Prayin Out Loud: What Your Knees Are For

In the quiet before bedtime, do you remember what your knees are for?

Prayin Out Loud Blog Photo 01.28.18

Ms. Annie Sells had the honor of meeting a band of guys who seem to remember what their knee are for. Now you know I have a soft spot in my heart for artists, whether they be musicians, painters, quilters, jewelry makers, multi-media nerds, gardeners, or what.

On a normal Friday night, I was sitting at home just relaxing, okay honestly falling asleep in my recliner. Then a girlfriend that I had hardly seen or spoken to in years started blowing up my phone and said we were going to see a band. What? Who? Where? Seriously?

She was serious. She showed up. I quickly got dressed and we headed out. Prior to those moments I had not heard of Derryl Perry & The Lonesome Devils. Now I am embarrassed by that fact, but it is true.

It seems that they tour the United States continuously, frequently in Oklahoma and Texas. Prayin Out Loud is popular in both states, but is only one in a diverse selection – most of which can be found on Derryl Perry’s YouTube channel and include a mixed bag of good ole rock and country classics.

In Prayin Out Loud, Derry Perry sings that he is with a bartender who does not have a collar, but that will have to do. Because he is desperate enough to send one up, or to pray. He does so for a ray of hope, from the end of a bar, and when he is at the end of his rope. I have to hand it to him, this guy is a pretty damn good song writer. His lyrics just role off the tongue.

His band, The Lonesome Devils, are a group of guys with a lot of raw talent. It seems that the majority of them are new to his tour, but you would never guess it by watching them play together. Ms. Annie Sells is curious to learn more about these spirited devils that know what their knees are for and their boss that is praying and singing for us all.

Take a moment and check out this song, because you will want to be able to look back and say I remember when. As always, if you love it, share it!

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells


A great local article on upcoming performances you can catch.

See their tour schedule.

Check out their Facebook page.

Find Derry Perry and the Lonesome Devils on Instagram.

Interested in gigs. Check them out on Gig Masters.

See Derryl Perry’s Biography on Music City Records.

See a full list of Derry’s Perry’s songs on AllMusic.com.


Kicking the Pricks is Hell on Earth

“Kicking the Pricks” or a “thorn in the flesh” both sound like an absolute pain in the a$$. But bone deep torment, whether physical pain, psychological pain, or both is for many a fact of life. The Greeks and the Christian Bible speak plainly to what humans must push through. If you want to look into these check out 2 Timothy 4:14, be prepared to see what is real pain.

Prick Kicking and or A Thorn IS NOT horrible punishment or retribution. Did you hear me? Pain, torture, and torment of this nature is not punishment.

You DID NOT do some irresponsible, selfish, cruel, and or unforgivable action that has now forced you to live this way. This bone deep, soul sucking, and excruciating misery — can crush you. But there is always a way out.

Maybe apostle Paul and many wiser than us were correct and we have to push through to take the next step toward becoming our true selves?

Either way, I agree with the most renown psychologists that IF you fail, you must try try again. Yes, I said it. Pain shapes us, breaks us, and often times both. We do not see the purpose, at first.

Reach out a hand or if necessary crawl. Rodney Adkins wrote a great song about hell on earth. Here are a few lines:

If you’re goin’ through, hell keep on going. Don’t slow down. If you’re scared DON’T show it. You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there! I’ve been deep down in that darkness. [We all have or will be.] I’ve been down to my last match, felt a hundred different deamons breathin’ fire down my back, and I knew that if I stumbled, I’d fall right into the trap that they were layin.’ But the good news is there’s angels everywhere out on the street — holdin’ out a hand to pull you back up on your feet. The one’s that you’ve been draggin’ for so long. You’re on your knees might as well be prayin’.

Maybe you or someone you care for is living through their own personal hell on earth or God may be tormenting you. God tormented Paul in Job 1:1-12.

We all want to avoid pain. Paul BEGGED God for MERCY in 2 Corinthians 12:8. Instead God gave Paul more overwhelming GRACE and more compensating STRENGTH.

I believe in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It assures me I will and cannot be tested or tried beyond what with Him I can bare. You too have a purpose. Grace is key.

Check out Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit by Charles Swindoll to learn a lot more. The book can be purchased on Amazon for about $10 and Bibles are free everywhere. There is no shame in going through hell. Just keep on going and most importantly breathe.

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells


On Day or Off Day

Do you ever have those days where something that you have seen or heard rattles around in your head? I have sent 100’s of emails, processed tons of invoices, answered more questions that I can count and have been BUSY. But all day long, as I have gone about the business of life, these two items just would not get out of my head!

Item #1 – 19 Julian Smith’s first of 19 Thoughts about Finding Your Purpose –

“Those who win are producers, not consumers. The first thing you do each morning should be active, not passive – no Facebook, no email. Whatever you choose should put you in a state of mind for the rest of the day. Choose carefully.”

You can read the full article here.

I will be the first one to admit that the difference between an off and an on day is how I start my day. On the weekends, or rather off days, I will start my day with quiet stillness and coffee. You will not get me moving without it and odds are you will not get me online or on the phone, unless it is to post a blog or column article. My perfect day begins with me sitting on my huge front porch sipping on coffee, processing my dreams from the night before, and letting the world slowing drift in one sight and smell at a time.

However, on days are a little different. I wake up as close to when I have to leave as possible (I mean minutes), go to the bathroom, jump into clothes, grab my stuff and make it to the car. I crank the ignition that doesn’t require it (out of habit), drive to work (usually in silence), come in, load the coffee pot and plug in. Plugging in includes turning on the computer, connecting my mini-computer to sync (phone), logging into at least two email accounts (sometimes 3 and throw in social media sites for good measure), checking the voicemails (on at least two phones) and many times putting on my headphones (for tunes).

How do you start your days? What is the difference between your on days and off days?

Item #2 – This quote,

“When you internalize facts, you begin to internalize a conception of the world. You begin to try to fit new facts into a network of old facts. You begin to operate in a liminal space that taps both conscious processing and broad intuitions.”

You can read the full article here.

Key Concepts:

  • Active
  • Conception
  • Conscious
  • Internalize
  • Network
  • Processing
  • Producers
  • State of Mind

We become what we think, see, hear and do. It is our past and present that shapes what we believe and who we become. Choose wisely or suffer from rattling head.

OZARKSLIVING.ONLINE … you have to start somewhere

Change is in the air. As my artist friends would say, “just go with the flow.” And you know what I say, “yes, please, ” but of course within limits.

We go through our entire lives watching, listening, and modeling the behaviors of those around us. Then we are told, “do as I say, not as I do.”

At some point we just have to take the advice that I give to those I love and “DO YOU!”

These last couple of months, with the onset of the global phenomenia known as a pandemic in COVID19, we have been forced, all of us to stop.

Not “stop, drop, and roll” as is the case with a fire, but pretty much the same thing. We have been told to stop, drop, and roll over and play dead so that we and millions of others do not die. I am NOT getting into the politics of this situation, because it is as I tell my son and anyone else that chooses to listen, those details don’t matter.

What matters is what we as a collective, what we as individuals buddled together – our shared activities and what our leaders do that matters.

To this point, I have tried to stick as close to the scriptures and Abba’s calendar as possible and keep my nose to the grindstone. I have not been alone. People have been placed in my life that have chosen to do the same with me. What a blessing! But then I look around and people are being removed from my life as well.

Does anyone else feel like they are being tried as by fire?

I know that I do.

I know those I love and care for do.

How do you feel?

Have you stopped and started to take stock? Have you been panick buying? Have you sat on your couch and binge watched Netflix? Have you fallen into the trap of eating your way through your junk food and put on a ton of weight?

You know what I think? Do you want to know?

I think it doesn’t matter what you did yesterday, as long as you caused no harm. What matters is what you do today and tomorrow and the day after? Have you looked at the tom-foolery in your life and turned away from what doesn’t work together for good? These things matter.

My family and I have gone back to our old ways and are observing the Sabbath weekly. We are keeping up with the calendar of the scriptures and using every waking hour of daylight to be outside in God’s country. Honestly it isn’t my old place in the Fort with all my babies, but it finally is starting to feel like we are getting a finger-hold into making it home.

More to come. That you can take to the bank.

Be Blessed,
Ms. Annie Sells

Connecting with The Jimi Hendrix of Violin, Derryl Perry & the Lonesome Devils


Joseph Shackelford is a classically trained rock violinist and Nashville based touring musician. When he played in Corinth Mississippi May 26, 2018 he was referred to as ‘The Jimi Hendrix of Violin.’ He is an unassuming humble musician that wrote on Twitter November 23, 2017 “I’m thankful for the opportunity to create and share music and [for] all of the people I’ve met and conversations that have come from that … most of all, I’m thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and a country where we can worship Him freely!”

Live Laugh Love Nashville wrote September 25, 2017 that Joseph Shakelford is taking violin to a whole new level. The article describes this artist as entertaining, epic, exhilarating, with remarkable talent, and describes his playing style as fun and engaging. They noted that he has performed on the same bills and alongside 3 Doors Down, Ben Folds, Dwight Yoakam, Barret Baber, Whisky Myers, and the list goes on.

Today, Good Friday April 19, 2019, Ms. Annie Sells is thankful for the opportunity to meet and work with Joseph. #AGirlAndHerCamera met Joseph while he was playing two shows with Derryl Perry and the Lonesome Devils. He came with a smile, his carbon fiber violin, and excellent coffee. It was my great pleasure to shoot him two nights in a row. I enjoyed just siting in the sound booth and visiting with him and the rest of the band between sets.

You can connect with Joseph Shackelford too:

Ms. Annie Sells was blessed to capture a few priceless moments, but what I enjoyed even more was sharing a meal or two, connecting through conversation about our shared passions, and listening.

Son A “Truper” Shows Respect with Flowers to Great Grandmother

Ms. Annie Sells celebrated her son’s birthday by encouraging him to show respect to his great grandmother, among other activities. She passed from this world as spring was about to sprin, just as it is now.

In her last weeks, my son and I went each Sunday and spent her last days with her and my mother. My son was very close to his great grandmother just as I was to my grandmother. She was human, but she was also a warrior to the very end.

Grandma passed days before her birthday, just as the daffodils were beginning to bloom in her meadow, below her home – on the family mountain. The same meadow where I married my son’s father and the same meadow she toiled in as a child and in again in the final years of her life.

Days before she passed, my son went down and brought back a single bloom. It sat in a glass of water on the bedside table to her death bed. It was the last flower she saw in her life, on this earth, was a gift from our Abba and from my son.

So today as we took the scenic route to his birthday party, we stopped at her grave and transplanted blooming daffodils onto her grave. Just he and I in her final resting place. They were the children if daffodils that originally grew on the family mountain.

Life and death are full of trials, sorrows, and pain. But we can find joy and meaning in the little things in life – like a flower that connects four generations.

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

P.S. Happy Birthday Zander P Dander!

Moon Light Verses Moon Lighting

Ms. Annie Sells is curious if you have ever seen what 20 pounds of hamber patties looks like in a resturant kitchen.

Just in case you have not, then feast your eyes on this. Instead of enjoying the moon light of a beautiful Sunday night, this is the sight I beheld tonight.

No one ever said that reaching your dreams and goals was easy. No one ever said that embracing your true self and fighting the good fight would be moonlight and fairies.

Be blessed, work your ass off, and if you have to moonlight then do it and be proud of the hard work that you put in. I know I am.

Ms. Annie Sells has worn many hats and among them in 20 years of experience in the restaurant, hospitality, and service induatry. So when I got a call asking if I could fill in a few shifts here and there I thanked my Abba father and said sure.

What are you doing to reach your goals and dreams? Are you going the extra mile to be your true self? Are you putting in the hard work?

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

F It! – Ms. Annie Sells Dares You

It is no secret that television is not Ms. Annie Sells thing!

My mother did one hell of a job protecting me from mass media especially via television until I was 18 years old. But we sure learned to appreciated good literature, strategy games, puzzles, and classic movies. Nevermind I read my way through many a library! Many thanks Momma.

Now if television isn’t your thing… if you, like me, long ago gave up on RSS feeds and you hate getting tons of subscription emails in your personal email, then I would like to recommend Flipboard.

Flipboard is a fully customizable app that allows you to keeping your finger on the pulse of things.

Yes, I know the last thing you need is another app. But is it not worth a few minutes to check it out? I dare you. http://flip.it/KbXXi

When I am no totally swamped, I try to log in a few times a week, before bed. The key to Flipboard’ s usefulness is keywords and searching by topic.

I have been using Flipboard since October 2012 and pulled together a “board” as a snapshot of some of my interests during that time, for you.

(Hint: It is great for pulling together online resources in one place — students, educators, and business and industry friends.)

Try it out. Create a few of your own and come back and tell us about it.

Be Blessed!
Ms. Annie Sells

President Bill Clinton addressed the AATYC 25th Annual Conference


Arkansas’ Director of Higher Education and President Bill Clinton addressed the 700+ attendees of the last day of the 25th Annual AATYC Conference. 

They spoke of the boot-strap mentality of our past Executive Director and our new Executive Director.

They spoke of the work of us all to meet the needs of the students, citizens, and business and industry of Arkansas. 

They spoke of making a difference and overcoming trials and tribulations. 

They spoke of personal and collective sacrifice.

They also spoke of the growth and expansion in student enrollment to serve almost 90,000 students, at two-year colleges, annually.

It all comes down to doing whatever it takes: politics, policy, service, and education.

Sometimes things get tough. However, just when we are ready to give it up, “that one thing goes right and it keeps you going! We have a lot of work to do, but we can do it if we continue to work together” according to the Honorable Shen Broadway.

It was yet another great conference due to the hard work and dedication of the many servant leaders in Arkansas’ Higher Education.

Many thanks to everyone that made the conference a success! Dr. Ed Franklin, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

Ms. Annie Sells

Redesign, Reinvent, and Reset


Higher Ed – the challenge. We are looking to improve completion rates by 50% by 2020; to increase college readiness; double the number of students who complete developmental ed; closing the skills gap by focusing on career and technical ed; refocusing our mission; embracing entrepreneurial mindset; and to target private and public investments strategically.

Much work to do, but very happy to be at the 25th Annual AATYC Conference.

Ms. Annie Sells

The ability to improvise

On our way to a large three-day conference for Mommy’s work, this little guy made use of the arm rest.


Would you even be able to turn your head if you slept like this? I know that I wouldn’t!

Ms. Annie Sells loves this example of improvision and adaptability.  In this rapidly changing world that we live in, we could all take a lesson from our children.

It is with age and time that we become inflexible and justify our actions with half – baked excuses. Sometimes as  adults, we go so far as to use twisted logic and the hypocrisy, of beliefs held by others, as our ammunition. But it is ourselves that are hurt the most!

The fact is that as humans, we are remarkable creatures. We have the ability to improvise and rise above almost anything. In order to do this, we must be honest with ourselves, correctly assess our lives, set our true priorities, and (at least) mentally prepare for anything.

Now to work!

Be Blessed,
Ms. Annie Sells

5 Reasons they say and 5 reasons I say

On October 10, 2013, while doing research for an essay on teams and managing teams, I tripped over several articles on the economic impact of civil war.

I learned that social scientists, such as myself and those far more academic than Ms. Annie Sells, have spent a lot of time and resources studying civil war and have done some pretty extensive research.  Why?


I thought you might wonder why. According to reviews of civil war literature, there are 5 reasons civil war is worth studying.

1) Civil war is widespread; it is common place.

2) Civil war causes suffering; human suffering is extreme, economic development suffers, and political instability is a side effect.

3) Civil war undermines regional stability; it tears up counties.

4) Civil war engages the interests of distant powers and international organizations; others are  in the business of countries.

5) Policymakers are re-assessing the efforts necessary to deal with civil war; hindsight is always at least 20/20 and helpful for preparing for the future.

The start of new civil wars has been on the decline since 1994. So why, living in the United States (US), should you concern yourself with understanding civil war? Here are 5 reasons I know civil war is the worth understanding in the US:

1) Civil war is real.

2) Civil war is a problem of the poor and we are getting poorer each day.

3) The Federal Government Shutdown is still in effect, at least the 15% that pays the US’ bills.

4) It has been 148 years since the start of the last civil war in the US; it took at least 700,000 lives, which is only slightly less than the number of people now furloughed nationwide.

5) If it has happened once, it can happen again.

I know we ought to avoid taboos, but come on, if we aren’t, we really should be paying attention.

To Brighter Days,
Ms. Annie Sells

The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio?

Today is a new day, one that everyone who is honest would gladly admit that they are proud to experience. On any given day, I would likely write to you about my beloved home of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

I might talk to you about reaching out and connecting to your friends, family and potential clients via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress. I might even talk to you about marketing and adversiting solutions for your business and the various ways that you can utilize social media to save yourself and your business time and money.

All of these forms of technology and ways of connecting on the grid are relevant to our way of life. But let’s suppose for a moment that you were to become disconnected from the grid or the grid were to go down for any one of a million reasons. Then what?

My last article on this site was Social Media: Now What? and included a picture of an old computer. It’s no secret that ever day people across the globe are struggling to provide a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, are fighting against horrible diseases, and for their safety. War has become a part of everyday life, so much so that Generation X hardly blinks an eye lash at its ever-present danger!

So you ask “why has the theme of my written gift to you changed?” How did we get from Social Media: Now What? to The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio? Ask me. I would be happy to explain.

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

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