say "NO!", you also have to keep standing.

I think of Jacob and his wrestling match with God.  Fear came in the form of a brother he had cheated.  He heard Esau was on his way.  He was prepared to appease him with gifts.  And that night, a "Man" (God in the flesh) wrestled with him--and God won.  God touched his thigh--so he'd always have a reminder of what it's like to have God win over fear.  God met Jacob there and revealed Jacob's heart to himself.  He saw the truth that he was a cheater.  But then....but then!  God's redemptive power moved in and his name was changed to Israel, "Contender with God."

Our wrestling match isn't just with Satan.  It's with God.  Who will we serve?  Who will we trust?  To whom will we submit?

Know are outmatched when it comes to wrestling with God.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Point of View

Dax & Andy

Andy & I have a different point of view about eating.

Andy prefers home cooked meals.  He regularly asks why I watch "Chopped" and never try making those meals.
I prefer eating out.  It's less work.  I ask him why he doesn't play football or moderate newscasts.

Andy prefers eating adventurously.  He'll try a new place---even if it is a hole in the wall.
I am not an adventurous eater.  Mexican food at all my favorite places suits me just fine.

Andy prefers talking to everyone in the restaurant when we enter.  It may take him awhile to make the rounds and then get to our table.
I prefer going to our table and eating quietly.  I'll stop and quickly visit people as we leave.

But tonight (as we went out to eat), I finally saw the most visible difference.  It's been there all along, but I finally saw it..

Andy sees eating out as an opportunity to build relationships.  He gets to know our restaurant's owners/waitresses/cooks names.  He's invited them to our home.  He's gone to their homes.  He's invited them to church.  He's offered to take them places.  He's told them we'll be praying for them.  And tonight...he's going back to the Chinese restaurant to show them pictures of where he's been in Asia.  All with the purpose of leading them to the Lord.

I wish I was more like Andy.  But at least my non-cooking affords him some great opportunities!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thanks, Yarbrough's!

Don't you just hate it when technology goes awry?  That would be our wireless internet.  I currently have a trouble report generated with my wireless company.  Bummer.  I've received their email, but haven't heard from them otherwise.  I have a feeling it's going to mean a new router.  (Which we just replaced about a year ago.)  My computer-savvy son sent me to unplug my router (uhh...thanks, Dave!) and that's where I discovered a lot of blinking, noise-making and general messed-up-ness.

In the meantime, thanks Yarbrough's!  I'm sponging off my next-door neighbors for free.  Andy's never wanted me to leave our wireless "open" for others to sponge off of--in case they could usurp our information we don't keep stored on our computers.  At least not much, anyway.  But thankfully, the Yarbrough's have a different philosophy.  It's open.  It's free!  If Andy could catch the Yarbrough's wireless from the basement, we might not even need a new router.  ;)

Seriously....thank you, Yarbrough's!  You are my Good Samaritans...without even knowing it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Unit

The man and his unit.

As long as we've known Ralph White, he's had a "unit."  In the beginning, it was an older style pickup that was shared with a neighbor.  Even though Andy hadn't contributed towards the unit, they allowed him to borrow it when we needed to haul something.

But...Andy's had a hankering to own his own unit for quite some time.  I resisted.  But he never gave up.  I told him how expensive they were.  He acknowledged that truth.  I relayed information from friends about how much it cost to fill a pickup's tank with gas.  He said that's the only thing he wouldn't like about it.  I pointed out how much the cost of gasoline was rising.  He agreed it was.  I suggested a small pickup.  He said that wouldn't do.  I put my foot down firmly.  And God asked me why I was resisting.  And while Andy was in Asia, I was put in the position of needing a pickup several times!  (God has a way, doesn't He?)  And I saw one on a car lot...just like Andy was wanting.  So I told him about it.


God used to let me get away with my shenanigans.  That is no longer the case.  I finally submitted to the plan...and here it is!  He's pretty proud.  And you know what?  Me, too.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Dentist

You hear the dreaded words, "You need a filling!"  That's not as bad as it could be.  It could be a root canal or an extraction.  But a filling is pretty bad in my books!

To understand my fear, you have to go back 50 years--to Pampa, Texas.  (Did I really just say 1/2 of a century??)  My mother would take me and my older brother by the hand and we'd enter the Hughes Building in Pampa, TX.  We'd wait at the elevator which would eventually open and we'd greet the elevator operator.  (Yep...50 years ago.)  He'd take us up to the dentist's floor.  DR. BROCKLEY!  We'd go into the waiting room where my mother checked us in and I'd go and try to distract myself in front of the fish tank.  My brother and I wouldn't say a word.  We were too scared.  Eventually, our names would be called and we'd go back...there.  Together.  Since Bob was older, I'd have to endure watching him get his teeth filled while I waited my turn.  Bob did the unthinkable.  He whimpered.  And DR. BROCKLEY threatened to spank him.

So you can imagine my terror as I waited my own turn...and tried not to whimper.  Everything was more terrifying back then.  And. much. more. painful.  I can still remember the taste of my tooth being drilled.  I remember it hurting.  And I remember tears coming down my cheeks.  And I'm sure I whimpered.

I had a new filling put in a tooth today.  And as Dr. Hugh Goldston gave me about 3 shots, drilled the tooth and filled the tooth, I thought about DR. BROCKLEY.  Things have certainly changed!!  I never felt anything today.  And as Dr. Hugh Goldston worked on my tooth, I prayed for him.  I thanked God for such a good dentist who works with such great precision.  I asked God to bless his family.  And I praised Him that Dr. Hugh Goldston was nothing like DR. BROCKLEY!!! 

(If you need a good dentist, I highly recommend Dr. Hugh Goldston!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Grieving the Spirit

Ephesians 4:30
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin)."

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.  We've all heard that verse and talked about it or heard a sermon preached about it.  What grieves the Spirit of God?  You might want to read the whole chapter to figure it all out, but in part, the answer is in verse 31, "Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind)."

As my prayer partners and I prayed this morning, I was asked a question about how I felt about a situation in which we were all involved where there was lots of verse 31 going on.  At first, I said I was just tired.  I didn't have an opinion because it just made me tired.  Then as I examined that thought, I realized it wasn't just tiredness...I was grieving.  Taking that thought even further, I realized I was grieving because the Spirit of God was grieving.

We had an interesting conversation with God after that.  We asked Him if we could come alongside Him and grieve with Him--to carry His burden.  We told Him that if we could come fill his freezer with casseroles (what we good Baptist women do when someone is grieving!), we would.  We just sat quietly with Him.

If the Holy Spirit of God is grieving, won't we grieve?  I mean...His Spirit lives within us.  I guess I'd just never given it consideration before...or had just chosen to let Him grieve alone.

Monday, April 16, 2012


 Titus 3:5-6
"He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior."

Have you ever seen this process?  The process of regeneration?  Well...maybe we first need to address the whole birth process.  I just read my friend, Sarah's, account of the birth of her first child, Gracin.  You may want to hop over there to acquaint yourself with the beautiful picture of birth.

That's the picture here when Paul talks of regeneration.  It's so sweet to see the process of regeneration in a person.  There's a bath or pouring out of the Spirit in that person's life.  It's exciting!  It's amazing.  And you don't want to miss a single detail as you watch.  And there's the same sense of awe in me as there is in that new mama, Sarah.  


act of regenerating state of being regenerated.
Biology the restoration or new growth by an organism of organs, tissues, etc., that have been lost, removed, or injured.
Theology spiritual rebirth; religious revival.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Fallen World

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

It still amazes me when I have tribulations, trials, distress or frustration.  It shouldn't!  But it does.  Jesus warned us that there would be these things in our lives.  Not just in this verse, but in many verses. I think it's because I hope for a pain-free life.  I want to follow Jesus and have it all!  But I do...He's overcome the world.  He's deprived it of power to harm me.  And He's conquered it for me.  And He lives in me.

Give me a minute...I have to wrap my mind around this one.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April Birthdays!

Amy's seemed to follow in my footsteps---3 children with birthdays within a week!  These three kids had a birthday this week.  And it was a very big deal!

Isaac (right) was first.  He turned 9-years-old on Monday.
Josiah's 7th birthday was today!
(He also lost his 2nd tooth this week!)

Hadassah's 1st birthday was on Tuesday.

My brother's birthday was yesterday.
My sister's birthday is this Sunday.
My nephew's birthday is the 19th.
My mom's birthday is the 22nd.
My sister-in-law's birthday is the 25th.
(We love April.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Philippians 1:28
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.

Fearlessness.  I love this verse--especially in the Amplified version of the Bible.  Your fearlessness will be a sign to your enemy of his impending destruction!!  He knows he's doomed when you stand without fear.  As long as you fear, he has you right where he wants you.  Defeated.  

Stand fearlessly!!  It's a sure sign that God will deliver you!  (I honestly think this is the biggest spiritual battle we each face.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

20 Years

Amy & Gary Sanders

Today, my younger brother, Gary, and his wife, Amy, are celebrating 20 years of marriage!  They met at Texas Tech Law School in Lubbock all those years ago and have both worked in thriving law practices and corporations.  Marrying Amy is undoubtedly the best decision Gary ever made.  As of now, they live in El Paso with plans to retire in Amarillo next year.  We couldn't be more excited!  These two have made so many investments throughout their marriage.  I'm sure they've made wise and sound financial investments, but I'm talking about eternal investments--in their nieces and nephews.  Ask the Sanders' grandchildren who their favorite aunt and uncle are and it's unanimous!  Gary & Amy.  And no one is jealous about that---the rest of us just can't keep up.  I love these two very, very much.  Thank you, Gary & Amy, for the investment in my kids and grandkids.  You are loved.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You are stubborn

Moses' Speaking to the Israelites Before He Dies

Deuteronomy 9:4-7

Amplified Bible (AMP)
4Do not say in your [mind and] heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out from before you, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land--whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you.    5Not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your [minds and] hearts do you go to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out before you, and that He may fulfill the promise which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
    6Know therefore that the Lord your God does not give you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a hard and stubborn people.
    7[Earnestly] remember and forget not how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.

Lest we get puffed up, God reminds the Israelites (and us) that we are a stubborn people.  It's not because of our righteousness that He removes our enemies.  It's because of the wickedness of the enemy.  And going even further--it's because God is keeping His promises--or His Word.  It's not about me at all.
And the encouraging thing God revealed to me tonight is that I cannot manipulate God.  He won't stand for it.  In fact, He'll resist me.  But He delights in obedience. (What parent doesn't?)

Monday, April 9, 2012

It's All About Him

The longer I live, the more I realize this life is all about Him.

As a baby, we're convinced it's all about us.  We cry...they feed us.  We cry...they change us.  We cry...they pacify us.  As a child, we're convinced it's all about us.  We play...they join us.  We create...they praise us.  We achieve...they reward us.  As a teenager, we're convinced it's all about us.  We dress...they make fun of us.  We test...they correct us.  We miss curfew...they punish us.

As young parents, we begin to understand it's not just about us.  They cry...we feed them.  They cry...we change them.  They cry...we pacify them.

By the time we have teenagers, we're pretty sure it's not about us.  They dress...we spend money so they're not made fun of.  They test...we console them or we correct their teachers.  They miss curfew...we worry, stress, and imagine the worst...and try to figure out a punishment that is fair and won't send them over the edge.

As grandparents, we know it's not about us.  They cry...we know they'll be fed.  God demonstrated His care of His people by feeding them manna.  He's promised to feed the sparrows--we know He'll take care of us.  We've seen Him do this over and over in our own lives.  They cry...we know they'll be changed.  God's love is limitless.  He's promised to change us into the likeness of His Son...from glory to glory!  We've been changed.  They cry...we know they'll be pacified.  He loves us and wants to comfort us so much that He sent The Comforter to live in our hearts.  He's comforted us consistently through the years.

I wish we were born knowing it was all about Him.  But then, we might miss the whole beautiful journey.  The journey that He designed for His glory.  He's just being faithful to Himself and to His Word.  It really is all about Him.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Obsessed with Death?

God has a good deal to say about death.   In fact, you could argue that God is obsessed with death.
It started with Adam & Eve.  They were told not to eat the forbidden fruit---or they would die.  Then men had to kill a lamb as a sacrifice for their sins.  At Passover, the Israelites were told to kill a lamb and put it's blood on the doorposts of their houses and the death angel would pass over their house.  The firstborn of Egypt died that night--because there was no blood.  We were told that a redeemer would come to save us from our sins--but that he would die.  Jesus waited while one of his best friends died.  Jesus died.  We're told that unless a seed dies, it won't germinate.  God says we're dead in our sins.  The wages for our sin is death.  Death, death, and more death!

But is death the end?  If it is...we have no hope.

That's the glory of the tomb of Jesus.  It's empty!  Jesus killed death.

1 Corinthians 15:54
And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory.
1 Corinthians 15:26
The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death.

I'd never read that last verse in this way before.  Our last enemy--death--has already been subdued.  Death had to happen.  But it happened so that LIFE would be available to all of us.  And it's still available.   All you have to do is die.  Die to your sin, die to your old way of life, die to yourself.  And when you do, you will live.

John 10:10

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
John 14:6
Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.
John 6:40
For this is My Father's will and His purpose, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This is what my mind is filled with this Easter.  The Truth is, our last enemy--DEATH--has been killed.  We have the VICTORY!  There is LIFE--Jesus rose from the grave.  His tomb is empty today.  And He offers life to each of us.  Eternal life.

Is God obsessed with death?  Only to draw us to His life--to make us hungry for LIFE!  To show us there is abundant life beyond the death that's already been killed.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    For Your Viewing Pleasure

    Ryan & Addie's latest Youtube recording.
    Little hams!  (They take after their Pops)

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Andy to Asia

    Andy packing the important stuff

    Andy and the medical team leave for Asia tomorrow at noon.  Man!  I wish I was going.  There are so many reasons....
    • It's the medical team--it's an adventure with them!
    • New people are going.  It's always so much fun seeing it through a new person's eyes--especially fun people's eyes.
    • Sarah had her baby!  She had a baby girl who weighs less than 5 pounds.  She asked Andy & I to give her baby an English name.  We chose Abigail...and we'll call her Abby.  (Andy's going to have to explain that one--we've never given any of the girls a name and a nickname.)
    • The team will be having a baby shower for Abby.  Oh I wish I was going to be there!  But I did convince our local shop to embroider some things with "Abby" on them with a rush.
    People in Borger are so great to help out!
    Have a great trip, team.
    I'll get to go in June...