Friday, July 29, 2011


First things should be kept first. Our highest priorities shouldn't change often. So what is top priority to me?

Here is the list:

1. God and doing His will.
2. Wanda.
3. Our children and grands and family.
4. His call on my life for ministry.
5. Friends.

I enjoy many types of activities especially riding "Big Red" and sports. Traveling, reading, good movies, and good food are all high on my list too.

But every morning I begin with a few moments with the Lord and then He goes with me throughout my day.

Those are my priorities. I don't see them changing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Tuesday I did a grave side service at the National Cemetery for one of our church members, who was a veteran. That is always a solemn service with honors and respect. I am always emotionally charged at these funeral services.

After saying a few words and then praying, they play taps. People silently weep. Strong men are misty eyed. Little children quietly ask their moms what is happening. It is a moment of awe.

They only allow 30 minutes at the National Cemetery for services including driving in and parking, unloading, a brief service with honors, and then leaving. It is quick. Soo many veterans are passing that they have to bury them at a fast pace.

As I drove in and left, you could see white markers lined up perfectly straight in every direction. The grave markers are distinctively laid out in perfect lines from all angles with dignity and awe.

Thank God for veterans who have served our Country. Thank God for the freedoms they have won and guarded for us. I salute those who have lived and died for our liberty.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I like to be upbeat, but sometimes that isn't easy.

I love America. We live in a great Nation. Yet, sad days are before us.

How did we get to a point where America's leaders would celebrate immorality and sin? How did we come to a place where good would be called evil and evil would be called good? When and how did we lose our moral compass?

My stomach churns when I read of national leaders and governors and legislatures working to approve and force same sex marriage. Those who dare speak truth are made as bigots and intolerants. The present leaders and media bias does not allow a honest discussion of morality.

Yet, for more hundreds of years our forefathers values worked. What has changed? Why change now? A marriage has always been defined as a union between a man and a women. Why should that change now? Who all of a sudden has come up with a higher wisdom than generations of our forefathers before us?

Let me say that homosexuals should not be hated or scorned, but neither should their behavior be accepted or normalized.

Here is the deal.

Society has a moral duty to set moral standards, and we do. The questions is whose standards do we chose to follow? Someone's standards and values will prevail.

Why not chose standards that have worked from the beginning of mankind? Why not chose standards given by God's Word?

Say what you will, but children need a mother and a father. They do not need men loving on men and women loving on women as a model to confuse them or point them in a wrong direction. We do not allow many forms of behavior because again society has a duty and responsibility to set acceptable behavior. One cannot do just anything one choses to do publicly, and rightfully so.

So, may God send a revival of righteousness in our Land. May God give us a holy shaking to awaken our Nation. It is time. Sad days of sin are here, but truth sets us free. May God give our land a moral cleansing and healing. May God give us bold, righteous leaders who are not afraid to stand for righteousness and truth.

May God send a revival to our churches, and homes, and families.

Or more sad days will come.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Normally I post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but today is different.


July 21 will always be a hard day for me. This morning the phone rang around 6 AM. I was already awake, but knew such an early call probably wasn't good news. It wasn't.

The person on the end of the line said, "He's gone. He is in heaven."

Her precious spouse had just passed. That's hard.

I hung the phone up and said to Wanda, "I will never forget the day he died."

Today three years ago the first love of my life went to heaven. Anniversaries of the deaths of those close are always hard. There is no way around it.

Yet, when I got to my office this morning, there was a precious note from Wanda, my precious second love. She wrote an email of comfort, grace, and encouragement. Wow! What a gift from God. The hurt lessoned. The pain was soothed.

How can we honor Kristy?

By finishing our races to win Christ strong. By not looking back. By going forward. By being our best for Jesus. That is how Kristy did it.

She is well in heaven. Today, I press again for the prize of my high calling in Christ Jesus. Kristy won. By His grace, I will win too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Life goes better where there is love and respect. Marriage goes better too when love and respect are mutually given. Both virtues are found in the grace of God. When Jesus is alive in our hearts these elements flow freely.

Men need the respect and women need the love. Of course both can use a healthy dose of both. Now what does that mean? Well, when you love then you will show respect, and when you respect then you will show love. So both men and women need both love and respect. It is just than men's egos need more respect and women's emotions need more love.

Both love and respect flow from the heart of God. His love affects our speech, actions, life styles, and destiny.

Here is the deal. If you show respect to your man then you are more likely to receive tenderness and love, and if you show tenderness and love to your lady then you are more likely to receive the respect.

It is a law. The law is called sowing and reaping. It is God's law. It is a law of life.

So don't worry about what you are receiving. Just give attention to what you are giving. The rest will just work out.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Life is full of challenges. Some are expected while others are not. It is true for all us.

I had planned on posting today sharing about Wanda and my love story, but I am still working on it. It will be a while before I do that.

Pastors face all kinds of challenges in assisting their parishioners. Those challenges come in many forms. Some are heart rending and hurt.

Sunday there were several challenges which I faced. It hurts when you see dear sweet people get bad news, or struggle with children, or face financial distress. Yet, over and over I have felt the loving hand of our Lord reach down and help. He is faithful.

It is the Lord who sees us through the trials of life. It is the Lord who makes a way. When we call out to God, He hears and He answers. He makes a way.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Wanda and I have a wonderful story of love and grace. We both experienced happiness and love in our first marriages, and now God has brought us together to complete our life's journeys. I have long felt that I should write my story and our story in book form, but parts of my story were still to painful for me to bear. Wanda has encouraged me to begin with writing our story first and then go back to the story of our first mates, and specifically Kristy and me.

I had thought I would write before now, and I tried several times. It was too painful. I couldn't do it. I really don't know how I wrote all those blogs on Kristy's blog telling her story and how story day by day as it unfolded. Somehow I did, but I don't know how.

Now I am feeling compelled to move ahead in writing our story. I have begun and will post some of it on this blog. I feel Wanda and I both have unique stories of love and second love that could encourage and inspire others. We have been told this over and over.

So, look for new posts soon that will share our stories of loss, pain, shock, grief, and new joy, hope, love, life, fulfillment, future, and destiny.

It isn't an easy story, but it is a blessed story. It is a story of God's recovery and blessing. It is our story.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Have you every done anything dumb? I mean really dumb?

I saw a portion of a TV program recently that offered reports on dumb things kids are doing today that are extreme and extremely dangerous. They showed young people attempting to jumb over moving cars, or jump off of high bridges, or racing motorcycles on just one wheel, or fighting and taking extreme punches. All of it was dumb.

Why? What is the point?

Are young people so bored today that they don't have anything better to do?

I will admit when I was a boy we had BB gun fights. One time I slid off my top bunk in my bedroom on my head to see of I could do it. Now that was really dumb.

The dumbest thing in the world to me is to play chicken with eternity. Why would anyone risk their soul to an eternity in hell? I don't fathom. Yet, Jesus has provided the way of escape. He has paid our debt of sin. He offers salvation freely to those who will believe and follow Him.

Any other way seems dumb to me. It seems even dumber than dumb stuff kids do today.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Scary moments are not good. Church was over yesterday, and I was greeting folks as they left out the front door. A worried mother exclaimed, "My son is gone!"

She was new so I didn't know her or her son. He was four.

"He was with his grandmother, and now he is gone," she said.

"When did you last see him," I asked.

"Just a moment ago, and now he is gone," she responded.

We quickly had people looking everywhere. Our sanctuary is large and we have classrooms that surround it. There are lots of places a little one could be. We frantically looked. He wasn't to be found. We looked with even more concern. The police were called.

We have security that watch inside and outside our facilities, but this little one had gotten away from his family and couldn't be found.

More concern.

Some prayed.

Others looked again.

The mom ran back out to the car where she had already checked for him, and............

there he was. Hiding....

He had gotten some candy from a family member's purse and wanted to eat it before he was caught. He ran out to the car and hid.

Oh my! Were we relieved. The boy was frightened. The mom was thankful, shaken, and upset.

But then I thought about what the Lord taught about being lost.

A lost coin.

A lost sheep.

A lost son.

A lost soul.

I will search with greater passion so that none will be lost.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Most of America has been on edge this week with the conclusion of the Casey Anthony trial in Orlando, FL, and the not guilty verdict. Did she do it? The jurors didn't feel there was proof enough to convict so she goes free. Was justice served? Why wasn't she found guilty?

Reportedly the jurors did not think she was innocent, but they did not have enough evidence to convict. In that sense, justice was served. But little Caylee is still dead, and the killer has not been brought to justice.

To some, it seems that Casey Anthony just got off, but did she? Will she get by her with horrible lies and wickedness?

No, she hasn't gotten by anything. There is a higher court of opinion that will rule in this matter. And that court does not have a problem with hidden evidence or lies. This court has an all seeing and all knowing Judge. There will no need to swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this court. This court has all the evidence and facts. No one can refute what this court knows.

It is the last and Great Judgement before God. Every deed and act will be judged. No one will get by with murder or crime there.

Oh, there is one exception. It is the grace exception.

Grace and mercy will be given to those who accept the payment for their crimes paid by Christ on The Cross. Just think of it. Just think of it. No matter what crimes or sins anyone has ever committed, they will be found NOT GUILTY if they have accepted the Grace of Calvary.

Praise God!

My sins are gone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Learning is a lifetime challenge. The moment a person quits learning or loses the desire to learn, they are dead. Leaders must be learners. Knowledge is power. Wisdom is the power to aptly or rightly apply knowledge. God is the source of both.

Young and old must be fact gathers. Facts help keep the wheels of life rolling the right way. They make the road of life smoother and easier to tolerate.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have wanted to kick myself after I learned an easier, more productive way of doing a task.

God has given us brains. He wrapped a skull around those brains, and I believe God expects us to use those brains. Go figure.

I read an article in the news this week about a motorcyclist who was riding his bike in New York State as part of a protest against a state law requiring motorcyclist to wear helmets. He didn't like the law and was riding in protest without a helmet. Here is the problem. He wrecked his bike and fell on his head and the blow killed him.

Go figure?

His poor application of knowledge in a very unwise way cost his life.


Yet, in even more eternally impacting life choices, people make decisions that determine their eternal destiny. Their unwillingness to receive the knowledge of God into their lives leads to a life-time and eternity of sorrow and loss.

The knowledge of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.

Knowledge is power.

The knowledge of the Lord makes one eternally wise.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Recently we had six of our seven grandchildren here in our home for several days. Now that will keep a Nana busy! Yes, she was!

They are loads of fun, and busy, busy, busy.

I took all six of them to the Hands On Museum, and of course we took them to the beach. No, there were no trips to the zoo, zoo, zoo this time. Maybe another day.

Wanda decided that she wanted to buy bird houses and let the grands all paint one. I saw paint everywhere, but she prevailed anyhow. They loved it. Each one's little personality came across in their paintings. There was a little paint on the floor and one wall, but nothing was hurt. And, they all had a ball.

Now we have six little bird houses in our back yard, and there will be one more bird house to be painted a little this summer.

When we look out the back window, there all the little birdies' houses. I don't know if they'll ever house birdies, but they will remind us of them and a painting adventure with Nana.

Isn't Wanda special. I love her.

Six little birdies: Alex, Nic, Cole, Paige, Claudia, and Lorenzo. One little birdie hasn't flown in yet, but he will. Alex Clark will make it seven. Then there will be seven little bird houses for seven little birdies. Now they are special!

Cole and Paige are back up for a short visit with their mom and dad. They are the first to see the little bird houses in the back yard.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I went to a funeral of a minister friend this past week. He died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack. Needless to say his family was stunned. His children are grown, but they are all in shock.

No one knew it was coming. The day of his death there wasn't a clue. It just happened, and all their worlds changed. It will never be the same ever again for any of them.

I understand in part. Wanda and I deal with the loss of both of our first spouses. Jim died similarly has my minister friend, without warning. Kristy died after 9 months of illness. We got to say our good-byes, but it came with a price.

What is the point?

Live for today. Live with no regrets. Live to bless.

You do not know what the day will bring.