Saturday, August 30, 2008


Friday night is Psych night at my house and I don't take kindly to interruptions to my hour of comedy/intrigue indulgence. Last night the USA network found it necessary to air the US Open during MY Psych time. Now I do enjoy tennis and I play it and watch it on tv as my schedule allows, but I was NOT interested in tennis when I wanted to spend some time with Gus and Shawn! I didn't know what to do with myself...I was adrift on a sea of Psychlessness. (sigh)


Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Jumbles

And here we go...

-College football started last night. This means more writing time for me while my honey watches games. Unless my Noles or my Ga Bulldogs are playing...then (and only then) I actually care and watch with him.

-Teach your children to cut their toenails properly as this is not instinctive behavior. Otherwise you will spend several thrilling hours at the doctor watching them inject needles into your child's disgustingly infected toe. I'm just saying.

-Fay??? Gustav??? Hannah??? I now understand why people live in Kansas.

-I don't think that people with ugly babies know that their babies are ugly. This, I believe, is one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

-I was in Walmart recently and I saw a woman who was wearing size 8 spandex pants over her size 14 rear end. Let me just say here and now that spandex is a privilege, NOT a right.

-Confession: I am one who takes my voting responsibilities seriously, but this week, I voted for someone in our local elections based solely on their nice picture on their signs. I had no idea who any of the candidates were for this one particular office or where they stood on, well, anything. This is disgraceful...but now I feel strangely cleansed. Confession is a powerful thing.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just Desserts

This is my "thorn in the flesh"...actually it leaves something more like fat rolls instead of a thorn. Chocolate is a girls' best friend...don't let anybody tell you any different!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Liston Elkins' Legacy

What kind of legacy is there in your family? Is there anyone in your family tree that made an indelible mark on you, that influenced who you are today? That person in my family was my maternal grandfather, Liston Elkins. He was a remarkable man and a born leader who cared far more about others than himself. He did much for our little Georgia hometown, Waycross, and when he died, they named a stretch of local highway after him. But what made the greatest impression on me was his voracious appetite for books and his passion for writing. He wrote for our local newspaper and had an opportunity to write for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. But my grandmother didn't want to leave their small town, so he declined the opportunity and determined to fulfill other dreams within the borders of home.

My Papa wrote all the time, scribbling his thoughts on little bits of paper that he forever carried in his shirt pocket. He was a brilliant communicator in many ways, but the written word was his medium of choice and I marvel still that he never wrote a book. Much of what he did write was about Waycross and the people that made it great and I have always believed that people loved him so much because he celebrated others and cheered them on to greatness, never noticing the level of greatness that he, himself, achieved.

The passion to write that kept him at his typewriter is the very same passion that courses through me and draws me to my laptop when so many other things scream for my attention. My Papa's dreams of writing live on in me and what drives me is a deep desire to leave a legacy of words that will impact generations to come. If he could know what a legacy he left for me and how it has shaped who I am and who I will become, he would grin his mischievous grin, cigar clinched between his teeth, and he would cheer me on just as he did countless others before me.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's Wrong With the Old Songs?

Have you ever wondered about that verse in the Bible (Ps 33:3) that says to sing a new song to the Lord? Why a new song? What about the old songs? Something wrong with those? (I am laughing right now because as I read what I have written, it sounds like Jerry Seinfeld wrote it-go it out loud in his voice...enjoy. Sorry. Tangent.)

I have given this some thought and I think I get it. When you listen to or sing the same songs over and over, you don't even notice what they say anymore...they just become mental wallpaper. Any part of our lives that becomes routine (and I LOVE routine) becomes rote,unnoticable and boring. As creatures of habit we need healthy routines, but as creations of His, we need to move and shift and create and express all of that amazing "Godlikeness" that we possess. We need to break from the routine at times to get a fresh perspective, a second wind, a renewed sense of purpose.
I think God is so wildly creative, above and beyond anything that Disney imagineers could even conceive of, and He wants us to be like Him.

Have you ever considered that we were created to live in the wide open? The sky was the limit for the first man and woman and they could dream as far as the eye could see and then some. The heavens are limitless and endless and we were meant for such an existence. The bigness of creation reminds us of the smallness of ourselves. But we make for ourselves small places to spend most of our hours thereby giving ourselves the illusion that we are bigger than we are. Man has built cages for animals, walls for people...we even box ourselves in at work in offices and cubicles. And when we die, we choose another box that is more expensive than your first car. The greater tragedy is that we then begin to see God through the filter of limitation and we forget that He has no boundaries.

That is why God cries out to us to sing a new our hearts will awaken and we can taste and see His goodness. And His bigness. He wants us to throw our arms around the new and the fresh so that we do not become old and stale and unaware of His wondrousness. So sing a new song, drive a new route, eat new and yummy food, smile at a new stranger. Experience God in a new way. The sky is the limit.


Monday, August 25, 2008

What Do You Think?

Tim Stevens from Granger Community Church posted a great blog today. Check it out here and then tell me what you think? At Christian Heritage Church yesterday, Eddie spoke about this very thing. Encourage people to vote, expose people to issues and where candidates stand, but endorsements??? Is this what the church or it's leaders are called to do?


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Angry, Mean People

Confession. I really can't stand mean people. I try to be tolerant and gracious when dealing with others who are not at all like me, but mean people don't deserve graciousness. They should be banished from society, exiled to a remote, deserted island somewhere without even the Professor or Maryanne to keep them company. What's that you say? Harsh? No, not really. Okay, maybe. This past Saturday I was in a grocery store picking up a few items and as I waited in the 10 items or less checkout line, my little bubble of peace was violently popped by a man waiting behind me in line. He was speaking rudely in a VERY loud voice into his cell phone (God help all those who are related to him). He was mad at having to wait so long in line, he was mad at the unfortunate person who dared to call him a second time and he shouted at his companions who were waiting for him at the customer service desk. Everyone around him was clearly uncomfortable at his angry outburst.
Why be so angry and mean? What good ever comes from it? It certainly doesn't improve your health, lengthen your life or endear you to others, so why live out of control? I find that when I am around that level of anger, I want to run away. I don't enjoy having the peace robbed from my little atmosphere. The thing I find most difficult is being genuinely kind to someone who behaves that way. I would love to say that the gentle love of baby Jesus spills forth from me on to all who are angry in my presence. Not so. It makes me feel angry instead. Why is that? How about you? What happens within you when anger is spewed out all around you?


Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Jumbles

More thoughts to astound, inform and amuse...

-124 days until Christmas. Just thought you should know.

-If you haven't read Marketplace Christianity by Robert Fraser, get it. What Fraser has to say is hugely important for the church to hear.

-Thursday, September 25th....who knows what happens on that day?? Yep- The Office--new season! I knew you would know.

-Great quote:
"Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done, but did not do." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

-Why is it you don't have to use the bathroom until you get all the way to the front of the line to ride the roller coaster??

-There are tabs on the ends of every box of aluminum foil/plastic wrap and, if you press them in, they hold the roll of wrap in place so it (the roll) won't come out when you dispense your wrap. Amazing!

-Tropical Storm Fay has been pole dancing her way up the entire Florida peninsula this week and I question why anyone would live here. Seriously. People actually save up their entire lives to retire to this low-lying land of wind and rain. Things that make you go "hmmmmm".


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Get This!

Mark Batterson's new book, Wild Goose Chase, is out and you have to get it. It will challenge you to live big and outside of the box and, as you know, I am a huge fan of big, adventurous living. I absolutely loved his book In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, but this one is even better. Here is a little taste:

A part of us feels as if something is spiritually wrong with us when we experience circumstantial uncertainty. But that is precisely what Jesus promised us when we are born of the Spirit and start following Him. Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: adventure.

I love that! Winston Churchill once said, "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." This is what Christianity was meant to be, not the boring, status quo for which so many people settle. The heroes and heroines of Scripture went where God took them even when they didn't see the whole picture.
I could go on and on forever...just get this book and read it.

For more on this book click here.
Or click here.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wanting, Needing, Longing....

I was reading Seth Godin's blog yesterday and it made me think. He spoke of marketing and the common goal of marketers:

"What you have doesn't make you unhappy. What you want does.
And want is created by us, the marketers."

I am grateful that I am an American and that I live in a free market society that allows us each the freedom to create and sell products/services that add value to the lives of others. As a Christian, however, I must be keenly aware of the seduction of this very same system. While Godin is correct in his assertion that the consumer wants what he or she does not yet have, and those feelings are indeed exacerbated by the lure of the latest "thing" dangled at the end of the marketers' fishing pole, I do not believe that the "want" is created by the marketer. The want is created in us by the Creator Himself. The great tragedy is that we often mistake the deep longings within ourselves as a need for stuff.

In his book The Seven Longings of the Human Heart, Mike Bickle says this: "We have cravings built into our spirit as an integral part of our divine design. These cravings reveal the genius of the Creator, who placed these longings in us to reflect His own personality and guide us to-and back to-Him. He intentionally planted longings deep within our hearts that only He can fill."

How many of us try to fill our longings for greatness, for beauty, for intimacy, for legacy, with what can only be acquired with money when what we deeply desire can only be fulfilled by the God who fashioned us to fulfill HIS longing. Wow! God has a longing! He deeply desires oneness with me and with you. He is waiting for each of us to realize our desperate need for what only He can offer. And there are no shipping and handling fees! Your longings fulfilled will be delivered straight to the depths of your heart on demand anytime you call on Him.

Is it okay to still want an iPhone and a Mac? Sure. As long as you acquire them to meet your tech needs and not your emotional needs. (I want both of them...champagne taste on a beer budget) Kind of ironic that these products are made by Apple. Wasn't it an apple that got us all into trouble to begin with? Kidding...just relax!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

React or Respond

Proverbs 15:28 "The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things."

A Godly man or woman ponders how to answer (responds) while a wicked man or woman pours out words (reacts). Which one am I? I regret to say that often times I react and wicked things pour forth. I kick myself but apparently not hard enough. My goal is Godliness, pondering, responding...that whole James 1:19 slow to speak thing. I'm not on the black diamond course of controlling my mouth yet, but I'm working on it. If you find yourself on the bunny slope at times, too, I recommend taking a stroll through the book of James, but be will hurt your feelings.


Monday, August 18, 2008

What Are You Looking For?

Every year on our vacation at the beach I look for shark's teeth along the shoreline. When I was a little girl, my daddy would frequently take us to the beach and he would find dozens of them, teaching me along the way how to find them and what to look for. I still love to search for them and add more treasures to my jar at home. This year as I walked along the beach I encountered two girls who were searching for and finding starfish. I was intrigued and I stopped them and asked them how they were finding them. They said that all you do is look for star shapes in the wet sand and then lift the starfish from under the top layer of sand. And as my family and I started looking for them, we found a half dozen. Wow! All these years of hunting for shark's teeth and I never noticed star shapes in the sand.

We usually find what we are looking for. I never found starfish because I was looking for teeth. And then I wondered to myself what I might be missing in my life by looking for something else. What about you? Are you finding hurt because you aren't looking for forgiveness? Are you finding failure because you aren't looking for success? Are you finding self because you aren't looking for Him?


Saturday, August 16, 2008

When We Move

At the beach this past week I found myself awake early every morning thanks to my achy, creaky back. One morning my youngest son looked out the expanse of windows at the ocean and exclaimed with wonder, "Mom, what is all that sparkly stuff on top of the water?" I explained to him that what he was seeing was actually a reflection of the sun on the water and that when the water moves, it makes it look sparkly.

As I explained this to him I was struck by this thought: the sun reflecting on still waters is lovely, but the sunlight shining on moving waters is breath-taking. Likewise, we see the reflection of God in many who wear His name and it can be lovely. But when His children live and move in tandem with Him, His reflection sparkles and dances and it is breath-taking indeed. It is not the water that is extraordinary-in the dark of night we take no notice of it. It is the reflection of the sun that fascinates. When He is truly reflected in the life of a son or daughter who dances with Him , those who look upon them will be utterly fascinated by the Son and they will never be the same.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow...

I am taking a bloggy break...I will be back next week. With a tan.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Jumbles

Here are my random thoughts for this week--brace yourself:

-The Call DC is coming up on the 16th of this month (while I am on vaca)--whether you will be there or not, throw some prayer at it. It's going to be huge.

-Pedicures: a thirty dollar opportunity to battle paranoia. Why do they have to speak in Vietnamese the entire time? Raise your hand if you think they are saying something mean about your feet!!!

-I am leaving for vacation tomorrow and I just need to express my deep and abiding joy over this fact.

-I miss my sister. She lives in Florence, SC which is entirely too far from Florida. I vote we move it.

-Hot Topic is a clothing store found in most malls that caters to deeply disturbed teenagers. It is a subculture unto itself and, if you have never been in one, you should update your passport and venture into one. God help you.

-Nothing compares to Charmin. Nothing.

-Did I mention that I am going on vacation? I heart the beach.


Thursday, August 7, 2008


My nine year old son, Jonathan came in my room today and said the following about one of my favorite children's books by Shel Silverstein:

Jonathan: I just read "The Giving Tree" and I did not think it was sad at all.

Me: You didn't find it just a little sad, kind of bittersweet?

Jonathan: Nope-not at all. But then I am heartless so that isn't surprising.

Me: You are not heartless, you just aren't very is how you are wired.

Jonathan: So are you gonna pray for me a heart, like the tin man?

If you don't have a kid, you should get one.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here's Your Sign

We just got home from a really great weekend of ministry in Birmingham, Alabama with the folks at Fullness Christian Fellowship. I can't say enough good things about Josh and Jen Walsh who lead the youth ministry there. We were there to lend a hand with the weekend youth camp they were hosting, and, yes, I did swallow a banana whole (I came in second husband beat me) while I was there. On Saturday they took us to our favorite BBQ spot in the whole southern USA, Dreamland. If you have never been there, you must go and sample the yummy goodness that is Dreamland. We have been there several times over the years but never before had I noticed this sign that hangs on the wall there. Please behold their neon will change your life forever.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't Die WIth This!

In his book, 9 Things You Simply Must Do, Dr. Henry Cloud said this, “One of the worst things you can die with is potential. Die with failures before you die with potential. Potential is something to be realized, not guarded and protected.”

I love that movie, Last Holiday, starring Queen Latifah. I love that book of possibilities that she makes because I made one just like it when I was about ten years old. I liked being able to turn the pages and look at pictures of the things I dreamed I could have and be when I grew up. Thirty years later I don’t have everything that I put in that book all those years ago, but I have a lot of it. And tomorrow, I am going to keep working on the rest of it, using up every ounce of potential that I have been given.

I know I talk a great deal about dreams and risk, potential and living “big”. I really believe all this stuff I write. I figure that, like that old song said, if I shoot for the moon and miss, I will land among the stars.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Chasing Your Tail

Do you find yourself struggling with productivity? Do you chase your tail in circles with no end in sight? Here are just a few helps to get you out of that rut.

-Limit your time with your inbox. Rather than checking e-mail throughout the day and never feeling that job is done, set aside 30 minutes a day in your schedule to read and answer e-mail.
Remember, if you are going to maintain an e-mail address, do others the courtesy of responding to e-mails in a timely manner. To do otherwise is rude and unprofessional.

-Say no. You cannot do it all so choose what is important and say no to everything else. To never say no is to half-do everything. You will never realize true success if you settle for mediocrity.

-Voice mail is your friend. Don't drop the people in front of you to attend to the unknown at the end of the phone. Set aside time slots throughout your day to return missed calls. That person you are having lunch with didn't set aside time in their day to watch you answer your cell phone.

-Leave it at work. Whatever remains undone should be put in line for your attention first thing on the following day. Don't take it home with you. Working constantly doesn't equal efficiency so give your brain some rest at night.

-If you have tried and failed repeatedly at organizing your time, get some outside help. Attend a workshop on time management, find a mentor, read some books on the topic. Don't settle for less than excellence...keep working on being a better you so that you can multiply value in the lives of those in your sphere of influence.


The "F" Word

“Oh, no she didn’t!!” No, actually, I am speaking of failure. Over the years I have come to regard failure as a friend…a friend and an excellent teacher. So many fear failure and view it as the “scarlet letter” that marks them for life. On the contrary, failure can prepare you and equip you for life, but only if you allow it to do so. We should always play to win, but when we do lose, we can learn from it and let it strengthen the fiber of who we are. Are you afraid of failure today…has it gripped you and caused you to stop moving forward? . The only people who never fail are the ones who do nothing. Take off on a run, friend, and don’t look back.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Jumbles

I have decided to allow my mind to roam free on Fridays (as if I practice cerebral control any other day of the week) and throw out whatever pops up between my ears. My apologies in advance. This could be frightening.

-I'm trying out some new chapsticks-Back2Basics lip balm is absolutely nasty, but I am really liking Aquafina Flavor Splash lip balm (comes in a 4 pack-gotta love that).

-If you have teenagers on Facebook and they are making their own Flair, you might want to beware...that's all I'm going to say.

-I just turned 40 in April and apparently it is true that when you reach day 14,600 of your life, you will need to go buy reading glasses. Mark your calendars.

-I haven't had a bath (please note that I did not say that I haven't bathed) since 2002. I have only had a shower in my bathroom since that time. I miss bubble baths.(sigh)

-If you allow your Yorkie to eat pizza, he will throw up. A lot. Everywhere.

-I recently discovered that if you cannot afford the $500 that the pharmacy clerk tells you that you owe for your child's medication and you stare blankly at her, she will not lower the price.

-I had another ugly encounter with a cheese bag this week. I still hate zipper top shredded cheese bags. See why here.

-And finally, I made a decision recently, and then acted on it this week, and I was reminded that following that God idea in your heart is more important than a hundred other good ideas you might have.