Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pulpwood Queens of Sulphur, LA

Meet the Pulpwood Queens of Sulphur, LA! Tonight's book club visit with these girls was so much fun. We had to start out with just the audio as Skype was acting up, but half-way through we got the video working. I was able to show them Lake Providence in my back yard and introduce them to Dixie Belle.

I enjoyed hearing the girls' thoughts about "Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On". They also gave me plenty to think about for more porch chats and book material. My readers are some forever more super cool folks.

Thanks, girls. I had a blast. Remember to join me on ATS LIVE! Here's that link:


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ATS Board Meeting

Notes from today's ATS Board Meeting: Dixie Belle tried to order more tennis balls. Emerson suggested we market teething rings. Dixie tried to get Emerson to throw her ball. Emerson was uncooperative although she did manage to pick it up with both hands and attempt to put it in her mouth. That would be when we adjourned.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Redneck Radio Studio

Hey folks,

I think it's about time I make good on that promise of mine to show y'all around the Redneck Radio Studio. Friends and neighbors, please direct your attention to the far right corner of my great room. This is the as-official-as-it-gets All Things Southern headquarters. From this vantage point I can, among other things: hammer out deadlines, interact with you fine folks on the various social media sites, tend to whatever is cooking in the kitchen, and visit with anyone who may be lounging in the living room, not to mention enjoy the music of Dixie Belle moaning outside the windows trying to guilt me into playing tennis-- all while enjoying the scenic view of beautiful Lake Providence in my back yard.

But wait-- come Monday morning a transformation begins. Behind the cornice boards at the top of the windows-- out of sight the rest of the week-- are several strategically placed hooks, just perfect for hanging the latest high tech noise reduction "waffles" to seal off my desk in preparation of the next recording session. (FYI, during these sessions I tape the short three segments that appear on my various affiliates. I tape All Things Southern LIVE nearby in Monroe, LA at the FOXFM 92.7 studio.)

Of course, some "waffles" are more high tech than others. Yours truly has found that bedspreads work really well, for a fraction of the cost.

And just like that, I'm ready to lay some sound tracks. Here's a few shots from inside what I fondly refer to as The Redneck Radio Studio...

Every studio needs sound equipment. Here's mine...

Come Monday evening the curtains are taken down, leaving behind no clues of the day's taping. And now, whenever you hear All Things Southern's taped segments airing on your local affiliate you can tell your friends that you know "the rest of the story"...


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Emerson, where are you?

Seriously, Emerson, when I come in for the Fourth we've got to talk about Keggie and this camera.

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

Friday, June 19, 2009

Grant and His Mommy

Hmmm....I thought this pic was in with the others, but it wasn't, so it gets it's own post!

I love this woman who used to be my LITTLE GIRL!

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

Catching up

I'm sorta kinda hoping y'all aren't finding this as I'm working on it, but oh, well, y'all already know my life is messy. :) The thing is, I sent the pics from my tired bberry (needs juice and I refuse to stay plugged in near it), and now I'm adding text from the laptop. Sooooo, you may want to refresh, depending on when you happen upon this. I'm typing around nine. I've sent Jessica Ann to bed and insisted that I'm taking night shift. The Man is sleeping soundly at the moment.

The first several pics are pretty much how I found Baby Grant upon my arrival. Grant says, "Keggie! This reflux buisness will wear a little fella out!"

Once Jessica picked me up at the airport, it was on to the doctor's. Here is what we know. The doctor is thinking that Grant's full body rash, (you can't really see it, but it's raised and pretty much moving head to toe now), may not be a reaction to the meds after all. It is his suspicion that Grant has been fighting an unknown viral infection this week which is just now exhibiting itself with the rash. If this is so, it may be, according to doc, that the virus was complicating his pain and irritation and his reflux could be milder than earlier suspected.

Grant was, once again, unable to get his vaccinations because the doctor didn't want to further complicate/disguise what is going on. He took Grant, for the weekend, off of his reflux medicine to see how he responds and if the rash goes away. It remains to be seen when or which medicine he may start him on again Monday.

This means that over the weekend Grant will be without his reflux medicine, which can make his mama anxious because he was just getting better and she, nor I, of course, want to go backwards but we need to do what the doctor says. Please pray with me that Grant will rest peacefully and handle his meals without pain. Thank you.

Here is the little sweetheart again with his daddy. I call these two Pete and Repete.

Grant makes a quality decision to smile through the discomfort!

Okay, I'm switching gears, but I'm way behind blogging w/bberry because it has been acting congtrary about sending pics to the net. This next shot is my Emerson Ann and her Mama playing at my house earlier in the week. Emerson loves to laugh. She is always ready to play and forever smiling. I wanted to post this because there are always tons of pics of Emerson and few of her mommy because Carey is always behind the camera! I love you, girls!

And here is a shot, going backward again, of me and Miss Emerson at Sunday School. I ask you, who is cheesing more?

And now for a fun, fun finish. I realize this post is all out of sync chronologically. I hope you're not getting dizzy, but we're back to Friday, now! The pic below is of my new friend, Doris. I met Doris on the plane out to Houston. And that's the story I want to tell y'all...

Being a bonafide people person, ninety-nine percent of the time I am happy to talk to anyone and everyone. Today, however, fell into that one percentage where I boarded my plane thinking to myself, "I so need rest." I had fallen into bed after my speaking engagement last night after eleven o'oclock and woke up this morning before five to get ready for the morning's radio show. I just wanted to get on the plane and r-e-s-t. Those were my plans. That's what I thought I needed. Did you know the Bible says that we don't know our own hearts? Yeah, just thought I'd mention that.

So, I'm in my seat beside this nicely dressed, polite lady. I have my I-pod in my ears preparing to listen to a new teaching I had from Joyce Meyers. My goal was to fall asleep with it in my ears. (Sorry, Joyce. I did plan to listen later if that helps.)

In the middle of my well laid out plan I heard these words drop into my head.

"Ask the lady beside you if she needs prayer for anything."

"Oh, no. Not now," I thought. "You're kiddin', right?" Try as I might to talk myself out of it, I was pretty sure I recognized that voice speaking to me. But oh, how wrong my tired flesh wanted to be. I peeked at the lady beside me. She looked peaceful, even serene. I sent a little mental message back in the direction I suspected the first one had came from.

"Seriously, Lord, she looks fine to me."

Silence. "Need I remind you, yet again, of what I said about how I look on the inside of people and you look on the outside. Ask her if she needs prayer."

Heavy sigh. Mine. And then, resignation, followed on the heels with reluctant obedience, but obedience nonetheless. I turned to the lady beside me.

"Excuse me. I don't mean to bother you, but, well, is there anything going on you would like me to pray about with you?"

The lady gave me a gracious smile and shook her head. "No, I'm fine. Just tired."

So that was that. I went back to my I-pod wondering what that was all about, still tired, body and soul. A few minutes later, the lady nudged my arm. This time she had a question.

"What church do you go to?" And after that answer came, "And can you tell me why you asked?"

I hope y'all are still with me, because this is where it gets GOOD! I soon discovered my seatmate was a fellow believer--a tired one, no doubt, much as I-- sound in spirit but weary in flesh. And yet, what broke out between us before that plane landed in Houston can best be described as our own personal revival, orhcestrated by our Father, and smiled upon from heaven. Before long my new friend Doris and I were holding hands and petitioning the throne. She prayed for me, for Grant, for everything else on my plate, and I in turn prayed God's blessings of renewed strength and vigor for Doris and her loved ones. By the time we said "Amen" I felt like I couldn've ran a marathon! (Oh, and Doris was feeling mighty good herself.)

The beauty of it is that I thought I was reaching out to help Doris, but the blessing came back to me a hundredfold. And that my friends, is something I like to call the blessing of obedience. It is the epitome of a win/win situation.

Isn't that just like God?


"And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends" (Job 42:10).

sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yippy Skippy!

Hey Y'all,

I've dutifully asked my girls, (daughter and daughter-in-law) for permission to share their blogs and they have both said, "Yes." I'm delighted to be able to give y'all a little sneak peak into why I think they're so wonderful.

Meet Jessica, my beloved firstborn, and Carey, the blessing our son gave us three years ago, today.

I think you'll see why they're on my list of most favorite people.


Fire in my Fingers

I've got to get back to those who are waiting (I hope patiently) for various and sundry ATS columns and orders, the ever present deadlines, and the preparation for tomorrow night's speech. (FYI, I'll be speaking at The Church of God in Bastrop, LA.) But first, I've got to get a piece of fire out of my fingers.

I'm knee deep in my early morning times on the Bible study I'm writing on prodigal living. Until such a time as we get to share it together, please emblazon these words on your mind. They come from an old testament passage but they cut right to our twenty-first century hearts. Everything comes back to our willingness or refusal to lay down our will to His.

I'm particularly taken by the way it's translated in the Holman Bible. This is what the deceived heart says:

Deuteronomy 29: 19, "I will have peace even though I follow my own stubborn heart."

Think about it...I am.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ducks in a Row

Are they not gorgeous? I took this picture on the dock behind my house. I don't want to be prideful, but please note that my ducks, bless their feathered hearts, are very obviously in a row. And they said it'd never happen.

I hate to admit it, but whoever they are, they were right. The truth is, these aren't "my" ducks, they roam the lake freely, and the shot was just a pleasant accident, nothing more. I got it because I was in the right place at the right time. And yet, it speaks to me.

Occasionally I manage to get the ducks of my life lined up, but invariably when it happens, it transpires the same way this photo came to be, accidentally and momentarily. Most of the time my life is one big mess, sometimes it's a fun mess, sometimes it's a trying mess, but it's a mess more often than it's not.

Not too long ago someone asked me a question. The query came in response to the schedule I keep here at ATS. "Why?" this person asked, "Why do you do it? Why don't you just not?" My questioner wasn't being rude, just curious, (and to be fair, she was concerned about the demands on my time.) The implication was more along the lines of why did I have to do this, when I could just get a regular job and live more normally. It's a good question. I know this because it has stayed with me.

I've since done a lot of musing and I'm not through. I keep turning the question over and looking at it from different angles. In the interest of full disclosure, sometimes it would be easy to "just not", but, I dream of sharing the abundant joy of abiding in Jesus on this side of heaven with as many people as possible while there is breath in my body, and this thing called ATS opens doors to do just that. Jesus makes life work. Church going doesn't do it, "touch not, taste not" doesn't do it but hearing Him speak to you through His word becomes a stronger addiction, if you will, than any substance this world can offer. This is what I want to proclaim with my last breath.

So, let the ducks waddle where they will. Abnormality appears to be my normality and I think He's okay with that!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Three Women and a Baby

Hello friends,

So, this is it. My and Mama's last night in Houston-- at least for a few weeks. Last night to get Grant Thomas sugar. Last night to miss my sweet man and the rest of the family back home. Last night to watch Jessica in her new role and marvel. Where, oh where, did my little girl go and when did she turn into this incredibly beautiful, devoted young wife and new mom?

It's been quite an adventure, the last few days, with my daughter at one hand and my mother at the other, a wonderful, hold this in your heart memory. Three women and a baby-- has that movie been made? There's the young mother, wanting to do everything as perfectly as possible. The mother in the middle, trying to be helpful without taking over. And the mother on the end, dissatisfied with her role on the bench, but thoroughly enjoying the game.


P.S. I had pics for illustration but I grew way too sleepy to follow thru on this post last night. :) It's morning now and we're on the road again...

Hey Porchers!

My Keggie says I am the man! What do y'all think?

Grant Thomas

P.S. Someone give Emerson a kiss for me. They won't let me travel, yet!

I'm sure you're right, Keggie!

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We've Spent All...

I had to stop. Had to. I'm sitting on the back porch. Dixie Belle has momentarily given up on the possiblity of a post devotional game of fetch. Her yellow tennis ball lies between her feet as she naps. My coffee has grown cold, but my heart is on fire. I'm knee deep in a study I've been writing on Prodigal Living. One day I hope to share the whole teaching with you, but the piece of fire verse fourteen has become to me this morning will not wait.

Luke 15:14, "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want."

My dear America, we have spent all. There is a great lack in our land and we have begun to be in want.

Surely the next three verses apply and there is much in the whole passage for meditation, but for brevity's sake, and in order to lessen this fire in my fingers and return to my study, I pray we would follow the steps of the prodigal in verse seventeen. May we come to ourselves and say, "Father, we have sinned against heaven and before you. We are coming home."