Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
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Ramona Tucker

Bindings offers thought-provoking blogs by vibrant, published Christian authors on faith issues, life and current events, and intriguing, must-read books.

Posted 2/26/15 at 12:43 AM | Ramona Tucker

What Do You Take in Your Coffee?

I’ll bet I can tell you exactly what you are doing right now. (Mama, if you are somehow reading this, I only used that as a figure of speech. I am not actually betting; there is no money or marbles involved). I digress for this quick moment because as a kid if in mama’s presence I said, “I’ll bet” she always corrected me by saying, “Now son, we don’t bet.” I could always bet she would say that! She meant business too. If I left home for school in the morning with six marbles in my pocket, I had better come back home that afternoon with six marbles – the same six marbles. Well yes, she counted them – before and after.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I’ll bet, and I’m about 99.9% certain that I’m right, that at this very moment you are reading my column. Right? Don’t stop, there’s more. I feel fairly confident that you are not playing marbles. If you are a young person you are probably asking, “How do you play marbles? Is there an app for that game?” I’m not quite as confident about this one, but if you are reading my column in the morning newspaper, you may be having a cup of coffee. What I don’t know is what you have put in your coffee. In fact, it has happened on several occasions that I didn’t even know what I had put in my own coffee. Some of us need that morning cup of Joe to wake us up. Sometimes I have mistakenly added stuff to my coffee that jarred me awake. For instance, do you add creamer to your coffee? Have you ever thought you were pouring milk in your coffee only to discover you had added buttermilk? I don’t even like buttermilk so I certainly don’t like it in my coffee. What may be worse is when you think you’ve accidently added buttermilk to your coffee only to discover that it was in fact milk that had gone bad. Much like your driver’s license that you handed the officer after you sped through a light that you fully believed was still yellow, it had expired without you knowing it. I’ll bet I know what you’re doing now. You are checking the date on your driver’s license and sniffing your coffee. My grandson loves chocolate milk. I have also accidently discovered that chocolate milk in coffee is not bad. FULL POST

Posted 2/22/15 at 11:59 PM | Ramona Tucker

Nothing Stays the Same Except That Nothing Stays the Same

Yes, believe it or not, it is 2015. Y2K is a dim memory. If you are a teenager it is not a memory at all. Even though I am still dating checks 2014, and most likely will until the latter part of January, that does not make it 2014. If you are under the age of thirty you are probably wondering “What is a check?” That is how we old people paid our bills before we had online banking and debits cards. My how things have changed but then nothing stays the same except that nothing stays the same.

I’m finding that old saying to be true that “the older we get the faster times flies.” I think it has reached warp speed for me! A new year comes every other month now. Already we are approaching the middle of January and the end of college football season. College football season, for most of my life, ended on New Year’s Day or at least the day after. Now, for the first time ever, we have a playoff system, and the championship game is almost in the middle of January. I suspect more than four teams will be added to the system eventually. If we keep lengthening the season, before long The Independence Bowl will be played on Independence Day! Excuse me - make that The Duck Commander Independence Bowl on Independence Day. Another change, that we Alabamians don’t like, is that no team from Alabama is playing for the national championship this year. In fact, no team from the SEC is playing, which hasn’t happened since 2005. FULL POST

Posted 2/20/15 at 12:41 AM | Ramona Tucker

Why Haven't You Shown Up Yet...

One day, I got my daughter out of school earlier than her usual time.

"I was worried you weren't coming," she said as she got in the car.

"Why? I've never missed picking you up from anything, and I'm here at the time I told you I would be."

"Because, I had told you that I wanted to get out earlier than this." She answered.

I smiled and told her this was definitely a blog moment.

How many times do I pray and wonder why God doesn't show up when and how I want Him to?

I've had my moments where I've been pretty good at acting like the "God director" when I pray. I've also had my moments of frustration, while I wait for Him to answer them, when and how I wanted the prayers answered.

I know I'm not the only one to do this.

Over the last few years we've been praying for a prisoner in the mid-east to be freed and returned to America to be with his family. There are updates on him on the radio and face book. He is even in the news at times. FULL POST

Posted 2/17/15 at 12:00 AM | Ramona Tucker

A Real Life Cinderella Story

A few weeks ago, I had never heard of Malcolm Butler. Most likely you had not either but have now. In fact, you may have already heard his complete story but his story is simply too great for me to not tell. His journey is indeed a real life Cinderella story.

Malcolm Butler played in his first Super Bowl this year, in his first year as a pro football player, for the world champion New England Patriots. I got home in time to see the last 3 minutes of the game. During those final minutes Butler was the star. You might say he won the Super Bowl. Oh I know he was one of many players but his interception in his own end zone sealed the game for his team. While Butler was not named as the MVP of the game he was arguable the hero. Without his perfectly timed break on the ball and interception his team would have most likely lost.

What is most amazing about Malcolm Butler’s story is where he came from to intercept that pass. I mean more than the ground he covered on the field that night. Before Sunday night Butler was a virtually unknown, undrafted, and unproven 24 year old rookie. Last season he played for The University of West Alabama; a school most people in the nation, and even some in this state, had never heard of before Sunday. West Alabama is a small division II school located in Livingston. Not many division II players are drafted into the NFL and certainly not many from the University of West Alabama. Only 7 players from the school had made it to the NFL prior to Butler. While he was not drafted, he managed a tryout at the Patriot’s rookie minicamp. He impressed the coaches enough to be signed as a free agent. His teammates nicknamed him “Scrap” because he gave all he had on every play. His story is one of perseverance and determination. FULL POST

Posted 2/11/15 at 12:53 AM | Ramona Tucker

What Is It About Chocolate?

What is it about chocolate that keeps us coming back for more?

For me, it’s the creamy texture, the silky richness, especially of dark chocolate, that coats my mouth and lifts my spirits.

I’ve never understood those who claim they don’t like chocolate. Such was the case for my childhood friend. At every birthday party, she refused my favorite—chocolate ice cream. Her distain for such a classic confection was as foreign to me as the planet Pluto.

Certainly, my love affair with chocolate has firm roots in my childhood. Yes, chocolate ice cream at every birthday party, but even more so, candy at every Christmas. Chocolate was the ambrosia that sweetened the holidays and one of my most treasured memories. Like clockwork, Daddy would tote home a 5-pound white box of Brach’s chocolates. Since the mixed array didn’t come with a label identifying the selections, our family would spend the rest of the season seeing who could be the sneakiest candy detective. It wasn’t long, however, until we guessed whose marks were being left behind. The thumbprint slightly pushed into the bottom revealing the gooey innards was Daddy’s. The pin prick was mine. Of course, everyone knew the caramel by the square shape. They were always the first to go. By the way, my chocolate-loving heritage lives on as I married a man with a keen taste for dark chocolate and Turtles. FULL POST

Posted 2/9/15 at 1:23 AM | Ramona Tucker

Imperfect Saints

God’s people as described in the Bible included adulterers, prostitutes, ineffective parents, and cowards, among other sinners. The difference between God’s people and others is that those saints in the Bible recognized their faults, repented, and called on God for help in living better lives.

They didn’t whine that their case was exceptional or that others were worse than they were. When they realized what they had done, they felt awful about it. They talked with God, asked to be forgiven, and pleaded for help to be better. The results of their sins couldn’t be erased—the person killed as a result of King David’s sin didn’t come back to life—but David’s life turned around.

God can handle our sins if we recognize them and confess them. He knows how weak we are. That’s why Jesus pictures him as a loving father who desires our good.

Many years ago, a friend of mine rented out his home in the States while assigned overseas by the U.S. military. One of the renters skipped town owing several people, including my friend for unpaid rent. FULL POST

Posted 2/6/15 at 1:25 AM | Ramona Tucker

A Stormy Night with An Uninvited Guest

Like most other nights, Billy Bob and Hank Williams called it a day around ten o’clock. No, not the Hank Williams that sang “Your Cheatin’ Heart” or the Hank Williams Jr. that sang “A Country Boy Can Survive.” This Hank Williams is a girl. She weighs about 70 pounds, walks on all fours, and howls at passing trains. That might describe any number of Billy Bob’s kith and kin but she is actually one of his dogs. Most folks would call her a Labrador Retriever but poor ole Billy Bob calls her a Laboratory Receiver. He actually knows better. He just thinks that’s funny; kind of like naming a girl dog Hank Williams.

Hank lives outside most of the time but when cold weather, or a storm, moves in so does Hank. She sleeps on a blanket that has pictures of pool balls, dart boards, and cards on it. That’s another story for another time. Her blanket lies on the floor directly beside the bed on Billy Bob’s side. She normally stays in the same spot through the entire night without ever getting up unless the weather turns bad. Like many dogs, my own included, Hank is deathly afraid of thunder. She has been known to pace and pant, whimper and whine, until the storm passes. Occasionally, she has even gotten on the bed with Billy Bob and Thelma Lou Jean. FULL POST

Posted 2/2/15 at 12:23 AM | Ramona Tucker

Blessed Are the Debonair

“Blessed are the meek,” the New Testament book of Matthew states. Who in the world wants to be meek? The word has connotations of a doormat type of submissiveness. Where’s the blessedness in a person like that?

During my days of studying French, I bought a Bible in the French language. To aid the learning process, I compared well-known verses in English and French. In the French version, “meek” is translated “debonair.” Now that’s a bright, cheerful word, lacking the usual connotations associated with meek.

According to my French dictionary, debonair means good natured or kindly. According to my English dictionary (OED), debonair means “confident, stylish, and charming.”

My guess is that when Jesus suggested a meek person, he meant one who is confident enough to focus on others rather than oneself, to put them at ease, and to know concern for their interests. FULL POST

Posted 1/29/15 at 1:41 AM | Ramona Tucker

How Many Four-Letter Words Do You Need? by C. Kevin Thompson

Facebook. Marketing. Twitter. Platform. Blog. Followers. Brand. Instagram. Website. Goodreads. Constant Contact. Ebooks. Analytics. Hits. Page Views. Likes.

Okay, so they’re not all literally four-letter words. But admit it. You feel like they are sometimes:

“If I hear one more person talk about ‘platform,’ I’m
going to jump from one!”

“Twitter is for those who can’t spell and have to do so
in 140 characters or less.”

You’ve probably read scores of articles and books on those four-letter words. Spend 30 minutes here, 15 minutes there, an hour a week everywhere. Right?

I did the math: 126.4 hours a day would get all their suggestions slated into my daily routine. That includes eight hours for actually writing my novels, and six hours for sleep.

Oh, wait, I forgot to add family time. FULL POST

Posted 1/26/15 at 12:27 AM | Ramona Tucker

I Thought Someone Was at My Door

When I heard my doorbell ring, I wondered who on earth would be at my door at 8:00 on a Sunday morning. I had not dressed for church yet but had on sweat pants, a tee shirt, and tennis shoes. I had not planned for a work out that morning but much to my surprise I got one. I made my way to the front door but was confused when I found no one there. I scanned the front yard, walked to the corners of the porch, and looked around the ends of the house but still saw no one anywhere. At first I chuckled and thought I must have been hearing things or maybe what I heard was on television. Then all kinds of possibilities ran through my mind. I wondered if someone might be casing my house to see if anyone was home. Could someone be trying to divert my attention from something or someone else? Eventually I dismissed such thoughts and returned inside and sat down. FULL POST

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