Friday, May 10, 2013

Grandmop And The Turnip

 (A tale about allowing those you love to be themselves)

The following is an excerpt from my Mother/Daughter Banquet teaching from several years ago. Regretfully, since this date, both my mother and husband have gone home to be with the Lord.  What better way to honor my mom and my husband's prayers than to make someone else smile.

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.

How many of you have ever heard the saying, “You can’t get blood out of a turnip?” I’m a visual learner so here goes…

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. The conversation from two different worlds.

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 then 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 giving me! YOU NEVER CALL ME! YOU NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TIME! IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU! YOU DIDN’T EVEN COMPLIMENT ME ON MY NEW DRESS!

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)

             H A P P Y   M O T H E R ’ S   D A Y !

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

Saturday, May 4, 2013


 I wrote this poem many years ago, but just now felt released to share.

The hard knocks of life paid an unexpected visit
to the sparrow’s nest that eventful day.
Little did she know she had been selected
for the enemy's next prey.

With his selection complete,
He rehearsed, repeatedly, her final defeat.
He roared orders from Hell below.
'THIS TIME’ he hissed would be the severest blow.

He released the calculated challenge
into the heart of her chest...
YES, indeed, this would be his very best!

With little warning of the violent thrust,
Not only was she violated in her physical body,
But, at the core of her trust.

She was forced from the safety of the trees;
Body broken,
She was knocked to her knees.

The enemy of her soul
would arrive at each day’s dawning,
to see what array of lies
he could serve her this morning.

Oh what an unusual condition,
no longer a sparrow in flight position.

She fell from the place of self-sufficiency,
now, reduced to minimized capabilities.
Oh the shame and humiliation of the fall.

Did anyone see?
Did anyone care?
Anyone at all?

Oh, how can I ever be of use again?
The pain is too great!
Will I ever mend?

Along with hard knocks, self-pity would also call.
Once more to rehearse the trauma,
she was forced to relive the events of the fall.

The other birds whispered -  “She didn’t respond like I thought she should.
I certainly don’t believe she’s done all she could.
She was soaring, just about to peak,
instead, she has disappeared into what seems to be
“a solemn retreat.”

Yes there had been many challenges,
more than a few,
but she always landed on her feet
with the right “solution” of just what to do.

Wounded and sore,
with every breath,
her bones would roar.

With relentless pain, the torment grew.
The other sparrows questioned, judged, and thought they knew…

They only shook their heads, in disbelief,
surely, she is overwhelmed with grief.
Furthermore, they concluded,
I think this time …she’s really through!

The little sparrow cried in the light of sunshine’s day.
She cried in the quiet stillness of the moon’s steady ray.
Isolated by circumstances from her own kind,
the enemy’s reports and fears plagued her mind.

As the business of day would relinquish to the still of the night,
Father Time would tip toe in to touch her brow,
and hold His little sparrow tight.

He would whisper encouragement in her weary ear.
Ever so gently he would transfuse a deeper measure of faith,
and blow afresh on her dreams held dear.

Unbeknownst to her, this exercise was taking her to a higher place,
closer to her Maker, nearer  His face.

Though the battle fierce seemed never ending,
combined with prayers and Angelic attention,
her broken body and spirit was quietly mending.

Only in the process of time, would she again emerge from the dust of despair,
for there was One, the One who knows all,
who was never taken unaware
to the magnitude of the tragic fall.

With a Master’s touch and Craftsman’s skill
He breathed strength into her broken heart,
And, thus, renewed her will.

Her tears now dried she started to sing,
boldly proclaiming!
Her voice once silenced, now began to ring..

"Although my wing had to be replaced...
He has molded me another…

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

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Has Sprung...

I may not be able to remember what I had today for lunch, but I can remember what a little boy said to me in the 6th grade that still makes me giggle. "Spring has sprung, the grass has riz.  I wonder where them birdies is??" (Being from the South has its' perks) It has been a never ending Spring time rhyme that comes to visit each year when the buttercups start to peek out from the melting snow, and the worms are playing hide n’ seek with the Robins.

In my lifetime, I have never known life in general to be such a battlefield for myself, and those I love. We have just transitioned through the Easter Season.

For me, Spring is the continuation of the Resurrection Celebration….life blossoming in the deadest of places. Hope springs eternal.


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

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Café Gethsemane - How Important Is Forgiveness?

True forgiveness is when One may pour out All the contents Of one’s heart, Chaff and grain together Knowing that The greatest of hands Will take and sift it, Keep what is worth keeping And, with a breath of kindness, Blow the rest away. Anonmymous

As the curtain was closing on the final act of His earthly ministry, Jesus was the textbook example of forgiveness – laid open.

The Word declares that Satan had nothing in Him, ZERO, NO DARKNESS and NO LEGAL RIGHTS! UNTIL, at the “Café Gethsemane” when He was served the ornate silver goblet bubbling with “our” judgment. Who was the maitre d? Was it a Principality or Power? Was it Satan himself, the one whose ultimate goal was to destroy Jesus’ and His Father’s credibility?

I believe Satan thought this was his finest hour, and he was dressed fit to kill. Was his attire, a tuxedo complete with white ruffled shirt, red bow tie, matching cumber bun, and of course, black coat and a tail? Now the smells of “Café Gethsemane” not only consisted of the lingering smells of anointing oil used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial fresh from the alabaster box, but now included the hissing, acrid, burning odors of death and Hell.

He, the ‘Accuser of the Brethren,’ this slithering epitome of evil, has now been given the God ordained opportunity to serve Jesus one simple concoction known as “the sins of the world”. The vilest depravity known to man was now being served to this spotless Lamb on a silver platter.

We cannot conceive all the ingredients in this Hellatious recipe. I believe this cup was bottomless. I believe that while Jesus was waging the warfare of faith… He had a vision. I believe there was a video replay of everything He experienced, saw, heard, tasted and smelled on the day He descended into Hell to take captivity captive. I believe He saw each one of us, by name.

This was not a pink lemonade drink cool with fruit flavored ice cubes, or decorated with fruit and mint sprigs, but I believe it was hot with Hell’s furious flames licking up the sides and top of the goblet.

Could it possibly have been the intense heat that ensued from the war between the contents of this cup and Jesus’ virgin lips that increased the intensity of sweat on His sinless, healthy body? From the time of His birth, throughout His ministry, Satan repeatedly ended up with Jesus footprints on his slimy neck. Continuously, Jesus defeated him, and he was forced to maintain his distance and position until his God appointed turn.

Now in this garden that had once been Jesus’ refuge, the mantle for the salvation of all mankind was being placed on His back.

The battle was not the decision to die for a sin filled society. That plan and procedure had been implemented when Jesus conceded at the foundation of the world. But now, the battleground was in his soul, the battle of wills, and the decision still must be determined if His flesh would yield to the will of His Father.

In order for this plan to go as preplanned, Jesus must now submit to his archrival. He must temporarily display defeat and relinquish the crown and the belt. From this point on, it was now a matter of each step He would take fulfilling His own prophecies.

Jesus very last discourse to His Disciples as He was about to ascend, was not a rehearsal of all the great miracles, signs and wonders during His earthly reign. Nor gloating over the fact He would indeed have the last laugh over the cruelty and speculation of the Religious leaders. Neither was it about how He knew that for all eternity, Satan would be eating His dust!

The issue of offences and forgiveness was the last thing on Jesus’ mind as He was ascending. Only because He did not partake of this poisonous bait was He enabled to make this trip.

Not one of the Gospels was inclusive to all of Jesus’ last commandments. Instead, Matthew’s commentary begins with the opening instructional statements and finished in John with the somber reminder that each of His disciples would in fact be faced with identical temptations but would be endued with power to overcome.

Matthew 28:18: “Go therefore and make disciples, baptizing and teaching”. Mark 16:14 –18: “Now if you take up serpents, or drink anything deadly it no longer has any power over you”. Authentication of their ministry by supernatural signs, and this declaration was now mandatory.

**The Gardens: The very first conversation the Accuser ever had with man was in the Garden of Eden to place doubt as to God’s credibility. He has slithered in and out of the Old and New Testaments dragging his accusations along with him. When the Holy Spirit ushered Jesus into the wilderness, the devil was waiting to tempt Him by doubting His own credibility and tempt Him to misuse his power at the wrong place at the wrong time. The greatest temptation was the temptation to save Himself!

The enemy of our souls not only strategically plotted and planned for Jesus’ mere acquaintances to doubt Him, but those who were the most intimate; His friends, family, Disciples, and Religious Leaders. He even had the audacity to follow the one who had paved the way for Jesus ministry, John the Baptist, into his prison cell and whispered into his ear, “Go ahead and ask THE question …he must know…was He the one? In the last minutes of the evangelistic Disciple’s life he was plagued with doubt and fear. Had his ministry been in vain? Had he indeed been deceived?

The turmoil in Jesus’ mind was producing great drops of blood, slowly falling one by one, splattering on Adam’s cursed ground …that same ground that produced the crown of thorns that soon would be placed on His head. Both worlds were watching and waiting as Jesus was fighting the same battles Adam had faced in his garden. The Angels had witnessed defeat in the Garden once before.

Jesus was in the battle for His life, clutching His Father’s, and His own credibility to his drenched chest.

Satan was thrilled at the bloodletting, but all of Heaven had a secret. They knew that a supernatural real estate transaction was taking place. For every drop of blood that fell from the Redeemer’s brow another piece of the Garden experience was being redeemed! So YES, He could encourage, with authority, His Disciples to not fear any deadly thing. He had already bore the full brunt of the poison and knew His blood was the antidote. The Spirit of Truth had prevailed against the “Father of Lies”.

Luke 44 – 53: “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name”, instructions to tarry in Jerusalem until they would be endued with power, and lastly, implemented the “power of the blessing” by the raising of His hands and declaration by His mouth.

John 20:21- 23: He breathed on the Disciples for them to receive the Holy Spirit, and lastly, gave them the most crucial instructions of their lives….”If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

**He was saying “Boys you are about to experience the identical opportunities lying before you that I have just come through. Your life and service TO Me, and FOR Me will require a supernatural impartation of grace to forgive for what the church is about to do to you. You are about to be offered the opportunity to heap judgment unto yourselves if you drink the deadly cup of bitterness and un-forgiveness served by the “Offense” himself. The ultimate choice will be yours alone.

Biblical history was penning the last chapters of Jesus’ final hours.

At the end of the mock trial, the betrayal by a kiss, the physical and emotional abandonment by all of the significant males in His life (with the exception of John) including the excruciating torture – you would assume there was nothing more for Him to endure. But, never at any point during His short life span of 33 years was Jesus more human and vulnerable than when He faced His last temptation. This time not with His flesh intact, but layed open to the point He no longer resembled any human form.

Satan, now disguised, as a Roman soldier offered him the cup of gall (bitterness) one final time. Jesus refused the bait. Satan’s pressure on Jesus was un-relentless to destroy His and God’s credibility up until His last breath. This was reflected in Jesus bitter cry, “My God why hast thou forsaken Me?”

Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED!” I came into this world branded an offense, bearing the responsibility to restore “Our” credibility. But I have overcome, and in a matter of hours the victory will be complete.

How often does Jesus have to still make the choice to forgive? Every time you ask Him!

The offended party may argue, how is it really possible to know if you have actually forgiven your enemies? There is no true forgiveness until you bear the same fruit Jesus produced during His time of ministry and betrayal… compassion. Not only was compassion His first fruit, but also the last. The fruit itself outwardly was not any different, but there was a difference…this time it was completely ripe, and mature. The fruit was now large enough for the entire human race, but palatable enough for you and me to partake and not choke.

I believe some of the detailed abuse Jesus experienced while going through the trial was unspeakable and unprintable. Hell’s fury and retaliation were unleashed against this virgin Lamb. With this choice opportunity availed to Satan, the son of perdition, you can be assured he left no stone unturned.

The one thing Jesus was NOT hung up on was self-pity or excuses by what was done to Him!

His last act of compassion and mercy was in the throes of His persecution, while He was strung high and wide. This was to remit the sins of all who had in the past, and in the future, would betray Him. All they needed to do was ask. He had done all the work.

Unforgiveness was the only thing that could have caused Jesus, the Christ, to miss eternity.

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

Thursday, March 28, 2013


The old saying is …”One picture is worth a thousand words.” With that being said, I am allowing this illustration to depict what Easter means to me.

This particular illustration is not something I just dreamed up. This is a vision I have held deep in my heart since 1988. The night I made the initial sketch the only art supplies I owned was a small pack of inexpensive copy paper and a #2 lead pencil. I did not own a computer, and certainly did not have any working knowledge of painting digitally. This was also the same night I felt direct inspiration regarding all of the ideas that would eventually be the sum total of High Art Forms and Modern Orange.

As I contemplate all that embodies both the crucifixion, and the resurrection, I am amazed there is always another aspect of power to be revealed. I am not sure we can ever fully comprehend the magnitude of courage required to fulfill the mandate on Jesus life. It is this fresh revelation, together with the events of these last two years that have forged courage I have never experienced before.

As I read and reread the Biblical depiction of the Passover Season, I am also acutely aware of the difference in relationships birthed out of obligation versus love.

Relationships birthed out of obligation are ultimately destined to fail. The fruit of this type of relationship is inevitable; frustration, bitterness, resentment, etc. I submit that if the motivation of the cross had been anything other than love it would have been totally ineffective.

Love enabled this mortal man to sacrifice and endure the highest levels of betrayal, abandonment, abuse, and ultimately the most horrific of all acts…the Roman crucifixion. The rusty nails did not secure this spotless Lamb to the cross; it was the power of Love.

Love enables us to respond beyond the emotions of the Adamic nature. Love makes the impossible possible. Tis’ the season to forgive.

              T-T-F-N ( ta-ta-for-now)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

In consideration, of where I want to take my Blog long term,  I need to reconstruct and address some foundational issues. It is my goal to come back stronger and more consistent than ever! Please DON'T give up on me and check back often!!!


In consideration, of where I want to take my Blog long term.... In order to expand I need to reconstruct and address some foundational issues.  It is my goal to come back stronger and more consistent than ever! Please DON'T  give up on me and check back often!!!