Thursday, June 30, 2011


Many times you may find yourself having difficulty-telling people what you think, or feel, or need. You may hesitate to let others know these things, thinking people will believe you're silly or not intelligent. Sometimes you may believe that if you express yourself directly then others will become hurt or angry. You may even believe that others, especially those close to you, should know how you feel. Assertive behavior can help you in dealing with these difficult feelings.

What is Assertiveness?

Assertiveness is expressing your thoughts and feelings and needs directly to others. Assertiveness is different from aggressiveness, or telling other people off, or giving someone a piece of your mind. In assertiveness, while you express your needs, you respect the other person's thought, feelings, and needs. Aggressive behavior can be hurtful and overbearing. Assertiveness avoids this.

Assertiveness is unlike passiveness. Passive behavior is an unwillingness to express feelings and thoughts directly. Sometimes being reluctant to do this is a result of fear of being rejected or being seen as stupid by others. Passive behavior discounts our own importance and demonstrates a lack of self-respect. An outcome of passive behavior is a "build-up and blow-out" of anger. When you fail to express yourself directly, the result is a continual feeling of low self- esteem.

How Can I Become Assertive?

Assertiveness begins in believing in yourself as "the new person you are in Christ." You may start by identifying what you like about yourself and be willing to stand up for yourself. You can practice assertive behavior by:

1) Using "I" messages. When expressing feelings or opinions say, "I feel...," ; I believe...," or "I think..." Avoid "you" messages. "You" messages sound accusatory and may put the other person on the defensive. If you are asking the other person to change his/her behavior, describe the behavior you would like to see changed and indicate how their present behavior causes you to feel. An example: "I feel angry/hurt when you don't consider my opinions. It makes me think you don't respect my feelings."

2) Remember you are not responsible for the feelings of other people. You can be sensitive and respectful of other people's feelings; however each individual is responsible for taking care of their own feelings.

3) Look assertive - using good body language.
a) Maintain good eye contact with the person to whom you are
b) Stand erect. Sometimes standing with your feet 6-8 inches apart causes you to feel a solid base of support and can actually help you feel stronger.
c) Speak clearly and loudly so the other person can hear you. Let your voice sound confident and strong. Do not whine!
d) Use facial expressions and gestures to emphasize what you are

4) Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable. Whenever you change an old pattern, the new pattern or behavior feels strange. Let the uncomfortable feeling work for you. Use that as a red flag reminding you to pause and think about what you want to say; what you are actually saying; and how you are appearing.

5) Sometimes in the beginning, it's helpful to choose a good role model, someone who consistently demonstrates assertive behavior.

6) Reward Yourself!!! Remember other people don't have to like what you say. You can pat yourself on the back for expressing yourself directly!!

Remember!!! Assertiveness takes commitment, practice, and a willingness to experiment with new positive behaviors.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Over the years I have observed lots of people from all directions in life. One of the things I notice lacking is they live way too busy and serious, most of the time. They’re trying to either survive the mess they are in, or they are spinning their wheels trying to be enough for themselves or someone else in a PBA (Performance Based Acceptance) lifestyle. They are busy trying to make enough money to make ends meet or they are sitting around doing nothing in what our grandson calls “Code B” meaning… BORED! All these things are sad to me when you could be enjoying life. I don’t mean being lazy, not responsible but it’s about having a mindset like a child. You can use what I call, the “KISS” method. I call it, Keep It Simply Simple!

Yesterday we went to Atlanta; Phil just had to go by the Apple Computer Store, which is like a candy store to him. I can’t complain, since he is my Tec Support, when he

goes in there I benefit. We ate at the food court and he went on his way to having “his way of fun”. I finished my food and just sat and watched people. This mall we go to has a Carousel on the border of the food court.
It captured my attention.

I watched happy kids get on and off. The music was happy; the sounds of laughter and the smiles brought a good feeling in me. I noticed on the surrounding areas sat grandparents or parents, they would wave every time their child would come back around, giving even bigger smiles each time. As I went to leave I walked by a grandmother waving. I smiled at her and said, “lots of memories being built right here” and she nodded and said “Oh Yes!” as she kept waving…..

My mind races back to a place my parents took me to ride the merry-go-round. It was called Lakewood Park. We lived almost next to the park, one street over. You could sit on our porch and hear the sounds of the Fairgrounds, especially in the fall season.

I couldn’t wait for daddy to pay for my ride, and then stand in line waiting for the man to swing open the gate and say, “you can get on now”. As I stepped up on the platform that was waiting for its participants, my friend Sandra and I would search frantically for the best outside one that would give us the best ride. It was a race because there were others doing the same thing. We would finally find one that was not stationary. Oh, that was major important! It had to go up and down and we had to be next to each other. We would get on and hold on tight waiting for the guy to start it going round and round. As it went around we felt the breeze blowing in our blond curls. We felt like we were the “stuff” looking over to see who was watching in the crowd of people. I saw mom and dad smiling, waving each time I went around. I can still hear the sounds of the music today. That must be the reason I was so spell bound at the mall yesterday. The music, laughter, the smiles, the kids running to find that special one to ride did make me think back to the days I was a child and how to have fun.

We need to stop neglecting the little child within us. We need to laugh more, explore more, discover what it’s like to have fun…… again!

Monday, June 27, 2011


This topic was brought to my attention years ago as I attended a Seminar, you might have been in attendance as well. It was in a large Public Arena, the conference speaker asks his elderly father to come to the platform to read a portion of scripture. As this man stood before us reading, you could tell in his voice he really desired what the words said. It was evident he had lived long enough in his seasoned life to know this was a need. It was so powerful to have this godly man have the honors of this moment. Everyone knew it was his desire to see all men get along with one another. As you read the following scripture, pretend you are back in that crowd with me. Now get the picture, the place was packed that day, seating thousands at full capacity. You could hear a pin drop, as he spoke these words. We all sat in total silence listening as He spoke with authority in a deep voice, with perfect enunciation as he read slowly the words of…..

Psalms 133: 1-3
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”

I feel a sense of soothing peace when I hear these words. You want that to… I can tell because you are still here reading. If you didn’t, you would have clicked off and surfed on to something else. I love reading David, I can relate to the things he faced. Through the Spirit of God David left behind these words to glean from.

We aren’t told when David wrote this Psalm, but it seems it might have been at a time of peace in his life and that of his nation. I would think that every person who has ever lived on planet earth would recognize the truth of this statement, so it makes you wonder why division rather than unity is the norm.

Webster defines unity as “1. To delay, to linger. 2. To abide, to remain, to continue. 3. …to live in a place.” The first definition really struck me; we usually think of this word in terms of the 3rd definition. It made me think of spending an evening with good friends we would stretch it out, starving for the fellowship, because we just didn’t want to end.

We usually think of “brethren” as referencing our relatives, which it does; but it can also be used to describe a group of people with something special in common. David had reason to appreciate it’s meaning fully in both aspects. His family was quite dysfunctional at times, and he definitely experienced difficult times with the people of Israel as a whole. When he finally did get to enjoy a time of “unity” in the family and/or nation, he knew that it was a time to enjoy and treasure.

Unity is one of the key points of concern that Jesus has for His family of faith. His prayer to the Father recorded in John 17 (which is one of my favorite passages in the Word) is quite clear in that regard.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Why is unity among the body of believers so important? The answer is given in verse 21 and 23—“that the world may believe that thou has sent me,” and “that they may be made perfect in one.” He even answers why the Father sent Him—to show His love for those that serve Him in faith, love and obedience.

Unity can be lived out daily in our homes and community. I hope you feel the same way as I do, wanting everyone to get along and enjoy life. I realize it is not a perfect world and we all are going to “knock heads” from time to time. But it can begin with you, is there someone you need to “give some space” maybe forgive? Think about it, ask Father to show you how you can resolve any conflict you might have with a brother or sister in family or community and I will too!...

Friday, June 24, 2011


Sometimes someone will say something to me solid, like built with a safety wall around it. It is called making a promise and I feel able to rest, just lay back and put my head down and sleep without a worry in the world. The Dictionary meaning of the word Promise is “an express assurance on which expectation is to be based: “Assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen”

Father reminded me this morning He will take care of me and I am not to worry about a thing. When I read this message, or let’s say this Promise, it gives me peace and rest. I can believe it because He said it to me and He is saying it to you….

Psalm 121:7-8 “The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

Oh What a Promise!!!.........Bask in that Promise today with His Hug as you listen to the words to this song knowing this is His song to you...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


........I will trust in WHOSE I AM! The following is a quote a pastor/teacher put out and it really spoke to me. He is gifted in teaching Identity Truths, and is transparent as he shares. I love it when someone shares something about himself or herself that makes good word pictures for the learner. We’re able to grow with it, like a step to climb on.

John Lynch said this….
“When I get freaked out my way home is this: "Wait, I know who I am. Whatever just happened does not define me. I'm not here, with God out there." All my weight is on this: Christ is in John Lynch! I've been totally fused with all of God to face this day. I'm not begging for God to come do something. I'm trusting He's already shown up in me! Then the pastel hues of home begin to form again in my heart.”

Whew! That’s good stuff! We can “hang with” that!!! My first thought when I read these words brought another thought to my mind and it’s the title of today’s post, WHEN MY EYES AND EARS LIE TO ME. I got that saying from my friend Linda, you remember, I wrote about her Jan 3rd 2011 in a post. She would say, “Remember, the enemy will try to put things out there and it will go through your ear gate or eye gate and try to move you off the Truth.” And I say, “If it is not the Truth, you will know it in your heart, thank You Holy Spirit!!! My thought process always goes to the next thought that seals it and puts a The End to it….The Truth is Always What God says No Matter How I Feel! Amen and Amen!

Today’s Truths you can take to the bank that’s for sure. Did you notice how many exclamation points I used today? Can you tell I am excited about this message? I KNOW IT WORKS!!!.... I have been there and done that…… IT WORKS!!!!… And remember You Know Whose You Are...I'll never forget the day my friend Judy introduced me to this song, it has The Truth in it..listen and wear it in Victory Today!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011


This week June 21st will be the first day of summer. Remember all the snow we had a few months back? Did you say words like me?... “I am tired of this white stuff , I WILL NOT complain about the summer heat”. Just heard the guy on the radio say today it will be 98 degrees “Ouch”! I love it, and it’s here.

What will happen on this first day of Summer called Summer Solstice? In the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice begins at 1:16 P.M. EDT. In the UK it will be 17:16 UTC.

Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning, "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky. As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. This has always interest me and I wonder how many people even stop and think of what happens on this day. Amazingly, God put all this together…Wow!!!

To jump start our Summer lets think of what it means personally to us. So what does summertime mean to you? Can you go back in your memory bank and draw out good things you cherish? I can! Here are a few of mine that make me feel good reviewing times of the past.....

• As a little girl I remember sitting on our front porch, the neighbors would gather after their workday until late unto the evening. You could listen to them discuss anything from “birthing babies to nuclear war” and they never figured it out.

• Listening to the oscillating fan at the foot of my bed made me sleep so well. The hum would put me to sleep, until daddy would come in and turn it off. "Had to keep the electric bill from going sky high", he would say. It would make me so mad but I knew I mustn't challenge him on it.
• I got excited when on a Saturday morning daddy would remove the inside of the windows from our kitchen windows for the summer. He would store them away until the first cool day in late Fall getting ready for winter to return.... again.
• Mama hung the clothes on the clothesline after she had washed them in her winger washing machine .........

..............and I knew when she was finished with the three rows I could run through them feeling it’s coolness as they dried in the wind.

• Waking up the morning of May 1st, that was the day mama would declare we could now go barefooted.
• I remember hurrying through my Saturday chores, because I knew when I finished I could go outside and play.
• I can smell the barbeque pit slow cooking a roast all the day on a Saturday for us to enjoy that evening as we gathered around as family. Wasn't funny though, when one time we looked at our dog Fido running down the yard with that roast in his mouth. He was in trouble! I wonder now if we had that meat that night? Never thought about that as a kid and I don't want to go there now.....
• Just the thought of walking to the swimming pool a mile away with my best friend makes me feel happy. I can smell the chlorine and hear the sounds of the screams as they splashed in the water.

• I can taste it now, Watermelon. I can hear mother say, “spread out the newspaper on this picnic table here”, then daddy would cut into a ripe one, you could hear the split. I couldn’t wait to be first to go for the sweetest part, the middle without seeds. I can feel the juice of that sweet taste running down my chin right now…

So what are your memories? I wished you were here on my porch with me rocking and laughing while we talked about your summertime past. We could enjoy a big glass of sweet Iced Tea waiting on that special day that starts it off...AHH SUMMERTIME! Let’s close our eyes and pretend….OK?

Friday, June 17, 2011


This Sunday is Father’s Day, families will gather to celebrate their Dads, have a meal together, give a gift with a selected card. My kids like to give the funny cards, trying to see who can find the best one. Our Amy is the “card queen”,she can make you laugh with hers! Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in many countries and on other days elsewhere. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers.

The first observance of Father's Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier in Monongah, West Virginia, on December 6, 1907, organized it. It's possible that Clayton was influenced by the first celebration of Mother's Day that same year, just a few miles away. Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently deceased father.

Hope you have plans to visit your Father. We're going to spend the weekend with our children, there will be lots of laughs, fun and Phillip's fine cooking on his Green Egg Cooker. It’s a fun time to finish the grilling, fix our plates with all the fixin’s and eat till we are full, then hear all the stories from the past. I know we will go away with our hearts full, being proud parents who have been loved through Mother’s day last month and now Father’s Day. To all the Dads out there enjoy your day and your children. God Bless you!!!

Just got to brag here, this picture was taken of our guys with their Dad last year! When these four get together it is a MACHO MEN"S MEETING you ought to hear them and see them it is quite a sight! I can't wait to see them honor their Dad again this Sunday! Maybe I will take some pictures, you know I like to take a few to put here..........

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


“Don’t sacrifice the future on the altar of the immediate”. I will always remember Phil in his Youth Pastor days telling our group of teenagers these words. Hopefully they heard what he taught them and they are living this out today as adults, and even sharing this very important principle with others.

This is heavy on my heart today, as I write to one of three precious souls who made bad choices and now is serving time in prison. When hearing back from them in a letter written on a plain piece of paper scribbled the best they can with the inside of a ball point pen, because of the limits of being under control of a system that is watching tightly over them, I feel their pain. Sometimes when I correspond it is all I can do to hold back tears, thinking how they are feeling, waiting to get some news from the outside world. I know there has to be thoughts of regret from their actions that “Sacrificed the future on the altar of the immediate”.

My flesh wants to “kick in” and say, “what were you thinking?” But I don’t say that because I choose to love them unconditionally, realizing by the Grace of God it could be me on that side. As I write I think of how this letter is being valued more than most of the ones I write to others. Without limits, I can sit with my laptop in my lap and zip out an email and in minutes get a response because of cyberspace. And even Skype friends near by or in other countries, which amazes me. In this case, I carefully write out my words telling of the latest news and anything this person would want to hear to keep them up with society. Then I mail it knowing it will be read by someone before my friend is allowed to have it. I will wait patiently for a response that will have to go through the same system to get it back to me.

Doesn’t this make you think how much we have in this life of freedom? Makes me want to be more responsible. Knowing each day and each moment the choices we make will determine our future, so we must stop and think what is this going to cost me?

Today’s thoughts are a little heavy compared to some of my post. I was just feeling someone out there needed this and I wanted to give something you could put in your “Life Suitcase” to use as you travel through this life. And I put this out to ask you to pray for my three friends as they serve out their sentences. Let this soak in, it sure makes you appreciate your freedom each day so…. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT…

Monday, June 13, 2011


That’s a quote from Yogie Berra’s many quotes. It says volumes; we use it with a laugh and say “well duhaaaa”. But it is so true when you think of this verse of Scripture I read today. Read over it and see what you think. It made me look around seeing things differently….Psalm 19:1-2 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge”.

I’m blessed to live in the mountains; all around you see these God created mountain majesties standing tall. Some have trails running across them, like the famous Appalachian Trail leading to the state of Maine. In the spring, these huge mounds turn a mint green as the leaves return on the bare trees of winter. You look forward to the days ahead as they turn a dark green in time for the summer months. In a few months the colors of fall appear, making you think those mountains have been decorated for a party before they leave for the winter months that come around again for a long nights rest. The heavens above are talking to us…. can you hear it?

If you were visiting our home, we would go out on the porch, find a rocker to get ready for the spectacular sunset of the evening. Its a display like you cannot imagine, with each night never being the same as the one before or ahead. You wait as the time gets closer, then it starts. Last night the sun was a big orange ball of light. I paused thinking; it had worked all day giving us daylight. The pictures shared here are for you to enjoy with me. The sky turned a pale blue with a light pink reflecting off the few clouds. As it set down over the ridges out before us, it lowered at a speed you think you can see, but it is as if it is not moving but before you know it, its gone. The sky will take on rays of brilliant colors illuminating off the clouds that lay out before you. Sometimes I feel like I can reach out and touch one. The show doesn’t end; as you look close you can begin to see airplanes going across the sky but you can’t hear them. The light from the setting sun will make a streak in the sky which is the condensation trail left behind jet aircrafts called Contrails. After all this surprise performance, you might see me stand and applaud saying, “Yay…. God You did good… again!” Read our verse again, slow down and be in the audience for the sunset tonight. Let it declare who He is…. WOW! Just think about it!!!…

Friday, June 10, 2011


I woke up this morning singing this song in my head it got my mind rolling. When I was a young child there was a song with these words I’M THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD. I would dream of wanting a prince charming to come my way and sweep me off my feet. I would visualize having kids playing happily in the yard. It was the “white picket fence thoughts” that came from watching the life of The Clever Family on TV I guess…

I thought, “You know I am the Happiest Girl In The World”. I have so much to be thankful for in my years on earth. I did get that prince he is more than a prince, a man who has loved me and is an example to other men, telling them how to love their wives. God gave us two wonderful boys who are making us proud parents; and DIL Amy is the daughter we never had. She and Phillip gave us our grandson Caeden, who has stolen our hearts. This is why I can say Life is Good and really mean it!

Father has blessed me; I give Him all the credit for the life I have. Being a believer for 43 years, it has been quite a ride. He has taken me up to the mountaintops and down in some valleys that were so long and dark, but He is always with me all the way. I hope as you read this you could say the same "I AM THE HAPPIEST GIRL OR GUY IN THE WORLD" join me as I end with another song to praise Him because …He is Our God…

Monday, June 6, 2011


When you leave someones presents do you walk away feeling refreshed, or do you leave feeling like something is wrong by what was said? Think about it, you can make a difference by the words that come from your mouth that will be long lasting. That is powerful!

Today I was reminded in Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey----sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” I had a funny thought, our words can be like the “sting of a bee” or “sweet like the honey the bee makes”. The question to myself, “which do I want to be”? Since this is true, I want my words to be like honey. Out there today, someone will need a kind word like honey that is sweet to the soul and healing the body. I am going out there and find someone now....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Woke up early today to birds singing and the sun coming up. It was 6:17am to be exact, as I looked at the clock over the bed. And it’s the first day of June...already!

Thinking back over these last 6 months of “speed bumps”, as one friend described it while she stood by me so faithfully, I saw how you can make it when you feel you can't go on. And I learned again the value of friendship...Oh what would we do without our friends in difficult times! You can read back in my post and see something in my writing was painful and to think about it, we all probably were facing challenges together just different sizes and colors but they all felt the same and they were all designed to grow and develop us.

As I was thinking through these thoughts, I went online to get my email finding that Gateway had sent out their verse of the day . Reading it caused me to feel good inside at the promise it gave. In my heart I reviewed what we had been through, and how we had seen others face their trials, my heart felt good reading today's words from His Word. I thought about how much He loves me/you and how He wants me/you to know that. Let this verse do the same for you……

Revelation 21: 2-4
I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”