Archives June 2023

I’ll Take My Future

“for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

mirror fragments on gray surface with the reflection of a person s arm

“Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black.” (Matthew 5:36)

“Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

In a recent article that I read about Tina Turner, it said at their divorce she gave her ex-husband everything she had. She said, “I’ll take my future.”

Another recent poem I read was titled “Every Woman Should Know.” There were several lines of what the author thought every woman should know. Some of the items I agreed with and some were a “well, maybe.” Here are a couple of thoughts to ponder on.


“That she can’t change the length of her calves,

The width of her hips,

or the nature of her parents..

That her childhood may not have been perfect…

But it’s over…”

And there you have it. There are some things every man should know as well, but I haven’t seen anyone expound on that field of expertise. And there are some things that every adult should know.

None of us can change our physical attributes by agonizing over them, or as the Bible calls it, ‘being anxious’ over them.

What are we anxious over? Today, outside my door the sun is beautiful, the birds are singing, and life looks pleasant. In my world, most things are going on as normal. I am blessed and I know and feel it.

I do wish that in the whole world, life was as beautiful. I wish there were no wars, nor rumors of wars. I wish there were no earthquakes, volcanoes, or crime… or the list of sins and sorrows is endless.

I wonder what most people would say the biggest sin is. There are many different sins in the world, however, like all diseases there is a root cause. And also like diseases in order to be cured the root cause needs to be addressed.

I don’t know the percentage, but I believe it is a large percentage of the sin problem is ingratitude—being ungrateful.

Perspective—where do you see the world? As the scriptures and the poem says there are some things you can’t change and to worry over them is fruitless.

If we carry the baggage of the good and evil people have done to us, or we perceive they have done to us, going forward is slow if it takes place at all. There is a time to realize it’s over.

I was twenty-eight when I found out my mother was dying. I had a cousin who had a long-standing feud with my mother. She called me to remind me how awful my mom had been and raged against her.

In defense of the situation, my mother hadn’t been a stellar mom. On the other hand, we all stand at a judgment seat of sorts. I was caught at a bad time, and I had to sort through a lot of life quickly and at a young age.

I set up a timeline of sorts or two columns. I was a Christian, married with five children. I believed in God and the scriptures, and we were using them as our guide—and still, we struggled to know our way.

My mother could attract men, she had four marriages by the time I was five. But there was a bitterness that would show up and destroy those relationships… indeed it destroyed all of her relationships as time went on.

It was sufficient for me to realize my mother at one stage in life was a young woman (as I was at that time) whose world had been turned upside down with the advent of World War Two. She had no Biblical basis for her life or her morality and was forced to fall back on secular teachings, and that was her world.

If my husband and I were floundering, searching for the path and we had scriptures, how could I expect my mother to be any different? This isn’t a tell-all here, just how I came to find a semblance of peace in my relationship.

Bitterness and heart wound—those two things together are difficult to overcome. Social media today can be a source of either encouragement or discouragement. It is important to take good advice for encouragement.

I’ve heard more often than I care to remember the idea that “My parents weren’t perfect. They did thus and so, and I had a miserable childhood.” These adults, grown-up children supposedly, have saved up a litany of things their parents should have done for them.

I’m sure there are people who have had a perfect childhood, but I don’t know any of them.

There is an interesting tool in a writer’s box, a new theory that all people at a young age have adopted a lie. The child must be five years old or younger and they for some reason have taken to their heart a lie about themselves as truth and they cannot be taught out of the lie.

I don’t believe you can prove or disprove this theory. People do believe lies, and they often carry those lies with them and won’t let go of the lies. Yet, I’ve seen people who have held long-standing erroneous beliefs and still correct their ways.

No matter how it gets there, at some point, the bad garbage needs to be jettisoned. It needs to be let go. Like blinders lifted from the eyes, in order to allow the beautiful sunlight of goodness, joy, and peace into the heart and life. No one is to blame for a person’s bad attitude except for the person.

That is how some people pick up their life even after a cataclysmic event and go on. Going back and reliving it won’t make it better.

Looking for someone to blame—that’s not a new game. For research purposes, I look for pieces written for and about Appalachian living. One man has done several videos in which he interviews old-timer residents. I began watching some of them, but… his focus appears to be one of picking apart and looking for the repugnant, or unpleasant subjects.

“We worked hard all day, hardly had anything to eat, life was miserable,” and so forth. There are other stories from people who grew up in the backwoods and told a different tale.

They admit they didn’t have running water, couldn’t run to the store for food, their food was cooked on a wood stove, and they had to work for what they had, but… They also ran barefoot in the grass, played in the creek, were thankful for their family, and enjoyed what they did have.

“And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And Jehovah God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12-13)

It has been summed up in the story of an alcoholic and his two sons. One son became an alcoholic and the other son became a successful businessman who never touched alcohol. When the sons were asked why, the first one replied, because of my father. The second one also replied, because of my father.

In both of the cases, it was personal choices that didn’t have much to do with the father, but it had a world to do with the individual.

Our modern-day world has as many flaws as it has had for centuries… we just know it faster. And communication has become worldwide. The populace, in general, can become knowledgeable in many ways for good or evil and very quickly.

The scriptures speak against believing a lie, but how do we know? Study the scriptures for Bible answers. Study life and make careful decisions according to scriptures.

Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15)

“Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:18-19)

Every Christian should know to study the scriptures to learn and know what is true and right. Every Christian should pray as they study.

A number of religious people talk about the “antichrist” that is supposed to come, but if they were reading their Bibles they would know there have been many antichrists since the beginning of the Church. They would also know these are the last days, that tomorrow may never come. And they would also know…

“At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation): giving no occasion of stumbling in anything, that our ministration be not blamed;” (2 Corinthians 6:2-3)

While the Storm Rages

“Concerning this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.


…And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

“Never regret anything that has happened in your life. It cannot be changed, undone, or forgotten. Take it as a lesson learned, and move on.”

The straw that throws a glitch in my mind doesn’t need to be a huge mountain of a problem it can be just something unexpected. No matter what a day may bring when we have those moments time moves forward and so must we.

Twenty-five years ago the guys liked to watch a science-fiction show. It may have been Star Trek or some such show. Nevertheless, the story got to the pivotal point and the crew were all standing in shock and horror saying, “Oh, no, what will we do now.” I always knew it was coming, and after that discovery, I found it lost its charm for me.

Not so with Louis L’Amour. Even when I would goad my boys with “You know the storyline. The main character rides into town, shoots twenty bad guys, rescues the town from the local big bully, and rides out with the girl.” And we would laugh but we continued reading his books. At least the names of the characters and of the towns changed.

Why does it seem as if life is more about the struggle than the victory? Stories spend two-thirds of their production building toward the crisis. Once the climax is reached the story has a quick resolution and it’s over.

Why doesn’t the story spend more time sitting on the porch? The porch could be interesting—Quite a few years ago I was teaching my children writing. One of the first lessons in writing is you need to begin with action. In order to emphasize this fact I began a story with no action. At least I tried.

“It was a hot summer’s day on Priney’s Mountain. It was so hot even Rufus, the golden retriever, just lay in the corner too overcome with heat to even pant. Jack Scott, the president of the Priney Mountain Exclusive Boys Club called the group to order and read off the roster of all seven members, including Rufus who barely whined when his name was called. It was just too hot…”

The problem was as a writer I couldn’t not put in action. The members of the club decided to steal one of “Old Grandpa MacDonald’s watermelons and of course, it went awry. Old man MacDonald was sitting on the porch, waiting for the miscreants. When they appeared he fired a load of rock salt as the scoundrels made off with a prize watermelon. The seven shysters crossed the creek with Fatty McBride bringing up the rear. All the activity raised the ire of Treacle, the notorious old snapping turtle, who caught Fatty by the back pocket, and took a ride hanging on the backside of Fatty’s britches…

So much for sitting on the porch. Even Grandpa MacDonald got in the action. And as a Christian writer, there has to be a moral learned and glory given to God… but I never finished that story and life is sometimes like that as well.

Life is not a straight line. On the headstone in the cemetery, there is a dash between the dates, but that isn’t the way it works in reality. Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. If a person practices wrong they will not come out perfect. And perhaps that’s why our line in life is so wavy.

Our communities and families are only as good as the principles of morality that the members live. We read about churches losing members. This isn’t good. It signifies a moral decay in our society.

Through the ages church attendance has waxed and waned. The society in which I was raised had enough religious training left that most people still believed in “following the ten commandments.” As children we were taught to be good and do good, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” and many other of Jesus’ teachings.

Years ago one of our children told of an offhand comment he made to some young people he had just met about his “Needing the patience of Job.” Since he came from a Bible background he didn’t realize not everyone would understand the reference, but they didn’t and that was twenty-five years ago. Since then the number of people who understand Biblical phrases has diminished. Future generations will fall much shorter at this rate. If current church attendance and worshipping God is any indication that is.

The winds are blowing both ways. Even those who aren’t strong in the Christian faith don’t like where countries—not just America—are going. However, much of the problem is people want to be secular moral. The term secular means “without God” and what those people miss is that without God there is no foundation for principled morality.

Two years ago my Adorable cousin’s husband forbade her to go to a school board meeting. One must remember we live in a sleepy, small-town, Midwest community. Adorable and I are well past sixty years old. Why would her hubby be adamantly against such a harmless activity?

That was the year the FBI was harassing people at school board meetings. Even old women who on occasion made public comments were targeted. And of all things it is in our family a major trait to speak up and speak out… A trait that Adorable and I share. We are not the only family members known for not always going along with the crowd.

And apparently, her hubby—who served with distinction in Viet Nam didn’t want the FBI breaking down their door in an early morning raid.

Yet, we must not lose sight of several things. The two most important points are, every century, every decade, indeed, every year has its storm. There will always be enough challenges for everyone to go around. I would like to believe it helps weed out the tares from the wheat, but it doesn’t. Being sincere is important, but like perfect practice not only should we be sincere we need to be right. It isn’t only worshipping God in Spirit, but also in Truth.

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

And, again, as the saying goes, “We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.”

“And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.” (Exodus 29:45-46)

What Tomorrow May Bring

“What man is he that desireth life, And loveth many days, that he may see good?”
(Psalms 34:12)

view of ocean during golden hour

There is a hymn that starts with the words: “I care not today what tomorrow may bring…” Yet no matter what our lips say, most of us really do care. We are hoping and praying for favor and grace from God.

“And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it be not to my sorrow! And God granted him that which he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)

At their high school graduation, one of our children received a small book, I believe the name of it was, “Prayer of Jabez”. It was a very popular book that year. I don’t remember how the book was set up but…

In scripture, we find the very short succinct “Prayer of Jabez” in I Chronicles 4:9-10. As far as I know, the name Jabez only occurs in I Chronicles 4:9-10 (and I Chronicles 2:55) in the scriptures.

Jabez bore the remembrance in scripture of being more honorable than his brethren. The next thing we are told is his mother named him Jabez, not because he was more honorable but because she bare him with sorrow. I don’t know what direction that sorrow took. It could have been a difficult labor and delivery, or it could have been something else, we are not enlightened on the circumstances.

We are told that he was more honorable, and he was also wise. He “called on the God of Israel” and he asked for God’s blessing: “keep me from evil and it be not to my sorrow.”

We don’t know who Jabez was, where he came from or where things went from there… Except, God granted him his request.

The point in my mind is to make your choices count.

In Gibeon Jehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. (1 Kings 3:5)

…And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (1 Kings 3:10-12)

Solomon’s request had been:  Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people? (1 Kings 3:9)

Give me an understanding heart… and just as the prayer of Jabez pleased the Lord, Solomon’s request pleased the Lord as well.

In a video I watched recently the speaker told how he enjoyed the preaching but the counseling wasn’t pleasant to him. He had developed one question that he always asked first in his counseling sessions.

His question was, “Do you read your Bible daily?” I lost the thread so I’m not sure where he went with the idea, but asking counsel of the Lord is always a good place to start.

However, no matter how often I read my Bible I still have questions, and I still need answers. The difficult part is when, after floundering and searching for “the answer” I make a decision and sometimes immediately or sometimes later down the stream of time, I see there was a better option that I should have taken, but I just didn’t see it.

I have called this the phenomenon of “Spending the same dollar twice.” It is a situation where I have two different options, maybe to buy one thing or maybe some other thing, and forgetting that I only have a limited amount of money I try to put it in both places. At least until I realize… “You can only spend that dollar once.” And most decisions once made can’t be unmade.

I have developed a card game which as of yet is unnamed. I thought about “Cowboy Solitaire” but I’m thinking of running a contest for the naming of the game. At one time my grandmother would play solitaire, and around the holidays I developed the habit of doing the same as a remembrance.

The thing I found about Solitaire was that it goes against my nature. There was a questionnaire years ago attempting to find what slot to peg people in. One question was… if you have the option would you choose as your partner in a card game, 1) your spouse 2) a woman friend, or 3) a man friend?

My choice is whichever partner guarantees that we win. Like Blackbeard in Disney’s “Blackbeard’s Ghost” (Peter Ustinov), “Win! I taught my men to win.” That’s my motto.

However, with Solitaire sometimes you win, sometimes the cat gets the game. With the game I developed the point is to win. I’ve tried to get my family to help me refine the game and get it saleable. I see it as a tool to help people gauge in their own lives decisions and how to evaluate choices.

I have been told that I have a unique way of looking at things. When people share that information with me they usually do so as they are putting some distance between themself and me, so I’m not thinking it’s a real compliment.

When evaluating information most of us have a set way we handle incoming facts and analysis. A few years ago, in our haywire world, I heard someone proposing that “men could get pregnant.”

As my granny used to say, “I’m a little old woman, just trying to get along.” Indeed, I’m not a spring chick anymore, and I must say this new information was shocking. As I ruminated on this idea, running the “what I knew to be physiology and what they were proposing” through my mind, I came to the natural conclusion…

Naw, that ain’t happening. And my “What universe do they live in?” kicked in. It isn’t quite fair to reach an age where the obvious truth is being pushed out and stupidity is replacing it.

This morning I’m sitting with my door open, listening to the birds and enjoying the fresh air. People can say all sorts of stupid things. They can believe all sorts of lies, but God is in heaven. The birds still build their nests and lay their eggs. Their babies hatch and they raise them. And the sun still rises and sets in the morning and the evening…

“Oh taste and see that Jehovah is good: Blessed is the man that taketh refuge in him.” (Psalms 34:8)

A Song of Ascents; of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, That ran down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard; That came down upon the skirt of his garments; Like the dew of Hermon, That cometh down upon the mountains of Zion: For there Jehovah commanded the blessing, Even life for evermore. (Psalms 133:1-3)