Can you give me three days?

It is really difficult to make eye contact with someone when I’m feeling shame over a past event.  Even when I have reconciled with whomever, the very memory of what I said, or did, can come flooding back in an instant and render me helpless.

I hate moments like that. 

Being forgiven by someone feels strange at times. 

Have you ever been there?

Someone told me recently that it’s as if God doesn’t allow us to forget our transgressions, that way we never repeat them. But that does not line up with the God I know and worship. Nor does it add up with the person in question who has never brought this issue up again once we handled it, it’s as if he has forgotten. I apparently, have not.

I have a hot temper.

Sometimes I keep a lid on it.

Sometimes I don’t.

I once verbally crucified a man and instead of reacting in anger back, he asked for three days to think about it before he responded.

THREE DAYS?

Was he serious?

Apparently so. 

Once he responded, with grace and integrity I might add, I realized that I had been in the wrong, and quickly apologized.

THREE DAYS.

Christ was crucified.

He rose on the third day.

This man, meaning to or not, modeled Christ to me at a time when I wasn’t behaving very Christ-like.

Proverbs 16:32 New American Standard Bible (NASB) He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

I never forgot that.  As for my friend’s comment though that God doesn’t allow us to forget our sins, he’s wrong. Jesus came as our arbitrator, not our accuser. Shame is NEVER of God. That’s Satan’s job.

Scripture says

Psalm 130:3-4

 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

Psalm 130:12

As far as the East is from the West,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As far as the East is from the West

To better visualize exactly how far the East truly is from the West take out a globe.

Put your finger on the state or country you live in. Start walking North. Once you reach the North pole you cannot keep going without walking South.

Put your finger back.. now start walking East on the globe.

You will circle the globe without EVER heading West.

Do you get that?

East and West do not touch!

That is how far He has removed our sin.

So when shame over comes you.

When eye contact is painful

and the Devil says “Did God really say?” Answer back

YES, the Lord DID say he keeps no record.

YES, the Lord DID say he has removed our sin.

And the next time you – or I – feel the urge to react rather than respond, remember Jesus took three days to rise from the dead; maybe we should try the same thing.

This is one lesson, I will never forget.

I’m heading home to Chittenango NY for three weeks. Have a great 4th and I’ll see you in August.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart, June 29, 2011. All rights reserved.

It’s a Wrap: Movies, Mysteries, & Mercies Oh My!

See 2 Samuel 22

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece… but to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out and defiantly shouting, WOW WHAT A RIDE!

What a ride is right. Here is just a glimpse of what has been happening in our home life over the past 30 days.

Pictures were not allowed at Cowgirls N Angels Filming

1. I was cast in my very first movie ever. Being cast as an extra on the Cowgirls N Angels set was a thrill and a half for this woman. I spent two days in the blistering heat of Oklahoma with about 200 other actors/extras filming the rodeo scenes. I’m what they call “back ground” – and the truth is, you may or may not see me after the final slicing and dicing of the movie or with my luck I may wind up being the “woman in the porta john.” Either way, I know I was there and I have the sunburn, new friends, and paycheck to prove it. While being an extra may not be the same level of work as being the star, it’s still work. Paid work at that. Neato!

Gravestone Murder Mystery Dinner at OSL

2. Murder Mysteries are a riot and a half, especially working with this crew. Heather and Amy run a bible based fitness program at our church. Every year they host an awards banquet / fundraiser. This year they wrote a murder mystery and asked my hubs and I to participate. I got to play Kate: saloon gal, gambler, and girlfriend of Doc Galliday. While we did have a written script, most of our lines were improv. Kate is basically the life of the party and gets to flirt with every cowboy in the room. I learned a very valuable lesson that night. Being a church event and all, not all of the cowboys flirted back. I did eventually find a real live cowboy to play with and the results were hilarious. He is a local rancher and as he put it “Darlin’, you don’t want to start this with me, I know I can make you blush and I’m man enough to finish this.”  – he was right, how I wound up on that man’s lap is not real clear.  It all happened so fast, but I believe he had help as I seem to think I was pushed. I’ve never been so red in my life. Lesson learned: When doing improv with audience participation, be careful not to bite off more than you can chew.

Bon Fire at the Lake

3. My baby turned 18.  We celebrated our youngest son’s birthday with a bon fire at our lake house. Every one had a good time. I still cannot believe that he is 18, but it’s true. My mama bear days are over. It is time for me to step back, allow my son to be a man and make his own choices and try my best to stay out of things. That is not easy for me as my oldest can attest. I’m still prone to jump in, take over, and offer much unsolicited advice. My youngest has had a job for about year now at a local store. A store that I’ve never been fond of and his experiences there, just reinforce that gut feel. I cannot go into the details, but my blood is boiling. All I can do right now is dig in my gardens (with Oklahoma clay that is not easy), plant beauty, listen to my son, and pray.

Life is an adventure balanced with thrills, chills, and sorrows. The difficulties in life keep us humble and ever reliant on God. The adventures in life, hopefully keep us thankful.

Until next time.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. June 20, 2011. All rights reserved. 

D-Man is 18 Today.

My youngest son is turning 18 today. I cannot begin to count the years. His joyful spirit, insatiable curiosity, artistic talent and eye for the spiritual has left his father and myself deeply changed. I guess he’s finished with his job of raising us to be good parents. He’s an adult now. WOW. Am I ready? – nope.

And Some See Chariots

When my boys were born, I kept the baby monitors on full blast so that I could hear the slightest sound and run in, should they need me. When they were sick, I slept on the floor next to their crib. You might say, I was a zealous new mother. I don’t know who learned how to sleep through the night first, me or my boys. Even today, I still have one ear cocked just in case.

My youngest son has epilepsy. Dillon had his first grand mal seizure while napping in our bed at six-years-old. (If you don’t know what Grand Mal means, it’s where the whole body convulses.) He’d had a migraine that morning and we were resting. The seizure took me by total surprise and I called the paramedics in a panic.
I would try to sleep in our bed after that and would invariably wind up on his bedroom floor listening. I kept this pattern up for about a month, before finally letting go. A year went by before he had another seizure.

On Father’s Day 2000, I could hear Dillon hiccupping in the hallway. He had gotten up to sleep by the vent like he does on so many other nights. I got up to check on him and move him back into his own bed only something wasn’t right. When I sat down next to him to wake him up, I noticed that something was wrong. His eyes were fully dilated and when he saw me he got up with great difficulty. Using the right side of his body only, he began to crawl towards me. I grabbed Dillon and pulled him onto my lap. He had lost all strength on the left side of his body and his speech was slurred and slow. I’d thought he’d had a stroke and Jeff called 911.

The paramedics arrived pretty quickly, and said that he had indeed had a mild stroke, or TIA as they call it. And off to the hospital we went. CT scans revealed nothing except that, Dillon had not had a stroke, he’d a seizure.

What Dillon was experiencing was the after effects of a nocturnal frontal lobe seizure. His motor skills and muscle strength did return after a while. His memory of our family trip to Disney two weeks prior, did not return. The short-term memory loss was permanent.

Dillon had a dozen more seizures before Epilepsy was diagnosed. Even then it took months to get it under control with the right medications.

Both Dillon and I were afraid to sleep at night. My maternal instincts kept me awake listening for the slightest noise, so that I could run in and be there should he need me. I did not have the strength to sleep. My friends and I prayed continually for healing and for peace.
Every night our family would pray together that Jesus would hold Dillon while he slept and that God would send his angels down to watch over us and keep all of us safe. And we would try to crawl in to His lap for peace and comfort.

One night while we were sitting on our back porch swing rocking and singing together, Dillon asked me how I knew God would send his angels. I didn’t have an answer for him, so I lied. I told him I just do, that it was about faith. But he looked up and said, “No Mommy. How do you KNOW He will?”

What happened to the easy questions, like “Where do babies come from?” That one I had an answer for. So I said a quiet prayer for the right words to say.

It was one of those crystal clear Oklahoma nights where the sky just goes on forever, and I pointed at the stars and asked him what he saw. (My intent was to say if God can hang the heavens then surely he could send a few angels to watch over a child.) Dillon looked at the stars and said something only a child could say,

“EYES!”

“Eyes?” I replied. “I see stars.”

He said “Yeah Mommy, ANGEL EYES!”

With that he ran out to the middle of the yard, threw his head and his arms back and said, “Wow Mommy! Look at all the angels God sent to watch over me!” Then he gave me a quick hug and a kiss and ran back to bed, sleeping soundly for the first time in ages.

I did not run straight to bed and sleep soundly. I fell flat on my face before the God of the universe in my backyard and asked him to see what my son sees.

Elisha saw Chariots, Dillon sees angels and I am learning to see the hand of God at work in ways I never imagined.

And Elisha prayed,
“O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.”
Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes,
and he looked and saw the hills full
of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Dillon’s seizures remained in remission from 2001 to 2004. After finding new medications and treatments, Dillon has now been seizure free since October 5, 2008 and will be taking his drivers test next week.

Added: August 24, 20111 — I’m happy to report that Dillon has passed his driver’s test – first time out I might add – and is now driving. Something we never thought possible.

Taylor Mason is Coming to Our Savior Lutheran on June 26

If you came here looking for information on hiring Taylor to perform at your church, please see his web page at www.taylormason.com. His calendar and booking information (under the Contact Taylor Menu Item) are loaded there.

This particular blog piece is intended to announce Taylor’s Arrival to our church on June 26, 2011

Our Savior Lutheran Church

And Slightly Mad Communications
Presents internationally known, clean comic
Taylor Mason

Taylor Mason has been making audiences laugh, very hard, for 24 years as a professional comedian. He has headlined every major comedy club in the USA. He has played Las Vegas, Tahoe, and Atlantic City.

Taylor Mason’s comedy is fit for all audiences. Bring the whole family and laugh till your sides hurt.

Where: Our Savior Lutheran Church
146 S. Sheridan Rd.
Tulsa, Ok 74112


When: Sunday June 26th, 2011


Doors open at 6PM
Show starts at 7PM
Seating is General Admission
$10 for Adults
$5 for Youth under 18
Children under 5 attend free

Tickets are on sale in our church office at 918.836.3752 (cash or check) or you may purchase tickets via paypal by CLICKING HERE

Groups purchasing 10 or more tickets will receive one ticket free. To claim your free ticket you must contact Eddie Morris at Our Savior Lutheran at 918-836-3752. 

Meanderings of a Redhead… Use your assertive voice. My WHAT?

Random thoughts from my journal…(Because confidence is needed to ride a horse, I’m been journalling a lot lately on what assertive looks like and how it differs from control. This is a just a random selection of those thoughts. I realize they aren’t complete yet and is here more as a reflection of where I need to grow as a person than as absolute conclusion.)  

You need to use your assertive voice when telling the horse what to do.

My assertive voice? Really? Uhm.. I guess a squeaky “please trot” just isn’t going to cut it with Cowboy, huhn?

Nope. When you are assertive, the horse will trust you. If you are passive, the horse with jack with you. Your choice. Oh and visually focus on where you want cowboy to go, or he’ll pick his own path. 

I thought I was just signing up for a fun escapist kind of hobby. I was wrong. She wasn’t kidding about Cowboy either. If I’m the least bit uncertain about what I want to do, he’ll totally jack with me. I love riding Cowboy.

This isn’t what I expected when I signed up for riding lessons. I really just wanted to escape the testosterone around me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my guys. Even so, being the only female in a house full of men gets overwhelming some days

Instead of just horseback riding, I’m learning about assertive vision. Which brings me to a bigger question really. What is the difference between being assertive and being controlling?

  • I believe there is a world of difference between a woman fighting for control and a woman fighting to survive in a lactose intolerant (patriarchal) society. I see it a lot. Men talking over women and women either fighting harder to be heard, or retreating into silence. I’ve done both in my life. I can also get fuzzy over the line between setting boundaries and controlling an issue, which leaves me all over the map in this equation.
  • When it comes to the dynamics of men and women it is usually said that men take and women give. It’s the age-old paradigm of relationships. The masculine archetype is assertive. Usually. But where does that leave the woman? Can she not be assertive also?
  • If the obvious answer is yes, women can and should be assertive, why is it then that when women are assertive they are  accused of being controlling? Is there a false dichotomy that male assertiveness is good and female assertion is bad?
  • And in moments of found courage, where women do speak up why oh why do men say “Let your gentleness be evident to all?” For some strange reason that particular phrase spoken at the wrong moment brings out anything BUT a gentle response from me. My inner brat wants to shake her fist and run naked through a field just to spite them.

Not a gentle response to be sure.

Self destructive rebellion is not the answer.

Three months of riding lessons later, Cowboy and I get along really well. I prefer not to use stirrups when I ride and next week, I get to ride Prince bare back. I don’t have to go big when being assertive with the horses, just consistent. Consistency breeds confidence, confidence breeds a quiet assertiveness..

That or Cowboy is still jacking with me.

I’m not sure.

 

Added: June 22, 2011 — I’ve now ridden Prince (another horse at Jo’s barn) bareback twice. We even galloped yesterday, which I’ve decided rocks more than anything.

 

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved, June 8, 2011

Bang! Bang! Bang! FREEZE!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Freeze!

Rattlesnakes it seems are not very bright.

They cannot tell the difference

between a woman who is angry

and

A woman who is frightened.

Angry women can be rational.

I met a rattlesnake the other day.

He was big and tall

with a puffed out chest

and a pair of overall jeans.

He pays no mind to whose land he is scavenging.

I am not totally sure it is mine.

But I’m certain it isn’t his.

This might be the land of the free

And the brave but

this scavenger is nothing more

than a bully in overalls.

And bullies aren’t brave.

They just take what they want

for free.

The lake we live on

over flowed her banks,

Leaving behind trees too large to lug

and too strong for a chainsaw.

Three days we spent

cutting,

dragging

sweating

and swearing under our breath.

The piles of wood

ready to burn

reach the sky.

I didn’t notice him until then.

This rattlesnake of a man.

He must have come from the rocks along the shore

or from beneath the wood

I’m not sure.

He lives across the lake

and has come for free drift wood.

I see him tearing apart our work

and ask him to leave.

He doesn’t stop to listen.

Instead, he puffs out his chest

and brushes right past me

dragging pieces to his trailer parked in my lawn.

I told him he could have whatever he wanted

if he worked for it or asked.

My words didn’t stop him.

Neither did my raised tone.

A rattlesnake is neither afraid

of a woman half his size.

Nor can he hear the difference

between angry and scared.

He has no idea how dangerous

A frightened woman can be.

Lucky for him

My husband does

and comes to save him

before

I shoot him.

Written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved. June 6, 2011.