” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Proverbs 9:10

Dear, Lord,

You know all things.  Nothing is hidden from you. You are the only consistent in our lives.  I pray that you guide our leaders to proceed with dignity and fairness.  Two people have been dragged through the mud and may never recover from what’s happened over the past few weeks.  Please give the men and women in the position of passing judgment, the wisdom to do your will.  Help us all to accept what is happening and what will happen because of these events.  You are also with every one of us. You’ve judged each of us with fairness and abundance of grace, giving us a freedom we don’t deserve.  May your Word be upheld.  May your will be done, in Jesus name.  Amen!

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Light in darkness – sweet redemption – all my sins he melts away,
He brings life from deep depression – cradling in his arms each day,
In darkest hours I make confession of my guilt. I bare it all,
He forgives and grants me healing. He is there to take the fall,

I know He will always catch His dear children.

Frozen landscapes soon are hidden. Only pastures green remain,
He will lead me by still waters ’til He comes to earth again,
No fear of death will e’er surround me. I know it cannot sting me now,
I’ve given him my one possession – it is my life I do endow,

Take me, oh Lord and use me to thaw frozen hearts,

And help them find your sweet caresses and gentle warmth.


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I remember Saturday mornings being a time of watching cartoons.  Occasionally, when there’s nothing on TV, I’ll tune in the Cartoon Network. In fact, on my wedding day, I spent the morning watching cartoons.   Maybe it was like saying goodbye to my childhood and hello to responsibility.

Cartoons haven’t changed much over the years. There’s still the subliminal message of good vs. evil and good winning out.  There’s still the foolish hero, trying to manipulate his way through life only to be met by the villain trying everything in his toolbox to avoid that from happening – usually something purchased from Acme or Ajax.

One thing I’ve noticed about cartoons is that they show the struggles man faces.  Simple plot action like falling into a pit and trying to get out, or sitting under an apple tree while apples are thrown by a passing weirdo.  Peoples’ misfortunes often have a way of making us laugh.  Probably because they aren’t happening to us. The unexpected is also a ploy for reeling us in.  Like the bomb that doesn’t explode when it should – the villain goes to check it out – next frame, villain with gun powder on his face.  Miraculously his face is back to normal in the next scene.

A writer choses who the good guys and bad guys are in a story.  The characters must be clearly defined and each have their own goal within that tale.  We as the viewer or reader should be convinced that this character is real, even though he faces constant barriers.  With conflict the hero can overcome obstacles to achieve his final destination and the villain can contrive plans to disrupt his journey.  Cartoons are simply an exaggerated view of life with a contrived explosive devise from Ajax.

We walk through the same journey as we stumble through life. There are problems, bumps in the road, hiccups.  With the brain God gave us, we muddle through these obstacles, but we don’t have to do it alone.  God has promised to be with us every step of the way so we keep on trying.  Even if a paint can falls off a ladder as we walk under it, He is there.  Even when we experience job loss, difficult relationships, loss of a loved one or a plethora of other serious issues, we can count on God’s presence in our daily walk.

The devil is the villain.  He puts traps out there for us to start thinking there’s a better way to get what we want.  We start relying on ourselves and soon we get a pie in the face or fall flat on our faces.  This isn’t the plan God has set for us. He wants everyone to come unto Him.  He wants everyone in His heavenly realm.  Those who trust in His promises will reach their goal and that’s no joke.


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Snow’s definitely in the forecast, the trees are bare of leaves,

The harvest has been harvested and they’ve brought in the sheaves,

Now is the time to hunt for deer, at least I have been told,

But when you hunt in Wisconsin, turkeys aren’t too bold,

They know the special holiday, with them the centerpiece,

Makes plans for Thanksgiving dinner, a day they’ll rest in peace,

So someone in charge decided, to hunt for deer instead,

They aim their guns at the white tails, or simply stay in bed,

Thanksgiving’s just like any day, when you are hunting deer,

But it sure would be quite special if my honey was right here,

I’ve actually grown used to it, Black Friday’s the next day,

I could probably spend a bundle, but in the house I’ll stay,

Enjoying the peace and quiet, just me, the dog, a book,

For one full week an empty house, and I don’t have to cook.




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Since deer hunting in Wisconsin begins tomorrow and my husband is now getting ready for the trip down there, I’ve decided to re-post this article from 7/14/2017.  Hope you enjoy it again.

My husband has many traits.  He is intelligent in many areas of life.  He knows how to survive in the wilderness.  He should’ve been born two centuries ago, because is filled with the spirit of adventure required to have lived then.  He is an avid outdoorsman.  He knew what it took to survive before the reality show ever existed.

When he was just a child, the infamous funeral home he lived in, was so large that it had an archery range in the basement.  At a young age, he was trifling with bow and arrow right in the midst of the city.  He read countless books about mountain men, survival, camping, outdoor living and all the adventure stories pertaining to them.  All of that knowledge was being stored up for future use.

He used all his book knowledge to forge trails in the woods, sit by the campfire and tell countless stories, learn which mushrooms not to eat, whittle little creatures out of a stick of wood, forage for food, live under the stars and survive without a compass.

My first encounters with the outdoors, came after we were married.  I’d never been camping in my life.  I’d never held a gun and wasn’t much of an archer, but I did so anyway.  I could never bring myself to hunting, but never begrudged him the joy of doing so.  In fact, we were married on the opening day of deer hunting for archers. I would say that’s pretty impressive, wouldn’t you?

I even agreed to going along with him on our honeymoon as he tracked the evasive whitetail.  Of course I stayed in the car and read a book while he was out in the wilderness.  After an hour or so of waiting, I became concerned.  I wondered where he was.

I had visions of his being gored by a deer or slowly going down in a pond of quicksand.  My visions turned into fear, but instead of venturing out, I beeped the horn.  I really don’t know why I did that.  If he had been drowning in quicksand, what good would it do?

It didn’t take long for him to respond.  Within a few minutes he appeared out of the woods with a look of sheer rage on his face.  I didn’t understand his anger.  I thought I was being a good wife by being concerned for his welfare.  I was wrong.  It seems he had a deer in his sights and was about to shoot, when the horn frightened the mighty beast away.

That honeymoon disaster almost ended our marriage, but not really.  I’ve since learned never to hunt with my husband.  He does that stuff on his own.  Maybe that’s why our marriage has lasted so long.  Who knows?


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This is in response to Amy Blount’s blog from yesterday – a challenge to use idioms in a story or a poem.  Then I am to challenge some of my friends to do the same.  I challenge:






Here’s my poem using as many idioms as I could think of:


You can’t teach your old dog new tricks, that’s what the experts say,

But my old dog is different, he sees things his own way,

He’s stubborn as a mule at times, he never makes his bed,

And when I tell him what to do, he simply shakes his head,

He explains I’ve made my own bed and I should lie in it,

I try to understand his moods, but he just has a fit,

He says I’m barking up the wrong tree, the ball is in my court,

He says that sleeping dogs should lie, he thinks of it as sport,

Curiosity killed the cat, but what about the dog,

He keeps telling me what to do, I’m sort of in a fog,

I wish I could communicate, as perfectly as him,

Instead I’ll cry over spilled milk, and go way out on a limb.



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I love everything about Christmas – the lights and decorations, the fancy wrapping paper, the cookies and special treats -all of it.  Today I’m following Julies lead, who wrote about her experience taking her granddaughter to see Santa.  It stirred a memory that I’d like to share.

Thanksgiving had come and gone. It was my first trip to the Mall of America.  I’m not a big fan of huge venues with lots of people pushing and shoving.  I’m not the kind that likes to do everything online either.  People normally don’t think twice about pushing you aside.  They think you’re invisible and they’re definitely more important than you.

During these blessed days before Christmas changes that.  Folks smile more.  They aren’t as angry as they were yesterday. There’s a feeling in the air that brings joy and contentment. Suddenly you become visible again and people are actually kind.

On this particular outing, my granddaughter was about five years old.  I’d promised her an American Girl doll and wanted her to be along to pick one out.  The drive to the mall requires highway driving, but we were on a mission. I sucked it up and drove through four lanes of congestion and occasional flashing lights, but we made it without incident.

Of course everyone and their uncle was there.  It was a whole month before Christmas, but I was so excited to be taking my treasured granddaughter to experience the joy of the holidays.  We made a B-line to the doll store and were greeted by a sign on the door which said there was a private party going on inside and we should come back tomorrow.  Those big, blue eyes began to tear up.  A look of disappointment covered her face.  Again, for the sake of having a delightful experience, I sucked it up and tried to remain positive.

I suggested we visit Santa Claus, because I’d heard Santa Land was amazing and they had the best Santa ever. We gazed at shop windows and soaked in all the holiday glitter and sparkle along with the  music which surrounded us.  We took our time getting there, but when we arrived we saw another sign, “Santa is taking a break.  Come back in an hour.”

Once more, I sucked it up and remained positive. By this time, my feet were killing me, so I suggested we get a bite to eat before returning to Santa Land.  That took care of her disappointment for the moment.

Time slipped by as we waited for our food to arrive.  When we finished, I realized that we were way past our wait time.  Trying to keep up with a five year old wanting to see Santa, is not an easy task, but I followed about half a block behind.

There he was, sitting on his Santa throne, with a little boy on his lap, discussing what the child expected from him that year.  Pictures were snapped and I was about to deliver my ten dollars for a picture and a snotty little elf came and said she was sorry, but it was time for Santa to close up shop for the night.

I’m usually a mild mannered woman, but I had come to the end of my patience.  I replied to her that we had been here for a few hours now and things weren’t going as planned.  I then demanded that Santa had time for one more kid.  The look of desperation must have filled my face.  He relented and my granddaughter got to sit on his lap, list her litany of Christmas wishes and have her picture taken.

By this time I was ready to go home.  She was satisfied, except for the doll incident.  I ordered the doll online.  Nothing wouldget me to go back to the Mall of America ever again.

Now as I look back on this incident, it has me wondering if we spend so much time getting ready for the Christmas, we often forget the promise that was fulfilled on that first noel.  The people had been waiting for centuries for a Messiah.  The day finally came and God’s promise of salvation lay in a lowly feeding trough, with the DNA of God Himself.  Maybe we should start thinking about preparing for that blessed holiday all year.



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‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the house,

The only thing stirring was a cold, little mouse,

He thought he’d sneak in while the getting was good,

He found a warm corner in the neighborhood,

The house it was fancy and the space was ginormous,

Each room beckoned him, but their cat was enormous,

Instead he decided to sleep in the attic

Along came a friend who was quite acrobatic,

Who swung through the air with the greatest of ease,

He traversed the ceiling, as quick as a breeze,

At last they found refuge in the insulation,

But suddenly felt a tumultuous vibration,

They thought it was Santa on top of the roof,

They got so excited, but remained quite aloof,

They peeked out the window and what did they see,

It was simply the owner, decorating the tree.






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It’s been a while since I posted a wacky and bizarre holiday, sooooo, because I have nothing really important to talk about today, here we are again.  Who would think there’s a special day to celebrate pickles?  I mean, with Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, we should be focusing on turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and gravy.  Yet what would a feast be without those little green morsels that delight the taste buds?

Every fancy dinner has to have a relish tray of sorts.  Some include fresh veggies, some have deviled eggs and still others hold olives and other assorted pickled items including pickles.  There are bread and butter, dill, kosher, hamburger, sweet and sour and hot and spicy pickles.  I’m sure I’m leaving some out, but you get the picture.  Pickles come in all types and sizes. Think about it.  What’s the first thing that needs refilling on the banquet table – the pickle dish. Kids love nibbling on them before actually sitting down to dinner.  Adults also like the lip puckering delights.  Some folks can’t stand them, but they’re few and far between.

Pickles can be a nice accent to a recipe as well.  I usually add a little pickle juice to potato salad, or dice up a pickle to give the deviled eggs a little more pizazz.  They can be used in soup, on top of a hamburger or hot dog and definitely should be part of the refrigerator condiment section.

History tells us that Cleopatra was one of the first to use cucumbers in brine as a beauty aid, although I don’t recommend putting pickles on your eyelids.  Pickling was done to preserve foods so they could be transported by ship in barrels.

If you don’t like pickles, it’s also Spicy Guacamole Day.  In case you have too much of both, it’s Operating Room Nurse Day, so you may be able to thank one as they remove your gall bladder.

Don’t you just love the plethora of information out there?

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When Jack Frost comes through chilly nights, he paints a masterpiece,

The windows glow with scenes of snow, etched by his hand’s release,

The skies are bright cerulean blue, the trees have shed their leaves,

The fields are empty of their crops and we’ve brought in the sheaves,

We turn our thoughts to longer nights, the days grow shorter now,

We find relief beside a fire and we get by somehow,

It seems too soon for such cold days, though it is mid-November,

As we recall last winter’s grip, which started in December,

And lasted well into April, with a final blast of snow,

We hide inside our nice, warm caves, and wait for thirty below.


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electrified hair

At this time of year, something weird happens to human hair.  Static electricity winds its way into our frost laden prairie.  No amount of hair spray or styling products can fully eliminate it.  Hair simply does its own thing.  The same thing is true when you’ve been snuggled up under a nice toasty blanket, put on your slippers and reach for the light switch.  Electrical charges have no problem waking you out of your semi-slumbering state.

Electricity indicates power. It fills our homes with light and energy to operate all our various appliances.  Now we’re able to speak a word and an electronic devices will set those appliances into motion without our even touching them.  That device requires the same power that makes hair fly and gives us shocks.

Can you imagine what life would be like without electricity?  We’d be using candles to read by – campfires to spin stories at – fire to heat our food and hand washing our clothing down at the creek and stones as a washboard.  Praise God for allowing man to discover this wonderful force and helping him to contain it somewhat.

During the creation of the earth, magnetic forces must’ve been flying and electrical impulses pulsating through the air like a zillion arrows all at once.  At the time of Jesus’ birth, that same power was surging through the skies as angel armies sang His praises.  When Jesus showed His dominion over death and the devil, His face shone with a radiance that couldn’t be replicated.  At the Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and tongues of fire danced above their heads.  That Spirit would permit them unleash a force never before felt.

We know God is omnipotent – all powerful.  A portion of His power has been planted within us at our baptism, through the Holy Spirit, but we can never harness the vastness of it.  Only God has the wherewithal to hold it in His hands.

Just as God divided the seas from the land – set the fish in the water and the birds in the air – created power sources yet to be discovered, He also placed mankind in charge of the earth and all that is in it.

Are we using His gifts wisely?  Are we shining as beacons for those who need to know about God and His love?  Are we electrified with the message of hope?  Jesus gave that charge, that commission to His followers, when He told them to go and tell everyone about what had been accomplished through Him.  The stunning message of forgiveness for all and the hope of life eternal is the charge that can reignite our floundering world.

“The Holy Ghost bears witness to us of the truth and impresses upon our souls the reality of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, so surely that no earthly power or authority can separate us from that knowledge.”   James E. Faust

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A galvanizing glow penetrates through the stillness,

Animating a darkened forest,

Giving life to lifeless limbs,

Exploding into a myriad of brilliant color,

Intoxicating the senses.


Thrilling the imagination,

The shadows give way to the energy – slipping into darkness,

Permitting the light to permeate every inch of space,

Awakening all who dwell within its path,

Shocking, volatile, energizing,

Waves of life giving light,

A new day dawns.


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THANKSGIVINGThanksgiving for a Wisconsin deer hunting spouse is not the usual family event you see pictured above.  When my family was young, we began a tradition of celebrating the holiday a week or so before the actual day, so we could all be together to carve the turkey and eat all the calorie laden treats.

Over 54 years this has been the Thanksgiving I’ve come to know.  However, as our families grow and times change, so do some of our traditions.  Now, since I’m alone on that day, everyone seems to take pity on me and invites me to dinner with them.  We still have our family tradition of getting together prior to the big hunt. These days, I’m the guest at another person’s table for the feast at least three times.

Yesterday we gathered at my youngest daughter’s home.  Her husband prepared the turkey on a special outdoor thing-a-ma-jig and it was one of the finest I’ve ever eaten.  My daughter made all the scrumptious side dishes and my granddaughter cut the pies that my son and his girlfriend brought to share.  We sat around the dining room table in their cozy kitchen – exchanged some funny stories from the past – and laughed a lot.  We called our daughter from S. Carolina and caught up with her too.

We don’t get to see our children as much as we’d like to.  Even though we live in close proximity of two of them, time gets in the way. As you grow older, you realize how important those moments with family mean to you.  You also realize that life is changing for you and those special days will come to a close soon, so you treasure them even more.

Every year brings something new to this holiday.  My daughter and her family hosted this year’s pre-Thanksgiving event.  A few years ago, I spent the holiday at my oldest daughter’s home in S. Carolina.  All the trappings of a Thanksgiving meal are wonderful, but the best thing is the company you share it with.  Maybe some new traditions are coming to pass.

Thanksgiving is a time to gather and give thanks for all our blessings.  The old Rockwell painting, conjures thoughts of Thanksgivings past.  The point is, we are grateful for family, material blessings and daily provision from a loving God.  The way you serve it, the fine china or paper plates, the crystal goblets of Styrofoam cups, all the tasty treats, make no difference in the scheme of things.  What’s really important is getting together with those we love and enjoying each others’ company.

Whatever traditions you have during the coming holiday season, remember to open your heart as well as your doors to others.  As Americans, we have the right to celebrate such days without fear of persecution or ridicule.  We live in a time when our borders are changing, our morals have slipped beyond recognition, our churches are suffering and our politics are full of corruption.  Yet, we still live in a land of freedom.  As believers in the One True God, we have hope for an eternal future in heaven.  You can’t get much better than that.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:1


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Looking back on days gone by,

Gazing at a muddied sky,

In the twinkling of an eye,

The peace of God is there,


Trudging through the path of life,

Summing up our natural strife,

Wishing for the after life,

The peace of God is there,


When we cross that great expanse.

Will it be by circumstance,

Will we have second chance,

The peace of God is there,


He’s waiting on the other side,

Continuing to lead and guide,

From Him we never more shall hide,

The peace of God is there.



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What is at the heart of a hero?  What does one do to become one?  Jesus talked about the greatest gift we can give to our fellow man.  That means we’re willing to help, protect and serve others without thinking about it.  It means we are willing to sacrifice our own lives so that another will benefit.

Today we recognize our veterans, but I believe that all who serve us, are equally deserving of our respect and honor.  The police officers, fire fighters, the average Joe – who willingly rescues another without thought of self.

Some how those heroes are not always noticed, but that’s really what makes them heroes.  They aren’t doing these deeds of heroism, because of what they have to gain, but because they love their fellow man and are filled with the love of Christ.  Today, the world looks at those who serve – the peacemakers – as the enemy.  The Liar of this world, the devil, has convinced many that these folks are the unapproachable – that they are out to get them – that they have no place in their world.

I heard something in the news recently which made me chuckle.  Some place in the world or within our own country – people have developed a plan to get others to care about others through acts of kindness and eventually heal the hate in our communities.  What a novel idea!  This idea was originally set by the Creator of the Universe.  God told man to love one another a long time ago.  He spoke of the unselfish love of His own Son, Jesus, who should be our model for living.  We do need to get back to loving and caring about each other.

Love is something we unfortunately have to teach to our children.  We aren’t born with it in our hearts.  We have to be taught to love, just like we need to learn how to hate. Without love, there is no chance for reconciliation.  Hate only gives way to more hate.

Today as we honor our veterans, let’s thank all those in public service.  We are still a nation of laws and many of us believe that God is love.  Let’s go to Him today and pray for people to sincerely love one another.  Ask God to put the spirit of selflessness back into the hearts of men.  We need heroes.  We especially need Jesus, the greatest hero of all.

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I wonder if, as we grow older, we sometimes lose the joy of our youth. We’ve experienced highs and lows for many years and the lows kind of overshadow the high points of life.

As years pass, we experience sorrow, heartache, disease; loss of a job, disappointment, pain, being misunderstood or misjudged, broken friendships and the list goes on. The following passage talks about what happens to us if those things take over.

 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”             Proverbs 17:22

Wow, this is a pretty good description of a crabby old person. This world and all it holds is enough to crush our spirit and dry up our tired old bones, but the hope of what lies ahead for us should make us leap for joy and take at least 20 years off our disappointed, weary bodies.

As age enters into us we become  more eager for heaven.  This promised paradise, paid for with Christ’s precious blood is not just a promise, but a fact.  When I die, I know that life will go on.  I different life – with no pain, sorrow or tears – where bodies don’t age or become sick – a place where I can spend eternity with God.

In the meantime, I can face falling apart with that knowledge.

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Bold brush strokes, slide across an empty canvas,

A dab of color, a splash of pigment, the imagination of the artist,

What we see may not match his interpretation,

What we feel through his interpretation is his goal,

The artists lays the paint, scrumbling colors together,


Adding light,

Filling negative spaces,

Always thinking about the end result,

Always hoping to touch a heart,

To inspire,

To engage,

To bring joy,

Life is made of memories,

We sometimes dwell too much on them,

We often revise them to fit our current situation,

Or paint over our original imagery,

Whatever our intention,

We should face it with a joyful heart,

Clinging to the hope that our true Creator has designed for us.






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One day a year, we honor those who have served their country with dignity and honor – those who have put their lives on the line for the benefit and safety of others.  A selfless act which has somehow been sullied over time.

Just what does it take to consider yourself a veteran?  My husband served in the Air National Guard at the time of the Bay of Pigs Invasion.  He entered this branch of service, served six months of active duty and summer camp for six year following.  He does not consider himself a veteran, because he did not go the regular route and serve all his time at once.  I appreciate his humility, but in my eyes he is still a hero.

During that time of active duty, his unit was called along with others to get to their bases immediately and be prepared to take off in the darkness of night, to fight the communists in Cuba.  They were told to run stop lights getting there.  The urgency in the order sent chills up his spine, but he knew he was prepared.  They waited – and waited – and waited.  At last they were sent home when an agreement was made between the countries involved.

My husband never faced the enemy in war.  He never had to watch as his friends as they were shot and killed or lost limbs and the will to go on.  He never suffered PTSD.  The stories of his time in the Air Force are not filled with anxiety, hatred, anger or fear like so many of our returning soldiers who faced combat, but still he was willing to serve his country if need be.

We have friends and family who have returned from Korea, Viet Nam, the Middle East – scarred by their experiences.  There is no way to explain the pangs of hell a soldier must face each time they enter the combat arena.  They are exposed to all kinds of emotions and danger that we can’t begin to comprehend.  When they return home, they suffer from nightmares, flash backs and memories of horrible acts against humanity.  These are the veterans we most talk about.  Then there are those who are MIA or POW who are never heard of again.  We remember their service, but they soon become a faded memory.

What about those who return home to protesting mobs, angry pacifists, and an onslaught of ingratitude?  Where is their honor?  They filled their duty as good soldiers.  They were as much heroes as those who gave their lives.  They returned to a sea of hatred which far surpassed the enemies they had to face overseas.

Do we give our veterans the honor they deserve?  If you follow the path of those requiring health care because of a war injury or PTSD or the results of chemical warfare and living in the heat of battle each day, you often find them waiting for long periods of time for treatment, or not getting the best.

We live only a few block from a campus which once served an asylum for the mentally disturbed.  It sits on the banks of the Rum River, surrounded by trees and the sound of nature all around.  The buildings have been vacant for many years, but are now in the process of being restored to be used for homeless veterans, who need a starting off point to get acclimated back into society.  I’m so glad this is being done for them, but saddened that it comes to that.

Our returning soldiers should be honored for their service, but they shouldn’t be the last to be hired.  Their unselfish service seems to have no bearing on getting jobs, shelter or mental and physical treatment.

Jesus was the perfect example of how we should live, but He is best known for his suffering, death and resurrection.  He did battle against the evils of this world and won. His victory over sin and death is our great heritage.  He took our place on the battlefield against the devil.When we make a sacrifice to help another person, we are in a small way imitating Him.  Today and every day, let’s be grateful to those who are willing to give their lives for others.




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