What can you expect?  Straight talk, laughable humor, real truth, simple living, and passionate yearning...

all regarding the God that still involves Himself in the details of the lives of His people


​​​A calling to write what He leads, no matter how uncomfortable...

Because simple daily Christian living is never what we thought it would be

​​​​The list she carried was just average.  And, because I had made the list for myself as a running accumulation throughout the month of all the things we ran out of…as we ran out of them, I had not spent the time to specifically brand name, color code, and price tag the items on the list.  You know, the way I usually do with my spouse.  

No Half-and-Half Will Do

Now, my soon-to-become-an-adult daughter probably isn’t going to appreciate me using this example.  And, when she reads the article, she most likely will send me a one word message that conveys it all…”Really?”, she will say.  But, she does know me well, and also loves the Lord with great passion.  And, God seems fine with me causing this trouble, so here we go…and I’m sure my daughter will understand.  

One afternoon, when my head was barely above water, my recently now-able-to-drive-alone daughter offered to go to the store for me.  This might not seem like much, but you need to understand four things about me…about us…that relate to this.   1) I am specifically picky (sort that out any way you wish), 2) we live on one income (which means that I coupon to survive), 3) we take cooking very seriously in this family, and 4) we have a large family.  

No, I’m not saying twenty-one kids type family, just seven. But when it comes to food and grocery shopping, size does matter.  My five boys all reached six foot by their early teens. None of them stopped for several inches after that, and a couple are nearing the closer side of the next big number on the measuring tape.  When the nurse gets the step stool out to read their height of the growth chart during sports physicals, you know you have some unusually large boys to feed.  Still, my daughter knew all of these things, and was still willing to go.  So, I sent her.

The list she carried was just average.  And, because I had made the list for myself as a running accumulation throughout the month of all the things we ran out of…as we ran out of them, I had not spent the time to specifically brand name, color code, and price tag the items on the list.  You know, the way I usually do with my spouse.  

Of course, I am much more prone to be patient about his shopping disabilities, since that time he sent me to the automotive parts department at our favorite dime store (can you possibly even call them that anymore? Is there anything that costs a dime?) …to pick up lube, oil, and filters for our vehicles.  He wanted to finish mowing before the boys came for the quarter annual “Automotive Maintenance Saturday” and I was headed to the store anyway.  

No big deal…right?  So..so…so very wrong. The word confusion can’t even begin to describe the way I felt trying to sort out the strange language of filter numbers and gauges of oil. However, the trip I had asked my daughter to take wasn’t like that.  She had a pretty good understanding of what we normally bought…because she normally went with me.

To “cut to the chase”, there we stood…laughing so hard, that I literally could not get my breath. We had carried in and unpacked and sorted by room and by cabinet the contents of the sacks.  We were just finalizing the putting away of things when my daughter says, “they were all out of whole-and-whole” so I didn’t get any.  “I knew you would not want anything less,” she added.  Honestly, I had no idea what she was talking about.  In my business to finish quickly and get back to the work at hand, I sort of skimmed by what she was saying.  Just about to close up the refrigerator, I noticed a bare spot in the door.  “Hey sweetie, where is the coffee cream?”, I asked.  “That’s what I was telling you mom, the store was out”, came the reply.  “I looked and looked, but they had no whole-and-whole…only half-and-half, and I know you don’t like watered down stuff”, she smiled knowingly.

I couldn’t help it.  I was an explosion of laughter…the kind that draws other people in and they are compelled to laugh out loud even though they do not know what they are laughing about.  She looked stunned.  And, stunned rightly so.  How could she glean from that conversation that her misunderstanding of the simple title on a dairy product could give me such great pleasure?  

She indeed did know me.  She knows me well enough to know what I am made of…what I expect…what my desires are…what I cannot abide.  In one small sentence she paid me one of the greatest compliments I have ever been paid. My daughter had watched my life and knew that half-and-half would never be good enough for me.  She knew that my expectations ran higher, and that my desires ran deeper.  I drink heavy cream in my very strong coffee, and she knew that no half-and-half would do for me.

I’m not sure what the rest of you understand when you read the Word of God, but without any doubt I am sure we serve a God of expectations.  This is not what the general population seems to believe, and it is not even what the general church seems to live anymore.  Yet, I absolutely believe it is so.  Lately, I have encountered one electronic preacher after another whose message is only prosperity.  “The promises of God” seem to be their steadfast theme.  Then, of course, there are those whom speak and write only of the loving behavior and forgiveness of God.  Their message, which is also true, conveys only the attribute of “God’s compassion.”  But I believe that these are only two parts of the amazing magnitude of God.  Our God cannot be divided up and sold separately.  He is absolutely complete.  And, I believe that there are strings attached when you make a covenant with my God.

Now who in today’s world would be sold on such an advertisement?  We are much more familiar with the bright and sparkling ads that introduce us to a more “no obligations” type of offer.   Between the catching lyrics and mind consuming tunes, we are hooked on products that promise to offer us “more for less” and “extras for nothing”.  And, you can have about anything you want cheap…cheap…cheap.  The discounts and sales and rebates and bonus offers and coupons all help to bring home the marketed idea that “You can have everything for almost no cost”…everything for nothing. 
Well… I don’t serve an all-for-nothing kind of God…at least, not the way it recently has been presented.  In fact He demands everything.  But, you won’t find a better deal anywhere…this life or next.  

He comes to us in a complete package.  There is no half-and-half about Him.  He does make the offer of a lifetime…so to speak. He absolutely does offer us everything that matters…eternity…for no cost.  That is why we call it grace.  Stay with me now…I know that “no cost” and “complete cost” is confusing and seems contradictory.  But it isn’t.  You see, there is nothing we can do to earn or buy or bribe our way into His eternity.  Salvation is priceless for us…literally.  That is why He did what He did by sacrificing His pure life for us.  

With His pure life He took on satan and hell and competed for our freedom…and won.  He paid the price, buying what we could never afford and then turned around and offered it to us as a gift.  That’s why we say “By His grace we are saved.”  But because He loves us with a passion we cannot possibly understand, because He is who He is, and He is jealous for our complete loyalty…He cannot accept a watered down substitute.

He wants us.  He will pay any price that is demanded to buy us back to Him.  He already has.  He does promise prosperity and forgiveness and compassion…but He wants all of us.  And, He knows us.  He knows our hearts and our lives and our intentions.  He knows when we are offering Him half of what we should be.  He knows when we are settling for watered down commitment and poor effort substitutions.  And, He knows which of those of us who are committed to…and searching everywhere for…with all of our hearts and souls and minds and bodies…the whole-and-whole.  It cost nothing to serve my God; however, it does cost everything.  

If you have never given your life to my Lord, you are missing out. Please, ask any of us, to tell you stories about how He has rescued us and pulled us up out of the quick sand and given us purpose and peace.  

If you have given your life to my Lord but find yourself feeling more empty than full, then what you need to do is switch from half-and-half to whole-and-whole,  

 I will seek You Lord with my whole heart…
                                                        no half-and-half will ever do for you.

In obedience
Rhonda D Loucks

No Half-and-Half Will Do