Friday, November 28, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is a holiday with the traditional turkey and all the fixings.  Families getting together, scrimmage football games in the yard, parades on tv, everyone talking and laughing and telling old stories and taking long naps.  Yes, that’s the ‘ideal’ Thanksgiving day.  There are far too many people that do without.  Too many people alone and hungry.  For these, that’s the reality of Thanksgiving Day.  (What Christians are called to do is a post in itself.)

So, what is Happy Thanksgiving all about?

Take ‘Happy’ first.  Happy: cheerful, glad, satisfied, delighted, thrilled, content, tickled, pleased... Add: joyful and blessed. (True joy is a post in itself.)  I’ll focus on blessed.  Take a look at the Beatitudes in *Matthew 5:1-12.  Jesus tells us what it means to be blessed.  He gives us a list, and some are those who grieve, those who are humble, those who are hungry, those who are compassionate, those who are peacemakers, those who are wronged...  I don’t have to be ecstatic, and I don’t have to be miserable, to be blessed. 

Now for ‘Thanksgiving’.  Thanksgiving: gratitude, praise, gratefulness, appreciation, admiration... Add: worship and praise. In the Psalms, worship and thanksgiving and praise in both song prayer is repeated many times over.  One well known verse is Psalms 100:4 (NLT) 'Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.'  Another favorite is 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) 'Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.'

As for me, Thanksgiving is being blessed by God and worshiping Him with thanksgiving and with praise.  Every single day of the year.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Do you realize ??? that:
97% of pastors have been betrayed, falsely accused or hurt by their trusted friends.
70% of pastors battle depression.
7,000 churches close each year.
1,500 pastors quit each month.
10% will retire a pastor.
80% of pastors feel discouraged.
94% of pastor’s families feel the pressure of the ministry.
78% of pastors have no close friends.
90% of pastors report working 55-75 hours per week.

PRAY for your pastor!
These numbers are hard to process, and these percentages are heartbreaking, and these circumstances are real, and this list is a devastating tragedy. Pastors aren’t immune to the grief, and the loneliness, and the scrutiny, and the anguish, and the suffering, and the bitterness, and the pain, and the fear that may affect their lives. And, don’t forget the pastors’ wives and the pastors’ children. PRAY for the family! PRAY for your pastor! Faithfully PRAY!

And yet, with all of a pastors’ pressure, problems, perplexities, and stress, I believe many just want the church to PRAY!

Now rewind and take a short look at Paul’s life:  

And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.  Ephesians 6:19 NLT

And yet, with all Paul’s pressure, problems, perplexities, and stress, all he asked for from the church was PRAYER!

The following verses are similar to the discouraging statistics of pastors today:

23   Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again.
24   Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.
25   Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked.     Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
26   I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from       robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
27   I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.  2 Corinthians 11:23-27 NLT

And yet, with all Paul’s pressure, problems, perplexities, and stress, all he asked of the church was PRAYER!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Child of My Child

Child of my child
Heart of my heart.
Your smile bridges
The years between us...

I am young again, discovering
The world through your eyes.
You have the time to listen
and I have the time to spend,
Delighted to gaze at familiar,
Loved features made new in you again.
Through you, I see the future.
Through me, you'll see the past.
In the present, we'll love one another
As long as these moments last.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

it's for the birds...

Yesterday, while I was sitting in a waiting room, I found myself gazing out a large window. I sat there incredibly captivated with a crowd of birds sitting on a power line. Some moved about, some were fairly still, some joined the bunch, some huddled together, some constantly danced about, and some flew away. At one point, every single one flew away. But, I hadn’t finished watching them... 

Then as suddenly as they left, the same power line was quickly covered with birds. I was totally fascinated with the dancers, the content ones, the huddlers, and the restless ones. I sat there and began to wonder. Were some kin to each other? Why did they gather there on that specific power line? Were they chatting with each other? What made each one part of the group? Were they taking a break after a busy morning?  Why were they sitting facing the same direction? Were some shy and others outgoing? Were they searching for food? Then my name was called. But, I hadn’t finished watching them...

Friday, November 14, 2014


Happy 6th Birthday Hudson!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.
Abraham Lincoln
In honor of my family members who served in the military: Thank you.

US Army Air Corps - my father
US Army - my brother

US Marines - my nephew
US Navy - my nephew

US Army Air Corps - my father-by-marriage

Saturday, November 8, 2014

follow your dream

Follow Your Dream
~ Amanda Bradley ~

Follow your dream...take one step at a time
And don't settle for less, just continue to climb.
Follow your dream...if you stumble don't stop
And lose sight of your goal, press on to the top.
For only on top can we see the whole view
can we see what we've done and what we can do
can we then have the vision to seek something new...
Press on, and follow your dream.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

always have a dream

Always Have a Dream

~Amanda Bradley~
Forget about the days
when its been cloudy,
but don’t forget your hours in the sun
Forget about the times
you’ve been defeated
but don’t forget the victories you’ve won
Forget about mistakes
that you can’t change now
but don’t forget the lessons
that you’ve learned
Forget about misfortunes
you encountered
but don’t forget the times
your luck has turned
Forget about the days
when you’ve been lonely
but don’t forget
the friendly smiles you’ve seen
Forget about the plans
that didn’t seem
to work out right
but don’t forget
to always have a

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

quick quotes

Oswald Chambers: on Faith

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

nature - God's artistry

I absolutely love nature.  For as long as I can remember.  Flowers, creeks, and rainbows.  Trees, waterfalls, and stars.  Days, breezes, and rocks.  Sunsets, snow, and birds.  Mountains, rivers, and seashells.  Goldfish, gardens, and sunrises.  Clouds, streams, and forests.  Leaves, beaches, and nights. Butterflies, showers, and blooms.  Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

It’s God's majestic handiwork, breathtaking beauty, magnificent creation... 

Nature testifies.  All of creation testifies.  Testifies that God is our Creator.  God spoke and creation became into existence.  The day and night, the sky and land, seed-bearing plants and trees, sun and moon and stars, fish and birds, animals small and large...

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Romans 1:20 NLT

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.  The skies display his craftsmanship.
Psalm 19:1 NLT

Because God created the Natural—invented it out of His love and artistry—it demands our reverence.
C. Lewis. God in the Dock

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday songs

How great are your works, O Lord!  Psalm 92:5 ESV

I've heard and/or sung How Great Thou Art hundreds of times.  Even so, the words still fill my heart with emotion.  I'm unable to comprehend the immense greatness of God, yet I know in His greatness, I'm humbled that He loves even me.  The story behind the hymn follows the lyrics.

How Great Thou Art

Composed by Carl Boberg

Oh Lord, my God when I in all some wonder
Considered all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy art throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
Carl Boberg
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
To take me home what joy shall fill my heart
Then I will bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, My God how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

The hymn How Great Thou Art traveled a long road before it ended up a favorite edition to English hymnals. It was originally a poem written in 1886 by a Swedish pastor, Reverend Carl Boberg.  It was published in a periodical, and several years later he was surprised and delighted to hear his poem being sung by a church congregation, to the tune of an old Swedish folk melody.

Boberg's poem was soon translated into German by Manfred von Glehn.  In 1925, an American Reverend E. Gustav Johnson translated the Swedish poem into an English version that is somewhat different than the one popular today. For instance, the first line of Johnson's hymn reads Oh mighty God, when I behold the wonder.

In 1927, I.S. Prokanoff translated Glehn's German version into Russian, to be enjoyed by that culture also. Throughout all of these translations, the original Swedish folk tune remained the same.
George Beverly Shea

In 1933, English missionaries to the Ukraine, Reverend and Mrs. Stuart K. Hine heard the song for the first time, fell in love with it, and sang it often throughout their missionary journeys.  Hine also translated it into English, adding one or more verses.

Then in 1954, at Billy Graham's London crusade, someone gave George Beverly Shea a copy of the leaflet. Shea stuck the leaflet in his pocket, and didn't think much more about it at the time.  People often gave him copies of music for his consideration.  But later, Shea examined the leaflet more carefully, and was impressed by the power of the words.  He introduced it at the Toronto Crusade in 1954.  When George Beverly Shay and the Billy Graham gospel choir, directed by Cliff Barrows, began to sing the song at virtually every crusade event, How Great Thou Art soon became one of the most recognized songs around the world.