Lost Car Keys

Lost Car Keys

I lost my car key the other day. Now if you really know me, you aren’t surprised. Losing my keys has been a problem I have had for most my life and it has only exaggerated this last year when we bought a car with a phob that I am not able to connect to my other keys. So now I am not just trying to keep up with one set of keys but I have to keep up with two sets, one for the car and the other set for the house and church. 


The other problem with this key is we only got one when we bought the car and to replace it or get another one would be at least a hundred dollars or more and that just isn’t in the budget. 


So the other day when I lost the one and only car key, I searched everywhere in the pocket I always put it in, in my purse. I retraced my steps to see if I left it around the house somewhere. I looked in the car to see if I left it there. I check my bag I take to church every week. I even asked the guys that live in my house if they had borrowed my car and kept the key in their pocket. (which they often do)  


You see there is only one way I don’t lose my keys and that is I have only 2 places I put them, when I come in the house. They either go in a special pocket in my purse or I place them on the same table top in my house. That way if someone in the family needs my car they also know where the key is.  So when I couldn’t find them I was so confused. Had they accidently dropped in the trash? Had they fallen behind some piece of furniture? 


I was baffled as to where they could be. But I decided not to freak out about it. After extensively searching everywhere I could think of. I just decided to leave it alone. Walk away from the problem and do something else that I knew I could do. I refused to worry about it. Once I had done all I could do to find it I just decided to go about my day I figured I’d deal with it later.


I left my purse sitting on the floor by the hutch in my dining room. I went about my business and about an hour or two later I came back around by my purse from the opposite direction and happened to glance down at if rather than looking at it from the side view of it sitting on the table, as I had done, the whole time I was digging through my purse looking for the key earlier that day. 


When I looked down from a higher perspective you know what I saw? You guessed it! I found what I had been looking for. I found the key. I had forgotten that I had put it in the outside pocket of my purse. The one that  I never use. As soon as I saw it, I remembered when I was in a hurry the other day instead of putting it in the normal place I had put it there. As I looked down over it from the higher perspective. I saw it just barely sticking out of the side pocket.


As soon as I saw it, I immediately knew that it was like life. Often times we have a problem and try with all our might to fix it. We do everything within our powers to make things perfect,but we often only see things from one perspective. 


That perspective comes from the way we have been raised or opinions we have adopted over the years and values we hold dear to us. Those come from the way others have treated us, T.V. Show and News reports. Our surroundings can often dictate our perspective on life. 


That is why it is so important for us to have a higher perspective of life. We have to rise above what this world says is acceptable and look to the one who created the world, God Almighty. When we look to Him who is the beginning and the end of everything. Who with one word spoke this world into existence. How could we not have a different attitude? How could we not find things that we never expected to ?


When we change our perspective, and look at life through the vision that God has. We will begin to see the good in those around us. We will see hope where we once saw only defeat. Because contrary to popular belief. We may not be seeing things the way that God sees them. 


We only have one view of things. We can only see the here and now and what has happened before. But God sees the here and now, He knows what has happened before and He also knows what is yet to come. He sees in 360 vision. 


There is a lot of talk this year about 2020 vision. Which it is important to see clearly. But we also need to expand our spiritual vision to 360. We need to ask God to help us see everything He is trying to do around us and when we can’t see it clearly we need to know that we can trust this God, who is the creator of the universe and giver of life. The God of Abraham Issac and Jacob. 


There is so much anxiety and fear happening in this world today. I believe in many cases it is happening because we are trying to do everything on our own instead of trusting in the one who already has the plan anyway. The one who orchestrates everything in the heavens and earth. The one who sees all sides and knows all intents of the heart. When we realize that we are love unconditionally by the Almighty God. It releases a whole new area of freedom in our lives that we don’t have to be worried or concerned that things didn’t go our way. 


I heard a great saying the other day. “God will mess up your plans to get you on His purpose”  So next time you become full of fear or anxiety or something doesn’t happen the way you think it should. Ask yourself “I am I seeing this through God’s perspective with 360 vision?”  then Let’s ask God for a new perspective of what is really happening and be willing to put our fears aside for a moment and trust that He is working all things together for our good! (Read Romans 8) ‘

My Pet Peeve

My Pet Peeve

I have a Pet Peeve! I know you are probably sitting there thinking, this nice lady that writes this column could never get upset with anyone. NOT! In fact if you ask my family they could probably give you a list of things that they would say I have a pet peeve about. 


A Pet Peeve is defined as “something that a particular person finds especially annoying.” 


Being raised in a minister’s home. My parents were far from perfect as most parents are, but one thing they taught me was to serve others. There wasn’t a home we moved into that, that in the process of discussing who would get what bedroom that my mother didn’t say “We need to plan for a guest room”  


Now I wouldn’t even consider my mom a great hostess because I rarely remember her even having guests over for dinner. But my mom was always ready to host an overnight guest. So much so that we planned our whole lifestyle around it down to how we slept.  Whether it was for a guest speaker coming into town that would be preaching at our church or for family that always lived far away from us, that mom prayed would come and visit but rarely did. 


I remember when we didn’t have an extra bedroom my parents got a trundle bed and put it in my room so there would be room for an extra guest if we needed it. That is just what I was raised with to serve others. 


So in this modern day society where communication is at our fingertips one of my biggest pet peeves is people who say their profession is to serve others but they never respond when you reach out to them. Nothing irritates me more than for me to text  message or call someone and they never reply or take hours or days to do so. 


Some people think God is like that. We pray or ask God for something and then it doesn’t happen they way we thought it would or we think He doesn’t respond and our feelings get hurt. We feel unloved and rejected by God. When the truth is God always answers. Sometimes His answer is Yes, sometimes His answer is no and other times His answers is wait a little while. 


Often times when we don’t get a yes or no answer right away. He is telling us to wait a little while. Waiting doesn’t have to be a waste. It can actually be a projective time of prayer and growing in a deeper relationship with God. It is a perfect time for us to draw closer to Him and we do that by patiently waiting and trusting Him and He works it out. 


In this modern day society where we can have information at our fingertips in seconds we often think we serve a God who should give us what we want and we want it right now. But we forget we serve a God who knows all and sees all, including what the future holds and more importantly we forget that He loves us more than we can even hope or imagine. In fact, His love is so extraordinary that honestly our minds can’t comprehend it because we have never been loved like that. 


We also have to remember God isn’t a genie in a bottle that we just call on when we want our wish to come true. That would actually make us the God. Which is more often what we end up really wanting after all it is our natural tendency to want our way and it is what the whole living by faith has to do with us giving up our well to follow His because He is God. 


Faith is trusting God. I think that brings me back to my pet peeve. I want my way and when I reach out to someone who says their life is serving others and I expect a timely response. Because bottom line they aren’t God and I don’t always know if I trust them, But I can trust the God they serve. 


I’ve had to realize that I can’t change people, but I am responsible for my response to them and in that I have to look to God above to help me be who he wants me to be and just because I believe people who are called to serve others should be available to others in a timely manner doesn’t mean everyone is called to that and I can rest in even though things don’t happen the way I plan them, I just rest and trust in the fact that God said He is working all things together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 28 

The Camper Cushions

The Camper Cushions

If you have been following this column then you know there has been a lot of things happening behind these parsonage walls! You know that back in September, Jeff and I felt God confirm in our hearts that we should join the U.S Missions Department with the Assemblies of God. Where we will be over Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico Churches, Helping connect churches with needs from Construction to Clerical with other churches and individuals that can help meet those needs. Our Goal is, Strengthening Churches, Changes Lives, One Project at a Time. Because we still believe the local church is the way God plans to bring people closer to Him. 


If you have followed this column you also know when we felt God calling us to this ministry we knew we were going to need a few things to make that happen, Since we will be traveling about 40 weekends out of the year, we need a newer to us vehicle that gets good gas mileage and must have good heat and air, unlike the car we have now and frankly our present car as so much other things wrong with it, it isn’t worth fixing. 


Secondly, we knew we needed a place to live in Tulsa which will be more centrally located to our area as well as a camper and truck to pull it with since, we may need to stay gone for longer periods and don’t want the added expense of hotels and never not want to be able to helps someone because of their inability to house us. 


So we just begin to thank God that He would provide these needs. After all, Matt 6:8 says “ He knows what we need before we even ask” so if He knows what we are going to ask, because He already knows what we need. I believe He also knows what we are going to need before He asks us to step out in faith and do something for Him. 


You may already know that since we stepped out in faith and shared what we felt God calling us to do,  in November, God has since given us, a home to live in for free in Oklahoma, and a camper for free as well. Now! You may be thinking that is Amazing! But, this past week before we went to pick up the camper, the owner said, “I was recovering the cushions for you and I ran out of material” She went on to say so she went into a second hand store to see if she could find something that would work  with her present material, and guess what happened? She not only found the exact material! But it was cut in 2 exact pieces the exact size that she needed. 


Now you can’t tell me that was an accident? I believe with everything within me that God is working all things together for our good and He has called us to this time and this place. I believe that someone somewhere was making something out of this material and had two pieces of material that God ordained just for her to use on our camper before either of us knew she was even going to give it away.  


You know why I believe that? Because His word says. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 


It also tells us in Luke 12:7 that He even knows how many hairs or lack thereof are on our heads! So why wouldn’t God care enough about this mission He has called Jeff and I on to supply the most minute detail that we need! 


Let me tell you something! If He will do it for Jeff and I He will do it for you too! But watch what that verse says! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who  have been called according to his purpose.”


There are some requirements. First we need to love Him and I believe it’s more than an attitude of “Well I don’t hate God?” attitude but it needs to be a genuine love Him more than life itself attitude, that you’d give your life for Him mentality. That He isn’t just someone you call on when you have a problem, but He is your constant friend that you talk to everyday and He talks to you. 


Secondly, It says “have been called according to HIs purpose. We all have a calling on our life, God has called us all to follow Him and what His word says, but if we truly love Him, referring back to the first point “for those that love Him” We are going to do what He says so if He says leave your church that you love and have a secure income in to step out in faith and trust Him to supply your needs through donations from your friends and others every month, then you do it! 


Trusting He is calling you to do that! Or maybe it is trusting God to supply the need of a missionary like us and feeling God is asking you to help but you know you don’t have the extra finances to do it. Maybe it is just calling up a friend and checking on them, but you are shy and you don’t want to bother them. Maybe it is asking someone to come over to your house and eat, but you don’t really like to cook and you are afraid you house isn’t clean enough. 


I don’t know what God is calling you to do, but whatever that strange thought you have in your head bouncing around that, seems crazy to even consider and it is greater than you could do on your own and if it helps others or shares God’s love with someone, I am betting it is God speaking to you. Especially if it seems like there is no way you can do it on your own. 


So what are you going to do with that call? Let me tell you that if you will trust Him, I promise He will meet you there. Just like the cushions in the camper, God’s got a plan for whatever He is calling you to do. He already has made a way and He knows what you will need before He asks you to step out in faith and do it. He is just waiting on you to take the first step! So what are you going to do? 


Jeff and the Ice Cream Cone

Jeff and the Ice Cream Cone

Jeff had just gotten his drivers license and decided he was going to drive down to the corner store and get an ice cream cone. His nephew Trey, who was about 3 or 4 years old at the time was visiting his Mamaw and Papaw so Jeff decided to ask the little fellow if he wanted an ice cream cone too. Trey who was preoccupied as little ones will be, told his Uncle Jeff, No, because as little ones will, he was focused on whatever he was doing at the time and didn’t want to stop doing that. 


So Jeff made his way up to the store and since the ice cream cones were 2 for a dollar Jeff thought “Why not?” and bought two. As he was driving back home he began to eat one of them and walking in the door of his home with two ice cream cones in his hands, Jeff nephew saw them both and asked for one. 


Jeff, thinking he would teach the child a lesson told him “No!” because after all, Jeff had asked him earlier and in Jeff’s mind the child should of said yes then and not waited till he got back home with one. Well, as little ones will. Trey began to cry and as Jeff tried to explain why he wasn’t going to share his ice cream cone with his little nephew. Jeff’s dad hearing his name sake, first born grandchild crying, came in from the other room to investigate the cause. 


When Jeff explained his side of the story, which didn’t hold up very well in grandparent court that day.  Jeff’s dad told Jeff to give Trey one of his ice cream cones. This did not make Jeff happy at all, so he offered Trey the half eaten ice cream cone. To which Jeff’s dad shook his head and said, no give him the uneaten one. This made Jeff even more anger so he slammed the whole ice cream cone down on the table making the cone crumbled and the whole thing landed on it’s side, on the table, which ensued louder and more hysterical crying from the child and a look from Jeff’s father that could kill. 


Jeff’s dad Trammell told him to go to his room where he would deal with him later. Jeff protesting the whole time did as his father asked and walked to his room. Upset at the injustice that had just happened in the room when his 16 yr old self was just trying to teach the spoiled grandchild a lesson. At least that is howJeff saw the situation that day. 


After Jeff’s dad had cooled off, and Trey had calmed down. Trammell came into Jeff’s room. Jeff was fulling expecting his father to give the corporal punishment he was use to in situations like this. In fact, Jeff says he even pondered how many pairs of underwear should he put on, to lesson the blow of the how situation could turn out. You know, kind of pad the consequences per say. 


But this time when Jeff’s down walked in to his room, it was different. He told Jeff who was now as tall as his father and weigh more than Trammell did. “Son, your getting to big for me to whip now, You know what you did is wrong,” Then Jeff’s dad added “ I think the best thing for you to do, is just kneel down here beside the bed and ask God to forgive you” 


Oh! Jeff says at that point all he could think about was he just wished his daddy would spank him! Anything but having to confuse his sin to God. 


Jeff was reminded of a valuable lesson that day James 4:17 says “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin” 


Jeff knew the right thing to do was to share. In his heart he knows the little kid didn’t really have the cognitive abilities to make that decision of not wanting to go with Uncle Jeff to get and ice cream cone, and would always choose an ice cream cone as soon as he saw it. In fact that might of been part of what made Jeff buy 2 ice cream cones that day. 


But the bottom line is, Jeff knew the right thing to do was to share, the right thing to do is to always care for those weaker than ourselves and bless those who can’t help themselves. 


During the holidays, sometimes this can be the hardest thing to do. Often times we might see people who haven’t given us the time of day the other 364 days of the year, but yet all of a sudden want to be friends with you this one day of the year. 


Our natural instinct might be to ignore them or avoid them, after all, one could think “If they don’t care about having anything to do with me the rest of the year, why should I have anything to do with them on this one day?” 


But is that really the right attitude to have? Again, we need to refer to James 4:17 I think this might have been the first verse I ever taught my children “He that knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin”. 


We often know the right thing to do but our want to, is often lacking. Jeff knew he needed to share, but he wanted to make a point to his little nephew and his opinion of what needed to be done, superseded what he knew was right at the time which caused his father to have to bring his attention back to the right thing, and that is what would Jesus do. 


Isn’t Trey a lot like us though, how many times has God called us and wanted to give us a good gift, but because we are to busy doing our own thing, we push Him aside in essence telling Him. No! Only to realize we had made a mistake and we wanted what He had. 


Luckily it is never too late for us to get on our knees and ask God to forgive us and tell Him we want what He has offered us. God isn’t as petty as we are and although we may reject Him all year long He is always waiting with outstretched arms to welcome us home. He loves us and wants to forgive us of anything we have done. 

But just like the scene around the table at Jeff’s parent’s home. Our life can be chaos until we decide to do what we know is right to do. 


God’s word says “If we will confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. It is only when we confess and decide to walk in God’s will that He will walk with us and help us in the chaotic times of life. 

Jeff and the Pink Tutu

Jeff and the Pink Tutu

When our kids were little our Christmas tradition was for Jeff to wake up our children in a Santa Clause suit. It was one my mother made for Jeff when our oldest was just about 3 yrs old. So until all three of our kids went to college, this was the routine on Christmas morning.

Santa would go from room to room, waking the kids up, then like the pid piper, we would all follow him down the hall to the living room where we would all gather around the tree for Santa to read the real Christmas Story out of the bible, we would then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus usually around some sort of cake with a candle. Then Santa would hand out the gifts and leave, shortly after Jeff would come into the room and tell the kids, rubbing his eyes as if he had just woke up saying “Why are you all making all this noise you woke me up!” 


Because of this happening we never had to have “the talk” with our kids about who Santa really was. Our kids just figured it out, that Daddy is Santa. 


Amy must have been about 7-8 yrs old when she came to me one day and said “Okay mom!, I know who Santa Clause is and I know who the Easter Bunny is, But who is the tooth fairy?” When I just gave her that look that said “Hello!, It’s the same person silly” To which she responded in shock “You mean Daddy” To which all I could picture in my mind at that very moment was what it would of been like, if my husband had asked my mother to make him a tooth fairy costume instead of a Santa Clause suit. The image of my 6’3” 300 pound husband in a pink tutu, sneaking into the kids room at night to retrieve the tooth under their pillow,  flashed before my eyes and I just blurted out “And you should see him in his Pink Tutu”  


You know, in this life there will be a lot of things we don’t understand. Life rarely happens as we plan it, but it is the mature Christian who, in whatever circumstance they are in and says “I trust you Lord!” 


Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” 


Part of submitting our lives to Christ is realizing that we don’t always understand why things happen nor will we always like what happens in this life. But the truth is, whether we choose to submit our life to Christ or not. There will always be something that happens in this life, we don’t like or understand. The question is “What will we do when those times come?”


Will we react like a 2 year old who doesn’t get her way, by throwing ourselves on the floor and kicking and stomping our feet or will we realize that in this life hard times will come, bad things happen and when we feel overwhelmed and frustrated and yes, even mad. We can lean on Christ, Trusting Him. Because He also tells us in Romans 8:28 it tells us “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”


Did you know we all have a purpose? God designed every one of us with a purpose and a plan for our life and the first plan He has for all of us. The one thing God is more concerned about more than anything else is our character. He is less concerned about our comfort and more concerned about our character. He so desires a relationship with us, that He will do whatever it takes to pursue us so we will acknowledge His existence. 


Maybe you’re like Amy was,  and you just don’t understand everything that has happened and where it all comes from. Maybe you have been looking for some mystical character to come and rescue you from all your problems. But the truth is there is no magical character that is going to take away all your problems. Christ even told us in His word, “In this world, you will have troubles, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16)


Just like my kids looked forward to Santa waking them up each Christmas morning, We need to look to our Heavenly Father when troubles come and bad things happen we need to run to our Heavenly Father and know that we may not understand now what is going on. But we can trust that nothing that happens to us, has not already when through the hands of the heavenly Father and He is prepared for whatever comes our way, He will find a way to bring good out of bad if we will keep focused on Him. 


Just like when Peter stepped out of the boat on to the water, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. He was walking on water, but when he started focusing on the storm and the waves around Him. It was then He begin to sink. When we keep our eyes on the Father, nothing is impossible. We can defy all odds of what the world says will happen. But the choice is up to us. 


Will you focus on what you don’t have, or didn’t get? Will you be negative and depressed on this most joyous of seasons? This is the day we celebrate the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! This is the day we honor the son of God who gave up His home in Heaven to come to earth because man had done the unthinkable and separated himself from God by choosing to do what He wanted instead of following the plan God had laid out when He created him. 


That battle goes on today… We can choose to live our life for ourselves and how we think it is best, or we can choose to follow the creator of the universe and trust Him.