How to Handle Disappointment


The best part of any Christmas is being together with the entire family in one place, enjoying the beautiful Christmas decorations, a festive table, eating delicious, rich dishes that one only gets this time of year, and opening presents from one another. But, without a doubt, the best part is just being together with every child and their spouse, and every grandchild in the house sharing in the festivities. It’s always the happiest of times.

As in years past, that was our plan for this Christmas. We even moved our family celebration to the 26th so that the entire family could be together. My daughter and her family were to have Christmas Day at their home in Texas and then fly in on the morning of the 26th for our family get-together.

But then this happened. Like thousands of others, we had our Christmas disrupted by Southwest Airlines’ technical problems. My daughter and her family discovered when they got to the airport on the morning of December 26 that their flight had been canceled. Since my daughter was nearly eight months pregnant, driving the thirteen hours to Tennessee was out of the question.

Of course, I wasn’t alone in my disappointment this holiday season. My sister-in-law fought back tears as she told me their flight to California, also on December 26, to be with her son’s family was canceled. It had been nine months since she had seen them and she had been looking forward to the trip ever since she booked it six months ago.

We’ve seen the horror stories of people stranded in airports for days, some without their luggage or their needed medications. We’ve heard of the much-anticipated vacations to Hawaii or the Caribbean canceled because the flights could get them there. Some of the stories are heartbreaking.

Making it right

Southwest has long been my favorite airline. It’s always the first place I check when booking a flight. But, they made a big mistake by putting off upgrading their technology, and, unfortunately, it caught up with them at the most inopportune time and their passengers paid the price.

The leaders have taken full responsibility and come out with an apology, which is always the first right thing to to do correct a wrong. And I believe they will make the necessary upgrades to prevent this from happening again. They have gone overboard to refund passengers, take care of their hotel or rental car costs, etc. That is admiral, but the one thing that they can’t refund is time with our loved ones. Unfortunately, that’s gone forever.

The cure

It’s always best to look for the silver lining in every situation we cannot control. We may not be able to change the circumstance, but we can feel much better about our dilemma when we look for the positive.

So what were the positives from something as disappointing as missing Christmas with my grandchildren?

  1. Southwest refunded them the cost of their tickets and also gave them $800 in credits. I’m sure they could use those funds with a baby on the way and having to buy a bigger car.
  2. Besides being very pregnant, my daughter was also suffering from an eye infection at the time. Being home and resting for the week was probably more healthy for her than coming in and having a full week of activities with both our family and her husband’s family.
  3. My husband and I will be traveling to Texas to help them out when the baby is born in late January. We’ll bring all their Christmas presents with us so the two boys will have new toys to play with while she’s in the hospital and caring for a new baby.
  4. They say that anticipation is half the fun, so now we get to anticipate seeing them for another whole month.

Yes, I’m sorry that I didn’t get to hear the pitter-patter of those little feet at my house during Christmas week or spend time with my daughter. I’m disappointed that the two boys missed going to Cheekwood and seeing all the Christmas lights and I’m sorry I missed seeing the joy on their faces as the little lit-up trains made their way through the tracks in the woods. I hate that my daughter and son-in-law missed the annual steak restaurant dinner with their siblings and their spouses.

But when situations are out of control, we have a choice. We can choose to dwell on the negative or think about the positive. Since dwelling on the negative never changes anything, I chose to dwell on the negative for a little bit this Christmas, but then decided it was time to look to the positive. That’s when the joy comes back.

I’m sure one thing this debacle has driven home to Southwest and all airlines is that they’re not just transporting bodies from one point to another. They are transporting human beings with their souls, spirits, and relationships, with the joys, sorrows, circumstances, and everything else that comes with the living. And those circumstances always change when we’re not where we’re supposed to be.

Taking down the Christmas decorations this year, I was still thankful for the precious, joyous Christmas we had with the rest of the family, but I had to admit that it felt incomplete. And it’s okay to grieve for a while for something we missed. But now it’s time to look forward to our next visit with them and anticipate seeing the joy on those boy’s faces when they open their Christmas presents at the end of January, and then witness the best present of all when we all lay eyes on that precious little sister for the first time!

Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Psalms 30:5

Make the Most of Life’s Instruction Manual


They say that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but actually it does! It’s called the Holy Bible.

Several years ago, our pastor felt that our congregation didn’t know enough about the Bible. We came to church faithfully every Sunday to listen to his sermons, but most of us didn’t have a systematic way to read and study the Bible.

He asked us as a church to begin a daily reading plan that took us through the Bible in one year. Today, this discipline has become a part of the daily devotions for many of us and the result has been life-changing as well as church-changing.

Being a Christian most of my life, I’ve studied the Bible and even memorized many key verses, however, reading it from cover to cover unveils a storyline that you don’t get by just reading various chapters out of sequence.

It’s very unpopular today in some circles to say that you believe in the Bible, but I find it ironic that many of those who discount the Bible and say they don’t believe it to be the inspired Word of God, have never read even a small portion of it, much less cover to cover. While we would never purchase an expensive appliance and refuse to pick up the instruction manual to see how to operate it safely and efficiently, many of us try to make it though life on our own without ever consulting the manual God has given us for our time on earth.

Will we understand everything we read in the Bible? Certainly not, but we will understand some of it. The beauty of reading the Word is that we almost always learn something new or see a principle in a new light, even from a familiar passage.

Many people mistakenly think that the Bible should have all the answers to life’s questions, and since it doesn’t answer everything, it’s not valid. But God hasn’t revealed everything to his creation – just what He wants us to know. The Bible, rather, is the story of man, and God’s plan to redeem him from his sins. It shows us how to live triumphantly in this life and how to prepare for the next. It doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about God. That’s for another time and place. Today we know in part, the Bible says, but when we see God face to face we will know fully. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

If you’ve never read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I encourage you to do so this year. Some of it won’t make sense, but a lot of it will. Numerous Bible Reading Apps online have a scheduled reading plan, and many will read it audibly to you so that you can listen while driving or getting ready for work, etc. This one from Life Church is fantastic, but there are many other options.

Holy Bible

What’s actually in there?

Some verses tell us what to do when we feel weak, anxious, worried, betrayed, or sad. It shows us how to be at peace and joyful instead of stressed and gloomy, and how to love instead of hate. There are verses for when we need forgiveness and when we need to forgive others.

The Bible tells us how to be a good friend, parent, neighbor and child. It teaches us to trust God and believe in something bigger than ourselves. It provides comfort through our sufferings while challenging us to become better people.

We may not always like what the Bible says to us, but everything written there is for our good. There are answers for dealing with the sins in our life and how to get deliverance from them. Not everything we read will make us happy. Biblical truth is sometimes hard to swallow. God’s word claims to be sharper than a two-edged sword and, believe me, I have felt that sword in my own spirit many times. But no matter how it hurts, a reality check is sometimes just what we need.

The Bible truly is a Living Word. Nothing will grow our faith more than the Word of God. It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, (Psalm 119:105) showing us the way on this journey of life. It’s a love letter from God to us, His children, and is more precious than any treasure we could ever find.

Its words bring comfort to us when we are burdened, hope when we are in despair, and joy when we are in sorrow. All the while convicting us when we are doing wrong.

We’ll never master the Bible completely, no matter how much of a scholar we become because it is a living, breathing book, and the more we learn the more is revealed.

There is much to be gleaned from the Scriptures. Everything from how to eat, how to manage your money, to how to treat your neighbor. There are numerous ancient prophecies through those pages that have now been fulfilled and other prophecies showing us what’s to come next in our world.

Why not give God’s Word a try this year and commit to reading it through just to see what it has to say to you. I think you’ll be impressed and blessed!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

Combating the Evil Within


We don’t like to admit it, but we humans are inherently evil. All of us are born selfish and must learn to be good. Don’t believe it? Just legalize the killing of unborn children and see how many of us jump on that bandwagon. Sixty-three million to date in America have chosen this option since the Roe V. Wade supreme court decision. Before 1973 an unborn baby was protected by American law. I wonder if the Supreme Court Justices thought abortion would come to these great numbers when they legalized it. I doubt it. They probably were thinking that such a procedure would be a rare occurrence in the case of extreme poverty, rape, or incest. After all, what stronger bond is there between a mother and her child? But what they failed to remember and what we often forget as well is that we humans are all selfish, sinful creatures. “There is none good,” the Bible tells us, “No not one.” Romans 3:10

What if all murder became legal today? If there were no consequences would it increase? If the history of abortion tells us anything about human nature, it certainly would. And if putting one’s elderly parents to death was legalized, how many children would choose to end their parent’s life? As absurd as this sounds, the Bible tells us that this will be a common practice in the last days. (Matthew 10:21)

Recently, we witnessed what happens in cities where there are no consequences for breaking the law. Felons who are released without bail or before serving their full term, often go out and rob or kill someone else. They’re not always grateful that they were given a second chance and suddenly decide to clean up their act. Their nature is to kill and steal because they’ve never been taught otherwise.

Children who grow up without a father usually exhibit more behavior problems and more often end up in prison. It’s not because of race or economics, as some would suggest, in many cases it’s because they haven’t had a father to teach and model for them the difference between right from wrong and how to live productively in a civilized society.

That nasty sin nature

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Yet, before we start feeling self-righteous because we don’t steal or commit murder, we have to admit that we’re all prone to sin. Even as Christ’s followers, we’re always pushing the limits. When the speed limit is 60, we drive 70. When it’s 70, we often drive 80 and sometimes push 95 unless we see a state trooper sitting on the side of the road. And these are just our minor transgressions!

Even the apostle Paul struggled with his sinful nature. He said he often did what he shouldn’t have done and left undone what he should do. Can anyone relate to this? I certainly can!

It’s pretty scary to think about the atrocious acts any of us can commit given the right circumstances and without God intervening in our life.

What can we do?

God has graciously given us laws to help us. Scriptures throughout the Bible, teach us how to keep safe and provide us a way to a life of peace. One of these is in Romans.

The mind covered by the flesh is death, but the mind covered by the spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:6

Just reading this verse makes me want to relax, take a deep breath and listen to what the Holy Spirit may be speaking to me.

Be Safe/Stay Safe

These have become bywords today. But when we tell someone to stay safe, do we really know how to tell them to do that? There are numerous scriptures regarding peace and safety in the Bible and each of them points to trusting in God and obeying His commands for that peace to occur.

Man with a pencil in hand studying the Bible
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Is God Pro-Choice?

Absolutely! Not in the sense that He thinks it’s perfectly fine for a woman to destroy a growing child inside of her, but that He has given us free will. God created a human race that could choose to love and obey him. We aren’t robots programmed to praise the Lord continually and always make the right decisions to never do anything wrong. It’s a great gift, but with this gift come consequences. Our decisions and our choices matter.

Joshua reminded the Israelites of everything the Lord had done for them through their years in the wilderness, like how He had defeated their enemies. Then he told them, you can choose to worship those other gods if you want, but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. He wanted to choose the blessings of God for his life and the life of his family. (Joshua 23-24)

Doing the right thing is not always easy and because of our sinful nature, obedience will be a life-long struggle. But the more we learn to trust God we will see that His ways are always for our good. As parents, the rules we impose on our children are never to harm or keep them from enjoying life. They are to keep them safe and help them grow into responsible adults. It’s the same with God’s rules for us.

If you’d like to share some of the consequences of right or wrong choices you’ve made, let us know in the comments below. We can all learn from each other!

But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:33

Think on These Things

“Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report.  If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Philippians 4:8

From reading this verse, I’d say that God is into positive thinking!

Our thoughts dramatically affect our daily life. According to recent research by Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, complaining and negativity actually rewires your brain to make you become even more negative.

That’s pretty scary and perhaps is the reason God gives us this warning here in Philippians to control our thoughts by aligning them with certain criteria.

Is it true?

There are so many lies floating around today that it’s hard to know what to believe. The nightly news is usually slanted towards a particular political viewpoint or the anchors leave out pertinent information that completely changes the real truth of the story.

Journalists don’t like being called out for producing fake news, arguing that they are an essential part of democracy. That’s Absolutely true! That’s all the more reason they should make sure every story is unbiased, accurate and complete. We need the journalists to tell us the truth and the whole truth. When they don’t, they are the ones abandoning their post and making their profession untrustworthy.

There are other half-truths that can get our attention, if we are not careful. Gossip can be very damaging and false accusations can destroy a person. Lies are always harmful. The “Is it true?” filter is a good one to always keep top of mind.

Is it pure?

There are several definitions of pure in the dictionary, but I think the one that Paul could be referring to here is free from what vitiates, weakens or pollutes. While we don’t want to entertain thoughts that weaken others, self-destructive talk is not okay either.

We says things in our head to ourselves that we would never say to another person, thereby weakening ourself with our own thoughts! This can be an extremely hard habit to break, but being aware of self defeating thoughts is a good place to start. Once negative thoughts come into mind, ask yourself if you say that to another person and, if not, what would you say to that person instead to encourage them and tell that to yourself.

Is it Noble?

Noble means excellence. An excellent thought would be one that you are proud of and wouldn’t mind sharing with some else. It’s not slander, envy or hatred of another person. Someone once said “Imagine your thoughts being posted on the large screen at church.” Yep, that would clean mine up for sure.

Is it lovely? Lovely can mean charming, beautiful, high pleasing, enjoyable, loving attentive of great moral or spiritual beauty, pleasing, highly satisfying. Just saying these words makes me happy. How wonderful is it that God actually wants us to think on such things!

Is it a good report? We hear a lot of bad reports today. Good news doesn’t sell, so the media fills our homes with all the bad that’s happening around the world.

It’s much harder to find the good reports. They don’t make the news headlines. Yet they are out there. Stories of heroism and people doing amazing things for others that go on every day, But we have to seek them out.

Today we’re able to hear about all the bad everywhere in the world almost instantaneously. No other generation has had to deal with news on this scale. Perhaps we are not meant to take in so much gloom and doom. To counteract we have to make the extra effort to search out the good that is happening in our world, praise God for it and share it with others.

Is it virtuous and just? Is this thought highly moral?

Is it praiseworthy? How many wonderful things do we have in our life to be thankful for? Probably plenty, but if you’re not feeling it, give thanks anyway. The Bible tells us that it is the will of God that we give thanks in everything. (I Thessalonians 5:18.). No matter how dark the day, stopping to give thanks to God always makes it brighter.

What can we do?

If it’s not true, don’t continue to listen. Walk away, turn the channel or stop reading it. No one should allow themselves to be lied to over and over again. If it doesn’t align with the Word of God, it’s not true. If it’s supposed to be a news story but it contains the phrase “unnamed sources” it’s probably an editorial masquerading as news to try to lead you to believe something false.

When impure thoughts come into our head, we can dismiss them and think of something lovely. And when we find ourselves engaged in negative self talk, stop! If you wouldn’t talk to your friend that way, don’t belittle yourself in that way either. Train your mind to entertain thoughts that are virtuous and practice being thankful.

On thing this verse makes clear is that we can control our thoughts. It’s not an easy discipline but we can work to get better at it day by day and that will lead to a much happier life.

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Three tips to keep your sanity on a multi-family Vacation

two girl s walking on the beach side
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There’s nothing like family time at the beach for unwinding and connecting with your children, grandchildren, siblings, or the entire extended family.   The long summer days with no schedule except to bask in the sun while watching the kids play in the waves at the ocean or swim in the pool make for lots of relaxing time and long, interesting conversations.    Yet several families under one roof for a week can prove stressful no matter how much you love each other if you’re not careful to plan properly and avoid surprises.

We have been taking family vacations to the beach or the mountains for years with our children and grandchildren and it’s always one of my favorite times of the year.  In our busy lives where everyone is working hard on their careers and raising their family, it’s a blast to get together for a time of relaxation and just enjoying each other.  Here are some simple tips that have worked wonderfully for us to make these vacations low stress and high fun.

Allow for privacy

Each married couple gets their own bedroom.  It can get crazy and loud with 10-20 or more people talking, children running around, etc. Having a private place where one can retreat to at night or during times when you just need to chill is a must.  Kids can sleep anywhere, but adults need their on space and a comfortable bed.  We usually get a house or condo with enough bedrooms and baths for each couple.  Private space is more important than luxury here.

Plan your meals

Have a plan for your meals before you go.  The best way to create hard feelings is for Mom, Grandma, or Aunt Susie to be stuck in the kitchen cooking every night or one family ending up footing the bill for most of the food.

There are five adult couples in our family.  Usually breakfast  and lunch are on our own and then we have dinner together.  Each couple takes one dinner for which they are responsible for planning, purchasing, cooking and cleaning up.  While it can be a big project for some to cook for that many people, it’s only one night and the other four nights you get to enjoy someone else’s food.  And  there are always some that offer to chip in and help with tasks or cleanup.

Two nights we usually eat out. This plan has always worked well for us, but every family is different Some like to go out to eat every night, however, we found that gets stressful because there are so many of us and the wait for a table can be extremely long.  Breaking into smaller groups on eating out nights is more manageable and enjoyable.  Create a meal plan that works for you.   The main thing is to have a plan before you go.

Talk about the money

Set clear expectations on who pays for what before you go.   For years my husband and I paid for the condo and even a lot of the food for the vacation and we loved doing that.  Now that the family is much bigger it’s getting harder to do that.  A condo or house for a week can cost $7,000 to $10,000 or more for large families.   The secret to happiness here is to ageee on how much each family pays before you book.

Other things to consider are incidentals and entertainment. In our family each pays for their own entertainment.

Strong family ties are important for the health and wellbeing of everyone.   Studies show that people who are close to their families are healthier and even live longer.  So get together often  even if it’s just a picnic in the park.  Family time is always time well spent.

”Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love in honor, giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:10

two women with man hugging by the sea

When Mother is Lost

There are some instances in our life where the memories are so vivid that we can even remember what we were wearing.  This is the case back in December 1968.  I was 15 and my father had picked me up from school that day.   I had worn my favorite khaki colored wool jumper with pleats and a grey and khaki sweater underneath.  “Your mom isn’t doing well and we need to run down to the hospital,” he said.  I didn’t think too much about it.  She  had just had surgery and I figured she was just having a little setback.

When I got there, however, I began to realize that she was much worse off than I thought.  She was  lying in bed with ice packs all around her.  A huge green oxygen tank was beside her bed with a tube hooked up to her nose.  She was non-responsive.  The lovely plants that were just brought to her room yesterday were now limp and wilted as if they were crying out that something  is terribly wrong here.  “That’s from so much oxygen in the room,” the nurse told me, obviously noticing my bewildered look.

”Squeeze her hand and she will squeeze it back,” my father said gently.    I walked over and took her hand and gave it a squeeze and she did squeeze it back.  I was confused.  Why could she squeeze my hand but not speak?  What happened next was like a car speeding out of control and there was nothing to do to stop it.

The nurse must have been sensing that I was in denial as to what was happening, because she took Mom’s temperature and made sure that I knew it read 106 degrees.

Then those in the room began telling stories about when this person died or that person died and I became very angry.  I was raised to never yell at or question adults but I was angrily thinking to myself why are you people giving up so easily?

I spent the rest of the night in the waiting room right outside her door trying to process what was happening.  Then around 2:00 in the morning there was a lot of commotion around her room.  A few minutes later, the doctor came and got my dad for a short conversation after which dad came back out shook his head and said “She’s gone.”

The nurse asked me if I wanted to go back into the room to see her one more time and I declined.  We stopped by an office where my dad filled out some papers and then we went home.

I lost a lot that day.  I would never know what is was like to have a relationship as a grown woman with my mother.  She would not be there to help me when I brought my first newborn home or the three that followed after that.  She wouldn’t even be there when I graduated  high school.  As a teenager, I had been worried about having to take care of her post-op, now I was going to have to cook meals for my dad and two brothers practically every night.  I was to grow up perhaps sooner than I should.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Even as a young Christian this verse kept me going during this time.    There was so much that I didn’t understand but through all the painful grief I found comfort in trusting that somehow God was going to make good come from this.

The year that followed was hard.  I didn’t know how to cook as all I had ever done was bake cake from mixes, so I just opened can of beans and heated them up for dinner many times.   But slowly I got a little better and sometimes my aunt who was an amazing cook would bring us dinner which was a real treat!

A year later my dad remarried and that brought both blessings and curses.  I no longer had to be the chief cook and could go back to being a teenager; but along with the marriage came a step-sister.   While thrilled to have a sister, our up bringing was very different which caused a lot of friction in the house.

I left home at 17 to go to college and never moved back.

So what good came from all these trials?  My step mother and I gradually became closer through the years and when my children were born, she loved each of them as if they were her very own grandchildren. The man I married is one of the godliest on earth and his mom treated me from day one the same as her own daughters.  In fact, years later when she got dementia, I was the very last person whose name she forgot.

I was given four of the greatest children to raise.  They are all healthy, talented, hard-working, successful, God fearing adults of whom I couldn’t be more proud.  My life has been so blessed in every way and even though I never knew either of my grandmothers.  (They died before I was born,) and I knew my mother for a very short time, this Mother’s Day I choose to dwell on not what I have lost, but what I have gained and the multitude of blessings I can be truly thankful for.  I hope you can do the same.

My Blessings

900 Years and Counting

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I’m always amazed at how long some people lived back before the flood.  From Adam to Noah, 900 years seemed like a normal lifespan.  We don’t know how many other people lived to be 900 during this time,  but its very possible that these mentioned in the Bible stories were not the only ones who enjoyed such a long life.

What could we do if we lived 900 years today?  We could be successful at 10 plus careers!  We all have talents that we have that we have not had time to develop.   I love to dance but never had the opportunity to take dance classes while I was young.  But if I lived to 900, I could start professional dance classes at 300 and dance for 100 years until I was 400!

If we lived for 900 years we would know our grandchildren for up to 20 generations!  Today we live about a tenth of that time, and the best we can hope for is to know our great grandchildren or if we are really fortunate, possibly some of our great-great grand children.

We see the life span of man start to dramatically decrease after the flood.  Shem, Noah’s son lived to 600 while Arpachshad, his son loved only around 400 years and by the end of Genesis the life span of those mentioned ends with Abraham living only 175 years. What happened during  the flood that caused the life span to continually decrease?  Because the people had become so wicked prior to the flood, did God just decide that 900 years in this sin cursed world was too long and he needed to take us home sooner for our own good?

I find it interesting that after the  flood God told Noah that is was now okay for them to start eating meat and that this also coincided with the time the lifespan began to decrease.  Yet, obviously, their longevity  wasn’t solely the vegetative diet, otherwise vegans would live to be 900 today.  Some Bible scholars believe it was probably rather a change In genetics that caused the decreased life span since the genetic pool had been decreased down to six people after the flood.

While we may live on earth roughly only 70, 80 or 90 years today; we are in reality eternal beings.  Our life doesn’t end when we earthly body dies.  Our spirits are eternal.  I’m thankful that God has made a way for us to live that eternal life with Him by sending His son to die for ours sins.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23


The Five Biggest Losers of Abortion

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Thousands of years ago, God answered the question of when life begins.  For the life of the flesh is in the blood.  (Leviticus 17:11).  Today science confirms that upon conception the first cells of blood are formed and that blood never passes between the mother and the child.  The child becomes a separate entity with its own unique DNA.  Once a child’s life has been destroyed, it can never be replaced for we are each unique individuals in body, soul and spirit. There is no doubt that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being.

Naturally the unborn baby is the biggest loser when it’s life is snuffed out before it even begins its journey on earth.  Besides sometimes  having to endure the pain of a gruesome death by having it’s body burned to death or ripped apart limb by limb, it is denied the opportunity to experience life in all it glory – the ups and downs as well as the ability to love, learn, and to grow into whatever God had planned for him or her,

But aborted babies are not the only losers in this sad but lucerative industry.  There are many others who suffer when a mother decides to end the life of her unborn child.

The Fathers Lose

When we talk about abortion rights, it’s always about the mother’s right to choose.  No one speaks of the father.  Sure, there are some deadbeat fathers out there who don’t have enough manhood to provide and care for the baby they created, yet will gladly fork over a few dollars to destroy it and get it out of their lives.   But what about those fathers who love their unborn child and long more than anything to raise it?  They have no choice but to sit idly by knowing their son or daughter will die a torturous death without any legal recourse to stop it.  I can’t imagine the  magnitude of the hurt they must feel.

Society Loses

What does society lose when an unborn baby is slaughtered?  We don’t even know for sure. What would this person have become?  How would they have contributed to society?  What unique gifts and talents did God bestow upon them to share with the world?  Would they have become the researcher who discovered the cure for cancer or the inventor of some great technology?  God has a plan for each and every life and when that life is sacrificed before it’s time, their purpose goes unfulfilled. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(Jeremiah 29:11)

Abortion Providers Lose

How does abortion affect those that are actually performing the abortions?  When interviewed they seem to be proud of what they do. Happy to provide this service to women.  However, these people get up each morning and go to work with the goal of killing as many  fellow humans as they can.  In some cases, the more they abort, the bigger their paycheck.  If they have any conscious at all, they could not possibly be happy people who are fulfilled in their work.  They are destroying not only the lives of others but their own life and soul as well.

These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,  a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, Proverbs 6: 16-18

No amount of money can make up for the horror they must live with every day.  Some become hard and calloused over time while some decide they can’t take it any longer and  eventually quit the business.  Both groups need our prayers.   To those that are continuing in the industry that their eyes will be open to the reality of what they are actually doing and to those who have abandoned the work that they will find forgiveness and the peace that only God can bring.

Mother –  The Biggest Loser of all

Besides their forever lost babies, the Mom’s are the biggest losers in abortion.  Nothing brings more joy to a mother and a family than the birth of a child.  It doesn’t matter if the child was conceived in love, lust or even rape, there is something about new life coming into the world that brings unspeakable joy.  Their innocence, vulnerability and total dependence that causes mom’s and dads to fall in love with them instantly is unexplainable.  You’ll never hear anyone say when they hold their newborn that they wish they had aborted it.

Today, mothers are given many reasons to terminate the life of their child.  Perhaps the child is imperfect, or Mom doesn’t think she has enough money or time to raise them properly.  Perhaps she wants to finish her education, or believes the world they are coming into is too cruel, the father isn’t involved, or they just don’t want to deal with the embarrassment of being unwed and pregnant.  The list goes on and on.  But what about the reasons to let it live?  Who is reminding her of the incredible joy and  blessings this child will bring to her family or even another family if she chooses to give it up for adoption.

Expectant mothers are given horrible advice today at a time when they are scared and vulnerable themselves when they are told their best option is to kill their child.  These advisers don’t usually bother to tell them how they will forever regret that decision and  grieve for that child the rest of their life.

Who wins then?

If the baby, the father, the mother, the abortionist, and society loses when a baby is aborted, who wins then?   That’s easy.  Satan wins.  Satan hates people who are created in the image of God and is always looking for a anyway he can to destroy any and all of us both physically and spiritually. Abortion just may be his greatest tool yet.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Grateful Opportunities

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It’s the time of the year that we tend to focus more on gratitude. Gratitude is a fantastic virtue and people who are grateful tend to lead happier, more productive lives.  We have so much to be thankful for, especially in America, where we have  an abundance of variable resources. As my pastor says, most of our problems come from having too much stuff!  We have so much food available to us that we are constantly  trying to avoid the temptation to not over eat.   So many clothes  cram our closets we have trouble deciding what to wear.  The many options  available to us of things to do and entertain ourselves cause us to run ourselves ragged just trying to keep up with our ever increasingly busy schedules.

While I’m so thankful for material possessions, nice homes and transportation, good health care and access to plenty of nutritious food and so much more, what I’m really focusing my gratefulness for this year are opportunities provided to me by others.   A couple of incidents have occurred this fall that have me peeling back this gratitude layer a little further.

First, my former choir director died.  Landy was a huge personality in so many ways.  One of Nashville’s top interior designers, he also was a choir director practically his entire life.  I was privileged to sing under his direction at Christ Church in Nashville for 25 years.  During that time, he taught me along with everyone else under his lead to sing and worship God to the best of our ability.  We all learned techniques that brought our voices to levels we never imagined and then he showed us  how to give  our best efforts to God for Him to add His blessing.  That brought an Holy Spirit anointing that took us right to heaven’s door every Sunday.  Landy worked hard  with the choir, band, and arrangers to produce the beautiful music he heard in his head.   We singers as well as the audience were the benefactors of his passion, talent, and tireless efforts.

We sang at music and worship conferences across America.    He took us on four mission trips to Ukraine where we did concerts up and down the Nipper River as the very first Christian group to go into that country after the breakup of the Soviet Union, singing every song in the Ukranian language.   In America we did concerts every year where we packed out our church of 2500 for 2 or 3 nights or venues like the Grand Ole Opry house and were even invited to sing on the Dove Awards and Country Music Awards.  We sang with artist like Dolly Parton, Reba McIntyre, Glen Campbell, the Judds and many others.   Yet, we were just ordinary people, not professional singers.  Sure we worked hard and put a lot of  time and energy into the choir,  but none of it would have ever happened had it not been for Landy Gardner.   I’m eternally thankful for his passion, leadership, and willingness to bring me and my fellow choir members along on a journey that never could have been possible on our own.  He allowed me personally to reap countless blessings that I never would have otherwise never experienced.

Right after Landy passed, I had eye surgery.  Cataracts had invaded the lens of both my eyes and had to be removed.    Upon a visit to the eye doctor he told me he could not only removed the cataract, but also replace it with a lens that would give me virtually 20/20 vision in both eyes.   After surgery I was amazed at the brightness of the colors and the rooms.  I could see clearly in the distance and everything was sharp and clear.  I had not been able to see that well without glasses in years! How thankful I was to be able to not have to wear glasses to see and even read. Sure it cost a lot of money, but no amount of money would have been able to restore my eyesight if no one  had not been willing to undergo years of training and expense to learn the tedious procedure and become qualified to do eye surgery.   Additionally,  someone, somewhere  developed the artificial lens that make seeing possible.    I’m extremely thankful to all of them, even though I don’t even know them.

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to go beyond just being thankful for the obvious.  When you count your blessings, think about how many  are available to you  because of the sacrifice of others.  I want to be thankful for the contractor that built my house, the engineers and workers that built the roads I travel to work on every day, my boss, whose passions and expertise have provided a job for me to earn a living year after year, government officials who keep order in our society, teachers who gave me an education and my pastor and thought leaders who speak into my life every day.  The list seems endless when you stop to think about how many people help us each and every day just by doing what they do.

Things just don’t happen in this world.  Everything worthwhile comes by sacrifice and hard work from someone.   When we stand on their shoulders and reap the benefits of what others have done,  it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on how they have enriched our lives and  to be grateful for them even if they are no longer here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16

Inevitable Change


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Embrace change!  We’re encouraged to do this in today’s fast-paced, ever developing, technology driven society.  If we don’t change and continually learn, we will be left behind and eventually get to the point where it is hard to even function.

While God remains the same, His world is always changing.   Each rotation of the earth around the sun brings a host of distinct challenges, opportunities, blessings, joys, trials, and sorrows.  Every day people are born into life here and every day some leave.  Plants appear in the spring and then begin to die out in the fall as the trees go bare, only to be replaced by new buds the next spring.  Most animals appear for just a few short years before they die and are replaced by their offspring.

A few decades ago,  most of the people we care about and spend most of our time with today didn’t even exist.  A couple of decades in the future and our family will look totally different than it does today.

Remember when we were very young we though we will be on this earth for what seemed like an eternity. Then suddenly in early adult hood the stark reality hit us that life is going by much faster than we ever imagined.

With each passing day we become a little different.  We are a little older, a little fatter or skinnier, depending on what we ate, a little wiser or dumber, depending on what we allowed into our minds.  A little richer or poorer depending on what economic decisions, good fortune or trouble we happened to experience that day.

No two days will ever be the same and neither will we be the same tomorrow as we are today. Therefore, embrace change and embrace this day.  In a way It will be our last for there will never be another one exactly like it. Besides, it’s the only one we are guaranteed to have!

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24