Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Grocery Store

When I was a small child, a visit to the commissary was a full-fledged family outing. My parents always got two baskets — one for children, one for groceries. The first stop in the door was the animal crackers. (As long as we were eating the cookies, we weren't begging for other stuff.)

Then we made our way down the narrow, dimly lit aisles and my mother filled the other basket with cans and boxes and glass jars. When we got to the checkout. The lady on her stool had to scan each item — but wait, she wasn't scanning them with a machine. She had to scan each item with her eyes to look for the little price sticker put there by some stock boy. Then she had to enter each amount into her numeric cash register.

Then came 1969 and the barcode scanner. Now, stockers just open cases and fill the shelves with pre-marked cans and boxes and plastic jars. Somewhere in an office, a clerk changes the prices on a computer screen and the checker just swipes the item across a mysterious glass pane in the checkout counter.

Still, when I go to the grocery store, I often have my grandson with me and I pick up the magical box of Barnum's Animal Crackers.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Suggestions, Please!

These are pictures of our church auditorium and platform. It needs help. It doesn't look terrible, but first impressions are important. Any suggestions for making this room look more welcoming would be appreciated — a lot. We don't have much money. (Actually the church doesn't have any money, but my family can come up with a little.) We live in a pretty affluent little town and we don't want visitors to be taken aback by our facilities.

This is the view from the pulpit.

This is the platform. (The flowers change according to the season.)

Oh, and this is my sweetie teaching adult Sunday School. (Isn't he cute?)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sweet Peas

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:” Psalm 106:2

Spring gardening is upon us and I love the beauty of the flower garden. Some of that beauty can be mirrored in our walk with the Lord. This flower is a Sweet Peat. Isn't it beautiful? Today I want to remind you of some of the Lord's benefits. I want to remind you of some the Lord's Sweet "P's."

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
Ephesians 2:4-6
We are risen with Christ and seated with Him in heavenly places!

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:16
We have the privilege of coming to God in prayer.

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
I John 4:4
We have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the devil.

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19
We have access to God's provision.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
Jeremiah 29:11
God has a purpose for us.

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
Isaiah 55:7
God pardons us! That right there is one of the sweetest scents ever!

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:8
It doesn't matter what state the affairs of this world are in, God gives His children peace.

"Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways."
Psalm 139:3
I don't have to worry about tomorrow because God knows the way.

"That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:"
Ephesians 3:6
Aren't you glad that God made us partakers of His promise?

"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him."
Psalm 103:13
There is no safer place than in the arms of the Father.

"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:"
Romans 15:5
I don't know about you, but it is certainly a good thing for me that our God is patient.

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"
I Peter 2:21
Christ left us a pattern for us to follow.

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
Psalm 16:11
Just saving my sinful soul from Hell is joyous enough, but God offers me pleasure.

"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
Isaiah 64:8
In the hands of the Master Potter, the dust of my life is made into a usable vessel.

"Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely."
Psalm 147:1
"It is pleasant; and praise is comely."

"And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest."
Exodus 33:14
Is there anywhere I can't go in confidence since my Lord is with me?

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
I Peter 2:9
As a member of the royal priesthood, I have access to the Father!

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Hebrews 1:3
The Mighty God "himself purged our sins." No flower in creation can equal the beauty of His benefits.

Nest time, we'll talk about "T."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm a hard nut to crack!

You Are a Hazelnut

You are very unique and distinct. You may even freak some people out.

Most people don't really know how to interact with you.

You get along best with anyone who is super sweet.

But you really do get along with almost anyone. You just need a chance to wow them.

My Favorite No-Bake Cookies

2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup butter
3 cup oatmeal (use real oats, not the quick oats, for better texture)
1 cup peanut butter

In saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, milk and butter. Cook on low heat until boiling. Boil two minutes. Remove from heat. Add oatmeal and peanut butter and mix well. Drop by teaspoon-full onto waxed paper. Let stand a few minutes before eating, if you can stand it!

Friday, April 25, 2008


How can someplace be home when you haven't lived there for 18 years? It's that place where, even though it's flat and dry, the environment is friendly and welcoming. The place where no matter how long it's been since you've laid eyes on it, you can close your eyes and see every detail. When you walk into the grocery store, the people are speaking your native tongue. (Believe me, Texan is not spoken in the Midwest.) The burning sun just feels different on your skin and the smells fill you with familiarity. You enter a church service and sit in a pew that you only sit in maybe once a year and yet it feels like you've never left.

I am 100% content to live wherever it is God leads. Actually, I can't imagine living in Texas again, but I sure am glad that I get to visit.

Oh, and a side rant . . . That Texas tourism commercial has been translated into English. In actual Texan, it's a whole "nother" country, not a whole other country.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dandelions and Bitterness

Spring has arrived in the Midwest United States and with it, the weeds. The grass has just turned green and the flowers aren't even blooming yet, but the dandelions have already made their debut.

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” Hebrews 12:15

Some Things I Have Learned About A Dandelion

It is hardy.

It sends down one main taproot and can regenerate the entire plant from any part of that root.
It grows low to the ground to protect itself from grazing animals and lawnmowers until it is ready to go to seed.
It can grow anywhere.
  • Forest Floor
  • Rocky beach
  • Well-kept lawns

It is prolific.

It goes to seed rapidly.
  • In 12-18 hours, it goes from a flower bulb to a full seed head.
One plant produces hundreds of seeds.
It multiplies efficiently.
  • Every petal is a complete flower and can completely reproduce.

Is is deceptive and destructive.

It begins with a pretty yellow flower.
It becomes ugly very quickly. How many newly mown yards are marred by the dandelion stems that pop right back up?
It robs sunlight and nutrients from all the plants and grass around it.

It is hard to destroy.

You have to kill the entire root.
The seeds are widespread. Seeds can travel miles and have been known to cross mountains.

Some Things I Have Learned About Bitterness

It is hardy.

It has a strong root.
  • Bitterness usually has its root in an event over which I have no control. I am hurt and rather than allow God to use the event according to His will, I get bitter.
It grows deep in the heart to avoid detection and removal until it has a firm hold and is ready to go to seed.
It can happen to any of us.
  • The wild untamed heart who may say, “I don’t care.” Yes, you do.
  • The thin, stony, or sandy heart who may say, “Things just don’t get to me.” Yes, they do.
  • The guarded, tended heart who may say, “I stay close to God.” It only takes one undetected or ignored seed of bitterness to plant a root.

It is prolific.

It grows and reproduces rapidly
One event to which I inappropriately respond will create hundreds of seeds of sin in my life.
It multiplies efficiently.
  • Unless I get the root, every petal of the bitterness will generate sin.

Is is deceptive and destructive.

It appears pleasant at first.
  • When something bad happens, doesn’t it feel good to blame and complain?
It becomes ugly very quickly.
It robs from the good things in my heart and life.

It is hard to destroy.

You have to kill the entire root.
The root of bitterness is two-fold:
  • A lack of faith in God.
  • Selfishness.
Galatians 5:19-21 The works of the flesh are all rooted in selfishness.
The seeds are widespread. “… and thereby many be defiled.”

To overcome a root of bitterness, I must:

  1. Confess my selfishness.
  2. Give my heart and hurt to God and trust Him.
  3. Choose to respond positively to the events in my life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Toys From My Childhood

Do you remember these great toys from the 1960's?


Needless to say, my drawings did not look like this!

Then there was always the Easy Bake Oven.

Maybe it was just me, but the stuff I made in this thing was nasty! That I have burn scars on my hand from the lightbulb!

Talking about burns . . . Did you ever have a Thingmaker?

I wonder how many kids went to the emergency room, after "heating them up"!

The games were a lot more fun!

Did you ever play Operation? (I loved that game!)

And Twister!

This was back when they made real toys.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Resting in Him

On Mondays, I've been trying to talk about what it is like to be a church planter. There are funny things that happen. There are blessings and there are trials.

Sometimes, its easy for me to get my eyes on the trials. In the early days of a church, there seems to be a lot of loneliness for me. If I'm not careful, I dwell on that and not on my precious Lord. One of the reasons I take so many nature pictures is to remind myself of the wonder of God's creation. The mind and imagination of God is so unfathomable. All around us are the wonders that God created and yet it is us — me — that He takes a special interest in! Isn't that magnificent?

The weather here is just beautiful, especially after the hard winter we just endured. I walked outside this morning just to enjoy it and noticed the dew on the grass. So I ran back inside and grabbed my camera. (I wonder what the cars driving by thought of this crazy lady crouched down taking pictures of grass!)

Here is my favorite shot:

"Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?" Job 38:28

"By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew." Proverbs 3:20

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cowboy Boot

You Are Cowboy Boots

This doesn't mean you're country, just funky.

You've got a ton of attitude and confidence.

You're unique, expressive, and even a little bit wacky.

You wear whatever you feel like — and you have your own sense of style.

You are straight shooting and honest. You tell people how it is.

Low maintenance and free wheeling, you're always up for an adventure.

You should live: Where you can at least get to wide open spaces

You should work: In a job that allows you to take change

April Flowers

Friday, April 18, 2008

That was different

Usually, I try to post something about my family history on Friday. This Friday morning, I got up at about 4:35am to use the restroom. While sitting, we had an earthquake!! Wow! In Iowa!

My mom was notorious for falling asleep on the toilet in the middle of the night. I have earthquakes.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

West Texas Mythology

On cloud-shrouded nights
darkness suffocates
among the gnarled arms
of mesquite.
Silence disturbed
by wind-rustled seed pods.
Skyborn cold wrestles
earth-warmed radiance.
Imagination abounds,
Folklore is birthed,
Goatmen roam pastures,
Wolves nurture lost infants.
Only dawn unveils the fiction.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In My Lifetime

Do you remember when pop-can tabs looked like this?

That's what they looked like until 1974 when the stay-on-tab was invented. I was already a teenager! Can you imagine how many of these little tabs would be laying around today if we still used them?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Church Planting

For almost 19 years my husband has been a church planter in the United States. He has either taken small, struggling churches and tried to rebuild them or started a church from scratch in an area that did not have a strong Baptist church.

One of the funniest stories we tell is the services when our daughter was young and no one would show up at church but our family — the three of us. We still had church. We sang the hymns and Wendy and I sat and listened to the sermon my husband preached. But, on more than one occasion, we hit a snag. Our little girl, who was still a preschooler, didn't always want to sit still. So, what do parents do when a child acts up in church? You take her out, talk to her, discipline her if necessary, and bring her back in, right? Now imagine, that when you take her out, the preacher is left preaching to no one.

So, my sweetheart, would just pause the sermon, wait for us to come back in, and finish preaching!

Ah, the life of a church planter.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh, That Will Be Heaven For Me

Matthew 19:14 "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Elisha was very upset when church was over today and it was time to come home. He had been playing tag with his friend and didn't want the game to end. So he came home crying.

I was trying to calm him down and started asking him about his Sunday School paper. Their lesson today had been about heaven and I was pointing to the pictures and asking him about the things that would and would not be in heaven. I pointed to a picture of Jesus and said, "Will Jesus be in heaven?"

And he sniffled, "Yes. And He will play tag with me."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

This is a more serious post

One year ago today, I was lying in my hospital bed minding my own business. I had surgery the day before to reverse the emergency colostomy I had in December of 2006. I was feeling pretty good and pleased that things seemed to be going well.

All of the sudden, here came the nurses and orderlies unplugging me and wheeling me out into the hall. This is exactly what happened in December when they took me into emergency surgery! I asked them what was going on and they said my blood work had shown some problems and they were moving me. I pressed for more information and they told me I had experienced a "myocardial infarction." I read a lot and I knew what that was!

I blurted out, "I did not have a heart attack! I'm fine!"

They exchanged glances and my primary nurse said, "Yes. Your enzymes are elevated. You've had a heart attack."

I was stunned. They wheeled me to the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) and over the next 36 hours, I had all kinds of tests run that confirmed the heart attack. They scheduled a heart catheter for the following Monday with plans for inserting a stint into a damaged artery.

My sweet husband who had already endured my monumental health odyssey went home and called everyone he could think of and asked them to pray. On Monday, they took me in for the procedure and told him that it would be about two hours. After only 45 minutes they came back and took him into a consultation room. He was terrified that I had gone to heaven.

The doctor looked at him and said, "Mr. Cannon, we did not put a stint in your wife. Her heart is perfectly healthy. Not only can we not find any damage, we can't find any evidence of a heart attack."

They ran more tests and took me back to the post-surgical floor. Later, they removed the diagnosis of a heart attack from my medical records.

It's now a year later and I haven't had any other problems. We serve a mighty God, don't we?

What's Your Favorite?

What's your favorite food? For me, there's nothing better than a good steak, but for everyday, I like Mexican food — not the New Mexico kind — good ol' Tex-Mex. We don't have many choices in Iowa, but there is one good local Mexican restaurant we have found. In fact, other than the national chains, there aren't a lot of local places with really good food, so we don't eat out much.

I'm thinking about revamping my menu planning to make it easier for me and designating each night of the week a certain thing. For instance, make Saturday night sandwich night and then plan either subs or hamburgers or chicken sandwiches, something like that.

Maybe as I figure it out, I'll share.

For tonight, I have to go to the grocery store this afternoon and pick something up and right now, I have no clue what that might be. It's cold here today, so I won't be grilling. We've already had Tex-Mex, breakfast, and Italian for dinner this week so I just don't know. I love to cook but I really hate deciding what to cook.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What was her life like?

This is Elizabeth Adams O'Dell Welker. She is the great- grandmother of my grandfather. She bore nine children. She was born in Kentucky and moved to Missouri before she was 16. I wonder what life was like for her. Did she love Jesus? Her great-great-great granddaughter does.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The bad with the good

It seems like I've been looking forward to Spring forever. Now that it's here, I remember the bad stuff — in this case, the dangerous stuff. (I'm one of those strange people who absolutely love a good ol' raucous storm!) I'm not belittling the power of nature, nor the pain of those who are affected by the storms, but the good stuff always comes with bad.

How many of you longed for the birth of your first child, and then within weeks, longed for a whole night's sleep?

How many of you were thrilled with your first car, then realized you had to pay to change the oil?

And how many of you prayed the Lord would not return until you got married and then muttered about the socks that you knight in shining armor left on the floor? For better and for worse, huh?

I know it seems trite, but the good is only made better by the bad. The rain and the storms are going to bring us a beautiful, lush green spring full of flowers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In My Lifetime

I was reading a news story yesterday about some scientists who were working on a thing called "The Grid" that is supposed to replace the Web. Okay, we'll see, but there was something in the article that stunned me. The article said the Web was inventing in 1989!

Wow! I was in my late 20's before we had the Web? It seems like it's been forever! I do remember when AOL opened up a gateway to this thingy called the web, but even then it was so hard to find stuff.

Last week was the 35th anniversary of the first cell phone call. I was in junior high then.

These things have me wondering what other life-altering changes have occurred in my relatively short life. I plan on posting some of those things in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's Coming!!!

Have you ever felt like winter was never going to end?

Isaiah 55: 10-11 "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Family Resemblance

I've been working on a family genealogy for several years now. I've found a few suprises and debunked a few family myths, but this makes me laugh.

This is my father-in-law.

This is my father-in-law's great-great-great aunt. I think it looks like him in drag.