Saturday, July 30

Don't Despair, Help is on the Way

Reading a book to my son is very enjoyable. Lately, we have been reading books by Bill Peet. Every book has a moral. The latest book that we read was, "The Ant and the Elephant." A tiny ant is stranded and seeks help from various animals, all of whom are too busy to help. The following is how the story unfolds:

An old, cranky turtle walks by and responds to the ant's plea for help by saying, "I've had my swim for today, and if I went racing about helping everyone who was in trouble, I'd have no time left to relax." The turtle slowly walks away, lands in a predicament, and seeks the assistance of a hornbill roosting on her nest. The pompous bird responds, "I could . . . but I won't. This will teach you not to be so clumsy."

The bird drops her egg which she was roosting on, and endeavors to enlist the help of a giraffe who responds, "If I did such a thing how silly I would look. I'll have no one laughing at me." The haughty giraffe then gets tangled in vines. He spies a proud lion, who laughs at the giraffe and merrily goes on his way without bothering to help at all.

After the lion meanders away and plops down to rest, a boulder lands on his tail. He humbly asks a rhino for help. The arrogant rhino responds, "I would if you could think of some way to return the favor." Finally, the rhino haphazardly runs into a stump and is stuck.

"So the rhino, the lion, the giraffe, the hornbill, the turtle, and the ant were left in deep trouble. That would have been that if a jolly big somebody hadn't decided to stroll through the jungle that day." Can you guess what animal came next? A gargantuan elephant! He kindly helps everyone in need. After helping everyone and feeling rather proud of himself, the elephant begins to think that everyone has troubles but himself, and he will never need the help of anyone until ..... He gets stuck in a deep ravine. Surprisingly, it is the little ant and ninety-five thousand of his friends that come to the rescue!

I realize this is only a child's book, but it has a great moral: We need to take time to invest in others. To help simply means to "make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering one's services or financial or material aid." Hebrews 4:16 states, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

Everywhere you look, someone is in need of something. Perhaps you can bake cookies to brighten someone's day or give a single mom an afternoon off. Maybe there is someone who is struggling financially and you can give a monetary blessing. Whatever the need, seek to help someone. "Assign yourself the purpose of making others happy and thereby give yourself a gift." (Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop, John L. Mason, pg. 59)

Saturday, July 23

It's A Blog Moment

originally uploaded by Debbie Pryor.

I often tell people that my morning walks keep me sane. For me, walking is more than just reaping health benefits. I absolutely enjoy walking. There are mornings when I am tired, but I know if I get out of bed and proceed with my scheduled walk, I will feel much better. The heat, however, has been zapping some of my motivation, but I still walk. On my morning walk, I had a "Blog Moment." Imagine that! I finished my walk, grabbed my son's camera, snapped a picture, and created an image that I wanted to post and blog on. Hence, "It's a Blog Moment" was born.

There is something about a well-manicured yard that captivates my attention and causes me to dream about how I want my yard to look. I will ponder on various flowers that I like and imagine how they would look planted in my picturesque yard. The one thing I absolutely despise are weeds. Weeds, in my opinion, detract from the beauty of the flower that it surrounds.

Then I started thinking about how easy it is to mow a yard. Yes, it takes effort, but the lawnmower is doing all the work. You are simply guiding it along a designated path, and you do not even have to rake up the discarded grass. Once the lawn is mowed, a feeling of accomplishment settles over you. You then notice those pesky weeds which need to be removed, but you are not exactly thrilled with the prospect of removing them. Why, because you know that this job requires true back-wrenching work. By the time you have completed the weeding of your garden, your back aches, your fingers are red and itchy, your knees are sore, and you are miserably hot. In a nutshell, you simply are exhausted.

Can you see where I am heading with this thought? All of us have weeds in our lives that must be identified and removed. Sometimes it is a matter of recognizing something and repenting over it. Other times, it is a deep soul-searching task. Only you can put a label on your weed. Whatever it is, if it is not good, then it is a hindrance to you.

"Prevention is the first line of defense in keeping weeds from occurring or increasing. Eradication is the removal of weeds from an area so they will not recur unless reintroduced. Control reduces population. Adequate control may prevent future infestation. A weed management system integrates two or more methods into a plan of action." (03106.html) Even though the above plan of action is dealing with true weeds, you can apply this concept to your spiritual life.

First, prevent the weeds from entering your life--repent daily. If you do something that is less than desirable, ask for forgiveness. If you find that the weed has already taken root in your life, eradicate it, and do not allow it to recur. Finally, take control of what is plaguing you. You alone must label the weed. Once it has been identified, take action and pluck it up by the roots. Kill that thing before it takes over and multiplies. You will find that once it has been removed, it can no longer survive and infect your pure heart.

In Everything Give Thanks

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Th. 5:18) Did the Lord really mean EVERYTHING? Sometimes it is extremely difficult to give thanks for various situations that come my way. For instance, do I really have to say, "Thank you Lord for the minor fender bender that we just experienced?" Is it truly necessary that I say, "Thank you Lord for a breaker that keeps flipping which in turns causes the air conditioning to cease to function?" Yes, that is exactly what the Lord instructs. Even though I have said my prayer of thanksgiving, I want it written down. So, here it is, "Thank you Lord."

Okay, I am sitting here smiling, but I know that many of us can confidently and effortlessly thank the Lord for all the good times in our lives. This type of praise just flows naturally. When we are encompassed with seemingly "bad situations," we immediately want to pout and complain, and the last thing that comes to our mind is adulation unto the Lord.

The Bible further states, "It is good to give thanks unto the LORD, and sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. . . . For thou, Lord, has made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works. . . ." (Psa. 92:1-2; Psa. 1:4-5) Yes, one of life's great lessons is being able to speak words of thanksgiving for EVERYTHING that comes our way. By my words of thanksgiving, I am turning a negative situation into a window of opportunity wherein I can trust the Lord. I simply need to have the faith to believe that everything is going to be just marvelous because He has given me that blessed assurance.

I am ending my thought with one last scripture and then it is off to bed for me. "PRAISE ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." (Psa. 106:1)

Friday, July 22

What's In Your Hand?

As I was reading the Word, this particular scripture instantly caught my attention: “And the LORD said unto him, what is that in thine hand? And he said, a rod.” (Ex. 4:2) Moses’ rod is symbolic of his power. The rod was his shepherd’s crook, the tool of his calling. Cast down, it became a serpent; taken up in faith, it became “the rod of God.”

Every Christian has a “rod” or God-given callings and talents. A preacher can fervently preach the Word of God until it seems that the “dead bones” within our lives become resurrected, and we are renewed with a new vision or passion. One individual can sing a melody so lovely and sweet. Another eloquently writes words of inspiration and wisdom. Whatever talent you possess, guard it and never take for granted what God has graciously bestowed to you. You do not want to despise your calling or rod of faith and negligently cast it down. You must endeavor to keep it in God’s hands. In God’s gentle hands your “rod” will be more powerful and effective.

Wednesday, July 20

Interesting Article

Have you read about Mr. Vaught? Mr. Vaught has began a cross-country journey to lose weight. He has taken a tremendous leap of faith in order to achieve drastic weight loss. I am amazed at the courage and determination of Mr. Vaught. You must visit his website and read his incredible story.

Tuesday, July 19

"Flip-Flop Controversy"

Flip-flops are cute shoes, but are they appropriate for the White House? After reading the article, I completed the survey and was surprised to note that 57% agreed flip-flop footwear is appropriate for the White House. The young ladies did not, according to the article, wear just any old flip-flops, they wore the most fashionable ones available.

While I agree that our shoes should be comfortable, I just could not muster the courage to wear a pair of flip-flops to the White House. If I was meeting the President and the First Lady, I would want to look my very best, and flip-flops would definitely be the last shoe I chose to wear. However, I admire an understated quality of these women--they did not feel the need to be ostentatious. They remained true to themselves. They were simply wearing a shoe that they liked. Since the media has branded this as a major fashion no-no, now the flip-flops can be sold on e-bay, and a 10-year old girl with a brain tumor will be blessed with a financial miracle.

You're Never Too Old to Accomplish Your Dream

My son will frequently talk about what he wants to do for his birthday. He whole-heartedly anticipates his 6th birthday! Sometimes as I hear him talk about upcoming holidays, I simply want to stop time. As a matter of fact, I wish I had more of it. July is quickly passing and before we know it, we will be celebrating a new year! After reading this article, I was reminded that no matter what your age, you can still accomplish life-long dreams.

Monday, July 18

Small Thought

originally uploaded by Debbie Pryor.

"The greatest oaks have been little acorns." (Treasury of Proverbs and Epigrams, pg.

Tuesday, July 5

My Fourth of July

We had an awesome fourth of July. We spent the evening at Huntington Beach with the Wright Family. Bro. & Sis. Wright and their family are tremendous people. They pastor in Tustin, California, which is, in my opinion, a beautiful city that has exceptional weather!

Once we braved the traffic and found a parking space, we trotted off to the beach to await the firework show. On the beach, the intangible aromas of grilled food began to tickle our senses and send a message to our stomach that we were, in fact, HUNGRY! We were ever so surprised to see a hot dog vendor on the beach. We immediately ordered hot dogs to go. We then dined on Fire Hot Cheetos with "limon." (Thanks Shawnna for the introduction to these tasty cheetos.) Oh, and what is the 4th of July without licorice!

Settled down in our comfy seats, we begin to experience a slight chill in the air. So, we naturally inched our way closer and closer to a bonfire that was so timely provided by another family. By the time it was over, we all had cozy spots next to the vibrant, warm fire, and all our chills soon became a faded memory.

The relaxed ambiance of the beach just set the stage for us to enjoy the fantastic firework show! After all the oohs and awes, it was time to go and face the unrelenting traffic. Everyone was kind and courteous as they exited the parking lot, and we were not in a traffic jam for long.

There is something about being at the beach that causes one's appetite to expand and roar with hunger. Or perhaps, we are just staying true to our Pentecostal roots--food and fellowship, equals great fun! At about 11:20 p.m. we then met our friends, the Webbs, for a late night snack at Cocos. At midnight were were enjoying a belgian waffle smothered in syrup and butter. Too bad Starbucks was closed or we would have had to add a hot mocha to the mix.

Yes, we had one fantastic day! Thanks everyone for making this day memorable!

Monday, July 4

Happy 4th of July!

Since today is all about celebrating a nation's freedom, this particular quote by Robert Frost caught my attention: "Freedom lies in being bold."