"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

August 27, 2014


There are two very different types of people that I would like to write about in the next couple of weeks. The first, are those who go through life with a sense of entitlement. They feel that they have the right or a just claim to receive or do something. They feel that they deserve preferential treatment, regardless of the situation or whether or not it may put a hardship upon others. Most often, those with this mindset are very self-centered individuals.

Throughout the years, both Jon and myself have dealt with these types of people in business situations; both in the engineering and banking worlds. I suspect these individuals are found in every area of life and work. They expect you to drop what you're doing and jump whenever they snap their fingers and want something. They don't care if you are in over your head with another project or are involved with another customer, they want your undivided attention when they want it, and expect you to immediately drop whatever you're doing at the time to cater to them.

I've also seen this mindset in young people. They feel that they deserve the same pay scale as individuals who hold college degrees and have years of experience. When they get married they expect to have a new house, with new furniture, and all the things that dad and mom have accumulated over many years of marriage. They feel that they are entitled to these things, regardless of whether or not they've worked for it or done anything to prove themselves.

(Yes, I know I'm not a parent; but bear with me with this next line of thought!) There are many parents who want their kids to have everything that they didn't have growing up. So they will do without many things themselves in order to give their children everything they want or ask for. It's not wrong to buy nice things for your kids. It's not wrong to want something better for your kids than you had growing up, and desire for them to excel. But from observations I have made, when parents give their children everything they ask for, without them ever having to work for it or do anything to deserve it, they often grow up feeling as if they are entitled to anything and everything they want, without having to do anything to earn it. They often grow up with a spoiled brat mentality that they should be able to have whatever it is they want, no matter what. I believe that that is possibly why so many young people are in huge credit card debt. When they get out on their own, they are so used to always having everything they want, yet they don't have the money to buy it, so they charge it and rack up large amounts of debt that they can't afford to pay off.

Dads and moms wanting the best for their kids is nothing new to this generation or to the generation before us or the generation before that. And parents feeling that their kids are entitled to having whatever they want is nothing new. We read such an example in Matthew 20:20-28 (NLT).

"Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. 'What is your request?' He asked. She replied, 'In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.' But Jesus answered by saying to them, 'You don't know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?' "Oh yes,' they replied, 'we are able!' Jesus told them, 'You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones He has chosen.' When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. But Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.'"

I have no idea how old James and John were at this time, but they were grown men who were disciples of Jesus. Yet their mama brought them before Jesus and asked if they could sit in places of honor, one on each side of Him, in Heaven. Why would she feel that they deserved the seats beside Jesus in Heaven? I'm sure she was proud of them and was honored that they were ministering alongside of Jesus, yet there were ten other men who had also been called specifically by Jesus to follow Him and be His disciples. Perhaps she felt that her two boys were more special than the others and were entitled to being seated beside Jesus.

Many individuals feel that they are entitled to spiritual blessings without living their life fully surrendered to God. They feel that they are entitled to spending eternity in Heaven, just by being a good person and trying hard and doing good deeds. They want the blessings of God and surety of Heaven, without confessing their sins and living a daily committed life as a believer and follower of Jesus. They don't want to allow Jesus to be Lord of their life, but want the benefits that Jesus has promised to those who take up their cross and follow Him.

Psalm 103 (NLT) tells us what all those benefits are. But it also tell us that we are to praise the Lord with our whole heart and never forget all the good things that He does for us; to not forgot His benefits. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles. The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear (reverence) Him. The love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear (reverence or stand in awe of) Him. His salvation extends to the children's children of those who are faithful to His covenant, of those who obey His commandments.

Wow! Those are some incredible benefits!! There is nothing we can do to deserve Him. We aren't entitled to them. We could never be good enough or worthy enough to earn them. Yet by confessing our sins and allowing Jesus to be Lord of our lives, God blesses us with those amazing benefits.


I hear the phrase "I deserve" mis-used a lot lately. "I deserve a good job" (even if I sit around telling dirty jokes all day?) "I deserve to have good food to share with my family" (even if I spent all my money on video games?) It's a tricky word, 'deserve'. I'm sure no kid deserves to go truly hungry. But do they deserve desert with every meal?

What do we really deserve? Romans 3 is pretty clear that compared to God's purity and holiness, none of us measure up or deserve God's favor, because we have all sinned. Romans 6:23 even says, "the wages of sin is death". But the book of Romans also points out that even if we don't deserve it, we are all welcome to join in the favor of God.

In some things, I do want what I deserve. I work at a hard and stressful job. I think I deserve a good wage for it. But in other ways, I don't want what I deserve. I know I've sinned, and I know I deserve death for it. God doesn't always give us what we deserve, but what He wants us to have, as long as we are willing to accept Him.


For many years when I made meatloaf I would never make it exactly the same and sometimes it turned out great and other times not quite as tasty. I found this easy recipe for meatloaf and have been making it for the past couple years and Jon and I really like it -- but then again, bacon makes everything better, right?!?


1/2 cup whole milk

3 slices white bread

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon salt

black pepper

fresh minced flat-leaf parsley (can used the bottled spice if you don't have fresh)

3 whole eggs, beaten

5-6 slices thin/regular bacon

Preheat oven to 350. Put bread slices in a small bowl and pour milk over them. Allow it to soak in for several minutes. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, parmesan cheese, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined (using your hands to mix the ingredients works best). Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!) I use a regular baking pan because I don't own a broiler pan -- after the meatloaf is cooked, just very carefully drain the grease out of the pan. Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.

Sauce for the top:

3/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard -- or dijon mustard

Make the sauce by mixing all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. The recipe calls for dry mustard, which isn't something I keep, so I use dijon and it taste great -- regular yellow mustard would probably work well, too. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the top of the bacon-wrapped meatloaf mixture; spread with a spoon. Bake for 45 minutes, then pour the remaining sauce over the top of the meatloaf and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve. Goes well with mashed potatoes.


This past weekend Jon and I visited my family homestead in Missouri. Whenever we go there it generally makes me nostalgic and I begin to think about my growing up days there in that house.

I was the baby of the family, so was an easy target for my older sisters to pick on occasionally; although they really didn't do so very often. Here are a couple of my growing up memories:

My sisters telling me that I was adopted and me crying and Mama showing me my birth certificate to prove that I wasn't.

Sometimes my sisters and I would take walks down to the holler. One particular time, Linda and Janie happened to be the sisters who were on a walk with me. There is government land that backs up to the property. My sisters began telling me that it was against the law to cross over and walk on the government land, and if we were caught then we would be arrested and taken to jail. There is a spring that we used to walk to that happened to be near the border, so at the time they were telling me this, we happened to be off our family property. They then started acting scared and telling me that they saw someone hiding in the woods watching us, and it was probably someone from the government who was going to arrest us. Their story got bigger and bigger as I got more and more scared.... until they finally reached their goal of making me cry.... then they laughed. By the time we got back home, I was a blubbering crying mess, scared out of my socks.... and I think they got in trouble by our parents when they found out what they had done. At least I hope they did, because they deserved it!


Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of wait. - unknown


We love you!

Loretta & Jon