Saturday, May 19, 2012

ADHD and Bible Study -- HAHAHA

I couldn't get it to turn right side up, but you get the point.

If you’ve read my prior blogs, you know I love my daddy and how colorful my life has been because of him. Daddy is sanguine (meaning he can turn anything into a great story). He’s also where I got my ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). SOOOO what that means is he finds a lot of things to be very entertaining. He recently discovered James Wiersbe’s Commentary, and he allowed me to read some of it. What I discovered was more than the content. What I discovered was how my daddy sees the Bible. Being ADHD means we can’t filter out minutia or extraneous material very easily. Apparently, daddy found pretty much all of Wiersbe important, fascinating, and exciting, and it’s all hi-lighted…in ORANGE. All but the page numbers and titles are hi-lighted. If you think the Bible is dull and dry, irrelevant, uninspiring, impractical then you aren’t reading it right. The Word of God is as exciting as all the hi-lighting daddy can handle. If you will just take the time to spend with God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you, He will.

And this one decided to turn on its side. CRAZY

I have to tell you Genesis 15 has been a chapter I’ve had to sit on and digest for several weeks now. I’ve used several translations, a transliteration of the Bible, several commentaries, and a book by James Garlow called The Covenant: a Study of God’s Extraordinary Love for You.” I tell you this because I don’t want you to think I pull things out of a hat. I do research what I write and what I teach, and this chapter is really rich.

So let’s dig in! Get your Bible and join me.

Genesis 15:9, God gives Abram a list of animals to put on the altar. Have you ever seen the commercial where the cowboys ask the city slicker where he got his salsa as the city slicker is aiming a car remote at his horse and tweeting it? Someone says he got it from NEW YORK CITY, and you hear another say, “Get a rope.” Everyone who has watched that commercial know exactly what is meant and implied. You don’t make salsa in New York City! When God told Abram to get the animals, he knew immediately everything that meant and implied. God wanted to enter into a covenant with Abram. A covenant is HUGE! As we study it a little more, I hope you will appreciate the enormity of it because Abram surely did.

Abram brings the animals to the altar and cuts all but the birds in half. In blood convenants, blood must be shed. A sacrifice must be made. Abram completes the task, and no sooner has he completed the task than a flock of birds come down and try to take his sacrifice. According to James Garlow in The Covenant: a Study of God’s Extraordinary Love for You, in the Old Testament the birds of prey represent the enemy. Have you ever been on a trek to get closer to God, to get to know God better on a more intimate and personal level only to be distracted? Maybe you are starting to go to church or going back to church? Are you trying to have your quiet time daily? Being ADHD, it doesn’t take much, and I hate it when the enemy comes in and attempts to get me off course, and the enemy is so good at what he does. Abram begins waving away the birds, fending off his sacrifice because he desperately wants this kind of relationship with God. Are you desperate to know God more? Are you willing to defend and fight off the enemy for that closer walk with God? The Bible says the enemy is prowling, seeking whom he may devour (1Pt 5:8). So, I encourage you to be like Abram. Fight off the enemy. Fight for God’s promises. Fight to get to know Him more. I promise it is worth it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I'm a Mom...

Today is Mother's Day, and it's the first Mother's Day without G, Patrick's mom. That kinda hurts. But it also reminds me that I have two women still in my life for whom to be thankful -- my mom and my Mammaw Groves. I'm so thankful for their godly influence on my life, for shaping and molding me into the woman I am today. I am also thankful for the other godly women who walked alongside my mom and grandmothers who invested their time, their wisdom, and their knowledge in me.

My prayer is that my children will have women in addition to my mom, myself, and my sister to help to shape and mold them. I'm thankful for Sunday school teachers, godly school teachers, and friends who love on my children.

I am so proud to be the mother of Erin. She's beautiful, sensitive, kind and funny, and has the best smile ever. She is compassionate and has a style that is all her own. My favorite quote from Erin is, "Mom, they don't expect me to match." Erin has yet to discover the extent of her own strength or the power she has when she invests into the lives of the smaller children at church. She hears her own drummer and gets down to it when you least expect it. She is a voracious reader, and I love her dearly. One day I can see her as a teacher. She gets plenty of practice in her room. OR, I can see her being a missionary in a foreign land. I can't wait to see what God has in store for her.

Erin is my heart. She is the first to have made me a mom. She is my treasure, my joy.

Then there is my boy-child! How exciting life has become since I became the mother of a boy!
My boy goes to bed moving and wakes up moving. My boy moves the world. He takes things apart for what appears to be no good reason, but in his imagination, he creates amazing things with these parts. We have a collection of items on our roof comprised of inventions he has put together in order to retrieve something precious he once threw onto the roof. He loves adventures but hates to be day he will learn they go hand-in-hand.

Does anyone need models?

He is charming and winsome...when he wants to be. He can be charasmatic and engaging, but he can also be challenging and head-strong. All these wonderful characteristics is what will  make him a good leader...some day.

He is a man among boys. He can play with his sister, yet put on his swagger when the big guys come around. He loves to be outside in the dirt and in nature shoeless feeling nature at his feet.

Pearce is handsome and has grown women not to mention little girls wrapped around his finger, but it's up to me to make sure he treats them like ladies and not become a lady-killer.

He is my challenge, my joy. He is the reason I can't be still for long. He is the reason I am a mom who thinks quickly on my toes. And for all his manliness, he loves to do crafts with his momma, read the Bible with his momma, and cuddle with his momma.

These are the children for whom I prayed, and the Lord answered my prayers. I am blessed to be their mom. I am thankful that their birth moms thought that these babies lives were more important than the inconvenience of nine months. I am thankful that their birth mothers believed in choosing life because by choosing life for these babies, they also provided a life for me that I would never know otherwise...the life of a mom.

Does God Sound Like James Earl Jones?

There has been once maybe twice that I have been in my house by myself for any extended period of time with a clean house and no laundry to do. I remember when G, Patrick’s mom, would come and get the kids. They would stay with her for a week. When she would take Pearce, it took me a good 24 hours to finally be able to relax without wondering where he was and what he was into. He’s just active and curious and creative, and if he’s quiet, then he’s probably doing something a little more creative than I’d like…know what I mean?

So it is a little difficult for me to put myself into Abram’s sandals when I read Genesis 15. He is alone, and a vision appears. I wonder how unsettling it was for him. I have to tell you I’m afraid I’d freak out.

Putting myself into Abram’s shoes…he has just rescued Lot, been blessed by Melchizedek, gave 10% of everything to the priest and King Mechizedek, turned down the king of Sodom, and then God comes calling. Sounds like a fast-paced roller coaster of a ride. Have you ever been through a roller coaster of a ride in life or been stressed beyond belief when God comes calling?

Then I think, “If someone today said that God showed up to them in a vision, what would people think? What would I think?”

Is his vision like a hologram? Did Abram ever try to reach out and touch the vision? Because if my Lord and Savior came to me in a vision, I don’t know what I’d do first – pass smooth out, fall on my face worshipping and weeping, or reach out to hold my Father and be held by Him. Can you imagine? Do you ever wonder? Abram could see and hear the vision, but did he use any of his other senses?

Either way, God showed up in a personal way to Abram and Abram alone in a vision. “Do not be afraid.” Yep, I think I’d be afraid. I believe I’d hear my heart pumping in my ears, assuming I was still in the vertical position. “I am your shield.” Ephesians 6:16, says when we put on the armor of God we are to put on the “Shield of faith.” It is a defensive piece of armory. It protects. We are to trust Him for our defense. “Your very great reward.” HCSB says “your reward will be great.” Here’s something else I wonder about – in this vision, what did God sound like? Since God is so big, does He have a voice like James Earl Jones? Seriously, have you ever thought about what God’s audible voice sounds like?

You know, Abram recognizes the vision as being God without any question. He doesn’t say, “Who art thou?” or “Who sendeth you?” I wonder, when God shows up in my life, do I recognize Him, His hand and His work in my life or am I too busy and unfocused to notice? Do you recognize God in your life?

Not only does Abram recognize God immediately, but Abram has the kind of relationship with Yahweh that he feels comfortable telling God what is on his heart…almost without a filter. It’s like Abram is saying, “God, what’s the point in blessing me when I have no child to endow it to?” Then Abram goes as far as to tell God, “You have given me no children.” Abram knows the source of every good and perfect gift. Abram knows who provides for his every need. Abram knows he can rely on God to provide. Abram knows he can go to God with the desires of his heart…a child. I can relate to Abram in this matter. I remember praying and asking God to remove the desire to become a mom if He wasn’t going to provide me with a child. He didn’t remove my desire nor did he remove Abram’s desire for an heir, but God doesn’t always answer the question or the problem with a solution that is inside the box. God promises Abram a son, and Abram believed. Abram believed in God for the difficult, for the impossible, for the incredible. What are you trusting God to do? What are you anticipating Him doing in your life? What prayer are you wanting God to answer?

Then the vision takes Abram outside. I wonder how this transition was made? What was going on through Abram’s mind as he followed the vision of God outside? Then God promises that Abram’s descendents would be numerous, too numerous to count. What did Abram do? He believed. There is something in beLIeVING in God Almighty that gives life. It encourages. It gives hope.

Then God reminds Abram of who He is and what He’s done and what He has promised to give Abram. Do you ever need reassurance that God is still on His throne, that He is still in control, that He is the lover of your soul? God is so good. He gives that reassurance, that reminder throughout the Word. But for Abram it isn’t enough. “HOW CAN I KNOW…” For me it’s been, How can I know what God’s will is for me? How can I know that this is what He wants me to do? How can I know that I am supposed to be in this relationship? How can I know? God reminds us. Have you seen His hand moving in your life? Have you felt the Holy Spirit stir your heart? That is how I know. God is faithful.

Abram wants God to prove it. Be careful what you ask for because it may require more of you than you are willing to give. Next up…the covenant.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Daddy Taught Me to Ride a Bike...Nothing Can Ever Be Easy

When I was growing up my parents gave Lori and me bicycles. They were pink with baskets on the front, and I don’t remember training wheels of any sort. What I do remember was wanting to know how to ride it without having to learn how to ride it…make sense? I was the same way about skating, jumping on the pogo stick, swimming, playing piano…you get the picture. My daddy wanted to show us how easy it was to ride the bicycle, so this grown man straddled my pink bicycle and began pedaling. While he was a little wobbly at first, he straightened up, gained confidence, and said, “Hey, watch this!” That’s when he popped a wheelie. Under normal circumstances this would be really awesome, but if you’ve read any of my prior blogs, you know that my daddy never did anything normally. True to form, daddy popped a wheelie on my bike and fell backwards landing hard on his tailbone and then his back. Let’s just say he was slow in getting up and for about six weeks he sat on a donut because he had fractured his tailbone. We were laughing up until the time he tried to get up because it was a pretty funny sight. Then it was my turn to try. I got on the bike, got my balance and started pedaling. At that time, we lived in a single-wide trailer (12 ft by 60 ft), and the trailer had a tongue that jutted out from the front of the trailer. When I mentioned that daddy showed us how to ride our bikes, did I mention that he didn’t show us how to stop because he fell and broke his tailbone? Yep! I ran my bike into the tongue of the trailer because I didn’t know how to stop it! The tongue was very effective in stopping my bicycle.

When daddy was teaching Lori and me how to drive a car, he taught us in a Ford Festiva that was a standard, a stick-shift. He was teaching us how to shift gears and how to start going if we had to stop on a hill. I hated stopping on a hill and having to start up again. I would stall out or roll backwards several hundred feet. I dreaded it. If only I could know it without learning it! I remember one time I was sitting in the back of the car, Lori was driving, and daddy was in the front passenger seat. We ALL had our seatbelts on. As we approached a hill there was an intersection, and daddy told Lori to turn left. SOOOO, we crested the hill going about 35 mph and made the left turn without stopping at the stop sign all while going about 35 mph. We went into the ditch and back out again. I’m in the back seat frightened out of my mind and laughing hysterically, and daddy was in the front saying, “Dang it, Lori, why didn’t you stop?” Her response was, “You told me to turn!” Daddy hadn’t told her to stop and then turn left. She had taken him at his word – face value.

Have you ever anticipated something that you were ill-equipped to deal with? Have you ever wanted to know a thing without having to learn it?

That is where I found myself as I blog through Genesis. I knew it was coming, so I started reading a book on the subject. I know that there have been others who have taught on covenants, but to be honest, I like to learn it for myself. Yes, my son comes by it honestly. He and I typically learn things the hard way. Don’t get me wrong, if there is a difficult lesson to learn, I’d much rather learn it by watching others make the mistakes, but when it comes to the Word of God and how it applies to me, I figure I kinda need to do the work myself. Does that make any sense? So, I will attempt to give a step-by-step approach to this covenant, so hopefully we won’t go into the ditch –so to speak. This particular covenant is the precept for the cross, and I am so thankful for the cross.

So, I knew the chapter was coming up regarding the covenant God made with Abram, and I began reading a book I was given written by James L. Garlow called The Covenant: A Study of God’s Extraordinary Love for You. I confess sometimes I find biblical books to be very dry and boring especially if I can’t connect to it. Am I alone here? (To my friends who have published Bible studies, I’m not referring to yours.)

On the flip side of the coin, I also know that I can’t teach on a subject that I have no experience or knowledge concerning, so I dove into the book and the Word, and what I found was humbling. I ask that you bear with me over the next few blogs as I dig into the covenant, its importance, and how does it apply to me and you today, right now, right where I sit, where you sit…you know, where the water hits the wheel. Are you ready? Are you willing?

Please read Genesis 15.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Some Strings Will Strangle You

When Lori and I were growing up, our daddy used to tell us, "If anyone asks you if you are related to _____________, tell them 'no,' and then you come tell me." We were gullible. We didn't have a clue what any of that meant. It was so cryptique.

There are so many people on daddy's side of the family it's easier to say who isn't related, especially in Desoto Parish. My granddaddy was the youngest of 13 kids who all went on to have a slew of kids. When we would be out with daddy, he would say, "Oh, that was Aunt Beatrine's youngest daughter Sugarfoot," or "that was my cousin so-and-so," or "that's Aunt Pearl's son." Sometimes daddy wouldn't remember their given name but might remember their nickname or a story about that particular relative. Daddy is quite the story teller and with his family and his life, there are some great stories to tell. Currently, he's working on writing down some of his stories. He's titling it The Life and Times of Duke and Doodles. Doodles is one of his cousins. I can't wait to read it.

I have some very colorful ancestors in my family to say the least. For example, one of my great uncles that I never got to meet was the head of a local mafia of sorts. I had at least one great aunt and uncle who were boot-leggers and lived in the bottoms in the woods to hideout from the law. My other great aunts and uncles would deliver their mail and take them food when they were on the lam. I believe their distillory was down in those woods. My grandaddy rode on the sideboard of Bonnie and Clyde's car at one point. So maybe colorful might be an understatement because I know I haven't been told ALL of the stories, but I sure would love to hear them!

One of the stories I have been told was about my great uncle. It intrigued me. Apparently, he would find out who all the new officers were on the force, just fresh out of the academy and in debt. During the holidays, my great uncle would take these officers food and Christmas presents for their children, and since he was also known for carrying a wad of money, he would often give these young officers money. In reality, these young officers were exchanging one debt for another. See my great uncle would collect on those debts when he needed to. He had juke joints in the bottoms of Shreveport that served alcohol and had gaming equipment, and at least one of my uncles worked the front door. These officers felt a sense of duty or a connection to my great uncle. His connections didn't stop with just the new hires either. He had connections on up through the state government. Colorful. Very colorful stories that I've been told from time to time.

The funny thing is that side of the family will do anything for family. Loyalty. If only I had been born two generations back, oh the material I could write!

Gifts, bribes, connections have a way of strangling you if you aren't careful about whom you accept gifts, bribes and connections. Maybe that’s why in Genesis 14:22 – 24, Abram tells the king of Sodom that he doesn’t want anything from him other than what his servants ate. Whereas, Lot was okay with living on the fringes of Sodom, Abram didn’t want any connections to the king of Sodom. Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Abram knew whom he served, and to accept goods from the king of Sodom would forever bind Abram or connect him or make an affiliation with the king of Sodom. That is not the type of reputation Abram wanted for himself. In Louisiana politics and even national politics, we see where people have made some strange attachments that later come back to get them. You take their money, their friendship, their benefits, their "strings," and they own part of you until they call to collect. And they ALWAYS collect.

If Lot lived on the fringe (see a prior blog), then Abram wanted no strings attached. To whom do you find yourself attached? You might be thinking you don't have any seedy connections, or you don't owe anyeone anything, but you may want to search your heart and allow God to search it as well.  Whatever connections you find, are they good attachments, or are you trying to distance yourself to the fringe of the connection? Look at your business associates. Look at those with whom you invest the most of your time, money and energy into. Not everyone in this world are out to get for themselves by whatever means possible, but there are people out there who do.

Abram made a clean break. He chose God. Where does your loyalty lie?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sometimes I Feel Like the Greatest Failure in Being a Mom

Sometimes I feel like the greatest failure in being a mom. Have you ever just blown it? When I am exhausted and pushed to the limit, when I have more deadlines on me than I can bear, when I’m stressed to the max, and one of my darlins not only steps over the line but charges full speed ahead across it as if running a sprint, I have been known to lose my mind. There you have it. I L-O-S-E IT! I can give plenty of excuses for not behaving like a perfect parent or for why I’m not being the perfect parent, but it doesn’t mean I’m right. And I know there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

There are days when raising my strong-willed child that I just feel the spiritual need to do some laying on of the hands (if you know what I mean), and in my disciplining, I hear words tumble out of his mouth, “You’re so mean!” Yep, I’m the mean mom, and I’m okay with being the mean mom. I’m not okay with defeat. I won’t give up on my kids no matter how I may screw up from time-to-time or how exhausted I may be. I will not give up in parenting them, disciplining them, loving them, challenging them, and it can be exhausting. Isn’t nice to know that God can restore, refuel, and energize us?

In Genesis 14:17, we see Melchizedek is not only king of Salem (which most believe is Jerusalem or at the very least it is near Jerusalem), but he is also priest to God Most High. Salem means peace. Melchizedek was the king of peace and priest of the God Most High…Does that sound similar to anyone else in the Bible? If it doesn’t, maybe this will help. Melchizedek gives Abram, a believer in the God Most High, bread and wine. Melchizedek is paralleling Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace. He is the One who came down to mediate our soul’s transfer from the bondage of sin to the heavenly Father. Jesus Christ at the Last Supper gives bread as a symbol of his body and wine to represent his blood. This is some rich, deep stuff, peeps. Melchizedek gives bread and wine to Abram and his men after returning from battle to restore them, to fuel them, to replenish their physical needs then meets their spiritual needs.

Abram is restored, refreshed, blessed, and in the presence of God. What does Abram do in turn? He gives. He gives a tenth of everything. While it is not called a tithe, it is the base amount of a tithe, isn’t it? Abram responded to the king of peace and priest.

When you get into the presence of God Almighty, God Most High, when you see His hand working in your life, when you feel His restoration and blessing, how do you respond? Do you realize that what you have attained in this life isn’t because of what you’ve done but because of what God’s done for you? Melchizedek says, “I give praise to God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you.” Do you have an Attitude of Gratitude?

One of my new favorite verses is Psalm 57:2, “I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” We have many things for which to be thankful. One is that we have a Prince of Peace and Mediator who paid for our sins and defeated death. As a result of redemption, we can know that God has a purpose for each of us. Philippians 1:7 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I know that God has called me to be a mom. I know without a doubt God hand-chose both of my kids for me to mother. Let’s just say, God has a sense of humor. I thought by adopting I’d circumvent that mother’s prayer, but my mother’s prayer was more potent than my body’s ability to give life. God’s purpose for me is to be a momma to Erin and Pearce and a wife to Patrick among other purposes He has called me to undertake.

The victories we achieve in this life as believers are not our own. They are to the glory of God because they are part of His plans for us in living an abundant life (John 10:10). Give credit where credit is due. It is by the grace of God that I was allowed to live past puberty, and I give that credit to God. It is by the grace of God that my marriage is still a living, growing force in my life. It is to the glory of God that both of my children have asked Jesus into their hearts. It is by the grace of God and His plan and purpose for me that I get to serve Him by loving and listening to women. It is by God and God alone that I can overcome setbacks in life. It is by God and God alone that I can parent my strong-willed child with determination to mold his will and help him to develop into the young man God has purposed for him to be. It is by God and God alone that my daughter is a healthy pre-teen. To God be the glory.

How will you respond to your Prince of Peace and Savior through today's struggles and victories?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Living Life on the Fringe Is No Way to Live

Living life on the fringe is really no way to live life because you aren’t fully involved or fully committed to the life you’ve chosen to live. What keeps you from diving in? There are some real cons in being non-committal.

So, the first documented battle in the Bible is outlined in Genesis 14. The battle lines were drawn. Four powerful kings go after five. There was a rebellion against one of the power four so he and his allies went to squash the rebellion. While they were at it they attacked some other kingdoms along the way such as Sodom and Gomorrah, Zeboiim and Bela. As the armies for Sodom and Gomorrah retreated from the Valley of Siddim a large number of them fell into tar pits and the rest fled to the mountains. (This may be good information to file away for another story.) As a result of the four kings attacking Sodom and Gomorrah, they took prisoners and possessions as part of their booty. Somehow a survivor from Sodom and Gomorrah escapes and runs to tell Abram.

Isn’t amazing how people living on the fringe know exactly who to contact when things go wrong?

Lot chose to live in the valley of Jordan near the cities of Sodom of Gomorrah. Can we say LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION? On the fringe of wickedness. When the kings defeat Sodom and Gomorrah they assume that Lot who’s living on the fringe is part of these cities and takes him captive. Are you on the fringe of a behavior or activity that you shouldn’t be? Do you associate or do things that are not Christ-like but you justify because you don’t think you’re as bad as the next person? SAYS WHO?!

If you speak like the world, live like the word, but go to church on Sunday, you are no better than those who don’t. Worse, you are a hypocrite. The Bible calls you luke-warm, and God says He’ll spew you out (Revelations 3:14-19). Get your head in the game! Put your big girl panties on! It’s time to grow up and grow roots in your faith!

You will see in chapters to come that Lot living on the fringes does not bring his neighbors up to God. We’ll see if Lot lowers his standards though. Have you ever lowered your standards to fit in or to get the sale or the job?

Here’s the thing, Lot made the choice to live in prime real estate among the wicked, and the enemy took Lot just as if he lived in Sodom and Gomorrah himself. The punishment of the wicked or defeat of the wicked is applied to Lot as well. Living on the fringe does not protect you when things go down. Living on the fringe gets you heaped in with those around you doing the behaviors that they do.

I love how the escapee finds Abram. Have you ever had a friend who keeps making wrong decision after wrong decision and when they are in trouble they call you for help or direction? Do they listen? Do they ever turn around and change for good? You can’t change them. ONLY GOD CAN.

People in need seek out those who are godly when they are in crisis because what they are doing isn’t working for them. My job is not to judge. My job as a child of God is to point those who are living on the fringe to The Way, The Truth and The Life. My job is also to be set apart, to be different. As believers we are called to be light and salt. Are you being light and salt, or have you lost your flavor and your flame by living life on the fringe?

One more thing, if you don’t want your children to see you doing it, if you don’t want your spouse to know, if you don’t want your parents or your pastor knowing what you are doing…YOU ARE TRYING TO LIVE ON THE FRINGE AND AREN'T WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE…just sayin’.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Boy Picked on My Sister, and He Got a Bloody Nose

If you’ve read my prior blogs, you know that when I bow up, I see myself as “The Rock” which is quite absurd if you’ve ever seen my frame. This overestimation of my girth and brute force didn’t happen upon adulthood. Instead of having “short-man syndrome,” I had “skinny-kid syndrome.” The effect is the same though. As a matter of fact, I think it’s a trait I was born with. See what you think…

When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, I was probably the skinniest kid you would ever meet. I couldn’t sleep on my stomach because my hip bones dragged the bed. If I were to raise my shirt, you could see my ribs, and my scapulas protruded. It wasn’t that I didn’t eat. I could out eat most boys my age. My metabolism was just through the roof. Oh to have that metabolism now! At any rate, about this time my sister and I would cross our neighbor’s backyard to get to the mud hole on the next property. It’s something we had done ever since we had moved into our house about three years prior, and there was never any great consequences or problems until…

Lori and I were at the mud hole and had climbed up the sweet gum tree. Someone had kindly nailed three boards for steps on the tree which allowed us access to the lowest branches. We would go and climb and play while our dogs, Sandy and Susie (two sweet pica-poos) would swim and “woller” (Southern for "roll around") in the mud hole below. We would have the best time climbing and playing. One summer day, the boys in our area showed up at the mud hole and told us to get down that this was their clubhouse.

Well, no one was going to tell me what to do, especially some stinky, hair-legged boy, so I said, “Make me!” They began to throw things up into the tree, so I just climbed higher. I had no fear, and apparently no common sense. Lori wasn’t willing to go as high. Eventually the boys left, and Lori and I climbed down and headed for home. As we were crossing the neighbor’s backyard, the boys showed up and began throwing the prickly gumballs that had fallen off the sweet gum tree. One of them hit Lori below her eye, and she began to cry.

Now, let me tell you. It’s okay if I picked on Lori or started a fight with her, but no one else was allowed to. And NO ONE but NO ONE was allowed to hurt her or make her cry. Normally, if she cried, I cried and vise versa. We believed if someone was crying they shouldn’t cry alone. I don’t know if that is a sister-thing, a Southern thing, or a Southern-sister thing, but that’s the way we rolled. I walked over to the boy who had thrown the gum ball and told him to apologize. He said no, so I “rared” (Southern for “reached back and prepared to exert all the force my tiny frame could exert") back and kicked him with all my might. He yelped and grabbed his shin. “I said to apologize!” This probably would have been more effective if I actually looked as big as I thought I was. He said, “No, I won’t, and I dare you to kick me again.” Now you know good and well I took that dare. I “rared” back and kicked his other shin, and then it was on. We were in an all-out brawl. Fist fighting. Duking it out. Lori was standing their crying when I yelled at her to go get mom because once I was finished with him there were two more boys waiting. By the time mom arrived, this boy and I were rolling on the ground. When she pulled us apart and sent him home, he had a bloody nose, and I had a fat lip.

When daddy got home that night, I just knew I was going to be in A LOT of trouble. I heard him on the phone with the boy’s parents, and then he came to me laying on the sofa with an ice pack on my lip. This is when he taught me how to defend myself, and how to start a fight if I felt like there was no other way out.

Like me, Abram wasn’t going to allow anything to happen to his family. Lot had been taken prisoner in a war, and all his belongings had been taken by those who had conquered Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram and his 318 trained servants went to reclaim Lot, his family and belongings from the conquering army consisting of four powerful kings. These four powerful kings had just kicked the tail of five kings. Do you see something there? Abram was going after the victors to reclaim what had been given him and his family which includes Lot. He wisely waits till nightfall and makes scheduled attacks. Abram and 318 men won against armies. I just love it when the underdog wins. Abram reclaimed Lot, his family, his possessions as well as those from Sodom.

I have to tell you, I love this story. It has suspense. It has family sticking up for family. And it has honor. The king of Sodom asked Abram to return the people of Sodom and that Abram could keep the spoils. Abram told the king he would not keep the spoils because he didn’t want the king saying he had made Abram rich. Abram wanted God to have that glory. Abram also didn’t want that connection to the king of Sodom and with good reason.

Abram didn’t go looking for a fight, but when it was time to stand up and do so, he was prepared. What are you willing to fight for? It’s easy to say that you would fight for your family, but what about those who can’t fight for themselves or stand up for themselves like the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly. Has God placed a burden on your heart for which you are to fight? Is it for the homeless? The orphans? The lost? The veterans? Whatever God has called you to do, get prepared and go where He leads for adventure lies ahead.