Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Was today beautiful or what!? I got four important things accomplished today. First, I completed my retirement package. It is ready to be mailed on Monday. Next, as I was leaving the house this morning to have breakfast with Geni and a friend I discovered four beautiful caladium plants on the front porch, a lovely surprise from my hubby. I planted them in clay bowls and placed them on either side of the front door. We found out last year that caladiums really like the shade of our front porch. After that, I addressed almost all of the Easter/Graduation party invitations for Geni. Finally, I completed the final piece for my financial aid for school this year. Hopefully the final word will be given by mid to late next week. I am still on the waiting list for my summer class.

Bruce returned safely from the Allred Prison unit. Thank you for your prayers.

Prayer: “Lord, as I open Your Word, open my eyes that I might see the wondrous things that You want to teach me. May Your living water hydrate my soul. Thank you that You have given me a map of Your plan for my life in Your Word.”

Proverbs 30: 5, 6. Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

All of you know I am attending seminary at TCU. Students come in a variety of ages, spiritual maturities and knowledge in each of my classes. In one of my classes we were discussing some ancient religion. I shared that the difference in the ancient religion and Christianity is that we had the only God that came back from the dead. In God’s Holy Word the difference in God’s Word and other religions is that God’s Word became flesh in the body of Jesus Christ.

In other religions there are moral values and good works that will elevate a follower to heaven. Christianity is not just dry words on a page, Christianity is a relationship with Jesus.

The power of Christianity is the personal relationship we are granted with Jesus. The Word says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” As someone who can easily become lost getting from one place to another while driving, I am always looking for my way. But I know that I am never lost in my spiritual life because Jesus says that He is the way.

God has invested His Word in each of us. He trusts us with His Word and because His Word is never far from us we can live on the path of Christ and walk with assurance on His written Word. See you in worship!

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray tonight, please pray for each other. Remember that each of us is fighting some type of battle. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Gcapplenotes@aol.com

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday!

Prayer: “ Lord, help me not to miss a word of Your wisdom today. Allow me to take it all in and grasp its meaning. May Your wisdom not just be a platitude to quote but a principle practice of my life. Show me how to apply Your wisdom in my walk, work and working. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

Proverbs 22: 17-19 “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord.”

I have often been told that the Chrystie men sound a great deal alike over the phone. I must admit that Bruce, Casey and Travis not only sound a great deal alike on the phone, but also when they sing. I can stand outside the sanctuary listening and both of the boys sound so much like their dad it is difficult to tell them apart. I think this may be what the writer of Proverbs is trying to say. Whether my sons consciously attempted to try to sound like their Dad I do not know. What I do know is that it is the voice they grew up hearing and whether by genetics or by choice was Bruce’s.

God has given us His Word. He has also offered His wisdom through that Word. We are His children and His Word has been spoken in our ears and (hopefully) written in our hearts. It seems a natural thing that our voices would imitate the Father of all wisdom. This same Father who chose us to be His children has also chosen us to carry His wisdom in our hearts and speak it with our lips so that others may know who we are and to Whom we belong. Perhaps it is through this inherited wisdom others may want to become members of the family. Imagine…!

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let us continue to lift one another up in prayer. When you pray, remember that each of us is fighting some sort of battle. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Gcapplenotes@aol.com

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Prayer alert: Bruce and other members of the Kairos Prison Ministry Team will be travelling to the Allred Prison tomorrow for the instructional day for the newest members of the Kairos 4th day community. I ask you to pray for the Holy Spirit to go before them and prepare the way with no obstacles to grace preventing them from delivering God’s message inside the walls of the unit. I also ask you to pray for safe passage back and forth to the prison. Thanks, gc

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Happy Thursday!

Ok…about 3:45 this afternoon I am tutoring a group of children and I get a phone call from Travis. He asks, “Mom, how do you feel about ribs for dinner?” He then told me they were “wild boar ribs.” So I told him to rub olive oil into the ribs, season them with garlic salt and Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, wrap them in foil and put them in the oven at 350 degrees. Talk about cooking by the seat of your pants! I had a couple of stops to make on the way home and by the time I finally got home the ribs were done. I then placed the ribs on the grill with some BBQ sauce, grilled some sweet potatoes and we ate dinner outside. The meat of the ribs practically fell off of the bone. For Travis, the meal was a religious experience. I must admit it was quite good and we all really enjoyed it.

Prayer: “I look forward to this day of walking arm in arm with You. Help me to grow in trusting You. Strip away my arrogant self-reliance which drains my faith. Help me to acknowledge You in all ways. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.”

Proverbs 35:6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

I am about eight weeks from retirement. My daddy has asked me a couple of times, “Gaylene, can you live on your retirement?” By the world’s standards and our current monthly indebtedness the answer would have to be no. There are times I really do not worry about this a lot and then there are times I become really concerned. I will take a pay cut to retire. I have enough years to retire with full benefits, but the annuity is still not as much as my current monthly salary. We are working to reduce our indebtedness by paying off credit cards, paying off my car and trying to get down to just monthly obligations. We are trying by our own means to make this transition a bit easier.

In a perfect world all will go as planned, no one will get sick, we will not need major home repairs, we will not need to replace cars because we cannot afford these items. I will get through school and become employed by some facility as a chaplain.

Knowing that we do not live in a perfect world reminds me that my reliance on God must come before my reliance on me. This passage of scripture says, “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart…and in ALL your ways acknowledge Him.” I think the psalmist really understood the word ALL. God did not ask for the things that we could do without his help. God asked to help in all the things we do. God’s perspective and knowledge of His plan for each of us is far greater than we can possibly imagine. Placing our trust in Him for all things shows that we acknowledge Him as God and not we ourselves.

Have you ever watched a football coach on the sidelines? The coach usually is wearing a headset. That headset is connected to someone high above with a different perspective on the game. The coach on the sideline sees the play on the field on the level playing field. The coach in the press box sees both teams from a different perspective and can relay to the coach on the field a broader view of the entire playing field. My friends let us put on our headsets of prayer and trust the God who lives in us, around us and above us.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray remember to lift one another up in prayer. Remember that each of us is fighting some sort of battle. Love you all my friends, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Gcapplenotes@aol.com

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Prayer request: Lift Bruce up in prayer. He has not been feeling well since returning from the prison ministry weekend. Thanks and peace, gc

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Prayer: “Lord, I make my secret place under the shadow of the Most High. Allow me to abide in the power of the Almighty. Teach me to focus on the good, but not be na├»ve about the bad. Deliver me from faults and foes as I take the upward path, walking hand in hand with You. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray. Amen”

Psalm 91: 1-3 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him I will trust. “ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.”

In my meditation tonight the story goes like this…there was a woman riding a mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The further down she went the greater her fear became. She masked her fear for a while until her tour guide looked over at the mule on which she was riding and said, “I thought we had retired old Stumblefoot!” Upon hearing the nickname for the mule she “broke down in fear.”

How often do we place our trust in someone, even someone we know and love, yet find disappointment? We sometimes find that our friends, family members and pastors are the ones who cannot meet our needs. In the passage of scripture above we can place our trust in a God who never disappoints. The psalmist claims refuge, fortress and deliverance from peril. The Most High will never let us down and His shadow is stronger than any sure-footed mule! So my friends, when the way is rocky in a relationship or in our jobs or at our church or at the bank, place your trust in the Almighty for He never fails or disappoints.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray remember to lift each other up in prayer. Remember that each of us is fighting some type of battle. Love you, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Gcapplenotes@aol.com

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Happy Tuesday!

It is late and I am just a bit tired, but I really love ending my day with a few moments with God’s Word and you.

Prayer: “Lord, I commit my way to You. I put my trust in You. Forgive me for not trusting You in the past. Forgive me for making things that I can see my rocks and my refuges. I know of Your righteousness and Your justice, and I put my confidence in You. I know that Your commandments are for my good and Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Psalm 71: 1-3 “In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually, You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.”

It is that time of the year once again when I have to have some difficult parent conferences. I had one this morning and will have one more tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will hold my last parent conference concerning possible retention of a student.

These are never easy, but by the time I hold these conferences the parent may not like the topic, but they are not surprised for I have prepared them for this possibility throughout the year. Tomorrow’s conference is somewhat different. The child in question is new and the parent does not appear to be clued in to the difficulties her child is having. I have only had two encounters with this parent and neither one of these conversations has been of a positive nature and in fact she has been negative toward her child.

I claim the psalm and will be praying this scripture as I speak with this parent. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to go before me and to dwell between me and this parent as we discuss her child and what is best for her child’s education. This woman is a single military mother with three children so this conference will not be easy. Please be in prayer for both of us and her child.

Our lives are full of choices and we can decide what dominates our thinking as we make those choices. I could tear into this woman and tell her she must help her son or I can try to be God’s representative to her and listen and let us come to a plan and decision together. So tomorrow I will trust God to be present allowing Him to dominate my thoughts and this conversation.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. As you pray, please remember to lift one another in prayer remembering that each of us is fighting some type of battle. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Gcapplenotes@aol.com

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Monday!

Matthew 6: 12 “And forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”

On yesterday’s writing I shared with you that I watched a movie titled Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The main character is the wife of a highly respected attorney who wronged her horribly. She had every reason to be hurt and angry beyond words. This woman had been a wonderful and faithful wife. Her husband was unfaithful to her and had created another family and placed them in the house she once called hers.

Her trust was shattered and her heart broken. When her husband suffers a life altering injury she returns to him. Her anger hurt and anger causes her to mistreat him. One day she goes to visit her mother. Her mother is played by Cicily Tyson. Cicily is a strong woman of faith who shares with her these words, “You have to forgive him, not for him, but for you. As long as you carry unforgiveness in your heart he has power over you. And then you must forgive yourself.”

One of the last scenes in the movie is at her aunt’s house following worship on Sunday. The family is gathered around the dinner table and after grace is offered. The prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving for the food before them and the restoration of this family.

This family was broken in so many ways. The faithfulness of God and the faithful prayers of His people restored this family to wholeness and in reconciliation to their creator. The Lord’s Prayer bids us to pray to God for our own forgiveness and to teach us to forgive others who have hurt us.

There is no power greater than the power of God’s love and forgiveness. God’s love and forgiveness is perfect healing. God who loves us enough to love and forgive us is greater than our deepest hurts and greatest sorrows. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray remember to lift each other up in prayer for each of us is fighting some sort of battle. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Gcapplenotes@aol.com

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blessed Sunday to you all!

Bruce arrived safely home this evening and said the weekend was totally awesome! Thank you for all of your prayers!

This morning Pastor Joel preached a completely amazing sermon. He preached about the importance of the table. The roots of the family table began during the early days of the church where families gathered at their local places of worship, brought food and pushed tables together for a meal. The Romans and Greeks would pass by and wonder why all of these different people would want to eat together. I imagine they looked just like a big family. (Hacked Emperor Nero off large!)

God wanted us to be a different kind of family; a family that is One in Christ. This family has become one because of the love and forgiveness of Christ. Pastor Joel talked about how few families eat together at the table now. Eating together at the table brings us all together for a few minutes in the presence of God and reminds us that we are the children of God with Christ as our brother.

Those of you who have been reading this writing for a while know what the table means to this family. The year during Casey’s illness we gave up our dining room and the table to accommodate his hospital bed and large amount of equipment. We sort of ate around in the living room/dining room. After Casey’s death we were given a table and began to eat around the table once again. We haven’t missed too many nights sitting at the table since.

Pastor Joel spoke of the reconciliation that Christ can provide through the table. Then the coolest thing happened this afternoon. I began to watch Diary of a Mad Black Woman. There were two families portrayed that were in need of reconciliation because of some very deep hurts. At the end of the movie you see these families gathered around a table being led in prayer by the oldest son. Once again God reconciled a family around a table.

My friends, God has enough love to heal the brokenness of our hearts and lives. He welcomes us to the table of grace. We can come and be forgiven and learn to forgive others while dining on His love, forgiveness and grace for all eternity. Have dinner with your family soon and invite Jesus to your table.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray, remember to lift each other up. Remember that each of us fights some type of battle. Love you all, and enjoy your dinner! Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

Gcapplenotes@aol.com

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.