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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Testing, testing, testing 1,2,3.....

Update on email receipt difficulties - if you aren't receiving the posts regularly by email, thank you for getting in touch with me!  We are trying to narrow down the issues -- if you have gmail, I'd love to hear from you.  Whether you receive them or not.  We found that some gmail subscribers have found the blog emails in another folder.  Not the same for others, however.  So please let me hear from you particularly if you get email through gmail.

If you have a different provider and are not regularly receiving the posts (note : I don't post every day --- sometimes I actually have to sweep floors and make dinner :) but I do at least post every Wednesday) please email me and let me know your email provider.  I've had difficulties outside the blog with yahoo and am wondering if my computer has a grudge against yahoo and is blocking some posts over that.

As always, thanks for reading!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Looking for an expert

All is not well in my blog-world.  I've been limping along in cyberspace, posting and publishing, but my blog skills are, well, Neanderthal.  So there have been problems with delivery and post views and stuff I don't even know about.  I have tried (some) to figure it out but don't even understand the jargon enough to know what my questions are -- I'd rather just write :)

SOOO if any of you readers are blog-savvy and feel "led" to offer me some help, I'd much appreciate it.  I have lots of questions and will promise to give you a good laugh by revealing my ineptitude.

Seriously, if anyone is willing to help me with this stuff, I'd be much obliged.  Just consider it your spiritual gift :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

help, please :)

If you have signed up to receive Living Letters posts via email, are you getting them?  Just heard from a new reader and hers are coming through.  I don't know much about blogs and how they work but I want to troubleshoot this problem.  Just need to know how widespread it is.

Thanks, y'all!

Oh, and if you're not signed up already, please do!  See the link on here to subscribe by email.

The H Factor

I don't think I've ever taught a verse based on what's NOT in it but I am this time.  In an earlier post, we looked at James 1:1 and unpacked a whole bunch from this little verse.  You can read it here

But today, let's look at the verse again and see what's NOT there.....

James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting out of the darkness

It seems that the people of God are beginning to dialogue more openly and honestly about depression.  That's a good thing.  Countless Christians have suffered silently, in painful shame, and unnecessarily because there's seemed to be a perception that depression is unacceptable in The Church.

Hang the perception - depression is present.  Even prevalent.  And it's paralyzing scores of precious people.

So I'm glad it's coming out of the closet.  I pray that discussions can help loosen the grip of fear and shame and helplessness on people's lives.  I hope that more and more people will eventually be able to refer to depression as "past", "history", "defeated". 

That's why I'm coming at it from a little bit of a different angle.......I want to see my brothers and sisters conquer the despondency, the desolation, the desperation.  I want them to have real and sustained victory.

I know I'm gonna make somebody mad with this post.  I know somebody's gonna read this through a filter of pain and be offended.  I know I gotta be careful.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another breakfast recipe

After reading my plea for breakfast ideas, my friend Tricia sent me this recipe.  I waited til I had tried it to post.  Uh, it is DIVINE.  You really should bake this.  It is scrumptious.  Approved by my whole family.

It's really good.  Thank you, Tricia!!!

Chili Cheese Casserole

4 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c plain flour
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 c shredded cheddar
1 c cottage cheese
1/4 c melted butter
1- 4 oz can diced green chilies

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix baking powder, flour and dry mustard.  Beat in eggs.  Blend in remaining ingredients.  Batter will be slightly lumpy.  Grease casserole dish and bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until firm in the middle.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our life reflects our priorities.......

I've thought a lot about this verse the past couple of days.  Truett Cathy spoke of it as one of, if not the, favorite verse of his life.  His walk matched his talk.

I'd like all of us to think about it and see if our pursuits, our priorities, and our purpose reflect its truth -

Proverbs 22:1 - A good name is rather to be desired than great riches; favor is better than silver or gold.

Would I rather have good character or great riches?  This verse suggests that we have to choose the pursuit of one or the other. 
I think that if one desires great riches, a good name will not be a priority.  However, if one's priority is earning a good name, if one's purpose is the grace of receiving God's favor, then great riches won't matter.

That's all for today.


Monday, September 8, 2014

On the life of S Truett Cathy

I needed to have Chick-fil-A for lunch today.  In times of bereavement, one needs to be with family.  So I drove over and the smells of peanut oil, and waffle fries, and freshly squeezed lemonade were hugs for my heart and tissues for my tears.  I felt better, just being there.

Betsy was delighted for a Chick-fil-A lunch, regardless of the reason.  She recited her order without hesitation.  A #1 with lemonade and honey mustard.  No lemonade, I said.  It's drive thru.  We're eating at home.  Drinks at home are cheaper.  (Truett's frugal nature was my soul mate -- I knew how much profit was built into those restaurant drinks!)

I thought I had used up my reservoir of tears earlier today when Mary and her cohort Kaitlin piped me in via FaceTime to the CFA staff memorial service this morning.  Hearing Dan share about his Dad with such love and tenderness and joy unleashed a torrent of sobs from me.  But I "got it all out" and was looking forward to cheerfully placing my order and being on my way to enjoy the unique deliciousness. I saw the flag at half mast and I teared up all over again. The trip down memory lane.  blurted out when I got to the window "I'm so sorry for your loss.I worked for him for seven years". The CFA employee was so nice. She overlooked my blubbering and thanked me. He was a great man, she said.

Indeed.  A great man.

His favorite Bible verse was Proverbs 22:1 "A good name is rather to be had than great riches" 

To be honest , Truett had both. But the great riches were incidental to him. He was truly never impressed with them.  He had a good name. Because he was truly a great man.

Many thousands of people knew about Truett. Of his business success. Of his unprecedented care for orphans. Of his infallible faith and its indelible effect on his life.   But I was privileged enough to work for him for seven years. I saw him up close. I ate dinner with him. I sat through meetings with him.l I didn't know him as well as lots of folks but  I was directly impacted by his character.    

Here's what I knew him to be:

Generous.   Oh my, Truett was generous.
Although he was extremely frugal (and there are some pretty funny stories about that!), he was never cheap. He paid his employees very well, he lavished tremendous perks on us, and he gave away far more than he ever spent on himself. Yes, Truett was incredibly generous .  His generosity trumped his frugality.

Kind. What a rare trait. Especially for a man.  So precious. He treated everyone just the same.  Never did I feel he looked down on me for being young and inexperienced. I never saw him embarrass anyone nor make anyone feel insignificant.  He was just plain kind and thoughtful.  One evening I was leaving the office late and I passed him in the woods on the way to the parking lot.  He was knee deep in daffodils.....picking a bouquet for his wife Jeanette.  He mumbled something about "cheaper than a florist" !!!!!

Authentic.  The man lived out his faith like nobody's business.  He taught Sunday School for 50 years.  TO MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS.  Not even a Mom can handle middle schoolers that long!!!!  He always drove a Ford car because he never forgot the loyalty of the Hapeville Ford plant to his original Dwarf House.  He didn't ever care what was "politically correct" or "socially impressive" - he just followed his heart.  Before I was hired, Truett had to interview me.  I had never met the man and was understandably nervous.  Pretty sure HR would've even been more nervous than I was if they had heard his questions......"Where do you go to church?  How long you been dating that boy?  Are you gonna marry him?"  I guess he liked my answers.  I got the job.

Fun.  Every year that I worked there, he and Jeanette had a family day at their home.  We rode motorcycles and horses and ate hot dogs and sat on hay bales.  He wanted us all to have fun.  Because he was fun.  He laughed at himself....and let us laugh at him - his misuse of words, quirky mannerisms, anything.  What other CEO would be so approachable that a 20-something newbie could approach him about being part of a "Rocky" skit in front of 1000 people?  And what other CEO would not only agree but would enlarge his role by dressing up in boxing shorts and having two fellas dress up like Mafia types and escort him in?????

Compassionate.  Truett's compassion drove his life.  He was very tenderhearted and merciful, evidenced by his care for orphans in their distress.  I saw it on a personal level as well.  His daughter Trudy and her husband were missionaries in Brazil while I worked at CFA.  I was in the break room refilling my daily hourly cup of Tab and I bumped into Truett.  I knew he had just returned from visiting Trudy for the birth of her 2nd or 3rd baby.  I asked him how she was doing.  He teared up.  He shared with me that it had been a difficult birth, that hospitals there weren't as good as here, and that it was very very very hard to leave his daughter there and come back.  I reached out to pat him on the arm, tears spilling down my own cheeks.  He responded with a bear hug.  I left my head on his shoulder briefly and, just for a moment, I think I was his surrogate little girl.

Humble.  Confident, decisive, successful beyond his wildest dreams....and yet the most humble man you could ever know. He insisted that we all call everyone by their first name....including him.  For a gal with small town Southern roots, that was awfully hard.  But he persisted.  And eventually, Mr. Collins became "Jimmy" and Mr. Cathy became "Truett". That's just how he was - humble.  And it showed up all over the place!  Once, staff gave him a bronze bust of himself as a Christmas gift.  It was mounted on a pedestal and displayed in the atrium for everyone to see.  I arrived to the office earlier than usual one morning and happened upon Truett dragging the statue into a corner, out of prominence.  Someone would move it back, and inevitably, it would return to the corner.  I don't know who ever won that tug of war!

Unpretentious.   He didn't have degrees to impress people with.  Never cared about the trappings of wealth that he could have easily afforded.  But he did say he thought maybe those of us with MBA's would be OK --- as long as it stood for "Mop Bucket Attitude"!!!!  In other words, nothing was beneath him.  And that's what he expected of all of us.

Diligent.  We were allowed an awful lot of freedom in the office but I never saw anyone take advantage of it by goofing off.  We knew how hard Truett had worked to build this company and we wanted to emulate him by working as hard as we could.  Together.

Empowering.  It's ludicrous, actually, that he would entrust his empire to a group of mostly 20 somethings who had little business experience and even less know-how.  But he did.  He hired a slew of us straight out of college and let us run his company.  A bunch of the time, we didn't know what we were doing.  At least I didn't.  But we all tried and we worked hard and, little by little, he grew us up.  We learned a lot.  And most everybody stayed there so his investment paid off. 
I left CFA for the only acceptable reason - A promotion.....I became a stay at home Mom. 
But in my heart, I never left.  I became a roving ambassador for Chick-fil-A.
And, one day this past June, I turned over to them one of the projects I'd been working on since I Mary joined the CFA team.  In the very department I used to be.  Cannot possibly convey how proud I am.  How thankful I am.  That they have her....and that she has them.
Truett, part of your legacy is that I have one to share back.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

He was one of, if not THE, greatest leaders to have ever lived.  Because people followed him. I cannot recall a single time Truett ever had to demand anything. He never had to use his position of power. People followed him because he was a great leader. Period. We trusted where he was headed. If he was going somewhere , that's where we wanted to be.

Oh, and one final note - remember how Betsy asked me to buy her lemonade for her lunch today and I refused because we could get drinks at home? honor of Truett.....I got her lemonade....generosity trumps frugality every time!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Are you sure?

This blog is all over the map.  I write about marriage and breakfast recipes and parenting and theology.  But that's pretty much how my mind - and life- operates.  I guess I figure lots of you readers are the same!

That said, though, there's only one thing that I'm really about.  One thing that is the foundation for all my thoughts and activities and posts.  One person, actually.  And my relationship with Him.  If I have lots of site visits and wonderful comments, if I give helpful advice and even make you laugh, if I blog faithfully week after week but fail to exhort you to be sure you have the same relationship, nothing else would matter.
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
2 Corinthians 13:5

Most folks fall into one of three categories -

1- Those that possess a relationship with Christ and are walking in His light
If that describes you, be sure to heed Ephesians 4:1 and to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

2 - Those that believe they are "saved" or "safe" when in reality, they are not.  Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21)
That verse is very upsetting to me.  Maybe to you, too.

3- Those who aren't sure.   While I don't mean to needlessly upset you, I would rather do that than let you continue in false assurance.

I implore you to test yourself today.  Are you truly in Christ?  Can you know?  I John 3:23 gives us the basis on which to test the genuineness of our faith - And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them.

Although I am a tenderhearted person who loves to encourage and inspire, I pray that today's post will upset you a bit.  I want you to wrestle with this question and ask God where you stand with Him.  I want you to ask questions and seek Him and pursue the Truth.

I want you to find Him and to live a life that bears evidence of that.

If you have questions, I welcome them.  I would love to help.  You can email me privately at

I want you to be sure.