To me, OMG stands for Oh, My Goodness!. My husband and I became full-time RV’ers seventeen years ago. We had a tw0-weekend yard sale, packed up the stuff we wanted to keep for later years to give to the kids in boxes, and took it to a relative’s house. We are at that house now, opening boxes that have been in a storage shed, going through things, and throwing much of it away.
But then there are those treasures. You know, the photographs you never wrote on the back of, but they bring back fond memories. There is a box with the set of dishes my my parents got for me to take to business school (44 years ago). There are handmade curtains I can no longer use, afghans I had made, gifts that had been given to us, keepsakes from long ago travels.
Memory Lane is such a sweet place. I love my life now but reading back over signatures from my JUNIOR HIGH autograph pages, and my senior memories book and yearbook bring tears of joy as I look back in time. Not all of my school days were happy ones; in fact many were not, but they helped mold and make me who and what I am today. I am grateful and wistful. Some things are wonderful, sweet memories, and others are reminders that I’m glad to be the age I am now.
If you are one of those many people who have been bullied in school, take heart. It’s tough; it’s cruel; but it is training ground for who you want to be. It isn’t easy to ignore the hurts and frustrations, but please, for your own sake, do try. Ignore the taunting. Ten years from now they won’t remember why they picked on you. The bullies will have moved away, or you will, and life will go on, and you will have grown more confident and bolder from the experience. You will learn where your strengths are and they will guide you to fulfillment. My favorite phrase in the Bible is “it came to pass,” because that means it didn’t come to stay. Life is a journey with valleys and mountains, sunshine and rain. We need them all. Keep pressing forward. Never give up your dreams. You’ll be glad you did some day. I know from experience.
First, make sure the child hears you complain about how tied down you feel, how having a child has ruined your life. You can’t go out with friends and have fun anymore.
Second, criticize the child at every opportunity. Verbal abuse is very effective.
Third, let him (or her) have to fend for himself at as early an age as possible. Be sure to punish him if he makes a mess.
Never reward good behavior.
Don’t give him any attention unless it is negative.
Tell him he’s useless and stupid. Do this several times a day.
Make him feel unwanted and unloved.
If you do these things, unless God intervenes in his life, he will grow up angry at the world and become a sociopath–someone without a conscience. You could be his first murder victim.
Not every child who grows up like this turns out to be a criminal, but they will definitely need counseling in order to be able to have any kind of healthy relationship with anyone.
Tell me what you think.
This was my first novel, published by America Star in 2001. Available in paperback from Barnes and Noble’s website.
Drip. . .plop. . . drip. . . plop. . . drippping, dripping from unseen limestone icicles, into unseen pools–drip. . . drip. . . drip. . . dripping on my head, down my neck, creeping slowly down my back. Shivering. Can’t stop shivering. Shrieks. Bats? Rats? Odious smell of vermin. The sense of tiny creeping cave dwellers. Rocks. Cold, steely hard, slimy rocks. Never been so alone. Don’t know how long I’ve been here. Afraid to move. Afraid I’ll fall down the pit. can’t think clearly. Darkness. Cool, clammy, black nothingness. Can’t see the rocks! Can’t see the path! Can’t see my feet! Can’t see my hand in front of my face! I’ll never find my way out of here!
“Martin, will you saddle Arctic Sun for me, please? I have to go back to the house and pack my things. I’m sure you heard my exchange with Mr. Smithers. I’m terribly sorry Victoria kicked you,” she said looking down at the ground. Fawn gnawed at the inside corner of her jaw a moment before continuing, “For some reason, today I didn’t have any control over her at all. Are you all right, Martin?”
“Ah, sure and no harm done,” he said in his broad Irish accent. “P’rhaps I’ll be needin’ to wear shin guards from now on though,” he chuckled. Then he turned to concern for Fawn.
“I’m sorry you got let go like that. ‘Tain’t right. What that young ‘un needs is a good sound paddlin’. . .Well, I s’pose I shouldn’ta said that, but truth’s truth. I hope you can find another post and next time with nice folks.”
“Thank you, Martin. You have been a good friend. I guess I’d better get my things together. You take care now.”
The enormity of Mr Smithers’s words stung as Fawn turned them over in her mind. How dare he accuse me of being incompetent without a hearing? He sure has some nerve, saying the only reason he took me in was as a debt of friendship to my parents, she thought as she stomped back to the house in a blind rage. Fawn gathered her things and went back to the stable to retrieve her horse. Mr. Jacob Wallace Smithers has not heard the last of me, she thought.
Leading Arctic Sun out of the stable, recounting her troubles, Fawn literally walked into a well-dressed young man in a camel brown tweed suit. Joel Taney heard Fawn telling her horse, “You’re lucky, Sun. No once can accuse you of things you haven’t done and find ways to insult you bcause they’ve been kind to you in their own eyes. Let’s go home so I can tell Nanna what happened. Tomorrow I’ll find a lwayer and take that overearing, pompous old bully to court. it probably won’t do much good because I’m young and female. Be that as it may, we’ll see how the townsfolk treat him and his precious daughter.”
Not wanting to startle the young woman whom he knew by name, though she did not know him, Joel waited at the corner of the barn. Fawn was looking at her horse, not paying attention to where she was going when she bumped into him.
This is the beginning of the book. Find out who Fawn’s friends are, who she can trust, and who is untrustworthy. Find out the secrets the state senator is hiding. What do her enemies want and why? Who ends up in the cave? Why are they there? Will they escape?
How many of us, as parents, would allow our children to just do whatever they want, with no guidelines for wise decisions, no consequences for rebellion or disobedience? I have to believe that most parents want the best for their children and want to instill in them an attitude of respect for authority. Here is a lesson from king Saul in Israel’s history.
King Saul was the tallest man in Israel when he was anointed king. He was humble and shy. But as he won battles his popularity grew. As his popularity he grew so did his ego. He became proud and thought he could do things his own way.
The background: Saul’s son Jonathan and his army won a battle against the Philistines in Geba while his father and his army fought in another area. Saul took credit for the coup (which was normal in their culture, but still displeasing to God) and his pride grew a little more.
Saul blew the trumpet that called the nation of Israel together in one place and made an announcement. There would be a celebration seven days hence. That was the appointed time for the prophet Samuel to come. Sacrifices would be made to honor and praise God for being on their side and giving them victory over their enemies. The only people allowed by law to offer sacrifices were the priests. Saul was not a priest.
On the seventh day Samuel was delayed in getting to the meeting place. Saul decided that he would go ahead and offer the sacrifices. I Sam. 13:8-12: “And he [Saul] tarried seven days, according to the set thime that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him (Saul). And Saul said ‘Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”
The fact is Samuel did arrive on the seventh day, just not when Saul wanted him there. Also, Saul did exactly what he wanted to do; he did not force himself to disobey God. He was justifying himself, as we are all prone to do.
The consequences for Saul’s disobedience: verses 13 and 14: Samuel said to Saul–“Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”
This was the first time Saul disobeyed God’s commandment. It was a few years after this that God effected his promise to give His nation a new king. I Sam. 15:22, 23–These are not the whole verses, just the parts that make the point: “To obey is better than sacrifice. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” God would rather have our obedience than all the “favors” we could ever do for him. God sees deliberate disobedience as rebellion, and rebellion as witchcraft. More about witchcraft at a later date.
Our society today seems to have lost the concept of personal responsibility. Nothing is ever our fault. If so and so hadn’t said or done, we wouldn’t have. . . This is not a new problem. Way back in the garden of Eden, God had told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But the serpent, Lucifer, who had been kicked out of heaven for rebelling against God, decided to challenge God’s authority.
He saw Eve eyeing the tree and he taunted her. I can picture him saying something like, “Look at this fruit, Eve. Isn’t it lovely? Why don’t you take a bite?”
She answered, “The Lord God said not to touch it or eat it, lest we die.”
“Oh,” said the sly serpent. “You will not surely die. God is holding out on you. He knows that this fruit will make you wise. You will know everything God knows. You will be like Him.”
First of all, Eve added to what God had said. When we repeat what someone says we need to be careful to say it correctly, or tell the listener that we believe this is what was said. Otherwise we are guilty of lying, even if we didn’t mean to.
The Bible tells us that Eve caved and ate the forbidden fruit, and gave some to her husband, Adam. I believe Adam ate the fruit because he believed God when He said eating the fruit would bring forth death. If Eve was going to die then he was going to die with her. He loved his wife.
Secondly, their eyes were opened and they were suddenly aware of their nakedness, their bodies. It was the first time they felt embarassament and shame. They hid themselves. They knew God would come looking for them so they made coverings for themselves made of fig leaves. But sin requires the shedding of blood for the remission of sins. So God came in the cool of the day and called Adam and Eve. After a time they answered and told God they were hiding.
“Why are you hiding?” God asked. He knew the answer but it was important for them to confess their sin.
“Because we were naked and we hid ourselves.”
“Who told you you were naked? Did you eat of the tree of which I told you not to eat?” They answered that they had.
God killed an animal to make coverings for the couple. Scripture does not say what kind of animal but Jesus was the sacrificial lamb for our sins. Common belief among Bible scholars is that it was a lamb. It was the first time Adam and Eve had seen death.
Next, they were driven from the garden which was then barred by angels with flaming swords. Then God destroyed the tree of life which would have allowed man to live forever. Now their bodies would age, but worse than that, they would know sin and their spirits would slowly die in carnality.
How did they handle their situation? They blamed each other. Eve said, “It was the serpent…he beguiled me.” In other words, “I couldn’t help it. What he said made so much sense, and Lord, I thought you were being unfair.”
Adam blamed Eve. “It was that woman you gave me.” Suddenly he was not speaking of her in terms of endearment; he was speaking in irritation. She was ‘that woman.’ He was also blaming God: ‘the woman YOU gave me.’
Did playing the blame game solve their problem, ease their situation? No. It disrupted their relationship with each other and with God.
Taking personal responsibility for our actions takes maturity and courage. It isn’t always easy, but it is the right thing to do and breeds trust. No one trusts a liar.
Well, I’m still learning life’s lessons. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Another verse tells us in everything to give thanks. God has been trying to get this through my head for years.
Yesterday we stopped at a DQ somewhere in TN either on the parkway or on I-64, I don’t remember which. I left my purse there and didn’t notice until we had driven about 200 miles. I was panicked. I wept. I fumed at myself and told myself how stupid I was. My husband, God bless him, was not mad at me. He rarely gets mad at me.
We stopped at the next rest area and called the bank to cancel my bank card. We don’t have any credit cards. Needless to say, though, my driver’s license, SS card, store discount cards (rewards cards), photos of grandkids, etc., not to mention remote to the vehicle, house key and so forth, were in my purse.
I pulled up my Microsoft Streets and Trips and went back over our route. Then I started calling the DQ’s in the area where I thought we may have stopped. The third phone call was the right one. They had my purse and may be willing to ship it back to me. What a blessing.
I was trying very hard to be thankful, reminding myself that there are no coincidences or mistakes with God. Everything happens for a reason. Romans 8:28 (my life’s verse) says, “And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love the Lord, and are the called according to His purpose.” So, whether I ever find out God’s purpose or not, I know He is in control. He will work everything out for my good and His glory. Everything will work out okay because He promised it would. (That doesn’t mean I will always enjoy the trip, but ultimately the results will be for my good, even if it takes a while.)
That’s it for today. God bless. Lord willing, I’ll be back Monday.
Today we leave the campground here in Jackson, TN to make our way to wild, wonderful, West-by-Golly Virginia. I wasn’t born there but the first time I saw those mountains was from an airplane window and I knew that was where I belonged (at least on earth, but I’m heaven-bound someday where I’ll be with my Lord forever more).
I love the windy roads, the fall foliage, the brilliant hues of orange, red, and yellow. The sweet smell of rain on a fall day, the crisp mountain air. But winters can be treacherous in those mountains so we don’t stay in the winter anymore. Still, one of my favorite memories is watching the cardinal in the snow-covered blue spruce outside my mother-in-law’s dining room window. I would stand in the dark, after the sidewalk lamp came on, shedding a dim light on trackless snow. I loved it so much I mentioned it in my first novel, Vengeance.
My favorite state park is Grand View, outside of Beckley on highway 19. From the overlook you can see the river snaking through the mountains, a railroad track skirting the bottom of the mountain across from the overlook. You can almost see how God formed those breath-taking blue ridges.
We’re going back for family reunion, but first we’re going to stop at my brother-in-law’s and finallly get all of our (and our kids’) stuff out of his storage shed. It’s only been there 17 years.
Family, the most important relationships we have after our relationship to God. We are so blessed to have a wonderful family, even though we don’t always agree, and our personalities run the spectrum. Also, not everyone is a follower of Christ, but we love each and every one and pray for those who don’t believe. We don’t push; we just love them. We trust God to answer our prayers for those who don’t know him yet.
Our reunion is held in Bluestone State park and when we all get together there are about forty of us when everyone can make it. We start coming in on Friday evening and leave Sunday afternoon. There’s always plenty of food and lots of fun for everyone.
I’ll tell you about it in about three weeks. There’s work to be done before we actually get to reunion. We’re traveling so I don’t know if I’ll have internet connection tomorrow. If I do, I’ll post. If not, I’ll be back Monday. Y’all have a great weekend.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to write. I don’t know what you, my readers, want to know, what you are interested in. I’d really like to know.
I want to write stories about hope through trials, strength through tragedy, faith through tribulation. I want to write things that give people hope when there doesn’t seem to be any. I want people to know, even if they don’t believe in God, that God does love them, and cares for them, regardless of ethnicity, social status, job, or anything else. God created us to have fellowship with Him. He wants people to put their faith, hope, trust, and even love, in Him.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Well, first of all this is a question of misconception. None of us are good. We are all born sinners in need of a Savior. The first step to having a relationship with God is acknowledging that, no matter how hard we try, we sometmes lose our cool, say mean hateful things, think about things we have no business thinking about, etc. We just can’t be good.
Who are we comparing ourselves to: the murderer on death row, the thief, the pedophile? (By the way, God loves them, too; He just doesn’t like their actions. Jesus died on the cross for them, too. Unfortunately, they are doomed for hell unless they realize how much they are loved by their Creator, and ask Him for forgiveness and a new heart to love Him.) God does not compare us to any other human being. He compares us to His only BEGOTTEN Son, Jesus. Jesus had never known a bad thought, much less a bad deed. He was fully God and fully man, thus able (the only one able) to pay the penalty for our sins.
Bad things happen because: a) God wants us to turn to Him for help; b) to increase our faith, and c) so that others will see our faith and want the same relationship with God that we have. How we handle adversity is a testimony to those around us.
Would a good God send anyone to hell? No. God is good, just and holy. He expects us to at least try to be holy. But the ONLY sin that sends people to hell is rejection of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Anyone who ends up in hell goes by their own choice. God simply passes the sentence that we have already chosen for ourselves. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering (patient) to us-ward (toward us, people), not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentence.” 2 Peter 3:9
Due to lack of space, I will mention here the verses that may help anyone who is seeking to know their Creator/Father on a personal level. God wants to adopt you into His family. He wants you to be His child. The following verse references will show how to have that relationship. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I’ll be happy to help you.
Romans 3:10, 23; Romans 5:8, 12, 13; 6:23; Ephesians 5:8, 9; Romans 10:9, 10, 13; Luke 18:13; and John 3:16, 17. God bless. I care. If you don’t understand the passages, I’ll be happy to help you. I’ve been a child of God for over 30 years and have done my best to let Him lead me ever since. I was 23 years old before I ever heard that Jesus died on a cruel cross for my sins.