I LIVED through Black Friday!

Yes, I went shopping on Black Friday. My daughter loves to go to Black Friday sales. I have always avoided the day. But this year we did a mother/daughter team and went together. I have to say, I had fun!

Now, my daughter, who should be classified as a “Professional Black Friday Shopper”, had a typed list. She knew exactly what she was getting and we only went to three stores. Our first stop was Target at midnight, and you are probably wondering why not Wal-Mart. Well, their prices were close if not the exact same, but Target offered gift cards with the higher priced item. Then we went to Belk and last was Bass Pro at Concord Mills.

The experience was not as bad as the media portrays it to be and there were a few “adults” who could have used a thump on the back of the head. But all in all, I enjoyed the night.

My rules for Black Friday.
1. Have a list of the items you need to purchase.
2. Decide ahead of time the stores you will visit and in what order.
3. If you don’t get something on your list, it is not the end of the world. So don’t show your ignorance by cussing out the hourly wage teenage sales clerk.
4. If you are so desperate to have an item that you will push people down, pepper spray them, or cause bodily harm to someone with your shopping cart…Go straight to the nearest psychiatrist’s office or even your bathroom sink, and soak your head!

The bible tells us how to have happiness.  In Psalm 103: 3-5, it tells us what God gives to us and that is all we should require to be happy. (The Message/Remix Bible)

“He forgives your sins–every one.  He heals your diseases–every one.  He redeems you from hell — saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy — a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness — beauty eternal.  He renews your youth — you’re always young in His presence.”

Not one part of  that verse says He gives us wealth, to buy all the material possessions we feel we need.  Not one part says we have to buy, and buy, and buy for our children.

Next year, I will sleep Thanksgiving afternoon until time to go.  I will try to bring a little Christmas cheer to those around me in line.  I will thank God for the precious time my daughter and I get to spend together!

Thankfulness

Sometimes I have to read 1 Thessalonians 5:18 over and over again, in order to kept my mind and spirit in a place of thankfulness.  Just like everyone else, life can get me down too.  My respiratory system might not be functioning well, so every day activities become labored and tiring.  Or I look in the mirror and see my distorted face from all of the surgeries.  Then I think I am more like a Picasso picture, with a nose here and an eye there.  Not to mention the stresses associated with living your life.

But God says we are to be thankful for one reason…because we believe in Christ Jesus.

1. Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks no matter what happens.  God wants you to thank Him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”

Pretty simple.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holidays Bring Family Problems

Every year, at this time, we begin trying to figure out the logistics of getting everyone together for Christmas. Now with our kids married, new in-laws and more family members than ever, it is becoming increasingly more difficult. Not to mention the stress.

I only have a brother with his wife and family, but my husband’s family has now grown to a whopping 22 and that does not include us. If we were included it would be 29. Location, day, and time are pretty hard to resolve because we don’t all live in the same area. Some are three hours away, and some two. Not to mention the cost involved with transportation, food, and presents.

My brother and I have agreed that we will try to get together during the year instead of at Christmas. He wants to be with his grandkids and I want to be with mine. We understand the fact, with his son in law enforcement and our son-in-law in fire, scheduling can be difficult. Also we want our children to spend the Christmas season at home with their children. And years ago, we decided to only buy for the kids.

Now one year, I suggested, we take the money, which we would spend on these gatherings, and give or spend it on people who are in great need. I brought up the point that we are all so blessed to have homes, food, and much more than the basic necessities of life. And I personally feel that at Christmas and as Christians, this seems more appropriate than adding to our own loot and fat bellies. Later on, we can pick a time during the year to visit with one another. What do you think?  Would your family do something like this at Christmas?  Maybe they already do.  Share, please.

Also, I don’t know if you know, but Christmas is not Jesus’ birthday. He was born either in April or June, and it is a well known fact among scholars. We celebrate Christmas in December because of the Catholic church. You see, it was during a time in history,  when the pagans had what was called Winter Solstice with the gifts, trees, and celebrations. The Catholic church wanted to convert them over to Catholicism, so they compromised.  The Catholic church’s big holiday would be celebrated during the pagan’s winter solstice.  Thus the Christmas holiday was established for all Christians by the Catholic church.

Isn’t it funny because of our human nature to control, we even gave Jesus a birth date that was convenient to our scheduling and motives?  Not really.  With all of the marketing, merchandising, and the going broke in December so we can owe, owe, owe in January; would it not be better for every one to take a step back.  To put into perspective the real reason for Christmas, which is that God kept His promise.  He created a royal blood line for Jesus to be born from, with the purpose of saving our sorry necks.  To make us royal subjects, with an inheritance of eternal life!

So this Christmas season try something new for a change. If you have anger in your heart, either toward others, yourself, or family members, this is the time to follow Jesus’ example.  Let it all go, forgive, and move on to a blessed, productive life.  Instead of one more expensive gift, buy someone lunch, dinner, or pay their electric bill.  Spend some quiet time in meditation with God.  The stress will flow away and His Holy peace will enter your soul.  Christmas could be your re-birth!

I would like to share with you a bible verse, which has taught me so much this year. From the bible, The Message/Remix,  Matthew 5:48, “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow Up.  You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.  Live out your God-created identity.  Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”  From Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

 

The Trouble with Seeing

Each morning, I have a devotional book that I like to read.  And at the end of each devotion is scripture to find in my bible and read also.  You know, God’s direction for the day.

Well, now that I am getting older, my eyesight has given way to prescription bifocals.  Getting use to the up and down movement of my eyes, can be a challenge at times.  So, sometimes I will revert back to my reader glasses.

Now, here is where having bifocals and reading the bible can be quite tricky.  Especially if you are waiting on God’s response.  During the up and down action of my eyes, they can turn numbers into other numbers.  Kind of a magician’s trick. A quick glance can turn a 5 into a 6 and so on.

Have you ever been praying to God about a concern or situation and waiting for His reply?  So, every morning and night you read your bible, waiting for that key phrase to impact your life.  Waiting for guidance in what to do next and waiting.

 Side note…Never pray for patience, God will teach it to you.

The wait is over and today is the day for God’s reply. Now, imagine this…A menopausal woman nearing fifty, faithfully reading her morning devotional and focusing on her life‘s direction and her writing.  It is really me.

Scripture says…Gen. 21:2 “For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.” 

Heart racing, sweat running down face, and reaching for the reading glasses.  Mind flashes through changing diapers, up all night, and my body.  At fifty it would never go back in place!  It is not even “in place” now! Switch glasses.

Scripture says…Gen. 39:2 “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”.

Thank you Lord!  Stomach feels a little nauseous, probably because of the up and down movement of my eyes and the bifocals.  Deep breath.  Whew, close call.  I mean if God said that I was to have a baby, well ok, I would have a baby.  But, well…you know.

And then there was the time I thought I was getting a terrific deal on a weed eater. The price tag looked like 19.95, but it actually said 119.95.  Thanks to a gentleman who over heard me saying what a good deal it was to my son and peaked over at the price tag. He showed me the one before the 19.95.  Sometimes nosy people can be very beneficial. Yes, it could be my eyesight, or now that I think about it, maybe my mind is failing also.

Now, I can hear each one of you asking what about laser for my eyes, and some of you suggesting  shock treatments for my mind. Unfortunately, I am not a candidate for laser because of the Wegener’s disease and all of the facial surgeries.  As for the shock treatment, I guess I could lick the connection on the electric blanket a few times a day.  Just kidding.

Even God says that we get better as we age.  From His word…“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:30. “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32.

Noni’s advice…Aging should be peppered with humor and salted with love! And reader glasses.

Happy Veterans Day!

I was born in the sixties and did my growing up years in the 60’s and 70’s. I remember “men walking on the moon”, “JFK and MLK assassinations”, hippies, Vietnam and Watergate.

These were times when, even though we were flawed humans, we were PROUD to be Americans! Through our mistakes, we saw hope, promise, and progress. We put our hand over our heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance and we prayed. Yes, we prayed at school, ballgames, during important events and unimportant ones too. There was nothing to consider or to discuss. This is what Americans had been done continually for almost 200 years.

Through all of this, we recognized the power of Almighty God which had blessed America. He had blessed the United States of America with prosperity and promise. As a country, in turn, we looked to Him for guidance, thanked Him for every blessing, and stood firm as a Christian nation. We were working toward improving our inner relationships and democratic processes. It was great to be an American!

Then there was a volcanic shift in our nation called political correctness. And it reeked like a sun-baked field full of chicken manure. The hellish, sulfur stench would absorb into every American’s skin and affix itself inside the deepest crevices of our nostrils. Did we become lazy, blind, or even lame? No, we became complacent, money hungry, star struck, and luxurious lifestyle required, self-serving egotists. “Freedom” is now used as the catch word for other countries and their people, to enter our country; and use us and abuse us!

Today, if you are a Christian American, you are now a doormat. Loving everyone means agreeing with them, even their religious doctrine. You know those doctrines, that keep getting rewrites to adjust to society’s ever-changing desires and demands. Instead of the Bible, God’s Holy Word, that has not been re-written or changed in over two thousand years. So, as a Christian American I must permit my flag to be burned, my Savior to be ridiculed, and my country to be raped by other nations and religions.

And this is how I should address those people and nations…

Why sure, you can build a Mosque in my neighborhood. And, I won’t wear my “I love Jesus” t-shirt because it might offend you and your religion. I understand that you need to block the roadway in front of your Mosque for your daily prayers, causing me delays and difficulties. But don’t worry, I won’t put up a revival tent and have a Christian revival near your place of worship because I might disturb your daily activities. I won’t wave my flag proudly and celebrate the lives of our Veterans. I will smile, love you, and brown-nose you, as you slowly take over my country and my freedoms

Yeah, right. Sorry, but this is not me. Is this you? I can’t stand by and watch some “group” take over my country when so many Americans, who came before me, endured unspeakable tortures and died just to preserve our country. It is equal to spitting in their faces and reduces their hard work to rubble.  Veterans and our Military Service men and women today, remember what they fought and are still fighting for…YOUR FREEDOM!

They don’t deserve the apathy and do nothing attitude from their and I use this word lightly, “fellow” Americans.  Because as a “fellow” American would you stand shoulder to shoulder with them if needed?  I doubt it.  Your WII or XBOX needs to be played.  It is akin to a hypnotized stupor that we appear to walk around in today.

Well, my fellow Americans… you had better wake yourself up! Or you may find yourself explaining to your own kids and grandkids what freedom use to be like, back in the day. President Reagan warned of this years and year ago. To Me, America means working class people standing up for their Christian beliefs and their nation. We are a resilient, God-fearing nation. And once we stand up for ourselves and our country; no one person, country, or terrorist can stop us!

And this is what I really have to say to those who are trying to take over my country and my religion.

There is no doormat here, and I will wear my “I Love Jesus” t-shirt.

I will fly OLD GLORY high and proud.

I will say The Pledge of Allegiance and put my hand over my heart, whenever and where ever I feel like it.

I will stand up for “One Nation Under God”.

I will read my bible and pray, even in public places.

I will buy American and not support foreign imports.

I will protest anything you do or build which I feel is harmful to the American way of life.

I will expect the same from the officials that I elect to public office to represent me. If they can not seem to do these things or have their hands stuck in some foreign country’s pockets for their personal monetary gains, then I will relentlessly work to get them thrown out of office or not re-elected.

Shouldn’t we all be doing these things and more…One Nation (Unified) Under God(All Powerful)!

And if these officials or other people don’t like me, well I have one southern statement for them.

“Bless Your Heart, I’ll be sure to Pray for You, Honey“.

It sounds better than my sarcastic version with, “kiss my rear end, this conversation is so over, and I will pray for you, ‘cause baby you are going straight to hell”.

Sorry, sometimes the old me jumps out before I can grab her.

lol

I miss the America that I grew up in, don’t you? Time is now, for tomorrow may be too late.

Please watch the video below of Red Skelton’s saying of the Pledge of Allegiance. No one can say or explain it any better than this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZBTyTWOZCM

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

Thank You Lord!

Michelle Duggar and Baby 20

So, Michelle Duggar, is having another baby.  Kudos to her.  At 49, I could not see myself having another child, but not because I would not want another child.  Unlike Michelle, I can not physically, financially, or emotionally provide for another child.  She can!

I have read all of the criticism and unkind judgmental comments made on this personal subject.  My what big shoes and mouths are walking around today!  Instead of the nasty comment “sew her up”, I say “sew them up”.

Sew up those who have child after child with a different male partner each time.  I can’t exactly say he is the father, nor could I call her the mother.  The only drive here appears to be the ability to live off of society while throwing God’s children to the ill fate wind of poverty and ignorance.  What about those who have children to spew their hatred and abuse upon, because they feel like they deserve showing their child/children how they grew up.  This sad, self-serving list could go on and on.

They don’t deserve the pure, innocent love of a child from God.

Have you noticed how the Duggars raise their children?  To  be a positive, loving contribution to this world.  They will pay their taxes, pay their bills, help others, and contribute to their community in every way it is needed.  They are all ready well-mannered.  And will raise their own children the same way.

Wow, more love and understanding in the world.  What we really need!

I believe that if most of us chose to live one fourths of our lives, the way the Duggars live everyday of their lives, the world would be closer to what God wanted for us in the first place.

Here is my question to you.  What have you done lately to positively contribute to your community either financially or by your actions?  What about your kids and what have they done lately?

Before you start judging a family who tries 24/7 to shine God’s light into this world, maybe you should take a look at your own light bulb.  Does it shine brightly into the dark crevices, or is it dulled from living a life the way society says you should live?

We all can be judgmental and struggle everyday with saying unkind words and actions.  The Duggars take these struggles and work them out with God.  It is all about willing to try to change our ways to the ways of God.  Something society does not want!  They want you to have controversy over someone you do not know, who has nothing to do with your everyday life.  It sells.  And we are a “sold” nation in more ways than one.

Even the Apostle Paul struggle with his old ways and the dictation of the society he lived.  In Romans 7:14-20, Paul talks of his struggles. “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. “.

My challenge is change.  Follow the Duggars example of living life by God’s rules.  They don’t get it right all of the time and neither will you.  I certainly don’t.  Speak positively and kindly about all things, or say nothing.  Leave the judging to the courts or walk in their shoes for awhile.  It might change your outlook.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me with the change that I need to make in my every day life.  Help me to speak kindness and joy, or not to speak at all.  I struggle as the Apostle Paul did, help me as you did him.  Allow me to show others mercy and grace, just as You show me mercy and grace.  Forgive my humaness, and let me shine my light into the dark crevices of this world for You.  In Jesus Name I Pray.  Amen!

Being a Grandparent

Being a Grandparent feels like God flooded my lungs, heart, and soul with overly oxygenated blood, ballooning with love and laughter!
Do you feel that way as a grandparent?
The main rule for being a Grandparent is that there are no rules! Yeah!  You don’t have to be the bad guy, and can even be their best pal.  Who knew life could be this great and rewarding?