Archive for February, 2015

I pulled on my boots, checked my image in the mirror—White peasant blouse and skinny jeans. Lookin’ good, girl. Reached for my camera and was ready to Rodeo!

We arrived at the Rockdale Rodeo Arena, and I scanned the arena for a place to perch and shoot some great action shots of the TRA Championship Rodeo. Now these rodeos aren’t like the rodeos held in huge sports facilities. No, these rodeos allow a person to get up close and personal with the participants. And the stock.

No concrete walls, iron bars, or cushioned seats. Nope. It’s exciting. Tension thick enough to slice, and the aroma of everything fried saturates the air.

The cowboys and girls are stunning in their rhinestone-and-fringe-rodeo-finest while the music blares western.

On the other side of the arena, I spied an old field judge’s platform and seat on top of a chain link fence, next to an empty cow pen. My husband, Richard, walked over and helped me up into the ringside seat and I’m thrilled giddy with this unobstructed view of the action.
I pulled my camera out and tossed the case down to my husband, who patiently waited below me in the vacant pen. Now if Dick had to choose, Friday night rodeo would not be on his short list. Especially since cricket season was in full swing and they crawled and flew in and out of everything like a plague of locusts.

The grand entry paraded all the contestants and horses around the inside of the arena for cheers and pictures. Then we moved onto the serious stuff. With my camera focused and ready, I captured action shots of team roping and barrel racing.

“Aren’t you ready to climb down and let’s get some nachos and sit this thing out in the stands?” Dick slapped at a dozen crickets and I knew he was miserable.

“Just one more event, honey. Please?”

The P.A. system crackled and the voice announced, “Next up—bull ridin’.”

“Don’t you think you ought to come on down before the bulls?” Dick rattled the fence. “You hear me?”

“Sure honey, but I’ll be fine up here. There’s a big puddle of water down in front of me and the bull can’t run through the chain link. Right?”

“Like it wasn’t even there.” He reached up to give me a hand down.
But I brushed off his request. “I’ll just get one or two shots, then I’ll come down. Okay?”

The announcer drowned Dick’s comment as he called the cowboy’s name, but the only name I remember to this day is Booger Daddy.
I focused on the chute where the cowboys had the rope taunt and ready to pull the gate open. The chute where all the clanging and banging racket originated. Booger Daddy obviously didn’t have the personality of his distant cousin, Ferdinand.

The gate swung open. Booger Daddy charged out, bucked and went into a full body spin. The cowboy left the bull’s back and the clowns went into action. And I snapped the shutter fast as my finger would click.

‘Til I blinked and realized as I looked through my lens, Booger Daddy was glaring right back at me. He pawed the ground with first one hoof, then the other. Snot poured from his nose like a busted fire hydrant. A ton of hamburger-on-the-hoof and a half-mile-wide.

“Throw that camera down and jump. Now!” I’m sure Dick wanted to run, but ever faithful he stood firm and yelled my name. “DiAne. Get. Down. Right. Now.”

Booger Daddy lowered his head and went from zero to sixty with me in his bulls-eye. The sound of his hooves pounding the ground echoed in my ears.

I jumped up and my mouth opened to scream. Nothing came out, but a zillion crickets flew in as a pick-up man wheeled his Paint into action and galloped to save this foolish photographer whose feet were planted like cement on this not-too-sturdy wooden platform just above the bulls’ horns.

And yes, your life does flash in front of you.

Booger Daddy and my cowboy prince arrived in orchestrated unison from opposite directions—the cowboy next to the fence galloping one way through the mud puddle, and the bull charging the other way, also through the puddle of liquid nasty.

And my pretty, white, peasant blouse, my magnificent camera, boots, and jeans were splatted, splattered, and coated with yucky Texas muck.

When reality struck I was still alive, unharmed, and standing, I heard Dick’s voice, “Are you ready to come down now?” Though the pitch of his tone said something entirely different.

Climbing down off an eight foot chain link fence with noodles for legs, feeling like a disobedient child was nothing short of a miracle.
Dick offered his hand to steady me and took my camera with his other one. “Well, did ya get a shot of Booger Daddy up close and personal?”

I looked at his face for any sign of snarky, but found nothing but concern. “I’m done for the night,” I whispered and headed for the car.

Now what do you suppose I learned from this sour pickle moment?
I should have listened to my husband? Right.

From the beginning God gave the line of authority to Adam. You see, Eve was deceived. But Adam disobeyed.

Contrary to those ‘60’s songs, I am woman hear me roar, roaring is not God’s plan for our lives, ladies. But we’ve been deceived and bought the lie. God’s plan is order in the home, in the church, and in our nation. And it’s take-to-the-bank-certain there will be order in heaven.

God set husbands as head of the home. No, it’s not the I am king you are nothing mantra, it’s a line of accountability. The chain of command. God is the head of the home. When He’s not—look around you to see what happens.

Our Lord God appointed our husbands to protect us, to shield us, to love us. When we refuse to listen, we remove ourselves from the protection of his care. And divorce courts are full of the wreckage of these chaotic families.

It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, being that ‘60’s girl who knew God’s way is always best, but pride in me wanted control. And this was one of those p.j. moments, staring down the horns of a charging bull, knowing I was not in control of anything. Especially myself.

So yep, now when my husband tells me to do something, I do it!
Has your husband ever asked, demanded or suggested you abandon an activity and you refused? What was the outcome of your failure to heed his wisdom?

Well, I’ve learned the hard way—never, never, never sit on top of a chain link fence when Booger Daddy’s the first bull out the chute.



“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17 NKJV).


Photos of Texas Youth Rodeos by Nelda Blassingame

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If I met Benjamin Netanyahu on the street I would point and gasp, “I know him!” But I don’t know him—I know about him.

When my friend Barbara pulls her car into my driveway for lunch, I’m thrilled to see her. We’ve been friends for many years and I know more about her than I do casual acquaintances. But when it all boils down—I only know about her.

My husband and I have been married thirty-eight years and like any wife, I know his habits and have watched his responses to me and to other people. But do I really know what’s in the recesses of his heart? After all, there is no Book of Richard to tell me.

Since early childhood, I sat in Sunday School and church, and came to know about God and about His Son, Jesus Christ. I knew God created the world. I knew God loved the world. I knew His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world. But I didn’t know Him. I knew about Him.

At age twelve, with a group of other pre-teens, I walked the aisle and got dunked in the pool during a revival. But I still didn’t know God’s greatest gift to me. For years I tried to do good, to act good, to be good, but regardless how hard I tried I didn’t know Jesus. In my mind, it was all about following the rules—but I still kept going to church. But there was no personal relationship, and I cycled worse as sin’s clutches grabbed more and more of my life.

One divorce and many heartaches later my life teetered on the brink of chaos. I was ready to chunk the whole marriage deal again and walk out the door. When in a desperate moment I looked up and cried “Help me, God!”

After years of seeing my backside of rebellion, God heard those three words and immediately responded, even though I didn’t realize at the time.

Our lives were still in chaos when one Sunday in early January of 1989 we walked into a new church where Life Action Crusade was holding revival services. And fourteen days and fourteen services later, Richard and I met the Lord Jesus Christ and understood why those nails were hammered into Jesus’ flesh, why the sword pierced His side, and why He was crucified and died a tortuous death—as payment for our disobedience, rebellion, and rejection of God—our refusal to allow Jesus to come down off that cross and become our Savior and Lord.

The Holy Spirit of God came to live inside me and inside Richard and He began the arduous task of remodeling our hearts and our home.

And I developed a ravenous appetite for the Word of God.

Jesus tells us we must be born of the water and the Spirit. But what does that mean? We kinda know or have read God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us at the moment of salvation, and we’re okay with that—long as He behaves and doesn’t require too much change. You know, nothing radical.

But did you know God’s Word warns us in Ephesians 4:30 not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Hmmm? Ever given any consideration about what might grieve God’s Spirit? And how much you’ve grieved Him? For starters I’d suggest you read the five chapters of 1 Peter.

Then what did Jesus mean by being born of the water? Many have said that refers to our natural birth, but that’s not water. Many times God’s Word refers to the washing of the water of the Word. Sooo, we don’t take one bath to be clean for life—or even for the week. We bathe every day to wash away the outside stink. How much more should we wash in the water of the Word every day to clean the odors inside—offensive odors lurking in the darkness of our hearts?

The more I read and study the Word the more I’ve come to know God, to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and how to listen to the Holy Spirit. Because God has preserved His written word, so we can know them. And the more I know them, the more I desire to be like them. And the more I desire to be like them, the more time I spend time washing in the water of the Word.

Being born again occurs when you realize you can’t save yourself—regardless how hard you try to be right in God’s eyes, you can’t—and you respond to God’s call to you and accept His mercy and grace (salvation) through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the first step. You are then saved from the penalty of sin.

However, there is a second, much longer process—you are being saved from the power of sin—each day. As you study the Word of God the Holy Spirit guides you into all truth and you come to know who Jesus Christ really is and as you obey (putting off unrighteousness and putting on righteousness) you are transformed to be like Him. But precious friend, this is your choice.


And statistics tell us a great percentage of church members refuse to take this necessary step. Oh they’ll come to church every Sunday, but never open the Book during the week.

The Book of 1 Peter assures us one day, when Jesus Christ returns, we will be saved from the presence of sin. The Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign from David’s throne and there will be perfect righteousness.

But at the beginning of that Kingdom, every believer must stand before the judgment seat of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to give account for the deeds done from the moment of salvation to the moment we stand—just me and Him—face to face. There will be no do-overs. No pleading for mercy. No excuses. Only rewards or salvation-as-if-by-fire as we watch all we’ve worked, worshiped, and spent our lives clinging to burned up.

Could it be our nation, the world, and our families are in such a mess because we have chosen to ignore this daily walk through the cleansing water of the Word? Chosen to grieve the Holy Spirit of God by ignoring the Word, and chosen to cling to the old stinky stuff the Word tells us to lose, the stuff Christ died to save us from?

Maybe it’s time to take a long, cleansing shower in the Word. Maybe it’s time to do spring-cleaning in your life. Maybe it’s time to realize the clock is ticking and the hour is late. Look around you, God told us the beginning and ending of all things. He told us the signs to look for. And it sure looks as if God’s story is moving rapidly toward the end of this age and the beginning of the Millennium and Eternity.

The Spirit and the Word bid you come. Jesus’ died so you and I could be free. God’s mercy and grace through the sacrifice of Jesus blood are still available. If you feel the slightest stirring of conviction in your heart, please come now, before it’s too late. Then share your decision with a member of God’s family. Or share with the readers of this blog, so we can pray for you as you begin this important life journey.

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This Generation

This is written by friend, blogger, and member of ICR. If you read only one post on my blog site, let this be the one you read and heed.


Ernie's Musings


Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.   (Matthew 24:34)

The cross loomed menacingly just days away. Jesus’ mind was already on that fateful day as He traversed the crowded streets of Jerusalem. As His disciples marveled at the grand architecture of Herod’s Temple, Jesus’ thoughts were on the future of His impending death and beyond.  “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). This prediction literally came to pass just 40 years after His crucifixion when the Roman general Titus razed Jerusalem in 70 AD and leveled the Jewish Temple. Not a single stone of that edifice remains. For those who unknowingly point to the Wailing Wall that stands next to the Muslim Dome of…

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DSCF8231Remember those moments? That first bite of a luscious dill pickle that dripped juice down your chin and pulled your lips to a full face pucker.

When I was young, corner grocery stores always had a pickle barrel where a dime would buy an afternoon’s worth of sour delight. And every foodie, cook, or grandma knows pickle juice is a tasty addition to many recipes, and the spicy brine can be reused as a preservative.

But as we grow older, even though we don’t suck the juice from those pickled cucumbers, we still have pickle juice moments. Moments that give our lives flavor, humble us, or teach us lessons of strength that linger long after the zing and snap of the moment has passed.

Years ago the Lord allowed one of those p.j. moments in my life. A horrifying and humbling one, but one that served and preserved me.
I worked as secretary to one of the senior partners in a prestigious law firm in Florida. Years before the dictating machine. Years where shorthand was the venue for transcribing one’s thoughts onto the page.

My boss decided to vacation, leaving his work with the CEO of the firm—the Senator. And my worst nightmare became my reality. Up to that moment I’d never even spoken to the man. He was an icon—a genius who scared me witless.

Our switchboard operator (you’ll have to look up the word, takes too many words to describe here, but you’ve seen them in ancient hiding(2)movies) would notify me when Senator was on the way down the hallway and I’d dash for the ladies’ bathroom to hide. And I managed to avoid him for three days of that week. Whew!

But one afternoon my friend had taken a break when his entourage arrived.

Senator strode past my cubicle, never stopping or slowing his stride. He instructed, “Miss Nickels, bring your pad.” Terror assaulted my heart and by the time I reached his door (corner office with a view) tears cascaded free-fall down my cheeks. And before I had taken two steps inside he was half through dictating the first paragraph of a letter—before I sat down.

He never slowed down, never looked up, just kept dictating.

Tears made messy puddles on my shorthand notebook and I knew I would be roasted and fired when this moment was over. Minutes, hours later. I don’t know, I heard, “That will be all. Bring them for my signature before 5 o’clock.”

Sobs strangled in my throat. 5 o’clock which day? Which year? Running in the ladies room wasn’t an option. I stood and prayed my legs would carry me to the door before crumbling in pieces.

Senator’s secretary and another senior partner’s secretary stood just outside the door like EMT’s and rescued this scaredy-cat mess of a secretary. These wonderful ladies had recorded every word he dictated and assured me they had experienced a similar event in their younger years and there would be no roasting ceremony today.

They mopped my tears and Senator’s secretary smiled and hugged me again. “My very first week working for the Senator, he called me into the conference room to record a news conference When I walked in that room there were more dignitaries and cameras than my brain could comprehend. I froze. Another older, wiser secretary did for me what we’ve done for you today. Then she shared a trick for surviving future shocks-and-awes.”

The ladies chuckled and Senator’s secretary continued, “If you’re ever in this situation again, just picture these icons of pomp and dignity in their underwear, smoking cigars.”

We laughed, my tears and fears vanished, and I thought of the scripture that instructs, “The older women shall teach the younger women…” I know the rest of this passage has a very different application, but these older women rescued me and taught me a valuable lesson that preserved and carried me through many pickle puckering events in the following years.

However, the Senator’s secretary retired a few months later and a friend of the family took her place. A beautiful butterfly of a lady, totally opposite from his wise and proper secretary of many years.

Late one morning, Senator sent this secretary to Stand ‘N Snack for an early working lunch. She returned with the lunch and spread it before him as he continued his telephone conversation.

Now Stand ‘N Snack made the most wonderful kosher dill pickles, wrapped them in tissue, and packed three of them with each lunch order.

Lorraine pulled the pickles from the bag, unaware the juice from the pickles had dissolved a hole in their tissue wrapper. As she ripped picklesthe package of dripping pickles from the bag, leverage sent these pickled weapons flying from their wrapper, across the desk, splattering against the middle of this shocked congressman’s forehead, bouncing to his nose, sliding down his tie, and landing on a stack of legal papers, while pickle juice dripped from his nose, drizzled down his chin, and puddled on his tie.

She grabbed napkins, trying to sop up the damage and blot him dry, but the Senator’s always-all- together decorum crumbled. He changed from statesman to little boy whose hands still held the phone, but his big eyes appealed why’d ya do that to me?

No, he didn’t fire her. But his austere attitude vanished after this p.j. moment. And bouncing pickles and dripping juice replaced cigars and underwear in the secretarial pool.

So what did I learn from these p.j. moments? Had I spent as much time sitting before the Lord, pouring out my fear and asking for His strength, as I did stressing and hiding, I wouldn’t have been gushing fear and could have accomplished what I was paid to achieve. God never gives you a job He doesn’t equip you to accomplish—if you trust and obey Him.

I am learning the moment fear attacks to drop and pray. God tells us hundreds of times in the Word “fear not—fear not.” Yet what is the first thing we do? Collapse into anxiety and fear at the first glimmer of change.

Have you ever had a pickle juice moment or been an EMT for a younger employee at work? At home? At school? What p.j. lessons can you share? And how did God add flavor to your life or teach you in that p.j. moment?



“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10 NKJV).
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV).

Illustrations are by my good friend and edit partner, Katie Meyer. Check out Katie’s work on Tumblr at Legend of Zouzam.

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Dagwood and his outrageous sandwiches?

A slice of this, a piece of that—anything he could find in Blondie’s refrigerator or pantry to pile and stack beyond his ability to bite. He could never have consumed these comic-strip sandwiches without some serious heartburn or possible ptomaine.

But don’t we do the same thing with bruised emotions, broken hearts, or pounds of unresolved anger? We collect a big ole bundle of burden and stack ‘em in the darkness of our hearts, ready to be piled on a monster sandwich-of-sorrow and toted with us 24/7 when we lose a loved one.

And we wonder why we’re done in? Why we can’t do anything but sob or rage? Why our blood pressure goes out the roof? Why we can’t get a handle on life and move forward. Because the loss of a loved one rips scabs off everything we’ve stuffed and hidden and clung to. And that toxic mix has soaked in the acid of anger and unforgiveness, sometimes for years, before morphing into the life-threatening quick-sand of self-pity from which we can’t cry, wiggle, or scream ourselves free.

Let me be concise: Every hurt, pain, scrap of anger, thread of guilt, or wad of deception you’ve stuffed and packed and carried on your life’s journey all these years will rear its ugly head and deter or prevent your working through the loss of a loved one, unless you purpose in your heart to deal with the whole muddle. One step at a time.

We weren’t created to handle the emotional, mental, and physical turmoil and bear up under such a destructive load. God made us in His image…body, soul, and spirit. And you can’t separate one from the other, even though we all try. When a portion of your heart hurts, the pain radiates to every portion of your being. Just like consumed calories spread over our whole anatomy, anger and pain and unforgiveness gobble up the landscape of our hearts, minds, and souls and end up catapulting off our tongues into the lives of others.

But this poison doesn’t remain sealed in tidy packages. It grows. And grows ‘til the anger has turned into bitterness and the refusal to forgive not only affects your relationships with others, it strangles your relationship with God. Left to fester, these two deadly roots of sin metastasize into emotional, spiritual, and physical disorders.

This past week our GriefShare folks drew their individual Dagwood sandwiches applicable to their grief and I would suggest you do the same. Think about the state of your heart and create a drawing that applies to your grief and all its emotions today.



The rectangular shape on the bottom symbolizes the death of the person you lost. Every color strip indicates a piece of left-over anger, unforgiveness, secondary loss, past hurt, past grief, family dysfunction that you must add to your sandwich. When the left-over anguish comes to mind, if it still causes a twinge, slap it on the stack. The larger the pain the thicker the strip of color. Some may end up being burger sized. If there’s more than one death or loss, add an additional rectangular piece of bread (white fluff, of course). Then identify each slice you’ve added to your Dagwood sandwich-of-sorrow and list it beside your drawing.

How large is your sandwich?

How difficult and heavy is it to carry?

How long will it take you to surrender this load to Jesus?

God never fills full hands, especially those with fists clenched shut, screaming mine—trying to work through the ugly mess alone. I would suggest you take your drawing into the bathroom, close the door, and hold the drawing, with all the aches, pains, grief, and anger it represents, up to God and, speaking aloud, ask God to take this heavy load from you. Tell Him how difficult the chaos and despair is to bear. Choose to hold the stack tormenting your heart with open hands to the Father and give them all to Him.
And trust Him to take them from you. Don’t be an Indian-giver—asking God to take this turmoil then clutching the paper and tucking the stinky stuff back in your heart to fester and grow again. Let them go. All of them. You may need to make more than one trip to the bathroom to turn lose.
After you’ve given your sandwich-of-sorrow to God, ask Him to fill your hands with joy, thankfulness, and praise to Him! And He will answer your prayer, because He loves you, and He is faithful.

“Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NAS).


You may need hands on support in your quest for help, hope, and healing that only comes from the Lord Jesus Christ, through the power of the Spirit. Go online to http://www.GriefShare.org. to find the nearest GriefShare Support Group. Take your Dagwood Sandwich with you. The whole group has sorrow sandwiches, they just might not know they do—help them by sharing yours.

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From writer and friend with Institute for Creation Research, Ernie Carrassco. Straight forward truth, whether you believe it or not, Ernie’s words repeat The Word.

Ernie's Musings

Borrowed from: http://doctorwoodhead.com/days-noah-corruption-demonic-activity-part/ Borrowed from: http://doctorwoodhead.com/days-noah-corruption-demonic-activity-part/

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  (Matthew 24:37-39)

Unless you have totally detached yourself from all society, isolated yourself in a cave, or numbed your brain with drugs, you know that the world is in moral decline. We have ejected God from the public square, spurned His law and called what is good evil and what is evil good (Isaiah 5:20). We accept that which is unnatural and hold it up as something to be praised and held in…

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