Friday, August 19, 2016

Reaching a milestone with happy tears...

This morning, I awoke to thoughts of writing this blog...what I would say, how I would say it and what I would try to convey. My loving husband of thirty years apparently had beaten me to it by composing his own letter to me.

I fully intended to get up, make my coffee and sit down at my computer and write something inspiring, uplifting and...and...I don't know.

I wanted to say that we'd hit a milestone, thirty years of being married. That through the good times, the bad times...the times of tears and laughter, that we'd made it through. And we have. There were times when I know we both ended our day with anger, and frustration, but we never went to sleep without telling each other that we loved the other. We never left the house without saying I love you. That was and still is the rule. Wedded bliss? I'm not sure there is such a thing.

I have to admit, I'm stubborn. I don't give up easily, and praise God, neither does Chris. God has gotten us through some stuff...some real stuff, but always, my faith in God has stood and my faith and love for Chris has deepened even more than I had ever dreamed.

Over thirty years ago, I asked God for a man who He wanted in my life. That very day, a man running out of a building to take the weights and balances to the pilot of the plane he was dispatching, knocked me on my butt, right on the incredibly hot ramp of Tucson International Airport. After assuring each other that we were okay, we went our separate ways. He later, I don't know if it was that night, or a few nights later, called his Mother to tell her he'd found the woman he was going to marry. I, on the other hand, was annoyed, yet intrigued by an answer to prayer. This is not the person I had envisioned God putting into my life. Our start was pretty rough, but when I began talking to him, and looked into those blue eyes, despite myself I fell in love.

Thirty years ago, on a very hot evening, I walked the aisle of a small Baptist Church. At the end of the aisle stood a man who had captured my heart, and, as it happened, that of my little girl, Andrea. His sparkling blue eyes, mischievous grin, and insatiable energy matched that of the little girl who at alternating times had as much energy as he, and then as much as a turtle in reverse. The fact that he loved her as much as he loved me endeared him to me even more. My pastor then, had given me a letter that Chris had written during our pre-marital counselling...a letter that I still have, and gave to him to read this morning, and when I read it then, I was sure of my destiny, that God was directing me to an uncertain path, full of twists, and turns. Full of hills, valleys and mountains. Full of tears, laughter, births, deaths, good economic times and not so good economic times. We've grown, we've had arguments, we've had times of love that there are no words for.  And we made it through them all. We've made it to a milestone that many never see. And we are looking forward to the rest of our lives, to see where old age, when we get there, will take us.

There are so many uncertain times ahead. Our Country is on the brink of division and the economy, while it's stable right now, bears an uncertainty that we look at and sometimes wonder if retirement will bring poverty or prosperity. Then we get phone calls like the one I got last night from our Granddaughter, excited about her first day of school, and staying the night Saturday so she can go to Bible School on Sunday. Further back, we look at the birth of that same Granddaughter, and remember when we first saw her, moments after she was born. It was an amazing moment.

Our lives have been filled with amazing moments, amazing friends, amazing...everything.
Thirty years ago, I could not have imagined all that we've been through, all that we've seen, all that we've experienced. I would have not been able to tell you that my love for the man at the end of that aisle thirty years ago would have grown to the point that I don't know what I would do without him...that I can't imagine my life without him beside me...supporting me, chiding me, encouraging me, loving me, and that together, thirty years later, we would look forward to thirty, forty, fifty years...however long God has planned for us. Hand in hand we will go, no matter what is ahead, we will face it together.

Happy 30th Anniversary, Christopher! I love you more than I did then, and I can't imagine my life without you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Don't lose heart

What a profound statement, and yet, such a difficult thing to do. Especially with the climate we here in America are facing.

So, so much is going on, politically, socially, economically, even down to each and everyone's personal level, that its so very hard not to lose heart.

I write this because I have more than a few friends who are going through things in their lives that even the strongest are starting to lose heart, and dare I say it, faith. I find myself lifting each and every one of them up daily, praying for an end to the strife, troubles and flat out trials that have come their way. But I am only one person. Daily I lift up a family for healing, provision, favor and mercy. I lay at God's feet another family for unity, clarity and hope. Another family for unconditional love, even in the face of rebellion, but that the love be laced with the realization that morals and respect must be a part of the healing...friends who are facing the loss of loved ones, of their own health, the list is getting long. I don't mind, they're my friends, my family and loved ones of these, how can I not pray for them?

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 tells us:


16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction[a] is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Now, looking at this, its easy for an outsider to say that this is a tough verse, almost mean. But, look! We must focus on the unseen, what is eternal. We need to strengthen our faith.

Yup, can hear it now. "I think I've been through enough to strengthen 100 people's faith. When does it end?" I don't know, I can't answer that. What I can say is that you, as a Christian, have a base to lean on. Jesus said to let him take your yoke (burden). There's also something else that can be done. Ask for the help. Ask for the prayers. Just ask...there are people out there who are wanting to get on their knees for you, who want to use the connections, knowledge or skills they have to help. All you have to do is ask. And we'll pray. Fervently.

For those of you who are not Christians, that doesn't exempt you! Ask! Who knows how God will respond! If you're on your last straw, then ask for prayer and know that someone, somewhere is lifting your burden up to God's Throne Room.

Finally, I want to just share a prayer with those who are in need.

Father, I lift up to You those who are hurting. Those who are financially sinking. Those who need healing. I don't know all of those who are reading this, but I know some of them and I ask that You will hear the petitions that are brought to You this night.

Please be with the families who are out of jobs and are having a hard time finding something to support their family. I pray for Your provision, Your favor, Your mercy and Your hand of protection around them. Keep them guarded as they search, guide them to the place where they need to go.

Please be with those who are facing illnesses, whether it is their own, an illness of an elderly parent, a spouse or a child, I pray for Your comfort as never before. I pray for wisdom for the medical staff that attends to these, that You will grant them wisdom and the knowledge to put that wisdom to work to heal these loved ones. I pray for compassion and strength.

I pray, Father, for those mourning. Comfort them in a way that the only explanation is You. Gather them in Your arms, speak softly to them, give them peace. Give them strength to take another step, then another, so that they may be able to move forward and heal.

Please be with those who are facing marital problems. Whether it is a total break-down of the family, or problems within the family structure, be it addiction, rebellion, or just adjusting to new things, I pray for calm, focus, and help. I pray for wisdom for the parents in dealing with situations that are due to rebellion or addiction or both. I pray for those parents who are both working, some opposite shifts to make ends meet. Help them to make time for their children and the family.

I pray for those who have found themselves financially insolvent. For those who are facing evictions, foreclosures, homelessness. Please provide, Father, for their needs. Please bring to them the people who can and will help, whether it is a temporary fix or a permanent one, Father I ask for Your mercy, favor and provision.

In Jesus' precious Name, I bring all of these requests to You,


Folks, you are all important to me, whether I know you or not. This prayer was for all of you, as well as for those I know and love. Please know that I do not take your readership lightly and I am beyond blessed knowing that you come back time after time to read what sometimes are rants and sometimes are calls to action. Funny, serious or continue to read, and I am continually blessed by your feedback and readership.

Be blessed. Have a wonderful rest of your week.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

...All the Children of the World

The news and media sites have been a fearful place lately. One can not log on to the internet, turn on the t.v. or even listen to a favorite radio station without being told of yet another tragedy, perpetrated by a fellow human being. Pick up a newspaper or weekly magazine and the tragedies are right there in black and white and sometimes too-real color. Bodies laying on the ground covered by whatever is available, most of the time tarps or sheets, sometimes only a garment. No one is spared, the victims range from babies up to elders, commoners and police forces.

I saw a news blurb that said as of today, there have been eight Law Enforcement Officers gunned down in cold blood in the last eleven days. This is insane. To top this all off, protesters are allowed to walk down the streets, blocking traffic and chanting that they want to kill cops now. I'm not sure about everyone else, but that is not peaceful protesting and comes very close if not the full blown act of inciting violence. But that's just me. And I'm not here to incite anger. I'm just not.

So, why am I posting tonight? Glad you asked. When I saw that blurb, I thought of an old Children's song that I was taught at a very young age. Today has been a good day for songs of all sorts to float through my head, connecting with a person or action or, yeah, I've been doing a lot of humming today. Anyway, back on track. This song speaks to everyone. If you've never heard it, google it or find it on YouTube, but here are the lyrics. It is my prayer that everyone look at the lyrics and understand that it doesn't matter if you're red, yellow, black or white...everyone is precious...every LIFE is precious.

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Words by C. Herbert Woolston, music by George F. Root

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

Jesus died for all the children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus died for all the children
Of the world.

Jesus rose for all the children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus rose for all the children
Of the world.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The latest on Hillary and the coming election

I read a CNN article this morning that gave me pause and made me rethink the anger I felt yesterday at the announcement. It seems that Comey was calling Ms. Clinton out and making public not only his anger, but her crimes, essentially saying that she is not yet untouchable since it still has to go through the Justice system. Not only that, now the American public has full disclosure of her crimes and it is up to us to decide whether we want a liar and criminal to sit in the highest seat in the Land. If, by vote she is there, then God help us all.

There have been numerous articles, memes, and outbursts over the announcement, but I beg you to allow me one or two observations. 

First, Mr. Comey is a well respected member of the FBI. He has headed more than one high-level investigation since the "W" White House. He wouldn't be there unless he was good at what he does. That said, note that he stood alone during the announcement. He, alone, was responsible for his decision, but, there was anger written on his face and it laced his announcement, even though it was controlled, it was evident.

He lobbed the "ball" into the Justice's court. Even though someone who has not held the high offices that she has held would no doubt be roasted and crucified over the same accusations/findings, he announced to the Nation, nay, the World, that they had not enough to charge her. But listen to what he said. He called her on the carpet for her extreme recklessness. Of the 30k emails that were examined, 110 of them were classified before they were sent to her, eight were classified top secret. She used up to nine different devices while overseas, in areas where sophisticated technical techniques were common, making her communications extremely vulnerable to hacking. He continued to chastise her throughout the announcement. 

Now, as I mentioned, the ball is in the Justice Department's court, and it remains to be seen whether or not they bring charges. Mr. Comey, even though he announced "no charges" in reality showed that charges can and should be brought. With his dressing down of the Democratic nominee, he revealed to the general public the reality of her character. Her dishonesty with the American public. Her disdain for laws, rules and regulations. Her attitude of being above the law, and making her own rules. So, now in addition to the ball being in the Justice's court, it's also in ours. 

We now have a responsibility to investigate ourselves whether we want someone who could potentially be stripped of her security clearance in the White House. We now have the responsibility of examining ourselves and determine whether we want our most prized secrets to be "unintentionally" mishandled. The security of the United States is in the balance. We have to decided whether or not we want someone in the Highest Office in the Land to determine whether or not immigrants of all races will be vetted or not, whether or not our borders are free for all, and whether our economy can withstand the influx of such immigrants. Right now, yes, according to the numbers we are at a low in the unemployment realm, but are you aware it is because people are either discouraged with the employment opportunities available (read here: nothing available for their job skills/degrees), or have taken part-time jobs to make ends meet, or to simply pay the premiums that Obamacare imposes. Income levels are falling in these cases, and foreclosures are rising. Families are displaced or broken because of the stress levels. 

So, now the voting public is charged to decide. Regardless of the Justice Department's decision, which, in reality can stretch past the November elections, it is now up to us, those who have the privilege and essentially the responsibility, to vote. Look at your Candidates. Look at their "fruit," for the Bible says that you will know a person's heart by their "fruits," their actions, in layman terms. Look at the news stories, from both sides of the aisle...look at their actions when the cameras aren't rolling and make an informed decision. Everyone has a responsibility to vote this November. Make your vote count.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Tragedy in Orlando

I've been reading so many articles in the last couple of days regarding the mass shooting in Orlando. So many are politically leaning it isn't even funny. Last night, a story regarding Westboro showed up on my news feed, the only surprise in that is how long it took to show up. I want to make one thing clear: Westboro Baptist Church does not represent my Christian walk, nor does it represent anyone else that I know who are Christians.

Today, as I was scanning my Facebook news feed, another story popped up. A Baptist Pastor is saying its good the massacre happened. Say what? I absolutely took a double take and read the story with accompanying video. To say I'm flabbergasted that a professed Christian outside of Westboro would say such a thing boggles my mind.

Now, keep in mind, as far as I know we have the same Bible. Yes, the Bible condemns homosexuality and calls it an abomination. In the Old Testament such people were stoned when it was found out. The New Testament as well says its an abomination, but says nothing about stoning them. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6:8-10 says that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Does it say to hate them? Nope. Does it say to kill them? Nope. In fact, Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount gave us two Matthew 22: 34-40 He says"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[d] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

I don't know about you, but those are pretty clear. 
A life is a life, and no one should have their lives violently taken from them the way these were. To say they deserved it is wrong and does not have a place in a Christian's vocabulary.  

And just in case there is a question about my stance on the death penalty, that's another subject for another day, so please, no hate mail on this one. 

Just remember, these folks were someones kids, friends, brothers and sisters, and to them, they are devastated. Imagine if it were you in their position, how much you would be grieving right now. Would it matter to you whether or not they were gay? No, what matters is that you would be burying your child, something that should never have to happen. 

In conclusion, I want to issue this challenge. Pray. Pray for those who will have a long time in recovery, whether its physical or mental. Pray for those who've lost loved ones. Pray for those First Responders who worked the scene. Pray for the doctors, nurses and medical staff who attended or are still attending to the wounded or dead. Pray for the family of the gunman, and finally, please, please, please...Pray for this Nation. The Bible says that "where two or more are gathered in My Name, there I am in the midst." Let us come into agreement and pray.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The struggle is real, folks

It is, it really is. I've got to tell you, never before in my life have I had such a hard time following Jesus' command to love your neighbor as yourself as I have this year. I've got to tell you. The struggle is real.

Last night, I posted something I thought was funny. Heck, a couple of my friends thought it was funny as well. I mean, I had no negative feedback, no detractors, just thumbs up. Well, I took it down within a matter of hours. Why? Because I was fussed at. Okay, I know what you're thinking, "you just said you had no negative feedback or detractors. What gives?" I'll tell you what gives.

I'm a Child of the One True King, that's what gives. As I was saying my nightly prayers, I barely got into them when one thought kept me from concentrating on what I was praying about..."Take it down." Say what? Continued to pray..."take it down." Opened my eyes and looked no place in particular because the room was completely dark and asked why. Then I became bombarded with Jesus' words about loving your neighbor as yourself. I had a comeback, weak as it was..."But, Lord, she's not my neighbor, she's a politician."
"Does it matter? Is she human?"
"That's up for debate, Lord."
"No, its not. She was made in My image as much as you were."
"But, Lord..."
"Take it down."

After a conversation like that, what do you do? You take down the text.

Sometimes its tough to be a Christian in this world. I mean, seriously, there are a lot of things I don't like that people do, and I have a hard time not despising the people who do them. It boggles my mind how Jesus did it. How do you love someone who is clearly looking to destroy something or someone? How do you not despise the murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and those looking to destroy everything that is good? How do you do it? I sincerely have no clue, but I have a thought on that. Whether its right or wrong, I don't know, but I'm going to give it a shot. 

My take? Hate the sin. Hate it with all you have, as neutral on the person him/herself as much as possible. I haven't figured out how to separate the two, because in my finite mind, you do something like that, that is who you are, therefore, I don't like you. Yeah, its going to be a long, drawn out process. I mean, with family and friends its almost a cake walk. They're part of your heart so its easier to love them and hate what they do. Strangers, not so much. Folks, the struggle, yeah, its real. 

Going to get down to the nuts and bolts here. The race for the Presidency. 

There are three Candidates running. Two are visible, one is in the shadows: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Gary Johnson. Not one of them is worth their weight in salt as I've mentioned before. Only one of them do I have a severe issue with in following that commandment. This person has proven over and over again that they are a pathological liar, that it doesn't matter who or what you step on as long as you make it to a decision-making position. That the peons don't matter, all that matters is your authority and power. If I could draw a picture here, you would see this person with a big, crooked nose, wart included, rubbing their hands together while cackling the most evil cackle you've ever heard. Yup, I'm having a reaaaallllyyy hard time separating the person from the actions.

I'm afraid I'm a work in progress here, because no matter how much I try, I can't do it. All I can do is to pray about it, listen to the Spirit's leading, like I did last night, and let God take control. Will my prayers make a difference in this person's life? Probably not, but then again, who knows for sure? All I know is when I start out praying for someone that I cannot stand, every time, every time, I end up being the one changed. Let's hope that goes for this person as well. 

I can tell you, I will never be bosom buddies with this person...heck, this person doesn't even know I exist, but I can tell you that hopefully, with the Holy Spirit's help, I can be objective. That I can understandably dislike this person's policies or what they do to get to where they want to be, but I can refrain from the kind of posts that I had on my news-feed and then took down. That I can stay away from the name-calling and rhetoric that so many of my friends and family are engaging in (that will be a tough one. I predict a lot of apologies and repentance for this one).

I guess my suggestion for those who would like to join me in this quest is to be prayed up, because this ain't going to be a pretty Presidential race, no matter how you spin it. We have to focus on the issues, on what's being done and what's not being done. We have to align ourselves (thank you to a dear friend for this one) to the Candidate to whom we have the most agreement. So, do your homework, research each Candidate, their policies, and where they stand on the issues that are important to you and vote accordingly. No, you don't have to invite them to dinner (which would, no doubt include a bunch of Secret Service Agents that you didn't invite, but will probably feed anyway), but get to know them as much as possible. Use multiple browsers to do your research (Webcrawler, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), so that you have a clearer view of what they're like, so that in November you can say you voted for the one who is closest to your values and that you didn't pick the lesser of the three evils. 

I'm not going to lie, its going to be tough. Yeah, the struggle is real, folks. Chin up, hopefully things will get better, God willing.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering and Honoring those who've passed from this life

They say that if you stop learning, then that is the time you may as well say your goodbyes. Of course, that's my version of it, but it was Albert Einstein who said it before me. Smart man, and it was proven with a Nobel Prize in 1921. So far, learning is still part of my daily life, so perhaps I'm still good, eh?

What I learned in the last few years, is that sometimes something that we take as tradition isn't necessarily correct. Take Memorial Day, for instance. I've always known its about the Military who had fallen in previous wars or skirmishes, but I also have learned, just here lately, that the men and women of our Military would rather you remember those who are gone on this day and not the ones who are still living. Makes sense. After all, Memorial means to remember. Remember who left behind family, friends and the "Life of Riley," as it were, to go to foreign lands.  It means to remember how they put their lives on the line to ensure that the United States of America remained a free country. It means to remember that even though they are no longer with us, they are still the ones who stood in our place, to fight the fight we chose not to or could not do, to make sure that the Evil of the World would progress no further toward our shores. It means to remember the times they had to sleep on hard ground, fight dysentery, bugs, snakes, land mines, snipers, heat, cold, damp. It means to remember the letters sent home, telling of the beautiful sights they had seen, the funny stories, and the horrors that were beyond our comprehension. It means to remember the ones who are no longer with us, if nothing else, for just today.

My Grandfather is one of those Soldiers who is no longer with us. He fought against Hitler's forces, and yes he did come home, but he is no longer with us. He served with the Civil Defense in his community, saving a young man from being run over by a train. He is one whom I will remember on this day.

My Father-in-law is another who no longer lives in this world. We lost him in 2012. He served in the Army, and when he retired, served with the Border Patrol. When he retired again, he served with the Forest Service. Our PopPop will be remembered so very fondly by those he left behind.

I would be remiss if I also didn't mention my former husband, Kerry Lane. Kerry served in the Air Force and was medically retired. He, too has passed on.

While I have many friends and family members who are serving or who have served, I will not be saying "Happy Memorial Day" to them, because this day isn't theirs. And to say "happy" is a disservice to the men and women who are gone. To them, and to those who have been left behind I say, "May you remember fondly those who are gone . May you remember the good times, bad times, the laughter and yes, even the tears. May you reflect on the sacrifices they made not only for you, but for everyone who lives in the United States of America. And may you remember that they did this for you, for me, for all of us, whether you agree with their service or not."

This Memorial Day, remember those who served in our Military and who are no longer with us. Celebrate their lives, remember their sacrifice and take a moment to thank God for those men and women who took the steps that were needed to keep us safe, to keep us free.