Thursday, August 28, 2014
When I turned 16, my mom and dad bought me a '64 Chevy. A standard. I'd only driven a standard one other time in my life. When I was 15, I'd gone to visit my cousin, Pat. She lived in a small town and her mom gave me the keys to her standard and told us to go get the mail at the post office. She showed me the gears and sent us on our way. Pat & I figured out pretty quickly that I wasn't going to be able to keep the car going if I stopped completely. So I slowed down as much as I could and Pat jumped out at the corner and I circled back around to pick her up. The problem was, I had to stop when I came back around to wait on her. When she came out, I was stopped at an incline. I worked for probably 10 minutes trying to get the clutch and gas going just right to make it up that hill. Little did we know that a group of high school boys were across the street watching the whole thing! When I finally made it up that hill, they began hooting and hollering and cheering for me--while Pat ducked down in her seat. She had to live there after all. So I didn't have a good track record with a standard.
But dad gave me the keys and told me and my girlfriends who were there for my birthday to go out and learn how to drive it---on my own! Dad did show me the gears--an "H" shaped gear shift on the steering column. My friends and I went out on the back roads of Pampa and hopped all over the place. I may have ground the gears a few times, too. I'd already gotten my drivers license that day, so I went to bed feeling pretty proud of myself---a license and a blue car on my 16th birthday!
The next week, I was taking my car to school and was on my way home. I had to stop at a stop light on the main street of town...next to a policeman. I knew I was in trouble! I began praying, "Please God...let me get this clutch thing right!! Don't let me embarrass myself in front of this policeman!" But I did the old hip-hop thing...bounced 3 or 4 times...BIG bounces...right in front of the policeman. I wondered if they gave tickets for that kind of thing. I just didn't know. I finally got my car going and glanced over at the policeman. He had his head back doing a belly laugh. At least I didn't get a ticket.
I loved that '64 Chevy.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The Hippy Generation--from the mid '60's through the early 70's. It was a tumultuous time...it was a rebellious time. Young people were tired of the establishment and began rebelling against the norm. There were sit-ins on government lawns protesting the Vietnam war to sit-ins on the school lawns protesting bad school lunches. It seemed young people were fed up with everything and making demands for change. Everything was groovy and far-out and young people wanted peace, not war. A flower child was on every corner and Hare Krishna's were handing out flowers at the airports. Things were stirred up, to put it simply.
The church was even affected by the Hippy movement. There was a musical that came out in the early 70's that our church youth performed. I remember each girl had a hot pink dress that was a few inches above the knee and had scalloped edges--as close to a mini-skirt as our moms who made them would allow. The guys had flowerd-y shirts with a big collar and bell-bottomed pants. And we sang songs that had never been a part of our church culture. Our music minister rented lights for our performance--which our church had never seen. Because I wasn't a rebel, I was very nervous (and yet excited) about our first performance for the church. We didn't know how the church, as a whole, would respond. It was edgy for a Texas panhandle church...and it smacked of change. We performed and I remember one family walked out. The church nominally received the musical, but we heard lots of low grumbling for months afterwards. But if you'd asked the youth, they would have said they felt deliriously successful! It was a great move forward in change.
So...it's hard for me to understand that generation having problems with change in the Church today. The hippy generation is now about 58-68 years old. And those are the low grumblers I hear in the Church now. What happened? They championed change when they were young. They were willing to rebel to get it. And now when another generation wants to elicit some changes to move the church forward, they are the ones dragging their feet.
I just don't get it.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Becky & Evelyn
When we moved to Borger, one of our first acts as youth minister was to attend a high school football game. At that game, two young women my age walked down the bleachers and introduced themselves to me--Evelyn Coffman & Clesta Collins. They were so much fun and I knew that night I'd found some new friends (which proved to be true)!
Evelyn had three beautiful little girls whom she kept in ringlets and ruffles. Little stairsteps--Lindsay, Lynee' & Lynna. (It took me forever to figure out which was which.) When we moved to Borger, David & Lynee' were starting kindergarten. That was pretty traumatic. David didn't want to go to school. In fact, he came home the first day disgusted. He said, "I still don't know how to read!" Things rocked along that year, but it would be two more years until our babies--Zach & Lynna--started kindergarten.
I know it's overwhelming for most moms when their youngest goes to their first day of school. It's so final. It's a last. But I found out I'm just not like most moms. (And neither was Evelyn!) I walked my baby, Zach (the youngest of 4), into his classroom and made sure he was happy before I left--assuring him he was going to have so much FUN!!! And as I was leaving the building, there was Evelyn. I looked at her...she looked at me. And we laughed. As we exited the building, I pumped my hands in the air and yelled, "Y-E-S!" Freedom!! So I asked, "Wanna go to Lorene's for lunch?" (Just because we could!) And she replied, "Sure! Let's ask our husbands if they want to go."
And that began a 13-year tradition of eating lunch together the first day of school...celebrating our new freedom each year!
HAPPY 1st DAY OF SCHOOL TO ALL YOU YOUNG MOMS!
May you enjoy some FREEDOM!
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Have I ever told you that I have sensory overload? I never knew there was a name for what I experienced on a regular basis until a few years ago when my daughter-in-law, Lindsey, enlightened me. (She shares this disorder.) If you'd like to understand it better, you can go here to see all of the different aspects of it. But my sensory overload usually occurs in a large crowd. I can handle small crowds well--but put me in a large crowd and I get overwhelmed very easily. There are times when it's as if the noise mounts and grows stronger the longer I stay in the room until I'm almost ready to scream! Typically, I find a quiet corner or move to another room to "readjust." It also presents itself when I walk into a department store to shop for clothing and there's not enough space to walk around and the clothes are packed tightly on racks. I just walk out. It's too much...I can't take it.
That's what I'm feeling these days with opinions. I'm on overload and I'm about to "walk out" on social media. Or maybe I just need to find a quiet corner. I'm honestly trying to find the balance in all of this. I want the truth. So I'm going to the One who is Truth and asking him to quiet me with revelation.
I don't know if it's a new tactic of the enemy or just the direction our society is going when left on its own...or both. When did we become so opinionated? Myself included. Why do we have to have an opinion about everything? Was it always this way, but our worlds were smaller? Or has it literally exploded? I bounce from one end of the spectrum to the other. "I need to speak up!" "I should shut up because I'm going to offend someone." "No...Jesus called those Pharisees a brood of vipers!" "But he loved the adulterous woman and told her to go and sin no more." I've never found myself disagreeing with myself as much as I have these last few weeks. I can tell I'm on overload. It's all beginning to sound like the teacher on Charlie Brown: "Wah-wah-wah-wah..." I need my quiet place.
I'm a little bit frightened. It just all seems to be escalating and I have no idea where it's going to end. If we all keep demanding that our voices be heard, it could eventually get ugly. Or maybe it already has.
I just want to follow Jesus to those green pastures and still waters. I think it's quiet there.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Body of Christ,
You have many opportunities out there to help others but I want to make you aware of a huge need in our church--a need bigger than our church! Faye Ybarra was diagnosed with ITP & MDS--two blood disorders working against one another in her body. Then she developed leukemia. She is in survival mode until she can have a bone marrow transplant--and she can't have that until she's stabilized.
Her husband, John, is a diesel mechanic and a doggone hard worker, but he's had to take off a lot of work to take her to Dallas to a doctor and to be with her during her 4 hospital stays. There have been times when it has been day-to-day living for Faye. Not only are they having to make a house payment and pay utilities, but now they're faced with huge pharmacy bills and a gasoline bill that is out of sight--not to mention medical bills which are rolling in.
Please pray about helping. Consider sending money..or a gas card. Even $20 would help--no amount is too small! Because they're having to eat out so much, you could send a gift card from these restaurants in Amarillo: The Plaza, Cracker Barrel, Leal's, Red Robin, McAlister's, Hoffbrau, 575 Pizzeria, or Jason's Deli. You could also send a United Supermarket gift card, a Visa gift card with cash on it or a cashier's check made out to John Ybarra. You can send it to me and I will get it to them. Send it to: P.O. Box 584, Groom, TX 79039.
I know if you live in Groom, you've probably already helped. But please consider a sacrificial gift! A frozen casserole, some great frozen foods from Sams (keep in mind Faye is diabetic), lunch meat, steaks to grill, a ride to Amarillo (especially on the weekend so John can catch up on some much-needed rest!), some money. You could mow their lawn. It's all needed.
Before Faye got sick, you'd hear her playing the piano at First Baptist Church many Sundays.
In May, Faye was diagnosed with ITP and MDS--two blood disorders which were working against one another in her body. By July, she'd also developed leukemia.
Faye has to go to Amarillo EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK for platelets and chemo--sometimes they throw in a blood transfusion.
She's never quit smiling. EVER.
This is a photo of Faye in April--before she became ill.
Faye was able to attend her son's (Vidal) prom, but not his graduation. (John in the back.) We Skyped his graduation so she could see him walk across the stage and receive his diploma and scholarship.
Faye has never stopped praising God!
If she feels well enough each Sunday (or if she isn't at the hospital getting platelets & chemo), she still sings on our praise team (see her on the back row on the right). She said she just wants to praise God as much as she can.
She is an inspiration to those around her.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
"He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..." Ephesians 3:20
I've been thinking on this verse for a couple of months. My kids have had this scripture hanging in their house since they got married and I love it. As I helped them pack to move, I took a closer look at it and noticed the last part of that verse....
"...according to his power that is at work within us."
What does that mean exactly? Is it according to how much power God has? Or is it according to how much of God's power we allow to work through our lives? We know God is omnipotent--he has all power. And I'd like to think he will work in all of my circumstances with ALL of his power! And I know he can. But is he asking us to stretch, grow, and believe him for more and more?
I kind of picture it like this: I am fully capable of cooking a nice, home-cooked meal. But put me in an itsy-tiny, ill-equipped kitchen where I keep bumping my elbows on cabinets, can't open the tiny oven without bumping into the tiny refrigerator, where I can't move...and what I can offer will be limited. But give me a big, fully-opened, well-equipped kitchen where I can easily move around and the meal options grow!
Here's where it brought me. I've asked God to take over every room of my heart--fully. I want less of Becky's control and more and more of God's. I want to believe him for BIG things! I want him to have all the room he needs to do those big things.
How much of his power is at work in my life?
Friday, August 8, 2014
So many bad things are happening in our world right now. Watching the news is downright depressing. And you can't get away from it...if you get on Facebook, your friends are posting the highlights of what is going on in the world with comments like, "WAKE UP, PEOPLE!" It's so compelling to bury your head in the sand and ignore it all.
I hate being told to "Wake up!" I feel awake. I don't like what I see. But I feel helpless to DO anything. I can write my president, congressmen, and senators (and do), but how much good does it do? They don't seem to be representing me well. It all just feels out of my control.
Bingo! It is out of my control. I've never been in control!! And those who think they are, are deceived. Thank goodness that God is the blessed controller of all things. Even when things seem out of control, God has a plan.
What can I do?? I can pray. I don't have the power to control nations or leaders...except through the privilege of talking to the King of kings and asking Him to move on nations and leaders. Why is it that prayer is usually our last resort? It's because we don't realize the power we have.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Zach & Gus
We just returned from a Dietz family reunion with Andy's mom, siblings, kids, and grandkids. There were 43 of us who met in Davis, OK out of the 50 family members. Andy's nephew, Jason, and his family were in the states from Germany where they serve as missionaries and the reunion was mainly to see them....and because we hadn't all been together in seven years. We had a blast!
While we were there, I heard Gus ask his daddy over and over, "Whee, Daddy!" What he was asking was for his daddy to swing him around as in the photo above. It's a thrill to go WHEE! Not only is it a thrill, but it's just fun to do it with daddy.
This very thought has been in my head for some time. And I got to see it played out with my son and grandson. I've been telling God I just want to have some fun with Him! "Whee, Daddy!" Don't you think He delights when we ask?
This morning, my friend, Ronnie Arrington, posted this verse on her Facebook page. I think it applies...
"And the disciples were filled with joy
and with the Holy Spirit."