Sunday, March 27, 2016



Saturday, March 26, 2016


The past is dead....buried
Impossible to rectify...
What's gone is gone forever
The future is impossible to change
For what will be will be
Things hoped for
Are no more
Gone and never to be recouped
For that I grieve

Friday, March 25, 2016

Slapping Jesus in the Face

The Green River Killer
BTK Killer
DC Beltway Snipers
Ted Bundy
Ted Kaczynski
Timothy McVeigh
Terry Nichols
David Berkowitz
Kenneth Bianchi and Angel Bruno "The Hillside Stranglers"
Jeffrey Dahmer
John Wayne Gacy
Boston Strangler
Wayne Williams

The escalating Islamophobia  in this country is alarming and disgusting.  What makes it even more insidious is that it is promulgated by key presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, one of whom claims to be a born-again Christian.  Not only does this defy the Jesus I know and try to follow, but it defies all logic and is pandering to ignorant mass hysteria.

The above list is comprised of some of the most prominent serial killers of my lifetime.  Not one is Muslim.  In fact, they are predominately white males, and they cross every spectrum of society:  a brilliant, suave law student; church leader; mathematics professor; a Bronze Star medal recipient from the Gulf War.

Hysteria-fueled hate must be stopped.  Jesus came in peace to promote peace, not discrimination and hatred.  That is what I see when I look at the republican party today:  a party of hatred and discrimination.

Years ago there was a wrist band with these initials:  WWJD.  I ask, "How does Jesus feel looking down on this republican party today?  If he stepped down today, do you think he would back Trump or Cruz?  If so, on what grounds?  How do either one of these candidates mirror Him?

It may be presumptuous of me, but I believe He would say, "Do not speak in my name.  I don't know you."

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Heart Bleeds

My heart bled today.  God put the pieces together, and they stuck.  They painfully stuck.  When we know we are on a mission for/from Him, we are in tune to hear from Him. Today, He put the random pieces together in my head and in my heart......and the tears have flowed.  They trickled at work, but then they flowed tonight.  I have some boys at work who need a Momma.  I won't go into too much detail to protect their identities, but I will share this:  Two of my boys have been abandoned by their real mothers and are being raised by their fathers and step-mothers.  One announced in class a few weeks ago that his real mother doesn't want him, and he doesn't know where she is.  I found out by accident that the other one's mother has three or four children by different fathers.....and all the fathers have custody.  Although she lives just about half an hour from here, my boy rarely sees her.  This explains why they love to come to my room; they need a momma figure.  I feed them emotionally and literally.  I have gently told them when they are "ugly" to each other that we are a family when we come in my room, and family doesn't treat each other that way.  We lift each other up, not tear each other down.  I have seen small changes in them. 

Lord, let me know how to best help them with what time I/we have left.  Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2016


I have never been clearer about an assignment being "from God."  We live in a dark, evil, fallen world.  Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us we fight not man but the powers of darkness in the spiritual realm.

I once sat under a pastor who lambasted the public school system as a bastion of evil and to be avoided at all costs.  I was treated like part of the problem by virtue of working in the public school system.  Guess what?  God puts His people there, too.  Not everyone can homeschool or send their kids to private school.  Jesus didn't come for the well, but for the sick.  He needs His people in ALL vocations to be His light in a sick, fallen world.  May I be that light for someone for the time I have left.

                 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the
                         wiles of the devil. 
                For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against
                         powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual
                         wickedness in high places.
               Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to
                         withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
               Stand therefore, having your loins girted about with truth, and having on the
                         breastplate of righteousness;
               And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
               Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all
                         the fiery darts of the wicked.
               And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word
                         of God:
               Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching
                         thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Just Call Me Cindy Lou Who

If you are unfamiliar with Jim Carey's "The Grinch," let me explain.  The Grinch was a green "whatever he was" who hated Christmas and Looked down with disdain on Whoville and its residents who rejoiced in Christmas.  Everyone in Whoville feared him---everyone except Cindy Lou Who.  She decided to invite him to the Whoville Celebration, much to everyone's horror.  The outcome?  She "loved" the Grinch's heart into growing.  Through her kindness and love, his heart could not stop itself from growing.

Now, you wonder why I relate this children's Dr. Seuss classic.  It's very simple:  God speaks to us where we are.  He knows what will get our attention.  And He knows I love that movie.  One night about a month ago, I was praying in the bath as I often do, over my divinely ordained project, a particularly challenging person.  I cried out to God, imploring Him to tell me how to respond to this person's nastiness.  I wanted to give the person a lecture on being mean.  God, in a clear voice, replied, "Just love him."  Then, He placed the image of Cindy Lou Who in my head.  He knew I would understand and connect the dots.  I am to love this person into changing.  You know what?  After about a month, I have seen a dramatic change in this Grinch in two areas.  I am his Cindy Lou Who.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Living Out Our Faith

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."

How many of us are truly called to live out that verse?  On a daily basis, probably few of us.  Often the "test" of our faith involves tragedy or a cancer diagnosis.

I have a friend I have been praying for, shepherding, over a job promotion.  It is a slam dunk, or so it seems--until we look at the players involved.

The promotion would take the family farther away from his wife's hometown.  Then, there are the children.  We know moving is hard for kids--uprooting and leaving friends and schools.

I suggested a "lesson plan" (so to speak) for the BIG family pow wow.  I all boils down to this one thing:  is each family member going to live out his or her faith--trusting God for whatever comes.  When I look at the pros and cons my friend shared, it's obvious to me and him that God is in all of it.

"I know the plans I have for you, to give you a future and a hope." 

Will it be hard to uproot?  Of course; no one said it (or life) would be easy.  But, as His children, do we strive to be obedient to Him and His will?  Who knows what is best for us?

So, my prayer is that each of his family members grabs on to that tail of faith and allows God's will to take them to a place they have never seen, an unfamiliar place, but that, in turn, their faith will grow exponentially.

++++Update:  Since I wrote this earlier, my friend has let me know that the Hiring Manager (GOD in reality) called and changed the location to a city right next to where his wife is from.  This will make it easy for his wife to be amenable to a move.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

True Confession

I titled this post "True Confession" because to anyone who knows me, this will come as a shock:  I cry too easily and too much.  I have a tough as nails veneer, as anyone who has ever known me at work would attest; one does not survive 18 or 19 years in 4 middle schools if she were a namby-pamby.  But.....I am too sensitive.  I sometimes have to give up reading the news for awhile to recover.  This past week has been a week of sadness, both personal and not-so-personal.  The common denominator was that each event left my face tear-streaked.

Last Sunday I learned my ex has prostate cancer, and while I was talking to my son, giving him unsolicited advice about how to deal with his father (He is living with him.), tears were streaming down my face as my voice crackled.  He has to make peace with his dad because he doesn't know how long his father has--whether he will be ok or not.  Mid-week I learned a virtually destitute cousin had died from a second brain tumor, and I don't know whether she died alone in the Charleston hospital.  Then, yesterday country singer Joey Feek died from cervical cancer at just 40 years old, leaving her two year-old daughter.  I had never even heard of her prior to a few months ago, but I kept up with her husband's blog chronicling her illness.  Last night as I turned off the light, I was bawling like a baby after viewing one of her Youtube videos, "When I'm Gone."  She was a believer, so she was happy to go home to heaven; yet, my sadness is for her family.  Finally, when I woke this morning, my friend Angela had sent me a message last night that Pat Conroy, South Carolina's most famous author and resident of my town, had lost a month-long battle with pancreatic cancer, the cancer with the automatic death sentence.  I didn't know the man; yes, I met him eleven months ago at a book signing, but I didn't know him.  So, why was I crying??  Was it for the best-selling novels he still had in him?  Was it for the state and Lowcountry's loss?  I don't know, but I cried. 

I also cry when I pray; that is really stupid, but I do.  Perhaps that is why I don't pray in the traditional manner very often.  I prefer to just talk to God when I am driving to work or piddling in the kitchen.  Those are not raw; those I can handle.

This is an area I need to work on, and it may take time. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Road That Equalizes

Death is the great equalizer; no matter one's status in life--rich or poor--we will all walk it.  I was reminded this week that God holds life and death in His hands.  Over the weekend my parents and I marked one year since my mother was sent home under hospice care to die.  This was her shortly after that: 
When the ambulance was getting ready to bring her home after a week in ICU, I spoke to a nurse who told me it was anybody's "guess" how long she had.  She had gone into the hospital with pneumonia and was released with congestive heart failure.  This is now, one year later:

She is nothing short of a miracle.  She was under hospice care from about February 28 last year until early December.  From December until mid-February she was under Low Country Home Health Care's umbrella.  Through it all, my father was there daily to take care of all her needs as her primary caregiver.  I helped out on the weekends, and my brother continues to go on Thursdays to do yard work and laundry.  Mother is now using the walker and using the wheelchair just to get to the table for meals.  A year ago none of us expected this.

On a sadder note, a cousin died this week in Charleston. I probably had not seen her in close to 25 years.  Her father (Mother's baby brother) is dead, and her own mother disavowed her years ago.  I don't know if she died alone or not.  A few cousins are going to claim the body, I think, and see about giving her some kind of burial.  It's the right thing to do.  Ever since I heard about Terry, I have thought of how awful it must be to die alone. 

A friend this week thought he was having a heart attack and thought he was "going home."  He meant to heaven, as this earth is not the final stop for those of us who believe.  He is ok, but all of this has had me thinking of how transitory life is.  What do you believe?  Where do you think you'll be when you get to the end of your road?  Heaven?  Nothingness? A long sleep?   As one who has faced death in a cancer diagnosis, I don't fear it; I fear dying a slow death alone.