Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Resurrection Tree

This is a true story.

Once upon a time there was a young family...the mommy, the daddy, and two adorable children.  A little boy and a little girl.  The little family was so happy.

They lived in a cute little house on top of a little hill. This cute little house had a HUGE picture window. The front yard had  a HUGE, beautiful pine tree right smack in front of this window.  The mommy loved this tree!

Often times, the mommy would lie in the floor upside down so she could see all the way to the top of her beloved pine tree. 

There was so much life in this one tree. There were hundreds of pinecones...all sizes and shapes. Then there were the bird nests  of the mommy's favorite bird, the cardinal.

The mommy would wonder in amazement as to how the little birds understood their roles in life so well. The daddy bird would go to work and bring the food home to feed his wife and babies. The mommy bird would stay home to guard the home and babies with her very life if need be.

The sunlight would beam in from the tippy top and shine all the way to the bottom. If you imagined hard enough, this could be a year-round Christmas Tree... weathering all of the seasons of life.

This little family experienced all the storms that little families experience. Then one day a HUGER than HUGE storm came.  It HUFFED and PUFFED, and blew their little house in.

When the storm had blown over the little family surveyed the damage.  To their dismay...the daddy had been blown to the other side of life.  The happy little family was not happy anymore.

The mommy had to work much harder to take care of her little house and the two adorable children. The mommy would come home very tired and discouraged, but her favorite pine tree would be waiting to welcome this weary mommy home every day, and provide shade for the two adorable children.

BUT ONE VERRRY HORRIBLE DAY....the mommy came home and her beloved tree was DEAD! 

Overnight a plague of worms had swarmed in and destroyed the well-worn friend. In a matter of hours, the once green epitome of life was now pitch black, not a green sign of life anywhere! EVERYTHING was gone...even her redbirds.  The mommy sobbed.

The mommy tried to save the tree.  She called every tree doctor  she could think of, and they all said the very same thing, "There was no hope...too late....cut it down."  The mommy just couldn't do it.

Somehow deep in this mommy's heart she knew there was still life in the heart of this tree...even if no one else could see it. So every night the mommy would gather her two adorable children, would hold hands, bow, and pray for the now dead tree.  They also prayed for the daddy that had been blown to the other side of life.

All of this mommy's friends and relatives thought she had flipped her wig, and made fun of her for believing what she did.  She didn't care.  The faith in her heart told her the truth.

Every night they prayed, and every day it didn't look like anything had changed. The date to have the tree cut down drew closer and closer.

THEN ONE DAY SOMETHING MIRACULOUS HAPPENED.... as suddenly as it had left...LIFE CAME BACK  INTO THE TREE!!!! Really, it did!

Every part of the tree that once portrayed death was NOW more alive than ever! The tree was much greener! The tree had twice as many pinecones! The mommy's favorite redbirds moved back in and so did the daddy that had been blown to the other side of life.

Over the years, as I have faced impossible situations, the Lord would speak gently to my heart and remind me of the miracle of my pine tree.
I cannot tell my true story without being reminded of another true story about a tree.

Matthew 28:5-7 5But the angel said to the women, Do not be alarmed and frightened, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified.

6He is not here; He has risen, as He said [He would do]. Come, see the place where He lay.

7Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.

With God nothing is impossible.

         t-t-f-n (ta-ta-for-now)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

I recently have been reminded of a long ago experience that carries a very relevant 'NOW' message.

In the beginning of my walk with God there were many older saints that did as the scriptures commanded for the older women to teach the younger, and took me under their wings.  One such woman that I will refer to  simply as  "Miss Lorene", left an indelible  mark on my mind and my heart.

We sat on opposite sides of the church for many, many years, but always connected via a Sunday wave or would throw each other a kiss. In the early days of ministry she was one of my faithful cheerleaders.

My young family had hit an unusually harsh, private storm.  I felt as though I was going down for the third time, and being fairly new in the things of God, wondered if I had been forsaken. Of course I hadn't, but I was asking the Lord for reassurance.

He answered my request with a dream...not mine...but that of  "Miss Lorene's."

She was a very tall, stately woman. Her presence exuded the love of God.  Her soft auburn colored hair was lightly streaked with gray wisps of wisdom. That particular Sunday morning, her hug felt like a safe harbor for my weary, five-foot-four,  beaten little ship to land.

Her voice was so soft you sometimes had to strain to hear her speak. She began by saying, "Cathy, I had a dream about you last night... 

You were on a very narrow path. Not only was the path narrow, but it was made of very sharp jagged rocks.  In addition, there were many huge boulders strategically placed at various intervals that represented seemingly impossible obstacles.

You had stopped and sat down on one of the larger rocks.  You were weeping because your feet were bleeding from the journey.  I appeared on the path and took my shoes off and offered them to you. I knew they were not your exact size... too big for you, nevertheless, they would help you complete your journey."

God had answered my prayers and quieted my fears of abandonment.

Over the subsequent years, the symbolism of those shoes have taken on a variety of meanings, and more precious with each step in my spiritual journey.

In a world of hopelessness, despair, broken dreams, disappointments, and
bleeding feet... Who needs 'YOUR' shoes today?

      t-t-f-n (ta - ta - for now)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Oranges and Okra

Parallel to our table was a party of four, the three women clearly related. Linked by their full moon faces, clear blue eyes and flawless skin. One man, the husband and father, rounded out the seating.

The adults were served first. As they began eating they also began blending into the background. The smallest family member took center stage without much to-do or fanfare.

This miniature doll was dressed in a very simple black and white flower print sundress. Her sun streaked hair was accessorized by an enormous black bow. Her bright white sandals made the outfit complete. If any amount of color happened to be lacking from her ensemble it emanated from her personality.

Trying not to be obvious, I was more than amused when the waitress delivered this little girl’s order. She was served a heaping bowl of perfectly cut orange slices. The fruit was so bright, it looked liked the sun had been quartered and delivered to her table. Her eyes were bright with excitement. She clearly believed she had won the dinner time prize.

The fragrant smell of the oranges momentarily transported me back into the safe haven of my grandmother’s kitchen, the sweet, sticky orange juice running down my chin. Emotion welled up in me. The child in me wanted to share her bowl of Florida’s delight and forget the adult portion roast beef dinner now placed before me.

Before the heaping mound of oranges could be polished off, the waitress appeared with her second course. Of all the vegetables available, this little “Southern Belle” had opted for a kid size portion of deep fried okra. (Again, a food related to memories of Sunday dinners with my grandmother). Her waitress turned and winked at us, also amused. We were probably both wondering how this eclectic mix would fit into the context of the food pyramid.

I left the restaurant pondering all that I had observed. Wondering why I had been so caught up in a stranger’s meal. I understand that much wisdom is to be gleaned from our small teachers. If we observe closely, they will teach us how to take the practical and turn it upside down. They will remind us to experience joy in the simplest pleasures of life, even in a bowl of oranges and okra.

After all, isn’t that the way life should be? We definitely should have our fruit first.

      t-t-f-n  (ta- ta- for-now)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jeremiah 29 Revisited

If you have read one or more of my Blogs, you well know by now, that I have reoccurring themes other than produce. My grandmother’s fifty plus year-old rosebush being one of them. As we speak, it has been dug up again and is being hauled two-hundred miles back home in the back of my husband’s F150 truck. Dodging thunderstorms all the way.

Has the Lord ever required you to let go of something that was so near and dear to you that it had become engrafted deeply in your heart? It could even be considered detrimental to your health to remove it?

If you said no, then pardon my French, “Liar, Liar, pants on fire!”

For fourteen years now it has been our every intention to relocate to the land of our grandchildren. We made all the necessary arrangements to do so. I sent my grandmother’s rosebush ahead to reserve us a spot.

Due to a myriad of circumstances beyond our control that dream seems to be on a permanent hold. I could not bring myself to entrust one of my grandmother’s prized possessions into the hands of strangers who might or might not care for this pale yellow wonder.

The truth is… my heart has been kicking and screaming over this one. You know the old saying, “Keep a stiff upper lip?” Sometimes that simply is not easy. About the time you think you have a grip, your lips start quivering and you look like an Elvis Impersonator. It may become necessary for two of your most trusted friends to stand at each corner of your mouth with a case of super glue.

There were many incidents in God’s Word where God’s greatest men needed assistance to sway the battle. Exodus 17:12 Amplified “But Moses' hands were heavy and grew weary. So [the other men] took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”

It was not a sign of weakness that Moses needed help, but a life lesson of agreement, keen discernment, plus, the give and take between leadership.

The Lord gently reminded me of one of my former Blogs/teachings dated August 10th, 2010. (Don’t you hate that?) He told me to dust it off. I have included bits and pieces that pertain to today.


1a. This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

4 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."

10 This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. [b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

Babel was not only a place of exile, but a place of "confusion." The word 'CAPTIVITY' means, "A FORMER STATE OF PROSPERITY!" CAPTIVE means, "ESPECIALLY IN A DISGRACEFUL SENSE!" Hello, this means your disgrace is going to be on display, made public for all of your friends, family and otherwise to see! Often times God is a God of ifs (requirements) before you can inherit the blessings.

"UH-OH!" PLEASE PASS THE ICE PACK - AND THE SHOVEL - AND THE POTTING SOIL! I looked these passages up in many translations hoping this would say something different. Don’t misunderstand – my roots run deep where I live, very deep, and I love my heritage, but I thought my future was somewhere else.

Can we really trust God when it appears we have lost all manner of control?

As I have chewed, and chewed, and chewed....I have determined that captivity may be far more involved than a prison sentence. Captivity could be our marriages, our health, our finances, our relationships, even our ministries. Captivity could be traditions of men, evil imaginations, strife, and offenses, addictions or unfruitful cycles or fears. Only you can identify the cell block of your soul.

A-h-h-h the wisdom of a rosebush….

They never forget what color they are supposed to be. They never forget their purpose. They are always mindful of their season. Regardless of what storms they have weathered, they can grow in the harshest of circumstances, even when they have been neglected. A little tender loving care, pruning, and water can create an atmosphere where the most timid of plants will venture a bloom once more.

The roots dictate the actions of the rosebush. Roots are roots no matter how you split them or where they are transplanted.

Honestly, when the rosebush arrived home today it barely resembled the pictures I received this past spring. The full blooms were replaced with dry dead leaves. It looked like the life was slowly draining out of it. I remembered when my grandmother once commanded me to get one of my rosebushes out of the garbage because I thought it had died.

I planted it anyway. If the timeless rosebush is anything like my grandmother was… it will just dig its roots in deeper.

At the end of the day I choose to trust my Maker with my future, and trust He knows where the rosebush needs to be planted in order for it to survive and bloom again.

To quote one of my favorite people, “Nevertheless, not my will…..”

t-t-f-n (ta- ta- for - now)

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Group Hug

Today, I am walking in a different place than I ever thought I would find myself. In twenty-five years of ministry I see myself, the world, and the body of Christ, facing unprecedented challenges. It seems that many of my phone calls come with a cry for help from on High. Where could we go, but to the Lord?

So it is not unusual to find myself in an almost constant state of prayer. When I first read the admonishment from the apostle Paul to pray without ceasing, I wondered how that was possible. Today that scripture holds much more clarity for me.

During the wee hours of the morning…3:00 a.m. to be exact, I was crying out to the Lord for encouragement. I needed a reminder that He was hearing any of my prayers, and quite frankly, a hug would have really been nice.

You might say, “Sister that is a sign of doubt and unbelief!” Maybe, maybe not…it’s OK. The Lord and I are tight. I am His daughter, and He understands the cry of my heart. He knows what I need and where I need to be for that cry to be fulfilled. So of course, He sends me to Wal-Mart! Ok... I know you are shocked!

I was limping a bit, actually a lot, and was pre-planning how to shop quickly and more effectively; therefore, I was going to skip the produce department entirely. I just didn’t have time for any nonsense today! As my husband would say, “ARE YOU KIDDING?” YOU ARE AN EPISODE WAITING TO HAPPEN!”

Hurrumph! I’m sure he doesn’t mean that.

I was heading across the parking lot sure that I had not left an inch of opportunity for the tiniest of episodes. UH-OH…I heard someone yell, “HEY GIRL! WHAT CHA DOIN?” It was one of my all time favorite Wal-Mart buddies!

I am still not sure how we met, but just so thankful we did. We have laughed and cried many a time on each other’s shoulders in just about every department in the store. She is hysterical and we are always comparing adventures. We always say we are going to get our lawn chairs and coffee, park in the meat department, and just watch.

By this time we were standing at the front door arm in arm laughing hysterically. We were oblivious to people having to take a different route around us to avoid getting giggled on.

Before we knew it, the most adorable little lady complete with her curly hair, freckles, and matching hat and tee - shirt stepped into our circle wrapping her arms around us both! We were in a GROUP HUG! She threw her head back and was laughing more than the two of us together. Did she know something we didn’t?

She said, “It’s so good to see you!” I had never met her before! I was thinking she was an angel on a mission. The Lord knew I for sure needed some comic relief and of course, the hug. Then I read the front of her shirt. She held her shirt out for me to read more clearly, “I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR ANY MORE DRAMA. MY SCHEDULE IS FULL!” 

                    Isn’t that the truth?

     t-t-f-n (ta-ta-for-now)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You Can't Get Blood Out Of A Turnip

Who knew you could learn a life lesson from a turnip?

When the Lord gave me this visual I went dashing to Wal-Mart to purchase a turnip. I needed to have time to get it all dolled up for the Banquet! I was in a BIG hurry when I realized I did not know what a turnip looked like! So I asked the person stocking the produce, and she didn’t know either! Luckily, my husband did. He purchased the lonely little turnip and brought her home in time for her debut.

The following is an excerpt from my recent Mother/Daughter Banquet teaching:

How many of you have ever heard the saying, “You can’t get blood out of a turnip?”

How many of you know you can be related, but feel like you live in two different worlds? Surely the other person is the problem.

Grandmop & The Turnip

Gmop: What’s up Turnip?

Turnip: Not much Grandmop…just trying to figure out what to do today.

Gmop: I know…we could go shopping! I have a coupon!

Turnip: I can’t go shopping…I don’t have a driver’s license or a coupon.
           For heaven’s sake…I’m just a turnip!

Gmop: Well…maybe we could go get a massage and a Pedicure.

Turnip: I can’t go get a massage and a pedicure…I don’t even have a back, toenails or polish!
           For heaven’s sake…I’m just a turnip!

Gmop: I’ve got it! We could go out for a quick bite! We could go have Sushi and coffee from Starbucks!

Turnip: I can’t go get sushi! I don’t have a Sushi Bar in my neighborhood and I’m allergic to caffeine!
           For heaven’s sake…I’m just a turnip!

Gmop: Turnip this is so frustrating! I need so much more love, attention, and time than you are    

Turnip: Grandmop…I’m sorry….this makes me sad. I don’t seem to be much help or any fun. God 
           designed  me completely different. If you plant or cook me, I could give you nutrients to help you
           stay  healthy or I would look great in your purple kitchen! Besides…I don’t even have a watch.      
           Plus, I  live on the ground and I can’t see above your ankles!
           For heaven’s sake…I’m just a turnip!

Thank you Turnip…please take a bow.

Isn’t this ridiculous? In reality this is no more ridiculous than the outrageous demands that we place on the people closest to us. For me…. lesson well learned.

After the banquet, during our drive home, our daughter just shook her head and said, “Of course, my mother painted a turnip!” (Poor girl…imagine having me for a mother)

      t-t-f-n (ta-ta-for-now)

Friday, April 29, 2011

God Loves Fruit Too

Did you realize ... God craves fruit?

As you may well know by now, several of my Blogs deal with my ongoing episodes with produce. I have so many that I actually asked the Lord about this. Yes, really.  He, of course, took me back to His Word.

Genesis 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12: And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

The fruit trees were among God’s first creations. Fruit was used throughout the Word as a token of the blessing or curse and judgments in your life. Children were compared to fruit. Fruit was the prize of the promise land. Nehemiah declares that fruit trees were a portion of the enemy’s plunder. Psalms sings songs about fruit. The wisdom of Proverbs warns that men’s deeds will produce fruits of righteousness or destruction. The poetry of Song of Solomon uses the metaphors of fruit to describe the love between King Solomon and his beloved Shunamite. Jesus had no patience for trees that did not produce good fruit. The Word commands us to bring forth much of it and encourages us to be fruitful in every good work. Fruit can be peaceable. The fruit of our words generates life or death.

Fruit can be used to measure our spiritual growth. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

God compares fruits to our different levels of giving: Deuteronomy 18:4 - First Fruits -Leviticus 27:30 Tithe.

I think you would agree the most notorious fruit was connected to the fall of man.

Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

We as a nation, have sent men to the moon, but still have not understood or harnessed the full healing power of raw fruits and vegetables. The Prophets of old knew the earth’s secrets. Isaiah 38: 21 Isaiah had said to Hezekiah’s servants, “Make an ointment from figs and spread it over the boil, and Hezekiah will recover.”

Seeds, crops, harvest, Parable of the soils, vineyards, seasons, break up the fallow ground…you get the jest. God is the Master Gardner, and He loves fruit too!!!

From Genesis to Revelations there are 253 references to just fruit. Wshewwww! Who knew there were so many life lessons in the humble fruit basket?

Sooooo…with that said this is the beginning of our summer season and I already have two more episodes under my belt. Never mind the fact that I drove around this past Sunday for two hours with 5lbs. of lettuce in the back-end of my 76 degree SUV. At least it gave the cantaloupes a break!

With fear and much trepidation, I purchased a new Smoothie/Juicing book. The recipes are sure to carry me through many new adventures and much riper life lessons. So if you see me perusing up and down the produce aisles with ear buds on and I fail to speak, please forgive me… I’m just singing ‘Silly Songs’ with two of my favorite fruits and vegetables “Bob and Larry.”

One more thing before we go…just couldn’t resist!

Q. What is a ghost favorite fruit? Boonanaa !

Q. What do you do if you see a BLUE banana? Try to cheer it up!

Q. What do bananas do best in gymnastics? The splits!

Q. Why don’t bananas snore? Because they don’t want to wake up the rest of the bunch.

t-t-f-n (ta-ta-for-now)

P.S. I think I'm being stalked by my produce....this was in my pickle jar!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I Hate the “P” Word!

The “P” word?

P-R-O-C-E-S-S ..."fact of being carried on" - "journey" - “to yield”
  a. series of actions that produce a change or development
  b. a method of doing - of producing something
  c. a forward movement
  d. the course of time

To even whisper the word “PROCESS” evokes a range of emotions. The word makes the stout of heart weak in the knees. We scream, “Oh-h-h No-o-o!” Spin around three times, and swoon with the ‘vapors." We immediately bemoan the fact that we are not getting our supposed needs met NOW! (Stomp foot for emphasis)

Side Note: This term was used by polite 19th century women to mean (ahem) becoming emotionally overcome. Beginning in the 15th century, doctors thought gases from your stomach, called "vapors," could waft up to your brain, causing headaches and ill health. By the 18th century, these vapors had become "the vapors" and referred to a more general class of disorders that could include depression, hypochondria, nervousness, and excitability. Sometimes a person with the vapors had a lasting or chronic condition, but sometimes "getting the vapors" meant just having a brief headache or a fainting spell to be cured with smelling salts.

With my poetic license I could imagine this being a statement from Gone With the Wind. “Oh, Rhett, I am et up with the vapors!”

The word “PROCESS” is synonymous with an extended period of time that we don’t believe we possess, or delays to much needed answers. It is often associated with pain and prolonged distress.

Quote: “So then disappointment is the undoing of any given or hoped upon appointment. In other words our expectations were not met for one reason or another.”

About a year ago, I felt the Lord gave me this word for ‘SOMEONE’ else. “Do not curse the process.” All of nature knows and understands these laws. Without the proper processing time malformation or premature death can occur. It is God’s most willful creation, man, which is unwilling to yield to this code. We kick, scream and try to manipulate or microwave our way out of it.

Don’t you just hate when a well-meaning friend reminds you that you just have to go thru the “PROCESS?" Tell the truth…you feel the overwhelming urge to stuff an argyle sock in their mouth! It is a very different matter indeed to hear these words directly from your heavenly Father.

The duration of "PROCESS"can be a very dangerous, vulnerable time. Our Adamic Nature is quick to believe the lies that God has forgotten us, or worse, forsaken us.

Proverbs 13:12 (New Living Translation) "Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life."

Proverbs 13:12 (The Message) "Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around. "

The Word of God is overflowing with the Prophets of old cries for mercy during their times of "PROCESS." None more poignant than from the lips of King David after his long wait for the throne that had been rightfully his for 20 years, and the prolonged battle that ensued for his life.

Psalm 18:4-6 (The Message) The hangman's noose was tight at my throat; devil waters rushed over me. Hell's ropes cinched me tight; death traps barred every exit.
6 A hostile world! I call to GOD, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call;
my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!

Unfortunately, revelation often comes only by way of suffering through the ‘Plan of Process.” Leo Tolstoy, the Russian Author of War and Peace, wrote that “It is by those who have suffered that the world has been advanced.”

Even history’s perfect example, Jesus the Christ, begged for a Plan B more than once.

Matthew 26:40-44: "Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?

41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away[a] unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. 44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again

A precious friend and I are currently sharing a ‘time of process” together. She recently encouraged me with these words, so aptly put; she had successfully made it from the fetal position (place of hopelessness) to her knees (place of faith). It is my prayer that I don’t force my own agenda for myself and those I cherish dearly. Prayerfully, in God’s timing we will all emerge mature and whole once more having survived the "PROCESS."

The Easter Season is the perfect time to reflect on the fact that even out of death, the "PROCESS" works.

t-t-f-n  (ta-ta-for-now)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Job's Cry...The Worship Heard Throughout History

Our only grandson will be sixteen years old this month.When he was a toddler and his parents lived in married housing at one of the local universities, his favorite thing to do was go see the 'BIG' truck.

Regardless of where he was or how he was being entertained at the moment, he would hear the beeping sound and know his buddy had arrived. He squealed with delight and would hold his tiny arms up for the closest tall person to either take him to the window or outside. 

Little did he know or care that it was the 'GARBAGE' truck, already laden with the day's earlier trash pick-ups and more stops ahead. He didn't know you had to hold your nose from the rotten stench of decay. All he knew was that he was fascinated and excited when he heard the beeping. In his tiny mind it appeared to be much different, bigger and better than anything he already owned. There was no amount of strategy that could convince this headstrong bundle of cuteness that to get very close to this type of truck could ultimately harm him. At the end of the day, even being a new 'GARBAGE' truck doesn't change its' purpose.

If we had any idea what was contained in the next load the 'dump truck of life' was backing into our driveway  I am certain, that given the opportunity, we would run for the border.

The Book of Job is synonymous with suffering. Job had no inkling of how many dump trucks had been dispatched to his address or that one of them had the death sentence for his children or the battle for his flesh loaded on board. Job 3:26

You cannot have the kind of favor, wealth, notoriety or power  that Job had achieved and NOT get the attention of the 'master thief,'  satan, himself. ( Please don't write me...I know his name is not capitalized, but I refuse to)
Job 1:

I believe that satan did not nonchalantly saunter up to the throne room of God and pull Job's name out of a hat. Job's life had both Heaven and Hell's attention. I believe that satan had a five year strategy plan to destroy Job. He well knew  the power of the blessing on this man's life, and its' ability to choke him out of any access to not only Job's life, but that of his family. The hedge around Job was infamous in the supernatural realm. All satan had in the meantime was 'time' to plot and plan. 

He patiently waited for Job to float to the top of his success and ministry. He did not want just Job and his acid mouth wife, two old dogs, a mangy cat, and a moldy turtle. NO!!!! He wanted the best this man had and was going to have! Plus, Job was famous! You don't fall by yourself. satan was after not only his family and his personal wealth, but his friends and his influence.

As if things were not bad enough...his wife gave the hubby one heck of a tongue lashing , and suggested he not only throw in the towel, but curse God on the way out the door.  I often wonder about her response.
Why would she speak such a thing?  Number one, she obviously did not have the same relationship with God as her husband.  Number two, the bitterness of her loss gushed out of her mouth.
Job 2:

Together, Mr. & Mrs. Job had seven sons and three daughters. Job 1:19 says they were all together in the eldest brother's home. Job's children were virtually party animals and in a perpetual birthday celebration.

One, if not all, had their own homes and families. When the whirlwind came it not only destroyed entire households, but the ability to procreate Job's bloodline.  This was the greatest of ALL curses, and ultimately was what satan really desired to destroy. He has the inability to create and despises anyone or anything that produces life.

You don't have to trace this family root back very far to determine why Job felt the necessity to offer continual sacrifices and repentance for his children.  Job 1:5

Obviously, if you read the entire book, Job's sorrow and pain ultimately got the best of his mouth as well. It's interesting the very thing that had become an idol in the life of his children ( their birthdays ) was the very thing he cursed in his own life.  All of chapter 3 is a pretty gloomy description of how he viewed the day of his own birth, understandably written from the well of self-pity.

There are 42 chapters to this book.  Of all the intricate chapters there is none more challenging to me personally than these verses in Job 1:20-22.

20 Then Job arose and rent his robe and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground and worshiped

21 And said, Naked (without possessions) came I [into this world] from my mother's womb, and naked (without possessions) shall I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed (praised and magnified in worship) be the name of the Lord!

22In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.

v. 20 Job's pain was so intense he had to tear something - the robe, being symbolic of his flesh. Job was a man of sacrifice so much so the word of God gives the Inventory Spreadsheet for the number of his livestock.
3He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very great body of servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the East.

There was no sending the servants for the sacrifice of the day... there were no more servants - nothing else external to sacrifice. At the point of Job's greatest, most desperate need he found himself stripped bare. The only sacrifice Job had left to offer was himself.......Selah....(Pause and Reflect)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Cardinal's Song

I have not written a poem since my last childen's book.  I am sure this may not pass the true poetry critique, but this is the right now expression of my heart.

The air was heavy with life’s latest blow.
Painful sobs, deep breaths,
The battle for truth …I must know.

The clouds were grey and misting rain,
The earth seemed to sigh aware of the pain.
The depth of grief too deep to bear.
Did God of all see…did He care?

Oh my soul’s anguished cry
For those I hold dear.
The ‘King of Thieves’ had declared destruction was certainly near.
His acidic proclamation, “Thissss relationship is destined to die!”

My spirit man began to rumble and roar
Deep from within hope’s corridor.
I heard my heart SCREAM…

I opened my eyes
to realize…
I was not alone.
God had sent a special messenger, one of his own.

The Cardinal ablaze with his crimson glory
had come to visit, and listen, to my personal story.
I have always been told the cardinal has one mate for life.
I found myself wondering…where were his babies…
where is his wife?

He cocked his head as if to say,
“Never mind my child, I am here for you.
Heaven is on alert for each word you pray.
Be wise in all that you choose, in all that you do.”

The Cardinal’s majestic plume ablaze,
His small dark eyes fixed on me in a steady gaze.
His blood red color… such stark contrast to the winter’s dead tree
Ushered my emotions into a harbor of safe reality.

This creature of comfort stayed for the longest of time.
Assurance of peace,
Once more to be mine.
The word secured and beauty sublime.

Salvation’s King pledged to carry our grief and sorrow.
Redemption’s promise of a better morrow.
Listen carefully for the Cardinal’s song,
To herald God’s new mercies at morning’s dawn.

          Cathy Summar Flynn 

Friday, February 4, 2011


You know the ole' sayin', "The behinder I go the further I get." That statement is the sum total of my last
year's life events, especially the last few months.

Soooo, I decided to give myself the day off to get a much needed hair-cut. With another birthday looming ahead, I desperately needed to contemplate the latest turn of events in my life.

Over the years I have been in every scale of hair salons. My hair has been whacked up by the best!  I accidentally finally found the best little hair dresser at our local Mega-Mart. I can safely sit in her chair with assurance that I will not have to leave  the salon wearing a false nose and glasses, nor do I have to spend a week in fasting and prayer to make sure none of us are traumatized.

I actually had very little shopping to do...just for my weekly bananas. I was relieved that I had an appointment and would not have to wait.  I had one of those head-aches where you feel like you need to stop the world and get off. I even considered going back home, but decided the world would be a better place if I pushed thru the pain and gave this bush a bouffant.

My hair dresser was running late, and said she was sorry but it would be 45 minutes or more.  Did I have any shopping to do?  "Yes, as a matter of fact." How long could that take?

With each step my head pounded more. So I was not in a very social mood. About that time I hear a booming man's voice, "Hey Ms. Cathy! How you doin today?"  It was my new BFF, the manager of the produce department. I waved back as I was heading to the bench outside of the salon with my swollen head.

Although, I am a deluxe people watcher (My husband says I can tell you how many eyelashes people have), I just needed to sit very quietly and nurse this headache.

The parade began. I decided to make the best of this delay and pretended the mesh bench was a reserved seat or better yet, my own float. I was nodding my head, smiling and giving my best pageant wave to many of the employees who, after many years, have become some of my favorite peeps.

I observed the newest trends in physical attire...PAJAMAS! People of all ages, red, yellow, black and white, male and female were wearing their night clothes in the middle of the day.

The lady ahead of me getting her hair done was at least my age. She stood up to pay and I nearly fell off my float! She was wearing Disney Character flannel pajamas in conjunction with what appeared to be her husband's camoflauge hunting jacket. On the bright side, she had a newly coiffed do of barrell curls...OF COURSE! As liberal as our society is, I don't think it is ready for my coming out of the closet in my most comfortable pj's.

My hairdresser winked at me and said it would be a few more minutes there was some waxing to be done. Sigh... I sit back down. Obviously, my parade was to be continued.

Seemingly, out of no where, this lady comes wheeling her buggy up beside me at about 50 mph. Before I could utter a word she said, "Since you are aleady sitting here could you please watch my cart?"  She throws this thing in park dangerously close to my foot and does the 50-yard dash to the bathroom.  I have been asked to keep watch over a lot of things....

I turned around to discover at the end of my range of vision, someone was trying very hard to get my attention. An adorable toddler with about fifteen pigtails and a yellow binkie was waving very aggressively at me. She would wave once and then 'pee-pie" once... then it was my turn. We had it going on! So much so this man, I did not recognize, walked up to shake my hand! He thought I had been waving and winking at him!

I was speechless!  Good thing. Before I could figure out how to get out of this, he says, "WELL HEY THERE! I THOUGHT I RECOGNIZED YOU! He reached out and gave me a hearty handshake!

(Me) "You did?" This stranger continues as though we had planned to meet for coffee. "I had a far (fire) last week in the cold, and wudn' ya know affected my sinuses, but that's ok. I went and got a cocktail shot today, and I am feelin' a little woozy." 

I thought to myself, "SO DO I". My old - new friend says he better be off, and I better be good. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

My hairdresser sweetly tells me it's finally my turn, and she asks, "How are things going for you today?"

"Wel-l-l," I begin... "Never mind. You wouldn't believe it."

Why do I share these episodes from the ordinary days of my life? The word of God says in Proverbs 17:22  "A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired." 

He well knows I need a dose of laughter every day...and perhaps, you do too...even at my own expense.

P.S. I forgot and left the bananas in the below freezing weather in the back of my car! AND, oh yeah, if you have not had your shower for the day, it is possible to stand close enough to the lettuce to get one!

t-t-f-n  (ta-ta-for-now)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jenna's Rose

As I observe the growth of my children and grandchildren, I ponder the admonition of the scripture…
Proverbs 13:22a “A good life gets passed to the grandchildren;” The Message

Not being a woman of noble birth or born with a silver spoon in my mouth, in what ways will this be accomplished?

Over the years, my husband and I have had numerous opportunities to minister and share about the restoration of our marriage, “Roses Will Bloom Again.” No place have we shared it more than in our own home. I have shared portions of the story in previous Blogs, but some things bear repeating.

This Christmas I received the most meaningful gifts ever. I didn’t think anything could top the gift of 'Hot Meals' that was given in my name to a ministry in Calcutta, India or  the "Bible Stick" that was purchased in my name for our troops that are serving in Iraq.GASP!

Our twelve year-old granddaughter said we (my husband and I) had one last gift. I unwrapped and opened the box to find a photograph of a single pale yellow rose in the most beautiful frame. Tears stung my eyes as I read the words that had been carefully added, “Roses Will Bloom Again, Love Jenna.”

Our granddaughter had taken a picture of one of the roses from my precious grandmother’s fifty plus year-old rosebush. We had transplanted the rosebush to my son’s yard when we were in the process of moving. My grandmother’s roots were in Middle Tennessee, and thought this would be fitting.

I was so moved that our granddaughter had the sensitivity to photograph something so meaningful, but more than that, was the priceless story that preceded the gift. It is as follows….

As we gathered around to hold hands and pray before our Christmas meal, I felt a special comfort and assurance. Inheritance does not always have to come in the form of a check, lands, jewelry or houses. My Lord allowed me to not only see our inheritance, but experience it first hand. The love of family, the sensitivity to the things of the Lord, compassion, and creativity in many forms....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
t-t-f-n (ta-ta-for-now)