Daddy, a Legacy of Love

As I think about my life, I surely am blessed. My upbringing could not have been better. We lived on a budget, for sure, but I did not lack. Perhaps we were in a perpetual state of waiting “ The two years when our ship would come in”, however, in the midst of the waiting, we lived a full life.

Sunday morning always filled me with such joy. I woke up to my favorite TV programs: The Children’s Hour climaxing with “Davey and Goliath”, followed by the beginning of the Oral Robert’s program featuring the Oral Robert’s singers! I gathered my purse, my Bible, and my very own offering envelope with great anticipation of Sunday school and church. Not attending church was never a question in our house. I’m forever grateful for the Christian values modeled and taught to me throughout my life.

To have a mama and daddy who loved God, loved each other, and loved my sister and me seemed the norm to me then. Now I realize how truly special my home life was. With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it really is a wonder that my parents have been married 55 years. Not only have they stuck together, they truly love each other. I am a witness of daily love and affection. Of course there have been disagreements, times of lost patience, and frustration, but never did I doubt their genuine, forever love.

What is forever love? It is two people both willing to give all every day and never stop fighting for each other! It is not a fairytale, but it’s a battle against the odds and two individuals continuing to fight as one. It requires an agape, unconditional love one gains from following the Father.

This love was spoken by words and lived out by actions. I cannot remember a night when I would go to sleep without one of my parents coming to my room, saying my prayers with me, telling me they loved me, and kissing me good night. This was our routine. What a precious life lesson I could carry on with my children, and I pray they carry on with their children!

My husband preaches “ you don’t spoil a child with things; you spoil him with the lack of discipline.” I lacked no discipline. My household contained rules and boundaries, and I received my due punishment up on many occasions. However, I never hated my parents because I knew what was expected of me, and I knew they loved me.

One of my favorite things was to sit by my daddy while he was watching TV. He would seemingly subconsciously rub my back or “pet” my hair. It was a place of safety and love.

I also have memories of my mom pushing my hair behind my ear only to pull it gently forward again. Over and over this gesture would tenderly coax me to sleep. My poor husband must now rub on my arm or play with my hair almost nightly.

I crave that touch of intimacy. I’m thankful for his patience and generosity towards my neediness. But, honestly, I believe I was taught from a young age the tenderness and security of the love language: physical touch.

Some of my favorite Sundays were when we leave church, drive to Terrell to the pizza buffet, onto Dallas to an afternoon movie, and be back in time for evening youth service! Although our lives were busy, and daddy didn’t get home until after dark many nights, we always had occasion for quality time as a family.

Summer vacations, spring break ski trips, and Friday night lights are some of my favorite memories! Working in the garden, seining for fish bait, and hauling hay tipped the scale between hard work and fun family time, too. I grew up knowing the value of quality time spent with the ones I love.

And I will never forget when I was bullied in seventh grade, and I actually bloodied a girl’s lip when I couldn’t take it anymore. My daddy told me, “It’s like the coward of the county. ‘Sometimes you’ve got to fight…’.” (Kenny Rogers quote). Instead of being punished, my daddy affirmed my feelings and supported me. I felt empowered and courageous for my stance against the bully. I felt loved. My parents encouraged me, propelled me, and disciplined me. But, their loving words continue to bless me even as an adult.

We didn’t always have the namebrand, designer clothing. I can remember being embarrassed to shop at Walmart or the little store that was in downtown Edgewood at the time, but I never lacked what I needed. I can remember the Christmas I received a pair of button fly Guess jeans! they were expensive and my only designer pair! I’m thankful for the sacrifices my parents made to supply even the desires of my heart.

Giftgiving is one of my favorite things to do, and I know it’s because of the generosity of my parents. They truly instilled in me the spirit of being thankful for gifts, as well.

Acts of service – I would say this fifth and final love language was exemplified to me every day of my life. I never questioned my parents’ work ethic. I watched them put in long hours at school and then keep up a neat and orderly home. My mom was the best cook and taught us how to cook, clean, and organized in like fashion. During summers, daddy would take on extra jobs to help take us on vacation or to complete a household project. His secret cubby of “mad money” always brought joy for the entire family.

Life will never be the same with daddy gone, but our new normal will carry on with all the love and lessons he instilled in us along the way. He never gave up. He was a fighter until the end, and he would expect no less from us. Thank you daddy for being the best you could possibly be. I miss you, and I will love you forever. It’s my goal to love like you loved and carry on the legacy you began in my life.

I was almost 4 & mom was expecting Leah.
Upon college graduation
At Leah’s college graduation with baby Haylee
Your light will never go out because we will carry it on in us!

New Year, New You

God’s chosen people were persecuted, made slaves, and oppressed. They needed a deliver. God called Moses! Moses felt inept and overwhelmed at the idea of fulfilling his call. He made excuses and also made God angry. God gave Moses a helper and equipped him to fulfill his purpose. Who else could be more suitable to face the Egyptian pharaoh but a man raised in the palace alongside this very pharaoh?

Imagine the obstacles Moses overcame. Besides his stuttering and personal lack of self-esteem, Moses was fearful because of the murder he had previously committed in Egypt. God came to the rescue on every account.

Consider this present generation. God’s desire is that none perish, but all should have everlasting life. We all know people who are cast down, slaves to sin, oppressed by the devil, and in desperate need of Jesus. I believe God is calling us to be the deliverers of this generation. The year is 2020. God is calling YOU to lead the lost to Him. Don’t make excuses. Trust God.

Without a preacher how can they hear? You may very well be the only preacher your friends may ever see. (Romans 10:13-15)

Them bones, them bones 🎶

Ezekiel 37:4 (NLT)

Dry bones listen to the word of the Lord!

Last night in church, I took prayer requests and prayed, as is my Wednesday night custom, but during my prayer this Bible story came to my remembrance: the valley of the dry bones. I feel like the Lord told me, “This is how powerful I am! These requests are answerable. Cancer is no match for My power.” I specifically felt like this was a call of faith for anyone facing cancer! My God is able to heal cancer. My God will re-create your cells and rebuild what was once dead!

I believe God wants you to speak to your infirmity and command it to go just as Ezekiel spoke to the dry bones. Please take time to read Ezekiel 37: 1-14. Receive this message and apply it to whatever life circumstance you are currently facing.

(1) Take time today in the presence of the Lord.

Vs. 1 Ezekiel was carried away by the spirit of the Lord…

Ezekiel had to be in God’s presence. Can you find a few minutes alone with God today? Yes, you can. Get creative if you have to: a bathroom stall, your parked car, the corner of your closet, etc. Get alone and invite God to meet you.

(2) Listen for his direction.

Vs. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”

God spoke to Ezekiel, and He will speak to you. Are you listening? I always laugh at Ezekiel’s reply, “Lord, only knows!” (I paraphrase.) We do not know the answers, but God does, and it’s OK to be honest with Him.

(3) Do whatever He tells you even if it seems ridiculous.

Vs. 4 Speak a prophetic message to these bones….

I’m sure Ezekial thought this is fruitless. Why waste a prophecy on something dead? Because we serve a God of the impossible!!! Oh! I am excited, now! Read verse seven:

Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley….

(4) Look for the results.

Vs. 10 …They all came to life and stood upon their feet- a great army.

Wow, y’all! This is the stuff mummy movies are made of! Those bones came together, grew muscles, covered in skin, and breathed a breath of life again! Verse 11 tells us that the people of Israel said, “…all hope is gone….”

…The Sovereign Lord says, O my people, I will…cause you to rise again….”

If you are feeling defeated today and lost all hope, it’s not too late! Call upon the Lord, hear His voice, obey Him, and see your life renewed!

The Happinesses

Matthew 5:3-11

Jesus speaks to the crowd from the mountain overlooking the sea of Galilee. There is a church built on top of this mountain today. It is beautiful and the acoustics are amazing. You can understand why Jesus would teach here. This famous sermon recorded in Matthew is often referred to as “the sermon on the mount”. The first few verses are commonly called the beatitudes. I never really understood why we call them that, but since I was a child, I just accepted the word “beatitude” having no idea what it meant. To me it almost looks like it means “beautiful attitude,” and I suppose that’s not a bad description. But, thanks to modern technology and Google, I know the truth.

“Beatitude” is Latin. The Latin word for happy is “beatus” and as a noun “beatitudo”. When Saint Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, he began each phrase with the word “Beati” which translates into English as blessed or happy. So the noun in English is beatitude.

We saw the cave where Saint Jerome lived for 30 years translating the Bible when we visited Bethlehem. They would lower his food to him on a rope, and he never left the cave for those 30 years, then he died in that very cave. He is buried there today. There is a Catholic church built on top of the cave. Fittingly the church is named for St. Jerome.

As you ponder the following beatitudes perhaps you should call them the happinesses as you read them. For we can only find true happiness through serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”


Love, love, love

1 Timothy 1:5 (NLT)

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith.

Paul writes to his young protégé, Timothy, and he has a specific purpose in mind. Paul’s writings are not intended to be a list of dos and don’ts for believers. Oftentimes I tend to look at it that way. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel defeated as we “work” to please God.

Thank Jesus, that’s not the intention at all. Besides, Paul even tells us in 1 Timothy 1:15 that he is the worst sinner of all. Jesus uses Paul as our example, so we can know there is hope for us. “…[Jesus has] great patience with even the worst sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15, NLT)

Paul’s intention is for everyone to be filled with love. Love. Personally, I love “love”! When we view life through the eyes of love, our perspective is renewed. And, Paul’s not referring to an “I love pizza” kind of love, but he means a special, unconditional love.

(1) “Love that comes from a pure heart”

How can we have a pure heart? Ask God and He will grant it. David prayed in Psalms 51:10 (KJV):

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

(2) “Love that comes from a clear conscience”

This seems impossible, but it’s not. Recognize that condemnation is not from God but from the devil. Repent – turn from your sins and move forward.

Romans 8:1(KJV):

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…

(3) “Love that comes from a genuine faith”

Have faith in God. In order to be filled with true love, we must believe in God.

Hebrews 11:6(KJV):

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Just believe.

You can not only experience this kind of love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith; but, you can walk in this love everyday!!

Take 5 minutes and reflect upon God’s unconditional love today! Then, as you carry on, grant that same love towards others.

A Just Man

Matthew 1:19 (KJV)

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

What does it mean to be espoused? A lot more than our engagements present day. When a man and woman were espoused, they were already completely committed to each other. They could not even call off the wedding without a formal divorce.

Joseph had the opportunity to disgrace Mary as he probably felt she had disgraced him. If he had taken her before the priest, she would have been stoned to death according to the law. But, because he was honorable, he honored Mary and decided to keep this situation private. Before Joseph heard from God, he displayed a godly character.

Then, the dream. Can you imagine the realization of years of prophecy being fulfilled before your eyes and at the care of your hands? Joseph obeyed God, loved Mary, and raised God’s son, Jesus, to have a godly character, too. What an awesome responsibility! What an awesome privilege!

Will you be ready to do the right thing even when adversity comes? God is looking for people who trust Him and make “just” decisions. Let God use you.

I encourage you to read the Christmas story for yourself this season. Be reminded of the precious gift God gave us all through His son, Jesus Christ. What a joy it is to celebrate His birth! What does the birth of Jesus mean to you?

Matthew 1:18-23

Luke 1:5-80

Luke 2:1-39

How fruity are you?

Galatians 5:23b

…against such there is no law.

When a thing is so great!!! I mean there really just aren’t any negative words to be said about this this thing. This thing is desired. It isn’t just tolerated. It’s coveted. Yet, freely given! This thing is so amazing there are no laws against it! What is it?

It isn’t actually a singular thing at all but rather a collection of characters. The Bible calls them fruits, and you can possess them all. Let these fruits shine forth through your character: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

Love ❤️

Joy ☺️

Peace 🕊

Long suffering 😬

Gentleness 💐

Goodness 😇

Faith 🙏🏼

Meekness 🐑

Temperance 🤐

Stop and think about these things. Can you imagine if we all exhibited more of these fruits in our lives?

Bear the fruits, plant the seeds, and reap a harvest for a future overflowing with more love, more joy, more peace, more long-suffering, more gentleness, more goodness, more faith, more meekness, and more temperance.

I encourage you to be more fruity today! 😂

What does your reflection look like?

2 Corinthians 3:18

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord, who is the Spirit, makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.

Reflections. What stares back at us as we look into the mirror? Or take a selfie? What do we see? What do others see?

So often our vision is tainted by our life’s experiences. The way we view ourselves, the way we view others, and even the way we view God has been warped by circumstances and trials of this life. Oftentimes, we put God in a box because our vision cannot see any further than right now.

Have you ever watched a show on HGTV? The designers walk into a home that is outdated and often dirty and worn, but they see the potential for more. The home buyers seem discouraged and overwhelmed at the possibilities of a remodel. However, under the direction and vision of the designer, a transformation takes place. Instead of being content with the way the things look now, there is a greater vision of what could be with a little work.

Our lives are the same way. We are overwhelmed and discouraged at the place where we are. But God, looks at the potential we have. He can work through all of our mess and re-construct a new and better life for us. We must get a vision for what God wants us to do. There is much more than this for us. Let’s pray, “God give me the eyes to see what you see.”

There is a spiritual realm about us right now. The angels are constantly working on our behalf. If only our eyes could be opened.

Take the time to read 2 Kings 6: 8-23. It tells the story of when The king of Aram was at war with Israel and the prophet Elisha kept telling the king of Israel where the attacks were going to happen, so the king of Israel could be prepared. The king of Aram got so angry that he wanted to destroy Elisha. He sent chariots and soldiers to attack him. Elisha’s servant discovered the enemy surrounding them and cried, “what shall we do?”

Elisha famously replied, “There are more on our side than on their’s.” Now the servant knew there was only him and Elisha facing all of these soldiers. He was confused. What did Elisha mean? Elisha prayed for the servants eyes to be opened, and when they were, he saw horses and chariots of fire surrounding the enemy.

There was a spiritual army ready to fight and aid in their battle. If only we could see what God sees. We have a spiritual army fighting on our behalf, as well.

God has equipped us. God created us. There is nothing that we cannot accomplish with God’s help. Seek the Lord. The more time you spend in His Word, the more you will reflect Him.

You will see your situation more clearly. Others will see God when they look at you. Your reflection will change.

Spring Showers

Remember this little joke?

If April showers bring May flowers, then what do Mayflowers bring? …………….

Wait for it………………

Pilgrims!!! 🤣

As I sit in the classroom this morning, I gaze outside and am thankful for the daylight in spite of the cloud-filled, rainy sky. Darkness cannot prevail within the classroom even though the electricity is temporarily off due to effects of the storm. Storm or shine, electricity or not, life must press on. 

If I stop living with each storm that blows my way, I wonder how many opportunities I will miss? Too many. I want to experience all that life has to offer. If I experience it with a wet head, so be it.

Last summer we traveled to Hawaii. Each day presented a new island and a new adventure. The island of Hilo offers unique scenery ranging from the majestic Rainbow Falls to the active volcano on the other side of the island, just a tour bus ride away. We want to see it all. Unfortunately, Hilo is the fourth wettest destination in the United States with rainfall throughout the year. The day of our visit was no exception. With each stop of the bus, visitors have the choice to stay warm and dry as they gaze through the bus windows or brave the weather and get a closer look. We don our hats and jackets, grab our camera, and play in the rain! Who knows? We may never be atop a smoking volcano again! 

Seize the day. Carry on. Get wet. The memories you will create are priceless.