"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

January 23, 2013


Jon and I went over to my sister's house on New Years Eve for him to install a ceiling fan for her. It was only going to be Janie, Devin, and Abigail there that evening so she invited us to stay and eat pizza with them. Devin is Janie's 11 year old adopted son and Abigail is her 4 year old granddaughter. Devin and Abigail are big buddies, and what one of them doesn't think of, the other will.

The previous day, Abigail had tried to paint her own fingernails (which ended up being from her knuckle to the end of her finger) and had gotten into trouble for getting into her mom's polish. So this afternoon, she had Devin get the polish out of the bathroom drawer and wanted him to paint her nails. Somehow we found out about it before it happened.

Janie told Devin that he was not to do everything that Abigail asked him to do. His reply was, "But Abigail wanted me to do it!" She said, "Devin, can you say, 'No, Abigail'?" She made him practice saying it and told him next time Abigail asked him to do something he knew she wasn't supposed to do that he was to tell her no and not do it.

Later when we were getting ready to eat, Abigail's parents walked in. They had been gone to the grocery store and were getting ready to go to a party. When Shelby (Abigail's mom) found out what had happened she told Abigail that she was in big trouble and was going to get a spanking, because she knew that she was not supposed to get into her polish.

Abigail said, "You don't have to spank me, Mom; Devin already did." We all laughed, thinking that Abigail was trying to get out of a spanking, because Devin had never done anything like that before. Her parents said, "Abigail, don't lie! Devin didn't spank you." Abigail insisted that he had. Janie asked Devin, "Did you spank Abigail?" He got this sheepish look on his face and said, "Just a little bit. I just swatted her one time on her bottom."

Janie told Devin that next time he needed to let the adults do the spanking, we all laughed, and the subject was dropped. We're sure that after Devin got into trouble from Janie for getting the polish for Abigail and he was told to tell her no, that he went back upstairs and put the polish away and swatted Abigail's behind and told her no. He doesn't like getting into trouble and probably thought, "If I got into trouble because of her, then she's going to get it, too!"

We have laughed about this off and on since it happened.

Devin didn't want to tell Abigail no, so he ended up getting into trouble because of it. We, as adults, often have the same mentality. We do things that we know we shouldn't do, simply because we don't want to hurt someone's feelings and say no.

Someone will confide in us and tell us things that really isn't any of our concern, and we end up getting in the middle of a situation that we have no business being part of. Many times, we end up taking sides against someone that did nothing to us personally, yet our attitude towards them is skewed because of something someone told us.

We may later realize that we were being used and that the person who confided in us wasn't the most reliable source, and we think, "I'll never let myself get in the middle of a situation like that again," but the next time someone comes along wanting to "talk" to us and unburden themselves, we will let them do so. We are afraid that they will think poorly of us if we say, "No, I really don't want to get involved in the middle of your situation." We think we have to befriend every person out there who seems to need a friend, yet that is not always the wisest choice we could make.

Also, we often fall into the same trap of sin over and over again. It may not be anything big, but is something that we battle over and over again. We know we need help, we know what we're doing is wrong, we get tired of fighting the same battle repeatedly, yet we give into temptation and fail to say, "No! I'm not going to do that again! I know what happens and I refuse to keep facing this thing again and again and it's going to stop now!"

When Devin was questioned about why he had disobeyed, his immediate response was to put the blame on Abigail. "But she wanted me to do it." Since the beginning of time, mankind has tried to cast the blame on someone else when they are caught doing something they shouldn't be doing.

What were Adam and Even's responses when they ate of the one tree in the Garden of Eden that God had commanded them not to eat from? Adam said, "The woman, whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12) When questioned, Eve answered, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12)

Today, we still try to find an excuse or cast blame on someone else when we are convicted of sin in our heart, instead of saying, "It was me, Lord! I'm the one who failed and messed up. I take responsibility for my actions and I'm sorry."

There is an old, old black spiritual song that says, "It's me, it's me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer." The different verses say: "Not my brother, nor my sister, but it's me...", "Not my father, nor my mother, but it's me...", "Not the elder, nor the deacon, but it's me...", "Not the stranger, nor my neighbor, but it's me..."

Sometimes we need to stop looking at everyone around us thinking that they are the ones who need fixed and are in need of prayer, and take inventory of our own heart and attitude and say, "Lord, it's me!" Then allow God to come in and change those wrongful attitudes and to remove the sin from our heart.

May our prayer be as David's was in Psalm 51:10: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me."


It seems like we usually try to fix blame before we fix problems in our society. At a glance, it seems like it should be something unusual or unique to us. But it goes back as far as people. Adam and Eve both answered God by trying to fix the blame.

I'm not sure why that's such a strong instinct. But I'm sure the majority of it goes back to ego and pride. We don't want to be the one who is wrong. We would rather be the victim, and let the blame fall on someone else. Instead, we make ourselves look dishonorable and untrustworthy.

Even though people may let us get away with shifting blame, and we might even be convincing once in awhile, God sees our hearts, and knows better.


Best Broccoli Cheese Soup Ever

2 cups carrots, chopped

2 cups milk

2 cups onion, chopped


2 cups celery, chopped

1 quart half-n-half

2 bags of frozen broccoli

1 1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese

1 Tbsp. Chicken bouillon

White Pepper

Cover vegetables with water and cook until tender. Add milk and make roux (you can make your own by using 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup flour). Add roux to soup along with half-n-half. Add Velveeta and stir constantly so it melts but doesn't stick to pan. Sprinkle white pepper over the entire pot.


A few weeks ago I was babysitting my great-nephew, Jax. He had eaten lunch and was watching one of the kiddie TV shows he likes. I told him, "Jax, as soon as your TV program is finished, we're going to lay down and Aunt 'Retta's new couch and take a nap. He was standing up beside me on the couch at the time and leaned over to put his hand over my mouth. Jax said, "Retta you need to just calm down and stop talking!" Made me laugh! I'm sure he's been told that he needs to calm down many times.


Being a christian does not mean I will not fall.... it means Jesus will catch me when I do. (author unknown)


We love you!

Loretta & Jon