Happy Birthday to Bud

>> Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm reposting this one today to help celebrate Bud's birthday. I'm blessed everyday to have him in my life.

"This week we’re at letter “I” and our mentor/blogger, Patty Wysong, suggested that we use this week to introduce ourselves. Okay, Patty (“Peej”). This one’s for you.

To keep my personal introduction from sounding like a confessional, allow me to present my amazing husband. He’s much more interesting. Then, just know that I possess the flip side of his attributes. If it's true that opposites attract, then our marriage was absolutely made in Heaven (Is this where I apologize for using two cliches in one sentence?).

Bud loves to mingle, has a smile bigger than Dallas, and never meets a stranger.

He can work outside in a blinding blizzard or record-breaking heat – without complaining.

He never takes things personally.

He enjoys – I repeat, “enjoys” – spending some of his Saturdays driving a church bus full of rowdy charges from one of the most underprivileged areas in our city to church for their special time of Bible study and worship.

My heroic rescuer used to joke that his career(s) meant waiting for someone’s house to burn down (retired firefighter) or roof to cave in (owner of a small roofing/structural maintenance company). I’m fortunate to have been one of many damsels in distress he encounters on a regular basis, but that’s a story for another day.

Bud is the consummate optimist. Whatever the project, once the first nail is driven he smiles and says, “All I like is finishing up!”

His motto could be “Go big or go home.” Our newlywed dream of having a home and five acres on the outskirts of Oklahoma City morphed into 80 acres an hour away. And we were sixty miles from his daily work, our families and friends and almost fifteen miles from the nearest dry cleaners, the bank and our church. We lived there for 15 years before moving back to our roots. All things considered --- even the inconvenience --- that experience is one we will always treasure.

It's been said that marriage is made in Heaven. Someone added "So are thunder and lightning." The balance of similarities and differences in our personalities keep our relationship more to the heavenly side. We both love the Lord. Our imperfect lives are centered on Him, the family He gave us, and enjoying the beauty of His creation.

We are thankful for the two different worlds that collided when we met. His background included horses and cattle –from a family of rodeo enthusiasts. My family’s activities were, shall we say, sedentary: Dad was always playing the guitar while my mother listened and kept time with her crochet needles.

As a child, I had always dreamed of owning a horse and a piano. Bud made both of those dreams come true.

I was terrified of heights. He taught me to snow ski. I couldn’t swim and still had memories of almost drowning --- three times. He taught me to water ski.

My husband's ridin’ and ropin’ days are over, but he’ll always be at home outside or creating things in his shop filled with mammoth tools and his imagination. Yet for eighteen years he willingly took time to come to concerts by the Singing Church Women of Oklahoma, even though I was but a speck among 400 women in a sea of sequins and long, black dresses. (Need a little updating here: I thought his rodeo days were over, but I should have consulted Bud before making such a naive observation. My forever-young husband is actually celebrating his 68th birthday by bringing "Rowdy" home from being "broken" and will be riding him for the first time today.)

We’ve come back to our original plan and now live on those five acres near Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. It’s good to be back “home” close to our two daughters and their families.

Most of my goals have been achieved: I’m married, have two beautiful daughters, three grandsons and their terrific dads – and don’t forget the horse and piano. I’m still working on becoming the person God had in mind when He formed me. I do love people, but in a more shy way. Hopefully, my desire to write comes from the Lord and He will able to use that for His glory, not mine. And ... I want to be more like my husband.

He makes me better.


Son of God

>> Saturday, March 1, 2014

We saw Son of God last night. Some of the images are still with me today. Some were difficult to see. It felt awkward to watch images of the suffering that Jesus endured. Awkward because the pain was His and the grief belonged to his earthly mother and His Heavenly Father.

It was intense. And personal. And I didn't want to be in that crowd gawking at a painful dying process. But God didn't hide the suffering or the shame of the crucifixion of His only beloved Son. His redemptive plan was meant to draw us in - to show us the cost of our sin. A price He charged to His only Son. For me. And for you.

We have a choice. We can remain ghoulish and watch while we keep our distance. Or we can own what is ours. Our sins - every one of them, and our sin - our nature that makes it impossible to live a pure enough life to meet God's standards of holiness.

Jesus gave Himself up to hands that would beat him mercilessly, mouths that would spew hatred and spittle, and arms that would raise a sledge hammer to drive spikes into hands that were used to bless and to heal others and into feet that carried Him to the lost and the dying. And to the cross.

All He asks in return is a heart full of repentance and faith. A heart willing to be open to His unspeakable gift of forgiveness and love. Unconditional love. If there had been only one person in need of a Savior, He would have endured the cross for that one soul.

Pride would cause us to close our eyes and walk away from accepting our part in Jesus' death. Pride is deadly. And a pride that refuses to believe in God's redemptive plan and be humbled enough to receive it leads to the second death from which there is no return.

My prayer for anyone reading these words is for your eyes to be open to a love only God could bestow. And for your heart to be willing to simply acknowledge Jesus as God's only Son, recognize that we are all sinners, ask for forgiveness of your sins and invite Jesus into your heart.

The Son of God will return. This time in glory.




Draw Me

>> Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Photography by Mid Stutsman  http://midspix.wordpress.com/

Draw Me

Draw me through my tears
  Embrace me in my fears
In the stillness of the night
  Draw me

Draw me through my doubt
  Use truth to draw me out
When lies of the world deceive
  Draw me

Draw me into Your joy
  Use praises to employ
Your mercy and Your grace
  Draw me

Draw me to new heights
  Lift me with Your might
To Your ways higher than mine
  Draw me

Draw me through the skies
  To Your glorious home on high
Forever in Your light
  Draw me

© Nancy K. Sullivan    
    February 4, 2014


Lavender Rain - A Book Review

>> Wednesday, February 19, 2014

     Hope-filled fiction is used to describe the Serenity Cove series of novels by Rita Garcia. I just finished reading Lavender Rain - Maggie's Story. This third book in the Serenity Cove Series is as fresh as the first, Kaleidoscope Summer, and the second, Tangerine Morning.
      Rita’s writing provides a perfect Calgon-Take-Me-Away place to relax and enjoy the beautiful setting in Serenity Cove. The characters are easy to bond with and their stories are current and engaging.The beautiful setting is one of the things that brings me back for more visits. But the residents and their special life experiences make it such a pleasure to stay.

     Maggie's story will take you on an even deeper journey with real-life challenges that can only be effectively faced through faith. Rita Garcia stays true to her writing of "inspirational romance." Lavender Rain will remain with you long after you've enjoyed reading it. The story line is current and important on so many levels.
     You can find all three books at www.Amazon.com. The link to Lavender Rain is below. They are also available for your Kindle. Enjoy.

      Have a cuppa, relax and enjoy your stay in this wonderful and picturesque oceanside community.

Blog: http://www.reflectionswithdr.com
Website: http://www.ritagarcia.com

Dr. Rita Garcia is a Clinical Christian Counselor and an inspirational novelist. Her knowledge and passion for helping others brings realistic details to the counseling woven into her stories. The theme that permeates her writings is: Love, lit by the flame of hope. Romance is a big part of her novels. Hope is an even larger element of the stories. Rita and her husband, Joe, live in Southern California.


A Special Gift

>> Sunday, February 2, 2014

God's Valentine Message

Today’s post for the Valentine season comes from one who will enjoy the source of all love face to face today – with Jesus. My mother, Goldie Opal McCall joined Him and my dad, “Mac” last April 19, 2013.
Mother loved doing acrostics. She used them often in her teaching in Sunday School and for her personal Bible study. The following is one she did February 14, 1991:  

"God’s Valentine Message is for Every Day" 

G – God’s gift of Love to all, His Son Jesus who in
O – Obedience left Heaven for
D – Death on the cross, to provide
S – Salvation to “Whosoever” will accept Him. 
His Gifts to Us: 
V – Victory in life and over death.
A – Answers to our prayers.
L – Love beyond measure and forever.
E – Example of Jesus to follow.
N – A New Nature.
T – Talents and time to serve Him and others.
I – Inheritance in Heaven as His child.
N – (Our) Needs will be supplied according to His riches in glory.
E – Eternal Life. 

        “Valentine’s Day is a time set aside to show love for for another. This is good, but sad that it is not a practice that can be celebrated each and every day.
        “Since God is the source of all Love, I have spent this day in thankfulness to Him for His love toward me, and the love I have received from my family and friends.
        “I wanted to share this, “His Valentine Message” to me, with you and I hope you will claim it for yourself each and every day.” 

Goldie McCall



>> Friday, January 31, 2014

It's a quiet and cloudy day in Oklahoma City today. I have plenty of things with which to busy myself. But I'm more in the mood to remember other times. With so many of our family who have moved ahead of us into God's kingdom, we need to keep memories alive. For ourselves. For our younger family members. Following is a piece I wrote when my cousin, Glenda, passed away. She was a poet and spent many hours during a time in her life that would leave many feeling they had no resources to be productive. Parkinsons Disease was holding her captive in her body and in her tiny apartment, but she still reached out to others through her poetry and shadow boxes. It is my honor to introduce you to her today:

Glenda is my cousin.  And, for what now seems a lifetime ago, she was my friend, traveling companion, and confidant.  
As children, Glenda and I spent summer days at Grandpa Anderson’s house creating whatever world we chose to live in for the day.  Some days we would load all of our worldly possessions into the family car parked in the driveway, climb into the front seat and head for California or other far-away places.  We didn’t need the car keys, or money for gas or lodging.  All we needed were our imaginations and that supply never ran dry.  A walk to the local grocery store on a summer day could turn into a raging blizzard as we fought against howling winds and life-threatening elements that no one else could experience.
At the end of such an eventful day, we would lie under the moon-soaked window of her tiny bedroom and plan the rest of our lives.  And, like our imaginations, our plans knew no bounds.  The cool breeze was a welcome relief from the summer heat – and much warmer than the howling “winter” winds we had survived earlier that day.
Our lives took different paths, most of which were not in our well-thought-out summer dreams.  Glenda’s ability to step out of her world and into a better place enabled her to write beautiful poetry and create cards and shadow boxes to showcase what she had written.  I’ve heard how her poetry won awards and how she used to be invited to read her inspired creations to other poets.
That she could know such peace in a body that defied her every move and be able to express such love for and faith in God, in her Jeshua, was God revealing Himself to us through her.  I can honestly say that I never once heard Glenda complain or feel sorry for herself over her physical condition.  The only words spoken were words of praise and of hope. 
At Glenda and Jacob’s anniversary celebration one summer, Glenda created yet another memory.  Our grandson, Barrick, was there.  He was about six months old, I guess.  Glenda engaged him by singing what sounded like a Jewish lullaby to him as only she could sing it.  Barrick’s wiggles stopped, his eyes fixed on hers.  He didn’t even notice the involuntary movement of Glenda’s chair twisting on castors that would not be controlled.  He just heard her soft voice and the beautiful song that was for his ears only – like they were the only two people in a room filled with people and activity.  What a gift, and on a day when Glenda should have been the only recipient of gifts.  
There was quite a party going on in Heaven in 2009 and 2010.  One reunion after another, after another, after another…  Early on a Saturday morning at 2:30 AM, it was Glenda’s turn to run into the waiting arms of her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends - and her Messiah.  And run she could.  With strong legs that allowed her to dictate the direction and speed of her arrival.  I can imagine, once again, and I can see Glenda on the team that writes unending praises to Yahweh.  But that’s where the imagination ends.  This time she really is in a better place.
Thanks for the memories, Glenda.



Philippians 4:4-9

>> Monday, January 13, 2014

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.
The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer
And supplication with thanksgiving let your requests 
be made known to God.
And the peace of God, 
which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and 
if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.”
(Philippians 4:4-9 NASB)



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