Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Comer Family 2012

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Missing Bryan today ...

I will miss this dear sweet man. His hugs let you know you were truly loved and he had a big heart that was genuine and full of grace and mercy. I know he is so happy to be with Jesus right now, but He will truly be missed.

News Story 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dream of a Lifetime

On Sept. 2, 2012, my husband and I celebrated 35 years of marriage.  One of the ways we celebrated was by taking a vacation during the month of August. It seemed fitting that 35 years deserved to be recognized with more than just a Labor Day holiday weekend getaway.  When we started planning our vacation, we discussed various places we wanted to visit someday, ... Hawaii, Paris, London, as well as Los Cabos.

After much time and energy spent researching airfare and lodging on the internet, we finally agreed upon Hawaii. And now to decide which island to visit and which side of the island would best meet our needs and interests.  We finally selected the island of Kauai, otherwise known as "The Garden Isle" and found a nice little one bedroom condo with an incredible ocean view.

I began then working on a website in order to plan our itinerary and which would include links to all the resources we would need ( lodging, transportation, meals, tours, activities, and luaus, etc).  After doing so much research online, I began to feel that I would know my way around the island well by the time we arrived, and the site ended up being 16 web pages!

Working on the site really increased my anticipation of the trip tremendously, but it was also a good way to keep our plans organized.  We were also able to pre-book some activities / tours online which allowed us to save some money too. Never before in our 35 years had we taken a trip where we knew day by day, what our plans were and where to go.  This allowed us to make the most of our time together although we still had the flexibility of choosing to relax whenever we wanted or needed some down time.

From the time we arrived at the Lihue airport in Kauai to the time we departed, the island far exceeded our every dream and expectations.  The people of Kauai were so friendly and helpful.  Everywhere we went the atmosphere was one of peace and relaxation.  We were able to view Kauai from every angle, as we took a helicopter tour of the island as well as a scenic dinner cruise up the NaPali Coastline.  We also explored a wet cave and watched a few sunsets.

My favorite "AH!" moment was driving through the "tree tunnel" to Poipu on the south side, but I also really enjoyed our meals at Scotty's on the beach in Kapaa on the first night and at Duke's Beach house the night we left to return to mainland.  If you are ever there, you HAVE to get the HULA PIE!   Jack asked the waiter, "Did Johnny Depp have Hula Pie?" and he replied "Johnny had TWO !!" 

We spent 7 days in Kauai and it's a trip that we will never forget.  It was worth every minute and the dream of a lifetime!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

20 Things a Mother should tell her Son

1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don't take something away from her that you can't give back.
2. Play a sport. It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time, and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.
3. Use careful aim when you pee. Somebody's got to clean that up, you know.
4. Save money when you're young because you'll need it some day.
5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. Now please go use them.
6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.
7. Don't ever be a bully and don't ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.
8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.
9. Treat women kindly. Forever is a long time to live alone and it's even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.
10. Take pride in your appearance.
11. Be strong and tender at the same time.
12. A woman can do everything that you can do. This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M. Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.
13. "Yes ma'am" and "yes sir" still go a long way.
14. The reason that they're called "private parts" is because they're "private". Please do not scratch them in public.
15. Peer pressure is a scary thing. Be a good leader and others will follow.
16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.
17. Be patriotic.
18. Potty humor isn't the only thing that's humorous.
19. Please choose your spouse wisely. My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.
20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Attachment Parenting ... Is it Biblical?

One of my favorite books of the Bible is II Timothy where Paul writes to his young son in the faith and says …. “Every time I say your name in prayer—which is practically all the time—I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion. That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze!” 

I want to offer you some words of encouragement today. You know, over the course of our lives, we as women play so many important roles (Daughters, wives, mothers, career women, etc.) and it’s so easy for us to become defined by what we do instead of who we are.

I want to share with you some things that I have learned in my own life that will hopefully make a difference in yours. God has blessed me in many ways, but I think that my highest and best accomplishment in life has been being able to raise 4 wonderful children who all have a good relationship with him and are actively involved in Christian ministry in one area or another

 Recently on the cover of Time magazine this picture of a 26 yr old mom breastfeeding her 3 yr old son created quite a stir in the media. Although the picture drew the attention of many, few people probably actually read the article entitled “Are you Mom Enough?” The article discusses why attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes and focuses on how Dr. Bill Sears, a pediatrician became their guru and has had a strong impact on the current attitudes and approach to modern-day parenting.

 I was drawn to read this article because of my own observations of the contrasts in child rearing today from that of my own generation. Having 2 sons who are married and 3 grandchildren, I have, like any good grandparent, tried to share from my wisdom and experience in order to help them avoid making the same mistakes I did in raising children.

 When I encounter young women in the workplace or in ministry, same thing … I try to offer words of wisdom from what I know from my own life experiences. “Don’t rush them growing up! Enjoy them while you have them.” “Now, certainly don’t let them sleep in the bed with you, you’ll regret it if you do.” “You’ve got to get that baby on a schedule, not let them control yours.” And yet, they never seem to believe me and they have to do it their way. I remember when my own mother told me “Why do you want to breastfeed? Don’t you think it will tie you down?” I was a bottle fed formula baby. Hmmm … Today we think quite differently on that subject.

 So where do we get our philosophies about child rearing today? And what does this new term “Attachment parenting” really mean? The concept sounds simple but in practicality this type of parenting asks a great deal of mothers.

 The 3 basic tenets are breastfeeding (sometimes into toddlerhood), co-sleeping (inviting babies into the parent’s bed or pulling a bassinet alongside it) and “baby-wearing” (where infants are literally attached to their mothers using a sling). Attachment parenting says that every baby’s whimper is a plea for help and that no infant should ever be left to cry. Attachment parenting says that the more time babies spend in their mothers’ arms, the better the chances that they will turn out to be well-adjusted children.

 You can easily see how these expectations could send anxious moms into a guilt-induced panic. AS IF we don’t have enough reasons already to feel guilty!!! So where does this idea come from? Who wrote the “Attachment Parenting” bible? Almost 20 yrs ago, 1992, Dr. William Sears, a pediatrician wrote The Baby Book. He and his wife Martha, both raised without their fathers, married and became parents to 8 children and wrote from their own experience in their books.

 Sears admits that he came up with his ideas about mother – baby closeness after reading a book by Jean Liedloff called The Continuum Concept. Jean dropped out of Cornell University and traveled around Europe and on an impulse went to Venezuela to search for diamonds. She spent a lot of time in the Venezuelan jungle where she watched the South American women caring for their babies. The infants were carried all the time and seemed to cry less and were well behaved and happy. She wrote that Western parents will leave a baby to cry “until it’s heart is broken and it gives up, goes numb, and becomes a good baby”.

 I found it interesting that Liedloff, despite her deep interest in the connections between mothers and babies, never had children and died in 2011 on a houseboat in California where she lived with her cat.

 Prior to The Baby Book, the parenting Bible was Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care which was written in 1945 by Dr. Benjamin Spock. Spock told parents to trust their instincts and said “You know more than you think you do”. I recall the pediatrician I had with my first baby giving me the same advice. He said “You are the mother. You know your child better than anyone else”. That gave me confidence in my own instincts and abilities in light of the fact that my own mother was largely absent during my child bearing years.

 Before that time, Dr. James Watson wrote Psychological Care of Infant and Child in 1928. His methods would sound almost criminally neglectful by today’s standards. He urged parents to shake a child’s hands rather than kissing them and put their children out in the backyard alone inside a fence. We have to be very careful that we are not putting unrealistic expectations on parents today. New parents already feel inadequate without having to suffer from Post-traumatic Sears disorder!!

 And what are the results? Do we see 20 years after these ideas about parenting began to change our culture, that we have happy, more well-adjusted children? No, what we are now seeing is a generation of young people who seem to have difficulty separating from their parents, are unable to set healthy boundaries in their relationships, who are very demanding of their parents and others and selfishly want to have their own way and have it NOW. And we see parents who often feel helpless and frustrated with their children and are basically either giving in or giving up.

 So what is the answer? The answer is that we need to look for some simple straightforward divine guidance in our approach to parenting. Now we can read scripture on what Godly parenting should look like, and the scriptural principles are many …. but I have found that there are some very basic principles that when applied, can change your attitude toward parenting. I have discovered that parenting styles fall into 3 major categories.

 The first is the Permissive style, which says “Have it your way”. Sounds like Dr. Sears doesn’t it? The child is in control. This teaches a child a lack of respect for any authority in their lives including God’s authority. Prov. 29:15 says “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.”

The second type is the Authoritarian style which says “It’s my way or the highway!” The parent is always in control. The child doesn’t have a chance to practice making his own decisions and learning from his mistakes. Basically, it teaches a child, you have to depend on me because you can’t think for yourself. 

Hebrews 12:10 says “Our fathers disciplined us … as they thought best: but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” The verses go on to say that no discipline seems pleasant but later on it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.

 That leads us to the style of parenting that most closely models the one used by our Father in heaven and that is the Authoritative style. This parenting style says “Trust me, here’s the way, I know what’s good for you. You can choose not to follow the path, but also know there WILL be consequences.” This teaches the child self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-respect.

 The Authoritative style allows children to learn from their own mistakes, but lovingly extends grace and mercy and guides them back on the right path. Jeremiah 19:11 says “ I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

NOTE: Discipline is different from punishment. Discipline lovingly corrects. Punishment produces shame. “The Lord disciplines those He loves. …. If you are not disciplined then you are illegitimate children” Hebrews 12:6, 8

No matter how many biblical principles we understand, in order to successfully implement them, it is important that we identify any obstacles which keep our blind spots hidden. I see 2 obstacles that if they were removed, would help parents to more successfully raise their children.

 1. Trusting in worldly “experts” 
 We have been given a parenting Bible which is the only real reliable source of truth. The world offers many ideas, but God’s word is the one standard for determining what is actually true. To look anywhere else for basic parenting principles will lead to trouble.

 The apostle Paul emphasized this when he pointed out that those without Christ lack genuine wisdom, and what they offer as valuable, God regards as worthless. He says that “ …the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight … the thoughts of the wise are vain.” (I Cor 3:19-20)

 2. Fear of repeating one’s own past negative childhood 
 Some parents approach to parenting is to right the wrongs they experienced as children themselves. The frustration they feel from childhood memories creates a blind spot. These feelings are often rooted in a variety of childhood hurts.

 • A child growing up in poverty, as a parent now wants to indulge children with what he did not have, but can’t understand why they turn out self-centered and ungrateful.
 • A child who was never allowed to play or participate in social activities, may overindulge children with sports and recreation.
 •  A child who’s parents were strict or abusive, ends up being extremely permissive.
 • A child who was never allowed to speak his mind, takes the opposite approach and finds her children are sassy and smart-mouthed.
 • A child who was always told what to do without explanation, now is determined to offer full explanations to their children, but find the children are unable to obey without arguing.

 Parents who were victims of poor training are right to avoid the mistakes of their parents, but we must guard against rejecting solid biblical principles, just because they seem close to what we experienced.

 You know it’s interesting that in preparing this study today, I was reminded of how the body of Christ is also a family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.

 Galatians 6:1 describes the correct attitude of believers when exercising church discipline: "Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself." (NLT)

Matthew 18:15-17 clearly and specifically sets forth the practical steps for confronting and correcting a wayward believer. We have to be very careful to exercise gentleness, humility, love, spiritual maturity and submission to the Holy Spirit in restoring a fallen brother or sister.

 The goal in anything we do should always be reconciliation and restoration. God who has reconciled us to himself through Christ has given us a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18) As believers, God has not only given us a ministry of reconciliation but he has called us first to minister to our husbands and THEN to our children. Attachment parenting says Children must come first!

 We need to remember to always keep our focus on God’s Word, our standard for living and when we are obedient to the Truth, it will begin to change who we are and in turn that will change the way we live and it will not only have an impact our families but everyone around us. “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” II Tim. 1:13-14

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Precious Friend

I received a call a little over a week ago from the grandson of a dear lady who has been a family friend for almost 30 years, Elizabeth Griffis Reynolds.  Her grandson, Patrick, told me that Liz had had a stroke and was now in the care of hospice.  He was calling to relay her request that I sing at her memorial service when her expected time arrived. The Bible says that "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."  I have no doubt in my mind that my dear precious friend Liz knows our Heavenly Father well,  and when her expected time arrived she was safely delivered into His arms.

When I first met Liz, I wasn't so sure if I was going to like her.  She was one of those people who was pretty plain spoken and would tell you like it was.  She was a strong woman and had served the small town of Italy Texas as the Postmaster for many years.  So she was the sort of person that knew everyone in town and where they lived, and pretty much everyone knew her.  They knew they could depend on Liz to see that their mail and packages were delivered on time!  Little did I know at the time that she would turn out to be one of the best and most faithful lifetime friends anyone could ever hope to have.

When our family moved to Italy Texas in 1983 to pastor the First Baptist Church, we moved into the parsonage which sat basically on the church parking beside and in front of the church building.  I actually could walk from our kitchen through the carport into the back door of the church.   Liz, who had been recently widowed, lived in the house right next door and had been a faithful member at First Baptist for many years.   There was a door that served as a short cut from Liz's house, through our carport that went to the back door church.  That should tell you how close we were as neighbors!

At the time we were called to First Baptist we had 2 boys ages 1 and 4.  During the 7 years we lived in Italy, we made many strong ties and close friendships.  People who have continued to be involved in our lives, prayed for us, expressed concern for and had an impact on our family.  In the brief time we spent there God blessed our family with 2 more children, and our church family  blossomed and grew as well.

Liz was a strong role model for me.  She had a love for God's word and shared her knowledge and gifts by faithfully teaching taught the JOY women's Sunday School class.  Liz was someone you knew you could count on to be at every service unless she was ill.  Everyone who knew her loved her and knew that she could be depended upon to help wherever needed.

When I remember Liz, the first thing that comes to my mind is the fact that she came at a moment's notice the night I went into labor with my youngest child.  In the middle of December 1986, after having 3 boys, and desperately wanting to have a girl, we were expecting our fourth child.  (We did not know at the time whether our new arrival would be a boy or a girl.)

It was on a Saturday, 2 weeks before my expected due date,  I had been working hard to prepare for our annual Christmas Open House.  My day included shopping, baking, cleaning, all the things you do to get ready to invite the church family over for a taste of Christmas goodies and traditions. As the sun began recline, I decided to take a break to have a bite to eat and suddenly realized that the gentle "nudges" I had been feeling all day from my tummy, were getting more regular and intense.  When it occurred to me what was happening and knowing that we almost an hour away from the hospital, I quickly called Liz to come watch the 3 boys.  She never hesitated.  She immediately came from next door to our house and sent us packing in the car with a blessing.  Knowing that my boys were safe in her care meant the world to me that night.  Our daughter,  Lawren Beth Comer arrived before midnight and I am pretty sure that Liz was the first one that Jack called with the news that night and  every one in town celebrated the news that we finally had the little girl we had been longing for to arrive.  Our first and only daughter had been delivered right on time according to God's timetable and not ours.

I am sure I could share many more stories about how our precious friend Liz, our neighbor, and second mom, came to our aid.  Jack is better about remembering the small details of life than I am.  But I wanted to share here about how much this woman made a difference in the life of my family because she was willing to share herself with others.  Now that Liz has been delivered into the hands of our heavenly Father I am sure she is enjoying His presence and celebrating her new home with Him. At Liz's request, Jack and I will be taking part in her memorial service. What a privilege it is to return a favor for someone who contributed so much to our family and enriched the lives of everyone around her.

Here is the song that Liz requested for her service.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Peace Keeper or Peace Maker?

Hallelujah, someone turned my brain on! I finally figured out that there was a difference between a peace keeper and peace maker. I have, for my whole life, been a peace keeper. I am now going to be a peace maker. Brace yo-self!

....The peace keeper goes around trying to make everyone happy. Does there best to do or not do things so that no one gets upset. Doesn't say too much when another is wreaking havoc. A peace maker says, "Hey. That behavior is not acceptable in my life, family, church, whatever. You need either straighten up or hit the road. If you don't do one of those two, Ima bust you up." (Figuratively speaking, of course.)

The Worst Preacher's Wife Ever

Sunday, January 22, 2012