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Memorial – remembrance – holding one in high esteem for deeds accomplished – the fallen, the wounded, the broken – the men and women who lay their lives on the line, every day and night for the safety of others.  That is what a hero is.

Will Rogers once said, “We can’t all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by.” This is very true, especially on Memorial Day. However, we all possess an inner little gem within us called a conscience, which allows us the ability to discern the difference between right and wrong. This gift from God is what allows men to do great things when times call for it.  Because of that we all have the capacity to do heroic deeds – even the smallest of us.

I spent last evening listening to wonderful speeches directed at the high school graduating class of 2017, but those words also struck a chord with me.  We are depending on this new generation.  These young men and women filled with zeal and energy – ready to change the world – ready to be real heroes – listened attentively, but I wonder if the words will be remembered in a year or two, or even next week.  Still they have the opportunity to make a difference and I believe many of them will.

For too long, our country has been managed by self serving individuals rather then those who truly wish to serve others.  The mess created over the past few decades, is fixable, but it will take new blood, new energy, new courageous, young people to do so.  I know they can do it, because they have the tools to do so.  Their minds are overflowing with knowledge.  They’ve spent most of their lives learning facts, but also about God and His love for the world.

Becoming public servants is what we should all be thinking about doing.  Maybe this won’t happen in the political arena, but our talents can be spent in so many ways to help our fellow man.  We don’t have to put on a cape either.  The greatest hero of all spent His final hours on earth, crushed by the scourge, bloodied and bruised by the fists of His accusers and was pinned to a cross until he could no longer sustain His life.  He did that because He loves everyone.

When injustice is being done to humanity; when lives are being spent in the name of freedom; when governments become so big that they no longer include the voice of the people; the voice of conscience becomes louder and those who are listening will answer it and act upon it.

Lord, on this day of remembering, let us never forget the price man has paid for freedom and never let us forget the cost of our eternal freedom. Without you, we would never know true peace. Help us to show the same kind of love you showed us, to our fellow man.   Amen!

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Second grandson graduated – hugs and kisses goodbye- new memories made – tears shed – love renewed.  Lord, keep us safe on our journey home.

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To my second born, grandson, Joshua –

There are a million things I could write about all your funny sayings, your accomplishments, your personality, but I’d like to focus this letter on who you are today and who you will become some day.  Your parents have seen to it that you’ve been educated in God’s Word and they have shown you, by example, what being a Christian requires.  Through that training, know that God has a plan for your life – that He loves you unconditionally – that He wants you to succeed – that He has rescued you from the pangs of sin – that with Him you have eternal life assured.

We always dream that our children will follow the straight path, but there will be diversions along the way.  Because of your strong faith, I believe you will follow that path, but be prepared for life in the unsheltered world, as you enter the next step of your development.  There will be temptations, questions, doubts, all sorts of mixed messages, but I believe you’re prepared to take on those things.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Phillipians 4:13

In your career as a student, you’ve excelled.  In your ability to make friends, you shine. In your kindness and concern for others, you sparkle.  The gifts you have will continue to serve both God and man in the future.  We’ve been blessed to see your creative side, your humorous side and your intellectual side and I’d say you have it pretty much together.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen your rebellious side.

God will never leave you, Josh, as long as you put your faith in Him and His direction.  You can count on it.  His Word is truth and you’ve been blessed to have had it at the center of your life from day one.

We treasure the times we’ve had with you and the opportunities to watch you grow from a silly little boy to a fine, upstanding, young man.  We will never forget those wonderful memories and look forward to seeing what happens to you in the future.

As you graduate from one learning institution and push on to the next, remember that within you lies the courage of a lion, the mind of an Einstein, the love and compassion of a saint and the power of the Lord, God.  With Him everything is possible!

Congratulations on your big day!



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We’ve been witness to God’s magnificent creation this week, as we’ve traveled from Minnesota through three states to reach South Carolina.  Both of us have been showing our age, as knees and hips ache and refuse to move as they should.  Even through this whole aging process, it’s been a wonderful time for us, after twenty years without venturing on a road trip.

Yesterday we crossed a massive expanse of lush greenery to Table Rock Mountain State Park.  As the car did all the work of climbing, we sat back and wallowed in the beauty – trees that reach to heaven, trunks covered with a veil of vining plants, trickles of sunshine pushing through the sparse empty spaces. When we reached our destination, we were greeted by a green mountain lake.  We walked a short distance and discovered a lovely falls, encased with solid, flat rock, which reminded me of the still waters referred to in Psalm 23.

The waters weren’t still.  Instead the force of the falling liquid, pounded against those rocks with great pressure and power – kind of like the pressures of every day.  When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, it like that pounding surge.  We struggle with pain, adversity, worry, doubt and fear, yet the power of God is available in every circumstance.

When we come to the end, problems dissolve.  We come to rest in that peaceful water, no longer bruised or broken by the trials of living.  God carries us to that place.  He walks with us through all the perils of our existence and lifts us in His arms, when we cannot make it alone.  This is the good news we have as Christians.  It is too good to hang onto and hoard for ourselves.  Our world will not last forever.  The signs of its demise are everywhere, but we can rest in the knowledge that life goes on for the believer.  Share that great news with someone today.


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Scuffed by the constant thrashing of the elements,

Battered by scars of overuse,

Holding on by a cord of the past ,

Waiting for another chance,

Clothed in dignity and strength,

On the outside,

Falling apart,




Pushing hard to survive,

Struggling to stay afloat,

Bones cry out for relief,

Minds long for the end of the journey,

Where will it lead?

What lies ahead?

When your anchor is embedded in Jesus,

The destination is sure,

Cast your burdens on Him,

He gives all a reprieve,

Another chance,

Trust in the pilot.

To guide your journey,

And to take you home.

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What started as a single seed reclining in the earth,

Is now a giant masterpiece with monetary worth,

The time it took to grow this tree encompassed many years,

It suffered many bruises and witnessed many tears,

Some of its limbs were withered, while others brandished life,

Its trunk was strong as iron, yet endured all kinds of strife,

As winds defiled and bent its frame, it seemed that he was lost,

Its roots exposed, its spine now bent from cold and bitter frost,

Still it survived and grew some more and pierced right through the clouds,

Its life went on and does today, evading death’s dark shrouds,

We like that tree continue through life’s discouraging path,

We place our hope in worldly things and we receive God’s wrath,

But when we put our hope in Him our life will never end,

And it will be much greater than our minds can comprehend,

The growth that we experience throughout our earthly days,

Will never reach comparison to what His love purveys,

We lift our eyes to heaven and know what waits beyond,

To see the face of Jesus and know He will respond.

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