Maria’s Main Message

One day back in the late sixties, my friend, Lois, called to ask if I was free that evening.  I am so glad I was, as she invited me, and my 9 year old daughter, Pammy,  to attend a talk by Maria Von Trapp.  She was appearing at nearby Triton College.  Of course, I did have to explain to Pammy that we were not going to see and hear Julie Andrews and she did understand that.  Sound of Music had become her favorite movie, next to Mary Poppins.

Maria was entertaining and even more remarkably inspiring.  She had her audience laughing and singing.  Many were students of this community college but most were fans of Baroness Maria Von Trapp, coming from all around the western suburbs of Chicago.  Even back then, before it became “politically correct” not to mix religion with public events, Maria did not allow the fact she was not in a church to prevent her from giving a very inspiring faith message.

I can still see her now, dynamically and boldly proclaiming how important it is for every person to “know and to do the Will of God.”  She pointed out how, when she had been planning to be a nun and was sent on a temporary, short time assignment to teach children who had lost their mother, she was guided to seek what God’s Will was.

Maria discovered God’s Will was for her to become stepmother of these seven children, and not to be a nun. It is not always easy to know the Will of God, but it is worth seeking. Once we know what He wants us to do, it is important to do it. As Maria herself said ” to know and to do the will of God”.




Not Just Hope So . . . Rather Believe So!

 In her post,  It’s Personal, seasoned blogger, Rebekah Beene, wrote, “The King has heard your petition.  You are not whispering ‘hope so’s’ into the atmosphere.  You have an audience with the only living God.”

Over and over in the written Word of God, believers are assured that God hears our prayers.  Yes, we have probably been reminded that His answer may be yes, no or not yet.  Many times in my life, friends have reminded me, ‘delay is not denial’.   Difficult as it is, trusting that the answer to our prayer may take many days, weeks, months or even years is not easy.  Yet, a certain peace often comforts us as we ‘keep the faith’.

There are even times when, as we wait, our mind changes and we realize the particular prayer request we so fervently repeated, is no longer what we really want.  In fact, we may be very glad that prayer was answered a definite “no.” We don’t always know what is right for us so oftentimes we may pray for things that would hinder not help, harm not heal. However there is a promise in scripture that can solve the problem of what is and is not the best for us. Psalm 37:4  says ” Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”. Now that is an entirely different idea than us tossing prayers up and seeing how things turn out.

Notice it does not say ” I will give you the desires of your heart, then you can delight yourself in me” . No it actually means that when we draw close to the Lord, or delight ourselves in Him, He WILL give us the desires of our heart. Why though are we guaranteed the desires of our hearts if we ” delight” or draw close to Him? It is because when we walk closely with Him, the desires of our heart will line up with the desires of His. That is the secret. It is not about heaving endless prayers to see what hits and what does not. It is about staying so close to the Lord that we know what to pray and when we pray our prayers will be answered.

Watchman Nee put it something like this- we walk in close with fellowship with Him, the Spirit Impresses upon us those things we are to pray, or those people we are to pray for, and God answers those prayers. It is a matter of discipline to stay close to the Lord so we can hear His voice through the Spirit. It is a matter of obedience to then pray for those things we know to pray.

Save some time and energy and find out what He is thinking before you pray. You are likely to have more answered prayer, and that’s a promise!


When the Fireworks Are Out of Sight

It was evening on July 4th several years ago.  My delightful 90 year old friend, Dorothy, had invited me to come watch fireworks from her balcony overlooking the Halifax River.  I knew she wanted company but I was taking care of my young granddaughter and had promised to take her to watch our community fireworks display.

So I asked Emily, who was five years old, if she cared if we went to be with Miss Dorothy instead of going to the big park to watch the display.  Emily liked Miss Dorothy, so agreed to go to be with her.  We all enjoyed a strawberry ice cream bar, then went out to the 5th floor deck to get ready and comfortable to watch the fireworks.

Soon we heard the sounds of fireworks, and exclamations of delight from the crowd.  But we were unable to see a thing.  We were confused because Miss Dorothy kept saying,  “I don’t understand.  We used to see them perfectly.”

It turned out that she had not watched them for several years, since her husband died.  A new building had been put up since then, that robbed the people living in the center building of their once perfect view.

As I tried to decide if there was enough time to go downstairs and walk around the south building,  Miss Dorothy told us to go ahead but she wasn’t up to going.  Then sweet Emily said, “Oh, no!  We are not going without you.”  She ran over and hugged our elderly hostess.  I was so relieved and proud of young Emily.

So we went indoors and watched Macy’s fireworks on television.  And we enjoyed a second strawberry ice cream bar with a glass of apple juice.

The next year, Emily and her baby sister went with their mom and dad to the community display.  They arrived early to get a great view.  I went to spend the evening with Miss Dorothy.  We again watched the Macy’s fireworks display.  But that year we had vanilla ice cream bars (instead of strawberry) with our apple juice.

I was reminded how we all have times when things do not go as we planned.  But time often gives us a second chance.  As has been said in Israel, “Maybe next year.”



Remember the days of Davy Crockett . .

Crockett was an activist and accomplished many significant things during his busy life.  Though he died at 49 years of age at The Battle of The Alamo, he had previously carried out a number of patriot projects.  One wonders why the popular 1950’s Disney television series starring Fess Parker, has not been redone in recent years.  Obviously not as exciting as Wonder Woman!  Although the song stayed around for quite a while, as well as the sale of coonskin hats for children.

One memorable incident in Crockett’s life was receiving a formal letter of thanks from a Cherokee Indian Chief.  While he did fight to protect families from Indian attacks, he also at times defended their rights to land.  Crockett was very opposed to President Jackson’s actions to take away land from the Native Americans through his controversial Indian Removal Act.  Future president, Abraham Lincoln and Crockett spoke out to the U.S. congress against the Indian Removal Act.  Crockett also wrote a letter to President Jackson. In Crockett’s  Narrative of the Life of  David Crockett, he clearly stated his disturbance.  I believe it was a wicked, unjust measure. . . I voted against this Indian bill, and my conscience yet tells me that I gave a good honest vote, and one that I believe will not make me ashamed in the day of judgement.

   Crockett insisted the word “republican” be inserted in an oath of allegiance document he and others took to the “Provisional Government of Texas”.  Crockett felt Texas was the best land and best prospects for health he had ever seen and intended to relocate his family to the San Antonio area.  Sadly, before he could do that, Crockett was killed in the Texas Revolution at the Battle of the Alamo. 

Although not many may realize it today, Davey Crockett was ashamed of how his own president so readily discarded the Native Americans from their own land.


Is it Ethical to Slant Truth in Journalism?

Years ago, most reporters sincerely attempted to “tell the truth” as they covered their assignments.  That was when I was young, very many years ago.  I studied various journalists and especially respected Adele Rogers St John. Her informative reports on various events and trials were interesting and educational.  I may have disagreed at times with her perspective but I never considered her to be presenting “fake news.”

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Discerning what is true and what is not, robs sincere searchers of their time and effort.  Now I “pick and choose” what I really “need to know” and manage to get along without knowing as much as I would prefer to know.  Truly a sad state of affairs when I can no longer be a “know it all. ”  LOL!          dm



On Getting One’s Act Together…

Definition: “To start to organize yourself so that you do things in an effective way.”

During much of my life, I have told myself, “One of these days. I really  need to get my   act together!”  Now that I am in my late 70’s, it occurred to me, “It is now or never.”

So, I am now determined to come up with a plan. . . and then work the plan.  Probably it will take a bit of determination at this late date but it can’t be postponed much longer.

So. where to start?   Make a list, of course!  What else?  Deliberately decide what my goals are …  not exactly a “bucket list” but similar.

I have always believed that God has a purpose for everyone who trusts Him.  In fact, many times in my life, it became very clear that a door had opened because God had closed one door and opened another.  Other times,  I missed God’s best because I was too confident that I knew what I was doing. LOL.

So, time to get busy and make my list-Is anyone else out there trying to get their act together?



Off the Beaten Path. . . my Turtle Trilogy

One way or another, turtles have had a way of becoming a part of my family.

First, in order of time sequence,  consider the tiny turtle my daughter, Pamela, gently lifted out of Lauderdale Lake, in Wisconsin,  one spring morning.  Yes, for a time, we took it home with us.  It seemed content to walk across our large front floor room and we all spent a lot of time just watching it go back and forth from one wall to another.  Then we began to wonder if it missed being in the lake.  The next time we returned to Lutherdale Bible Camp, we all headed down to the beach and sadly but gladly put the turtle in the sand. At first, of course, it hid its head in the shell, then  poked it out  and headed to the lake.  Slowly at first, but quicker by the minute, it hit the water and began swimming. For years, Pammy was sure she recognized it somewhere in the lake.

Then came the summer several years later when we were on a small boat near shore in the Mississippi River.  Timmy asked if we could catch a turtle and bring it home. “I doubt you can catch one,”  the owner of the fishing boat said.  At that moment, Timmy  reached out on a branch floating in the water, and pulled No.2 into the boat.  Again, we brought it home,  enjoyed it and then felt it time to return it.  Same scenario…it seemed happy to be back in the rushing river.

Again, years later,  my children were older and Danny, my youngest son, was in his senior year of college at University of FL in Gainesville.  As he was driving back to his apartment after attending church one Sunday, he slowed down to avoid hitting a large turtle slowly crossing the road. He passed it and kept going for a while.  Suddenly he slowed down and turned around.  The turtle was still crossing the road with cars speeding by. Danny found a large box in his trunk and gently lifted the turtle into  it.

“What to do with it now?” Danny wondered.  Then an idea came to his mind.  He decided to take it to the local community college, as it offered courses in zoology.  It was the right choice.  When he brought out an employee from the college to look at it, she got very excited and hugged Danny.  Turns out it was a very significant type of almost-extinct turtle.  By now,  others were coming to view the turtle, who seemed curious about so much excitement.  When Danny returned to his apartment and called me,  we laughed at the fact turtle no.3 was now part of our turtle tales.

But that is not the end of our turtle tales.  For the last two years, Jacob and Rebecca have shared my screened porch living in a large glass fish tank.  They enjoy sitting on their pet rocks basking in the sun.  There is enough water for them to swim along with some dry area.  My granddaughter, Emily, selected them; she and her younger sister, Shelbi, named them.

I live a short walk to the Atlantic Ocean, and certain times of the year turtles lay eggs and become a major attraction.  Watching them is fun.  Turtles are in my blood, I believe.