Monday, October 20, 2008

Be Good and Behave!!

I had a fantastic weekend. I was in fellowship with the Friendship Baptist Church in celebration of Pastor Kevin Pullam's 8th pastoral anniversary. Starting with a luncheon given Saturday in honor of the First Lady, Sis. LaTonya D. Pullam that was really really nice with good food, gifts, words of appreciation and (my favorite) $$$$$$$. Saturday evening an outstanding musical was held in honor of the pastoral family. Sunday morning worship, Pastor Arthur Lane of St Matthew Baptist Church of the city was his guest preacher. I was unable to attend that service because my church was having our Annual Men's Day program. Pastor Leonard James of Austin, Texas preached in our (SJFBC) service. Pastor Kevin's final service was at 3 p.m. and we had a grand time in the Lord. Pastor Dr. C. E. Richarson Sr. of Calvary First Baptist Church of the city did an awesome job. A special tribute was given by his father Pastor W. L. Pullam (and he sure did preach). I do believe Pastor Pullam and his family was made very happy and encouraged by the acts of kindness rendered.

Well, I am going to be out of pocket for a couple of weeks. I will be attending our State Convention this week. We will leave the convention headed for our vacation in Nevada, which will be for an additional week. I am ssssooooo ready to go. We usually take this week alone but this year my husband's brother and his wife will be going with us, as well as my mother and my aunt (my mom's sister). We look forward to the fellowship.

To my Sons, you all behave yourselves while Mama is away. Play fair and share. I am leaving Tony in charge until I get back. Fitts, you and Spoon stay on your own side of the room. Lance (the tattler) will report to me everything that's going on. I already know that Mcghee, Ed, Clinton and Reggie will be neutral so don't sway them. I don't have to worry about Kevin and Kraig they NEVER get in trouble, it has always been the "other" fella's fault (Aaron & Lane). Study hard and do your homework!! I expect nothing but great reports from the congregation :-)

I am REALLY going to miss you a lot. I will be thinking of you. I might be tempted to check on you via laptop or business center. I promised the group I would just relax and stay off the computer. Keep us in your prayers and I will do the same. Be obedient. I'll be back soon. I love you.

Proverbs 25:12

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Better than Wine"

During my clinical training in nursing school I learned a lot about the benefits of what we would consider as non traditional medicine. After I got my nursing degree and met all the requirements to pass the Texas State Board Exams, I received my license to begin my nursing practice. But, after working awhile I wanted to get a promotion and a financial increase by practicing in a specialized area prior to going into OB nursing. To do this, further training had to take place. I took and passed a ten week course in pharmacology at our local college. It was there that I found out some of the benefits of an ocassional glass of red wine. With Geriatrics (the elderly) wine therapy would sometime stimulate the appetite. Wine can also be instrumental in raising your CBC (red blood count) when you are suffering with anemia. The Doctor would actually write an order for it to be given at a certain time to the patient in the hospital. A written prescription for the wine was required from the Doctor in order to administer the dose. Wine in moderation can even be used to eliminate certain stomach ailments and parasites. I wondered why no one could guess the REAL reason I wanted my CBC checked all the time with hopes of it being a little low. (LOL).

The first time I tasted wine I was a newly wed. A good friend came by our apartment to toast our new marriage with a bottle of sweet cheap red wine. I'd never tasted anything so good before. To me it was like drinking kool-aid with a kick. I couldn't drink it fast enough. I thought it was the greatest invention since the wheel. Our friend left about an hour later. What a difference a couple of hours make. I was so sick and I vowed to the Lord, "if you heal me and don't let me die", "I will never do this again". no more wine for me. Well....I kept most of the promise, I didn't do it THAT WAY again. Until I got it out of my system, I thought wine (in moderation) was pretty good. What could be better than a great refreshment that gives joy at the same time?

Nothing gives the believer more joy than being loved by Jesus Christ. Like others we enjoy the good things of life plus the added benefits of the gifts and works of God. There is nothing equal to the delight found in our Lord. I would prefer one mouthful of Christ's love and one sip of His fellowship than a whole world of carnal delights.

Speaking of carnal, all earthly pleasures are earthy, but the comforts of Christ's presence is heavenly. There is no emptiness with Jesus. There is no dregs (sediment) in His wine. The joy of the Lord is solid and enduring. The joy of the Lord in time and in eternity will be worthy to be called "the only true delight"

For nourishment, comfort, exhilaration, and refreshment, no wine can rival the love of Jesus.

"For your love is better than wine"
__Song of Solomon 1:2b__

"we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee"
__Song of Solomon 1:4b__

Drink Deeply Today!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Ear that Hears, Heart that Listens"

My third grade teacher was my favorite in elementary school. Her name was Miss. Flores. I didn't know it at the time but she was an early twenties, unmarried woman just two years into her teaching career. As young as I was at the time, she seemed to be very conscientious and she wanted her students to get as much as we could from her class, and in our learning experience with her. She was the type of teacher that was very personal. She wanted to know about our weekends, holidays, favorite colors, and if we had a visit from the tooth fairy lately. She was even interested in what we wanted to become when we grew up. It felt very genuine to me. I was an average student having a hard time with multiplication, and we developed an unacknowledged closeness. Until graduation from high school I would periodically go by to see her in room 38 at Prescott Elementary.

After getting married, having children and becoming the very thing I told her (at age 9) I wanted to be when I grew up, we would run into each other from time to time. She never married. Later in life she adopted a son who was the same age as my second son Keith. My children were very small when my husband and children had the priviledge of meeting her while eating at the same restaurant. They felt as if they already knew her because I spoke of her often. The last time I saw her was at a high school football game (1991) where both our sons, Freddie and Keith played in the same band. I didn't know it would be my last time. We moved to a different school district and we lost touch.

From time to time, I would bring up the conversation Miss Flores had with us in class one day about "hearing vs listening" with my husband and children. She told us that you can "hear" many things at the same time. We could "hear" her speaking, the birds outside singing, someone tapping on the desk, the pencil sharpener, all at the SAME time. But, you can only "listen" to ONE thing at a time and comprehend. For example: I talk to my husband all the time right in the middle of a play during the football game. After I've said what I wanted to say, I would ask "are you listening to me?" he says "yes" then I'd ask "what did I say?" he couldn't tell me because he wasn't "listening" to ME. He "heard" me (along with the tv I was watching in the other room, because he had asked me to turn it down) but he was "listening" and "comprehending" the game. He would always have the last word though by asking "can we have this conversation after the game?" But, my final last words (while leaving the room) would be... "by then it will be to late and it wouldn't matter".

As Christians, it is painful to think that this is an accusation against believers who are spiritually insensitive. We should regret that we do not hear the voice of God as we should. there are gentle motions of the Holy Spirit in the soul that often go unheeded. There are whispers of divine commands and of heavenly love that are ignored. We have been carelessly ignorant. There are situations we should have seen, iniquities that went unnoticed, sweet feelings left unattended. We missed glimpses of His divine face because our soul's windows were fogged. We did not hear or know because we were preoccupied with other sounds in our ears. As we think about it we are deeply humbled. God deals with us in mercy. Even with His awesome sacrifice He knew what we would be like. Isaiah 48:6-9

Oh redemption, how wonderfully resplendent you shine when I think of how sinful we are! Oh Holy Spirit, give us the "hearing" ear and the understanding heart that "listens".

Today, I would like to wish my Mother a very Happy Birthday!
Mrs. Louia L. Francis
I love you Mama