Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bull Ring

Coming soon: a special blog about my friend Paula Mowery's new book, "Blessed Seer."

I love big hoop earrings, but I wouldn’t want one in my nose.  Growing up on my grandfather’s farm, I saw lots of cows and bulls with rings in their noses.  I always thought they looked uncomfortable, but the animals didn’t seem to mind. Guess they got used to them.  I watched my grandfather and uncle gently tug on the rings to lead the cattle to where they wanted them to go.  I was glad God didn’t make me a cow, but you don’t have to be a cow to have a ring in your nose.
Let me give an example.  I was raised in church and I can remember, as a child, hearing some sermons that I didn’t understand. Don’t misunderstand me here. I was not saying the preacher was wrong.  I just wanted somebody to be able to explain it so I could better understand. I first asked my mother, but she wasn’t sure herself.  But when I asked my grandparents, the only answer I would get was, “The preacher said it!”  Then they got mad at me and refused to discuss it any further.  Who has the ring in their nose now?
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.” Acts 17:11-12 (NIV)
The Berean Jews didn’t doubt Paul nor did they say he was wrong.  They simply referred to their Scriptures to make sure he was preaching the truth.  There’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, I think it should be practiced more.  Whether it be from a preacher, bible teacher, Sunday school teacher, or friend, if you hear something being taught that you’re unsure about, look it up in the bible yourself. Pray for God to open up His truth about it. You may learn more than you planned on. If you notice, Paul didn’t seem to get offended.  As a result, “many of them believed.” 
Personally, I think preachers have a difficult job.  We need to give them and their families our prayers and support. In fact, this is true for all church workers from nursery workers to Sunday school teachers. But remember, if you have your nose in your bible, then you don’t have to worry about somebody else putting a ring in it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


            Eureka!  I discovered something better than gold.  I learned the secret on how to get more out of my bible.  Here it is: teach a children’s class at church.  Really!  You’ll be amazed at what you will learn from them.
            One Sunday morning, Ms. Christy and I had taught about not using “bad words” such as profanity to our second grade Sunday school class. We also told them not to call people mean  and hurtful  names.  One of the little boys came up to me and he was so excited, “Ms. Brooke!  Ms. Brooke! Did you know an angel wouldn’t call Satan a bad name when he wanted Moses’ body?”  I have to admit, I was speechless for a few seconds, which was unusual for me.  I had never heard that story and I was raised in church, so my first thought was to say, “No way.” Instead, I told him I didn’t know about it and I asked him where I could find it.  He didn’t know, so I promised to look it up and get back with him the next Sunday.
            I got my bible out and thought, “It’s not in here and I’ll have to disappoint him.”  Well guess what happened?  I found his story in Jude 1:9, “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (NIV).  I was floored.  This child was right and I was wrong.  What else is in the bible that I had been missing my whole life? 
            I got 3 things out of this experience.  First, if the archangel Michael wouldn’t condemn Satan, who is pure evil, than who am I to be disrespectful to those who upset or hurt me?  Name calling or using “bad words” only makes any bad situation worse and it puts you on their level.
            Also, God gave us the WHOLE bible for us to study and not just the popular or big stories such as the Exodus, Jonah and the Whale, or David and Goliath. Its “chopped full” of amazing and wondrous words just waiting for us to read and soak them up.
            Lastly, as adult Christians, we should always be aware of our mind set.  I was somewhat prideful and immediately doubted his story.  I had studied the bible for years and this child was telling me a bible story I didn’t know.  Ouch!   Jesus put it very eloquently in Matthew 18:3, “And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”(NIV) 
 So open up your bibles and read with a zest as if you are a child with an open mind and heart.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Toilet Paper Bride


                For all of you who have daughters, I have found a way to save money on a wedding.  Instead of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars on a wedding dress that will be used once, buy some toilet paper and turn your imagination loose. A toilet paper wedding dress has many advantages.  The total cost is under $20.00.  The dress doesn’t have to be dry-cleaned or put in storage.  No hemming or altering is necessary.   If you’re not satisfied with the design, just start over and make another one.  And best of all, it can be recycled. Once you’re finished, just put it in a bag and save it for later use. 
                My daughter Sara is modeling a toilet paper dress in the above picture.  Doesn’t she look happy?  Notice she is holding a pack of toilet paper instead of flowers.  Another money saver!
                You know I’m joking right?  The picture was taken at a cousin’s bridal shower.  We played a game where two “brides” are picked and each team decorates the “bride” in toilet paper.  If you look close, you can see an engagement ring on Sara’s finger also made of toilet paper.  We had a great time at the bridal shower, but real marriages are not only about fun and games.  They’re about commitment to each other and to God.  I looked up verses about marriage and some stood out to me
“I found the one my heart loves,” Song of Solomon 3:4.              
  I have to say it, “AWWWWW!”  What a wonderfully sweet verse.  I am very blessed for I can say this about my husband Tim. 
                “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it," Song of Solomon 8:7
                "Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth," John 3:18
                Real love is a blessing and comes from God.   Even though it can’t be quenched, love still needs to be nourished and cherished.  As for the reception, I haven’t figured out yet how to use the toilet paper for cups or utensils.  Anybody got any suggestions?