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RIP Kyle Lynn Thomas aka Zippy | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions, Faith

Best Funeral Ever – Kyle Thomas RIP

RIP Kyle Lynn Thomas aka Zippy | juliekmccomas.com

This is my first cousin, Kyle.

August 10, 2016, Kyle was shot and killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To be honest, we don’t really know what happened. The people that were there know what happened, but I’m getting stories that don’t even mesh at this point.

What we do know is that Michael Charles Jester, from Arkansas (apparently) thought Kyle had stolen his wallet (apparently) and shot Kyle over it. Then somehow shot himself in the hand. (I’m thinking Kyle fought for his life, and the guy got shot in the hand, but that is just my opinion because I know for a fact that my Kyle wouldn’t go down without a fight.) A Good Samaritan saw Kyle laying in the driveway bleeding, and loading him up into the bed of his truck and took him to the QuikTrip to get help. They even talked about how this man had blood on him. This is the story that was reported by the news stations the morning of the shooting.

You can watch the video of Jester running from the police here, on this dashcam video.

Here is the video telling about the Good Samaritan, and much more crime scene footage.

Now, there are more stories circulating about how this chick named Jacalyn Renee Ketcherside dropped Kyle off at the QuikTrip. Then she (apparently) ran, and was arrested later and is in the Rogers County Jail at the time this is being published.

So there are a few things that don’t mesh. But don’t you worry your pretty little heads, I am gonna go all Joe Kenda on this folks and find out the truth. Don’t even think for a minute that I won’t.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this post about my cousin, Kyle, is because of his funeral. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you things were all rainbows and roses in his life. Kyle fought addiction from an early age, and it landed him in prison. He was out of prison almost two years when that addiction got the best of him. The only thing that could get the best of Kyle was death.

These are the things I remember about Kyle. If you knew him, your memories might be different, but I can’t imagine by much.

Kyle loved everyone. He would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it, and after hearing some stories from his friends he literally gave someone the shirt off his back. If someone didn’t have a place to go for the holidays he would bring them to spend the holidays with us, his family. He loved hugs, and he always told people that he loved them. But only if he really loved you. He was the life of the party, and if there wasn’t a party there was before he left. He made us all laugh, smile, and sometimes cry (only because we were laughing so hard).

Kyle touched a lot of lives in his short time on this earth. I witnessed this by seeing all of the people at his funeral. I don’t want to offend anyone by saying this, but if you know me then you know I mean this in a good way. Kyle’s funeral was the best I have ever been to, hands down. The pastor was great, the singing was fantabulous (props to our cousin Darsha for that), and the people were all touched by Kyle in some way.

When the funeral was over I was able to watch each and every friend of Kyle embrace his mom. They would share a story, condolences, a laugh or just a cry. I watched as every walk of life walked through that line. Business men/owners, elementary/jr.high school friends, friends from truck driving school, friends of his mom, drug addicts, recovering addicts, felons, and most of all loved ones. There were whites, blacks, Mexican, etc. There were hippies, bald guys, and beauties. Every walk of life was in that chapel, and there was only one reason – Kyle. I have never felt so honored to sit in a room full of people in my life. We all loved Kyle! We were in it together! We all had something in common, and Kyle brought us all together.

I told my husband, Butch and several other people, that if there was a funeral for Jesus today that is what it would look like. People from all walks of life, all kinds of circumstances, but all of them loved by Him!

I don’t know how all this death thing works, but I truly wish that Kyle could’ve looked down to see how many lives he touched.

He knew the Lord, and he loved the Lord! I will see Kyle again some day!

Currently Reading May 2016 | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Currently Reading – May 2016

I’ve kind of been busy over here. I’m trying to spring clean, and it will be summer before I get that finished. Trying to read as much as possible, and still have a life. Let’s chat about what I have been reading lately, and one book that I want to read.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Our book club is currently reading this book, and will meet this Friday to discuss it. This is the second time I have read it, and I am not a re-reader. It is a great book, and I am enjoying it the second time around as much as I did the first time.

Here’s what it’s all about.
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons.

Told in Dinah’s voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s lives.
Redemption Road by John Hart

This is a book that I am reading to review. Not much I can tell you about it yet, other than the book description.

Imagine:

A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…

This is a town on the brink.

This is Redemption Road.

Brimming with tension, secrets, and betrayal, Redemption Road proves again that John Hart is a master of the literary thriller.

 

31 Days to a Clutter Free Life: One Month to clear your Home, Mind & Schedule by Ruth Soukup

Seriously, I have been wanting to read this for a while now, and recently got the chance when it was included in the 2016 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. I am hoping to blog through this book or through Ruth’s 10 Day Unclutter Challenge. I have an email out to her and hope to hear from her soon.

Here is the book description for this one:

Is Your STUFF Controlling Your Life?

Ruth Soukup knows all too well how stressful it can be to have a home packed to the gills, with an overbooked schedule to match.   After years of overspending left her wallet painfully empty and her home painfully full, she realized it was time for a massive change.  She began clearing her life—and her home—of clutter, one small step at a time.   

Now, over the course of thirty-one simple but powerful daily challenges she is sharing exactly how you can do it too.  31 Days to a Clutter Free Life will empower and inspire you to clear your life of the clutter that is filling up your home, mind, and schedule, once and for all.

Over the course of this one-month challenge, you can:

  • Eliminate clutter in all areas of your home and instead create functional spaces for all of your family’s many activities.
  • Replace chaotic counters and overstuffed cupboards with a calming kitchen that makes cooking a joy.
  • Overcome the destructive cycle of always needing more by paring down belongings to those you truly love.
  • Stop overcommitting and instead learn to say no without guilt.
  • Reduce stress in your home and family by clearing out the excess stuff that takes up so much of your time and energy.
  • Create practical and functional storage solutions for every room in your home.
  • Develop a working control center that keeps your entire family organized and on track.
  • Learn the four simple strategies to staying clutter free forever.

What if, one month from today, your life could be different?

At any given time, most of us are stressed out with homes and schedules that feel chaotic and out of control.  It is easy to be overwhelmed with the vast quantities of stuff that comes pouring into our homes, from trinkets and paperwork to endless obligations and activities.  Wouldn’t it be nice to finally have a step-by-step guide to ridding our life of clutter, and instead creating an oasis of calm and order?

Simple Daily Assignments

Over the course of thirty-one simple but powerful daily challenges, this book will empower, enable, and inspire you to clear life of the clutter that is filling up you home, mind, and schedule

Join the Clutter Free Challenge

Join thousands of LivingWellSpendingLess.com readers in completing this life-changing challenge.  You can check in on the blog, or use the hashtag #LWSLClutterFree to share your own progress on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Find accountability & get support of others who have committed to becoming clutter free as well. 

Start Today

The challenge begins on LivingWellSpendingLess.com this October, but you don’t have to wait.  Get the entire challenge now in convenient book format.  A clutter free life is waiting…..are you ready to embrace it?

And lastly, here is one book that I have heard about and hope to read soon.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Here is the book description:
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

It sounds good to me, how about you?  What are you reading these days?

Click on the photos to take you directly to the product pages on Amazon, or click on the little Amazon widget on the side. Every little click helps! (affiliated links)

10 fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

10 Fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes

I am in a state of shock, I think. There is only one more episode of Downton Abbey. I think I may need a support group when it is all said and done. Anyone else feel that way?

There are no spoilers here. I haven’t watched the final episode, so if there are some great quotes (there always are) I may add them later down the road.

I wanted to open this up to discussions about Downton Abbey, but I quickly realized that some a lot of people have already watched the final episode of the series.  So instead of spoiling it for myself and many others, I decided to go with some of my favorite quotes.  I hope you will share some of yours too.

10 fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes | juliekmccomas.com

These are not in any particular order, I honestly don’t even remember which season they are from but I did like them enough to write them down.

Violet: “I’m not a romantic, but even I concede that they heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.”

Violet:  “I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”

Isobel: “How you hate to be wrong.”
Violet: “I wouldn’t know. I’m not familiar with the sensation.”

Robert: “There is nothing more ill-bred than trying to steal the affections of one’s dog.”

Carson: “We must always travel in hope.”

Mrs. Hughes: “Of course I’ll marry you, you old booby. I thought you’d never ask.”

Violet to Isobel: “Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”

Matthew Crawley: “War has a way of distinguishing between the things that matter and the things that don’t.”

Violet: “In my experience, second thoughts are vastly overrated.”

Molesley: “All that’s needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

I have so many more, but I had to stop somewhere. Please leave your favorites in the comments and I will add them to my next list.

Now, I’m off to prepare myself for the final episode of the series. Will you be watching?

Confessions, Faith, Giveaways

My One Word for 2016 – Giveaway Added!

WINNER: Pam Wade! Congrats Pam!! Please email me your mailing address and I will have this out ASAP! Thanks for playing along everyone!!!

Edited to add the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post in honor of being featured over at Sweet Jesus Ministries today. Have you seen the movie War Room? Here’s your chance!

Feel free to scroll to the bottom if you have already read all this mumbo jumbo. 🙂

For the past couple of years I’ve jumped on the one word for the new year wagon. I’ve had Focus and Encourage in the past. This year I really struggled to find a word. When I had just about settled on Love, I received a Faithbox in the mail and inside there was a small bag that said…What’s Your Purpose?

Purpose

Purpose or Love? Have I ever told you how much I hate decision making?

Instead of me making the decision for myself, like a big girl would, I prayed about it. I plainly asked God what my word should be for the new year. I explained to the all-knowing Father that I had narrowed it down to two words, love and purpose. Then, all I had to do was wait patiently.

I didn’t have to wait long, because on Day 2 of the January Everyday Faith devotional (comes in your faithbox) it quotes Ravi Zacharias:

When you find your definitions in God, you find the very purpose for which you were created. Put your hand into God’s hand, know His absolutes, demonstrate His love, present His truth, and the message of redemption and transformation will take hold.

Then, on January 3rd this is what was on my God in Every Moment, DayBrightener Perpetual Flip Calendar.

Everything that happens to you has meaning. Every moment of life has purpose. And God doesn’t step away from you for a single second of the journey.

Did you catch that?

When you find your definitions in God, you find the very purpose for which you were created.

Every moment of life has purpose.

Two days after I prayed about my word for the year, a word in which I would pray about and apply to my life all year, started appearing in everywhere. Not only was it in my calendar and my devotional, it was in scriptures we would read in church AND in ladies bible class. The word PURPOSE was everywhere! I felt like my prayer had been answered.

Purpose it is!

One Word - Purpose 2016

Did you choose one word for 2016? Please share! Also, be sure to go to #oneword365 and join a tribe with others that have chosen the same word. It’s a pretty cool website, check it out!  It might even encourage you to choose a word.

I know that I’ve talked about Faithbox a bit in this post. If you are interested in receiving a box full of faith each month, check it out! I’d appreciate it if you would click on this here link to let them know that I referred you. I will be doing a dedicated post on Faithbox in the near future if you aren’t sure about it just yet.

(NOTE: This post contains affiliate links; shopping through them makes me a little money and makes you even prettier than you already are, at no extra cost to you.)

 

Thanks for hanging out with me for a little bit!

Julie K. McComas

 

 

 

P.S.

Today, Friday, January 15, 2016, I am being featured over at Sweet Jesus Ministries. To celebrate, I am having a giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment. Easy peasy! Don’t put it off, the giveaway ends Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 8pm!

War Room Giveaway | juliekmccomas.com

Again, all you have to do to win this awesome movie is leave a comment. If you can’t think of anything to say, just leave a prayer request. Why a prayer request, you ask? Because this movie is about strategic prayer, and I play on doing some PURPOSEful praying!  Now, you could always follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or just Subscribe to my little ol’ blog.  WINNER is PAM!!! Thanks for playing!

Book Reviews, Confessions

Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

Have you ever heard of the book Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?

Well, that is what the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book is like, except it is something you read instead of something you wear. At our age, we probably couldn’t find a pair of jeans to fit each of us in our group. I can’t find a pair of jeans to fit me period, but that is a completely different post just waiting to happen.

To be honest, I really don’t remember how I got involved in the Traveling Book group on goodreads. The first group was supposed to read Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall. It started out great, but after the second or third person read it the book just disappeared. It happens. So, we started another group.

We are reading The Time In Between by Maria Duenas, journaling our thoughts about the book, and sending the book and journal along to the next gal on the list.

I will tell you now that I was not looking forward to reading this book.  First of all, it is 615 pages long. Not short, long.  Here’s the book description:

The Time In Between is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted María Dueñas, a debut author, to the top of Spain’s bestseller lists.

The Time in Between

This sweeping novel, which combines the storytelling power of The Shadow of the Wind with the irresistible romance of Casablanca, moves at an unstoppable pace. Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Morocco by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.

I’m sorry, but this just didn’t peak my interest at the time. BUT! I loved this book! I read the 615 pages in two days. (We won’t discuss the fact our electric was out due to an ice storm, so I had a lot more free time to read.) Two days!

Here’s what I know. I do like historical fiction, mystery, Secret Service, spy like and all that jazz. (I do like Jazz, too.) I do not care for romance. Why can’t people leave all the kissy kissy, smoochy smoochy stuff out of there? A little bit is okay, but seriously get a room. Keep it private. And as for the other details, we know that in real life the sex scenes are nothing like those written in novels or movies. It’s just not my thing. Kapeesh?  I have read books with “those” scenes in them, and I’ll just tell it to you straight…I skip those parts! Ah, I digress.

This book IS historical fiction. This book HAS spies and secret service. This book HAS mystery! Okay, it has a little smoochy smoochy, but it could be worse. There’s a nice little love story, victory, and a satisfying ending. Although, I could have kept reading. I actually missed the characters when it was over. I wish they could make it into a movie.  I wish the synopsis weren’t so, dare I say, boring. Give this book a chance. I’m pretty sure you will enjoy it.  Then come back and tell me who you think should play Sira if they made it into a movie.  I’m thinking Anne Hathaway.

(Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links; shopping through them makes me a little money and makes you even brighter than you already are. At no extra cost to you.)

Happy Reading!!

Julie K. McComas

 

 

 

Confessions

Special Announcement – Subscribe Now!

Special Announcement!!

Well, I flubbed up! HA! That is my special announcement!

No, not really!

When I first rebranded by blog, I toyed with creating a newletter. I wanted a newsletter to go out to my readers every week, but I didn’t realize that I had to sit down and email it every week.  I’m just not that dependable. 🙂 I thought I could post, and then the newsletter widget thingymajig would do it for me. (What was I thinking?)

I won’t bore you with all the details.  The facts are that I have gone to a subscribe by email format, and everyone that signed up for the newsletter will have to now subscribe again.  I was going to try to just switch everyone over, but…then you would get an email confirming that you signed up and would probably wonder why.

So, please, take a moment to (re)subscribe. If you want. I mean, you don’t have to, but it would be nice. 🙂

Thanks for putting up with all the changes!

Julie K. McComas

 

 

 

 

Animals, Confessions

My Helpers

We have a couple of helpers that always go with us to feed the horses and cattle.

GibbsKissing

Although, sometimes they are more ornery than helpful. Here, Gibbs thinks he has to kiss me while I’m trying to drive around. It’s super nice of him, but…

Then the little fart thinks he is sneaky by stealing cubes while I am filling the buckets.

StealingCubesEven though they bark at the cattle and horses, steal feed, and cover me in kisses while I am trying to drive, I will let them keep helping me feed.