Friday, May 30, 2008


OK...bear with me a minute-
In my ponderings regarding denominations and the relevance of them, it has occured to me more than once that a little over 500 years ago we were just ONE denomination.

Now before all my Menno-Friends gasp in horror, kindly hear me out;
There is only one Church. The Bible says so. Before we were Anabaptists, (or Baptists, Episcopals, Lutheran, etc..) we were Catholic.

So were am I going with this?? Just taking a leisurely stroll through history, and trying to piece together what is important and what isn't.

Take *The Saints*. The Bible speaks of Saints... Protestants call anyone who is saved a *Saint*.
I don't think it's so ridiculous to think that someone who died for the cause might have a special spot in the hereafter, and yes, I think we will have a sense of *purpose* in heaven as well. Surely you don't think we will be floating around fluffy white clouds, strumming harps and gently flapping our feathered wings, eh?

I have studied The Saints for years... (no, never been Catholic), but the idea didn't seem seems to line up biblically. I have no idea if they really bend the ear of The Almighty, or win you favor. I am simply suggesting that we study the lives that were given in the Name Of Christ. Try studying Saint Philomena (she's my fav), or Saint Francis... All these people your going to be meeting someday. These people suffered and died for thier FAITH.
It won't hurt to do your homework first.

Here's a starting place: (No they aren't going to convert you, and it isn't a sin.)
If your lazy or blind:

Additionally, if your hyper-opposed to Catholic Saint studies, or Catholicism in general, you can always play it safe and study just the Anabaptist Martyrs:

Last link-Last smart remark: Don't you think we should all just get along???
Apparently some of us are willing to give it a go:

I've heard quite a few sharp quips from Protestants and Anabaptists against the Catholics, simply based on the past. It's true, the Catholics of the time Martyred the Anabaptists of the time. Since then, it's been Us Against Them. Consider the time. Consider that it was political. Consider it wasn't us... or anyone we have ever even remotely known.

Dispising Catholics for martyring Anabaptists makes about as much sense as black people being hostile towards white people because someones Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparents owned slaves. That's nuts. That would mean I would have to hate part of myself because it's possible that one side of my family owned another at some point in history. You see, my GGG Grandmother was a slave. But that's another blog, another time. I think you get the point though..

I'm not trying to be abrasive. I'm trying to make you thing out of the box a bit... let go of some of the past... let bygones be bygones,... get off the mental recliner, and move heavenward. Together. There isn't an Anabaptist heaven, but there IS a catholic (Universal) heaven, and if you get there, your going to be sharing it with people of all denominations. In heaven, history here on earth will be irrelevant.
Confused? Good. Get to studying. Start forgiving and go meet all your nice Catholic neighbors. Maybe they will be open to learning about the Anabaptists?? We can all learn to get along... get closer and practice peace.
Get Busy, Give PEACE a chance... Visualize whirled peas...Stop the violins... (I could go at this all day...)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Then Try, Try, Agian.....

I have been on a church-hunt for 2 years. I know, I know... there isn't a *perfect* church, and if there WAS, it wouldn't be after I got there.
While I am certain I will never agree 100% with everything at any particular denomination, I am trying to find one that only has small peripheral issues that aren't salvational in nature to disagree with. Is that even possible anymore???
We have a church on every corner of our home town... I have been to several and find them all *nice*, but nothing that overwhelms me with a feeling like I have *come home*. In the past I have attended Pentecostal, (too scary for the hubby), Non-Denominational (Which means they really don't have to answer to anyone, they make up the rules as they go), Methodist, Episcopal, and every flavor of Baptist.
My husband is Lutheran... but has been out of that church for so long that I think even HE has difficulty keeping up with the program... so that's another denomination knocked out of the ballpark...
So, back to the Baptist Churches... there's always that OSAS issue... I still say you can walk away if you get a mind to... but for the most part, God saves by GRACE... I just always fear some will accept Jesus like cheap fire insurance... then go on sinning. It's not supposed to be that way. We should be wringing out our minds like a dirty washcloth from sin. Not just saying a prayer *just in case*.
So I ponder on...
I was blessed to speak to a Brethren friend this weekend, who politely chewed me a new behind. She pointed out that I need to find a decent church where the Word Of God is being preached and just settle in and get busy. Wise woman.
But where IS that church???
Do Denominations really matter???
I personally like the idea of a Statement Of Faith... but other than that; what should I be looking for? What questions do I ask??
I just don't want to get caught up in *religion*. I want genuine fellowship with mostly-like-minded believers. I don't want to just go to church because I feel obligated to... I want to go because I love to. You have to love the church to love to go. I don't always get a warm fuzzy from some churches...I don't care for indifference or complacency.
I want a church that is on fire for God, but not suckered into such modern modes of worship that they throw away the hymnals, and have a 75 member praise team.... each with an individual hand-held microphone... I am avoideding the churches that sing: *Our God Is An Awesome God* every other Sunday because noone know the words to *It Is Well Within My Soul*. (Can't we do BOTH??)
I want a church with standards!! Not a church that says any rule enforced is *legalistic*...
I want the real church.... The people I will share heaven with.
I want to fellowship with people who don't mind standing for something... and don't sell out because of popular culture. I want to find people who will help each other, help the helpless, feed and house the homeless, and minister to those those in prison. I want to find the body of Christ.

Got any pointers??? I'm all ears.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Many Thanks

Many Thanks to everyone who has been so sweet to call and e-mail me. I know there is an a concern that I am holding up on the outside, but secretly falling apart on the inside. Allow me to reassure everyone that I am fine. REALLY.

I was and always will be CRAZY over Muttley. But I also know when a creature is suffering, and I am very confident that our girl gave us the BEST that she had to give for as long as she could give it. To give her relief from her suffering, and confusion was the last act of kindness I could give to her. Muttley wouldn't want any of us to be sad... Just appreciative.
So, if you knew Muttley, think on the good times... on her sweet, snuggley disposition, her fearless nature that would take her anywhere, anytime, by car, plane, or kyack. And please, please, please, know that I have nothing but an *attitude of gratitude* for the time she gave us all.
So we are all moving forward... even if it's with a heavy heart. I know another rescue dog would not only make me happy beyond words, but would honor Muttley's memory, since she was a rescue dog herself.
I have saved all of Muttley's toys and bandana's for her succesor. I am scouting the pounds and papers looking for just the right puppy to rescue. I would love to take them ALL home with me, but we know that's not possible (is it?)...
So I'm looking for the type of dog that has a twinkle in her eye...a certain eagerness...intelligence... compact for travel...and hopefully good vocal chords. Now that I know you can teach a dog to sing... You never know; We might just take that show on the road! I can finally quit my day job!
Hey, NEVER underestimate the intelligence of a dog.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Muttley .. A Tribute

If you've every owned a dog who would swim a river to be with you, or jump on a go cart and take off with both ears back with a big puppy grin.... Go camping, hiking, and travel the country as if she was one of the family, you know how much I'm gonna miss Muttley.

She was rescued at 3 weeks, and not expected to live, 16 & a 1/2 years ago. At that time I wasn't a dog person, I had 9 cats. They adapted, and so did I.

Later, she travelled to Nashville Tennesee, and my soon-to-be husband learned to adapt to sleeping with our girl, against his better judgement. But let me tell you this: I have come home many a day to find him snuggled up tight with his ball of fluff... both happily snoozing away at an afternoon nap. Apparently, he adjusted quite well. :0)

Muttley was like one of the kids. Four of our children kind of grew up with her. She was on every swimming, camping or hiking expedition. She travelled back and forth to Ohio, and Arkansas with us, and when she got a bit older, she had her own *stroller* to go to festivals in.

She was also charming and could do multiple tricks including singing *Amazing Grace*. She would growl along anytime she heard the song. Scott gets credit for teaching her this. Once, on television, some commercial had Amazing Grace playing and wouldn't you know it? She hummed along. We nearly fell over laughing!

All the kids in the neighborhood knew Muttley and treated her like one of the gang. One day,. a 5 year old girl knocked on our door and asked if Muttley could come out and play???

She also a smart cookie. She knew which homes were dog friendly, and would go door-to-door, scratch until someone answered and do *tricks for treats*.

She made the transition smoothly when we bought our home. She never resented the new dogs, and adored the cat, often napping with him in the winter.

Muttley went on her last road trip 2 weeks ago when we took her to San Antonio, with Scott's sister Michelle. We all knew it would be her last trip...she was slowing down, blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear. But boy she loved hotels! She perked up when we got to the Marriott, and ran as best she could down the hall. She went to Luckenbach on that trip, and also to see our cousins, Pat and Suzanne Hunt in Austin. She took in all the loving everyone gave her and gave 100 times more in return.

May 17th, it appears she might have had a stroke. She was scared, shaking, and yelping. I did what I thought was best, I took her to the Animal ER, and the doctor agreed it was nuerological, and not reversable. I realized Muttley gave us her very best every day of her life, and it was not fair to keep her here in pain and confusion, simply because I didn't want her to go.

She was scared, so I held her and soothed her until the medication took effect. I looked her right in the eye until she just went to eternal sleep. It was actually a relief...because the Vets couldn't help her, I couldn't help her, and she didn't understand what was going on.

Initially, I was going to have her cremated, and left her at the facility, where she passed. Scott was out of town, and it only made sense. But the following morning I knew I had made a mistake. I called, and they still had her there! I went and got Muttley, and brought her home. I opened up the box she was in, and she just looked like she was sleeping...

I buried her under a pear tree in the side lot, with her bear. I'll put a bench there later... All the other animals new she was gone...Star licked her ear. They sat quietly by my side while I buried her. It was hard doing this by myself...But I'll tell you this; I don't regret saying goodbye the way we did. I would have never thought I would have the strength physically or emotionally... but it just goes to show you never know what you can do til you try.

We will all miss Muttley, but those who know her know she lived a CHARMED LIFE. My Mother In Law said once; "If reincarnation where real, I would want to come back as Muttley". That's quite a compliment, and we should all live our lives like she did; Face to the wind, ears back and a big puppy smile.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


My, how time does fly!! Isn't he CUTE??? My little Grandson turned 5 years old yesterday.
I owe him and his Mother an apology. I didn't call. Bad Nana... And it's not like his mother wasn't kind enough to give me gentle, she did.
In a meager defense, I was overwhelmed. Papaw left for Canada yesterday...he'll be gone a month.
I worked late, and got home to a *To-Do List* a mile started on that, and put in the 5th call to my attorney regarding a ticket that could possibly go to warrant if he drops the ball. He isn't returning calls, and his voice mail if full. NICE..
Then- As if on cue; Muttley starts acting strange. She's been sick off and on for a few weeks... So I am writing checks, doing laundry, and hand feeding my old dog pieces of grilled chicken so she will keep fighting the good fight. She's 16. I have no idea what's wrong with her, and neither does the Vet. This has been going on for weeks.

Next, the phone rings, it's my cousin asking me to go see my Aunt who was rushed to the Emergency room near our home. Her oxygen levels were dangerously low. The rehab facility had her oxygen at a 2, when it should have been a 6 and it will take DAYS to recover from their neglegance. She is stable... looking pink instead of blue.
I got home late...still had a lot to do, and by the time I slowed down, it was LATE. So no, I didn't call. I figured T was in bed by then.
And since I am on a roll; I was up at 12:30 because of a thunderstorm and the outside dogs were flipping out... again at 2:30 to let Muttley out agian, but she still wet herself on the carpet by daylight... Back up at 3:30 to let the dogs out again.....I have put out more fires than Red Adair.
Yes, I am digging for a little sympathy... It seems when Papaw leaves.... all heck breaks loose. What is up with that??? Murphys Law???
Anyhow, I beg forgiveness and hope I can get it together soon for the sake of all my grandchildren and thier parents, who probably think I just didn't bother. I would have guys... You are always my number one priority, but sometimes, life throws things at you that make you juggle... Trust me, when your older you'll understand. Until then, I plead insanity, and beg forgiveness.
So all this groveling begs the question: Am I the only Grandparent out there who can't keep up with birthdays on a chronic level??? Or is it just me; (don't answer that.)
I know this: I am a living example of why they make belated birthday cards.
SO, enough of my rant... Let me state semi-publically; my daughter Monique is the best Mom in the world... really, she is... and Titus is a beautiful, sensative, funny, intelligent boy who makes this family SHINE.

I wish Titus a very HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Way Out Yonder...A Tribute

This past week was spent with my Sister In Law Michelle, and my husband Scott. We went down into the Texas Hill Country to visit with their Dad, (my Father-In-Law) John, and his wife Alma. We had a beautiful visit, and it was good to see them again.
Since Michelle only had 7 days, we wanted to show her as much of Texas as time would allow. Texas is bigger than France, so we decided to limit ourselves to the Hill Country.
She got to see The Alamo, and have her picture made in front of it, and we took her strolling down the colorful riverwalk. This was all in her first 24 hours in the State.

The following day we went to Luckenbach. I couldn't *describe* Luckenbach to Michelle, or anyone else for that matter. It's more of a state of mind, than a place. What do you say? It's a field, in the middle of Texas, with a barn, a post office the size of my garden shed, and a total population of 3 people??? That doesn't do it justice.

To me, Luckenbach is about simplicity. Yea, there are a few rowdy souls there, but over all most people are just there to kick back and enjoy the music. There's always music there. So that's what we did. Scott bought him a real live cowboy hat. He had it custom shaped, so it looks real nice, and he needed a good hat with this intense Texas sun. He looks real smart in it too.
I got a t-shirt that has the traditional *Everybody's Somebody In Luckenbach* on the back and a refrigerator magnet that reads "God Bless John Wayne". My Mother, (rest her soul) had that bumper sticker on her jeep in the '70's.

Michelle was in a euphoric state... The music, the beutiful day, the colorful people...the chickens...she just loved it and wants to come back on the next Texas trip.
When Waylon Jennings wrote the song "Lets Go To Luckenback Texas", he was really trying to say: *Hey, I have the big house, nice cars, and life in the fast lane. .. it's aint' worth it... Let's just simplify, and enjoy the basic things that make for happiness*... When you get there, you realize that the simplicity of the place is what makes it a joy to inhabit, if even for a few hours.
It makes you kind of reflective. How wonderful to have everything you need. What a blessing! I think of my home, and the trappings of materialism, and I realize that all I need is my family and my health. Everything else is just icing on the cake. It isn't what truly brings me joy.
I never imagined that people would go far out of their way to fly across the country, to spend time with me in a cow pasture in central Texas. Life has turned out pretty sweet! Pinch me.