Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cold Blustery Day...

It is a cold wet day in Arkansas. It is 37 degrees but feels like 32* and the temp is dropping.
So on a cold day like this I need something warm and hearty to fill my belly.
How about Cheeseburger Soup.

1 lb ground meat
1 med onion (chopped)
2 cups cubed potatoes
1-14 oz. can beef broth
2 cups milk
3 T. all purpose flour
1 cup shredded American Cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
Salt and your choice of seasonings

Cook ground beef, drain and add potatoes, onion, broth and salt, pepper and seasonings of your choice.

Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are soft

Combine flour with 1/2 cup milk and stir. Add to meat mixture along with remaining milk.

Cook until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

Remove from heat and serve.

Onion rolls and caesar salad would complete this quick and wonderfully filling meal.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Strange Obsessions and Random Thoughts...

Did anyone find any deals out there yesterday? I did actually go out yesterday, but not to shop for Black Friday sales. I had to go to Best Buy to pick up Megan's laptop. The fan had gone out in it and it was still under warranty, thank God. So the Geek Squad called and said it was ready for pick up.

I also ran to Kroger to pick up some milk. So while I was out, alone, which rarely happens, I took the opportunity to sneak off to the Antique store and look around. I spent about an hour and a half just walking around drooling over things. Not literally, but in my head. I saw so many things that I would love to have to decorate a home with...if I had one, that is. Not that we don't have a home, just that we are leasing now, and know that we aren't staying here, in this house, much longer. One way or another we will be moving soon, hopefully.

Anyway, back to the drooling...I saw so many items, yes, things I really don't need, but would like to have to for decorating purposes.

Yes, I do recall that it was me that posted about things not bringing happiness, and downsizing and all of that, but I am still human and desire to have a nicely decorated place of abode. I don't HAVE to have those things, and I won't make a debt to have them, but you know how it is, after looking through magazines like Country Home, Cottage Living, Coastal Living, Country Living and Southern Living, you just want to fix up your nest.

Antique dishes especially catch my eye. I have recently developed an obsession with dishes and all things kitchen. I am hoping to get a new set of cookware soon. This is the set I am thinking about. They has a lifetime warranty and they are rated really well.

I have also developed an obsession with this:

It is a Jadite Green Milk Glass hobnail cake stand. Yes, a cake stand! I need a cake stand as much as I need cake. I DON'T need cake!! I look like I have had to much cake already! But that's for another post...can you say: New Years Resolution!

Back to the cake stand...isn't it a beauty? I just love the color. Can't you just see it sitting on a table with a beautiful, yet simply decorated cake. Maybe with a few berries on top...

Anyway, like I said, I have developed some strange obsessions as of late. Perhaps my age is showing? Oh well, maybe I will run across this cake stand at a Goodwill store or an estate sale and get a great deal on it. For now, I just can't justify paying the $60+ that they are asking for it on Ebay, (even though the shipping is free!). I don't bake that many cakes, or host that many luncheons that I NEED the cake stand.

It is just one of those little things that catch my eye, and I THINK I need, until I weigh it out and realize it is just another thing...

...another thing I would have to find a place to store when not in use...

...another thing I would have to clean...

...and just another thing to take up space in my already cramped kitchen...

So for now, I will just think how great it would look on those rare occasions that I am hosting a luncheon with friends and have a perfectly decorated cake sitting in the center of the table, and how everyone would ooh! and aah! over it...

WAKE UP!!!! Dream over...

It really is a pretty cake stand don't you think?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Photo's from Thanksgiving

I fixed turkey breast, oyster dressing, sweet potato casserolle, sweet peas, rolls, and chocolate-pecan pie. Throughout the day we munched on BBQ weinnes and cream cheese dip and crackers. So we were very full by the end of the day.

What a blessing that we had more then enough food for the five of us.

The kids sitting at the table just before lunch. Notice Noah's shirt. It tells the truth!

What a sweet sight. Noah loves his Meme. Only lately, he has started calling her Megan.

We had a great day together.

Lauren had some friends over for the evening. They played wii , and some board games. They raided the fridge and helped consume the left overs.

Which was perfectly fine with me, because I hate throwing out good food, and sometimes, there is just more than the five of us can consume.

Noah had a ball playing the wii with some of the guys. He got right in the middle of it all. When I told him it was time to go to bed, he said to them:

"Goodnight guys!"

They told him goodnight and he went to bed talking about "his friends".

A good ending to a great day for all!

Black Friday--Sales, Sales, Sales...

The sale papers flooded in yesterday. There was so many sale papers, there was hardly enough newspaper to hold them all inside. I looked through them with a non-chalantness, a stand-offishness, knowing that I wasn't going to get sucked in this year.

For years I have dragged my tired, turkey filled body out of bed before the newspaper even arrived. I have anticipated the great finds that would be for me to gather and bring home. All the money I would save by making this great sacrifice...I was compelled to go. I couldn't sleep in, I was so driven by the thought that there was a sale out there and I must hunt it down and make it mine!

But not this year. I have learned my lesson. It was all a gimmick, just to get us out and get the economy stimulated. The ads are just teasers...when you finally get to the store, wait in line and fight with other shoppers who are there hoping to find that one great item for virtually free...
you hear, "I am sorry, we just sold the last one." When the truth of the matter was, the store only had one or two of that "great sale item" in stock. And now they want you to shop around the store and spend money on items that aren't really on sale.

Okay, maybe I am a little jaded--Just a little! Anyway, I stayed up late last night, knowing that I could sleep in this morning. There was no tug or pull on me to rise at 4:00am and go out into the night to shop. So at 4:00 am this morning, I was snoozing away in my nice comfortable bed, dreaming dreams that didn't involve sales or shopping.

Today I plan to do a little house cleaning, some organizing and maybe then start thinking of doing some Christmas planning. But we just celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday. I want to bask in the warm glow of our Thankfulness a while longer and build up more resistance to the strong pull of consumerism that says we have to buy, buy more, buy, buy, buy...

Lauren gave me her Christmas list yesterday. I had her write down colors, sizes, prices, and places to purchase. It makes my job so much easier. Megan on the other hand...well she says that she wants an iphone or a horse...that's it, nothing else. I told her that where we live now, we of course, can't have a horse, but she insist that we could board it where she takes riding lessons. Yes, I suppose we could, if money were no issue. It cost $250 a month to board a horse.
And I don't know about you, but I can find better a better use for $250 a month in my budget. Besides, the only time she would get to see the horse is when she goes for her lessons, because it is about 25-30 miles from where we live, and with our busy schedules, going out there every few days would be impossible. So the horse is out.

Iphone...what can I say about a 13 year old with an iphone?

She has a perfectly fine cell phone with mp3 capabilities that we just purchased earlier this year. She isn't able to get an upgrade for another year or so. Even if she were-an iphone is not in play here.

I suppose I am just a simple kind of gal, and yes I have changed as I have gotten older. I use to feel like I needed to get my kids the latest and the best of everything. But as I get older, and my kids get older, I see that I was teaching my kids the wrong message. I should have taught them to be conservative and appreciate the value of the things that they already have, and not think they had to have the newest versions of everything.

I suppose they will learn that with time, and when they are paying for their own things. But God was merciful and gave me Noah at an older age, a more wiser age. So Noah will reap the benefit of my life-gain wisdom. Maybe with him I can have the opportunity to pass along some hard gained truths about trying to keep up with the latest and greatest, and maybe I can pass along to him the ability to see the advertising for what it really is...companies trying to make money--our money.

After reading the book, Your Money or your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, along with other books like Choosing Simplicity by Linda Breen Pierce, I have changed my views on possessions and what it means to be successful.

Happiness is the measure on which I choose to measure my life. Sitting quietly with myself, looking at my life and the person I am and feeling content and at peace with myself on a daily basis is a measure I use to determine if I have been a success. Obtaining things; houses, cars, clothes, toys, trinkets, and stuff; does not bring true happiness. Trust me, I have a garage full of stuff along with two storage sheds full and right now those things aren't bringing me a bit of happiness, just stress, trying to figure out what to do with it all...but I digress...

The other day, Megan, Noah and I had been to Noah's Gymboree class and when we got back in the car I realized that my vehicle was about 9 miles from rolling over to 100,000 miles. So I told the kids we were going to roll it over. So we drove around just trying to get to the 100,000 mile mark.

I drive a 1998 Ford Explorer that we got a couple of years ago, and it only had about 68,000 miles on it then. It is in great physical shape and aside from needing cleaning out and a good vacuuming, still looks good. We have had little work done to it and it runs great. If I can remember to keep the oil changed every 3,000 miles or so, it should run for many more miles. I plan to be the one putting those miles on it. Although there is a part of me that couvets a harvest moon beige, convertable Beetle Bug. But again, I digress...

I suppose the point I am trying to make is, years ago, I would have had a problem with this. I would have wanted a newer car. Something with all the latest gadgets and that great new car smell. But I love my Explorer, you know what I love most about it?

It is paid for; I don't have to pay car notes every month. I own it out right, it is mine!! It doesn't belong to the bank or some finance company that I have to pay to drive it. It is all mine!!

Each time I get in it, I start it up and I say a silent thank you God for MY car. In fact when I drive into the driveway, and I see Lauren's 2001 Toyota Solaria and Andrew's 2003 Ford F-150, and our 1998 Jeep all sitting in the driveway, I say a silent Thank you Lord for you blessings. Because they may be older, but they are all in great shape and they are all paid for in full! We owe nothing on any of them! God is Good, All the time!!

Several years ago, that wouldn't have happened for us, simply because we had a totally different prospective about things and the meaning of success. We had bought into the idea that success was measured by our things, but we learned the hard way that when your things own you, and not the other way around, then that isn't success at all. We want to own our things and not let our things control our lives. They are to be used for enjoyment, and to enhance our lives, not to have a noose around our necks forcing us to work long hours, or multiple jobs, stressing and worring about how to pay for it all. That takes all the enjoyment and pleasure from having anything. So we determined that we would become debt free. And with the exception of lingering student loan debt, we have done it. We owe for nothing more than our student loans.
Thank you God for you provision!

I don't know how this post got so out of hand. I started it just to say a bit about Black Friday shopping and here we are several paragraphs later. I suppose this is a subject that I feel strongly about and once I get started I have to make myself shut-up.

I suggest that you all get these books I have mentioned earlier. I put a link to each one on Amazon. You can get them used for less than $5.00 each. They are a great inspiration for anyone looking to simplify your life or just change your attitude about success and possessions.

Enough of this rambling today. Hope each of you has a great weekend and you remember to take time to enjoy some simple pleasures that life has to offer and you express gratitude and thankfulness every day.

Today's Thoughts
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak
~Hans Hofmann~

Enough is what would satisfy us if the neighbors didn't have more
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough
~Charles Dudley Warner~
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things
~Robert Brault~
Happiness is not having what you want. It is wanting what you have
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude
~Denis Waitley~
I will leave you with a funny thing that Noah said yesterday:
He was playing around, bumped his elbow and he was fretting when he came to me to kiss his Booboo.
After kissing it I asked,
"Did you hit your funny bone?"
He thought a minute and replied,
"No, I hit my sad bone."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

For This I Am Thankful...








little boy laughs

quiet time



free time

BBQ Recipe

This is a short post directed to the various family members that read my blog.

I am searching for Uncle Ford's BBQ Sauce recipe.

For those of the O'neal clan who recall with great fondness the summer BBQ's that were held at the O'neal homeplace and the BBQ pit that Uncle Ford cooked on, will also remember the taste of his BBQ sauce. It was his secret recipe and he would cook it up the day before in that little pot on the stove, then stand out by that big pit and mop on that BBQ sauce. Using that little mop of his.

I can smell that smell now!! I recall those times and would love to find the recipe for that sauce. We have looked around the homeplace, searching for it, but to no avail. It is ashame that we only think of these things after it is too late. I wish I had asked Mawmaw before she passed away. Anyway, if any of you know what his recipe was, please let me know and email it to me if you would.

God bless and thanks for reading my blog!!!
Hope each of you are having a great Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Getting ready for last minute Thanksgiving. Until yesterday it was assumed that we would be going to Tennessee for Thanksgiving. But due to some issues at Andrew's job, he had to be here today to see that some things got done, so we are staying here. That meant that I hit the stores yesterday to get things we needed to cook Thanksgiving dinner here. Today will be filled with preparations and cooking for tomorrow.

I know it may seem silly to go to all that trouble for just the five of us, but we have always had traditional Thanksgiving dinners no matter where we were. If we weren't going somewhere to be with family, which has happened more than not, I have always cooked a big dinner to have traditional Thanksgiving for just us. I want to carry on family traditions with my kids even if we don't have the large extended family to celebrate with during the holiday's.

Growing up, we had a large extended family that spent time together at my Grandma's house. My grandma was one of seven children and all but one married and had kids, so there were lots of uncles and aunts and cousins running around. It was a great way to grow up. I have such wonderful memories of family get togethers.

I hate so much that my children don't have those times to enjoy. Since my brother was killed over 15 years ago, and had no children, and my grandparents have passed away, there are only my parents left on my side. Yes, there are many extended family members, but times have changed and we are all scattered over the country, and lets be honest, we aren't close like we once were. Times have changed and each of us has our own nuclear families that we are involved with, and we rarely make time for others. I think that is just a symptom of larger social changes and issues that is shared by many in our country. We have become much more isolated from each other and are much more self centered than we once were.

Due to our moving around so much through the years, we haven't made strong social connections with people around us. We have in the past made family with friends, and there are some that we still stay in touch with, but we live so far apart that getting together is not always possible.

Many times we allow relationships to grow cold because we are so caught up in our day to day life--kind of "out of sight--out of mind". It is hard work to maintain relationships with people who aren't part of our daily routines. But so many times it is worth the effort. However, I find that it is a two way street. Unfortunately, both parties must see the need and desire the relationship. I find in my life, many times, because I am the one without siblings, I have tended to "need" the relationships more than the other person, who may have siblings, and other family. I am not saying this to elicit pity from anyone. I am just stating facts. If your life is full of other relationships, you may not "need" more. But for those of us who do not have that close family connections; those of us who don't have siblings, or who are not close to siblings due to other circumstances; we may need that connection more than others. It has to be a two-way need, or desire for the relationship to be maintained.

With all of that said, I have tried to maintain family traditions even if it were just our small family that Andrew and I have created. We believe in going all out to create those strong family traditions in our family so that the kids will grow up with memories of their own.

Tomorrow's menu is as follows:

Homemade cornbread dressings
Sweet peas
Sweet potato casserole
Pecan pie
We also plan to spend the next few days just relaxing and enjoying our time together. God has blessed us and life is good. We have so many things to be thankful for this year. I hope to spend time recalling God's blessings in our lives and give Him glory for everything. I hope in your busy schedule of preparations for Thanksgiving you will take time to enjoy the goodness of God in your life. That you will be grateful for those people God has brought into your life and let them know how special they are to you.
God bless each of you and may you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving season.
Today's Thoughts
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful until to him, and bless his name.
~Psalm 100:4~
None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.
~Fred De Witt Van Amburgh~
Families are like fudge... mostly sweet with a few nuts.
~Author Unknown~
I think people that have a brother or sister don't realize how lucky they are. Sure, they fight a lot, but to know that there's always somebody there, somebody that's family.
~Trey Parker~
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beattie~
Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends.
~Courtland Milloy~
And for a little humor in it all:
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Carolina on my mind...

There is a reason why Carolina is on my mind...
but I can't say right now.
I know that isn't at all fair to say something like that
and not be able to elaborate...but that is just how it is right now.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Andrew gave me a birthday gift tonight. Although my birthday isn't until tomorrow, I suppose he thought it would make me having to get up and go to work on my birthday easier...

Guess what I got....

A three hour Spa Package! It includes an hour long massage!! I am trembling at the thought of an uninterrupted hour of massage!!! It also includes a facial and a pedicure. Wow! I can't wait to go cash in my gift card on this package!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time for a rant...

Yesterday I did something that at one time in my life would have been unthinkable...

Something that would have embarrassed my girls, had they been with me.

Noah was with me, but at three, didn't realize that there was cause for embarrassment....

I took Noah for his three year checkup and while I was in that area, decided to go to a new Walmart near there.

I had clipped some coupons and printed some from the computer...

I did my shopping, took my half-filled buggy to the check-out

I got in line, put my items on the conveyer belt...

After having all my items scanned, I handed her my coupons...

She pulled out the clipped ones and returned the ones printed from the internet...

She said they weren't allowed to take them..

I asked to speak with someone about it...

A CSM walked over and I told her the situation, she looked at the coupons and said that they couldn't take them because people had been faking coupons...

So I asked to speak with a manager....

I waited...



Finally a manager of some sorts walked up and asked what the problem was...

I explained the situation and that I use them in other stores and she said that she couldn't take them...

So I reached in the buggy, where my groceries were neatly placed in my reusable bags, and I began taking the groceries out of the bags...

I put them back into the buggy and said to the cashier and manager that I would leave the groceries in the buggy. If they couldn't take the coupons, I would shop in a store that would.

I told them that Kroger takes the coupons, so they would get my business from now on...

I took my bags and my purse, I picked up Noah and walked out!!!

I will NOT spend any more of my hard earned money in that store!!

I took Megan the her orthodontics appointment yesterday evening, and afterward went to the Walmart where I usually shop...

When I walked in, I asked the CSM if they took coupons printed from the internet. She said as long as they scan properly they will take them...

I picked up the items I needed, and took them to the register

Without any question, the cashier scanned my coupons and gave me my total.

I paid, thanked her and walked out, feeling much better about my Walmart shopping experience...

Kroger and that Walmart store will get my money from now on!!

I think more people should have the courage to stand up against things that aren't right. Vote with your money. Spend your money where you are treated with respect. A place that will remember the old adage in retail:

"The customer is always right"

I am giving them my money, so in return they must be willing to make things easier for me as a consumer. Gone are the days of thinking that they are doing us a favor...

We are the reason they are in business, and there are many places to chose from. Some places have gotten to big for their own good, and think they don't have to please the consumer any more.

But I am going to spend my money where I am treated well and not talked to and treated like I am a criminal that is trying to rip them off...

I am sure they have people like that, but I am not one of them, and don't feel I should be punished because there are a few moral deficient people in this world.

Okay, enough rant for today!

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important
whether I am afraid. ~

Audre Lorde~

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to
step out of our ruts and start searching for different
ways or truer answers.

~M. Scott Peck~

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot
hear what you say.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Okay, so I have used coupons a lot through the years. No big deal, right? Sometimes I would save a few dollars on my grocery bill and I thought I was really doing something.

But when I read this blog and this blog with all of those who commented on their savings, I began to think that maybe there was much more to couponing than I understood. So I began to read, and study and this is what I did..

Kroger is having a Mega deal event this week and next. If you buy 10 of selected items, you get $5.00 off the purchase. Kroger also doubles coupons up to 55 cents,(that's $1.10). So I had coupons on all these items. I got these 10 items for a grand total of ...are you ready?

I got
4 boxes of Quaker Oats,
1- 3 liter bottle of water,
2 boxes Betty Crocker scalloped and Au Gratin potatoes
1 package Betty Crocker Triple chunk chocolate chip cookie mix
2-24 boxes of Tylenol extra strength
That is 10 items
I paid....$4.13!!!!
I was so pumped! I have never saved that much on anything before!
I was hooked. I am like a crack addict looking for my next fix!

Here it is. The water was free and the tylenol was also free with coupons and the money back after buying the 1o items. $4.13!! Wow!

So I go to another Kroger store today, because the one I went to yesterday didn't have some of the items I wanted. So today this is what I got. Minus the items listed earlier.


Today's haul was great. I got:
1-4 roll Cottenelle tissue- .29 cents!
1-2 liter DrPepper
1-2 liter Big K Ginger Ale
1-64 oz Welch white grape juice
4 cans condensed soup
2 cans carnation cream
16 slices kraft cheese
1 can Pringles
3 cans Chef Boyardee
1-package Betty Crocker Chocolate chunk cookie mix (in addition to the one I got yesterday)
1 box Duncan Hines brownie mix
3 boxes Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix
2 Peter Pan peanut butter
4 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal .40 cents a box!!!!
1-box Ritz crackers
2 boxes Pilsbury Toaster strudels
1 bag Totinos Pizza rolls
2 kroger chili envelopes (seasoning)
1 bag Fritos
1 bag Chili Cheese Fritos
1 bag Cheetos
5 cans kroger brand sliced potatoes
With the $10.00 off because of buying 20 of the items and with the coupons I had the total for today's shopping trip was.....
I am so into this now!!
I can't wait to go back to save more money!
I am a crazy woman. I am so excited!! I use to dread going grocery shopping, now I want to go everyday just to see how much money I don't spend!!

My total savings from both trips was.....

If anyone out there doesn't use coupons, and you get them in the mail or in your newspaper, I would be glad to take them off your hands...
Just let me know and I will send you SASE's and you can just drop them in the mail to me!!
Here are a couple of cute quotes about money to end this post. Enjoy!

If more of us thought in these terms, we would have much less junk in our homes and much more happiness in our lives!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Intercessory Prayer

This was an excerpt from an article written by Rev. Martyn Ballestero Sr.
Bro. Ballestero preached for us last night and is preaching for us this weekend.

This is pretty long, but well worth the time. Unfortunately the message is true. As a church and as children of God, we must bring back old time prayer. We are moving in the wrong direction. In the world we live in, we should be moving toward God and trying to get as close as possible to Him, instead, we are filling our lives with everything else. No wonder we have such empty lives and live so far below what God intended. God help me, I know my prayer life isn't where it should be, help me to desire more time with you in prayer.

Bring back Old Time Prayer!!

Intercessory Prayer, We Miss You!
This is just a line to let you know how things are since you’ve gone. It’s not the same without you, nor will it ever be. Although our lives seem shallow and empty when you’re not here, we’ve learned to make up for you in other ways. We’ve learned to live without you.

We now run the aisles, leap for joy, jig to the music, sing catchy choruses, and tap our feet in time to the rhythm of the drums. We use sticks, banners, black lights and our sign teams do a tremendous job acting out recorded music. We’ve learned to worship without you.

The prayer rooms are mostly silent now. Those that do go there, for the most part, come away dry-eyed. A lot of praying now is chanting and singsong style. That’s how we know we’re in the groove. We pray memorized phrases that come automatically. We love what we call Prayer Walks. Most of us don’t even close our eyes anymore during prayer. We just walk and pray while we look around. We pray because it is required.

No one prays till they break through anymore. We just pray till our ten minutes are up...
Oh sure, we still believe in prayer, as such. But not very many of us are anxious for you to come back. (You were always the polite type, you know, never forcing yourself on anyone. You never came uninvited. You only left because you were ignored.)

The sad truth is you’re not really needed anymore. You see, most of us have hospitalization insurance now. (It sure takes away that old desperate feeling we use to have.) So now, there’s no need to pray more than the few minutes it takes to drive to the Emergency Room. Also, we don’t have to ask for our daily bread like we used to. We now have better jobs with good benefits and government programs to fall back on...

We are having revivals now without you. It’s not hard. The pastor fasts and prays, along with a couple others. The evangelist preaches mostly just to sinners now. Most of us try to get to church in time for the first song or two. We justify the fact that the number of new converts is down. Yes, there seems to be diminished conviction, less lasting victory, fewer miracles and many young people are backsliding. We agree, however, that it’s not us that are at fault here; it’s just the times we’re living in. It’s like this everywhere.

As your friend, I’m writing this to you, knowing how much it must hurt you to have folks say they miss you… and yet in their material and intellectual progress, they’ve weaned themselves away from the haunting memory of you.

What hurts, I know, is that we were children you personally raised. You were always there when we needed you. (But now… we don’t.) You taught us about faith. You taught us about miracles. You taught us about a move of God. You taught us about revival. You taught us about how to touch God. Thank you for that, but you see, this is a new day and we are trying to go to the next level. Our services are structured differently now.

Do you know… can you believe, that now when you are ever mentioned in church, everyone gets real quite? They all feel guilty I’m sure. It’s like they experience a momentary twinge of guilt while they consider their part in your disappearance. Once in awhile some even get misty eyed when we talk about the old times you shared with us. But all that feeling vanishes along with the pizza right after church.

No, Intercessory Prayer, your coming back really wouldn’t work right now. We’re too blessed. We’re doing too well. We’re comfortable. In your day, you served your purpose, but the sentiment of most today is that we can manage OK without you now. We’ve got better clothes, cars, homes and prettier and bigger churches than ever...

You would be proud of our church buildings. Carpet on the floors, there are pews now instead of benches and they are padded too, besides. The arched beam are beautiful, we also have the loveliest of imported chandeliers. Our pastor has polish too. He doesn’t preach long. We are more concerned about sermon length now, than content. Our pastor spices up his sermons with cute sayings… but I guess that’s progress for you. “Win some, lose some.”

Speaking of “lose some”, we’re losing a surprising percentage of our young people. An unbelievable number of marriages have gone on the rocks. Many lives have been in jeopardy. But that’s to be expected I guess. Teenagers seem to be at war with their parents and want to dress more and more like the kids at the public school. Our youth meetings may not have much in the way of prayer, but we have great icebreakers, skits and games.

We have plenty of medicines nowadays to help our aches and pains. What more could we ask for? Sure we miss you, but I guess we really don’t NEED you right now.

I hope you’re not offended. I don’t mean for you to be. You’ll always have a special place in my memory. You were very kind and generous to me. You sure got me out of some hard times. I can’t thank you enough!

Still, this is a generation now that doesn’t know you at all. Your coming would probably scare them...
A good many never got to know you well. And most never knew you at all. Those that knew you personally have waited so long to talk to you that they are now, to say the least, embarrassed.

So while we are trying to work out our feelings about you, and see where you might fit into our plans in the future, you might try your luck someplace else. Try Brazil, Ethiopia, or how about the Philippines? You might have better luck in Third World Countries, or behind the iron Curtain. You might even luck out and find someone to talk to you in some little storefront on the other side of the tacks. Surely someone somewhere needs you.

We’re terribly sorry, Intercessory Prayer, we miss you, but we really don’t NEED you… right now!
(excerpted from a piece written by Reverend Martyn Ballestero, Sr.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things I Cried About Today

Tonight I cried. I cried for McCain/Palin, I cried for myself, but mostly I cried for America. This is truly a sad day in our world...

I feel like Jesus must have felt when in Luke 19 he wept over the city.

41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it...
I pray for God's mercy upon our country.

God help us all!


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