Posts Tagged ‘Texas’


Lessons Learned from the Pastor & His Family…

stone cross

Eight years ago my walk with the Lord was anything to write about…anywhere…let alone home. I was worshiping regularly at the Church of Starbucks each Sunday morning because I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a local church where I could contribute my measly talents and also feel the presence of God in my life. Then, God intervened and sent our family to the tiniest church in our community. In fact it can be effectively argued that this church was dying. But God would have argued otherwise and He sent a certain pastor and his family to that dying church to give it exactly what it needed–a compassionate, honest, non-judgmental man and his talented family. What God and this family has wrought is nothing short of a miracle in the interim. A church that needed intervention now intervenes in the lives of many in our community.

Unfortunately, powers beyond our control are now intervening in a not-so-nice way. This wonderful family is not being asked to minister in Ennis, Texas very soon. And while we are certain, as a congregation, that we will also enjoy and grow from the talents of our next minister and his family, it is difficult to watch them pack up and leave our little town. This family has intricately woven itself into our hearts and minds and souls. So, here’s what they have taught me along the way:

  1. Little Johnny is one twisted kid.
  2. Growing up in Mississippi could mean that you actually grow up in Alabama some nights.
  3. God is a big, African-American woman.
  4. Sarayu means wind.
  5. There’s a lot of wind in Paul Young and that’s actually a good thing.
  6. Jeanie should be loved for all the things she is.
  7. There’s a hole in our gospel.
  8. There are no excuses on Sunday mornings.
  9. Church bureaucracy shouldn’t get in the way of a good idea.
  10. Ministers can be successful without knowing who tithes the most.
  11. Jeanie never met a child she didn’t like.
  12. The best donuts are the ones inside a sanctuary.
  13. The best coffee is the one drunk beside a fellow worshipper.
  14. Ministers can play bass.
  15. Their wives and daughters sing back-up.
  16. Their sons play every instrument in the band and sing lead.
  17. Ministers can wear jeans to one service and a coat and tie to the next.
  18. The best sermons are outlined on a PowerPoint.
  19. Dallas isn’t just a city.
  20. Dallas isn’t just an old TV series.
  21. Ministers can admit that their very own children are the real prodigals and welcome them back onto the family farm without upsetting their firstborn.
  22. Churches do exists where both ex-spouses still fervently attend church.
  23. Real ministers cry through their sermons.
  24. Some ministers are great actors; other ministers act real; ours does both simultaneously.
  25. Bible studies are really therapy without judgment.
  26. A t-shirt and flip-flops are all the formal attire needed to worship God.
  27. The funniest guy at the church may be the one teaching you how to manage your finances so you can give more of them away.
  28. On a bad day the person reminding you why you’re on the planet may be the one who talks the most about Heaven.
  29. More ministers’ wives should be Marys.
  30. I may go to a Methodist church, but I will never understand why good ministers are taken from the congregations who most need them.
  31. Eight years goes by in about eight seconds.
  32. I cry when I read my pastor’s last newsletter article.

Ennis, Texas doesn’t know how fortunate it is. Thanks for how you resurrected a rusty old Christian like me.

Tomorrow’s Post: Ladies and Gentlemen: Start your engines…

You might also like: A MaryAnn in a Martha World, Lessons Learned from Visiting Sam Moon for the First Time, Absolutely, It’s All About the Splash




Signs You Might Be a Naturalized Texan Woman…

cowgirl hat

Warning: You might want to get your favorite beverage first. 

Slowly, over the last 20 + years, this Yankee has become a little “Texanized.” Here’s how one can tell if you, also, might be a Naturalized Texan Woman:

  • Your hands now contain 4 rings daily, one of which is either a James Avery ring or is at least silver in color.
  • Your belt collection has not only grown in number, but in width and silver content.
  • Your earrings contain at least two colors of metal and dangle…a LOT.
  • You own a full collection of flip-flops for every occasion, in every color and heel height.
  • You have bootcut jeans, bell-bottom jeans, and straight-leg jeans and they are wrinkle-free at all times.
  • The jewelry around your neck bears a striking resemblance to the hub caps of most U.S. cars.
  • You have a frequent buyer card for Sam Moon.
  • You are never caught dead without a watch or bracelet (or set of bracelets) wider than a Coke can.
  • You refer to all fizzy drinks as Cokes.
  • You have conducted, or been to, a “Come to Jesus” meeting.
  • You refer to any female not related to you as “girlfriend,” which is a four-syllable word when uttered appropriately.
  • A pedicure is essential to your mental well-being, complete with big toe flower detail.
  • Your kitchen is not complete unless you have a margarita machine, an ice cream maker and a tortilla warmer.
  • You have just as many of your meals outdoors as indoors.
  • Your luggage is anything but boring black.
  • “All the colors of the rainbow” is a mere starting place for your wardrobe.
  • Chicken spaghetti and 7-layer dip are the most stained recipe cards in your recipe box.
  • You evaluate cars based on the following criteria:
    • Ability to cool down in 100+ heat
    • Ability to warm your rear end in weather under 50 degrees
    • Ability to regulate the amount of sunshine you let in and out of your car
    • Ability to pass cars on a single-lane highway in less than 500 feet of road
  • You know who drives the # 24 car.
  • Your closet has a huge color-“leaning” towards your favorite high school, college and professional football teams.
  • Your skis are right next to your barn boots.
  • You have a sunglasses collection.
  • You buy sunscreen only in the 100 SPF formula.
  • You party “until the cows come home” and then attend church bright and early on Sunday morning….probably because you need Heavenly forgiveness for what you did on Saturday night.
  • You can boot scoot boogie in cowboy boots, rock a runway in heels, and run in flip-flops, all without losing a heel, toe, or do-si-do.
  • You know the proper, complete conjugation of “y’all” and “fixin’ to.”
  • You have sundresses for all occasions and have cowboy boots that match each one.
  • There are 3 different lengths for your shorts collection.
  • You don’t work out outside if it’s under 50 degrees.
  • You don’t work out outside if it’s over 100 degrees.
  • You know the “hotness” level of each kind of pepper in the produce department at your grocery store.
  • Your grocery cart regularly consists of ranch beans, green chilies, and whatever steak cut is on sale this week.
  • Your significant other or at least a very good friend has a portable smoker.
  • You audibly let out an “Oooohhhh” at the mention of the phrase, “Uncle Julio’s.”
  • Dr Pepper is a food group.
  • Sweet tea is a food group.
  • Pico de gallo and salsa are NOT the same thing. And guac is hallowed.
  • You learned, a long time ago, to play outside and garden in the mornings.
  • You know to back up slowly if you hear a particular rattle in tall grass.
  • You know a rattlesnake wrangler.
  • You know a rodeo cowboy by first name.
  • You know the appropriate hand position for all major Texas Universities and which ones you are not permitted to use in your home in front of your adult children (unless you enjoy taking your life into your “hands” literally).
  • You have seen a LIVE armadillo and have the pictures to prove it.
  • You get scared when there’s a burn ban AND lightning within 2 miles of your home.
  • Eating dinner during a tornado warning is normal in the springtime.
  • You not only understand the term, “Big Hair”, but you also know how to create it, much to the chagrin of your daughter or niece.
  • Starting a business conversation with “How y’all been?” is the only way to conduct business.
  • You have skirts in a multitude of widths, lengths and depths.
  • You taught your son how to tackle properly.
  • You’ve shot a gun at a varmint ‘cuz he’s chewing on your petunias and you just finished watering those flowers for the 2nd time in 24 hours. 

Tomorrow’s Post: The Birthday Girl