Deep Roots


Grandmother’s silver-leaf maple tree fell over on a bright sunny day. There might have been some wind, we weren’t sure. No one was living in her house, because Grandmother had moved to heaven several years before. Grandmother’s backyard was peaceful and quiet, almost like being out in the country. She had rosebushes, Rose o’ Sharon bushes, plum trees, and one big silver-leaf maple tree.

The trunk at the base was about 2 feet in diameter–not a small tree. When we found it, it had been pulled completely out of the ground. The roots were all showing, a lot of little roots, but no tap root. Not a single long root going down deep into the earth.

The silver-leaf maple tree is very good for poor soil and is easily transplanted. The silver-leaf maple has many small shallow roots. It is hardy and survives in a variety of harsh conditions, but the wood is soft and can be damaged by severe wind or ice storms.

Because of this, the silver-leaf maple in Grandmother’s backyard was weakened by storms over the years. Then when an adverse wind came, the tree blew over.

Even though the tree fell over suddenly, it was in the process of falling for many years, because the root system was not supporting it.

Jesus told a parable about a farmer going out planting seeds, and described how some seeds developed.

“These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness, and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.” Mark 4:16-17 NKJV

Jesus indicates that a deep root is developed because of hearing the word of God and receiving it, but the rocky soil of the heart keeps the root from developing.

Rocky soil has to be cultivated, dug up, the rocks pulled out and disposed of. The rocks of your heart will block the word of God from taking root and that will cause you to fall when the storms of life come.

Deep roots are developed when the weather is nice, in every-day life, day by day, not when the storm is upon you. The time to prepare for the storm is now.


Wrinkle Free

Mother had a clothes line where she hung clothes to dry. Many times I had to hang clothes up with wooden clothespins when I was a kid, one chore I didn’t really care for. Later on as a young teen, I remember sometimes going to the laundromat by Eddie’s grocery and washing several loads at once, drying in the big dryers, where the sheets especially came out fluffy and more wrinkle-free.

When I married, we had a brand new washer and dryer from Sears. No more hanging out clothes on the clothes line for me. If I added a little Downy, then I could get by without ironing. I was hooked.

When I had kids, I always made sure I bought permanent press that needed no ironing. If something was wrinkled I’d tell the kids to throw it in the dryer with a Bounce sheet and “fluff” it. The only time I ever ironed anything was when I was sewing, or when we were attending a special event. Weddings, funerals, high school graduations.

We have an invitation to a wedding. One of these days, whether by the Lord’s return or by death, those of us who have been born again will enter the Lord’s presence. We will be part of those who go to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” Rev. 19:9. NKJV.

Our garments need to be prepared for Christ’s return, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God and the water of the word of God, but also prepared by our service and good works for Him.

“Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

When I see Jesus, I want to be presentable, with my best clothes on, garments that are spotless, fluffy, unwrinkled, pure and holy before the Lord.

The Truth

I started first grade at Riverside Grade School, only four rooms for four grades—1st through 4th. I have sweet memories of Riverside school. Only one block from my home, it was a red brick square building, with a nice playground. We played on teeter-totters, swings, slides, and the merry-go-round. We had our share of falls and spills off them all, but I don’t remember anyone being seriously hurt.

In the fall of third grade, we had a big production play which we combined with Hall Halsell grade school and performed it in the auditorium. We dressed as pilgrims or Indians, to put on our play. At our own school, we made our costumes. Mine was made out of brown paper grocery sacks. The sack had holes cut for the arms and head, and it was colored to look like an Indian dress with fringe cut at the hem. A paper headband with a paper feather finished the costume.

We made papoose carriers out of cardboard, with straps to put it on our back, and colored a paper sack which was stapled over the cardboard. I don’t remember the baby, but it must have been our own doll from home.

When time came to put on our play, I was proud to march around the auditorium, wearing my Indian costume and baby doll papoose on my back. We sang our songs about the pilgrims and Indians and Thanksgiving and recited our pieces as trained. We learned our stories of Christopher Columbus, the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and the kind Indians who helped them live through the harsh winters of those first years in America.

Now all those stories and facts we learned are being disputed and contradicted. The stories we learned in Sunday School have been disputed and contradicted too, but the more they are contradicted, the more they are researched, the more they are proven true. Archaeology proves the Bible. DNA research proves the Bible.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Try as they may, the word of God can’t be proven false.


Lights of the Christmas Tree

In the years when we were teenagers, Mama bought a silver aluminum Christmas tree, and we decorated it with all our old decorations she had accumulated over those early years. Our favorite lights were the old-fashioned bubble lights that looked like oil pumping up inside, made to look like a candle.

We had a couple of little plastic reindeer which looked like a rocking horse. I still have one of those plastic reindeer, pink and fragile, probably 60 years old. There was also a little Santa Claus and maybe an angel made out of the same plastic material. We had a beautiful angel to top the tree but I don’t remember much about what it looked like.

 I still have a few of those items myself, and have picked up a few over the years. Sorry to say, many of those items have totally fallen to pieces, because items made in the 1940s and 50s were made of a low-quality plastic and were not made to last 75 years.

 We loved the silver icicles or tinsel that we threw over the tree branches, and as recently as two years ago, I bought some like them to decorate my artificial tree. I read that the early icicles were made out of lead but the new ones available today are some kind of plastic with a metallic coating.

 What does any of this have to do with Christmas? Many Christians have turned away from decorating a tree for Christmas since it was obviously not part of the early-day Christian church’s holiday observations. There are many traditions that have sentimental value to many Christians and I’m one of those sentimental types. My personal opinion is that what the Bible speaks about, I teach. When the Bible is silent, I remain silent.

 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV

All my memories of Christmases past revolve around the story of Jesus’ birth. He is the Light of the world and that’s what I remember when I see the lights of the Christmas tree.

Christmas Traditions

Christmas has sure changed around our house. When our children were at home, our whole Christmas revolved around school and church plays.

“Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh in the white and drifting snow.” No, we didn’t travel very far to grandma’s house, because our grandmas lived in the same town.

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.” Well, no white Christmas here. I looked it up on and the historic possibility of snow for Christmas in our area of Oklahoma is 5-10%.

“I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me.” Yes, we seldom traveled far from home, and we never traveled at Christmastime. Our time was committed to church and our families were here. Some people we knew traveled to Colorado to ski, but not us.

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la.” Most years the Christmas decorations went up two or three days before Christmas and came down New Year’s Day.

“Hark the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.” We always had a good-sized adult choir for the Christmas cantata and most years we had a children’s choir too. We practiced every week from the middle of October until about the second week of December. Each year as I stood among the choir hearing the sweet voices raised to heaven, my heart swelled with love for Jesus Christ my Lord who willingly came to earth as a baby to live and die for me. Now Christmas choir practice is a distant memory.

“For is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 NKJV

And yes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing, when loved ones are near. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Traditions change, seasons change, but Christ must remain as the center of our Christmas

Resist Fear


As I was walking up to the post office the other day, a shadow on the sidewalk over my head caused me to duck my head. Fear rose in my heart as I thought a bird was attacking me. Imagine my surprise and delight when a beautiful Monarch butterfly passed within inches of my face. Then I had to laugh aloud to myself.

That made me think of the many times when fear tried to grab me. When I had to go back for a second mammogram and then for a biopsy, under anesthetic.  When I heard a news report of a carjacking and murder within a mile of my daughter’s home in Oklahoma City. When I failed a test at work and worried I might lose my job.

The person who lives in fear of germs with incessant hand-washing catches the flu, while another doesn’t. The mother who overprotects her child sees that child break a leg. The overly cautious driver gets in an accident.

It is typical of all of us to dwell on the bad things that we are facing as if by thinking about the bad things we can make them disappear. We talk and think about our predicament, until it becomes giant, magnified by our own minds.

When fear attaches itself to your heart and you begin to accept that fear, it opens the door for  those things you fear to happen. Job said, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25 NKJV.

Resisting the fear closes the door, but just resisting is not enough. You alone are not a match for the enemy.  “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:7-8

When you submit to God, then you have the power to resist the devil and he will have to flee.