We have God to thank For our independence – Thank you, Lord For love, courage and hope – We’re blessed to have freedom To practice religion – Thank you for such precious and joyous liberties We’re grateful for the symbolism of the red, white and blue, including our flag with stars representing of our union We thank you, Lord for the soldiers who serve to add to the continued protection of our great nation We’re thankful for the assorted ways to enjoy our families and other loved ones because the precious gift of freedom was granted us those many years ago We appreciate the fun, food and fireworks displays that annually occur in honor of our independence Yes, dear Lord, thank you for another Fourth of July and for all of the bountiful things that you’ve lovingly and generously bestowed upon us.

“What does it mean to respect God?” the young man asked his father. The older man looked thoughtfully at his son for a moment, and then replied, “Somebody who respects God involves God in every little thing that he does. What God thinks matters and such a person seeks to follow what God wants. Such a person is wise and respects God. But a man who has too much confidence in his own abilities does not consider the mind of God. What God thinks doesn’t matter to him and he seeks to follow his own ideas. Such a person, in effect, disrespects the God of creation and is not wise.” The advice of the father to his child sounds so easy, and yet it is not always so easy to put it into practice. A short search online about the definition of wisdom leads us to an interesting quote. It states: “Wisdom: The art to judge and act in the proper way in all circumstances in life.” To judge andContinue reading »

Once, a scientist was searching for the eggs of a very rare bird. He had heard this particular bird could be found in the highlands of Scotland and if he would search in a special, mountaineous area, chances were he would stumble upon a nest and the needed eggs. He carefully scanned the rocks and with good success. His heart skipped a beat, for there, far below and pressed against the side of a deep cliff was such a nest and he spotted three eggs. He jumped for joy, but how could he get to the eggs without falling into the ravine? As he pondered the predicament he spotted a young shepherd boy who was taking care of some goats. “Hey boy,” the scientist shouted to the boy, “Do you want to earn a bit of pocket money?” The boy looked up and shouted back, “Sure, Mister. What do you want me to do?” Excitedly, the scientist ran over to the boy and told him he would lower the boyContinue reading »

The joys of birth are astounding – How wondrous the accounts of elated parents upon arrival of their precious newborn treasures – Immense happiness abounds Multiple births bring joy in plurals Twins, triplets, quads, and quints – Pleasures upon pleasures upon pleasures . . . Oh my! Butterflies appear in splendid beauty from their cocoon spaces fluttering as we gaze in delight – They are gorgeous in their transformed states – Isn’t it great that thanks to our Lord we are transformed by the renewal of our minds? The bliss and freedom of new births transcend all others – Renewed we are – born again to truly thrive We learn to live more abundantly with mental, spiritual and physical contentment, Love flows, and peace rests within us as we embrace how God so graciously ushered us into pure horizons through gospel messages where we learned to be born again and fulfilled in truths – Ah, such utter delight!

Ah! The joy of mornings – Freshness in place New expectations arrive – The treasures of alertness reward Sunrise splendor invites our gazes Once again, it shines vibrantly providing warmth, vitamin aid and more Farmers rise early to work what they’ve sown – They’re out and about feeding and tending their livestock – Roosters crow announcing the approaching of daybreak – It’s morning again, y’all — whoopee Birds fly, chirp and sing as they soar in the open fresh air They play and inspire up in the morning sky Ah! New beginnings in the mornings – What new adventures await us? What new things do we have to be thankful for? What new ways shall our Lord manifest? Ah! Morning expectations indeed Numerous times in the bible we read where folks rose early in the morning – At places, it mentions very early in the morning We read in Psalm 139:9 that the morning has wings – Psalm 90:6 says, “In the morning it flourisheth and growth up” – PsalmContinue reading »

Lives are formed in the darkness of wombs protected in those safe places pending their precious arrivals Darkness has its beautiful aspects – We gaze upward at the starry displays – The moon hangs surrounded by planets and the solar system delights – We marvel and enjoy the views of darkness Nocturnal animals surface to do their movements in the night hours – Noises of life are heard in the nighttime arrangements Owls hoot from their wise perches – Lions prowl in the hours absent of daylight seizing advantages from the covers of darkness Night worker folks busy themselves doing essential tasks adding to the well-being of our valuable lives Yes, we’re grateful for the benefits of darkness – It was here before the light God greatly designed the days and the nights – There’s no greater architect than our Lord Almighty who laid out the best creation plans to include the beauty of darkness and light. Thank you!

Millions of folks marveled at the strength of character demonstrated by Nelson Mandela who was incarcerated for twenty-seven years as a political prisoner. In 1985, he was offered a conditional release, which, on grounds of principle, he refused. His unconditional release was announced in 1990. It was indeed a grand view to see Mandela humbly but confidently walk outside to freedom for the first time in twenty-seven years! Globally, we profoundly admired the African man who went from prisoner to president. Mandela didn’t re-enter society with bitterness as an emotional attachment. He was firmly for reconciliation in his region, a region that had long been one of racial and economic turmoil and unrest. Worldwide, Mandela spread his message of the need for reconciliation. Yes, certainly, he made an international impact. Millions of folks hold deep love, respect and gratitude for the man, Mandela and the love, humility, respect, wisdom, and knowledge that he shared and demonstrated. Folks who haven’t lived through such circumstances have no in depth awareness of whatContinue reading »

Heartfelt thanks extend to those who lovingly engage in prison ministries. Confined “residents” certainly benefit from such care and attentiveness. The visits help to handle some of the mundane aspects of being incarcerated. Yep, the residents welcome escapes from their routines and standard operating procedures. Undoubtedly, prison ministries are worthwhile for the visitors and for the residents. Sharing and caring aids in all environments. Some residents don’t receive any other visitors and thus, they especially look forward to the times when prison ministry folks arrive to encourage and to share of God’s love. We have no idea how many people are in jails and prisons for crimes that they didn’t commit. My heart grieves for instances of that type. We’ve read and heard reports of legal defenses that succeeded in having convictions removed for innocent folks, some of whom spent years being held for what they’d been wrongly convicted of doing. Truly, we have no full fledged awareness of what their experiences were like. It’s indeed heartening to know ofContinue reading »

Once again Memorial Day approaches. Service men and women are vital to efforts and actions to benefit global interests. Appreciation is abundant for the bountiful work and sacrifices made by the scores of folks who perform for the well being and protection of people worldwide. The armed services are full of brave, dedicated and honorable soldiers and officers. Privates up to the levels of generals perform admirably with diligent commitment to their duties. There are specialists and elite force personnel who contribute considerably to the missions that need to be accomplished. Salutes galore extend to the men and women who show up, on the regular, for the good of we the people. They come from varied backgrounds, cultures and religions. Despite their differences, they perform in unison in the armed services. Bonds develop and some friendships become lifelong engagements. Marriage happens, also, among the military ranks. Yes, love connections indeed manifest in the midst. The children of service parenting often benefit from travel advantages and sometimes live abroad with prolongedContinue reading »

Shame sought to intrude in my peace places – It’s aim was to rattle me Shame reminded me with noise in my ears – Reminders were launched at me in rapid fire motions Shame taunted me, ridiculed and sought to bully me I grabbed the escape hatch from the bible fully aware that there are no temptations that our Lord hasn’t provided ways of escape Shame was answered with confidence accompanied by blessed assurances Oh, how wondrous to know that God transcends shame, pain, sorrow, and uncertainties Shame wanted in – Our Lord said, no Entrance was denied – Shame pouted and skulked away despondent and defeated Score another victory for the ways of God that manifest triumphantly.

The actor Heath Ledger died in 2008 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs several months after filming was completed for the movie “The Dark Knight” in which Ledger portrayed Batman’s nemesis the Joker. Late in 2007, Ledger told The New York Times he was prescribed Ambien for an extreme period of insomnia, where he would sleep less than three hours a night, haunted by his character who he called a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” In that same interview, Heath also confided his “body was exhausted” even as his mind would not shut down. A German documentary about the actor’s life tells of his intense preparation for portraying the Joker. To get into the mind of the villain, Heath immersed himself in preparation by literally locking himself in a London hotel room for a month, reading any and all comics pertaining to the movie plot, experimenting with voices taking inspiration from hyenas, clowns and Alex DeLearge from “A Clockwork Orange,” and creating an perfecting “a somewhat… iconic…Continue reading »