Where do you find contentment when all around seems lost,

In city streets so dimly lit, at an expensive cost,

In valleys green where water pours through rives pure and clean,

In the darkness of the soul within, is that were you find peace?

In a sanctuary built of stone, where your problems you release,

Do you see it in the people that you greet most every day,

Is it in the quiet laughter of a child alone at play,

Is in in the calm serenity of music, art or dance,

Or does it come from looking at your love’s sweet, smiling glance,

Don’t search in darkest corners, you’ll never find it there,

The light that shines from heaven, will take away your care.

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Smug – Exhibiting or feeling great or offensive satisfaction with oneself or with one’s situation; self-righteously complacent.

I debated whether I should write about the debates.  Guess who won?  Unfortunately I can’t say the same for last night’s political debate.  I haven’t got a clue.  Certainly not the American public.  I endured the “composed” Hillary as she snubbed her nose at the radical unexperienced politician.  I got sick to my stomach as two supposedly intelligent people bantered back and forth  rather than answering to problems  facing every American today.

When we’re given a choice between the best of the worse, what are our options?

One wore a red pant suit – and to reference her quote as to what her opponent would wear to the debates, she said something like – probably his red power tie.  Not to be outdone, she pulled out all the stops with her red power suit, coiffed hair and smirkey expression throughout – looking down her nose at the raucous man on her right.  Sure he lost his cool.  Wouldn’t you?  The queen of lies is at her best when under pressure and she didn’t disappoint.

I’ve never been a Clinton supporter.  I don’t understand how her pompous attitude can be interpreted as confidence.  It was clear to me that the only attribute that clearly defines Mrs. Clinton is her ability to roll her eyes when questioned about the truth.

More time seems to have been spent on personalities than on issues.  The back and forth games, the accusations, the see what I’ve accomplished – is this a sign of what our nation has become – a group of narcissists who think they can do anything at the expense of the common man?

I really don’t think either candidate scored any great points last night.  Neither of them were presidential – unless you call being smug, presidential.  Oh, yeh, we’ve had eight years of smug.  When I was looking for an image to go along with this post, guess whose picture showed up?





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I wonder if Pontius Pilate had any idea what Jesus was saying when he heard the accused firmly state that he indeed was a king.   Here was an ordinary criminal declaring His defense.  Pilate probably was trying to engage our Lord in some philosophical pander, but Jesus told the ruler that His purpose was to bring the truth to the world – truth which had been diluted and polluted over the centuries before His birth – truth which the devil had undermined with his many lies.

Satan has been manipulating the truth to fit his own agenda since the beginning of creation.  He still continues to do so today.  We can’t always see the workings of his hand.  It’s often sugar coated and presented to us in a beautiful package.  He even uses God’s own words to finagle his way into our hearts.

Those blatant untruths have permeated the church today as they did in Jesus’  lifetime.  This often happens when the body of believers tries to rewrite scripture to fit their own needs and desires.  This is one of those sneaky ways that Satan uses to twist the truth.

We must constantly be on guard.  God’s Word is the only truth we need for every area of our lives.  When we allow the devil to sabotage that truth, we are opening the door for all kinds of deception.

Dear, Lord, you gave your life in defense of your Father’s truth.  You continue to make your Words available to us today and we often misuse them.  Help us study and re-study your amazing scriptures.  Help us see how those words support themselves.  Keep us always on track.  Allow the truth to permeate our souls and give us the fortification we need in this deceptive world.  Help us to fight off the devil and his lies.   Amen!

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I’ve known him almost my whole life and still there’s much to learn,

We’ve grown up through our many years, but still our love does burn,

We’ve shared in disappointments, in troubles and in loss,

We’ve tried to lay our problems at the foot of Jesus’ cross,

When times have seemed impossible, when we just can’t go on,

We know we have each other and the love of God’s own Son,

Things aren’t always easy, our struggles never end,

But with our Savior at our side, we have the perfect blend.



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52 years ago today, I married the man of my dreams.  He didn’t come on a white horse.  He didn’t promise me a life of luxury.  He had become my best friend in high school at the age of 14.  We pretty much grew up together, even after we got married.  We have been blessed to have the Lord, God as the head of our house and I believe that’s why our marriage has endured for so long.

Our road has not always been easy.  We have faced financial ruin and rebuilt.  We have raised three wonderful children who gave us three amazing grandchildren.  We have shared many joyous moments, lots of anxiety, pain and illness and have always remained faithful to one another.

Most people find it difficult to believe that a marriage can last for this many years, but both of us took our vows seriously.  We didn’t give up when things got tough.  We were helpers to one another.  We built each other up through adversity and discouragement. We trusted – cared about each other as if we were one body – loved even when we were unlovable – never gave up.

Marriage should last forever, but it doesn’t always.  When you share the same belief system, it makes it possible.  When the world gets in the way – when ambition takes the place of family – when the grass looks greener somewhere else – when envy, greed and dishonesty replace sincerity, honor and satisfaction – sin enters in.

Trust in the Lord in all things and your life will be blessed in good times and in bad.

Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband, the one God planned for me.

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Many think that they’re above reproach or no longer considered sinful if they simply attend church.  Many are also there because they feel safe from the world outside.  Some even use church as a place to compensate for the sins they commit every day.  Unfortunately, going to church isn’t going to make you perfect.  Only God can do that.

The church itself is full of sinners just like you and me.  It’s an imperfect body of soiled and ugly people – often dressed in their most beautiful clothes and looking like a million bucks.  Within this seemingly perfect refuge lies deceit, judgment, anger, adultery, homosexuals, bigotry, liars, thieves and every other kind of villain you can think of.  This is one of Satan’s most popular places to visit, because it’s filled with imperfect people who are subject to sin.

However, when you look at the ministry of Christ, it took place in the most unusual places. He went to the core of humanity – to the sinners of the world – to all those who needed His healing.  He still does.  Through His Word, the Bible, He comes to the broken hearted, the poor in spirit, the lost and condemned and those who need Him most.

When God looks at our wretched condition, He’s like the prodigal Father who longs for us to return to Him.  He loves when we ask for His help, because He’s always eager to give it.

Going to church isn’t going to guarantee our salvation, but if our church is preaching the truth of the Bible, we will be nourished each week – fed with the good news of the Gospel – that our sins are forgiven through Jesus.

The church body is filled with sinners and hypocrites and it’s the perfect place to find forgiveness.

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Last night as we drove home from the country, I half expected to have a deer jump out into the darkened roads.  The sun goes down much earlier now and deer have been known to be more than a little distracted this time of year.

It got me thinking about how distraught we can become by the cares and problems of life.  Even when things seem to be moving along smoothly, something smacks you right between the eyes without your ever realizing it was coming.  Times like that can come out of nowhere and change your whole way of thinking – steal your joy – cause you to fret – and as you become older, those things can even take your very life.

Us old fogies like to think as little as possible.  Our brains are full of years of useless information and we much prefer not adding too much more to the mix.  Our joy can easily dwindle since it seems to take more energy to be happy than to grumble.  We also have a habit of worrying about things that really don’t matter.

However, whatever the age,  we should put things into  perspective and when cruddy stuff happens, we should be like the proverbial duck that sheds trouble like water off his back.  Fortunately, as Christians, we’re invited to lay our cares at the feet of Jesus and He will carry our burdens.  I’d say that’s a lot easier than trying to figure things out alone.  He has taken our sin to the cross, buried it in the grave and given us new life through His resurrection.

With news like that, we can leap like a deer and overcome all obstacles – and God even provides the means for us to do so.




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In 1997 a film was released which was filled with espionage, media hype, a war, a scandal, a movie producer with exceptional PR skills and lots of things that eventually came true. It was right before the Clinton-Lewinsky incident. The movie was an interesting story intended to be comedic, but it stirred the imaginations of many conspiracy theorists.

Could such a plot be unfolding right before our very eyes? The President’s ratings go down and there is another crisis to handle. The Congress has pretty much lost the confidence of its employers (us) and the Senate seems to have totally forgotten who they work for.

Rahm Emanuel quoted this early in our current administration’s beginnings.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Another movie, “the Manchurian Candidate” also dealt with the possibility of a Vice President being groomed by the Manchurian Global Corporation. The man’s mother basically sells her soul to the devil to make this happen. The plan is that once he’s elected, an assassination attempt will be made on the president, thus giving the job over to the son. The main plot is a global takeover by the Communist regime.

These stories can make us wonder just how much of this stuff is true.

Our world is and will be in constant turmoil until the Day of Judgment, but we must never lose sight of the fact that God remains in control. If we continue to trust Him, we can be assured of a great outcome.

Lord, our world seems to be imploding. We see signs of end times each day. The ugliness of sin has inhabited every civilization. We turn to you in prayer, to bring comfort to all who suffer and are being persecuted. We pray for those who are starving and diseased. Protect them with your caring hands.  Strengthen us through your Holy Word.  Amen!

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We’ve had our share of rain this past week in Lake Woebegone – or at least in the surrounding areas of Minnesota.  As we pray that none of it seeps into our now “sold” house, nor into the one we are about to move into, many have not been as fortunate.

Storms can cause inconvenience, loss of electrical service, downed trees and destruction beyond measure, and when floods are involved – loss of life, property and life savings can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

We all face storms day by day.  Perhaps the money isn’t there for your next rent payment, or you’ve lost your job or received news of a life threatening disease.  Maybe your spouse has left you or your family has deserted you.  You may be facing physical, spiritual or mental issues.

Whatever storms we have, we can thank God for not giving us more than we can endure.   He knows us so well that even the difficulties we face each day can be handled, if we lay them on His shoulders.

Job’s flood came when he lost all his material assets, his livestock and home, his wealth and his children.  Even his body began to deteriorate.  We aren’t told how long his suffering lasted, but to hear his story, we know that it seemed like an eternity.  Still he was able to declare God’s love for him when he stated,

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.   And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,
 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.  My heart faints within me!” Job 19:25-27

Job’s confidence can be ours too when we trust in God’s amazing plan for our future now and in eternity.  He’ll never give us more than we can handle and when we reach the breaking point, Hell provide a way out for us.  He promised!

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To waken in the morning mist, amidst God’s vast creation,

To see the glory of His might and taste of His salvation,

To walk in valleys lush and green, to lift your eyes to heaven,

To bathe in waters fresh and clean, each sense it does enliven,

The mountain streams enfolded with his strength and might amazing,

The sun shines through the clouds so high with pleasant beams a blazing,

To pray in God’s great majesty within the beauty there,

Will take each breath you breathe away and wash away each care,

So lift your voice and praise Him, lay your troubles at His feet,

Some day you’ll see Him face to face and He will rush to greet,

He’ll say, “Well done, my dearest child, now welcome to your home,

You’re safe with me from all the grief that you have ever known.”





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