Saturday, November 17, 2012


Sometimes it is difficult to find much to be thankful for. This year may be one of those times. However, if you are in this predicament, the search for good can be revealing and fulfilling.  Consider some of the following  events you may have celebrated since last Thanksgiving:

1.      A new baby or grandchild was born.
2.      Your loved one returned safely from Afghanistan.
3.      Your daughter graduated from college and got a job.
4.      Your son married a wonderful young woman.
5.      The x-rays proved that your mother’s fall resulted in only a bruised hip.
6.      Your husband or wife still has a job.
7.      The breast test came back negative.
8.      You celebrated fifty years of marriage.
9.      You lost 15 pounds
10.  Your oldest child started kindergarten.
11.  Your pet loves you.
12.  You have a sense of humor.
13.  You can gaze at the sunset, or the tide rolling in, or the snow on the mountains.
14.  You give and receive love.
15.  Your child gave you a homemade Mother’s Day card.
16.  You received sufficient rainfall for your crops.
17.  Your roses bloomed all summer.
18.  Your son escaped without a scratch when he totaled his car.
19.  Your husband gave you a surprise party.
20.  Your neighbor shared his zucchini with you. J

             Give thanks for our servicemen, police, and firemen who risk their lives to keep
              us safe.

A major blessing is our Bill of Rights. No other country has a much individual    freedom as we do. Give thanks for the freedom of the press, religion, assembly, to bear arms, to vote, trial by our peers, unreasonable search and seizure. Give thanks for our unique Constitution.  

This is a short list. I’m sure you can think of many more. Some may appear frivolous, but think about it – they are each a blessing.

The Bible says laughter is good medicine. A positive attitude puts a spring in your step and is contagious. All those around you benefit. Remember, some things are like the weather, you can’t do anything about it. So, as the old adage says, “When you’re dealt a lemon, make lemonade.”

Most importantly, remember your heavenly Father is still on His throne and in control.

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.”

Celebrate. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.       

Friday, November 16, 2012


 A tyrant lives at our house. Our daughter found a gray, two pound ball of fluff inside a coke machine a year ago and brought him home. After spending a day or so assessing his situation, he asserted full authority over the entire household. We named him All That Jazz (for some unexplainable reason) and promptly shortened it to Jazz.

Jazz appropriates my favorite chair at will and turns into a handful of cooked spaghetti when I try to remove him. Another resting place is the laundry basket, atop freshly laundered and folded clothes.
His hobbies include chasing the long cord my husband uses to connect his laptop to the phone. Cat toys bore him, but he has been known to rip a newspaper or homework into confetti when thwarted.

At mealtime, he wraps himself around my feet in a disgusting fawning manner, even though he knows the rule is no feeding in the kitchen or dining room. He prefers pasta to cat food, but his all time favorite food is tuna.

Each night he honors one of us by sleeping on the chosen one's bed. Once settled, you move him at your own risk. He appears benign enough as you gently slide him over so you can slip under the covers. Don't be fooled by the fact that he doesn't move an eyelid, or stiffen his tail. In half an hour or so, just as you are nestling into a sound sleep, he exacts revenge by nipping a toe.

I once scolded him sternly: "I'm the mistress, you're the pet." He stared at me with unblinking green eyes for a few moments, swishing his tail all the while. Then he yawned and turned his back on me. I am almost sure I heard "Dream on Lady" as he stalked off.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Father, Save America


Lord, You delivered the Israelites from slavery,
and moved them across the sea.

You raised up Moses, Joshua and David
to lead them;
You gave them the Promised Land.

You delivered the Pilgrims from prosecution,
and took them across the sea.

You raised up Washington, Adams, and Henry
to lead them;
You gave them America.

You produced the Ten Commandments
To guide your chosen people;
You inspired the constitution
To govern the new land.

Israelites fell away.
America fell away.

Israel called out to You, and repented;
You heard their cries and healed their land.

On my knees I called to You. I repented.
Lord, hear my prayer and heal our land.

Father, please save America.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


My name is Peanut. I live with my master and mistress (Mom and Pop) and two cats. You’re probably wondering how I got such an inappropriate name. I suppose it might be because I weighed only two-and-a-half pounds when I came here, and I guess I am sort of peanut-colored. Even so, it doesn’t suit me. I’ve considered changing it, but everyone in the neighborhood knows me, so it would be cruel and confusing.

I have a large house and yard to guard. More responsibility than a small-uh - I mean single dog should have on his shoulders. However, I don’t flinch at carrying out my duties, no matter how arduous.

The household has accepted my leadership pretty well. Oh, it took some time, but all is settled now. I decide when it’s time to get up each morning, meal times, snack times, and bedtime for me and cats.

Patches is the elder cat. She ruled things around here before I arrived. She was the hardest member of the family to convince of my high position, but she has come into line for the most part. Actually, she ignores me a lot, except when I put my foot down when she moves into my space.

Baby is aptly named, as she’s a rag-doll breed. She is so laid back that I have to prod her into playing with me. As long as she is fed and can go outside to lie in the sun, she’s content. I rarely have to discipline her.

Pop is lots of fun. Almost always when I’m ready to play, he accommodates me - especially since he retired. He chases me around the house and sharpens my skills in scaring off the guys.

Mom - well she’s not so playful. She tosses toys for me to fetch, but racing around the table is not her idea of exercise. She does control the treats and is fairly generous. Both of them give me tidbits from their table, but mostly I have to depend on dull dog food. I can’t really complain. I’ve grown to ten-and-a-half pounds in less than two years.

The weight gain has been a great advantage. I can now push the swinging door in the kitchen open enough to get through, so no one can hide what they are doing from me.

I love company, especially Carmen. She cuddles me and plays. Most visitors like me and don’t mind me jumping up for attention, but after a few minutes, I’m commanded to knock it off. Sometimes my exuberance gets the best of me and I don’t listen. Unfortunately, this usually means I get snatched up and stuck outdoors - on a leash for heaven’s sake. How humiliating!

How I’m supposed to do my job as a guard when I can only travel ten feet beats me.

A couple of neighboring cats like to hang out by the squirrel’s tree. I can’t allow that invasion of my beat. My ferocious bark and threatening demeanor usually frightens them away, even though I’m tethered to a porch post.

I hate going to the grooming place. That guy trims my fur almost to my skin. The last time this happened, we had a cold spell the next day. I thought I would freeze. Luckily Mom and Pop got me a sweater. It’s great - the orange color suits me and signals invaders to beware. I especially like the added authority it gives me with the patch on my shoulder that assigns me to “Squirrel Patrol.” O course, I don’t chase the squirrels. They run up the tree and it’s foolish to bark at them from the ground. Besides, I rather like to watch their antics.

I helped Mom in the garden and flower beds all summer, but now it’s cool and she doesn’t go outside so much. So I don’t either. When I get bored, I made a fuss and she lets me out on the leash unless I find the right moment to slip from her grasp. What fun! I roam around the neighborhood and meet all kinds of new friends. When I get tired, I go home. Usually, there’s no punishment and I can get a drink and eat something before taking a nap without too much fuss.

When Mom and Pop leave for an evening or a shopping trip, I’m given full authority inside the house. I also get to take a much-needed nap on the couch. I’m alert, though, the least sound gets my attention.

A couple of time I’ve gone to the pet boarder. They love me there, naturally, and I get a lot of attention. After a day or so, it’s boring, no squirrels to catch or cats to chase. I hear Pop’s voice as soon as he walks into the office and I call an attendant to get out of my cage. I really perk up when I get near my digs. There’s no place like home.

That’s about all about me. If you want more information, I’ll be glad to oblige. It owe it to my public to keep them up to date on all my achievements. It’s good to teach the young pups how to behave. All in all, a dog’s life is pretty cushy.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

God Loves You

A message from a local pastor. Used with permission.

Jeremiah 31:3. Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving kindness, I have drawn you.

We may think sometimes that we must do certain things to merit the love of God. But what we need to remember is that the love of God is consistent, and it is persistent. God says, "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving kindness, I have drawn you" (Jeremiah 31:3).

What a contrast when we compare the love of God to the so-called love in our culture. Our culture loves you when you are young and beautiful, but God loves you when you are old and not so physically attractive. our world loves you when you are celebrity, but God loves you when you are unknown and a complete nobody to other people. Our world loves the rich and powerful, but God loves the poor and the weak. Our world loves the extraordinary, but God loves the ordinary - people like you and me.

And God has demonstrated this love for us in a tangible way. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13). Jesus, showing His love, died for us. We read in Revelation 1:4-5, Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him to loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood."

Notice the use of the past tense, which means that it is done. If you have put your faith in Christ, then God has forgiven you through Christ for all of the wrong you have done. God loves you. He has loved you. and He will always love you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Joy of Adopting

We settled our youngest child in her dorm room and began the long drive home. As we left the city behind, my husband grasped my hand, gave me an impish grin and asked if I would enjoy a leisurely dinner at the next town. We thought having an empty house after so many years would be rather refreshing.

Several months went by. The children called often and made plans to be home for Christmas. At spring break, we had our three plus a couple of their college friends in the house. After they left, we felt lonely.

The next summer they had jobs away from home. The house was too big, too quiet. It needed young activities, so we decided to apply for a foster child.

A few weeks later a young tween to care for. The house rang with action again. However, after four months, she returned to her biological parents and we welcomed another young girl. She stayed two months. In quick succession, three small children graced our lives, each for a few months.

We were happy that the children could return to their families, but their absence left a crack in our lives. To fill that empty gap, we opted to try to adopt a child or two that would not capture our hearts then abruptly leave us. We discussed the idea with our adult children and they were enthusiastic.

After filling out a ream of paperwork, enduring physicals exams, and attending a week-end of classes on successful adoption, we learned we had passed scrutiny. Now the wait.

We were told we were past the age of receiving an infant and we agreed to consider an older child. We searched through photo books. The children were compelling and we smilingly told the social worker we would like all of them, but would settle on two to four.

A few weeks went by, then we received notice that two little sisters were available. If interested, we could make an appointment to visit then at their foster home.

The little girls, four and five, were adorable. We loved them immediately. We were so excited after the initial visit. A month later we were able to take them from their home for an afternoon and overnight visit in a motel. We had so much fun. We went to the zoo, and though it was cold, the children had a good time. We played games with them in the motel room and recorded them talking about everything. They seemed to like us and were very animated.

Another month’s wait and we were allowed to take them home. We were subject to a one-year probation with monthly visits to the adoption agency.

About two years later, we received a call, asking if we would consider a little boy seven years old. We said yes. We visited him at his foster home and took him out for the day. A month later the social worker brought him to us and visited our home for an afternoon.
This child was rather quiet and a little overwhelmed by our two exuberant daughters. They were delighted to have a brother and thought he was cute. Our new son soon seemed to like us and his new home, and began to adjust.

A few months later we were asked to consider another little boy, four years old. We were delighted. He would be a playmate for our son and complete our second family.

Get-togethers with our family were great fun.

The children grew into young adults and went there various ways. Did each one turn out the we had hoped? No. We do feel, however, that they are better able to cope with the world because our love for them. We now have sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, ten grandchildren and one grandson-in-law.

Our grandchildren do not live very close. Every once in awhile, my husband says the house is awfully quiet without children. I give him a wry smile and agree, somewhat. We satisfy ourselves by being surrogate grandparents to the neighborhood children whose parents work.

Little ones who have been abandoned or mistreated fill foster homes in this country. Couples who enjoy children, and have an extra pocket in their hearts, will be blessed to consider adopting a child, as will the child.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


            “Here’s another, Chief,” said Det. Sue Bright, as she handed a small open box to Inspector G.E.T. Thebym.

            The Inspector placed the box on his desk beside four similar ones and scratched his head. “Okay, Bright, what is this informer trying to tell us? First he sends this spider web. Maybe he’s saying we’re dealing with a spy ring, rather than an individual. Then we get a piece of coal. Might have something to do with the abandoned mines north of town. This lump of melted silver - must have been a spoon. Is he telling us to look for someone who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth?”

He shook his head when he noticed Det. Bright was taking notes. “This pillow now. it appears to be one used in a wedding. The kind a little kid would carry down the aisle with the wedding rings on it. So check if any of our suspects got married recently.”

            He paused and stared at the latest arrival. He pushed it aside with one hand and rubbed his chin with the other.

            “I’m afraid this so-called informer is trying to confuse us, Bright. I can’t for the life of me see how a bacon strip fits into the picture.”