The cartoon reminds me of a situation when my husband owned his own business.  He was dressed in his grubbies, painting the lettering on his front door, when a salesman arrogantly pushed him aside and asked to speak to the owner.  Needless to say, he didn’t sell anything that day.

The cartoon also speaks of how we miss opportunities because it’s too much work.  We like the easy way of doing things and now with so many new avenues in communication, we don’t have to work as hard anymore.  We can ignore emails, texts, even personal phone calls.  If we don’t feel like confrontation, we avoid it like the plague and it doesn’t matter, because everyone else is doing it too.

I had the honor of teaching public speaking skills to children from 5-8 grade in my career.  As time progressed, I could see a lack of confidence in this area, because it was no longer necessary.  Unfortunately, so many problems could be solved in this world if there was more face to face discussion.  It’s really a lost art and it is laborious.  Why is it that progress often gets in the way of the most logical way of handling things? When there’s a way of making things easier, we often opt for that way.

I have  friends who can’t seem to get over this past election.  They use social media to express themselves, over and over again, regarding it.  I wonder if they would be so vocal if they had to actually say the words in front of others.  We have come to rely on electronic communication to voice our opinions, without thinking how others might respond.  When you can’t see a face reacting to your words, you’re doing nothing more than spitting out opinions.

Maybe all this “knowledge” we’ve gained through technology should be put to the test.  Instead of using a phone, the internet or any forms of social media, we should make it a point to talk face to face with someone this week.  I think we’d be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

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I need to be wrapped in the protection of God’s holy wings.

Each pinion gently lays over me – cuddling and nurturing.

The softness and strength are overwhelming.

He breathes His presence upon me and gives me life.

He speaks and I am comforted.

His touch is gentle yet full of power and strength.

His steadfastness feeds me – nourishes my soul – guards me from all evil.

His love for me is unfailing.  A love so great that it’s indescribable.

His tenderness is equal to His might.

I will never be alone as long as He is with me.

Be in my heart – my mind – my understanding.

Be with me in life so that I will know you fully when I meet you after death.


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A once bustling hot spot, filled with laughter and good times,

Stands obscured under moss covered walls of stone,

The recesses of mortar have all but decayed,

Leaving only empty spaces, like teeth that have seen better days,

Time has taken its toll,

Age has chewed it up and spit it out,

Still beauty remains in the eye of those who remember her glory days,

Age will overcome all of us,

We decay, we grow tired, we ache and suffer under the weight of life,

But memories can serve as a hideaway, a sanctuary, a place to revive.

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My God is an awesome God. He can be seen everywhere. His breath is in the wind, His voice is the powerful sound of thunder in the midst of a storm and the quiet sound of raindrops as they fall gently on the roof, His majesty, power and strength are displayed in the heights and solid rock of the mountains. His glory radiates in the light of the sun. He shows His face through the people who love Him. His arms surround us like giant eagle’s wings, with protection and care. His eyes are always on us.  We cannot hide from Him. He knows our wants and needs and provides as He sees fit. His love for us is evidenced by the sacrifice of His only son for our forgiveness.

I will praise Him for all the days of my life and call on Him in every need. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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A repeat of post from last year – still timely.

When Jesus’ disciples tried to dismiss the children from the large crowd,  Jesus rebuked and reminded them that His kingdom consisted of those with a childlike faith.  Kids believe without hesitation – accept with open minds – come with no preconceived ideas or years of theological study.

Looking back, it wasn’t easy getting three kids ready for church.  They complained, many times refused, would much rather crawl back into their warm beds and preferred to watch Sunday morning cartoons – but we went to church.  It was simply a part of their childhood.

Once there, we faced short attention spans, fidgeting, teasing each other, not paying attention and trying to discretely open a bag of Cheerios to satisfy them for a while.  Sometimes their loud singing brought stares. There were several trips to the restroom to review the rules and talk about behavior.  I felt all eyes follow as we took one after the other out.

One Sunday our precocious third child coaxed a piece of chewing gum from the boy sitting in front of us.  She literally retrieved it from his mouth!  The poor little guy asked his dad for another piece and was told that if he swallowed it, he couldn’t have anymore.  Of course we explained after church, but it was one of those moments  I  wanted to crawl in a hole.

Most of the time we picked up smidgeons of the sermon, but I often wondered if it was  serving any purpose to bring them to church every week.  In those moments I was underestimating the power of the Holy Spirit.  Not only was He working in the hearts and minds of my children, He was doing so in me as well.

His house is the perfect place to bring our families to be fed, even though we don’t see immediate results.  We’re demonstrating to them the respect and honor  due our God through worship, praise and prayers.  Kids may not be big enough to see over the pew, but they can see us.  God loves children just as He loves all those who come to Him.  He is one of the best things we can bring to these precious little lambs.

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(This is my grandson, Josh, who will be graduating from high school next month.)

Scrolling through Facebook, you can’t help but notice that it’s spring and young men’s fancies turn to thoughts of . . . well, uh, er, you know.  I don’t remember prom, because we never had one when I was in high school.  Dancing was forbidden at the time – for whatever reason.  I think it had something to do with those thoughts young men’s fancies turn to.  My first two kids had to suffer the same indignity, since they went to private Lutheran high school and things don’t change much in the Lutheran Church, until my third child became a Junior.  At that point, some bolt of lightening must’ve come out of the sky and declared that dancing was OK and proms were OK too.  She was the first in our family to attend prom.  Most families’ claim to fame is when a child is the first to graduate from college.

Looking at pictures today of these young adults who are no longer the kids I taught drama and public speaking skills to, makes me wonder where the time has gone.  As parents we look at our kids all gussied up in tuxedos and formals and wonder who they are?  We’re so used to seeing them in basketball or soccer uniforms, smelly sweat shirts and flannel pajama bottoms.  When they appear in this adult garb, it’s well, uh, er, you know … weird!

Kids surprise us everyday, but when they actually surprise you by becoming adults, its amazing.  You wonder how these kids jumped from insecure, shy, fun loving, daring, to sophisticated, glamorous and grown up,  How did that happen?  All of a sudden, they’re so much more than you ever dreamed – so confident – so polished.  Somewhere in the high school years, this transition takes place.

At times it seems they’ll never grow up.  There are the disagreements, the discipline issues, the hormones raging and well, uh, er, all that other stuff that goes along with the teen years.  You can pretty much count on not knowing much about anything in your teen’s eyes until they turn age 30 and realize that somehow you became really intelligent along the line.

Remember that the ground work you’re laying with your teens is going to last them a lifetime.  They are counting on you to be good role models, give them the tools they need to live, set boundaries for them.  Even though they think they know it all, they still need you.  Don’t let them down.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

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Give thanks to the Lord for His creation,

In His hands all things came into existence,

The trees perfectly designed and crafted to bring shade, comfort, and shelter,

The seas in all their majesty, blown into place by His breath,

Abundant with life, food for our stomachs and beauty to behold,

The sky is filled with the voice and color of His paintbrush,

A glimmering sunset, a rainbow of promise, clouds to gather the tears of man,

The secret places are His also, He formed great mountains from formless clay,

He carved the crevices from steely granite, penciled in the lines,

Washed the canvas with water, tweaked, punched, chiseled,

He created every living thing,

Formed from nothing into intricately executed works of art,

Giving the first man a likeness of Himself,

And the first woman taken from the rib of the man,

To forever be a part of him,

God is the Creator of all things,

Let us praise Him and thank Him for His wondrous gifts,

And remind us that He created us to be the caretakers of His creation.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10


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Oh come, let us sing unto the Lord …

Today is Earth Day.  Words will be spoken about man’s responsibility to take care of it.  There will be those who expound upon how we’re accountable for climate change, pollution and overpopulation.  Those words are nothing in comparison to the One who created this planet and every other orb in the universe.  He placed each one in perfect alignment, with the utmost care and perfection.

It is true that man is responsible for the decay and degeneration of our planet.  It started shortly after creation, when man desired to be equal with God and disobeyed Him.  It continues today for the same reason.

God created perfection.  Not one rock was out of place.  The earth was precisely watered by His own hand through a canopy which covered it.  Each molecule, each cell, each atom contained a design that could only be mastered by the divine.  Geometric shapes and mathematical equations are in all of it – not because of some man made engineering feat, but because God made it.

Even when the earth was covered with the great flood, God’s finger carved beauty within the landscape – cutting through mountains, creating caverns, canyons and valleys – preserving remnants of hidden civilizations within it’s belly.  Even when man pushed his way through the countryside, destroying prairies and forests, building factories, railroads and highways – God left beautiful vistas and landscapes in its wake.

It is our duty, as children of God, to preserve this planet as best as is humanly possible, but, as children of God, we also know that God is still in control even when we make a mess of things.  Our prayers are still heard.  For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Dear, Father, God, thank you for continuing to care for the earth, in spite of our mistakes and foolishness.  Help us remember that you can calm the seas and smother fires with one breath – that you are in control of rebirth and renewal.  Help us to trust in your almighty providence and keep our planet in your hands.  Amen!

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