Thursday, June 25, 2009

Camping Trip

This blog will be silent for a week or so.

I'm going to be in and out for awhile as we go on a camping trip to he Buffalo River. A place of my annual vacations and certainly a formative part of my life.

This week will bring sunburns, "skeeto" bites, huge breakfasts, inner tube floats, good reading, hammock time, fierce wahoo tournaments, good memories, deep sadness over Jae's absence, worry over mom as she misses her lover of 60 years and the patriarch of the river rats, long discussions of theology, and a milestone birthday for this old gal.

I'll miss you and will let you know if anything exciting happens (as it often does).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Working On Completion

Here's something that the great theologian Charles Stanley wrote:

God does not place needs in our lives so that we will be incomplete human beings. Pain exists to compel us to seek Him and rely on Him so that we can be whole.
Our needs actually become our potential.
They are the starting point for our accomplishments.

How about that?
Ole Chuck's message is not a popular one at all now is it?

I used to exhaust myself daily grappling with the very notion that God places things in our lives to cause us pain. In fact, according to Charles Stanley, we are actually incomplete without trials, needs and pain.
Actually,..I think Charles Stanley stole the idea from Jesus:

James 1:2
Count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that
the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have it's perfect work,
that you may be made perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

I think that God does not mind us exhausting ourselves grappling trying to figure things out, because the very next verse promises us that if we ask Him for wisdom, He will give it to us.
His requirement is huge however: We must request the wisdom "in faith".

In Faith?
What's that mean?
So we are to...Count it a joyous thing for troubles,.....ask for wisdom.... in faith... while we hurt?

It's been my experience that we can feel like an utter failure as we flounder around feeling faithless, joyless and "ignert" in our painful circumstances.
God finds us right there in the middle of our mess and somehow redeems our circumstances into something of worth.
He's building something perfect in us.

I'm not saying I've enjoyed the process.
Nope. Not at all.
But I am saying that the process is effective.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Of all the blessings God has lavished on me, making me the daughter of Louis Anderson Jeffers was one of the best.
Memories of...
** family devotions in his and mom's bed.
**sleeping in the middle.
**when the middle got too crowded, I would crawl over him and nestle in front of him as he lay on his side.
** his advice when my heart was broken over Eddie in high school.
**Pulling me in my inner tube in the Buffalo river.
**Working along side of Uncle Tom in our garden.
**him flying up the flying up the driveway in a mail jeep after work. Mom would have his clothes all laid out so he could shower, change, and head off to a revival somewhere across Arkansas.
**Family singings with him leading us in "the blues".
**No one could play the big man Martin guitar like he could.
**His words to me right before he escorted me down the aisle to Ralph ("honey, are you sure you want to do this? I'll take you home right now if you tell me too")
**Flexing his huge biceps
Ahhh....there's just too many to name! I know you understand.

But by far, one of his most lasting legacies for my brothers and I was daddy's passion for music. He immersed us in all kinds of music, not necessarily so we would love it, but more because he loved it. We sang (and still do) in church, we sang in the car, in the garden, on vacations, we sang in bed, we sang at all of our family celebrations and we sang when our hearts were broken.

Little by little, time goes by.
Short if you sing, long if you sigh.
Note by note, life's music plays on.
The song's always changing, but it's never gone.

Daddy's song continues here with us, and I am confident it continues loud and strong in Heaven. I can hardly wait to hear it again......

Friday, June 19, 2009

Boldness and Possessions

Woke up this morning wanting to be inspired by my bible study. It seems that most of my huge memorable inspirational quiet times have been from the New Testament so I began to browse through there and just durn near piddled away all my time!
Finally settled on Acts.
Act 4:23 - the rest of chapter.

The apostles had just been in big trouble with the Jewish church leaders, and after being released, they ran to their companions to share their experiences.
Did they whine?
Did they gripe?
Did they shake their heads at the "state of the nation" or "the condition of the church"?
No. They did not.

They were utterly and completely emboldened more than they had ever been before!
Not only did they erupt in spontaneous praise and prayer, this moment began a spirit of giving of their possessions to further the work of the Kingdom.

They prayed for more boldness to speak.
They asked for more strength to endure the trials.
They did not ask for God to change their circumstances, because they had a keen understanding that God often uses evil to bring about His purposes. (v 27-28).


Acts 4 is not really a comforting word for us believers today.
I don't know about you, but I find that my plans are to keep myself from evil, to avoid trials and pain, to save and invest wisely so I can acquire more money and then,.......I will try to speak boldly for God.
Sell my land, my crazy old rent houses, my home place, liquidate my teensy savings and then give all my stuff away?
What would you think of me?
What would I think of you if you did all of that?
I think that we would have very few supporters.

We all agree to live like that would free us to live by Faith, but I personally don't think I know of a single Christian who lives like this.

Yet,...I think it's scriptural.
God has so much work to do in me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Storms and Friends

Our original plans for Friday night was to host two
Christian Rock bands (Thalan and Shatter me)
in our homes as they passed through from one gig to another.
The storms, however, changed our plans.

The bands were delayed in North Arkansas due to the weather,
and then the weather worsened here and knocked out the power
at the place where they were to play.
The event organizers sent them on down the road to
Texas where they will perform tonight.

Abby was very disappointed :) that the
young rock bands did not get to stay the night here.
So was I.
I can not tell you how much food we bought to feed 8 young men.

Back to the storm...
We have some rental property about a mile from our home
and this is what happened to it.....

But you see,...
The biggest part of this story is that within 15 minutes of Ralph climbing on top of the roof with his chainsaw, there was about 15 other friends
who arrived with their chainsaws, truck and trailers to lend a hand.

After about two hours, the tree was cleaned and GONE.
It would have taken him days to do it alone.

Below is Cullen.
He was the youngest worker and is the son and grandson of beloved friends.
Cullen didn't haul much wood but he made great entertainment
splashing around in his frog boots
with his hands in his little pockets.

Storms come and go in our lives.
The damage is not lessened by the presence of friends,
but having them is such an encouragement.
Ralph almost wept as he thanked our neighbors
for their show of love.

How sad for the people who are not rich in friends.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


If you can not run with the footmen, then how will you keep up with horses?
And if you can't not survive in the land of peace, then how in the world will you survive a flood?
Jeremiah 12:5

I came to really love the prophet Jeremiah in the winter of 2004. He was profiled in a sermon preached by Bro. Craig Loibner (Fellowship church in North Little Rock) and it ministered to me like no other sermon has ever done. At that particular moment in my life, I was still deeply overwhelmed by the pain of Jae's death and also barely surviving spiritually after Ralph, the girls and I had been unofficially booted out of our home church.

I'm not kiddin.
I didn't know which way was up.

Bro Craig's sermon covered the book of Jeremiah wide open from one end of the book to the other in a span of about 30 minutes!
And the words he preached that morning were like water to my parched thirsty soul.
The lesson was healing,..soothing,.....full of mercy and grace for my hurting heart.
I walked out feeling hopeful that God still had His eyes on me.

I am studying Jeremiah this month.

I really have not ever seriously gone back to the book since that one sermon a few years ago.
The things I'm learning this month are just as fascinating, but are so very different from the things I drew from it through Bro. Craig.

The lessons for me at this point in my life are not ones which deal with brokenness, yet, I will never forget feeling that way.

Is anybody out there feeling lost and covered flat up with hurt and despair? I'm so sorry and want to tell you to hang on.
The world and this culture tells us that our worth is often dependent on the amount of influence we have.
Not so.
God's definition of success is dependent on our faithfulness and our obedience to Him.

You are not alone.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Good Plans

Got my girls on my mind.

She's at a new church camp (Camp Windemere in Missouri) which our church has never gone to before. She didn't much want to go to this one because she's enjoyed Mission-Fuge so much the past few years. Levi, bless his heart, put up with intense pressure from the teens to switch camps and go back to Mission-fuge for the millionth year.
Since when did the kids get to thinking they could pick their own church camp?
Did you get to choose your church camp?
When you and I were kids, we went out and got on the bus to go wherever we were told to go.

Anyway. I want her to come back a world-changer.
That was my "charge" to her. "Make 100 new friends and come back as a world-changer."
That's a good plan.
I think I'll try to do that myself this week.

I'm also worried about
She's done an extreme amount of growing up during these weeks in North Carolina. Ralph and I can just tell she is thinking differently than she has before. I've been scared to death, but still am confident that this trip has been a good thing for her.
She's still a server and evidently the Texas Roadhouse in North Carolina does not do the same business as here in Arkansas. She'd starve to death on the money she is making there. Last night, a group of 24 (TWENTY FOUR) women came in and as company policy dictates, Casey had to ask if she could put the automatic gratuity on the tab.
This particular large group said "No".
The grown-up mean girls left her $4.
I have prayed terrible things on each one of their heads.

She is also dealing with roommates that are trying to raise her rent, they smoke weed daily, drink beer for breakfast, lunch and dinner and... AAANNNNDDD.... they have that inside cat.
I told her that it was just too too much.
Just too much.
Under no circumstances should she ever live with a cat!

She passed a yard sale the other day and bought a surf board.
That'll be way useful in Fayetteville. (hee hee)

I think since her good friends on the Razorback Baseball Team have now made it to the college world series, she just may leave N.C. and her Craig's list roommates and head to Omaha to watch them play.
That's a good plan.
Maybe I'll try to do that too.

Jae Lynn
is never out of my mind.
It's like I'm living life with a large black spot in my vision.
No matter which direction I look, I see it everywhere I turn.
Life is certainly good, but it also feels very wrong.
A deep nagging dissatisfaction.
I want to know Jae Lynn as an adult.
I don't want to go on vacation without her.
I wanted my future family get-togethers to be of three daughters with three sons-in-laws.
I wanted to take care of her children.
Instead I must picture her in Heaven, which is still such a mystery to me.
How can she be "gone" from here?
Where is "there"?

Can you imagine your child "gone" and "there"?
You can not.
It's my reality, yet I can't comprehend it.

Now that's a good plan.
"As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied only when I awake in Your likeness"
Psalm 17:15

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Night To Remember

The other day at work, several of us were discussing the "best vacation we ever took".
Hhmmm.....let's see,...Buffalo River? always good, but too familiar to be exciting.
Ahhhh. Now that one ranks up there with my all time favorite memories.

But I have to say, my most favorite one of all would be the summer of 1997.

That vacation was when we decided to grant Casey's request (she was 9 yrs old) and go "see some Indians" for a summer vacation.
I did a little research and found a Pow-Wow in Oklahoma for the Sac-Fox tribe.
Now, I had never heard of the Sac-Fox Indian tribe before, but the Oklahoma tourist guide boasted of a gigantic Indian festival full of authentic American Indian food, singing and dancing. From there, we planned a road trip to San Antonio, Texas to see cowboy stuff,.....i.e...the Alamo.

Packed up our trusty blue Dodge caravan and headed West.

The Indian Pow-Wow tourist guide gave times of the various events, but we quickly learned that the Sac-Fox tribe scoffs at schedules.
We also suspected that the Sac-Fox tribe were not consulted about having their Pow-Wow advertised in the Oklahoma tourist guide.
They were suspicious of us, blunt and even rude for pretty much the whole day. I'm pretty sure that we were the only ones there who were not Indian. (Although Casey was convinced she was indeed "one of them")
We stayed anyway. Even though I was intimidated all frazzlin day long.
Just told the girls it was "their culture".
I don't know, maybe it was.

The day was incredibly interesting and entertaining, but the temperature was in the 100's and we had no shelter.
As the festivities pow-wow appeared to be working into an all night deal, we decided to leave. The waiting, the heat and the lack of good food had us all looking forward to a hotel room somewhere, but the minute we climbed into the car to belt the girls in, they each fell asleep leaning all over each other.

Ralph and I pointed the car toward San Antonio and drove for hours.
Midnight came and went as we passed hundred "No Vacancy" signs.
We didn't care.
We had the windows rolled down, a little bit of money in our pockets, fun behind us, days of fun in front of us and our most treasured gifts from God sleeping in little Indian outfits behind us.

It was one of the best nights of my life.