Lincoln Said It Right!

At the end of the devastating Civil War, Lincoln called for a spirit of reconciliation and an end to animosity.

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”                                   Second Inaugural Address (delivered March 4, 1865).

Hopefully, we as Americans can listen to his wise counsel and find ways to stop the violence.   Listening, learning and loving . . .may be good for starters.



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.”



“Just the Facts, Ma’am.”

    In the early days of television, Detective Sgt. Joe Friday relentlessly searched for clues to solve crimes.  This fictional character was played by Jack Webb, who created the radio program and later television series, Dragnet.  Determined to stay focused and not get  side-tracked, Sgt. Friday became known for his words, “Just the Facts, Ma’am.”

   How hard it seems to be, today, for our newspaper and television investigative reporters to present “just the facts”  and avoid spinning real and fake information. The average American has to dig deeply into all reports put out by the news media to be able to discern what is truth and what is not.  It takes time and effort not to “buy a lie.”



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.


The Lasting Impression Of Prayer..

The Power Of A Praying Person

When my oldest son was a baby, he was awake and hungry very early each morning.  {Some things never change It was then I began to keep a prayer journal and read the One Year Bible, once he fell back to sleep.  Many years later, I still keep my prayer journal and read the One Year Bible in the morning, but not quite as early nowadays.

Many answers to prayer have been reported in my journal and reading the Bible every year has been extremely amazing.  Somehow,  one can learn all kinds of new stuff about God and His Word.

But the real surprise I got not too long ago was a wonderful comment  from my son. . .yes, the early bird mentioned above.  I was asking him if he could recall anything I had done right when he and his younger brother and older sister were growing up.

“I remember how you were sitting reading the Bible every morning when I came downstairs,” he said.  “It was a reminder of how important it is to have strong faith.”      His words were quite a surprise and very encouraging.

Then I, too, remembered seeing my grandfather kneel by his bed, a Bible open as he prayed in German.  I didn’t understand what he was saying, but did recognize he mentioned my name in his prayers.  That picture of him remains clear in my mind.  He had the door partly cracked -just enough for me  to see and hear him-which really increased my own faith..

These days I look at the power of prayer in a whole different light..




Are You Using Your Head?

Is the amount of our brain that we use just the tip of the iceberg?

It is said, most people use only 10% of their brain.  Do you agree? Guess we need to

figure out how to increase that number.  I’m shooting for 17% in 2017!