Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Last week Tommy preached down in Rockwood, Tennessee at Eddie, Babe and Dalton’s church. He preached an old sermon from back in the days when we were at a little church in Hampton, TN called “Husbands, Love Your Wives.” Since we wouldn’t be there today…Valentine’s day…he preached it early.
Since that day he has been giving me little Valentines every day that he has hidden in different places in the house for me to find. All are based on the Proverbs 30 “virtuous woman.” I thought you might enjoy reading them. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day……
“Many women think they are cute, but you are cuter than any of them!”
“Many women are cute, but you are the cutest of all!”
“Many women are bed buddies to their men, but you are the best bed buddy of all!”
“Many women are pretty, but you are the most prettiest of all!” (and I never liked anything but a pretty woman!)
“Many women are fun, but you are more funner than any of them!”
“There may be many who cuddle-wiffus, but you are the cuddle-wiffliest of them all.”
“Many women have decorated, but you are the decoratingest of them all!”
“You are Better
Than any other woman! BE MY VALENTINE!”
He then copied the scripture in several versions.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellent them all. (KJV)
Many women do excellent things but you are better than all the others. (NIRV)
Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them al! (MSG)
There are many fine women but you are better than all of them. (NEV)
There are some….indeed many….women who do well in every way, but of all of them only you are truly excellent. (the Voice)
Many women are good wives, but you are the best of them all. (GNB)
There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all! (TLB)
This next one, I made up….
“Many women could have been married to Tommy but I am the most blessed of all!”
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!
This is from a song in The Sound of Music that Maria sings. It has become our motto this past year. I have it on the refrigerator and I wrote it on the wall of the trailer before I tore it down. I am sure a lot of people have asked themselves that this year. Of course one never really knows what a day will bring but this past year (2020) it seems I have asked it more than ever before.
I told Tommy that if it weren’t for the fact that I believe the Lord has ministry for us where we are right now, I might just disappear and go to some remote place and hide until I die or the Lord returns. I have to fight anger when I leave our home. I am not on board with a lot that is going on in our world right now, and it is never more glaringly evident than when I step outside our four walls.
Starting each day reading scripture has helped ground me, but I find myself wanting to run back to the safety of home. Seems I can put all that is happening behind me a little easier there.
Then I get up again in the morning and read…
“Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.
Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
That’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.”
The Message Bible Proverbs 4:20-27
I have been thinking a lot about joy lately. Joy as opposed to happiness. There IS a difference and we have all heard THAT sermon!
Joy is hard. You have to concentrate to achieve joy. Happiness just happ—ens. You can be walking down the street feeling down or depressed, or simply melancholy, and bang! All of a sudden happiness just drops down right in front of you! It could be a rainbow, or a bluebird (which is the bird of happiness as we all know) or just a friendly person greeting you as they pass you on the street.
I wrote a story about that last comment in my last book “Little Big Apple.” It was a hot summer day and we were living in NYC. John boy had gotten a pair of shoes in Manhattan and they didn’t feel good after he wore them around the house. I was taking them back to the shoe store. On the way home, I wasn’t paying attention and got on the fast train. When you ride the fast train in NY it doesn’t stop at all the stops like the slow train. (Well, THAT was brilliant!)
When I realized what I had done, I got so mad at myself. I ended up in Spanish Harlem. I got off the train and walked to the other side of the platform. No big deal. Except it was. I waited and I waited and I waited. Finally I decided just to walk home. That’s no big deal, except it was hot and it was about 25 blocks back to our apartment.
As I walked I fumed. What a miserable day! I could have been doing any number of things but instead I am stuck out here in the blazing heat walking home. Mumble mumble mumble.
As I walked across a bridge that spanned a highway, I looked ahead and there was only one other person on the bridge. He looked like a young boy. As I drew near, I saw that indeed it was. He looked to be about 10 years old. As we started to pass each other, he stopped dead in his tracks, looked at me right in the eye and said “well…HELLO!”
Of course I said hello back and we went on our way, but I wasn’t the same person who started across that bridge. All of a sudden, it didn’t seem so hot. All of a sudden I was fairly flying across that bridge. All of a sudden I was HAPPY. Happ—iness, just Happ—ened to drop into my lap. Or, in this case, fall all over me!
I wish I practiced living in joy all the time. I don’t but I try. I am reading through the Bible again, something I try to do every year, and this week a scripture jumped out at me. It is so appropriate for all the stuff that is going on in our world today. I hope it does you as much good as it did me, and I pray that your joy would be made full and complete in Him this day and in the days to come.
Matthew 24:13,14. “Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the Kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.” Also, in that same chapter in verse 5 or 6 (hard to tell in The Message Bible) it says, “keep your head and don’t panic.”
The Psalmist also says that “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 (KJV)
For this, and other stories by Patricia Ann Combs Oaks, click this LINK!
Short and Sweet
No further words are necessary to explain today’s blog.
“That clinches it. Help’s coming.
An answer’s on the way,
everything’s going to work out.
See those people polishing their chariots,
and those others grooming their horses?
But we’re making garlands for God our God.
The chariots will rust,
those horses pull up lame—--
And we’ll be on our feet, standing tall."
Psalm 20:6 (MSG)
John Thomas Oaks - Age, 30 minutes
When John Thomas was a baby we went to visit a friend named Inez. She taught first grade in a school where I taught music. It was close to Christmas and I knew that Inez would have her tree up. John boy was barely walking, and I am pretty sure he was around 13 months old. The reason I remember that is because I also remember what he had on and that was the age he would have worn that outfit.
Before we left for Inez’s house I told John boy where we were going. I also told him about the tree. John thomas started talking at 6 months so by 13 months he was using sentences. He understood exactly what I told him.
I said “John boy…Inez will have her Christmas tree up and it will have pretty ornaments on it. You can look all you want. However, if you are tempted to touch anything, put your hands behind your back.”
To this day, the scene of him standing in front of her tree with his little hands behind his back, will be forever engraved in my memory.
I got this from my Mother. She always prepared us BEFORE we went somewhere, as to her expectations for our behavior. After we were grown she told me that if you prepare a child before the fact, it saves a lot of misery for both the parent and the child.
We have a book to tell us what our Parent expects of us in every situation with which we are faced. If we pay attention, it will save a lot of heartache. It’s called The Bible.