Thursday, October 23, 2014

Do You Have This Trait?


Now I'm not talking about the type of "flexibleness"
that my friend Sandy Clark has.
She is a grandmother (albeit a young one)
who can still do the splits!
I'm extremely jealous, but
I really think I was born unable to do that.

I'm speaking of realizing that others
 just might have a differing opinion from yours.
Of not saying,
"This is the way I've always done such and such,
and I'm not changing."
Of not being so rigid about a routine that it
can't be interrupted.
And perhaps most importantly...
Of not thinking that one's own opinion
 on a subject is infallible.

There is only one area of my life in which I will
never be flexible.
That is the area of my faith. 
(Many of you would call it my religion--
but that's for another blog!)
If the Bible says it, I believe it.  Period.
Infallible.  Irrefutable.  Inflexible.
The rules by which I live are chiseled in stone--
or at least they were.
Now they are chiseled on my heart.

Inflexible people lack a couple of phrases in
their vocabularies.
Those are:
"I think... and
"In my opinion..."
(much less "IMHO"--which is "in my humble opinion"
for my un-techie friends!)
They, instead, state everything they think
as indisputable fact.

Inflexible people would rarely, if ever,
"go with the flow."
They would not make lemonade out of lemons.
("What lemons?")
They would never say, (in faith)
"que sera sera."
Inflexible people would say,
"It's my way or the highway."

I hate to say it, but Baptist church members
 have not been known, historically, for their flexibility.
Now, again, I'm not speaking of our doctrines.
We should be inflexible there.
I'm speaking of some of our practices and man
 created traditions.

Mike Satterfield, one of our pastors, told a
joke Sunday morning which reflects exactly that!
"How many Baptists does it take to change
a lightbulb?"
No...we don't do change well.

I'm very timid to say, but I think I am relatively 
I probably run "I think" and "in my opinion"
into the ground.
Most days I don't have all that much of a
schedule that it can't be interrupted
if someone needs a hand or has a plan!

  I coddle and cherish a memory from
Madeline's and Susannah's growing up.
One day Susan and Rob were discussing
wanting to do something which would not have
included the girls.
They were debating how they could handle them.
Madeline said,
"Call Mimi and Gaga.  They'll say,
'We'll be there in 15 minutes!!!'"
Of course, being a grandparent makes
flexibility much more appealing
and rewarding!

I truly believe being flexible, even though it is
not named as part of the fruit of the Spirit,
(Galatians 5:22-23)
is a Godly trait.

It seems to me that flexibility would be required
 in order to be "Third."  (As blogged here.) 
Placing God and others before oneself and
being dogmatic are incompatible.

P.S.  Oh, one more thing.  I realize I'm pretty inflexible
 about my hair, too.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Names By Which I Am Known

My official name is Linda Jane Lynn Stovall.

My son calls me "Mom."
My daughter calls me "Mom" or "Mother"
(the latter most often when I've done something crazy!)
My daughter in love and son in love
call me "Linda."

Jack called me "Linda Bird."  
Maybe "Linda" or "Honey" sometimes.
But I only really remember "Linda Bird"
or "L.B." for short. 

Now...please don't be jealous, but:

This includes not only Madeline and Susannah,
but many of their friends, I'm 
thrilled to say!
Also, Charleigh-Girl.
She calls me Mimi.  Well, she knows me as "Mimi."

Some people, in an attempt to be respectful, call me
"Mrs. Stovall" or "Miss Linda" in some form.
I appreciate efforts to be respectful, but those names
make me feel old.
I prefer being a disrespected young-feeling person!

 My cousin Sarah and her friends call me
"Linda Jane" or "LJ"
because there was already a "Linda" in their
circle of friends when Sarah and I "found" each other!
Now this would have bothered me in years past.
I did not really like my middle name.
Then...guess what?
Madeline Jane Metzger, my namesake, was born.
How could I ever have disliked "Jane?"

I lost a very dear friend in 1994.
Her name was Alta Dollar.
She was the only one who has ever called me "Lin".
And, of course, I called her "Al".

As awesomely amazing as it is, 
Someone else...Someone more important than all these...
 knows my name!
God Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of this universe,
 calls me by name!!! 

But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says,
Don't be afraid, for I have ransomed you;
I have called you by name;
you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Happened Last Night!

It all began when I volunteered to do a five minute
devotional for the choir based on THIS BLOG. 
Afterward, my friend Sharon Harvey asked me if I
would come to her "small group" and present
the same to them.  I was flattered.  I had another "gig."
Funny, I felt that way until it became time to
fulfill my commitment.  Same way with the choir.
I end up saying to myself,
"What was I thinking?"
Especially when Sharon told me I had 25 minutes
as my part of the program.
(As you will see later, I am really just 'keeding!')

So last night I showed up at the "small group."
Sharon had not given me any idea how many were involved.
Sadly, there was a death in Sharon's family yesterday,
so she was unable to be there.
My long time, dear friend, Gail Calder was waiting
for me outside to help me park.
First hint:  there were A LOT of cars there.
Gail was wonderful.  She took me under her wing
for the entire evening.  I heart Gail!

Well...I've never seen so many ladies!  
It is a huge small group!
Gail said they were missing at least a couple, but
there were 16 there!

Second nerve-inducing hint:
I was told that Sandy Smith, our marvelous
pastor's wife...
(Wait...he is marvelous but she is, too...)
speaks for the group once a year.
Ohhhh, noooo.
This is my second speaking gig.  
Don't be expecting Sandy here, please girls!

After having the best pizza and the most 
beautiful salads, everyone sat down
to listen to meeee!  Yikes!
I told them how it came about that I was there,
did the five minute "choir thing,"
then shared some of my other favorite blogs.
They were so receptive and encouraging.
I felt God's presence and was totally at ease.

There was one question when I concluded.
One of my favorite ladies there asked,
"What is a blog?"
Various of the others attempted to explain to her!

It was a truly wonderful, blessed evening.
I made some new friends, although I am going
to have a hard time remembering all their names!
I passed out as many of my calling cards as I
had brought--not enough--
so maybe I will get some new readers!

My prayer as always is...

Let others see Jesus in me.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Sorry, Channel 4...

You are now officially in the American Airlines column
(and that is NOT a good thing.)

I have griped reported before that one of
life's tremendous frustrations to me
(not really)
  is the pre-empting of Judge Judy 
for every gusty wind or raindrop that occurs 
between 4:00 and 5:00 weekdays.
Or, for every high speed car chase (which all seem to
 happen during that time period.)

Well, just get ready for this.
On Sunday night, or really Monday morning,
at 2:00 A.M. and 2:30 A.M.
Judge Judy is shown on Channel 4.
I record, of course, and
I was enjoying these reruns this morning while
sipping my coffee.
When things got all tense, with JJ getting to the 
crux of the case, guess what happened?


At 2:00 in the morning!  Right at the crucial moment!
And this is what was being reported:
That weather alerts were ENDING--had EXPIRED.

Now may I offer my sincere apologies to you for
trivializing this weather report if:
you were sitting by your TV at 2:00 AM trying to
decide whether to jump in your car and
go driving.
I realize it would have been important for you to
have the information that it would be okay.

Just watched the second alert (at the 2:30 hour),
and it would NOT have been okay to go
driving if you live in Navarro County.

You're welcome.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Concrete Proof

I hope you read HERE, because this is a follow up.
All my life I've been a devout bargain hunter.
 I've always loved it, and evidently I 
talk about it quite a lot.
(Who, me???)

I have never forgotten a story I told at
one of the first Bible Study Fellowship 
fellowships I ever attended.
(Seems redundant, but these are our small groups
 meeting in a home after class.)
This would have been in the year 2000.
The Metzgers had just been to Galveston
on vacation.
I can't remember whether it was Madeline or Susannah, 
but one of them came home proudly 
showing me a bracelet and telling me she had
gotten it for "only $5" after bargaining with the seller!
(This would have been when they were
about 6 and 4 years old.)
She then told the salesperson that she couldn't wait
to show me, because
"My Mimi just loves a bargain."

I told the class that I hoped, instead, one day
 my grandgirls would say,
"My Mimi just LOVES Jesus."

I started to incorporate that story into my last blog.
I didn't, and I didn't know why.
Now I do.
It was not in God's timing. 

 This morning I found this comment
 on my Facebook page:

"Madeline Metzger I'm so glad that I have you to look up to Mimi!! You're so selfless! Truly the love of Christ, even to people who will never meet you. I love you!!"

Which reminded me of
 my angel Susannah's comment on THIS BLOG
("May I Tell You My Story?")
on September 3rd of this year.

"Susannah Metzger I love this Mimi!!!!  You're such an amazing woman of Christ and I'm blessed to have you to look up to. You inspire me!"

 Nothing in this life could mean any more to me.
"Thank you, God, for answering my prayer, and for
enabling me to remember my request and
recognize Your answer." 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Kind of Fun!!! least a dozen exclamation points' worth!!!

It began with my popping into the nail shop
to get my toes pedi'd.
There was no one available at the time,
so I needed to return in 30 minutes.
Gene Allen's is right next door, so what
better place to spend spare time?

When I went in I saw these:

Hmmm.  This had the look of a bargain hunter's dream!
It was!
Everything I could fit in this sack from the sale section
would be $20!
Actually, according to the salesladies, there was
not a lot left, even though the sale had just
started that morning.
That did not deter me.
I'm always on the lookout for things for 
Mission Arlington
for their Christmas store, and, I'm tellin' you,
Miss Tillie will welcome anything with open arms!

Well, the first thing I saw were books!
There were 10 of these: (originally $9.95!)

and 2 of these (originally $24.95, and with the
security tabs on the batteries still in place!)

Next, the sweet saleslady showed me these:

Three perfect snow globes--not a chip!
(Tinker Bell $44.95, Captain Hook $79.95, 
and Dumbo $44.95!!!)

Pretty quickly I went to two sacks!

I got 4 great looking Maverick t-shirts
(a S, a M, and 2 L's) $24.95 each

Five pretty pastel scarves: ($12.99 each!)

*Does everyone know that children of the apartment
ministries of Mission Arlington get to come
select a gift at Christmas for their mothers?
So...doesn't have to be just toys!

I got 14 of these little animals soaps (or bubble baths--
I'm not exactly sure, but they're cute!)

ETC., ETC., ETC.!!!

Here's a picture of all my loot!

If you'll notice, the snow globes are sitting
on top of their original boxes!
A giant thanks to Becky at Gene Allen's
for going the extra mile(s) for me!

Of course, a dedicated bargain shopper like I am
would add up the total original costs
the sale cost.
I paid $43, including tax.

Get ready for this--
$724, NOT including tax!!!

Definitely the bargain of my long lifetime!

I'll never find another bargain quite like this,
but I do run across really good close-out 
type deals occasionally.
If you find something irresistible and have some
"discretionary funds," don't forget
Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex!

I had the time of my life,
and I owe it all to you...Gene Allen's Hallmark!!! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Miss America--You've Come a Long Way..."

but I'm sure I'd best not call you 'baby'!
 Did anyone else watch the pageant last Saturday?
Or maybe I should say, will anyone admit to
Well, it was impressive!

The production was slick, gorgeous, just about perfection!
It was condensed to a strict 90 minutes, so
there were no fillers and no wasted time.

The contestants were beautiful, well spoken, 
intelligent, and talented.
Well...talented except for maybe the winner!

**There were opera singers**

**There was a marvelous pianist**

**A former American Idol finalist**

**Excellent dancers**

And then there was the winner...
doing the cup song.

 A pretty but pretty laid back version of the cup song.
She said she was hoping to encourage and 
make happy all the 9-year-olds that would be watching.
"Uh...but what about the judges?
I thought they were older than that!"

Here's a shot of her parents after she performed.
Her mom is holding her own red cup, 
and her dad is saying, "Look at me, all you suckers
who paid for dance, voice, and piano lessons.  
Not only did I get out for a red cup, I didn't
even have to buy fancy shoes!"
(I hope you can see--she's barefoot.)

Now if you're into the Miss America thing at all,
you are probably saying,
"Well, there's a lot more to it than just the talent."
That's true. but...
Talent is supposed to be more important than
anything else--35%.
(Interview 25%, Swimwear 15%, Evening Wear 20%,
and the onstage question 5%.)

Speaking of the questions...

The ones from these judges to these finalists
sent shock waves through media world.
I certainly question the judgment of the judges!!!

The finalists were given a whopping 
to answer the hardest questions imaginable.
I must say I thought much more of the
contestants and their answers
than I did of the judges and their questions.

Kathy Ireland asked one poor contestant:
"We were all rocked by the video of football star
Ray Rice punching his wife Janay.
She's standing by him.
As a woman, what do you think of her decision?
I wish the contestant had said:
"What I think is that your decision to ask that
question is totally inappropriate!"
Instead, she answered as well as possible.

This one is even worse:
Brigadier General Ann McDonald asked,
"The savagery of the ISIS threat to our security
was demonstrated by the gruesome videos of
two journalists and an aid worker being beheaded.
What should our country's response be?"
Whaaat?  Ridiculous!
We should make her President, not Miss America,
if she has the answer to that!

It reminds me of the days when the joke was that
every girl's platform was "world peace."
The judges might as well have asked,
"Now Miss XYZ, exactly how do you plan to bring about
world peace if you become Miss America?"

Yeah, this pageant's come a long way since 
sweet old Bert Parks sang 
There she is, Miss America, 
and the judges asked the contestants
questions like, 
"If you were an animal, what would you be?"