Author Book Reading & Receptions, Merritt Island and Melbourne FL
Texas will be at First Baptist Church Merritt Island in the Crossover Room on Friday, January 27 at 11 AM.
This event could change your life. It’s the perfect opportunity to get connected to an alternative perspective. The gospel is not only about eternity; it’s our resource for successful everyday living. All of us have lies we believe. If we aren’t willing to dismantle them and replace them with the truth, we stay stuck. No trap is more obvious or physically detrimental than drug addiction. My memoir, Deep in the Heart of Texas, is not just a story of entrapment but it a guide to freedom. See what the buzz is all about, please join me at 11 AM on Friday, January 27 for a personal reading, and question and answer session.
140 Magnolia Ave, Merritt Island, FL 32952
For information call Betty Trull, (321) 243-7808
Come and see where you can be. This event offers help. There’s much to be considered about choices. Why we make them, where they lead us, and what exactly keeps us bound to them. My memoir, Deep in the Heart of Texas, exposes—with brutal authenticity—why, where, and what my decisions resulted in. But more importantly, how I found freedom. Although no one’s circumstances are the same, everyone has issues that keep them bound. Drug addiction is just harder to hide from. Come check us out at Promiseland Church on Saturday, January 28, 4 -6 PM and pick up your copy of a book that will give you everything you need to choose different. I’ll also be speaking during the Sunday morning service at 10:30 AM.
1855 Lansing St.
Melbourne, FL 32935
by Texas Stready
Woke up to 45° weather. Burrrr…
Hardly what you’d call freezing, unless you live in Florida—and I do. This thought made me wonder. Is what we believe related to our location?
We can talk ourselves into anything, but God’s Word is accurate no matter what we’re convinced of. In other words, saying “I’m freezing” in 45° weather is a long way from being frozen.
Life gets complicated. There are a multitude of variable issues that constantly invade our belief systems – wounded hearts, misunderstood actions, and unexplainable events. And that’s just naming a few. Details may differ, but spiritual location is what determines our personal truth.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 5:8). This is absolutely true, but lack of union with Christ can twist this cord of encouragement into a noose of despair.
I spent decades believing that using drugs would rid me of negative feelings. Holding on to that wrong concept made problems worse. I knew I didn’t deserve forgiveness and that fact saturated my soul with shame. My truth was killing me.
Discarding wrong calculations is a great way to get on course. Although details vary, cause and effect does not. Falling down is painful, but missing a step doesn’t do near the damage diving headlong from a cliff does.
“Duh” you may say, but a 10 month old could never comprehend this. You see, our frame of reference is formed from experience. Confidence in God is dependent on our perception of His nature. Seeing with accuracy insists we let go of the past and walk into our intended future. This action requires faith.
Here are three unexpected faith-builders that will lead you in the right direction.
#1 There’s always a choice.
Horrible things happen. It’s true. Sure doesn’t seem like the people locked in Hitler’s concentration camps had much of a choice—but they did. All day every day they had to make choices. Does God love me? Is there hope? Will I keep forgiving?
If you read interviews of different people who survived the Holocaust, you can easily decipher the choices they made. Proving, not only is there always a choice, but what we choose directly affects the outcome of our lives.
Faith is strengthened by our choices.
#2 One step at a time.
Breathless. That’s what we become if we look at the work instead of the Source. God is here for you. The most intricate details of your life matter to Him.
One of the enemy’s craftiest attacks has to do with impatience. Life demands endurance. If we don’t pace ourselves we burn out. Exhaustion’s been known to take out many a fine sprinter. Running a race of any kind requires we focus on the next step—not the finish line. Faith is what gives us the ability to do just that. (Philippians 4:13)
Faith grows with each achievement.
#3 Stability is necessary.
Balance is a very inviting concept to us. It sounds so much like what’s needed. Doesn’t it? The world is packed with fantastic ideas, making our search for stability a dangerous gamble. Happy mediums keep us dependent on self.
In Proverbs 3:5-6, the Bible clearly states that our ability lacks insight. I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in a high wire act. Especially not one where I’m the main attraction.
Faith keeps us connected to Christ.
No one deserves forgiveness(Romans 5:8), but nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). Welcoming these truths sharpened my focus.
Where you live, in the Spirit, directly effects what you believe, and what you believe fills your mind with either hope or defeat. Fellowship with Christ is a flawless life map. If you follow His guidance, Faith becomes the voice on your GPS that says, “You have arrived at your intended destination.”
by Cathee Poulsen
Exactly fifty-seven years ago I rolled into Lake Placid for the first time on a Greyhound Bus. It was Christmas vacation and I’d been invited to come to Tully’s Silver Sands to spend the winter break with my friend Jeanne Tully. We both lived in Miami and were at Miami High together. Her family vacation spot is still there today.
“Going to the lake” became a series of four words that drove the adrenalin to immeasurable heights of joy and excitement. Today, five generations later at our own house, Simplicity Cottage, my great-grandkids cop the same feelings when their parents scream “We’re going to the lake!”
I came often those luxurious summers of high school. The boys we dated came on weekends and we’d ski, eat Lola Tully’s fabulous southern cuisine and the fried bass the guys caught, and in the evening I’d play my guitar and we’d sing until the stars came out.
One weekend when Bob Poulsen got off work at Florida Power & Light and drove up with the guys, we were talking quietly at the edge of the lake at night and he told me he loved me. I remember not knowing what to say back. No one had ever said those words to me and I was only 17. The times were magical.
Even though seasons changed…
In 1967 my parents discovered Lake Placid and decided to make it their residence when they retired from catering and restaurants in Miami. Bob and I had married, we had Buddy and were into our third family generation. By then, our life at the lake was a theme woven into our lives and going there always meant fun, recalibration, and a good kind of tiredness after a day on the water. It goes without saying—the food was off the chain.
Food here is still off the chain! Jed’s Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños.
Catwoman’s Skillet Apple Pie
By 1979, when we came to the lake, there were now six of us. I was working full time and hard-wired to stress, to-do lists, pleasing people and juggling parenthood that spanned from a preschooler to a first year college student with two high schoolers sandwiched in between.
It was the lake that taught me how to begin dialing down. At the outset, I wasn’t very good at it, but I’d wake early, grab some hot coffee and my Bible and sneak down to the dock before anyone woke up. The quietness of a fresh morning on the water would help me let go of all that angst. Reading “…if I rise on the wings of the morning and settle on the far side of the waters, you will be there” (Psalm 139), I would allow the words to carry me to peace.
In time, my kids grew up and my parents died. Then it was just me and Bob and the house at the lake was where we went to get away.
…I was still the same.
I would come here with my “shoulds” and “musts” and a To-Do List that would choke an elephant. Not only did we need to do maintenance on a house left to itself weeks or months at a time, but I now was the overseer of 30 small groups, their leaders, retreats and planning meetings, and so much responsibility that I found myself asking Jesus often if all this was what it really was about.
I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know where to begin. Or how. Sometimes what we need to see is right in front of us. At the time, I had a friend who, after watching my frantic scurrying, said one day, “Cathee, this isn’t how God called you to live. You need to learn to let Jesus be your rest.” (Or something like that. It’s been 20 years and I don’t remember exactly.)
Those words were like bothersome gnats. Flying in my face, getting in my food, going up my nose. I just wanted them to go away.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
No one really knows who spoke those words for the first time, but we all have experienced them. I was drowning and crying out to God for deliverance from overwhelm, but I resisted the first person He sent to help me. Haven’t you done that too?
Thing about God, about His faithfulness, is that it doesn’t matter if we fail His tests. He’ll just keep giving them over again until we get it. Over and over and over. Several years, and too many experiences to recount here, I got that test until I was desperate to learn another way to live my life.
When the world turned upside down financially in 2009, we entered another new season.
Once the dust settled from the mortgage crisis—Bob being a mortgage broker—we got the message loud and clear: “You’re moving to the lake!”
This time it wasn’t a vacay, or a skiing trip, it was for good. And you can take that several ways. It was “for good” because we had come full circle. It felt like we’d come home. It was “for good” because we had a house on a lake to move to. It was “for good” because we had always loved it here.
But I didn’t know it was “for good” because it was the teacher appearing for the ready student. Downsizing from a 3000 sq. ft. home to 1600 sq. ft. meant I had to simplify. In comparison, the house is more of a lake cottage than anything else, so I jokingly named it “Simplicity Cottage.” But the name turned out to be prophetic. Simplicity was what God was calling me to now and the lake became my teacher.
The Treehouse on the Lake
In many ways, being in this cottage is almost like living in a treehouse. The trees are much taller than the roof and one old oak branch runs the length of my deck. The clear waters of Lake Clay lay beyond that branch which has hosted hawks, wood ducks, ibises and a plethora of regular birds that come to the feeder. Squirrels race up and down the trunk and across that branch and if you sit very still you’ll get the feeling you’re outside. It’s through the blend of silence and nature that my soul finds the stillness for which it thirsts.
Sunrise on Lake Clay.
Josephine – our tri-colored heron.
Stillness has never been comfortable for me. What is comfortable are lists and action and responsibility. I’ve believed the lie for decades that if I’m not busy, my life is meaningless.
But here’s what I know for sure—Jesus knew how to rest.
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:31 NASB
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
The principle of rest goes all the way back to Moses when God is leading him out of Egypt: “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 NASB
What the lake has taught me are the “unforced rhythms of grace” as Eugene Peterson says in The Message version. I love that phrase. It may never come naturally to me, but it is a practice I can develop; a spiritual discipline.
I love living here not because I’ve “retired,” but because I love the sound of rain on the roof, the lap of the water on the shore, the tri-colored heron who dominates the edge every day scouting for little fish, and that I finally notice these things. I’ve learned “to calm and quiet my soul like a weaned child,” as David wrote in the Psalms.
The contentment is new to me, and I love it. But we weren’t made only for contentment. That would make things all about us. We’ve also found meaning and purpose and a high calling here.
This year I hope to find someone who can letter across the wall over the French doors that lead out to the lake: “It is glorious to be here.” It’s a choice to acknowledge that as truth for all of us, wherever we are.
by Texas Stready
Well the new year is here and I can’t stop feeling amazed that 2016 is gone. Seems like it was just the year 2000 and the world was headed for total decimation because of Y2K. Remember that one?
Never been the type to invest much time worrying about predictions, or betting on resolutions. When life takes a radical turn, and it always does, all our methods end in failure anyway. This makes both those practices a setup for letdown.
The way I figure, life has enough disappointment, no use cracking the door to more. That’s just not how I roll.
What is “The Do,” you ask? Whatever’s on your to-do list, that’s what. No matter who you are, you have one of these.
Life is full of activities and interest—goals and plans. Maybe you don’t take the time to jot them down or map them out, but somewhere in your skull there’s an agenda.
I’m not classifying predictions, resolutions, or to-do lists as no-no’s. Not me; I’m a list-making fool. I am. In fact, I think most of our hindrances are caused by what we don’t consider important enough to contemplate, solve, or take note of.
One of the easiest things to do is to get caught up in the world’s timetable. So much to have or be, and it seems no one can wait for tomorrow. It appears easier to work towards material gain than to deal with the matters of the heart. Problem is, no fulfillment’s found there.
When, oh when, will we become the kind of people who let go of our hangups and follow our hearts? If we never learn to do this, everything in life becomes dry and dreary.
Join The Team
Ever notice there’s people who operate on a different spiritual level? One that’s more smooth and sure. Well, you’ll be happy to know, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t become one of them.
Our choices are key but few of them are irreversible. When it comes down to it, changing our minds is what we do best. If this were not true we wouldn’t spend so many hours investigating on Google, or shopping on Amazon.
We make things so much harder than they really are. One small shift is all it takes to revolutionize your life. Listen up, I have inside information that has the power to shape the world we live in.
How we treat others is what puts pavement on the dirt roads we travel. It’s the spiritual coating that makes the ride less bumpy. Although harsh responses can never be retracted, relationship with Christ is sure to teach us how to do “The Do” differently.
No prediction or resolution is needed to act and react with a heart of tenderness. What that takes is a new perspective. One that brings kindness and provides patience. Something that won’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice. A source that imparts truth and restores hope. (1Corinthians 13:4-5)
The power that affords us these priceless gifts is LOVE.
Do you believe the Bible? If so, the last three verses in the above listed chapter tell us it’s time to grow up and view things differently.
If the Holy Spirit lives in us, we can begin seeing more clearly today. Like the Beatles sang in the 60s, “All We Need is Love.”