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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Not About a Statue

Enter the Grammy's…

Oh my goodness! It’s never been on my list of “must sees” – ever! Not my kind of music, for one thing; further, there simply isn’t enough of the kind of music that I do listen to included in their production. But most of all, I have been aware of their radical political agenda for some time. Add to that the digression - now smut - in most of the artist’s performances and there is simply no reason for me to watch.

Natalie Grant
Unless one lives in total isolation, however, it is almost impossible to miss seeing exactly how far in the toilet this show has actually spiraled.

I caught a few reviews on the local news channel, as well as FOX News; and I read a few negative articles on Facebook, all of which explained and shared more than I cared to see.
So why am I even bothering to write about this?  Good question; I normally wouldn’t give this show the time of day. But an article by one of my favorite people on Facebook caught my attention. Col. Allen West had a few statements of his own about the annual award show. His thoughts were much the same as mine. You can read Col. West's article here.
The most interesting thing that caught my attention in his article, however, was what he said about Christian music artist, Natalie Grant. Apparently she attended the event because she was nominated for two awards: “Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance” and “Best Christian Music Song.
Who knew? I had no idea the Grammy’s still included this genre in their categories. But though Grant and her husband were in attendance, apparently they were wise enough to walk out early.
Col. West’s article led me to another article at The Blackspere.  I know nothing about this blog, and intend to learn more about it; but for now the article on their site allowed me to read Natalie's own personal comments as to why she walked out of the Grammy's. You may or may not want to read what this article has to say. It offers a bit more information than I care to know, in the manner I explained earlier. But the author adds the information somewhat modestly, in order to explain exactly what Grant and her husband had to sit through.
In that light, Grant's comments were particularly powerful, and sure to impact any open heart.
What she said about why they left the show early truly inspired me. In an era, where it seems many are afraid to speak of their faith; and definitely won’t mention anything that is controversial, or political, I found her comments refreshing and uplifting. She was wise enough to keep too much negativity to herself, but she encourages us and inspires us with her revelation about how she was actually honored...and it had nothing to do with a statue.
We left the Grammy’s early. I’ve many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I’ll say this: I’ve never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I’ve never been more sure of the path I’ve chosen.
                           ~ Natalie Grant

The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
   ~ Proverbs: 11:3 KJV

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Fashion faux pas*! Have you had any?  I keep trying to say: fashion fou pah pahs…but I think I am mixing that up with brouhaha’s*.  Maybe in my case, they are one in the same. Ah, French! I suppose since I really don’t know the language, it is best left to...the French. Anyway, I know I have had a few fashion mistakes in my life time; most likely many.

Super Man's (or woman's) Cape!
When I was young, I was a lot more concerned with fashion then I am now.  I suspect that is normal. The older one gets, the more a lot of things just don’t matter anymore...at least until we get it figured out, that they still do. ;-)

But I got to thinking about this the other day, because of something that happened. As I was getting ready to go somewhere, I decided I wanted to wear a particular top. It was fairly new, and I had only worn it once. Now I am one of those people that almost always will wash something before I wear it twice. I have just always done that.  Even if I have only worn the item for a short time, I still want it washed. I learned a long time ago, it is better to be safe than sorry. It seems every time I haven’t washed an item after wear, the next time I put it on, I will find a spot. Some people can get away without washing it every wear, but I can’t…never have.

Sure enough it was on this day, as well. Though I had only worn the top a few hours, there were a couple little food spots on my blouse.

Oh, brother! It figures. Anyway, it led me to this post. I started thinking about silly little things that have happened with my choice in clothing. I thought it would make a funny blog post. And I am sure it would!  Like the time I wore the bright pants, because I had gotten them so cheaply; and I was old so I didn’t really care, having finally reached my "price before fashion" days.

“Trying to wake up the neighborhood?” a stranger had said to me.

Or how about the time someone handed down an item to me that she didn’t want anymore. I was pleased to get it and…..never mind.  It would be funny alright, but it is simply too embarrassing to share here!

I do have a couple “make up faux pas” though! Like the time we were running late, (which is often) so I decided to put my make up on in the car (which is also, often). I am just one of those people that must wear makeup. I always have. I look like a completely different person without it… Anyway, it’s my crutch; my super-man’s cape; I rarely go out with out it.  However, I have those “without” stories, too!  I might get to a few of those as well.

But on this particular occasion, I was diligently applying my makeup as my husband drove. I applied my blush, as I often do, making two little round circles on my cheek. Then I simply blend it in with my hand. But this time I forgot to blend! I guess we were talking or something and I got sidetracked.  We went into the event with those two little round, red, (Avon Golden Rose, to be exact) clown circles on my cheek! My husband didn’t say a word!! After the event, when we got back out to the car, I took a peak in the mirror to see how I was fairing. There were those two little round circles giving me my funny clown appearance!

 “Why didn’t you say something??” I exclaimed to my husband.

“I thought you knew what you were doing,” was his answer.

One early morning, Matthew and I were on our way to our bookstore and coffee shop.  We were working 6 days a week, 14 or more hour days at this time, trying to get our store off to a good start. It was always dark as we headed to work, and for the sake of time, I almost always put my makeup on during the drive into the store. I pulled out of my makeup bag, what I thought was my colorless lip gloss.  I applied it to my lips and it felt especially good this morning. My lips were a bit chapped and it felt really soothing. I applied a bit more. When we arrived at the store, Matthew burst out laughing. What I thought had been colorless lip gloss ended up being my white (very white) under eye concealer.  I had big, out-of-bounds, extended, puffy, white, chapped lips. Yikes! To the bathroom to wash!

Then there are the times, I have gone out without my makeup. I yi yi!!  Now most people look great without make up. Both my sisters would fall into this class. However, I am scary without it. I have story after story about this. After 45 years or so, they do add up! Like the time I was working in the factory. We had been working 6 days a week, 10 hour days, and the long hours were starting to catch up with me. We started at 5:00 am which meant I had to get up no later than 4:00 am.  One morning, running late, I showed up to work with no makeup at all. (Read more about my experiences at this factory here.)

But on this particular day, there was a new employee. Now I can’t remember exactly which way it went, but I had worked with this new employee just twice. One day with makeup, and one day without.

I simply remember him saying to me on the second of those two occasions.  “What happened to that other gal that works here?”  You two kind of look alike, but you are much nicer.”  Ouch! I only hope that was the makeup day!  

Then there was the time, when I was working in my yard on the busy street we lived. I mean it was yard work, so I had no makeup on.  Someone I know drove by on the street, and honked and waved.  I knew who it was by the service vehicle markings he was driving, but I hadn’t seen this person in some time. He decided to stop to say hi. He got out of his vehicle and started to walk toward me. As he got closer, he seemed to become confused and turned around to start back to his vehicle.

“Chris,” I called. “What’s up?” 

He turned back around and said, “Oh, it is you!” The closer he had gotten to me, the less he thought it was me. Double ouch!!

We then, had a nice little visit, though he did look a little frightened the entire time.

I have a ton of stories about people not recognizing me when I wore no makeup, but I know this post is getting long.  Let me share the most recent “makeup faux pas” and then I will wind up this silly post.

I was headed out somewhere in my car one day. I am not sure where I was going, but I am sure I had every intention of putting my make up on in my car as I drove the 20 miles or so to town.  Like I said, that is what I do. For safety reasons, I don’t advise that, but it is what I do…always have...though never on the highway; only the calmer roads.

Anyway, before I could get even a quarter of a mile from my house. I saw my neighbor walking her two dogs. I had something I had been meaning to ask her, so I stopped to say hi. But oh my! The look on her face!  I could see she was truly shocked; almost not believing it was me.

Then the cake was taken!  She put her hand up over her eyes and exclaimed, “OOOH, don’t look at me!” It was as if my mascaraless eyes hurt hers.  I laughed, but got away from there quickly!

So there you have a few of my gaffes!  Maybe I will get enough guts some day, and write about some of those other fashion faux pas. Or maybe not!  But today, I simply thought it was time to try to make y’all laugh, as well as give me a chance to speak a little French. ;-)

*Faux pas is a socially awkward or tactless act, especially one that violates accepted social norms, standard customs, or the rules of etiquette; a blunder, gaffe, or error

*brouhaha - great excitement or concern about something; hubbub; uproar

Yeah, in my case, they seem to be one in the same.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Forever Love

I heard her gasp; sensed her effort to fight back the tears. Mama was getting bad news. I waited in dread until she was off the phone.

This time, it was an old friend of the family - A friend of my brother from grade school whom had been in a tragic accident. He knew the Lord.

I attended the funeral yesterday. I had debated whether to go; I hadn’t seen this friend or his family in years. But still his family was long time, friends of my family. His folks were friends of my folks.

We attended the same church as kids, and we lived in the same tight-knit community. For one thing, I knew my folks were going to the funeral and I wanted to be there for them. But even more than that, this family had been extremely kind when we lost Isaac. I remember that and I will remember that forever. I cherish it; but I can’t even pinpoint the action, only the compassion. But along with that, I love and respect this family and have many fond memories of them. I knew I had to go.

I am not sorry I did. It was a beautiful memorial service; truly a celebration of this man’s life. It was another circle of the past catching up to the future – which is now the present. I saw photos bringing recollection so that I knew I must have seen some of those pictures 50 years ago. I heard of all of our friend's accomplishments (and there were many) in his well-lived life. I had not kept up with his life over the years, but none of it came as too much of a surprise. It all seemed to be his nature.

I saw his kids, and grand-kids share their love and I not only saw him in those kids’ faces, I also saw his dad…the kid’s “great grandpa”. It certainly brought an immediate awareness of the circle of life. As well as the importance of those that understand the gift we have in our spiritual heritage. I loved that I saw four generations in that one moment.

This friend’s life had been a testimony of the love and grace of the Savior we serve. His funeral service was also a testimony of the whole reason that we live.

After the service, my heart was touched as the family asked for time alone and excused the rest of us. That was precious to me, and very wise on their part. They would join us in a few moments.

We gathered in the reception area for coffee and cake. Immediately a little circle of friends joined us. Some of whom I have seen over the years and some whom I had not seen since all those years ago in the neighborhood of my youth. It was a special connection as we conversed, reminisced and caught up with each other’s lives.

I smiled as I heard my dad with a twinkle in his eye tell the shortest lady of our small, intimate group, “Why! You never did grow up!”
We all laughed, but the truth is we really did all grow up together. Yes, I am speaking of the parents in some ways, too. They were young as they raised their kids, but they raised us with ethics, high principals and discipline. We were raised in a faith-based, mostly safe and moral era, but our community and friends were an important aspect of our small and safe haven in which we were blessed to live.
I suppose our childhood wasn’t perfect, but you couldn’t prove it by these memories and intentional expressions of memory and love as we visited.
As I grow older, what I have continually noticed and appreciated is the ties from my youth. This was our “family”. We all lived within a mile or so of each other and many of us here, now, to honor this man, attended the same church back then.
When we lose another from our small tight-knit community, we show up to offer support and acknowledgment. I have noticed these are ties that somehow seem stronger than even our more recent relationships. I’m not sure why. I think it is because there is something we all know, something we all understand. I have pondered it many times before, at high school reunions and such.

Yesterday, I think I finally figured it out and it’s really pretty simple. It’s merely a sense of belonging. This is the "community family" with whom we were raised and to which we still belong to some degree. It can’t be taken from us. We know they aren’t all perfect, but we truly care when one is hurting, we defend when one is down-trodden. We have memories that no one can take. We all remember what it was like. We belong. In my mama's gasp, and in those from the past that were able to attend the funeral, I saw forever love.

I don’t know; maybe all of this isn’t that important. But I always feel it.  And from those feelings, I can also understand that this is what it will be like in heaven some day. We will know we are accepted and that we belong there; no one can take that from us because we have been given that gift. We cherish it, we protect it, we share it; and understand that eventually, we reunite.

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
                         ~Hebrews 11:16 KJV

 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."  
                        ~Ps. 116:15

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Written in Red

I heard this song the other day on the radio and now it won’t leave my mind. It was one of my favorites when it first came out and it remains a favorite today. It was released in 2005 and I really can’t believe it has been that long since it was popular. It seems like it was only a few months ago, but in reality it has been 9 years. Wow!  In 2006, it won the CMA (Country Music Association - for those that don’t follow country) “Single of the Year”; as well as the “Music Video of the Year”.

It is an absolutely beautiful ballad of a young boy that befriended then observed the faith of his elderly neighbor.  The boy grows up, leaves for college, and later learns of his old neighbor’s death. Yeah, it is heart-wrenching, but it is also up-lifting, as we see the young boy grow up to assert his own faith and “believe” all those Words Written in Red.

Of course, Ronnie Dunn gives this heartrending ballad even that much more power in the way he delivers the lyrics. It will forever be one of my favorites.

The song is Believe written by Ronnie Dunn and Craig Wiseman and performed by Brooks and Dunn.

Ronnie Dunn and Craig Wisemen

Old man Wrigley lived in that white house
Down the street where I grew up.
Momma used to send me over with things
We struck a friendship up.
I spent a few long summers out on his old porch swing

Says he was in the war when in the navy.
Lost his wife, lost his baby.
Broke down and asked him one time
"How ya keep from going crazy?"
He said "I'll see my wife and son in just a little while."
I asked him what he meant.
He looked at me and smiled, said

"I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what I can see.
Oh, I believe."

Few years later I was off at college
Talkin' to mom on the phone one night
Getting all caught up on the gossip
The ins and outs of the small town life.
She said, oh by the way son, old man Wrigley's died.

Later on that night, I laid there thinkin' back.
Thought 'bout a couple long-lost summers
I didn't know whether to cry or laugh
If there was ever anybody deserved a ticket to the other side
It'd be that sweet, old man who looked me in the eye, said

"I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there's more to life than just what I can see."

I can't quote the book
The chapter or the verse.
You can't tell me it all ends
In a slow ride in a hearse.
You know I'm more and more convinced
The longer that I live
Yeah, this can't be
No, this can't be
No, this can't be all there is.

Lord, I raise my hands, bow my head
I'm finding more and more Truth in the Words Written in Red
They tell me that there's more to this than just what I can see
I believe

Oh, I
I believe
I believe
I believe
I believe
I believe
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  ~John 3:16

Below is Brooks and Dunn's official video:

Or view it here at the 2006 CMA's:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tomato Soup Day

Tomato soup day..comfort food day.


Relaxing stay at home day. Let the holidays catch up day. Or maybe that's the other way around.

Read by the fire, kind of day.

Reflect; shake ones head in amazement kind of day.
Daniel 10 kind of day.
The past catches up with the future in the present day.
Receive the answer day.

Glad the house is clean day, though I need to dust.
Overwhelming kind of prayer day...How do those who don't pray, get through?

I have a son who continually offers refreshing.

I have a Son Who refreshes in His Own wild timing, continually.

It has been 30 years or so since I have made Chex Party Mix. I made some this week. The reason remains the same.

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.  
~Daniel 10:12 KJV