Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy


Spotting the Difference Between Truth and Sincerity

Posted by admin in April 14th, 2010 | 7 comments 
Published in obedience, prayer

Kathleen Norris is a writer that takes you on a journey. She doesn’t have to use the old template of a beginning, middle and end like we’re taught in Comp 101. Sometimes the “end” of her books are really just the beginning–at least for me. As she leads the reader on a road, occasionally she pulls off to the side for one of those scenic lookouts. You know the ones, like in the Smokey Mountains where you can see other states, or here in our neck of the woods, we have scenic/historic pull outs so you know where Lewis and Clark launched a raft, found a deer or fell into the water. Norris uses these scenic pull offs to tell the reader something of significance; something important that isn’t really relevant to her main thesis. Interestingly, I’ve learned as much about life and gotten as much wisdom from these scenic pull outs as I have from her book’s central theme. She’s a brilliant writer and oftentimes her insights are a little too heavy for me and I have to sit and ponder an idea; look at it again, re-read it in hopes of digesting the message: the moral or […] Continue Reading…

Be Still, My Soul

Posted by admin in April 9th, 2010 | 6 comments 
Published in faith, Uncategorized

Anyone else need this today besides me?

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend Thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on when we shall be forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past, All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Katharina Von Schlegel (tr. by Jane Borthwick)


There Once Was A Dog Named Peanuts Who Owned A Girl

Posted by admin in March 30th, 2010 | 8 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

A girl never forgets her first love. For me it was a golden Cocker Spaniel by the name of Peanuts. He was lovely with golden curls, glamorous floppy ears and a stump for a tail. I loved him. He was absolutely beautiful and he was my best friend. He was my first love.

My parents moved a lot. By the time I was ten years old I’d been to six different schools in six different states. The move from Georgia to Oklahoma was an especially tough one because I loved my school. I had a great teacher and so many friends from school and church. I begged my folks not to move again, but work for my Dad demanded we go. To make the transition a little easier I bargained a dog out of the deal.

“Okay, but once we’re in Oklahoma I get to have a dog!” They agreed. And this was all I could think about riding in the high-off-the-ground moving truck those 800 plus miles across the southern United States. What would it be? Would it be a girl or a boy? What kind should I choose? How will I know if he or she is the […] Continue Reading…

Moses and the Spiritual Gifts Inventory

Posted by admin in March 24th, 2010 | 3 comments 
Published in faith, obedience, prayer, Uncategorized

Have you ever taken one of those spiritual gifts inventories? You know the ones. You fill out the info and then it tells you what your spiritual gifts are? I think their purpose is to help followers of Christ plug into the local church. Ya think?

I was wondering what would have happened if they’d had those things in Moses’ day.

“Hey Moses, come over here and chisel out your answers on this piece of stone.”

Inventory taken. Results analyzed.

“Well, one thing we know for sure Moses, you’re definitely not a leader. Too much of a flee instinct and what’s with that temper?”

“Also, the results show you are not a public speaker. Thank you for taking the spiritual gifts inventory. Next?”

Well, scripture does tell us that Moses wasn’t a good public speaker, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent of speech, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10, NRSV). Some folks, the really smart guys that study this stuff, say old Moses might have even had a speech impediment. Hmmmm.

So God chose Moses: a murderer, a runaway, a hot tempered guy […] Continue Reading…

Pride and Prejudice

Posted by admin in March 16th, 2010 | 3 comments 
Published in obedience

I was asked recently to speak on pride at Sterling College’s chapel service. The first thought in my head was, “I’d be really good at that.” The second thought, “I hope the students think I’m the best chapel speaker ever!”

Wow. Pride, at least in my life, is that insidious. Pride’s disgusting. I’m disgusting.

Christianity is an upside down religion—especially for this old world. Our Founder, you know Jesus, He was very much a man of opposites—opposite of everything we know and instinctively understand about human nature. That Jesus—He’s a hard act to follow.

Jesus said, “Wanna be the leader? Then you gotta be a servant: wash folks’ feet, do for others, take the worst seat in the house; serve.

“Want to be first? Then you gotta be last.

“Want to be greatest in the Kingdom? Become like a little child.”

Think about James’ and John’s exposure of the human nature in their request to Jesus, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask…Arrange it so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory—one of us at your right, the other at your left.”

Jesus replied back to them, “You have no idea what […] Continue Reading…

Lost Coins and Other Missing Items

Posted by admin in March 2nd, 2010 | 3 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

I love the story Jesus tells about the woman and the lost coin. You see, I am forever losing things—my car keys, my six pairs of reading glasses, my 50 percent off coupon for the carwash, my pen, my favorite sandals. I wish I had one of those beeper things for every item in my house, but of course I’d eventually lose the beeper. Can you have a beeper thing for another beeper?

Being OCD, as my BFF Margo has diagnosed me (no she is not a doctor and she doesn’t play one on TV), losing things becomes a real nightmare. OCD people don’t like to lose things. I think our gal in Jesus’ story was a lot like me: OCD and a loser (of things).

Notice how she compulsively searches for the one silver coin, though she has nine others left.

“…what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I […] Continue Reading…

We Shall Behold Him

Posted by admin in March 1st, 2010 | 1 comment 
Published in faith, Heaven

Am I crazy? Or isn’t Jesus’ returning a good thing? Isn’t it something we should be happy about? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about it? Encouraging one another with this great news and joy-filled expectation? “Jesus is coming again! Hallelujah!” I wish followers of Christ had some great greeting like the Russians do around Easter. Russians greet each other, “He is risen!” And the answer back is, “He’s risen indeed!” How cool if followers of Christ greeted each other, “Jesus is coming again!” And the answer back would be, “He’s coming again indeed!” How cool would that be? How important a reminder it would be!“Jesus is coming again so don’t get too attached to this old planet!”

I don’t know. I guess I’m just trying to deal with the earthquakes. Think about that scripture in Romans 8…

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the…hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the […] Continue Reading…

I Am A Big, Loud, White Woman!

Posted by admin in February 16th, 2010 | 6 comments 
Published in faith, missions, teaching

I am a big, loud, white woman! I’ve been big and loud and…well…white all of my life. When I was a little girl I used to get in big trouble all the time in school as a result of sheer volume. My Mom went to check with one of my elementary school teachers to find out why I was always in trouble. She asked her, “Is Teri really that bad?”

“No,” the teacher replied. “But she is always the first one I hear and so she gets punished.”

It was awful during high school because I so struggled to be quiet and demure. But if I got too excited or had one unguarded moment, the loudness took over. It was terrible.

My poor husband Daryl. He’s so reserved and gentle. On our first date we went to a really nice restaurant. I got too excited over the menu (which is disgusting in and of itself) and when the waiter came to our table I was so over-excited and of course, got too loud. When the waiter left Daryl looked at me and whispered, “Teri, do you think you could use your inside voice?”

Sadly, I thought I was.

Loudness was one of […] Continue Reading…

Lilies and Sparrows and God’s Father-Heart

Posted by admin in February 11th, 2010 | 5 comments 
Published in Blessings, faith, prayer

Prayer works. Plain and simple. I like it when the answer to prayer is “yes.” Don’t like it so much when the answer is “no.” And it’s hard sometimes for me to really accept that “no” is an answer—just not the answer I want. There’s also a third answer to prayer God gives us: wait. Ugh. Waiting is tough. Waiting takes discipline. Waiting takes faith.

Years ago, when I was fresh home from China, I went to live in Texas. At a Bible study I met a gal that was my age and she had two little, beautiful, precious girls ages 2 and 4. We clicked—the four of us. Can’t explain it, but God melded our hearts the first time we met. My friend’s husband, I’m gonna call her SC, was in the state penitentiary for selling drugs. She had been able to divorce him and life and circumstances forced her to move back home with her mother and step-dad with her two daughters. She needed government assistance. Life just wasn’t what she had planned. They lived in a small house and the girls shared a room with their Mom. My friend’s brother also lived there. So my new BFF […] Continue Reading…

They Shall Be Comforted

Posted by admin in February 4th, 2010 | 10 comments 
Published in Heaven, missions, obedience

Mourning isn’t just about loss of life. We can also mourn the loss of a dream, the realization that a situation isn’t going to get any better. I realized lately that I’ve been in a state of mourning—grieving actually over something that simply isn’t going to happen.

We as human beings are pretty much who we will always be by the age of five. I’m basically who I was then—bigger, literate, with more experience, but I’m not that much different from when I was five years old. I still get very impatient waiting in line; I still like to get my own way and I still struggle to keep my finger out of my nose, my nose out of other people’s business and my hands to myself. Yup. Pretty much the same.

Also, I keep hoping and believing with the bright-eyed, unrealistic optimism of a five year old that things will get better in my relationship with my Dad. I have just recently come to see, now nearing 51 years of age, that things with my Dad aren’t gonna get better. I’ve had to die to the dream that my Dad is going to be joyful and loving and […] Continue Reading…

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