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Tuesday, September 30

To Choose Life in Words

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” ~ Deut. 30:19

As I continue on with this series, “Choose Life”, it is time to explore what it means to choose life in our words. Something to remember throughout this whole series is that it’s all about choice – we have the power to determine the type of life we live through the choices we make. The last post in this series was about choosing life in our thoughts. We saw how important it was to take our thoughts captive. And we know that our thoughts lead to our words. Now we will find it is equally important to control our lips, words, mouth and tongue. This is made pretty clear in Prov. 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

All day, every day, we have the chance to speak words that bring life or death. Whether we are talking to our families, peers, co-workers, strangers, or even ourselves, the words we use will either tear down our build up. It says in Prov. 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” This means everything we say, either leads to life or to death and that which we choose, we will receive. If we choose to speak in a manner that is harsh, hurtful, condemning, gossipy, dishonest, or deceitful, we are then choosing death. But, if we choose to speak words that are encouraging, peaceful, healing, kind, lovely, and uplifting, then we are choosing life. We find this to be true in Prov. 12:18, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

It often seems that negative words are easier to say, take root much deeper, and are far more common. However, that doesn’t make it right. Most of us probably beat ourselves up a bit verbally, from time to time, but we shouldn’t. Whenever we tell ourselves, I’m so fat, stupid, lazy, ugly, boring, or sinful, we are choosing death. Anytime we call ourselves names or put ourselves down, we are speaking death over ourselves, and worse we are insulting God, who created us in His image and loves us with an everlasting love. This type of verbal assault isn’t usually only directed inward at self, but it typically is directed outward at others also. When we insult others, lie, speak maliciously, or gossip, to or about other people, we are speaking death not only to them, but to ourselves too! We should be ever mindful to control the words we speak, as it says in Prov. 4:24, “Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.”

On the other side of this, there are words that build up. When we compliment praise and affirm, others or ourselves, we are speaking life. When we do the right thing verbally, like tell the truth or put a stop to gossip, we are choosing life. When we say positive affirmations to ourselves or speak the Word out loud, we are choosing life! (I mention positive affirmations because it’s been said that it takes ten positives to erase one negative.) None of us really have any idea of the power we hold to impact another’s life – a kind word, a sincere compliment, or a gentle affirmation might be exactly what someone needs to make it through another day. The Bible confirms this in Eph. 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” And further, in Prov. 15:23, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!”

Just as it is important to guard the words we say, we must also guard the words we receive. Unfortunately, there will be times that mean-spirited or hurtful words come our way and there is little we can do about it. But, we do not have to receive them, accept them or give them credibility. We should tell ourselves, I reject that, and then move on. Do not let them take root within you.

Generally speaking, we must use words to correct, and, or, resolve conflict. There may even be times we have to take a stand for righteousness. However, it is possible to speak truth in love, correct with gentleness, give constructive criticism and rebuke with restraint. If we are not mindful of that, and choose our words, and our tone, carefully, we can hurt others and escalate the situation. Again, the Bible confirms this in Prov. 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” And too, in Prov. 17:27, “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”

Another way we use words is for praising God and telling others the Good News. That is good. That is as it should be. But what about the times we are going about our life, talking about or praising God, then in a snap something happens to change the course of our words. I confess this is something I battle… when I drive! I’m going along, minding my own business, driving correctly and within the confines of the law (honest!), listening to K-Love and singing to and about God. Then another driver does something to irritate me and all of a sudden I’m no longer praising God. All of a sudden, my mouth goes from being an instrument of life to an instrument of death. Now, I’m not actually speaking profanity, but it is cursing nonetheless. Does the Bible mention this? Of course it does! In James 3:9-10, we find, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (Emphasis mine.) I am working on this, and in truth I’ve gotten much better, but I know I have to remain diligent in this or I will easily slip back into a pattern of cursing others.

We are known by our actions and our words. Whether we like it or not, if we are a Christian, we are a walking testimony. If we say we are Christians, but don’t act or sound like a Christian, what does that say about our testimony (and our Jesus)? When we speak death to others, we chink away at the integrity of our conversion. We destroy our witness. This is beautifully and picturesquely addressed in Luke 6:44-45, “Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” We are known by the fruit we display. What kind of fruit do we reveal when we talk?

The Bible is literally filled with references to the tongue, mouth, words, lips, etc that pertain to the way we speak. I’ve only chosen a few. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are to control our speech, because the words we say lead to life or death. The Bible shows us how to speak in a way that gives life, Eph. 5:19-20 says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” So please, join me in thinking before speaking, so that with our words, we build up, encourage and choose life, always.

Monday, September 29

Farewell to Paul

On Friday, September 26th, 2008, Hollywood, all of America and the world, lost a treasured and deeply respected man. Paul Newman was 83 years old, when he succombed to his battle with lung cancer. Normally I don’t write about celebrities, but Paul Newman was anything but a normal celebrity. He was Hollywood royalty, but that in and of itself means little.

In a town where “till death do I part” usually means till I get bored, Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward were married for 50 years. When asked about infidelity, he quipped, “Why go out for hamburger when I’ve got steak at home?” Throughout this long marriage, they both appeared to genuinely love, respect and enjoy each other always. He had 6 children, 3 (1 son who died from an accidental drug overdose and 2 daughters) from his previous marriage and 3 (daughters) with Joanne Woodward.

Paul served in the Navy during WWII. He became a professional race car driver in the 1970’s and actually did well at it. Paul was a political activist and while I personally disagree with his stance on many issues (particularly gay marriage), I wholly appreciate his class and honor in how he represented himself on sharing his beliefs.

Paul was also known for his philanthropy. He was not a celebrity who merely lent his name to draw attention to a cause. He did something about it and he did it big. Philanthropically, he is best known for his Newman’s Own line of food products, which donated all proceeds after taxes to charity. As of early 2006, this amounted to more than 200 million dollars. He is lesser known for co-founding the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in 1988, which is a summer camp for seriously ill children. One camp has expanded to become several Hole in the Wall Camps in the U.S., Ireland, France and Israel. The camp serves 13,000 children every year, free of charge.

Paul Newman was a prominent American. He was a distinguished actor, a loving and devoted husband and father, a great humanitarian; he loved life and lived his to the fullest. I don’t know his standing with God, but I sincerely hope that he was right with Him. He was truly a class act. And he will be missed.

Paul Newman, January 26, 1925 ~ September 26, 2008

Thank you, Paul, for the good works and the memories.

Saturday, September 27

Super-Sarah Saturday #2

It’s Saturday once again! And that means it’s time for another Super-Sarah Saturday post, with illustration of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Whether you like her or not, it’s hard to deny the impact she’s had in this election. Go Sarah!

Friday, September 26

Phone Angst ~ Fiction Friday

It is time once again for Friday Fiction, this week hosted by Joanne at her An Open Book blog. This was another entry in the FaithWriters Weekly Challenge. If you would like to read more great fiction, or participate, please go to Fiction Friday. I hope you enjoy the story.


“Back in 1876 an ol’ boy named Bell
Invented a contraption that we know so well
By the 1950’s, they were in everybody’s home
That crazy little thing we call the telephone
Now there’s one on every corner, in the back of every bar
You can get one in your briefcase, on a plane or in your car
So tell me why, haven’t I heard from you
Tell me why, haven’t I heard from you
Darlin’, honey, what is your excuse
Why haven’t I heard from you…”

Ugh, thought Brandy turning off the radio, the frustration she felt showing in her body language. The last thing I need is to hear Reba singing about her phone not ringing – like someone would ever not call her. She picked up her cell and dialed her best friend Kellie.

“Hi” answered Kellie, knowing it was Brandy. “Whatcha up to?”

“Oh, not much, just sitting here stewing. He still hasn’t called. We went out three days ago and I thought we had a good time. Ugh, why hasn’t he called, and why can’t I call him?” Brandy knew it sounded like she was whining, but she didn’t care.

“Brandy, you know how it is. If you call a guy, it looks like you’re desperate. And you’re not desperate, and if you are, well, you shouldn’t show it, you’re only 22 for pity’s sake! Besides, you shouldn’t be waiting by the phone anyway, go out, have fun and forget about him. If he doesn’t call it’s his loss, not yours”, said Kellie, talking in a way only a best friend could.

“I’m not desperate! And I’m not ‘waiting by the phone’. It’s a cell, so it goes with me. Duh! I just thought we both had, you know, fun. I guess maybe I had more fun than he did”, said Brandy sounding dejected.

“No, I’m sure he probably had just as much fun as you. That’s probably why he hasn’t called. He’s just scared ‘cause he likes you. You know that’s how guys are. He’s just being stupid!”

“Yeah,” responded Brandy, “just like in high school. Boys are mean and stupid! Stupid boys not calling, stupid phone not ringing, stupid second date not having! And why did that Bell guy have to invent the phone anyway?”

“That doesn’t even make sense, you know. Besides if Bell didn’t invent the phone we wouldn’t be talking right now,” said Kellie laughing.

“I know, but that’s how I feel. I swear, I’m so done with guys. Maybe I’ll just become a nun, and I’ll marry God and never have to worry about dating or the phone ringing again,” Brandy said with frustration in her voice.

“I hate to break this to you, but you’re Methodist, not Catholic,” said Kellie. “And besides, then you couldn’t wear makeup, or those strappy heels you love so much, and you really look awful in black, it just washes you out. Why don’t you come over tonight and we can watch a movie and do some fun male-bashing together.”

“Yeah, ok… uh, hold on, my other line is beeping,” said Brandy switching lines.


“Hey Kel,” said Brandy happily. “I’m so excited, that’s him on the other line. We’re going out again tonight. I gotta go, ok?”

“Wait!” Kellie responded with force. “I thought we were hanging out tonight? You know, just us girls?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot. But he’s so cute and cool and fun and I really like him! You understand right?” Brandy asked.

“Yeah, I understand. Boys are for now, friends are for always. I get it.” Kellie tried to sound like she was supportive, but really she was bummed. She’s so boy crazy, Kellie thought. Stupid boy, stupid phone, stupid second date! Now what am I going to do?

‘Ok, thanks! I gotta go, he’s on the other line. I just love the phone and that Bell guy that invented it! Bye!” Brandy gushed as she clicked over, leaving Kellie looking blankly at the disconnected phone in her hand.

© 2008 Tracy Keck

Author’s Note:

Song: Why Haven’t I Heard From You
Written by: Sandy Knox and T.W. Hale
Sung by: Reba McEntire

Wednesday, September 24

This is the Day ~ Word-Filled Wednesday

This is my contribution to the meme Word-Filled Wednesday. For more beautiful pictures with inspiring Scripture, please visit The 160 Acre Woods, home of WFW.

I’m so glad that every day is new and fresh and another opportunity to love and worship our Lord.

(BTW, the girls in the picture are not mine…)

Tuesday, September 23

Emergency Numbers

These are more effective than 911

When ~

You are sad, call ~ John 14
You have sinned, call ~ Psalm 51
You are facing danger, call ~ Psalm 91

People have failed you, call ~ Psalm 27
It feels as though God is far from you, call ~ Psalm 139
Your faith needs stimulation, call ~ Hebrews 11

You are alone and scared, call ~ Psalm 23
You are worried, call ~ Matthew 8:23–27
You are hurt and critical, call ~ 1 Corinthians 13

You wonder about Christianity, call ~ 2 Corinthians 5:15-19
You feel like an outcast, call ~ Romans 8:31-39
You are weary, call ~ Matthew 11:28-30

It feels as if the world is bigger than God, call ~ Psalm 90
You need Christ like insurance, call ~ Romans 8:1-30
You are leaving home for a trip, call ~ Psalm 121

You require courage for a task, call ~ Joshua 1
Inflation and investments are hogging your thoughts, call ~ Mark 10:17-31
You are depressive, call ~ Psalm 27

Your bank account is empty, call ~ Psalm 37
It looks like people are unfriendly, call ~ John 15
You are losing hope, call ~ Psalm 126

You feel the world is small compared to you, call ~ Psalm 19
You want to carry fruit, call ~ John 15
Paul’s secret for happiness, call ~ Colossians 3:12-17

With big opportunity/discovery, call ~ Isaiah 55
To get along with other people, call ~ Romans 12
When you feel insignificant, call ~ Psalm 139

For dealing with fear, call ~ Psalm 3:4-7
For security, call ~ Psalm 121:3
For assurance, call ~ Mark 8:35
For reassurance, call ~ Psalm 145:18


Monday, September 22

Under Construction

Dear Friends and Readers,

I have decided to change the look of my blog with the help of Lena at Simply Fabulous Blog Templates. I have now begun the process of making the change. It will take me some time to get all of the sidebar and widget content replaced and organized. For those of you whose blogs I follow and list in my blogroll, I think I will have you re-listed shortly. If you notice that your blog may be missing, please let me know, as it is simply an oversight. Thank you for your patience. Blessings to you!

Perspective is a Wonderful Thing

This is a read awhile back and it really made me think. I hope you enjoy it too.


The Difference Between Rich People and Poor People

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On the return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Life is too short and friends are too few.

Saturday, September 20

Super-Sarah Saturday 1

As most would probably guess, I am an ardent conservative, Republican patriot and as such, I am absolutely delighted with John McCain's pick for his Vice-Presidential running-mate, Sarah Palin. She is a breath of fresh air in the world of American politics. Recently a friend sent me an email containing several pictures depicting Super-Sarah, and I'll be sharing them all in the coming weeks. I enjoyed them very much and hope you do too. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19

Great One-Liners for Faith

I found an old email with some great faith-oriented one-liners that were fun, so I thought I’d share. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Give God what's right ~ not what's left.

Man's way leads to a hopeless end ~ God's way leads to an endless hope.

A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.

He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.

Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.

Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to church for a faith-lift.

When praying, don't give God instructions ~ just report for duty.

We don't change God's message ~ His message changes us.

The church is prayer-conditioned.

When God ordains, He sustains.

WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.

Plan ahead ~ It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.

Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.

Exercise daily ~ walk with the Lord.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.

He who angers you controls you.

God answers knee mail.

Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.

Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.

Be ye fishers of men ~ you catch them & He'll clean them.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Read the Bible ~ It will scare the hell out of you.

Thursday, September 18

One Whole Year ~ Thankful Thursday

Well, here it is again - Thankful Thursday! I’m so happy to be able to offer up “Thanks” regularly for the many wonderful blessings I have, whether large or small, significant or mundane. I’d like to offer a special thank you to Iris at her blog, Sting My Heart for hosting this wonderful Meme. If you would like to participate or just read from more thankful hearts, pop on over to Thankful Thursday and join us.

As always, there’s much to be thankful for. Choosing my “Thankful” topic for today was very easy. Exactly one year ago today, my wait was over, my dream came true and my joy was complete. At 9:30 AM on 9/18/07, my little Sweet Pea was born. This week I am thankful for:

~ A beautiful, happy and healthy daughter.

~ Her laughter and squeals of delight.

~ Her obviously above-average intelligence. ;)

~ The sweet singing that awakens me each morning.

~ The long cuddles and hugs she gives me following her waking from bedtime or naptime.

~ The beautiful smile that lights up her face, the room we’re in and my own heart.

~ A depth of love I never before knew existed.

And I am especially thankful to the Lord, for this amazing and perfect gift that He has entrusted me with.


Wednesday, September 17

To Choose Life In Thoughts

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” ~ Deut. 30:19

I’m so excited to begin this new “Choose Life” series. When God created us, He gave us freewill – the ability to choose between right and wrong, life and death, blessings and curses. There is much power in choice, power we have for the life we live. Every day we choose the direction of our life by what we think, say and do, by the relationships we’re in, and by the attitudes we hold. All of these choices lead to life or death. Choosing life is a journey, not something we do once and it’s finished. It’s ongoing. It’s powerful. And, choosing life, or death, is up to us.

I believe our thought life is the beginning of this journey. The manner in which we think leads to how we feel, what we say, the way we act and the relationships we establish. It is imperative we have good, life-giving, positive thoughts. That’s not to say that we never have negative thoughts, because that’s natural, but rather we don’t welcome negative thoughts and entertain them. For some of us, this comes easily. For others of us, it’s far more difficult. The good news is we have the power of Christ to control our thoughts and change them. But we have to be proactive in this, it doesn’t just happen. This is addressed in Rom. 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Let’s be honest, it’s a tough world out there. We are constantly hit by a barrage of words, images, attitudes and expectations that imply we are not good enough, thin enough, rich enough, smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough, etc. Many of us have experienced this onslaught since we were children. Since this has been our experience, we often adopt and internalize all of this and begin the harmful process of attacking ourselves and others with it. Our thoughts are then naturally polluted by the garbage that has been swirling around about us. Whether it is depression, bitterness, envy, anger, hurt, malice, hatred, obscenity, a victim mentality or sense of worthlessness, thoughts like these lead to destruction and if we entertain them, ultimately they lead to death. It doesn’t matter if these thoughts we think are about ourselves or others, either way we are choosing death.

In order to have a thought life that is life-giving, we have to understand where it comes from. Everything good comes from God (James 1:17). It is He who gives life, and everything that leads to life. And He has given us His Word and Holy Spirit, to guide us on the path of life. When we study, and personalize the Bible, we come to understand who we are in Christ. When we know who we are in Christ it is easy to recognize thoughts that enter our mind that are not of Him. It says in 2 Cor. 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When we recognize those thoughts and take them captive, rather than letting them run free, we are choosing life.

Whenever we have negative thoughts we need to overcome them and put them to death, by replacing them with positive thoughts. If we find ourselves thinking, I’m ugly, we need to stop, take that thought captive and say, No, I’m beautiful. Or if we have the thought, I’m not good enough, we need to counter that by saying, I am good enough, God made me good enough. When we got saved, we received not only our salvation, but other things too. One of the additional “benefits” we received was the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). The only way to know the mind of Christ is to know Christ, through the Word, through worship, through prayer and through relationship. What does He say about us? How does He relate to others? What would He do in this situation? And then we should model ourselves and our thoughts after Him.

We must be diligently aware of the thoughts we think. We must get the Word of God inside of us. We must learn what God says about us. We must choose incessantly, to think the thoughts that lead to life. We are admonished in Phi. 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” This is how we choose life in our thoughts.

If you are in Christ:

You are blessed and highly favored ~ Luke 1:28
You are made in the image of God ~ Genesis 1:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made ~ Psalms 139:14

You are a child of God ~ John 1:12, Romans 8:16-17
You are more than a conqueror ~ Romans 8:37
You are a citizen of heaven ~ Philippians 3:20

You are chosen and adopted sons and daughters of God ~ Ephesians 1:4-5
You are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might ~ Ephesians 6:10
You are holy ~ Ephesians 1:4, Colossian 3:12

You are righteous ~ Romans 3:21-24, 2 Corinthians 5:21
You are anointed ~ 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
You are a saint ~ Psalms 52:9, Romans 1:7

You are forgiven ~ Ephesians 1:7-8, Colossians 1:13-14
You are free ~ John 8:36
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood ~ 1 Peter 2:9

You are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ ~ Romans 8:17
You are God’s workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10
You are the apple of His eye ~ Psalm 17:8

You are His delight~ Psalm 18:19, 149:4
You are the one he died for ~ Romans 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:10
You are loved ~ John 3:16, John 15:12-14

Children of God ~ Word-Filled Wednesday

This is my contribution to the meme Word-Filled Wednesday. For more beautiful pictures with inspiring Scripture, please visit The 160 Acre Woods, home of WFW.

I am so grateful to have been welcomed into the family of God. The love He has for us is astounding. Because of Him, I am a daughter of the King, an heir of God and joint heir with Christ. Because of Him, I am righteous and holy. Because of Him, I live. Hallelujah!

Monday, September 15

The Bell

Isn’t this a beautiful illustration? One that I can’t take credit for, that’s for sure. I actually borrowed this from Amy at her Mom of 4 Saved By Grace blog. It is so important to know who we are, in Christ, so we can stand strong and not falter in this world we are in, but not of. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. Blessings!

Friday, September 12

A Night to Remember ~ Fiction Friday

It is time once again for Friday Fiction, hosted by Patty at her Patterings blog. This was another entry in the FaithWriters Weekly Challenge. If you would like to read more great fiction, or participate, please go to Friday Fiction. I hope you enjoy the story.


Sheila gazed around the restaurant, noting the high-quality linen napkins, the strolling violinist and the crystal wine glasses that looked very expensive. There was even a Maitre’d dressed in a tuxedo. She looked over at her handsome, smiling husband, and asked, “Are you sure we can afford this place?”

“Yes,” Trent replied, taking her hand. “Tomorrow we worry about expenses and budget. Tonight we celebrate.”

“I’m so relieved, happy and grateful all at once! I know I’ve been given a new chance at life, and I’m gonna make the most of it. I’ll thank God every day, for letting me stay with you,” Sheila said, her eyes brimming with tears.

Trent felt his own eyes burn with tears of joy. “Yeah, He really answered our prayers, didn’t He? For a while there, it got pretty tough and I really thought the cancer was going to win. But, you were tougher,” he said smiling.

The waiter returned and took their order. He noted the hand holding and the way they gazed at one another. He left their table shaking his head slightly, thinking, newlyweds, not realizing they’d actually been married eight years. Throughout dinner, they talked, laughed, held hands and even fed each other, like couples sometimes do. It was obvious to everyone, how much in love they were.

“What a wonderful meal!” Sheila exclaimed, folding her napkin.

“Did you want to order dessert?” asked Trent

“Oh, goodness no,” Sheila replied, “I’m stuffed! Maybe a walk along the beach instead?” she asked.

“Are you feeling up to it? I don’t want you to overdo it.” His brow furrowed a bit with concern.

“I’m fine, really. I’ve been given a clean bill of health and I feel good. Please…?” Sheila smiled at him, knowing he wouldn’t turn her down.

“Ok, but if you get tired…,” Trent began.

“I promise I’ll let you know,” Sheila said.

They walked down toward the water. The moon was nearly full and gave off plenty of light to see. There was a breeze coming in from the lake, making the night air a bit chilly. They walked arm-in-arm, about a mile and turned, making their way back toward the car.

Opening the car door, Trent asked, “Did you have a good time tonight?”

“Yes,” Sheila replied, reaching up to hug him. “I’ll remember tonight for the rest of my life!”

“Me too,” said Trent looking into her eyes. Then he lovingly and tenderly kissed her.



Startled, Sheila looked around and saw the storm was moving in. Lightning streaked across the sky and thunder boomed. She hadn’t even noticed. Realizing she was cold, she pulled her wrap tighter and reached for her coffee. Taking a sip, she found it too had grown cold. I wonder how long I’ve been sitting here, she thought.

She stood and crossed the porch, watching the rain come down. With a slight smile, she looked across the land, taking in the scenery, her eyes finally resting on the mountains in the distance. Man, we used to love watching the storms roll in over the mountains, she thought. When they’d first met, she’d been so excited to find someone who loved storms as much as she did.

Her mind started racing – again. How could this have happened? It’s been ten months since the doctor gave me a clean bill of health and we went out to celebrate. Why, Lord, why?

It’d been the next day and Trent ran to the store to pick up a few items she needed for dinner. She’d felt uneasy, but dismissed it. Then the phone rang. In a cruel twist of fate, the day after she was given her life back, Trent was in an accident that took his. The other driver had been drunk, crossed the median and hit him head-on. With that, their life together had ceased, her prince was gone.

She knew it was time to move on. He wouldn’t want her to stay stuck, mourning forever. She looked up and prayed, “Thank you God, for our love and the time I had with him. Help me to go on.” She turned and went inside to make a call.

“Mom, I’ve changed my mind. I do want to come and visit.” They talked briefly, making plans. She hung up the phone, looked at the small piece of driftwood she’d brought back from the beach that night, and whispered softly, “Oh, and God, thank you that last, wonderful memory.”

Thursday, September 11

I Humbly Accept

I am so excited to be blessed again with another wonderful blog award. This time I was awarded the “I Love Your Blog” award, by two very special women. Lori at her Persevere blog and Valerie at her Simply 4 God blog are both are amazing women of God and I am blessed that we are bloggy friends. If you are not familiar with their blogs, I encourage you to check them out, because they both are the real deal. God’s Word and Wisdom resides in them completely. Thank you Lori and Valerie, for this blessing you’ve given me. I am honored that you thought of me. You both have such amazing blogs, and I take away wonderful nuggets of Truth and Wisdom every time I visit. May God bless you both richly for your faithfulness.

I remain humbled and grateful that God uses my words to touch others. He really does deserve all the glory. As always, it is my hope that my words and my blog encourage others in their daily lives. I strive to be real and relevant, though am not above doing something just for fun once in awhile. I am beyond blessed to have found this wonderful blogging community where we can, and do, encourage and support one another regularly.

Now I am supposed to pass this delightful award on to others, whose blogs I love. There are so many fantastic blogs to choose from. To keep it simple and quick, I choose:

~ LauraLee @ LauraLee’s Lifesong
~ Julie @ The Surrendered Scribe
~ Joanne @ An Open Book
~ Peculiar @ How Do We Get There From Here

Wednesday, September 10

I'm Thankful for God ~ Thankful Thursday

Well, here it is again - Thankful Thursday! I’m so happy to be able to offer up “Thanks” regularly for the many wonderful blessings I have, whether large or small, significant or mundane. I’d like to offer a special thank you to Iris at her blog, Sting My Heart for hosting this wonderful Meme. If you would like to participate or just read from more thankful hearts, pop on over to Thankful Thursday and join us.

As always, there’s much to be thankful for. This week the Lord impelled me to share a bit of my testimony in a blog post, as a prelude to a series He’s prompted me to begin. It was not easy to go back to a time when I was in such darkness. But it allowed me to see anew the amazing things the Lord has done in my life. This week I am thankful for:

~ God’s love, which He had for me even when I was unlovable.

~ God’s grace, which He offered freely to me (though I didn’t deserve it), but cost Him so much.

~ God’s mercies, which are new, and needed, every day.

~ God’s Word, which is my lifeline to Him, and gives me hope, comfort, wisdom, encouragement and direction at all times.

~ God’s patience, which allows me to stumble while growing in Him, without fear of being abandoned or rejected by Him.

~ God’s promises, which I have seen fulfilled in my own life many times.

~ God’s faithfulness, which has proven time and again that my trust in Him is well placed.

~ God’s provision, which has taken care of all of my needs and lots of my wants.

~ God’s handiwork, which I see in my own life, and that Jeff’s and Sweet Pea’s, as well as in the beauty and majesty of nature.

~ God’s Son, who didn’t have to come and die for me, in a horrible and torturous way, to save me from the pit I was in, but chose to because He thought I was worth it.

As Far As the East is From the West ~ Word-Filled Wednesday

This is my contribution to the meme Word-Filled Wednesday. For more beautiful pictures with inspiring Scripture, please visit The 160 Acre Woods, home of WFW.

I am so grateful that God, in His most amazing grace, does forgive us and welcome us into the shadow of His wings, when we turn from our sins and humbly come to Him with a repentant heart. Sometimes I think we have a more difficult time forgiving ourselves, but it is important that we do so. If we don’t forgive ourselves when we’ve done something wrong, but God has forgiven us, it’s like we’re elevating our forgiveness above His. In order to have the abundant life and freedom in Christ that He has for us, we must release any unforgiveness we may be holding, whether it is against someone else or ourselves.

Tuesday, September 9

Prelude to Choose Life

On August 4th, I announced that it was time for me to do another series and that after much prayer and reflection I knew the topic for the new series would be “Choose Life”. I announced this, confident that I would be able to put out some devotional-type articles relatively easily because this is something I so strongly believe in.

Oh, how wrong I was. I am working on this and I will put together a series, but I have been held up by the Lord. It’s very easy to make excuses about it – all of a sudden life got very busy for me, Sweet Pea was sick for nearly two weeks, then I was sick for nearly two weeks, we had another miscarriage, went on vacation, and finally came home and worked on getting caught up with things after being on vacation. All of this is true; however I also know that they’ve been convenient excuses to perpetuate avoidance.

What has really been going on, is a wrestling match with God. See, I thought I had it all planned out in my head, but it would seem that He had something else in mind. So, I guess you could say I have been experiencing first hand Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” And I’ve learned that when it comes to wrestling with God, I don’t win unless He wins first.

This began when I posted my intentions to do this series. A friend, Michelle, on nearly missed my post and suggested I start a discussion about it, so it could be easily found and discussed. I thought this was a great idea, so I did so. I briefly summarized what “Choosing Life” meant to me and asked others to add what it meant to them. I got great responses from various readers, and then there was “the one.” Michelle responded and said that for her, choosing life was first and foremost about choosing life in pregnancy and contributed a FANTASTIC and heartfelt plea for the unborn. Wow! I felt like I’d been hit by a truck, because I have to admit, I never once put the idea or Scripture of choosing life together with the Pro-Life cause. Not that I didn’t share those beliefs though, because I do. I am wholly, 100% Pro-Life, but for some reason linking the cause with the verse just never occurred to me.

Thus began the wrestling match. I knew I couldn’t pursue this topic until I first included this most important aspect of it. However, I didn’t really want to. The topic of abortion is controversial (but that doesn’t bother me), emotionally draining and one of our nations (and the world’s) greatest tragedies. Did I really want to delve so deeply into satan’s territory? Though I fought it hard, in the end I knew the Lord was right and I absolutely had to start with this.

Since Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973, nearly 50 million babies have been aborted. Liberals would have us believe that it is harmless. No one gets hurt. It’s not a baby anyway until it is born – it’s just a fetus. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Please get the facts. Find out about abortion, partial-birth abortion (it is hideous), Planned Parenthood (and Margaret Sanger, founder of PP), and the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (to give medical care to a baby born alive after a botched abortion – Obama voted against it). There are some fabulous sites out there that can give you information on all of this and more.

I am completely Pro-Life now, but I wasn’t always. I grew up in the 70’s (childhood) and 80’s (teen years) and didn’t have a lot of Christian influence in my life. When I was an early adolescent, my mom told me “even good girls get pregnant”. I’m not sure why, but I understood that to mean that teenage pregnancy wasn’t a big deal. When I was 19 years old, I did get pregnant. And I got an abortion. I didn’t even give it much thought. I believed the lies, that it wasn’t a baby until 12 weeks, it (the baby or fetus as they called it) wouldn’t feel any pain and that I would be better off.

The small amount of thought that I did give it all seemed to point to what would be an easy fix. I had been partying really hard, nightly, and recently broken up with the boy who was the father. He was an awful person, so I wouldn’t want to be tied to him anyway. I grew up in a dysfunctional home with a single mom and didn’t want to inflict on any child the things I’d gone through. I thought abortion was the only way. I received no counseling contrary to that.

In that moment, in the worst possible way, I chose death. During that time of my life, I was in a really bad place. I hated myself, hated my life and wished I’d never been born. I was completely surrounded by darkness and I truly believed the best way to save the child within me was to not allow it to be born. It was my desire to save it from the life I’d had. So I chose abortion, murder, homicide, infanticide, whatever you want to call it, it is death forced on another innocent soul who didn’t ask to be conceived in the first place. I never thought of the blessing it could have been. I didn’t take responsibility for my actions. I just chose death.

Liberals and feminists say abortion is harmless, but that’s not true. This is something I have carried with me for 20 years. I have thought of this innocent child I killed many, many, many times since. It is my greatest shame, greatest regret and greatest moral failure. I felt this way ever since it happened, long before I became a Christian. I’ve heard many other women who’ve gone down this road, say the same or similar things.

Though I’ve never stopped thinking of the child I should have had, I made some sort of peace with it. I knew God forgave me and I was so, so sorry. I knew I couldn’t change it, but I also knew it changed me – for the better. It’s funny though, how things come back to haunt you. Eventually, having a family of my own became important to me. When we began trying, it wasn’t easy. It took us a year and a half to conceive the first time, but then I miscarried. It took eight months the second time and this pregnancy went full term and we had our sweet, beautiful daughter, almost a year ago. Because of our ages, we wanted to try again quickly. It took another eight months to conceive this latest time, but it too ended in a miscarriage. During the difficult times throughout this whole journey of trying to bear children, satan has always been there, jabbing at me with his poisonous lies – “it’s your own fault, this is what you deserve, you had your chance and you blew it, you’re not good enough!”

God’s grace has strengthened me and covered me. His love has shown me what love really is. He has changed me completely. And it is He who gives me the ability to choose life. I know someday I will see my unborn children in heaven – all three of them. Previous to this post, I’ve talked about the one, then two babies I’ve miscarried that are in heaven. Though I always thought about it, I’ve never mentioned the third. Here and now, I do.

Christians, please pray for life. Pray that the lie of the enemy will be exposed. Vote for those who are Pro-Life and against those who are Pro-Abortion. And be compassionate to those who are contemplating abortion. They need love, not criticism and support not judgment. And if the Lord leads your heart to help in some way, please do so. There are many great ministries and organizations that could use your time, talent or treasure. This is the best way to Choose Life.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” ~ Psalm 139:13

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” ~ Psalm 27:10

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” ~ Psalm 127:10

Monday, September 8

Tagged ~ 8 Random Facts About Me

My dear friend Joanne, at her An Open Book blog, thought of me when she had to find other people to torture, er, play along with her in this fun little game. So, here I go!

First, the rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Anyhoo - here are my eight random facts:

1) I broke my left elbow, then my left wrist in two separate accidents before I turned one year old and I’ve not broken any since then.

2) I went to approximately 14 different schools growing up.

3) I joined the Air Force immediately following high school (something like a million years ago) and was a Radio Communications Intelligence Analyst (don’t ask).

4) While in the Air Force and stationed in England, I met two of my oldest and dearest friends – Hi Melissa, Hi LaNae!

5) I lived a crazy and chaotic life as a sinner and was a huge partier until I finally got saved at the tender age of 30. (Thank You Jesus!)

6) The hubby and I went on an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon and it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. (And don't get me started on the chocolate buffet!)

7) I was incredibly blessed to have a small part in an independent film about convicted pick ax murderer turned Christian Karla Fay Tucker, and her life on death row up to her execution. The film is called “Forevermore”.

8) The first time Jeff and I ever went to an Imax theater we didn’t know the seats were assigned. We were the first ones in and went to the seats we thought we’d like best. When others began arriving and looking at their tickets to find their assigned seats, we realized our error. We looked at ours and found to our amazement that the seats we picked were exactly the seats assigned to us on our tickets. (This kinda freaked us out a bit!)

And now I'm supposed to tag eight people. Hmm, who to choose??? Okay, how about… (If you’ve already been picked, sorry!)

~ Darlene @ Everything to Me aka Puff’s Pocket
~ Lori @ Persevere
~ Peculiar @ How Do We Get There From Here
~ Tracey @ Cheese and Whine
~ Amy @ Mom of 4 Saved by Grace
~ Valerie Lynn @ Simply 4 God
~ Vii @ Breathes of the Heart
~ Nancie @ More Than Conquerors

Saturday, September 6

Getting to Know Me

This was a fun quiz that a friend challenged me with before I left on vacation. It will give you a bit of a glimpse into who I am. I meant to post it before I left, but alas, I did not. Ah well, better late than never... Feel free to play along by adding your answers to your own blog. Enjoy!

1.What time did you get up this morning?
Too early – 6:10 was when Sweet Pea began singing in her crib.

2. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds, duh!

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Cinema??? You know, I know I’ve been to a movie since Sweet Pea was born, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was!

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Can’t pick just one, but… Some of my faves are: Dancing w/ the Stars, Extreme Home Makeover, ER, Reba (though I have to watch just repeats now), Law & Order, L&O SVU, CSI, CSI Miami (notice a crime fighting theme?)

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Coffee, maybe yogurt, maybe sourdough toast, or perhaps a peanut butter sandwich, or Honey Nut Cheerios.

6. What is your middle name?

7. Favorite food?
Again, I can’t choose just one, but steak, Mexican food, Italian food, comfort food (fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac-n-cheese), anything chocolate.

8. What foods do you dislike?
Liver (or any other kind of organ, eewww!), mushrooms, coconut, rye bread, lima beans.

9. What is your favorite chip flavor?
Tortilla chips with fresh salsa.

10. What is your favorite song at the moment?
Held by Natalie Grant and almost anything by Martina McBride

11. What kind of car do you drive?
A mom-mobile, the Toyota Sienna

12. Favorite sandwich?
Club or Reuben (substitute the rye bread with sourdough)

13. What characteristics do you despise?
Victimhood, whineyness, and arrogance

14. Favorite outfit?
I’m all about comfort – jeans, t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops (Ropers on the rare occaision it actually gets cold around here)

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be?
Can’t pick just one – Great Britan, Italy, multiple cruise and island destinations, would love to tour the U.S. in a coach, Alaska, Jackson Hole WY, Holy Land.

16. What color is your bathroom?
White with purple

17. Favorite brand of clothing?
No brands – just comfort. Oops, except for my boots – those are Justin.

18. Where would you retire to?
Wyoming or Montana or anyplace with mountains and wide-open spaces in the Great American West.

19. Favorite sport to watch?
Nascar, gymnastics, basketball, figure skating, beach volleyball.

20. Goal you have for yourself?
Write a novel.

21. When is your birthday?
December 1, 1968 – the big one is quickly approaching.

22. Favorite flowers?
White roses, lilies and daisies

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely night over morning

24. What did you want to be when you were little?
Writer, actress, ballerina, princess, policegirl, hair stylist, newscaster – it changed daily.

25. How are you today?
Cloudy, but the sun is peeking through.

26. What is a date on your calendar you are looking forward to?
September 18th - Sweet Pea’s first birthday!

27. Favorite game?
Hmm, right now it has to be chase with Sweet Pea.

28. Website(s) you spend the most time on?, GodLinked, Blogger, FoxNews, Scrapblog

29. What's for dinner tonight?

30. An online friend you've never met but would love to, someday?
FW friends, GL friends, Blogger friends

Friday, September 5

I'm Like Fine Wine

I don’t get it! I really don’t. I will be turning 40 (yes, 40) in 86 days. So why am I still breaking out like a 16 year old girl? What’s up with that? Zits, pimples, acne, whatever you choose to call it, I got it, and I’m tired of it!

I mean, if I had to still be experiencing things like I did when I was a teen, why can’t it be eating anything I want (and as much as I want), without having to worry about weight, cholesterol, osteoporosis, etc? Or how about my energy level? Why can’t I be plagued with boundless energy at all times? Seriously, the Energizer bunny had nothin’ on me! After all, when I was a teen I worked full time, went to school full time, was social full time and even managed to complete some homework. (Note I said some homework. H.S. was really more social for me and I didn’t start to really take homework seriously until I was paying for my own college courses!)

It’s not that I mind getting older – I really don’t. I’m healthier mentally, spiritually and emotionally. I’m more grounded, patient, relaxed and even, hopefully, wiser too. I love life itself and my life specifically. To be perfectly honest, I think I’m like fine wine – I’m getting better with age. And I wouldn’t go back to adolescence for anything in the world. It’s just that, well, for once in my life I’d like to have a clear complexion. Really, is that too much for a (dare I say) middle-aged woman to ask?

Moving from my own age of youth to age of maturity, I saw something on TV that really cracked me up. I was watching the 4th hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb today, and they had a segment on with Gene Simmons, you know, from the 70’s rock band Kiss (with the makeup, wild hair and leather). It seems that Gene has a new gig these days. Apparently, he is now one of the spokespersons for AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons)! Seriously, the AARP! Does anyone else find this to be hilarious? Anyway, in his now seasoned wisdom he basically said, “The only difference between girls and women, or boys and men, is experience.” There you go – I have experience, therefore I am a woman (no matter how many zits I have).

“I’m not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You’re as old as you feel.” ~ Elizabeth Arden

“Live your life and forget your age.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

“So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

“First you are young; then you are middle-aged; then you are old; then you are wonderful” ~ Lady Diana Cooper

“I’d rather be over the hill than under it.” ~ my 87-yr old Gram

“I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in” ~ my 87-yr old Gram

A Change of Plans ~ Fiction Friday

It is time once again for Friday Fiction, hosted by Patty at her Patterings blog. This was another entry in the FaithWriters Weekly Challenge. If you would like to read more great fiction, or participate, please go to Friday Fiction. I hope you enjoy the story.


“Oh Mom, it hurts so bad!” Mallory was lying on her bed, crying into her pillow. At eighteen, her first broken heart was a very big deal. Her mother, Valerie, was sitting beside her, rubbing her back.

“I know it does, Sweetheart. Can you tell me what happened?” Valerie responded to her daughter with a tenderness that indicated she really did understand. She and Scott had been hearing things and thought this time might be coming.

“Blake broke up with me because I wouldn’t go down to the river bottom with him,” Mallory answered her as she turned to face her mom. “I told him I knew what went on down there and didn’t even want to be around it, much less a part of it. He said he didn’t want to be with me anymore because I’m not fun like the other girls at school. I don’t know what’s happened to him – he’s changed so much!”

“People change, Honey. Sometimes that change is for the better, and sometimes it’s for the worse. Your heart is breaking right now and I wish I could take that pain away, but I can’t. I want you to know though, how proud your dad and I are, that you know who you are and stand firm on your beliefs.” Lord, give me the words to comfort her, Valerie prayed silently.

“Mom, I know people change, but I didn’t think Blake would. I mean he’s Pastor Morgan’s son. He was going to be a pastor too! We were going to go to college, get married and have a church of our own. Now it’s all ruined and my life is over!!!” Mallory’s crying intensified as she thought of the shattered dreams.

“Mallory, I know it seems like your life is over, but it’s not. And pastor’s kids go through tough times too, just like others. Blake may turn around quickly or it may take a long time. All you can do is pray for him, and for his family. You know they are having a hard time with the changes in Blake too.”

Mallory looked at her mom with tears streaming down her face. “Yeah, I guess,” she said. “But what am I going to do now? All my plans included Blake. And this just hurts so bad!”

“Mal, this pain you’re in is very real and very deep, but it will get better. I want to tell you something. Your dad wasn’t the first boy I fell for. I had a boyfriend in high school too, that I was over the moon for. We broke up when I caught him kissing my best friend. I was mad and confused and hurting more than I ever imagined, all at once. It took a long time, but I got over it.”

“See, I had my plans, but God had his. Two years after this other boy, I met your dad and I knew, really knew that he was the one for me. Two years after that, we got married. Two years after that, you were born. If I hadn’t met your dad, I wouldn’t have you.” Valerie pulled her daughter up so they were sitting face to face. “You will get through this, I promise,” said Valerie as she hugged Mallory.

“It doesn’t feel like it,” Mallory sniffled as she hugged her mom back.

“I know, but you have to trust me on this. You had your plans, but God has plans for you too, and His are always the best. He has your future in His hands and that includes the husband and children He’s picked for you.” Valerie smiled then, and pushed the bangs out of Mallory’s eyes.

“So what am I supposed to do now?” Mallory asked as she took a deep breath.

Valerie stood and held her hand out. “In a little while, you will stand strong and walk into the life that God has planned for you. For now though, you’ll just wipe the tears off that beautiful face of yours and join me for an extra large hot fudge sundae. How’s that sound?”

Mallory looked up at her mom, with a tiny smile beginning to form. She took the hand that was outstretched for her and allowed herself to be pulled up. “I guess I could do that if I can have extra hot fudge,” she said as she wiped her face. “Mom thanks, I love you. You’re the best mom ever!”

Thursday, September 4

Miscellaneous Thanks ~ Thankful Thursday

Well, here it is again - Thankful Thursday! I’m so happy to be able to offer up “Thanks” regularly for the many wonderful blessings I have, whether large or small, significant or mundane. I’d like to offer a special thank you to Iris at her blog, Sting My Heart for hosting this wonderful Meme. If you would like to participate or just read from more thankful hearts, pop on over to Thankful Thursday and join us.

This week, I’ve had a bit of catching up to do, having just returned from our wonderful, family vacation. This week I’m thankful for:

~ A wonderful family vacation, filled with fun, R & R, and lots of great time spent with my two favorite people, the hubby and Sweet Pea.

~ Traveling mercies to and from above mentioned vacation.

~ Hurricane Gustave not being as bad as what was predicted.

~ Sarah Palin (obviously I’m a conservative)

~ Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Wednesday, September 3

Cindy McCain for First Lady

I was reading a thread in a Christian forum today (on FaithWriters) regarding the upcoming Presidential election. I was shocked at a certain girl’s extremely mean-spirited and ill-informed opinions. One of the nasty things she had to say about John McCain (along with that he is an atheist, which he definitely is not and other such things) is this, “McCain cheated on his wife [my note: meaning ex-wife and btw, ex-wife is promoting and presumably voting for John] and asked her for a divorce so he can marry a barbie doll. (my source came from wikipedia if anyone is interested)”. Needless to say, this incensed me greatly and I found I had to respond. The following was my response.

As a person from Phoenix, I can assure you I am proud of and admire this “Barbie doll” very much. It would be great if the rest of us would put our money, and our actions, where our mouths are. Yes, she is an heiress, but her father grew up poor, worked hard and created his wealth. He too was a war hero, serving in WWII and being shot down multiple times. It seems as though the McCain family actually lives the Scripture Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Yes this post is very long, but informative should you choose to read it. This info was verified through Snopes.


There was an article recently in the Wall Street Journal on Cindy McCain, John’s wife. Most people only ever see an attractive woman standing beside John. It may be surprising to them how talented and involved with world problems she is. This is a summary of that article. She graduated from Southern Cal and was a special-needs teacher.

After her Dad died she became involved with his beer distributing firm and is now the chairwoman. Sales have doubled since she has taken over from her father.

They have a marriage prenuptial agreement, her assets remain separate.

She is involved around the world clearing land mines – travels to these countries on a detonation team and serves on their board.

They have a 19 year old son serving in Iraq, and another son in the Naval Academy, a daughter recently graduated from Columbia University, an adopted daughter in high school, and a son who is the finance guy at the beer firm.

They raised their kids in Phoenix, rather than D.C and he commuted.

In 1991, Mrs. McCain came across a girl in an orphanage in Bangladesh. Mother Teresa implored Mrs. McCain to take the baby with a severe cleft palate. She did so without first telling her husband. The couple adopted the girl who has had a dozen operations to repair her cleft palate and other medical problems.

They have a Family Foundation for children’s causes.

She’s active with “Halo Trust” – to clear land mines, provide water and food in war ravaged and developing countries.

She will join an overseas mission of “Operation Smile”, a charity for corrective surgery on children’s faces. She has had two back surgeries and became addicted to pain killers. She talks openly about it which she says is part of the recovery process.

Personally, I’m not surprised the media is so quiet about her attributes. They have tried to discredit John McCain because of his wife’s wealth. It looks as if she knows how to put money and time to use in many good causes. What a novel thought to have such a fine person as the “First Spouse”. She sounds more capable than Hillary or Obama. If John McCain gets elected, we would really get two for the price of one. A person with business and international experience.


Election 2008: Cindy Hensley McCain has been disparaged as a trophy wife, a Barbie, an heiress with fancy purses, even the Paris Hilton of politics. But there's more to the picture than meets the eye.

Yes, Mrs. McCain is the perfectly coifed blonde standing dutifully behind the senator during his speeches. And yes, she wears stylish clothing and carries a Prada purse. And it's true she doesn't say much. But feminist critics who write her off as a 'stand-by-your-man' shrinking violet are selling her short. In many ways, Cindy McCain stacks up sturdier than Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. And she'd make a more impressive first lady.

Mrs. McCain: More than meets the eye.

While Obama's wife has been hating America, complaining about the war and undermining our troops serving in Afghanistan, McCain's wife has been worrying about her sons who actually are fighting or planning to fight in the war on terror. One, in fact, was until a few months ago deployed in Iraq during some of the worst violence.

You don't hear the McCain's talk about it, but their 19-year-old Marine, Jimmy, is preparing for his second tour of duty. Their 21-year-old son, Jack, is poised to graduate from Annapolis and also could join the Marines as a second lieutenant. The couple made the decision not to draw attention to their sons out of respect for other families with sons and daughters in harm's way.

Cindy also says she doesn't want to risk falling apart on the campaign trail talking about Jimmy who was so young when he enlisted she had to sign consent forms for his medical tests before he could report for duty and potentially upsetting parents of soldiers who are serving or have been killed.

The McCain's want to make sure their boys get no special treatment. Same goes for their five other children, including a daughter they adopted from Bangladesh . During a visit to Mother Teresa's orphanage there, Cindy noticed a dying baby. The orphanage could not provide the medical care needed to save her life. So she brought the child home to America for the surgery she desperately needed. The baby is now their healthy, 16-year-old daughter, Bridget.

Though all seven McCain children including two Sen. McCain adopted from his first marriage are supportive of their father, they prefer their privacy to the glare of the campaign trail. Another daughter, Meghan, 23, helps him behind the scenes.

Cindy McCain not only cherishes her children, but also her country, which in an election year filled with America-bashing, is a refreshing novelty. She seethed when she heard Michelle Obama's unpatriotic remarks that she only recently grew proud of America . 'I am very proud of my country,' Mrs. McCain asserted.

She also may be tougher than the other women in the race. While Hillary thinks she's come under sniper fire on mission trips abroad, Cindy has actually seen violence. She witnessed a boy get blown up by a mine in Kuwait during a trip with an international group that removes land mines from war-torn countries.

Mrs. McCain also is a hands-on philanthropist. She sits on the board of Operation Smile, which arranges for plastic surgeons to fix cleft palates and other birth defects. She also has helped organize relief missions to Micronesia .

During a scuba-diving vacation to the islands, Mrs. McCain took a to a local hospital to have a cut treated. She was shocked, and saddened, by what she saw. 'They opened the door to the OR, where the supplies were, and there were two cats and a whole bunch of rats climbing out of the sterile supplies,' she recalled. 'They had no X-ray machine, no beds. To me, it was devastating because it was a U.S. trust territory.' As soon as she returned home, she arranged for medical equipment and teams of doctors to be sent to treat the island children.

Michelle Obama may contribute to CARE, which fights global poverty and works to empower poor women. Cindy sits on its board.

While the Democrat women talk about helping the poor and needy, Cindy McCain actually rolls up her sleeves and does it. Who's the out-of-touch elitist?

A Good Work ~ Word-Filled Wednesday

This is my contribution to the meme Word-Filled Wednesday. For more beautiful pictures with inspiring Scripture, please visit the 160 Acre Wood, home of WFW.

I don’t know about you, but I find this Scripture to be particularly comforting. If we are only willing, He will continue to work on us, ever increasing the good within us, while helping us put to death the evil nature that is our flesh. When I read it, I am reminded that though I’m not as far along as I’d like to be, I have made significant progress in becoming the person He created me to be. Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, September 2

I'm Baaack...

We returned from our wonderful family vacation Sunday night. As you may recall, we were blessed to be able to leave the heat of the Phoenix area to spend a week in the awesome Lake Tahoe area. It was beautiful and amazing and restful, not to mention cooler than we’re used to in the Valley of the Sun this time of year! To me, there really is something special about being surrounded by nature and I always feel closer to God when I am. We really enjoyed the friendly blue jay that frequently visited our balcony and occasionally came in our room. Though I must admit, the numerous “beware of bears” notices were a bit disconcerting.

This vacation was the first for our little Sweet Pea and the first for us with her. She is nearly a year old now and while it was definitely more work to vacation with a baby, it was also more special in lots of ways. It was a time of many firsts for her. For the first time she felt pine needles and rough tree bark, sat in grass, stood in a lake, had a couple of french fries, lay in a hammock (with Daddy, of course!), went down a slide, rode in a swing, and went on a bike ride.

We had a great time with her and I think she had lots of fun too. We were staying up at the northwest part of the lake, at the Olympic village, but Jeff’s father lives in Reno, so we were able to visit him too. We also went to Virginia City (the old west town) and had a good time there. One of the best parts though, was Sweet Pea getting to meet her 95-year old great-grandma. It really was a very special time. (So now she has met Jeff’s 95-year old grandma and my 87-year old grandma!)

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay indefinitely. As usual, when it came time to leave, I didn’t want to come home. And yet I was so happy to get home. I’m an odd duck, I know. It was great to see our 4-legged family again and to sleep in our own beds. But, it was hard to leave such beauty, cool temperatures and relaxation. However, we came home feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and reconnected as a family again. In short, it was fantabulous!