Check the Email Address First

>> Friday, April 29, 2011

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel. So the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mail expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: October 16, 2005

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I've seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then. Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P. S. Sure is freaking hot down here!!!!


Being Held in the Hot Spot

>> Thursday, April 28, 2011

“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Malachi 3:3 (NIV)

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says:  'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”

He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.”  

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

(Author Unknown)



>> Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The air turns dark with a greenish tint. Lightening fills the sky and thunder rolls loudly in your ears. Tornado weather. I’ve seen more than my share of them, growing up in Kansas and then living in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Good ole tornado alley. At school, we had tornado drills … duck and cover. We would clamber under our desks and cover our heads.

My mother, on the other hand, thought the idea was to wait until the tornado sirens were blaring before we were to do anything. We lived upstairs and the only way down was an outside wooden stairway with a corrugated tin roof … which sounds especially wonderful when it is hailing. As tree limbs fell past and lightening uprooted trees nearby, we would slip and slide our way down the stairs and run for a basement two houses away.

We, personally, were not prepared. I no longer live in tornado alley, but if you do, here is a website to help in your tornado preparedness:

With the recent earthquake in Japan, we’ve been hearing a lot about what to do when the earth shakes. I remember a small earthquake in Kansas when I was in elementary school. Earthquakes were not something we had been given training for, so I just listened as the dishes in the cupboard rattled … wondering if any action on my part was required.

As I watched this spectacle, the plant continued to swing and the floor felt like it was rippling. We were obviously not prepared. Even though you think you don’t live in earthquake country, maybe you should check out this website:

Did you read the Left Behind series of books? Those books explained in great detail what the Bible has to say about the end of life as we know it. Christ-followers call it the Rapture, when Jesus will return to earth in the clouds. The Bible tells us no one knows when this will happen. It is up to us to be prepared for that event.

If you are not ready for that day, the information you need is available here:

“And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master's word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they'll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.” I Thess. 4:15-18 (MSG)


Billy Graham's New Suit

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor. Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, “We don't expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.” So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, “I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn't there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it.

The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it.”

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don't need a ticket.  I'm sure you bought one.”

Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going.''

Having said that Billy Graham continued, “See the suit I'm wearing? It's a brand new suit. My children and my grandchildren are telling me I've gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I'll be buried. But when you hear I'm dead, I don't want you to immediately remember the suit I'm wearing. 

I want you to remember this.

I not only know who I am … I also know where I'm going.”

“Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.” Hebrews 11:13-16 (MSG)


A Sandpiper to Bring You Joy

>> Monday, April 25, 2011

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.

“Hello,” she said,

I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.

“I’m building,” she said,

“I see that. What is it?” I asked, not really caring.

“Oh, I don’t know. I just like the feel of sand.”

That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by.

“That’s a joy,” the child said.

“It’s a what?”

“It’s a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy.”

The bird went gliding down the beach. Goodbye joy, I muttered to myself. Hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance.

“What’s your name?” She wouldn’t give up.

“Robert,” I answered. “I’m Robert Peterson.”

“Mine’s Wendy. I’m six.”

“Hi Wendy.”

She giggled. “You’re funny,” she said.

In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.

“Come again, Mr. P.” she called. “We’ll have another happy day.”

The next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning. I need a sandpiper, I said to my self, gathering my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.

“Hello, Mr. P,” she said. “Do you want to play?”

“What did you have in mind?” I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.

“I don’t know. You say.”

“How about charades?” I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. “I don’t know what that is.”

“Then let’s just walk.”

Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.

“Where do you live?”

“Over there.” She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.

Strange, I thought. It’s winter.

“Where do you go to school?”

“I don’t go to school. Mommy says we’re on vacation.”

She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.

“Look, if you don’t mind,” I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me. “I’d rather be alone today.” She seemed out of breath.

“Why?” she asked.

I turned to her and shouted, “Because my mother died!” Then I thought, my God, why was I saying this to a little child?

“Oh,” she said quietly, “then this is a bad day.”

“Yes, and yesterday and the day before and … oh, go away.”

“Did it hurt?” she inquired.

“Did what hurt?” I was exasperated with her … with myself.

“When she died?”

“Of course it hurt.” I snapped, misunderstanding and wrapped up in myself. I strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn’t there. Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

“Hello,” I said, “I’m Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was.”

“Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I’m afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please accept my apologies.”

“Not at all. She’s a delightful child,” I said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I had just said.

“Wendy died last week. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn’t tell you.”

Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.

“She loved this beach, so when she asked to come we couldn’t say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly.” Her voice faltered. “She left something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?”

I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with “MR. P” printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues … a yellow beach, a blue sea and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed:


Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy’s mother in my arms. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” I uttered over and over. We wept together.

The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words … one for each year of her life … that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand … who taught me the gift of love.

This was written by a woman named Mary Sherman Hilbert and a version of it was published in Reader’s Digest in 1980. The explanation from the author is that a neighbor of hers had told her of an experience he had while walking on a beach in the state of Washington. The author took notes at the time and decided to write about it.


Behold He is Risen

>> Sunday, April 24, 2011

It’s still dark outside, but Mother says, “Get up.” Easter morning has come and we have a walk ahead of us. When the sun comes up, we will be on a cold, windy hill with a group of people from our church attending our sunrise service. Blankets are placed in the wagon and we take turns pulling it through the darkness.

That’s one of my first memories of what Easter was about. I don’t remember anything that was said … just how very cold I was. And then we had that long walk home.

Years later, when it was up to me to make memories with my children, I wanted to create some special ones for Easter. We dyed the eggs, but before dipping them in the coloring, we set aside four eggs. Since I had three children, we each wrote on one egg. The word Behold was placed in one color, the word He we placed in the purple, the word Is went in another color and the last word Risen would go in the yellow. We let them set for a long time to make the color brilliant.

When the eggs were dry, we placed them in a nest of Easter grass … pronouncing BEHOLD HE IS RISEN. Early Easter Sunday morning, we would go to someone’s doorstep and leave our gift. One year the kids wanted to take it to the pastor’s house. Later that morning, during his sermon, the preacher mentioned that he happened to see the Easter bunny come to his door that morning.

We hid the eggs over and over. One year we couldn’t find one of them. This was not good, since I had allowed them to hide the eggs in the house. Of course we found it weeks later, but that was the last year they hid them inside.

When the last egg had been hidden and discovered, we would take our eggs to a park. When you don’t have much money, you tend to be a little more creative in ways to find enjoyment. I devised a game called Demolition Derby. You get the picture. We would sit in a circle and roll the eggs at each other. The harder you rolled, the mightier the crash. First the shell would shatter and bits and pieces fall away. Soon we would be down to the yolk … laughing and having a great time. Clean up was a little messy, but worth it.

Most importantly, I wanted them to understand the real meaning of Easter wasn’t about a fancy dress or new shoes for church. The Easter bunny and Easter baskets under the bed were enjoyable, but not a reason for celebration. The true meaning was those four words on the eggs.

“He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen.” Matthew 28:6 (NLT)


Dead or Alive?

>> Saturday, April 23, 2011

A tomb was a home for the dead … a totally dark space. Depending on the size of the tomb, it might contain only one body, or a whole family.

After the body was placed in the tomb, it was wrapped in linen that had been saturated with embalming ointment; a mixture of myrrh and aloes. This ointment would then dry into a shellac-like substance and the linen wrap would become stiff. The body now resided in a hardened cocoon. If a large stone was rolled in front of the opening, that would make it much more difficult to move the body, making the burial site more permanent.

Before sealing the tomb, authorities were first required to inspect the inside of the tomb to see that the body was really in place. After guaranteeing that the corpse was where it was supposed to be, the stone was rolled across the doorway and then sealed shut.

Sometimes, as in the case with Jesus, soldiers stood guard to protect the tomb from anyone who would attempt to touch it or remove its contents. Every three hours, new guards arrived to replace the old ones.

Chuck Swindoll’s recent podcasts have been about the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. As I’ve pondered his words, I’ve seen a correlation between the ancient tombs and the one I grew up in.

There was a lot of darkness in the two rooms I called home … but not much life. And that lifelessness spilled over into the church where we attended. The somber faces of the congregation gave the appearance of being shellacked into a hardened substance. With the stiffness of their spirits and an abundance of judgmental attitudes, the church members lived in a cocoon … never emerging and never allowing anyone in.

The black book we called the Manual could be compared to the large stone that was rolled across the doorway. I lived my life inside that tomb; with the Manual in place to ensure that no one could rescue me and that I could not escape. And there were guards everywhere … reporting my activities to anyone who would listen.

But they felt a much larger stone would be needed to keep me under control. So they brought in a fierce and frightening God. Knowing He was watching every move I made kept me securely entombed.

In my 30’s, I discovered a different God who rolled the stone away from my door.

Are you dead or alive? Tombs can come in all sizes and shapes. Low self-esteem, alcoholism, abuse, drugs and many other things can trap you in a very dark place. If you want out, there is a very loving, caring God who will roll your stone away.

“Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.” John 20:1 (NLT)


The Heartbreak of Seattle

>> Thursday, April 21, 2011

He sat on the sidewalk, leaning against the traffic light pole. I walked within touching distance and could easily read his sign … “I have colon cancer and am taking chemo. Have lost my job. Can you help?”

We made eye contact. I didn’t mean to. That made it all the harder to step down from the curb and walk across the street … not looking back. My heart was heavy. What kind of a Christian am I?

And they were everywhere. Men … women … skinny as rails … dirty … ragged clothes. Some had a dog by their side. If they are starving, why do they have a dog to feed? But what if that is the only companionship they have? How is it my place to judge?

They nagged in the back of my mind as I spent several days in Seattle, enjoying my husband’s company, staying in a nice hotel, eating in the restaurants of our choice and just basically having a wonderful time.

I’ve heard the stories. For some of them, this is how they earn their living and they go home to a real house with a real family. They are the fake homeless ones. How do you know which one that is? Others have mental issues. How sad. I want to put them in my car and take them home.

How do you know what to do?

There is a story in the Bible that talks about helping your neighbor.

“………How would you define 'neighbor'?"

Jesus answered by telling a story. "There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I'll pay you on my way back.'

"What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"

"The one who treated him kindly," the religion scholar responded.

 Jesus said, "Go and do the same." Luke 10:27b-37 (MSG)

I didn’t.

I’ve felt this way before. I never want to go to Mexico again … little children begging at my feet. They haunted me for months. I want millions of dollars and then I can fix it. Or can I?

Even though it is hard to believe, this is the life some of them have chosen. They have no bills. No boss to please. But the ones who didn’t plan this way of life … who lost their job … their home … and then their family … those are the true tragedies. They want to pay their own way … and feel humiliated by the life they lead.

And so I ponder.

“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31 (NASB)


We the People

>> Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, and delusional.

We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON Rights."

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful. Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from.


ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!
(Author Unknown)

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.” I Tim. 2:1-3 (MSG)


Pattern Interrupt

>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sounds from the alarm fill my awakening mind … music from a harp … to gently bring me to consciousness. My feet feel for the slippers as my hands reach for my robe. I unplug my iPhone from its charger as I fumble for my glasses. No need to put them on. The ointment I place in my eyes each night causes my vision to be blurry, so I might as well wait until I’ve put the drops in to cleanse the ointment.

With the advent of the dog, it is now my husband’s job to put him outside first thing. Then we head for the closet to dress for the gym. Odd thing is, we take separate cars. I return home while he goes to Starbucks. That makes it my job to bring the dog in and feed him.

I just described what is known as a routine. I could go through the day explaining our habits. No need.

As I type these words, I’m sitting on the 17th floor of a downtown Seattle hotel. Outside my window is the hum of cars traveling on the I-5. It is 50 degrees out there … and misty. I just walked several blocks to find some place to eat lunch. Do the calories count if you have to walk a mile to eat and then walk back?

Today I’m writing about pattern interrupt.

Life is just too important to be relegated to a routine. Yes, we all need to be organized enough to function in our world. Our employer expects us to show up at our appointed time. As parents, we have responsibilities that cannot be ignored. Our home and yard need upkeep. We all have duties.

But sometimes it is important to take a pattern interrupt where nothing is the same. Stepping away from the routine refreshes our soul and revives our spirit. Spending time with my husband … and just him alone … is a needful thing in my life.

Even though he is attending an all-day seminar today, I know that we have tonight and tomorrow to play. Since we came over a day early, we’ve already taken one foray down to the waterfront, holding hands and laughing together ... buying me some flowers to take back to the room. We need to find a wallet for him. Guess that new dog likes to chew on leather.

Pattern interrupts do not have to be expensive. Pile your kids in the car; put some food in a sack and go down to the river to eat. When I was a single mom with three kids, I couldn’t afford a vacation. But I saved enough money to take them from Nampa, Idaho to Boise, Idaho (approximately 22 miles) to spend one night at the Holidome where we got free breakfast and could swim in the enclosed pool.

And now back to my pattern interrupt.

“Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.” Mark (NLT)


Ya Gotta Meet Molly

>> Monday, April 18, 2011

Molly is a grey speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help.

At first they were overwhelmed with her injury, but after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind.  He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

“This was the right horse and the right owner,” Moore insists. “Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble.” The other important factor, according to Moore, is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in Post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg. The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports.

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. “It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a  three-legged horse,” she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers … anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

“It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,” Moore said. “She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.” Barca concluded, “She's not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.”

“God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25 (NASB)


Streams of Music

>> Saturday, April 16, 2011

I grew up in a very musical family. Before I was born my mother and three older sisters sang on the radio. When the family gathered, members would play musical instruments and others would sing along. One of the first songs I remember hearing was when my sister, Vera, sang to her children.

Baby’s boat’s a silvery moon
Sailing in the sky
Sailing o’er the sea of dreams
As the days go by

Vera had a whole box of sheet music that had been given her. I spent many evenings sitting by the piano while Vera played and we sang.

Goin’ take a sentimental journey
Goin’ set my heart at ease
Goin’ take a sentimental journey
To renew old memories

By my teen years, I was singing in a church quartet. Most of our songs came from the Stamps Baxter Quartet songbook.

Some glad morning when this life is o’er
I’ll fly away
To my home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away

Of course, in church we sang the old hymns.

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound

As a teenager, I was not allowed to listen to popular music, so I missed all the songs of the late 50’ and 60’s. But I was in High School Chorale. One of the musicals we did had this song in it.

Summertime … and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Vera had a collection of records by Spike Jones and his Wacky Wackateers. One of my favorites was:

That old black magic has me in its spell
That old black magic that you weave so well

I was soon having babies of my own and once again singing the songs I had heard as a child.

There’s a big crybaby in the moon, moon, moon
That cries, cries, cries

Why would anyone sing that kind of song to a baby? But it was one everyone in my family sang.

As my kids got older, they began to branch out in their music tastes. And once again, everyone played an instrument or two. One of their favorite duets to play on the piano was:

Heart and soul
I fell in love with you
Heart and soul

When they reached their teens, they were allowed to sample other types of music. I was introduced to Queen:

We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you

I discovered the Carpenters and had every song they sang memorized. One of the regulars we all sang together was:

I want to teach the world to sing,
In perfect harmony

That’s a song that has words we need now.

One of the songs that helped me through my very hard times was sung by the Imperials:

Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise.
Praise the Lord
For those chains that seem to bind you
Fall powerless behind you
When you praise the Lord.

I see songs in the words on billboards. I hear songs in words other people say. When I see a “detour” sign I sing:

There’s a muddy road ahead

I had never had alcohol in any form when I began going with my husband, John. He wanted to introduce me to some of his very good friends, so we went to their house for dinner. In celebration, they brought out some very old and good wine. I went to sleep on their couch. I should have sung this song.

Show me the way to go home
I’m tired and I want to go to bed
Had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head

Right after 9/11, our nation sang a collective song. It was sung on airplanes, at meetings, at sports events and at schools.

God bless America
Land that I love

I’ve met a lot of people who say they aren’t musical. A very small percentage of people truly have no musical ability. Music is such good therapy. The next time you are having a bad day, burst out in song. Others will be surprised and you’ll feel better.

“Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival!”  Psalms 81:2-3 (NLT)


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