Monday, September 29, 2008

Lining Up My Ducks

I have many quirks. I’ve been called a quack. That’s alright as I do have ducks I need to get lined up. By looking at the plans laid out for me in October, this will be busy month.

My word for the day each day – FOCUS.

I had many plans for the blog. I wanted to participate in many different blog events, but just not able to do so at this time. I need to withdraw for a short season to prepare and focus for the upcoming events.

I’ll covet and cherish your prayers over the next four weeks. My scheduled return date—October 29, 2008. Please feel free to send emails or follow me on Twitter. I’d love to hear from you.

God Bless You!

Engrafted by His Grace--

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Circumbendibus Rambling

Do you know what circumbendibus means?

Come on! I confess I didn’t either until I put the word “ramble” in the online thesaurus. According to it’s a noun that means “a round about way.” Rambling is used as a verb above. So the title has a subject and a predicate which makes it a complete sentence.

Okay! I’ll stop and put the English teacher back in her school box.

I wanted to share a few things today. (Three point post) I have no one to talk to right now and I have not used up my 50,000 words yet, so the best I can do is type them out and share them with whom ever chooses to stop by and visit. If you do, please be so kind to edit my post and leave a comment (not really on the editing part-thank you, just kidding).

First – Jury Duty. Do you know that it is our civic duty to report to jury duty when summoned? Some people try to scam their way out of it. I confess I have every year until my youngest passed the age for excuse on the affidavit. So I prayed (getting real spiritual) I asked the Lord the reason for my summons. Well I went and I don’t know the reason.

This day was a simple little day except I had to be up early. No problem. I do that anyway. The challenge for me was to be presentable for public view at such an early hour. Well I try my best to look nice. I took Beth Moore’s advice on makeup (all the Siesta’s know about this one) and purchased Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. It works great! I spent two hours one night at the Estee Lauder counter while my son was at football practice and spent $200. Needless to say my hubs went into a state of shock, but nothing a little mouth to mouth didn’t fix.

Anyhow, I got off track – hence the reason for the title above so you cant say I didn’t warn you. I worked up a plan for being presentable so early. My hairdresser gave me some wonderful tips a few days ago as I went in for my every other monthly ridding of split ends. She suggested I wash my hair at night. When I wake up to dampen it with root lifter and roll with the Velcro rollers.

So off to Sally’s Beauty supply I went. (Dear if you’re reading this, I splurged some more, but I kept it under $200 and it’s all for the sake of beauty—don’t you love me? [He sometimes reads my blog ya’ll so say hi to him.]) I saw some rollers you can sleep in—or so the package reads. I thought (now I think that’s where my problem began) that if I could sleep in the rollers, my fine, straight hair would be curly. I’d wake up looking beautiful and be able to be primped quickly. I took home my new rollers (and chemicals). Took my shower last night, put on all the chemicals and rolled my hair with these sleep in them at night curlers. I fluffed up my pillows, pulled back the covers, cozied myself into my favorite position and---it didn’t work for me. So, no matter which way I laid my head it was uncomfortable.

So I thought again (see where I keep digging myself into a hole here? [Rhetorical you really don’t have to answer!]) Well, I’m not following Gina’s (my hairdresser) advice the way she said, so I better do what she said. So up I go to remove these rollers. As I start to remove them, my hair gets tangled in them. Then glancing down at the directions I read, “Avoid contact with hair from other sections.” I confess I only glanced at the directions. I saw that statement, but it did not tell me WHY so I ignored it figuring it is just like those “I Agree” buttons on the internet when downloading software. Just click and move on.

As I was undoing my ideal do, my hair got tangled. Now I just had it trimmed up a few days ago and now I’m pulling and tugging and breaking my hair. I think I have to go back for another trimming. Well I got caught in a bind and I was ready to cry. I go to my teen age son ready for him to use a pocket knife if necessary (that’s how desperate I was at that point). But he was gentle and caring with my hair and got the remaining curler out with minimal damage. [He’ll make some woman a good husband someday! Way later day okay?] I go on to bed with the other plan in mind.

First thing when I woke this morning, I redid the chemicals and used the Velcro rollers like Gina told me. An hour later when I removed them, I had volume and loose waves on my long layers. But it was humid this morning and by the time I arrived at the court house, I had straight flat hair. The plan didn’t work. Bummer.

Second Point – Freedom of Speech. I just have to share. When I realized that I was juror number 38 and my chances were very slim for being selected as a juror for this trial, as they chose 6 out of the first 12 not excused from the jury pool. (Being last has its advantages.) Well the defense attorney said that he wanted to get to know our viewpoints on various issues as he realized that we have different circumstances that shape our views. He said that we could be free to say whatever we wanted without hesitation as we could not be arrested for sharing our points of views.

His first question was on what we thought about our right to remain silent or why a defendant may want to exercise his right. I couldn’t resist exercising my freedom to speak and forgo my right to remain silent, so I raised my number. When he called my number, I stated, “Perhaps a defendant may not want to testify as attorneys have a way of twisting words with a person. If the defendant is not able to articulate himself well, it may be better than facing the attorneys.” He quickly moved onto another question. I raised my hand on almost all of them, but didn’t get chosen to freely express my views. Perhaps I was too free as with my thoughts as I may have tainted the jury pool.

Another questions was, “Do you think a defendant may be guilty just by his presence in court?”

Again, I raised my number. I stated, “Well from my perception, prosecuting attorneys wont bring a case to court unless they know that they have enough evidence to win. “

Defense attorney, “Do you think you would be able to listen to the facts and make a decision on facts?”

Me, “yes.”

Then he quickly turned the questioning to how many defendants are falsely accused. I see that point too, but never was picked again to answer another question. And ultimately released from serving as a juror in this trial. (Was it my number or my opinions?)

Third Point – Good citizenship. – (Okay I see this is really long so I’ll get to my point). I home school and Texas requires we teach our home students good citizenship. So I explained what jury duty means to my 11 year old son. When I had lunch with him, he wanted to go see the trial. Being a public trial, I cleared our regularly scheduled school for a spontaneous field trip. I took my son to witness a trial proceeding. Once we entered and took our seats, we observed the prosecution’s witness on the stand. It took two hours for the prosecution and the defense and the prosecution’s rebuttal on this one witness. I whispered who was who and what they were doing. He got the whole lay out figured out. Chase begged me to leave after the first witness as they still have 5 more witnesses to go. We left.

When we got inside the vehicle, Chase told me, “Mom, I never want to do anything wrong to get arrested. I don’t want to HAVE to sit in the court room that long. That guy can’t leave, but we can.”

That's a lesson you can't learn from a lecture.

Now there’s wisdom from such a young child.

I feel better now; I’ve used 1,433 1469 words according to the word count at the bottom of my word document. I hope you made it all the way through. If not, please leave me a comment anyway. I love to hear from all of you!!

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, September 22, 2008

Work and Fight

Nehemiah 4:15-17 (HCSB)

15 When our enemies realized that we knew their scheme and that God had frustrated it, every one of us returned to his own work on the wall. 16 From that day on, half of my men did the work while the other half held spears, shields, bows, and armor. The officers supported all the people of Judah, 17 who were rebuilding the wall. The laborers who carried the loads worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other.

The Lord called Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem with a group of people to rebuild the wall that was destroyed when taken captive by the Babylonians. The enemies of Judah schemed to kill them and stop the work of rebuilding the wall. Since they are enemies of Judah, they’re also enemies of the Lord. The Lord’s plans always prevail and thus the Lord frustrated their schemes of the enemy. The Jews who lived near the enemy camp overheard the plans and reported them to Nehemiah. Nehemiah’s response:

"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the great and awe-inspiring Lord, and fight for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes." (Nehemiah 4:14 HCSB)

He encouraged the people to press on with the call of God on their lives. They had a vision. A purpose from God.

I know that I know that the Lord put a call on my life. Each day as I press forward toward the preparation, the enemy frustrates me. I confess I’ve been complacent on spiritual warfare. But this is no time to be complacent. We have an enemy who would like nothing more than to thwart the plans of the Lord. I cannot cower to these schemes.

How do I know it’s the enemy? As I press on toward the call, I am more easily distracted with little things. Sickness set in last week. Unexpected little fires needed to be put out. Needless to say I didn’t realize it until after I ran to put them out, if I left them alone those fires would have lacked the fuel to burn and gone out on their own. I learned that not all fires have to but doused, as it must have fuel to burn.

Then I read Nehemiah 4:15-17 last week in the chronological reading. It struck me like a bolt of lightning. I must work with one hand and fight with the other. Now I was reminded that our weapons are not weapons of this world. The fight is in the spirit.

The first step in fighting in the spirit is walking in obedience to the Lord. (2 Cor. 10:3-6; James 4:7)

Next, put on the full armor of God to stand your ground. (Eph. 6:10-20)

We’re in a spiritual battle, but the Lord has equipped us to win! Let’s stay in His word, walk in His ways by being obedient, and fight the good fight of faith.

Now I must be about what the Lord has called me to do. Love & blessings in Christ to you all!

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Angel

The other night I took a good dose of night-time, make ya sleep good, wake up feeling well medicine to relieve my aching head and congested chest. After about three hours of not feeling anything slumber, I woke to the sound of my office door opening. My office is off the master bedroom which you must enter to reach it. I heard the chair roll across the concrete floor and my keys rattle on the desk. I open my eyes to look across the room. Just a hint of the outside light sneaking through the cracks in the blinds is not enough to see. Not having x-ray vision, I saw no one.

I called out in to the dark, “Who's there?” Suddenly the noise stopped. Nothing moved, except my accelerating heart beat. Again, “Who's there?” No response. Silence.

Stuck to my bed not wanting to confront any fears I tried to analyze the situation. I quickly played through the files in my mind on what to do in emergency situations. My cell phone was on the office desk. That’s not an option.

Sitting up on my elbows I called out, “Stephen!” I rationalized my adult son came home late from work and is looking for something in my office trying not to wake me up.

No response.

Then in my angrier, authoritative tone I screamed, “STEPHEN!”

Immediately I heard, “Whaaaaaaaaatt?” Having the mother echolocation abilities, I identified immediately he was not in the office, but awake in his room. If he were sleeping, I would not have heard any type of response. A train crashing into our home would not inhibit his sleeping abilities.

So I hollered out, still sitting up on my elbows on my bed, “Come here!”

In an UNusual adult teen response, he came at once. His adult size frame could take on who ever was inside my office. Not something I could do in my partially, over the counter medically induced coma state. He stepped in and turned on the light momentarily blinding me. Pointing to the office door, I exhaled the words, “Someone’s in the office!”

He jumped, turned, and pushed open the doors the rest of the way. I explained, “I heard the chair move across the floor and my car keys were moved.” He flipped on the light and…


Yes, he laughed. His laughter caused the tension I was unaware I held in my neck and shoulders leave my already aching body.

He said, “It’s Angel. She jumped upon the chair causing it to roll. Then she jumped on your desk pushing your keys over. She’s just laying down here.”

Angel. My Angel. Nocturnal creature—my cat.

Stephen turned to me and asked, “Why are you sweating?”

“Uh, I’m sick. I must have a fever.” I’m thinking, hormonal night sweats. But boy you better not even mention fear. He knew it though.

Conceding, I continued, “Thanks responding to this damsel in distress. You’re a hero!”

Our mind has an ability to perceive something that is not real causing great fear. Now grant it, if this situation were a real intruder in my home, fear would have been the proper response to react defensively. But most situations that cause fear are false perceptions that detract us from our purpose. Perhaps that’s why we’re told in God’s word to not fear. Whatever trials or situations we face, we have God’s power by the Holy Spirit to enable us to persevere.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Drive-in Church

Tired of the same old way of doing church? Then what do you think of a drive-in church? Here's a news clip of one in Daytona Beach, Florida. Please leave a comment about what you think.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Snatched from the Fire

Zechariah 3:1-2 NIV

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

“Is not this woman a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

I burned like dry wood not leaving much smoke. No one knew where I hid for I hid my sins well from the world. But the Devil knew as he lured me to that deep, dark desolate place of agony.

Initially it seemed fun and felt glamorous. I acted like a rock star—fame, fortunes, and good times (of which none existed but in my imagination). After each episode, I felt empty, abandoned and alone. But I kept returning to it as a dog returns to vomit. I thought if I stuck it out long enough then surely something would change.

Change –it sure did. The fun and glamour dissipated while the fire ignited. I mustered all the strength I had left as I recalled a place where I once met a Savior. I called out, “Jesus, save me. I don’t know what I’ve done, but I’m burning up. I need Your help.” At that moment, this wild branch was snatched out of the fire.

The accuser stood right there next to me declaring that Lord couldn’t take me from him as I sold my soul to the devil with rock-n-roll. I signed the covenant with my own blood. Blood sisters we called each other, determined that we’d go down together. After all it would be more fun that way not knowing the danger we played with. Jesus told my accuser, “The Lord rebuke you Satan. She’s been bought with My blood. The covenant she has with Me is an everlasting one. It nullifies all others.”

1 John 1:2 NASB

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

Jesus, my Advocate, the Righteous One defended me from the accuser before the Judge, Almighty God.

Zechariah 3:3-4 NIV

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."

Now my filthy, dirty rags have been removed with my sin. I am now clothed in rich garments. This burning branch has been grafted into the Root of Christ our Lord. His life sustains mine as long as I stay attached to the vine—an abiding branch.

The deep, dark places of the enemy are real. The fire is real. The Lord is ready to rescue anyone who calls upon His name. Call Him! Jesus, our Advocate is ready to defend us before the accuser and the Judge. The blood of Jesus covers our sins and allows us to enter into the covenant God has for His people. We are then called His people!

Romans 9:25-26 NLT

Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.” And, “Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”

Engrafted by His Grace--

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Game Day

My youngest man child decided to play football this fall instead of soccer. Full contact football that is--you know the actually knock you down and tackle you football.

Here is a photo of him on his way to practice wearing his big brother's old game jersey for practice. (Take notice of his long hair which he did not want to cut.)

Today was the first game of the season for the youth league. I felt a bit nervous (esp. after reading Lisa's post here.) Chase is the wide receiver on the right in the burnt orange jersey and white pants going out for the pass.

Here's my boy upon completion of a game with all his parts intact. He got the wind knocked out of him once as he played corner back ready to intercept the play. One of his own team mates ran into him as they both had the same objective.

His team --the Longhorns--won 25 - 0. (BTW--do you notice his hair is much shorter? It got too hot under the helmet.)

Engrafted by His Grace--

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Let Us Remember & Keep Watch

Zechariah 9:8 NIV

But I will defend my house against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch.

Today we remember the events that unfolded seven years ago, may we all commit to keep watch over our home—our country.

I pray that as Americans who have differences, which make each us unique, come together to keep watch against the schemes of the enemy. We all have a part as one nation under God.

Let’s remember those who served fearlessly this day seven years ago.

Let’s thank those who serve today without hesitation!

  • Our Armed Forces and National Guard who defend our nation (home) abroad from threats
  • Our Homeland Security personnel—Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Customs & Immigration who are literally on the “wall” of our land keeping watch as well as the DOJ’s FBI, DEA and other federal agents
  • State, County and local police forces
  • Firefighters
  • Emergency Medical Teams

All these people work in defense of our country. To all of you who serve in one way or another—


For the rest of us, while those who serve protect our physical homes, let us remember that we are in a spiritual battle. We’re to keep watch and pray as believers in Christ. May we watch through prayer over our home—our country.


Engrafted by His Grace--

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Prune the Suckers

Have you seen trees with little cute branches growing from the base of the trunk?

Those cute little shoots actually suck the life out of the tree not allowing the essential nutrients to reach the upper branches. The upper branches bear fruit. Suckers will never bear fruit. If allowed to continue to grow these suckers will eventually kill the tree. Suckers in a slow process will drain the strength and life from a tree.

For a tree to bear good fruit and much fruit, the suckers must be pruned away as soon as they sprout up. This is vital for a productive life.

Like trees, we have suckers sprout up in our lives. If not pruned out of our lives quickly, our strength and life will be sucked out of us. We won’t be able to accomplish the purpose God has for our lives as effectively.

After seventy years in captivity in Babylon, the Lord kept HIS promise and the Israelites started to return to their homeland. The first task to be accomplished was the rebuilding of the temple funded by Cyrus the king of Persia. As this task progressed, it faced some fierce opposition. The enemies of Judah and Benjamin learned of the plans to rebuild the house of God so they offered to help rebuild the temple. Yet the heads of the Israelites declined this offer. So the enemy changed their approach.

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They hired counselors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. ~~ Ezra 4:4-5

The enemy—the suckers—determined to frustrate the plans of the Israelites. Intentional! Does the evil one do that to us? I think so. I personally experienced frustrated plans in my life this past week. I feel the call and purpose of God on my life. As I take each step toward the call, other things pop up that distract me. This past week I’ve dealt with these irritating situations. These distractions discouraged me for a week. The Israelites were discouraged for years.

Well what do we do when the enemy frustrates the plans of God’s servants? Sometimes we justify it by saying, “Oh well, it’s not God’s timing yet. I’ll just wait on the Lord.”

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.' " ~~Haggai 1:2

Sometimes that may very well be true. Some instances do require waiting on the Lord for His perfect timing. Yet there are times we’re to move on something for it is God’s time. And waiting is no excuse not to make progress.

How do I know if it is God timing to move forward or not? Very good question! Let’s seek the Lord in prayer and in His word. If we seek the Lord, He’ll let us know if we are not walking in obedience. One way we will know is that we’re not content in our daily lives.

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. ~~Haggai 1:5-8

We just can’t be satisfied if we’re not doing what the Lord calls us to do. Our lives are zapped of strength to move forward. We must recognize the sucker branches and cut them out of our lives. After hearing the word of the Lord spoke through Haggai, the people recognized the suckers. They then feared the Lord and resumed work on the temple.

As a believer in Christ, I must resume the work I’ve been called to do. While my computer was being repaired, I got caught up in watching the media’s bias view points on politics. Sucker branch. Though this upcoming election is important, I should not allow the media’s viewpoint to rule my day. I became sucked up in many other little things as well —movies, shopping, personality conflicts in the home, etc. My plans were frustrated. What do I do? Well the Lord spoke and I must resume the work He has called me to do. He’s promised:

"I am with you," declares the LORD.” ~~ Haggai 1:13

The Lord is with me. The Lord is with you. Let’s prune off the suckers and get to work with what HE has planned for us!

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm a Woman

Okay, I must confess—I feel like I’m just spinning.

The last week and a half shot past like a bullet. I’m wondering, about my fruit. The fruit of the spirit that is—

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)

I’ve been emotional, but I can chalk it up to hormones. I’ve been patient until you say something then I might bite off just a finger or an ear. I decided it would not be polite to take your whole head off (particularly my dear husband and my dear sons). But the most difficult is self-control especially when I’m not in control.

Now that might not make sense if you’re not a controlling type person. But I like to be in total control of my schedule. I like to have things-typically somewhat planned out. I usually leave room for modifications as adjustments are likely to be inevitable.

Like when I expected my boys to be out for the entire weekend and I had the house to myself. I wanted to write. No sooner do I get going good in the writing project, I learn they’re coming home a day early. Good news! It should be. I got to spend all day Monday with them. But that’s not what I planned.

Then Monday, I wander around aimlessly like a lost child. Not sure what to expect. Nope, I had no self-control.

Tuesday, no control a migraine. Wednesday, computer crashes. (I borrowed commandeered my son's computer to check email and post on the blog.)

I laughed and sang praises this morning. What else can I do? This is not serious stuff. Just not what I planned either. I think I’m doing better.

I used to be a lot like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man. If everything was not perfectly timed and on schedule, I totally freaked out.

No, I’m not that bad anymore. I can keep my dignity now. I laugh. Afterall –I’m a woman! A Proverbs 31 woman that is:

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Pv. 31:25)

Engrafted by His Grace--