Thursday, March 31, 2011

Comfort-Part 1

Last week was a difficult and emotional week for the Pettijohn family. Tuesday afternoon Terra, our family pet of almost 16 years began getting sick. She kept me up most of the night, pacing the floor and getting sick periodically. We took her to the vet on Wednesday. We were hoping that restoration of her fluids after becoming dehydrated was all she needed. Unfortunately, that was not God’s plan. After a long, wonderful life with us, Thursday, March 24, 2011 she gave up her fight of life on this earth.

I am very aware that animals don’t have souls, so all you Bible scholars just leave me alone! For my own peace of mind and comfort I need to have this picture in my mind. I see Terra being greeted in heaven by my daddy and my brother-in-law, Bryan. Terra may not have been their dog, but they both loved her and thought she was a great companion. This comforts me that she is being taken care of by people I care about who are in heaven.

Some people go through their lives and have very little loss. Then there are others who endure much loss. Loss can come in many forms, a move, a job change, irreconcilable differences, divorce, death, or abandonment, to name a few. No matter the loss, they all have one thing in common. GRIEF! It may be a small word but it carries with it huge ramifications. Grief is not an easy emotion. I wish I had all the answers to dealing with grief, but I don’t, even though I’ve gone through it many times. The interesting thing I want to share is really not about grief but about comfort. Paul reminds us in
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (ESV)
That helps me understand that each loss I go through, each time I endure grief, I will be better equipped to help someone else when they are in a time of loss and grief.

Actually there have been times I have been able to help those in pain and grief because I have been through the same type of loss they are going through. Even if all I can do is sit and cry with them. Sometimes to know someone feels the pain with you is a comfort. I hope you can find comfort in these words. Maybe one day you can be a comfort to someone when they are in pain. May God Richly Bless You!

Living in Grace,

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Terra - January 2010
Due to the events of today, I will be postponing this week's blog for a day or two. I am hoping to have it posted sometime Saturday.
For those that are not aware, The Pettijohn family lost their beloved dog, Terra today. She was almost 16. Our children were 2, 4 and 6 when we brought Terra home. So both the kids and the 8 week old dog grew up together. She has always been a part of our family. Terra will be greatly missed.
Thank you for your understanding.
I'll be back soon.

The Pettijohn's with Terra and Petey Christmas 2007

 Living in Grace

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Friend To Tell Your Secrets To

This may come as a surprise to some of you. I deal with clinical depression. Due to this, I have seen several psychiatrists and counselors over the years. Early on in my quest to deal with this depression I was given some of the best advice I’ve ever heard.  I was told that the best way to keep depression in check is 3-fold:
1)    Medication - (for those of us that need) is just a small piece of the puzzle
2)    A good, bible based, counselor - to help you deal with things you can’t handle on your own, believe me, you will get overwhelmed with life in general
3)   A friend -to tell your secrets to 

I know at first this sounds strange. You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t that what the counselor does?” No.  Your counselor helps you deal with your emotions and events in your life that you can’t seem to get through on your own.  Mine helps me “process” things.  I’ll just give you a personal example.  As I’ve said, I have 3 kids.  The oldest just recently got his own apartment.  Over the next 6 months the other two will be moving out.  This is a little shock to the system.  So my counselor is beginning to help me prepare for it.  Then when the time comes hopefully it won’t be quite as big of a shock to me and we will continue to work on how I cope with it.

Back to telling our secrets to a friend, over the past several years I have learned just how important is.  For many years my husband was that friend.  I was so thankful he was there to listen to me, when I needed his shoulder for anything and everything!  Then a couple of years ago God brought a girlfriend back into my life.  Someone I hadn’t been in touch with in over 10 years.  When He did, we connected like we had never been apart. She is now the person I can share anything with, whatever I might think or feel.  Now I don’t want you to think I am hiding anything from my husband, because I’m not!  This girlfriend just allows me to be a girl.  If I want to vent about weight, wrinkles, menopause etc., she is there to listen.  What an amazing blessing this friend is to me!  Ya know what?  She is a TREMENDOUS blessing to my husband also!  You don’t know how much HE appreciates her being in my life!  He is SOOOOO glad he doesn’t have to listen to me moan and complain about certain things that, honestly, he doesn’t want to listen to.  Think about it, try it.  I think you will find telling your secrets to a friend might be just what you need.

I Samuel 20:17 Jonathan repeated his pledge of love and friendship for David. He loved David more than his own soul! (The Message)

This friendship has the qualities I have been talking about.  Jonathan and David had such an amazing friendship.  In I Samuel 20 alone, Jonathan’s father, Saul is trying to kill David and Jonathan does everything in his power to keep David alive.  If you know the story, you know that Saul eventually kills, Jonathan, his own son, because he hates David so much.  What a sad story!  Wouldn’t you love to have a friend like Jonathan though, one who loved you so much they would risk their life for you. Wow!  That is dedication and REAL friend.  Well, don’t forget, we do!  Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (KJV)

Living in Grace,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Living In Grace

Well, It’s week two and my hopes and plans for my blog and even my life at this point have all fallen apart!  I keep trying to remind myself that God’s plans are not always my plans.  If I will let Him have control, things will turn out much better than I could ever have imagined!  So, I’m trying to “let go and let God”.
As I was thinking about what I wanted to write, all I could think of were these negative things going on in my life.  At the same time God kept reminding me of His grace.  So I began to think on and research God’s grace.  Sometimes we limit grace to “saving grace”.  We take the standard definition of “the unmerited favor of God” and we put it in the context of our salvation.  Well of course we can’t have God’s grace any other way until we accept it in salvation.  Let me explain what I mean.  I was born a sinner.  At some point I came to the realization that when I do wrong those things go against God and are sin (Romans 3:23).  Because I sin that separates me from God.  God is perfect and cannot associate with sin.  When Jesus died on the cross He was able to pay for all my sins, because He is sinless, yet He took all of my sins on Himself that day on the cross.  The awesome thing is He didn’t just pay for my sins, He paid for the sins of everyone in the whole world, past, present and future (Romans 5:8).  Now if I want to restore that relationship with God, I have to acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried and rose again the third day.  Then I must ask Him to come in to my life and become the one who leads and controls my life (Romans 10:9).  This does not mean life is perfect.  What it does means is I no longer have to be in control of the worries of life.  I have put my life in God’s hands, and I can trust Him to guide me where I should go.  That is Saving Grace.
Once I am saved I get the privilege to Live in Grace.  This is a concept that, though I’ve known for a long time, has just recently become really real to me.  Maybe a better way to put it is that I am more aware of God’s Grace in my daily life.  I think about the way I treat my family and friends, when I’m not very kind to them they let me know about it.  Then I apologize, they forgive me and we move on.  Well, what happens when I do the same thing to God?   What if I start my morning and don’t pray or read my Bible.  Does God say anything?  Does He get mad at me?  Does He quit speaking to me?  Yes He’s disappointed, but He extends His grace to me.  When I come back to Him, He is right there waiting for that fellowship!  WOW!  That’s just one example.  Can you think of any ways you might have disappointed God?  How has he extended His grace to you?
Take the time to read John 21.  It is the account of Jesus revisiting the Sea of Galilee.  Peter, John and some other disciples have gone there one night, after Jesus’ resurrection and decided to go fishing.  They fish all night and don’t catch a thing.  In the morning they see a man (Jesus) on shore who tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat.  Sound familiar?  When they recognize his voice Peter jumps out of the boat and swims to shore.  Interesting huh?  Peter, who denied Jesus just a few days before is running to him.  What does Jesus do?  Never says a word, and before the day is over he is calling Peter to be a Pastor.
What amazing Living Grace.  This is the Grace we live in and I am so thankful for.
Living in Grace,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A New Beginning

Hi! I’m Angie and I’m starting something brand new today. God has been leading me to do this for quite a while and I am I finally doing it!

I know my profile is right here on my page, and most of you already know me, but for those who don’t, I want to tell you just a little about myself. As I said, my name is Angie, I live in a small town just south of Dallas, TX. I have been married for 25 years to the love of my life, my best friend and my high school sweetheart, Cecil. We have 3 children, who are each beginning their journey into adulthood. Our oldest has recently moved into his own apartment, our middle child will be moving away to college this coming summer, and our youngest, the only girl of the bunch, will be graduating from high school in only 3 short months. So as you can see we are a family of transitions right now. That may be just the reason God is having me start this blog. Maybe I need a new beginning.

Has God ever wanted you to do something and you knew it, but you were afraid? Well, that’s been me for the past several weeks. I’ve known He’s wanted me to start this blog. I knew exactly what He wanted me to do. Share the experiences of my life and what God has taught me as I have gone through them. Well that seems easy enough. I wasn’t exactly sure how to start a blog or where to go to start one, but I’m pretty computer and internet savvy, it couldn’t be that hard. As a matter of fact, it’s not!  Actually, I’m a little on the creative side so the idea of personalizing my blog was really very fun! I did my own color scheme. I even used my own picture for the background. Very cool, huh? Then I added my picture and my profile, named it, gave it a URL, ya know the address you come to,….the link you click on,…oh nevermind. Now it was time to actually post my first blog entry. Yea!!!!????

Really? God? You expect me to follow through with this? Oh my…….. What if no one reads it? What if it’s stupid? What if I say something someone disagrees with? What if I embarrass my family? I’m too old. I’m too young. No one will respect my opinion. Believe me, I could go on and on, and on with excuses!!! I put Him off, for a while, but in the back of my mind He was always there. Reminding me, “Angie, You need to get that blog up and running. I’m waiting.”  What was my problem?

Four letters FEAR. Yes that nasty little word that sometimes as adults we think we are immune to. FEAR. I have recently discovered I am afraid of a whole lot of things that I would prefer not to admit. However, this one I had to confront, head on and do something about it. Here was the ironic thing; I already have at least 3 blogs ready to be posted. So I sat in fear until God could show me that He has it in His control. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, not even my family (sorry honey, mom, kids). It’s not about numbers, or responses. The ONLY thing that matters is that I am doing what God has asked me to do, that I am obedient to HIM!!! He will take care of the rest!

Psalm 118:6
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

It doesn’t always mean the task at hand will be easy. What it does mean is no matter what we do, if God has asked us to do it, He is right there with us. He is our biggest cheerleader, or maybe he is carrying us through it if the task is just too difficult for us to handle by ourselves. Whatever the case, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.”