I’ve always liked cowboys.  I married one. He never branded a cow or roped a steer, but he happens to be an 1800’s kind of a guy.  Cowboys and outlaws and men of the west were always considered to be quite adventurous as they made their fortunes in one way or another.  My husband fills the bill even today.

Wyatt Earp was born on this day in 1848 in Monmouth, Illinois.  His family settled in Iowa when he was only a year old.  By the time he was a young boy, he was eager to join his brothers who were fighting in the Union Army.  He ran away from home several times to do so, but was always retrieved and brought home.

Wyatt moved to Lamar, Missouri in 1870.  He married Urilla Sutherland and became a local constable.  His wife soon became pregnant.  He lost her to Typhus along with her unborn child.  At that point his life turned into turmoil.  He took to drinking heavily and was accused of embezzlement.  He made a quick get away from Lamar and moved on to Peoria, Illinois.  He had several run ins with the law and was arrested for horse stealing.  His life was literally a mess.  He was at his lowest point.  Eventually his dark past led him to become a lawman.

We’ve all heard the story of the gunfight at the OK Corral.  It was the final result of a long standing feud between the Clantons and the Earps.  Virgil, Morgan, Wyatt and their sick friend, Doc Holiday, went up against the Clanton gang and within 30 seconds the gunfight ended, but the feud continued. In those days they settled their family feuds with guns.

Brother Morgan was fatally shot while playing billiards.  Wyatt went on an avenging tirade in search of his brother’s killer.  He, along with Doc Holiday and a small posse, roamed the frontier on a killing spree.  Taking on the wild west cowboy culture, made headlines around the country.  He became a hero of sorts and fodder for many dime novels.

After Wyatt left his common law wife, Mattie Blaylock, he took up with Josephine Marcus, a saloon entertainer.  They remained together for the remainder of his life.  His final years were spent as a bartender in various saloons in California and Nome, Alaska.  He never achieved the fortune he wanted, but his fame lived on after his death.  He died January 13, 1929, at his Los Angeles home.  Josephine claimed they were married in 1892 but there is no record of a marriage license.

It must’ve been horrible living in the old west, with crime in the streets and gunfights happening on a daily basis. Sounds kind of like the streets of many of our cities today.




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Mary and Martha were Lazarus’ sisters and all of them called Jesus their friend.  He’d been a guest in their home.  Mary couldn’t get enough of His words and Martha was more concerned that the house was in order and food prepared for the Master.

Don’t we all act that way at times?  We want to hear the Word.  We make preparations to do so and then something gets in the way.  Martha wanted so much to please Jesus, that her concerns were on earthly things, rather than the gift of His message. I think we have to cut Martha a little slack here, because it simply shows us that these women both had the same intentions, but their ways of expressing them were different.  Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened intently to the words as Martha slaved away in the kitchen.

As time went on and Jesus was moving from place to place, Lazarus became ill.  The sisters sent word to Jesus to come and do something to restore his health, but Jesus didn’t come immediately. He waited for two days.  He then told the disciples that Lazarus was asleep and He needed to return to waken him.  His men didn’t understand.   It was much too dangerous to return.  Jesus was a marked man in Judaea.

Now it was Martha’s turn to do the right thing. She ran to greet Jesus, when she heard He was on the way, and said to Him , “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. She expressed her faith in what she knew God could do through His Son.

When they arrived at the tomb, Lazarus’ body had already begun to decompose.  Can you imagine? Here lay a man, dead for four days and Jesus went in and brought him back to life.  Every time I hear that part of the story, it makes my heart wonder how Lazarus felt.  He had experienced paradise and now Jesus was restoring him to life. What mixed emotions he must have had.

Jesus spoke in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The crowd was silent, but within seconds Lazarus walked out of the tomb, alive and well. No one had ever raised a dead person to life again, except for the prophet Elijah  It boggled the mind. You could hear the crowd come to life as well.  They couldn’t stop talking about the events of the day.  Many believed that Jesus indeed was the Son of God.  Some returned to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done.  Word spread all over the country and undoubtedly Mary, the mother of Jesus also heard about this astounding miracle.  Her Son indeed was God’s Son as well.

From that day on, a plot was set in motion to get rid of this man who claimed to be the Messiah.



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We can try, but we can’t hide from God’s eyes.

He knows us inside and out,

No matter where we go, He is there,

We can go to the darkest places and He will find us,

We can show ourselves openly and He will be there too,

He knows everything about us,

Things that are hidden from the world,

Things we try to forget,

But they continue to haunt us,

The reason He knows us so well is that He made us,

He designed us,

He crafted us,

He engineered every intricate part,

He knew that we would stumble and fall,

There was no sacrifice good enough to wash away our guilt,

He became flesh and took our place,

God became man,

He lived a perfect life,

He walked among us,

He traveled in our sandals,\

He gave His own life,

So that we would inherit His Kingdom,

Even though our sins have been washed away,

We need to forgive ourselves,

We can’t do that alone either,

Through His sacraments, we’re reminded,

Of what He did for us,

So that we never need to hide from Him again.



We may try, but our true colors are always open to God, but when we believe in His everlasting love and promise, we are guaranteed a wide open place in heaven, where we will be the perfect creatures He intended us to be.

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If you grew up in the Baby Boomer era, there is no excuse for not knowing about Fractured Fairy Tales or the Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.  These characters ruled the air waves and became part of our culture from the late 1950s through the 1960s.  The hilarious fractured fairy tales were narrated by Edward Everett Horton, whose birthday was on this day in 1886.

Edward was born in Brooklyn, New York at the end of the nineteenth century.  It was the height of the Industrial Revolution.  He was known to be quite a prankster when he was young.  While attending college, he climbed to the top of a building and waited for a crowd to form.  He then threw down a dummy.  Everyone though he jumped off the building.  I’m sure there were repercussions for that deed – probably involving a razor strop or stick.  After attending college at Oberlin, he took to the stage – a good place to redirect some of his silliness.

When silent films came along, he took a crack at that and easily made the transition from voiceless movies to talking pictures.  His stage work prepared him for that.  He appeared in many movies over his career with stars like Kathryn Hepburn, Zazu Pitts and Rita Hayworth.  He was in almost every comedy that came out in the 1930s, playing the fall guy for the hero.  He developed his famous “triple take” during those years.  (One more look back than a double take.)  He also had a memorable voice, which led him to much voice over work, animated movies and commercials.

He loved making movies and never even thought about retirement.  That happens to people involved in the arts.  It’s kind of an addiction.  When you truly love the work, it becomes part of your being.

I most remember this man for his part in the Adventures of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, whose sidekick was a moose named Bullwinkle.  The plots were always comical and held lots of subtle humor.  Characters like Boris Badinov and Natasha Fatale were the villains.  Like most stories of that time – there was a definite difference in good and evil.  Today you can’t always see that in the movies or on TV.  Edward was the voice for many of these cartoon characters.

He died on September 29, 1970 a the age of 84 in his home in Encino, California, of Cancer.  There is a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with his name on it.  His notable voice will remembered for many years to come.  At least for those of us who are still part of that generation.


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Through the cobwebs of existence – through the darkness of our strife,

Through the dankness of our sinning and the wickedness of life,

Through the deepest pits of hell and such helplessness we feel,

Comes a single light from heaven, for our sinful hearts to heal,

The light increases as we move, to witness a clearer glance,

But as we reach to touch the light, we’re enveloped in a trance,

It’s just within our reach we think, but no matter how we try,

Escape from the gloomy darkness, now consumes us from all sides,

Just when we think that all is lost and relinquish every hope,

The light erases darkness and through it we now can cope,

This little light from Bethlehem grew into a brilliant star,

He came to earth to save the world from sin and its deadly scar.

He came in darkness of the night, but His brilliance cannot hide,

We are redeemed by His great might,  He’s always by our side.


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Blindness in Jesus’ lifetime was quite common.  Actually blindness was a contagious disease carried by flies and the only way to avoid catching it was to stay away from those afflicted with it.    The hot desert sun would close the water duct under the eyelid and the eyes would become red and swollen, resulting in blindness.  Because the blind were often considered unclean they had to earn their living by begging at the city gate.

Bartimaeus was one of those afflicted with blindness.  He had become accustomed to sitting on the roadside of Jericho.  If he was lucky, someone might drop a coin in his bowl, allowing him one more meal to survive.  He spent his life as an outcast.  He couldn’t work.  He most likely felt useless.  He couldn’t take care of his daily needs and had no one to help him.  Then one day Jesus crossed his path.

The Jews had heard the prophesies of Isaiah which claimed that the Messiah would heal diseases like blindness, deafness, physical disabilities and relieve the suffering of the poor.  Those words were echoed by Jesus, when answering John, the Baptist’s question about whether Jesus was the Messiah.

Bartimaeus heard those words too.  The city was bustling with repeated words of Jesus, and now he was in his town.  He must’ve gained hope when he heard that Jesus was near.  The thought of having his eyes opened by the Messiah, was enough for him to go to any lengths to get Jesus’ attention – and he did.  He screamed at the top of his lungs, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

The crowd and possibly the disciples rebuked the blind man.  They thought he was making too much of a spectacle, but that didn’t stop him.  Again and again, he shouted, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  He acknowledged that Jesus indeed was the promised Messiah.

At last, Jesus stopped walking and told the crowd to call the man.  Bartimaeus jumped to his feet, dropped his cloak and ran to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

The man was healed instantly. The healing was done by Jesus, because of the man’s faith.  How often do we become blind to the power of God’s healing in our lives?  Are we often like the crowd following Jesus?  Do we think Jesus is too busy for us – that we aren’t worthy to ask for such things?  The blindness we exhibit in a case like this is even greater than the physical darkness Bartimaeus experienced.

Don’t ever be afraid to talk to your Savior.  He’s promised to hear our prayers.  He answers in His own way and on His timeline, but you can be confident that He will answer you.  His heart is so big and His arms open so wide, that we can reassured that He loves us beyond comprehension – even when we don’t return that love.  What a friend everyone has in Jesus.



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Good morning, Lord. Thank you for the sunny morning – for the sounds of birds chirping in the trees – the melting mounds of winter snow – for life and allowing me to live it – for the promise of spring and the assurance of salvation. Amen!

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My dad was the son of an Irish/English father.  That makes me a bit Irish, but not nearly close to that of Patrick Cudahy, born on this day, 1849, in Callan. County Kilkenny, Ireland. He didn’t live long in his birthplace.  His parents moved to America only a few months after his birth. They settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – My birthplace.

Ireland was a dreary place to live in 1849.  Queen Victoria visited the island early in her monarchy and was amazed at the famine, poverty and sickness there.  Masterpiece Theater recently did a series on Victoria, including the plight that swept over the island, sending many in search of new lands and opportunities.  Milwaukee held promise for the family.  There were a variety of industries already established there and it had become a melting pot of immigration.

Patrick attended schools within the Milwaukee School District.  He began working at Plankinton Armor Meat Packing Company at the age of 14.  His strong work ethic and determination landed him a job as supervisor when he was only 25.  Ten years later, after the dissolution of the company, Cudahy became Plankinton’s partner.  Plankinton retired in 1888 and Patrick’s brother bought into the company and became partners with his brother.

The two men eventually purchased land south of Milwaukee for their operations.  That town was named after them – Cudahy, Wisconsin.  Some of the best bacon produced came out of their plant.  Not only the eating kind of bacon, but the success kind.  Patrick continued to bring home the bacon with his meat packing business along with banking and real estate ventures.    He was a benefactor for many charities.  He married Anna and they had two sons.  He passed away September 25, 1919.n

This son of Ireland, grew a great business in the Milwaukee area. He wrote his biography during his later years in which you can see a heritage of hard working family members.  The American Dream was still alive at that time in our history.  Men could come to our land with nothing in their pockets and quickly make a name for themselves through hard work and determination.  Some might call it the luck of the Irish, but I think it’s more than luck.


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She came from a small village on the shore of the Sea of Galilee called Magdala.  The town was a thriving community which made beautifully colored dyes and even more resplendent textiles. Because of its location, it was the perfect place for exporting their wares.

Mary left her life in that town to follow Jesus.  We know little about her, but the world has twisted her story – her profession – her relationship with Jesus, so much that the real story is often hidden in the quietness of her existence as a disciple of Christ.  She probably was a woman of means.

She undoubtedly witnessed many of the miracles of Jesus.  She must’ve heard His sermon on the mount – His parables – His talk of death and forgiveness of sins – His promise of eternal life.  Like the others, she left her world behind, gave it all up and followed Him.

The Gospels are unclear if Mary Magdalene was the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair and then anointed them with expensive oil.  It could have been her, but she isn’t named.  We do know that this Mary was indeed repentant of her past sins and extremely grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness and healing her from something that was deeply troubling to her.

We also know that she didn’t run away when Jesus was arrested.  She followed the blood spattered trail of the Via dolorosa and watched, with tears welling in her eyes, as He was brutally beaten, spat upon and abused verbally.  His already tortured body sank under the weight of the cross.  If only she could carry it for Him as He had taken her burden from her shoulders.

She loved Jesus, but not in the way the world has described her relationship with Him.  Jesus was her Savior and her thoughts of Him were only gratitude and adoration.  She stood below the cross with Jesus’ mother, Mary, comforting her as her Son hung from that cursed tree.  She listened as Jesus said the words to his mother, “Woman this is your son.”  Then to John he said, “This is your mother.”  Even in these final hours of his life His concern was not for Himself. He wanted to be sure that His mother would be cared for.

Mary Magdalene stayed with Mary after Jesus died.  She was the first to see the empty tomb.  She hastened to tell the others that Jesus was gone.   She feared that His body had been stolen by the Roman soldiers.  Imagine her excitement when she saw Jesus again in a newly restored body.  He was alive as He said He would be.

In the following years, she went right along with the other disciples, preaching the good news of Christ’s resurrection, His dominion over death and the bounty of eternal life, which belongs to all of us if we simply believe and follow Christ.  Mary followed Him with a repentant heart full of gratitude for what He’d done for her.

Are you readty to follow?


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