And that’s one of the nicer things my husband calls me.
Of course, I’ve earned every title he’s uttered and then some. Through thirty-nine years of marriage I’ve involved him in many of my crazy escapades—usually the ones catapulting on the tame-side-of-nutty.
I’ve been known to stop along the roadside and pinch seeds from dried flowers without a thought to what lurks beneath. And I’ve chased tumble-weeds across a pasture—You can only smush two tumble-weeds in the back seat of a compact car. I’ve scoured deer moss and climbed fences and shinnied down hillsides to shoot the perfect picture—or pick the sweetest blackberries.

Oh, and yes, remained precariously seated atop a fence, determined to get a charging bull’s photo, when I shoulda listened to my husband shout, “Throw the camera and run!”
But rocks are my favorite collectibles. I love ’em.

A number of years ago we found a beautiful wild life refuge where herds of buffalo roam free. This beautiful place called my name. Rolling hills, peaceful valleys—and rocks—gobs of gorgeous, gray rocks! And I imagined how a few of ’em would enhance my garden.
Hubs argued, “DiAne. You can’t take those things home. Suppose it’s illegal? I’m not bailing you outta jail because of your rock collecting fetish.”
“Oh please.” I begged. “I’ll be quick. Just stay in the car and keep the engine running.”
A mild fog hovered over the winding roads. A perfect day for rock collecting. No body would see. And for goodness sake, who’d miss a few rocks?
“Over there!” I pointed to a pull-off area littered with different sized gems for my landscape. He pulled the car to a stop. I hopped out the door and raced to grab my first choice.

When we first moved to Texas, I learned a quick lesson about rock hunting. Don’t ask me how I learned. Rattlesnakes live under rocks. So I aimed my boot and gave my anticipated yard art a swift kick.
To my horror, the rounded, gray object split in two and powdered like a month-old biscuit, and what was left of my treasure sailed through the air, then dropped to a dusty demise.
Snorts of laughter fractured the silent morning. Yep—my husband.
I stood humiliated. My sought-after rocks were worthless plops of dried-up buffalo poop.
Knowing what waited for me, I opened the car door, slid into the seat, and burst out laughing too.
Of course, my husband rarely misses an opportunity to share our Bonnie and Clyde moment, which he never repeats without ending up in snickers of amusement as he describes the expression on my face watching that Buffalo Pattie sail through the air and scatter in the breeze.
But how many times have we all chased what we thought was gold only to find it wasn’t treasure at all, but a pile of poop?
Which one of us hasn’t gone gooey over a good-looking guy or gal? Maybe even sacrificed a long-time friendship chasing our own imaginations rather than listening to their wise counsel. Only to end up finding the object of our lust wasn’t what we hoped they’d be. And then there were those troublesome consequences of guilt and restoration of valuable relationships.
Or have you chased the dreams of change, when all indications screamed, Danger! Danger! Have you pray about this first?
Or allowed yourself to be deceived by the crowded majority into an everyone’s-doing-it-moment, only to find yourself caged and trapped in a lie that should never have been.
Or an I’ll only do this once adventure. Who’s gonna know? Who cares? Who’s it gonna hurt? To find your life changed forever, and not for your good or God’s glory.
My mama used to say, “When something seems too good to be true—it usually is—a lie.”
God tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NAS).
Trusting Him with all my heart and acknowledging Him in all my ways is inclusive—covers everything—no exceptions. And notice, the promise is conditional. He will direct my paths if I trust and acknowledge Him. He allows me to make the original choice, but I don’t get to chose the consequences.

In Proverbs 1:7 says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Don’t know about you, but I’ve done some mighty foolish things in my lifetime. Things I’m ashamed of and have begged forgiveness for, and in His mercy and grace, because of the blood of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, God has forgiven me. But I am instructed to continually seek His knowledge so I don’t keep making those same mistakes over and over again.
God preserves His Word, and gives us His Spirit, and places people in our paths to warn us of deceptive lies. But it is our responsibility to seek and learn His knowledge, discern His understanding, and ask for His wisdom.
He gives us warning and further instruction in Proverbs 1:
“For the turning away of the simple (from Him) will slay them. And the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:32-33 NKJV).
Will you ask and listen when the Spirit says no, or will you be like I was that morning—chasing a counterfeit, ending up with dried-up piles of poop?



11989508_10207971097823216_1757547419_oSEE Y’ALL TOMORROW!


My sweet mother-in-law would ooh-and-ah over gifts given to her, then she’d tuck her treasures carefully in a closet with her standard comment, “I’m savin’ ’em for good.”

Are you guilty of doing that same thing with treasures in you life? Savin’ ’em for good? Do you have a closet or a cedar chest—or perhaps even the deep corners of your heart—where you place precious things and then forget them?

This precious lady grew up during the Depression, and I’m sure that era colored her emotions and reactions. But when Grandma went home to be with the Lord we found a closet full of boxes, filled with presents she’d never even removed from their wrappings. Gifts given in love. Saved for special occasions that never came. Presents that never imparted the joy and value they were intended to bring.
Years ago I heard a Christian speaker instruct about teaching your children the value of special Treasure 6things. She said, “Use them! If your children don’t see, touch, and use the good silver and china, why should those items be of any value to them after you’re gone?”
Both my mama and my mother-in-law left us many objects they treasured. Grandma’s things were out-of-the-wrapper perfect. My mom’s had chips around the edges from enjoying. Which things, do you think, were most valuable?
I grew up seeing and using Mom’s things. Grandma left notes inside many of her treasures, so we at least had their history. But monetary value is insignificant compared to memories a treasure evokes in my heart. All things handed down are of great value to me, because I love their former owners.

Treasure 5
Perhaps my children and grandchildren will remember special objects I use. Some I use everyday. Others are just brought out for special occasions. But I use them and rehearse the origin of each treasure and my memories of the giver of the gift or passed-down treasure. And I hope, when I leave this world, some part of these historic memories of joy will capture their hearts, and then be passed on to the hearts of their children.

Treasure 3
One of Grandma’s packed-away treasures sits on my vanity, holding my every-day jewelry. Each time I place a bracelet or ring in this beautiful dish I think of something about her—a word, an occasion, her laugh—even a frown or warning. Memories money can’t buy or place a value on.
Treasure 4Last week in my haste a bottle of perfume slipped from my hand and fell on this beautiful treasure. I could almost hear Grandma’s gasp and feel the scowl from her frown, and I was heartbroken. But thank the Lord for china glue. I replaced the broken chunk and the dish looks almost flawless. Yes, the monetary value is diminished, but my memories aren’t. And the treasured dish remains more special to me than before.
Because the dish survived, and added yet another memory. Another story. Another treasured moment along my life-line.
In the hustle and bustle to prosperity, we’ve failed our children in the importance of passing along family treasures. We’ve given them more and more. Tossing out the old. Ushering in the new, raising a generation more interested in throwing away and replacing what they deem a antiquated with new stuff.

Treasures 2
Is it any wonder our children have no connection with the past and little interest in developing generational relationships? They hold their world in their hands, punching in conversations on a technological instrument that will be deleted and forgotten before nightfall. A world with few memories. Just the here and now. Throw away objects, throw away families, and throw away people.
But God didn’t raise us that way. The only two things destined for eternity are the souls of men and women and the Word of God. And He calls us to remember. Remember who He is and who we are in Him.
What treasures have you tucked away and forgotten? Your mother’s Bible? Your father’s watch? Hot in the Kitchen 4Letters or cards of love from a husband or wife? A close friendship lost in the scurry of schedules? Failure to remember and contemplate answered prayers? The fresh presence of Jesus’ love for you and yours for Him when He first saved you? Treasures that have slipped through the cracks, lost and forgotten in the turmoil of life.
With the holiday season fast approaching, I pray this stirs your hearts to remember. Remember the family traditions of Thanksgivings and Christmases past—even if they’re painful. Remember past friendships. Remember and use treasured vessels left in your care. Remember your First Love, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And teach your children to value their heritage, and to trust our Lord God Almighty who has provided all these treasured gifts.

“Remember now thy Creator, in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them…” (Ecclesiastes 12:1 NAS).

SALE!!! SALE!!! SALE!!! For a brief moment Amazon.com will be offering the eBook “Roped” for 99 cents. Yes, I said 99 cents. Don’t delay…get your book today! http://www.amazon.com/Roped-DiAne-Gates-ebook/dp/B0147NL6KS

ecover_Roped copy

With no further ado, Day 12’s winner in the Give-away celebrating “Roped’s” release is….MARGARET PONTOR!!!!! Congratulations Margaret. I need you to message me your mailing address and your email address so I can mail your purse and send your eBook.

I wish everyone of you could have won, and would appreciate your telling friends and family about “Roped”. This has been fun, but book sales are what it’s all about. Sales and reviews. I thank those of you who’ve read and reviewed “Roped” and hope the rest of you will pick up a copy and give a review.



This is the last day, DAY 12’s Give-away celebrating the release by Prism Books of “Roped”. If you haven’t gotten a copy I sure hope you will. Available on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com. My heartfelt thank yous to every one of you who participated in this celebration, who’ve already posted a review and those who are still reading before posting. I appreciate each one of you who’ve shared in the promotion. <3 FINAL GIVEAWAY DAY-page-001(1)and hugs!

NOW the reveal of DAY 12’s give-away:

The winner for Day 11…the blue denim purse and eBook of Roped is….is JOYCE GRAVES!!!! YAY, JOYCE!!! I need your street address and your email address to send your goodies. The books are due in by Wednesday. I’ll mail your give-away as soon as the books arrive. Congrats!

AND NOW….THE BEGINNING OF THE END…of the release give-aways for “ROPED”. DAY 11’S prize is an original, one-of-a-kind denim purse designed by PURSE PIZZAZZ and a signed copy of “Roped”. Twenty-four hours from now we will announce the winner and post Day 12’s prize. It’s not to late to register…remember a comment about Roped or the prizes will put your name in the middle of the heap! Hope you win!ropedpromo830-page-001(1)

We have two give-away winners tonight. First Day 9 is reawarded to MARY SEFZIK AND Day 10 is awarded to LINDA SHEW WOLF. Ladies, please message me your street address as well as your email so I can send your matted photos and your eBook of Roped. Sure would appreciate your reviews!

Need to hear from Donkey Driver. Jane, you won Day 9’s Give-away. We need to hear from  you by tonight, Saturday, at 9 p.m. else we will have a double drawing.

WooHoo! It’s Day 10 Give-away! Tomorrow evening at 9 p.m. we begin the final cheers for Roped’s release, a week ago today. I love flowers, I love the beach, and I love springtime in Texas and dogwoods! Tomorrow’s give-away is a pair of dogwoods in blossom at Tyler State Park, just outside Tyler Texas. That’s where we kayak and picnic. We’ve had almost eighty folks register for the drawingsropedpromoday 10-page-001 - Copy. I hope you win tomorrow evening! And stay tuned for the Sunday and Monday final drawings…there will be very special prizes to end this celebration.


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