"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster



Monday, July 17, 2017

Alan Jackon Style

I had the opportunity to defend someone's reputation the other day. I thought about ignoring the situation...it wasn't really that important...but I just couldn't let it go. I really did try.

It was probably even silly...truly not that important...but it just isn't in my nature to hear something inaccurate about someone and say nothing. I have to speak the truth, or at least I must cite that part which I know is right.

So like I said, the situation was silly. I will even tell you who it was regarding. It was Alan Jackson. My favorite country music singer. Well yeah, I'm going to defend him! He's my favorite!  ;-) I would have done it regardless of who it was, however. At least I hope I would have. I hate things to spread that are not true. Especially if it is about someone's character.

It was an inaccurate Facebook post about something he did. It had a little bit of truth; that is usually the case. It makes things more believable to include a bit of truth. Several years ago, he had walked off the stage at the country music awards. Someone was trying to say it was political. It wasn't. Someone tried to say he is a liberal. But truth is he chooses to not make his politics known. He has often said that he doesn't feel his fans should have to be subjected to anything other than his music. I appreciate and respect that.

If you are interested, this is a great clip about why he walked off stage. He was defending a friend. And I LOVE that. It is far too rare.
 


He explains further here:


 

So pretty cool, huh? Definitely worth defending, in my opinion. I had known the story since the day it took place. I was so moved by it, I never forgot it. Someone defending someone, simply because it is the right thing to do.

Why don't we do that? Why do we just ignore falsehoods...thinking they will just go away? They won't. They will live in someone's mind. Sometimes the inaccuracies will even grow and become something worse.

But anyway, I had to defend the truth in this case. I remember when I responded on Facebook with the truth. I included the above videos to back up what I said. It made me feel so good. It was such a little, unimportant thing in the grand scheme of things and certainly in Alan Jackson's life, LOL but it made me feel so doggone good! I felt like I had defended a friend. Like I had done something right. I had spoken truth. Taking a stand for truth and the defense of someone's reputation warmed my heart...a warm, fuzzy feeling that made the effort worth it.

Later, when I went back to Facebook the people involved in the inaccurate post thanked me profusely for sharing them the real story. I was rewarded with their heartfelt thanks...on such a silly issue. Yes, this is what I always want to do. Defend truth...I like that warm, fuzzy feeling of success.

Enter another battle. Something like that occurred again today. I had to defend someone's character. Someone's integrity. There was a false report and it was brought to my attention as if it were truth. I was flabbergasted. I knew this person better than that. And this was highly out of character. I listened to the report, not really knowing what to do. I pondered. I prayed. I pondered some more. This just wasn't right. I made another phone call. And then pondered and prayed some more. And yes, I asked God, "Why in the heck am I involved in this?"

A few hours later, I knew the answer. I knew what had happened. And it came over me with a wave of peace that ended with one of those, "I knew that I knew, that I knew " kind of moments. The truth had hit my heart. God had spoken to me when I finally became quiet and had some time to reflect. It was one of those times where there is no question, but that it is God. I now knew what had happened. I should have known the answer immediately, but I had gotten caught up in the seed that wasn't true. Maybe I had even watered it a bit.

But when I knew the truth, I couldn't make the phone call fast enough in order to defend this person's character. I shared what I knew was truth. Much to my surprise, I encountered push back from the person on the other end of the line; a defensive attitude. What in the heck? I didn't expect that; I expected relief on all sides. But instead, a mild argument ensued. I held my ground. I had to; I had no choice, did I? God had spoken. Integrity and reputation were at stake and I was right. There had been an error that had to be corrected. A horrible misunderstanding. Belief by misinterpretation. I was not going to let that go without explanation.

To the credit of the person I was talking with, listening took over. This person could sense the truth, too, when all the facts were presented. But her own reputation was at stake. She had believed a falsehood and ran with it - maybe even planted and watered and watered some more. Surely she couldn't have made that kind of mistake. But she had. This wasn't going down easy. Mistakes hurt the ego. Sometimes truth hits hard. Sometimes conversations are tough. I only realized what was happening (that she was feeling corrected or exposed) near the end of our conversation. I understood fully, when she finally took a deep breath and told me how the situation would be resolved. I knew then, she saw it and believed me. But that was rough...for all involved.

I believe that is why defending truth is so rare. Sometimes defending truth ends in confrontation. Sometimes it is terribly uncomfortable and someone else's purported "truth" gets all messy. It usually comes back on them. I did want to be gentle, when I finally understood what she was fighting against. But truth is truth. It matters. 

And sometimes it isn't about silly little Alan Jackson stories. Sometimes it is far bigger, far more important. Sometimes it is about someone's life and integrity and where they might go from here. Sometimes there is no other choice but to preserve and protect. I hope I always have the strength I need to do that. That is my choice. Sometimes it doesn't end in a warm, fuzzy feeling, though...some times it ends in a feeling that is akin to climbing out of the foxhole - exhausted and beat up, from a battle that somehow became mine whether I wanted it to or not.

We've got choices to make. Not too easy sometimes; but I guess if it is Alan Jackson style, I am ok with that. ;-)

 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Norman Rockwell Moments

I lost my mama. I am not ready to write about that just yet; but I can't let it go unstated, or ignored either. I will try to write a post about her soon. It is hard to write about perfection and make it believable. She was close enough to perfect, for me.

The sorrow runs deep.

But we must move on. We have no choice. It is the right thing to do.

My summer days are mostly lacking. It has been a struggle. There have been a couple good days, by God's good grace.

I will try to write about one of these better days. Below is an account of my dealings and activities for a mid-week, summer day...i.e. today.

I wake to wind. I like to sleep with my window open in summer, but the wind was strong this morning. I looked at the clock...5 something. Too early...I cover my head to shut out the morning light and go back to sleep.

6 something. It is time to get up, whether I feel like it or not.                

I let out my old man beagle for his morning potty, and start the coffee. While the coffee brews, I go out and feed the ponies. We were able to get our hay in early this year, due to all the nice rain enabling good growth. We asked a neighbor to cut for us this year, as our cutter is out of service. He was gracious enough to do it for us, though he told me a few years ago he didn't want to do it anymore. He is the best! He relented at my desperate plea. For his sake, we had him cut it high, as we didn't want to worry about him hitting any rocks. We have very rocky ground out here. Since it was cut high, it left some nice green length for the horses to graze. Additional rain, is going to keep it green a bit longer this year. That doesn't usually happen either. Yay for hay!!

Anyway, back to feeding the horses. I gave the horses all about half a flake, just to get something on their tummies. I like to start them slow on the fresh, green grass when they aren't used to it. Having something of their normal diet first, helps them from gorging more than they should on the good stuff.

While they eat, I come in for coffee that is now ready, and my daily reading.        

Refreshed with Bible and brew, it is time to think about what my day will entail. I usually have an idea, but not today. I had no plans to go to town today, but I can sense as my morning thought process begins to develop, that that is probably going to change.

It is time to let the horses out to pasture and when I am done, I come in and work on my book business. I have sorely neglected it while my mom was sick and the site I deal with, actually deactivated me. I finally got a chance to check on it last night, and I saw they were still charging me fees, though I had been inactive since April. I was surprised to see they would do this when they were the ones to deactivate me! Yikes. I sent a letter last night explaining my situation and my unintended neglect in hopes they would help me out a bit. I received the reply this morning and it was favorable, so I got busy updating my site. That felt good.

After working for about an hour on my books, it is time to let the horses back in. They always come agreeably with a little temptation of grain. Juliee is the smart one, though. She has lived this cycle for a few years now. She knows she might get a bit of grain, but then the fresh green grass will be cut off. Not a fair trade and she is smart enough to know that. She is the last one in, and I have to coax her a bit. So far, I haven't needed the halter. She eventually relents; the temptation too great.                            
Our Babies
Si, Juliee, Loco Lobo, and Misty

Next on my list -  bills and update checkbook! That has been sorely neglected through this time, as well. Another thing that felt really good to get done.

Ok, well then! Moving right along! Already a few accomplishments  behind me, and it is just a bit past 9:00 am. I decide to shower and head in to see my dad. But I have time, so I will move slowly. I make a left-over pork sandwich for breakfast, and have more coffee. I catch a bit of the news.  I LOVE the news. At this time it is time for the girls on Fox - "Outnumbered" I think it is called. Not too much of that, just a bit of an update to stay informed.

After a hot, rejuvenating shower, make-up and hair, (yes, I feed the horses in my jammies) I am ready to head out. By this time, I guess it is a bit before 11:00 and I realize Dad will already be at lunch by the time I arrive.

He is sitting with a woman and her daughter, and we have a nice visit. Two more ladies arrive to give us a full table. I have a small salad and coffee. Just a little something in order to eat with Dad and make him feel better to not eat alone. The facility is very gracious. There is no charge for guests for drinks and small house salads, or even soup.

We go back to Dad's room and visit a bit. I clean a bit and talk to him about a future outing that I have in mind. He is delighted. After a few tears at lunch, my idea has good timing. Bless my daddy.

I head for home, pleased that I had decided to come in for a visit. The drive home is leisurely and a time to reflect alone, and yes...mourn. My showers and my drives are my important times alone.

It is about 2:30 when I arrive at my home. I decide on the ride home, I will make a rhubarb pie as soon as I get there. It takes me no time at all to get out and start picking rhubarb. There may not be many more pies, this summer. My rhubarb has been a bit scant.

As the pie is baking, I decide to go check my garden and water some plants. I weed a bit, but not aggressively. A thorough job will be left for tomorrow. It feels good to water, and at the same time, I fill the horses trough.

I guess it is about 4:00 now, and I decide to ask my husband if he wants to take a drive to return two bales of hay that we had borrowed from my cousins. We ran out one weekend with no place to purchase. More good neighbors! Even if they are family! "Sure", my husband says, he is up for a drive and visit. We note there is a storm headed in now, but I ask him to weigh the bales before we go, as we didn't get a chance to do it the other day when we baled and brought in the hay.

I love doing this. Yes, weighing the hay! We have my grandpa's hay scale, that my dad passed on to us and it is an absolute thrill to pull it out and use it each year. I really should have taken a picture as we weighed...but dang that storm; and we wanted to get the hay over to cousin before rain. 
 
WOOHOO! 75 pound bales this year! That is a good bale for us! We couldn't be more pleased.

My husband bought himself a little side by side, 4 wheeler, this year. So we place the bales on the back of it and head down the road to cousins...probably only a quarter of a mile away. These are the things that make me love where I live. For a moment, it feels like a scene from Norman Rockwell. This is how life should be. A rare, fleeting moment these days, but this is how I want it to be. And I can't get it out of my head that this is how it should be...EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

We arrive before they are home for work, but their son, J, has also just arrived. Their plan is to go get hay. We have a nice visit with him, but we all soon realize, the storm is going to prevent them from going on the excursion they had planned.

We leave the borrowed hay with J and head home without seeing my cousin this time. The wind is picking up, just as we arrive home. The lawn chairs are being blown around. I decide to keep the horses in for their feeding, instead of letting them out to pasture. The wind and rain that is now present is just too strong. Pretty sure, the babies were ok with that. ;-) Only one refuses to go in a stall in bad weather. Si - our daughter-in-law's silly gelding. But oh what a sweetie! My Juliee heads for her stall at the first sign of rain and watches intently as she waits for me to deliver. SWEETHEART. Baby girl. I love her.

I come in and make coffee - I have warm, rhubarb pie in mind. But first, a tuna sandwich and left over beans from last night. Hubby is on his own. I don't usually eat dinner. But this is what I want for tonight. I am out of Special K, my norm. Coffee and dinner; then a second cup with the rhubarb pie. I enjoy the storm as I eat and watch a bit of the local news.

Maybe I can blog a bit.......but the sorrow runs deep...too deep to write about just yet...so this post is all I can do...unimportant ramblings.
 
Someday, I will be ready to write about the important things...But this is today. Today, I try to hold on to the fleeting moments, and Norman Rockwell scenes; breathing in comfort through superficial actions, and moments of distraction. Today was mostly that: distracting - one of the good days, by God's good grace.
 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Oh, The Shack!

Oh, The Shack. We can't ignore it. Nor should we. As predicted in the article at the link below, the author Wm. Paul Young has released his next work. It is a non-fiction book that thoroughly explains his personal views. Lies We Believe About God. It probably should be titled Lies Wm. Paul Young Would Have Us Believe.

http://watchfrommywall.blogspot.com/2017/03/taking-our-temperature.html  

   
 
This morning, I read an article by blogger Tim Challies, which I hesitate to post here. Tim has a few issues of his own. But he was pretty accurate in his assessment of the works of Paul Young.
 
You can read his article here.
 
Please be aware as you read his article, I believe Tim also has been misled in regard to a few of his views. I believe him to be a part of a group of young Christians who have been misled in regard to political aspects of our nation and our faith. I have read other works of his to come to that conclusion. A false view is exposed in Tim's article, when he compares Paul Young to Thomas Jefferson citing Jefferson's supposed private selection and approval of only certain Bible verses. This is an oft repeated lie about Jefferson due to revisionist history. It is thoroughly explained in David Barton's book, The Jefferson Lies. But in spite of that, Tim does a good job of explaining the problems with "The Shack".
 
We simply cannot be too careful these days. Please be aware of all the false doctrine coming out today.
 
I only want to do my part to expose it. We all have been silent too long. This is where silence leads.
 
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; ~ 2 Timothy 4:3 (KJV)

Monday, February 20, 2017

I Call It Life

It simply looked like garbage. It was laden with dust, with a faint odor of mildew. There were old, unimportant magazines on top of a pile that looked to be miscellaneous papers. I was short on time and very tempted to toss it. But something stopped me. I had been very careful with everything since I had begun the enormous task of moving my folks out of their 55+ year home.

"I just can't get careless now." I said out loud to myself with nothing left but the basement walls to absorb my comment.

And that was what prevented me from tossing some of the last items stored away in a cabinet in what was now a very lonely room. It was an understanding that this wasn't my stuff...and therefore not my right to throw away without inspection.  I don't know, maybe it is guilt that controls me. Some would say so. Some would laugh at me, I am sure. But I am glad that I listened to that inner message sent to my spirit. I packed it all into a clean box as carefully as I could. I would look at it later.

So 9 months later I am finally getting to it. A slow, snowy Sunday when I could stay home for an afternoon would allow me the time to peruse through the box carefully.

 Oh the treasures I found. Flight records from when my dad was a crop duster. Cards from Box 124 and letters from a mama to her son as he had just returned home from overseas.
 
Mish-mash
 There were letters and cards from a son, who had also served overseas, as the war in Vietnam came to an end. And there was a school library card from a daughter. There were letters from Senators and Representatives in answer to one man's lifelong efforts of staying politically active, paying close attention and understanding this to be his civic duty.

1978 Grandchild
These were memories that made me smile. These were memories that made me weep. An instruction sheet on how to put a tricycle together brought the greatest tears. Who would ever guess? But it hit me just then...these items represented a life - two lives. It was the memories they intended to keep, some intentionally, some probably just ended up there. Regardless, everyone of them represented their life.
 
Daddy's Sermon Notes

And on this cold, dreary day after several wearing years of  wondering how we got here, these items - carefully stored away - somehow breathed life back into me.

Yes, I suppose some would think me foolish. Obsessed even. I don't know. I don't really care. I suppose some would call it junk...I call it life.
 
 
LIFE