Mommy’s Been Busy with Preach It, Teach It!

Mommy and Daddy have a great site for puppies and humans. Bible studies galore, great speakers and authors about every Bible topic imaginable! Visit our site and read all of the cool answers in Ask Roger: Questions You Were Afraid to Ask like “Can My Mom Hear Me in Heaven????…..My mommy has a hilarious history of her escapades as a bratty little kid in Julie’s Story: Glimpses of God in Everyday Life. Daddy sermonizes along with Francis Chan, Max Lucado, Mark Batterson, Larry Osborne, Beth Moore, Ed Young Jr., Glenn Barteau, Chris Brown, Jeff Jones, Pete Briscoe, and other Bible teachers. Don’t miss their cool stuff. It makes me pant just to think about it. I have become a very smart, godly Golden Retriever. I may start my own doggie park ministry. Good plan.

Desperate Housewives, or Happy Homebodies?

 

What makes Desperate Housewives such an appealing story for so many women? The premise for this superhit is that these women live lives of quiet desperation. Eva Longoria, Gabbie, yearns to be younger and sexier like she felt in her supermodel days. Marcia Cross, Brie Van De Camp, wants her marriage to be perfect-in suburban Utopia.

       Teri Hatcher, Susan, hopes for a future where she will know true love. The women are desperate because they either wish for the joys of their past or long for the hopes and dreams of the future. Where is the contentment? In life and in love, timing is EVERYTHING. In Ecclesiastes 3: 1, Solomon writes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born, a time to die”.
In the stages of a relationship, there are beauties and blessings no matter what your stage of life. In marriage, God intended for every day of our lives to be sweeter.

One of our best early memories was bus breakfast. The one and only time in our marriage Roger made anything worth eating was on Saturday morning. He would boil 100 eggs, dump some butter and flour to make a gravy and pour the pasty mess over some refrigerated biscuits. Yum, yum….Roger had about twenty volunteers that would meet at church and canvas nearby neighborhoods for children who wanted to come to our church. As a children’s pastor, Roger would wear sheep costumes and donkey outfits to entertain the children-it was great fun.

Then came the kiddie years. We remember all the birthday parties. Bronwyn was born in November, so we’d buy the leftover Halloween costumes (the non-scary ones) and have a dress-up party complete with chubby bunnies and sack races.

All of the kiddie moments weren’t great memories. Some of their antics put a strain on our relationship. Like the time Brianna poured wheat paste over Bronwyn’s head-it took two hours of kicking and screaming in the shower to do damage control. In the middle years of our marriage, we’ve had some great fun while the kids are grown. We loved backpacking through Europe, hopping trains and climbing Alps.Now after many years of wedded bliss, we finish each other’s sentences, and order the same thing at restaurants. And someday, we’ll meet each other at the Eastern Gate in heaven.

       Every stage of life is beautiful in its time…as long as we cultivate it and set it on a solid foundation.Solomon writes at the end of this book these wonderful words…”Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” When your marriage is based on a spiritual foundation, God makes every stage of your relationship beautiful in its time….there is peace, contentment, and joy.

Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson, and Ugly Betty-The new look of Beauty…

Can it really be happening? Can women be considered beautiful at size 12? Even supermodel Tyra Banks is tired of being anorexic. Two models died, and FINALLY, the fashion industry has a weight limit so that their runway gals don’t die of emaciation. Is there hope? Can we really eat carbs again? My husband and I are on a diet. I hate diets. First of all, because you eat this disgusting tasting food that your mother made you eat when she told you you had to finish it before dessert. Only this time you have to finish it and there is no tasty dessert afterwards. Rice cakes, for example. You might as well eat packing material. They put flavors on them like caramel and parmesan cheese, but its still packing material. Then there are those Kashi cereals. My pillow stuffing tastes better. And you can’t even cover them up with sugar or fruit.

Celery is completely worthless. My garden hose has more flavor. And forget the camouflage ingredients like pimento cheese and peanut butter. Those aren’t on the list. Then there are those somewhat tastier foods that still leave you hungry.

Like Chinese food. Kung Pao Chicken, Beef with Broccoli, Black Beans and Tofu. You’re hungry thirty minutes after you finish your plate. Even the fortune cookie doesn’t make the feeling last. And finally, contraband that really does taste good. Cotton candy-you know-the kind you get at the Pima County Fair. Fluffy, pink and delicious. Have you ever seen the guy who whips it up in a frenzy? Before he blows it around, its just a spoonful of sugar. Sometimes I wish the Lord had given us a nuclear power system that would keep us going. Then we wouldn’t have to deal with the whole hunger thing. And Ronald McDonald would go out of business. Food doesn’t last. We went on a mission trip to the Middle East and when we returned all our bananas were black. Don’t expect them to taste yellow and fresh.

We can lose the fresh taste of life. Solomon did. He tasted of life and nothing satisfied. That is why he wrote Ecclesiastes. He said life at the start had great taste. He talks about trying money, women, and philosophy. But nothing satisfied. He called it “meaningless” or “mist” that fades away. Then he penned these words at the end of his book. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…here is the conclusion of the matter-Fear God and keep His commandments.” Ecclesiastes 12:1 and 13. trying the stuff of this world is mist. It may appear to have great taste…But it is less filling.

I’m going to seek God first. As for the diet, I finally decided to buy me a muzzle.

Blind Dates

Nobody likes blind dates….Nobody!!! What if he picks his nose, or wears his pants up to his chin? What if he takes one look at you, and ducks out the back door?  So you’re not Keira Knightly…but he’s not Orlando Bloom either. Or even worse–what if you sit down at the table, and make awkward conversation over cold pizza all evening. The sweetness of intimacy only happens when you make the effort to invest your life in loving someone else. You go through stage one-asking questions. What do you do for fun? How many brothers and sisters do you have? Do you have a pet? What do you want to do in your spare time? then stage two arrives. You can sit in the same room and talk about shared experiences–the dinner you had last week-the ball game you watched together. At stage three, you even can perceive what the other person is thinking and anticipate their response. You know which TV shows they watch. You know whether they want Doritos or Potato Chips. You know when to talk and when to be quiet. In Hosea 6:3 the prophet Hosea writes:”Let us acknowledge (know) the Lord, let us press on to acknowledge (know) Him. As sure as the sun rises-He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that cover the earth.

How do you really get to know someone?

  1. You spend time with them.
  2. You listen and learn their wishes, their preferences, you enter their world.
  3. You have shared experiences-easy (good) and hard (difficult.)
  4. You work toward a common goal.

Exodus 33:11-The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks with His friend. Moses spent time dialoguing with God, sharing in His plans. He actually saw God’s glory while he was still alive on the earth. He received ten commandments on the mountain. He grieved with God when Israel worshipped the golden calf. He was disciplined when he struck the rock at Meribah. God buried Moses himself.

What are some practical ways we can know Him?

  1. Set aside time each day to spend with Him.
  2. Journal and listen to Him speak through His word.
  3. Pray through scripture.
  4. Obey His voice-follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Listen to the people who listen to God.

Clumsy or Savvy?

Polar Bears are adorable because they are so clumsy-they lumber around the Arctic slipping and sliding on the ice, and falling headfirst into the snow. For a polar bear, clumsy is cute. My husband, bless his heart, is a little bit clumsy. He can walk down the hall of our house and pictures will “jump off the wall!” I don’t give him dishes in the kitchen made of glass. They somehow seem to fall out of his hands onto the floor. People who are clumsy in relationships are not so cute. Do you know how to read the needs of others, or do you just roll over their emotions like a bulldozer? When we have processed our own pain and our hurts are mourned and comforted, it gives us the ability to see the needs of those around us. We become need-meeters, not need-depleters. The non-verbal cues you receive from your friends may cause tension in a variety of ways. If you operate in a dysfunctional manner, with hidden agendas and unrevealed expectations, you might as well check into Alcoholics Anonymous together. Instead, start the friendship by laying all the cards on the table. If you don’t have enough emotional energy to pursue the relationship at the level of your friend, tell them. Where boundaries need to be set, lay them out. I don’t know about you, but watching a movie with subtitles can be exhausting. So can a friendship where nobody lays the cards on the table.

Proverbs 25:20-“Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” Mirroring is a technique utilized by counselors when a patient is hysterically spinning out of control.

One of our pastor friends was a missionary to Alaska. He worked with Eskimos, and Jim was a real boozer. Jim stumbled into the churchhouse one Sunday so liquored up and enraged, he knocked over tables and chairs like they were toothpicks.

This savvy pastor began to gesticulate like Bigfoot with the same large, overbearing body language as his boorish parishioner. Every time Jim would speak, Joe would gradually make his body language more quiet and controlled. By reflecting back nonverbal cues, the pastor brought the wino under control.

If your friend is hurting or depressed your response can either comfort her or drive her away. When a buddy mourns, do you tell her the nine spiritual reasons why she shouldn’t feel that way? Do you try to cheer her up by telling her all the good things that are going on in your life? Or do you mourn with her and comfort her in her pain?

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 writes: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them. A time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

There are teachable moments and tearful moments. Raise your “people antenna” and begin to sense the needs others around you!

Oprah puts her money where her mouth is…

Well, Santa looked cheap this year. Sure, he hit Walmart and finished his naughty and nice list. But Santa gave the goods to the little pipsqueaks who had been nagging him for weeks. Another Wii, another radio-control model airplane…all for kiddies who often would be bored of their new stash about two hours after the wrapping paper was picked up. But Oprah saw some little South African girls who asked for nothing. One hundred and fifty-two impoverished preteens who had suffered illness, rape and heartache received a chance for an education and a better life. Now that’s what I call class! Of course, it’s not Oprah’s first philanthropic gesture. She built a six-million dollar Boys and Girls club in Mississippi, twelve million dollars in scholarships, eighty homes for Katrina victims, and 1.25 million for Afghan orphans. And of course there were the free cars for the unsuspecting audience members on her show…..Two thousand years ago, a man gave a gift to a heartbroken, lonely woman standing beside a well in the middle of the day. Jesus engaged her in conversation. No one ever approached her. She was poor, rejected and despised. She was a Samaritan half-breed, just about as esteemed as the little South African girls Oprah befriended. Jesus asked her for a drink of water. His request blew her away. Jews don’t talk to Samaritans…especially women of ill-repute.

“How can you ask me for a drink?” Jesus answered her, ” If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and He would have given you living water. Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”: John 4:7-14. You see, everyone needs hope for a better life. Oprah may not be around to provide it for you, but Jesus promised to never leave or forsake you. He scratches the itch to live a satisfied, fulfilled life here and now, and a home in heaven forever. But make no mistake, this gift to us was costly. He suffered an agonizing death on a cross, and He did it for you and me. The water of life He promises will fill us with joy and peace. We don’t earn it-He lavishly gives it to us for free!

Paws and Reflect

Why do dogs have paws? Don’t their feet get chilly? What about stickers, hot concrete, dog poo, and mud? Why not wear doggie booties, platforms, pumps, or loafers? (Although I know a few dog owners who subject their reluctant canines to such footwear…) The dogs seem annoyed with the whole clothing thing. But paws protect our furry friends. For some reason, God designed Doggie pawpads to be tough and durable. We live in Cactusville, so they have to learn to step lightly…Although this is a really bad pun, pawsing to reflect on our lives also protects us. As we begin a new year, it might be nice to spend some time quietly asking ourselves a few questions.

How much do we enjoy our own yard, or how often do we spend our time longing for the green grass of a neighbor’s? How quickly are we ready to throw poo at the other doggies in the neighborhood? Do we scratch and bite, or do we cuddle and paw? Do we ever take time for a nap on the porch, just watching the clouds go by? And finally, do we love and follow our Master, or do we tug at the leash? A great Bible verse says “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.” That’s great advice for puppies and people. It’s the “paws that refreshes!”



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