Wednesday, February 09, 2011

His Righteousness or Ours?

Romans 10:3 (NKJV)
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

Let's break the passage down. The first word I want to know more about is the word ignorant it is the Greek word agnoeo ag-no-eh'-o from 1 (as a negative particle) and 3539; not to know (through lack of information or intelligence); by implication, to ignore (through disinclination)

So they are ignoring God's righteousness through disinclination. What is a good working definition for disinclination? Webster's New World College Dictionary states it is a dislike or lack of desire; aversion; reluctance. WordNet states it this way, disinclination - a certain degree of unwillingness; "a reluctance to commit himself"; "his hesitancy revealed his basic indisposition"; hesitancy, hesitation, indisposition, reluctance
sloth, slothfulness - a disinclination to work or exert yourself
involuntariness, unwillingness - the trait of being unwilling;

Let's restate it now using our better understanding, For they are ignoring God's Word because they have a lack of desire and are unwilling to put forth any effort to know God's righteousness....

OK, what is righteousness? dikaiosune dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay from 1342; equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification:--righteousness. We could say right law, system or standard of behavior.

Now let's put it all together; For they are ignoring God's Word because they have a lack of desire and are unwilling to put forth any effort to know God's right standard of behavior and seeking to establish their own standard of right behavior, have not submitted to the standard of right behavior of God.

Contextually Paul was dealing with the Jews who were trying to establish their own standards above the standards of God and therefore missed the Messiah and eternal life. I believe we can learn from this verse how we as God's people have the same tendency the Jews did in sacrificing God's standard of righteousness for our own all the time thinking we are good and OK.

Ponder how this fits with what I shared yesterday...treating the sacred (holy) as common?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Treating The Sacred As Common

I was awakened early one day last week with a question that I know was from God. I have been struggling not with the answer but with the truth. Is Satan attempting to turn the sacred into nothing more than common? I knew the answer was, yes with no hesitation and no doubts. But why was God asking? I know this was God because I awoke very alert, I confess that is not normal for me. Also I don't usually awake with this kind of question in my mind. So again I ask, Why are you asking? As Jesus did so often in the Gospels He answered with a question, What is he making common and how is he doing it? That took some thought. What is he making common?

His name
His word (Holy Bible)
Our bodies
Family (roles)
Church (place, time of worship, body of Christ)
Worship (Rote ritual to entertainment)
The Cross
Country (America. one nation under God)
Spirit of God

The list above is not exhaustive. We could probably have some good discussions on the many ways Satan is making them common and would love to hear your thoughts. The knowledge of the fact that it is God's own people who are allowing the sacred turn into that which is common is what troubled me. With each of the above listed I was called by God to ask myself, Am I treating ________ as sacred or common? And, is the Church treating ___________as sacred or common?

Let me finish with a verse that God pointed out to me in my QT the day of this experience with God.

Romans 10:3 (NKJV)
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

I will discuss the significance of this verse tomorrow. Till then praying that I treat Him and His interests with the respect they deserve and not carelessly.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mom and Dad's 5oth

Jon and I recently traveled to Dallas for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. My sisters and I were able to give them a really fun shin-dig. It was not a surprise because my Dad doesn't do well with surprises in fact we were all afraid we would receive a whuppin' from our Dad for giving the party. Seriously we were afraid how he would handle the whole thing. My Dad isn't exactly Mr. Social. I'll share later how he handled it.

My sisters, Wendy and Marsha and our Mom, we couldn't keep my mother out of the church kitchen, made all kinds of beautiful trays of sandwiches, vegetables and fruit. The food table was set beautifully. God blessed us through Marsha having so many clear serving trays and pedestals we could use from her work (DELVE Dallas) We had a wedding cake and punch and of course being in Texas you always have to have some Ice Tea, Sweet Tea to be exact. Reminds me of the time I caught my mom putting it (Sweet Tea) in Chad's bottle. Back to the affair. We had fresh flower arrangements on all the tables, very simply done but effective. God blessed us with Wendy being at the right place at the right time. The store was getting ready to cut the flower prices by 75% so they could have room for the new truck load coming in that day. We had burned a CD of my Mom and Dad's favorite music from when they were dating. We had: "You Are My Special Angel," "Have I Told You How Much I Love You," "Earth Angel," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," and many more. Some great dancing songs but since we were having it in the basement of the church we could not dance. I was blessed by just taking all the change we had around the house and having just enough to download all their favorites and a few more for a total of 24. It excited us for Mom to be so excited about the CD that she made sure she was the one that got to keep it and put it in Dad's truck for them to listen to it together. Jack (Wendy's husband) was blessed by putting all our pictures together for a slide show. It was so much fun for everyone to enjoy all the pictures of my parents from babies to young marrieds on the slide show that ran continuously. We (Wendy, Jack, Lil' Jack, Billy, Jon and myself) all shared about what my parents had meant to each of us. Grant and Anneen were able to send a video clip of congratulations as well as Clay, Ava, and Sarah sang "We Wish You a Happy Anniversary."

So how did my parents like it? Mom loved it she had a ball. My Dad? Harder to tell with him. Like I said were were afraid of getting a whuppin when we got home. But while Wendy and I were giving our speeches he had his head down, he couldn't look up. But when the program was over and everyone was just socializing I saw him smiling many times. When all the Church people had left he danced with my Mom. I think that was my favorite part of the whole afternoon.

Miracles do happen. My parents are overcommers! They stand as a great example to me to remember my vows and keep them no matter what and that should be celebrated. Celebrate we did

Monday, January 17, 2011

Belmont Living & Bees

My mom and dad lived only a short time with my father's parents. They were able to rent a home in the Lakewood area of Dallas on Belmont. This was a cute home with a front porch. I don't have a lot of memories here because I was still young.

At this time in my young life my mom worked the late shift at TI (Texas Instruments.) I can remember one night my dad clearing all the furniture out of the living and dining room so that he could steam clean the carpets. I'm not sure why I remember this but it is very clear. I have a feeling that my working with my dad made it special to me. I'll have to ask him if he has any memory of this memory.

I also remember playing on the front porch and my mom telling me to not bother the wasp nest and I would be fine. Evidently my curiosity started young because before too long I had been stung. It was the first of many.

Bees, yes I have several memories of their stinging influence on our family. I can recall one afternoon Grant passing a ball with his Uncle Jack in the backyard at my mom and dad’s. My mom and I were watching on and off from the kitchen window. All of a sudden we see Grant swatting at the air. They both ran in the house. Grant wasn't stung but they were swarming all around him and not Jack. I think it was the next day that Grant again was playing in the backyard and all of a sudden those bees were all over him. He couldn't see to get to the house they were all over him and he began to scream as he was trying desperately to get away from them. My dad beat me to him and grabbed him and got him into the house. Those bees were all in his clothes so we started tearing his clothes off of him and stepping on or hitting all the bees we could. They really wanted Grant. It was scary at the time but now we all laugh when we talk about it. It actually was a bit strange.

I recall often seeing my dad come in the back door of our home with bee sting wounds all over his face and hands. Climbing in trees has many dangers beyond just falling.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow & Ice

We in North Carolina have had a light dusting of snow but on top of that we have had layers of ice. With our temperatures not rising we have had no melting. Our school kids have been out of school the whole week. I can't imagine what the parents are going through right about now. All this bring back my own memories of snow and ice.

I was born with snow in my longings. Dallas rarely gets snow but she does get ice. I have many memories of ice storms in Dallas. When I was young and a ice storm hit I remember my Dad getting all excited. He would get his chains on and then load up his truck with all sorts of chains and tools. He would then sit out to go help people in trouble. Many times I would have the thrill of going with him. I saw my Dad as the local hero pulling cars out of ditches, front yards and other unwanted situations. I can recall many people wanting to give my Dad something for his services but I never saw him take it. He was all about the adventure. I love the adventures we had together as well. Adventures can bring us closer together.

Just to show you how much my Dad loved adventure if the storm wouldn't come to him he would bring it to himself. I remember Dad all excited about something one night but I had no clue what he was up to until the next morning. I awoke to a frozen wonderland in our backyard. He had decided to let the sprinkler run all night with temperatures at freezing. It was an Icecicle palace. My very own personal winter wonderland. I couldn't take my eyes off of the beauty. Some adventures are gifts from others that fill us with awe.

The biggest ice storm I can remember was the storm that ended 1978 and begun 1979. This was a big one, in more ways than one. First of all it made the whole city beautiful and thrilling. Along with the beauty came thick ice on power lines which meant that many parts of the city were without power. We we were without power for a whole week. Thankfully we had a real fireplace we could keep burning. I don't remember getting cold as a nuisance that was an adventure to me. It was not being able to use my curling iron nor electric roller that was a pain. I had to go to church and I have to have big hair. I went anyway. I am so glad I did. You see it was this Sunday I met my future husband. I was sitting in church and noticed visitors. I heard the voice of my Youth Director in my head about being friendly and welcoming to visitors that came. I was the first one of the youth to introduce myself to him. This was important because I was in a group that had many beautiful girls in it. Anyway the rest is history, and to think He fell in love with me with out my big hair! Some adventures bring great rewards.

I know he would also want everyone to know that when he met me I was a blond...really blond. I wanted to use this new product out called "Sun-In." You were just suppose to spray it on and while you were in the sun it would naturally highlight your hair. I asked my Mother for permission. I can still see the sparkle in her eyes when she said, "Oh, I have something even better than that." Will she dyed my brunette hair blond. I was shocked when I looked in the mirror to see my beautiful brunette hair with natural looking highlights, blond. My mother! Time would fail me to tell you all my mother stories. So, Jon fell in love with a blond who didn't want to be a blond. Some adventures are costly.

Back to the snow and ice. Every summer my family minus my Dad would travel to West Virginia to visit with family. They would always talk about their snow. I was thrilled when I was told we were going to go to WV for Christmas. Finally a real White Christmas. No, didn't happen. It was the first Christmas since they could remember that they didn't have snowed. It came the week after we left. Might as well tell you now. To make this Christmas even worse it was when I found out there was no SC. I can still feel the pain. I think I was around 7,8 or 9. I can remember that the adults were in the bedroom off the living room wrapping gifts and then ever once in awhile someone would come out with one that said, "To so and so, From: SC." I knew he wasn't in the room. Crushed. The next year my Dad tried to prove to me that he was real by placing newspaper down in front of our wood burning fireplace. He then put ashes on top of the newspaper. He said that SC would have to leave his boot prints if he was real. Surprise, surprise the next morning there were his bootprints. I think I played along because as much as I was crushed the year before my Dad seemed even more crushed. Sometimes our best laid out plans for adventure don't turn out the way we had hoped.

Again, back to snow and ice. I can remember a really big snow in Greensboro. It had actually caught the city by surprise. We expected some snow but not this much. It came on a Sunday and Jon had left on the church answering machine that Church was basically canceled but if there were any brave souls that needed the fellowship to come with a croc-pot and we would be there to greet them. Surprisingly a few families showed up. We worshiped, ate and then headed out together to sled. IT was such a great day in the Lord. The boys loved it as well. I can remember one time when we were also in Greensboro that the electricity had gone out in a winter storm. We got our candles going and the boys had their flashlights close by their sides. We sat in a circle around the gas logs and talked and laughed. It was for only about 15 minutes and the lights came on. I could see the sadness on the boys faces so I said quick everyone go cut out all the lights and lower the heat and let's just keep going as we were. We did and had a great family time together in the dark. Doesn't really take much for an adventure.

When we moved to the mountains of Johnstown, PA no was more excited about the possibilities of big snows than me. We had wonderful snows. I can recall many occasions of sitting in the Sanctuary and all of a sudden these huge flakes would start falling down. It was a beautiful place to worship our Lord. Living in Johnstown boys were able to learn to ice skate (Grant was especially good and went on to play hockey) go skiing but they really liked snowboarding and of course tubing. They of course were naturals at it. Me? I can remember my first experience attempting to ski. We all took a little class before going up to the bunny slope. I came down and fell. Over and over again I would fall. I finally was getting the hang of it and doing well, I might add, when up and behind me I heard someone yell, "Way to go Pam!" Dummy me thought I should acknowledge them and then wound up like a pile of spaghetti. Do you know how hard it is to maneuver those long skis? It took me what seemed like forever to unravel myself to stand up. No not for me, I will stick to tubing or even better sitting at my window with my hot chocolate and a book. Some adventures are better left to the experienced and yes less klutzy.

Snow and ice, I do love them. I think what I really love more is adventure, especially the kind of adventures that make memories with those we love. I want my life filled with adventure. Everyone of the adventures I shared above there is One who is not mentioned but oh so present, my Christ. He is the giver of snow, ice, and adventure. He has shown me much grace and favor and to Him I will be ever so grateful.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My Genesis

I was born on April 2, 1962 at Baylor hospital in Dallas, Texas to Billy Marshall and Donna Leigh Jerger Fugitt. Both my parents were 20 years old at the time of my birth, young. Both had entered their marriage with baggage. I will save this for another day because I am really finding it difficult to share.

I know not from my memory but from being told that my parents started their life out living in the projects of Dallas. This was a place my mom was very much familiar with as it was where she had lived with seven of her siblings and her mother, Anna Mae. I love that name but to me she was my Memaw. I too would become familiar with the projects of Dallas but that is later down the road.

After living in the projects for only a year my parents lived a short time with my Dad's mom and dad. They were George William and Pauline Fugitt, To me they were my Gran-Gran and my Papaw. They lived in a huge house 6048 Bryan Parkway. Why do I remember that when I can't even remember my own cell phone number? This house is one block off of the famous Swiss Avenue of Dallas. We are talking big and beautiful homes. These homes have often been used by Hollywood for movies. W.A. Criswell owned one of these homes. I remember my Dad telling me that working for W.A. was great, he was kind and generous; his wife on the other hand was quite the opposite. Anyway my grandparents house was thrilling to me. It had a big front porch, wonderful architectural details and wide steps. I dreamed of living in a home just like it.

I think I will stop here and talk about my grand parents and then end until tomorrow. I adored my grandfather. He was kind and affectionate with me. He had a small office in the back of the house. This office was where I entered the house when I came over. He seemed to always be sitting in his chair with a cigar. His wonderful fancy cowboy hat was sitting on it's hat stand. His hat-stand was a big 'ole round bellied Buddha. I always thought that was funny that he used it as a hat stand. I found out just recently that my Dad and two of his brothers had given it to him as a gift. I guess it was meant as a joke but it makes me grin thinking of the way he used it. Every time my PaPaw would see me he would ask me if I had a Yankie dime for him. Now how many of you know what a Yankie dime is? It is a kiss. When I gave him his Yankie dime I would be rewarded with a buffalo nickle. The interesting thing about this is that he was Indian, American Indian. When I saw him I always visualized him with one of those big chief feather headdress. My grandfather did not make it to my wedding he was in the hospital and would die from bone cancer three months later. My Dad would be at the hospital more than once a day throughout his hospital stay. My grandfather was in so much pain that he would beg my Dad to end his life for him. I can't even imagine what each one went through mentally and emotionally. thought he was the wonderful and kind one.

My grandmother always seemed very formal to me not very affectionate. I don't ever remember her hugging me or telling me she loved me. I was always somewhat afraid of her. She never gave me reason. I can remember when my grandfather was very sick her talking about him to my parents when he was right there in the room with them. She would always talk about all that was negative going on with him and his illness. This happened in my later teen years. It made me so angry that he was treating him the way she did. Today, with some experience and wisdom she had to talk. His slow death right in front of her, the man she had shared her life with and raised 10 children with was leaving her. She desperately needed to talk. My anger was misplaced. Not only was I wrong about this I was wrong about her. A few years after the death of my grandfather my Dad arranged to buy a house (my grandmothers money) that was right across the street from my mom and dad's house. He would be there every morning fixing her breakfast and talking to her. He would see her sometime in the day and my mom would fix her a plat of dinner each night. My Dad was a good son and my Mom was a good daughter-in-law.

I was given my grandmothers Bible a few years back and when I opened the pages and saw all the clippings that were stuck here and there I was astounded by what I learned. After talking to my Mom and Dad recently I had an even bigger picture of who my grandparents were. My grandmother had listed seven of her children and the dates of their baptisms. My Dad was one of the ones not listed. My Mom shared with me that my grandmother went to church and she took all the kids to church with her. I found that my great-great grandparents were names Sarah and Issac. I asked my Dad, cautiously about his going to church. He told me that his mom took him and but when she went into her class he and two of his brothers would sneak back out and go and get into trouble. I believe there was a bit of sadness with my Dad as he shared. My mother then shared that my grandfather was known to be a drinker and a bit of a harsh man and father. I didn't know; my perceptions were the exact opposite. By the time I came of age they were older and their health had began it's downward slide.

What did I learn? In my youth I lacked the wisdom, experience and understanding to rightly divide truth from error. Our perceptions of people and circumstances are not always accurate. God was right when He said to honor the matter what (mine.) It takes knowing someones whole story before we can really appreciate them. Grace, mercy and forgiveness come so much easier when we take the time to know others stories. We all have stories.

Monday, January 03, 2011

My Story

My mom and dad came to visit Jon and I for Thanksgiving. While they were with me I decided it would be a perfect time to ask about their childhood and ask questions I had often wondered about but always forgot to ask. I learned so much and my learning explained many things about my own life. Gleanings that could make a difference in my future and my children's future.

Something was said by my oldest son while we were spending Christmas with them that got my wheels spinning. How much do they really know about me? I have always thought I was one to be an open book to my children but just maybe there are things they are unaware of. If that is so then I want them to know all there is. I want them to know not only for the sake of memories but for learning more about themselves and possibly making the necessary changes to change what then can of the chains I have passed along.

The past year and half God has had me teaching my SS class through Genesis. How amazing to read our spiritual beginnings. We studied all of it, the good the bad and the ugly. Through it all we saw God's scarlet thread of redemption. Together we learned that God is always more than willing to forgive, show mercy and to give a new beginning for those who would turn to Him. We noted the hand of God move through each of the lives of the patriarchs. He was and is sovereign orchestrating events to bring all to the life changing knowledge that He is Lord.

I believe with no doubting that God's mighty hand has been in my life. He has orchestrated events that drew me to Him and to a greater knowledge of Him. I believe my story is worth telling for my children and my children's children. To be honest I am really scared to do God the One behind this?

I was awakened last night around 1:30am and the story began to unfold and I couldn't get it out of my head. I couldn't get back to sleep till around 5:00am. If I could only type it the way it was unfolding. I know it will take months if not the whole year. Maybe that commitment scares me even more. Most who read this know how I dislike blogging. I don't know where this is going to take me. I do know that it is not something I will be posting anywhere but here nor am I compelled to tell anyone to be sure and check out my blog. Maybe God will supernaturally hide it because it is really only for my own benefit and my children. I don't know. What I do know is that it won't let go of me. I have learned that if it is from God it won't let go of me until I obey.

Starting tomorrow my life story will unfold.....