Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

As 2007 draws to a close and New Year's Eve celebrations will begin in the United States in just a few short hours, please take a moment to pray for Christians in Pakistan (and other areas where the church is persecuted).

As you are aware, twice elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was slain last Thursday, December 27, by a suicide attacker as she campaigned to be elected a third time. Bhutto, an educated and graceful woman, was the leader of a large political party PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party). She stood against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. And she had a soft corner in her heart for the Christian minority. (Pakistan is 97% Moslem and the 2.5% Christian population continues to endure persecution.)

At present the country is in political turmoil and unrest.

Perhaps, if you need encouragement to remember Pakistan during your holiday celebration, this quote from one who knows first-hand of the situation will inspire you.

"We know one thing: The Lord is our refuge and strength. If God is with us, who can be against us. Fear not! for I am with you. He'll be with us even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. If our time is near, we are ready and if it's yet to come, even then we still are ready to face it, by the mighty power. Please continue to pray for us as we go through this turmoil. We really need your precious prayers."

Happy New Year! May 2008 be a blessed year for all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Created Not Evolved

I'm not going to apologize but my response to a "news" article I just read is hogwash!

Please don't try to tell me that scientists have discovered the reason women don't tip over when carrying a baby is because womens' spines have evolved to be more flexible and supportive.

If that is what they want to believe, that's their prerogative.

I happen to believe the Bible is the word of the living God. And according to it, God created! He did not create man from an ape or wait a few million years to see whether a single cell would evolve into swimmers, creepy-crawlies, wild beasts, birds of the air, other miscellaneous, and finally into two-legged ex-apes. He created the animals and then he created man and woman.

The word of God says Adam named the animals God created. I don't remember reading anything about God creating a single cell and waiting around to see what it might evolve into.

Why do some think it is simple-minded to believe God created, yet refuse to see the illogical sequence of evolution. Because wisdom comes from God. Without God, men are forced to seek false wisdom elsewhere.

The reason, Mr. Scientist, that a woman is able to carry a baby without falling on her face is not because her spine evolved, but rather because the great Creator designed her spine that way.

If you are interested in reading the article on evolution, click here. There is some interesting information in that article on the miraculous way a woman's body adjusts to accommodate the additional stress on her body.

But the evolution theory? It's a bit of a stretch.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Well-known Proverbs

You might not recognize these well-known proverbs, since they are only semi-well-known. The other half of each arises out of the cleverness of young minds.

A 1st grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are first-graders, 6-year-olds, because the last one is a classic!

1. Don't change horses - until they stop running.

2. Strike while the - bug is close.

3. It's always darkest before - Daylight Saving Time.

4. Never underestimate the power of - termites.

5. You can lead a horse to water but - How?

6. Don't bite the hand that - looks dirty.

7. No news is - impossible

8. A miss is as good as a - Mr.

9. You can't teach an old dog new - Math

10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll - stink in the morning.

11. Love all, trust - Me.

12. The pen is mightier than the - pigs.

13. An idle mind is - the best way to relax.

14. Where there's smoke there's - pollution.

15. Happy the bride who - gets all the presents.

16. A penny saved is - not much.

17. Two's company, three's - the Musketeers.

18. Don't put off till tomorrow what - you put on to go to bed.

19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and - You have to blow your nose.

20. There are none so blind as - Stevie Wonder.

21. Children should be seen and not - spanked or grounded.

22. If at first you don't succeed - get new batteries.

23. You get out of something only what you - See in the picture on the box

24. When the blind lead the blind - get out of the way.

25. A bird in the hand - is going to poop on you.

And the WINNER!

26. Better late than - Pregnant

Unfortunately, I couldn't locate the author of this. If anyone knows who wrote it, let me know so I can give credit.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Arlington Wreaths

Why does Worcester Wreath Company donate thousands of wreaths every year for the graves at Arlington National Cemetery during the holidays?

They put this video together to explain.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let's Say Thanks

Many of you have already seen this link in an email. Some of you have already sent a card. These cards were drawn by children and Xerox has made them available online for us to send to our service men and women overseas. Take a moment today to check out this site and send a card of your own today.

Click on the link below -
Let's Say Thanks to those who are protecting our freedom!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sherman Jones

I don't remember hearing the Korean War called "The Forgotten War," but it is. Korean vets returned to a country which wanted to forget the sacrifices they made. Surviving American prisoners of war were vilified by returning fellow soldiers.

Sherman Jones is one of the survivors of a massacre near Kujang-dong during the Korean War. I never heard his name or read of the Korean Death March or the Sunchon Tunnel Massacre until today. An internet friend sent a link to a video. After watching it, I checked out the story.

I warn you, keep the tissues handy when you watch this video. It's not sad; it's heartwarming. They gave an old vet an honor he deserved but never expected to receive.

There is a lot of information available on the net on the subject of the Korean War. This is only one story - "For POWs, Korea was not America's 'Forgotten War.'"

We have lost most of our WWII vets and are losing many of our Korean War vets, along with a number of Vietnam-era vets. The best time to honor them is while they are still living, as this graduating class did with Sherman Jones.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Justice for Anne

Sorry, but this is not a happy story. This one is about the torture of a Beagle named Anne. A second Beagle, Buttercup, escaped with cuts to her neck and shoulder.

I read a news article earlier and then someone sent me an email with a link to photos.. I'm not going to try to write a story, just post part of the email and the link and let you be the judge of whether you want to click on it. The photos are graphic.

From: FoCAS Incorporated

We wanted to let you know about a horrible animal cruelty case in Cullman county. We're trying to get the word out and ask anyone who may have any information about this case to contact Sheriff Tyler Roden in Cullman county.

Also, CAAWA (Cullman Area Animal Welfare Association) has joined forces with us, and the two organizations have established a reward fund called 'Justice for Anne.' Donations can be sent to:

Justice For Anne Fund
C/O Merchants Bank
900 Second Avenue Southwest
Cullman, Alabama, 35055
Any amount, even $2 or $3 would help.

As we all know, a large reward fund is usually a great motivator and might be the one thing that convinces a knowing party to reveal important information.

We're confident the person or persons who did this will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Anne will not have died in vain...

We will keep you updated on the progress of the case.

Beagle skinned alive in Vinemont
By Noah Chandler
The Cullman Times

(NOTE TO READERS: To see a photo package about this story, click here. CAUTION: GRAPHIC CONTENT)

Fox 6 in Birmingham, AL carries a related video. Click here to view it. If you think animal cruelty is unimportant and has no bearing on your life or on any human life, think again, and listen to what is said on this video.

Unfortunately, this is not the first such case and it will not be the last. There are a lot of sadistic and sick individuals in this world. And the same people that committed this atrocious act of cruelty on this Beagle are capable of abusing/torturing you or your children.

Animal cruelty is wrong! Perpetrators should be punished to the full extent of the law! And in many areas, animal cruelty acts should be toughened to reflect the seriousness of the crime.
Since publishing this a few hours ago, I have heard from someone who posted the following story earlier this year in 4 parts on a blog called Forty Paws. This family became pro-active in investigating the death of their own cat, Davy, and worked to help pass "Loco's Law" in Texas. Three of the links are below. Be sure to read this story. Keep your cats indoors. Watch your dogs and other outdoor pets. Many have been abused/killed in their own yards.

Davy, Part 2

Davy, Part 3

Davy, The Conclusion

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Celebrating Tossmas

Stuart Shepard at Stoplight has an interesting angle to the Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas controversy. I like his thinking!

You can view the video at Merry Tossmas.

PS - Forgot to tell you to click on the red light to activate the video.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dream Mom's Dear Son

A while back I read an introduction to Dream Mom's site on Poppy Q's blog. Now, Poppy Q is a cat living in New Zealand. You can tell this is a very loving home because it spills over into the stories.

The same is true of Dream Mom's site. As you read the stories, you can feel the sadness of wondering how long her disabled son will be with her, but also the joy of caring for him 24/7.

Her stories are poignant and touch the soul. Reading them reminds us that we can find happiness and count our blessings in life, no matter what our circumstances.

Stop by Dream Mom's and leave a comment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Animations - thanksgiving1
Image by

Whether your day will be spent with family, friends, strangers, or even - for whatever reason - alone, count your blessings and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Global Incident Map

This is an interesting map of global terrorism events and suspicious incidents.

(Click on the link.) Global Incident Map

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas With A Capital C

Yes, I know. Thanksgiving hasn't quite arrived yet, but I was sent a link to this video and before I lose it, I'm posting it.

The song is called "It's Called Christmas With a Capital "C" and many of you will perhaps not be crazy about the music, but the gist of the message is true, no matter what the beat. The current popular expression of "Happy Holidays" just doesn't describe the majestic import of the day.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Unjust Justice

The American justice system is often confusing and based more on -- well, we won't go there, at least not this time. But we are all aware that the American justice system is not perfect.

However, there are worse legal systems in the world. Take this case, for example: A young woman in Saudi Arabia met a man to retrieve some photos. They were both kidnapped and gang-raped. She was sentenced to 90 lashes for meeting with the man. Her attorney appealed the judgment against the kidnapper/rapists because according to their law the punishment for these crimes should be a death sentence. The criminals' prison sentences were lengthened, but the female victim's punishment was increased to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail for talking to the media.

I don't know about you, but I'm grateful to live in the USA.

You can read the news story, "Saudi court ups punishment for gang-rape victim."

Friday, November 16, 2007

National Anthem

Remember that nerve-grating rendition of the National Anthem from the video where Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin were standing on a platform at the Tom Harkin's Iowa Steak Fry? In case you have forgotten it, you can refresh your memory at "Pledge of Allegiance." (And, yes, I know I mis-titled that story, but look how it worked out - now I can use the correct title.)

Well, a friend has sent a link to an astounding rendition of the National Anthem, sung by a 7-year-old named Anthony Gargiula. You will love this version. It's too bad the political folks didn't know he was available.

Thanks, Evelyn.

Logan's Calf

Update: Oops, the link I received was strictly for the audio and does not properly ID the source. The radio station has sent the link from which this audio should be accessed and I have made the change in the Logan's Calf link below. If you have already listened to the audio, please click on the Logan's Calf link again and you can not only read an inspiring message from Logan's mom, but you can also find other great stories of interest.

Thanks, Mike - the Morning Show Host at KSBJ 89.3 - for leaving a comment to correct this oversight!


Every so often you get a really special forward. This one is special because it comes directly from the mouth of a boy who shares a lesson about an old cow, a newborn calf, a painful duty - and God's love.

Logan's Calf

Thanks for sharing this, Sherry.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Free Rice

Here's an interesting and fun site. You can improve your vocabulary while earning grains of rice - ten grains at a time - which are donated to help with the world hunger problem.

While there, be sure to check out the Totals and read the FAQ and About pages too.

The site is called Free Rice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pet Massacre Update

It was a sad day in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico when city employees took away pets by force and threats of eviction, and turned them over to a contractor hired - and well paid! - to deliver them to a shelter. The contractor, however, had the animals thrown alive from a bridge. Click here to read Pet Massacre.

There was a worldwide response to this news - outrage!

The news gets worse. This was not the first offense. Or even the second. This has evidently been the company's practice for years.

When I read this article Pet massacres carried out in Puerto Rico I thought of how rampant animal abuse has grown. And so has spousal abuse, child abuse, abortion on demand, the practice of "euthanasia," and a flagrant disregard for the principles and teachings of a Holy Creator God.

Is your response to this, they're only animals? Well, God put them in our (man's) care. Doesn't seem to me like man - both as individuals and nations - is doing a very good job of caretaking.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day 2007

Recent news reports claim that veterans comprise 25% of the homeless in the United States. That is 1 in 4 of the homeless. These surviving war heroes who risked life and limb - often sacrificing limbs, health and quality of life - are unable to integrate back into regular society for a variety of reasons.

I would imagine that each story is different, yet essentially the same. The horrors of war take their toll. Many veterans suffer with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which was called shell shock during World War I and combat fatigue during WW II.

Military returning from the Vietman war were heckled and spat on. There were no thanks for a job well done, although the veterans were not responsible for the debacle the federal government created in the way the war was fought or the withdrawing of our troops. The accomplishments of their military service were swept under the rug, as if the veterans should be ashamed of following orders and giving their all. It is only in recent years that Vietnam veterans have been publicly acknowledged and thanked for their sacrifices and service.

It took approximately ten years for the lives of some Vietnam vets to disintegrate into homelessness. There is the possibility the same will happen to a number of military personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq war duty.

Some of these men and women are still living in a war zone through memories and flashbacks. Anger, spousal abuse, depression and even suicide are potential fallouts with veterans. We need to consider what we - the parents, siblings, children, friends, neighbors and co-workers - can do to help these veterans to heal from their physical and mental war wounds and to return to life outside a war zone.

We honor all our veterans for their courage and selfless service. They are the backbone of our country's freedom.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Irena Sendler

A friend sent a link to a story about a Polish woman named Irena Sendler. At great risk to her own life, she smuggled an astonishing number (2,500) of children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during the last three months before its extermination."

Many of the children's parents died in the Holocaust, but after the war ended, Irena Sendler worked diligently to find those children and return them to family members.

There were a number of heroic people who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust. It is reputed that in Poland alone, six million were killed - three million Jews plus three million Christians and other non-Jews. Today, many scoff at the notion the Holocaust ever happened.

But truth stands, whether or not it is popular, and it should be indelibly recorded in every history book. The Holocaust is a fact of history, not a figment of the imagination. Unfortunately, those remaining of the generation who witnessed or experienced the Holocaust are few and, like Irena Sendler, elderly.

To read her story, click here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pledge of Allegiance

Hmmm. I have no idea why I titled this "Pledge of Allegiance" yesterday. I got it right in the story - the national anthem. Just goes to prove I am not perfect. But those who know me are already aware of that.

I've heard from several that the rendition of the national anthem is terrible, something I already knew because I listened to it before posting it here. Sorry about that, but I can't change it. But I would like to add an update with new links at the end of this story.


There is an email going around with a picture of Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin standing on a platform during the singing of the national anthem. Obama is the only
person standing with his hands clasped instead of with his right hand over his heart, as is the American custom to show proper respect when the national anthem is played.

I located a video that relates to the photo.

One would think that a man who is running for President, the highest office in the United States of America, would show proper respect for our flag.

But then, one would think that a nation that has been so wonderfully blessed would show proper respect for God.

UPDATE: I want to add some links for this story because there have been a number of questions emailed to me. Originally, I found the video at (That video stopped working, so I changed it to one from YouTube.) Snopes is good about tracking down rumors, but possibly even they aren't perfect, so I did some more research and found the photo in question was published in the October 1, 2007 edition of "Time Magazine." It was taken at Tom Harkin's Iowa Steak Fry. And in case you didn't notice, the video is from ABC news.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bringing Back Russ

I have never seen a Gaither Homecoming video in its entirety. I finally saw a tiny portion of one several months ago when someone sent a link to a short song segment posted on YouTube. As I clicked on related song titles and watched other video snippets, I began to recognize some of the names associated with Bill and Gloria Gaither.

There are so many uplifting and talented artists, but this post is about a specific one - Russ Taff. He spent three years as part of the Gaither Vocal Band before resuming his solo career, which is still going strong.

He is a dynamic singer, with a voice one can quickly learn to recognize. There is something about him that "speaks" to me -- I've lived a hard life, had many trials and taken any number of wrong roads, but God has corrected me, brought me back to my roots and made me whole.

While googling another subject, I came across a recent interview with Russ Taff published on the Today's Pentacostal Evangel website. I hope you will take a moment to read the entire article, in which he speaks about how he became caught up in "the business of Christianity and the business of doing the Lord's work" and how the Holy Spirit led him out of "the business" and into surrender.

Russ Taff came to a point of total surrender in his life. He made the decision to follow God, no matter where or what. It was not easy but it changed his priorities and his life. His career is doing great. His family life is better than ever. And best of all, his faith is stronger.

Unfortunately for folks who sing like I do, if you can't sing on key before you surrender, you most likely won't be able to sing on key afterwards. But surrender all, as Russ did, and God will raise you up in His way, in His time, and in His service.

You can read the TPE article here - "Remembering The Call"

And this is one of my favorite Russ Taff songs - "They Call It Gospel Music."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sam Adams for Mayor

This is my chuckle and tale of the ridiculous for the day.

City Commissioner Sam Adams is running for mayor in Portland, Oregon. Two radio personalities from KEX named Mark Mason and Dave Anderson purchased two domain names for Sam Adams to use - (not active – he hasn’t been elected yet) and

Unexpectedly, they received a name infringement letter from the Boston Beer Company. Boston Beer uses the trademarks Sam Adams® and Samuel Adams®, so Sam Adams – the human being – was to immediately cease and desist using his own name on a website. The letter the company’s Intellectual Property Manager sent to David Anderson was so ridiculous (and now famous) that it sold for $1475.90 on E-Bay.

It seems we have come a long way into the realm of the ridiculous when a man can’t use his own name to run for public office without causing a furor and a potential lawsuit. I don’t know Sam Adams and I don’t live in Portland, so I won’t be able to vote for or against him for mayor. But I will cast my vote that he be allowed to keep and use his own name.

You can read about the infamous letter and the hullabaloo it caused by clicking here.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Please Identify

Heaven forbid the day should ever come when I receive a questionnaire with my utility bill asking for my marital status, religion and sexual orientation. Honestly, would the answer to any of these questions help the sanitation company to roll away my trash can, empty it and replace it? Of course not!

So, imagine the surprise of ninety-one year old Bill Burrow and other residents of Leeds, England who did receive such a questionnaire in relation to their rubbish pick-up.

I sure hope the local city council or even the county commissioners never decide to try a ridiculous survey like that one. I doubt they would be reelected for another term if they did. And their ears would probably burn from the public comments about what exists between their ears.

I would suggest the Leeds city council should apologize to city residents for their unnecessary and invasive personal questions, but they undoubtedly wouldn't be heard over the laughter their survey has induced.

You can click here to read the story.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Yes, I know there is no such word as "Christiantology." So why am I using that for a title?

Because things are not confused enough in Christianity today, but evidently now there are some Christian ministers who are seeking help for their congregations through the teachings of Scientology. (You can read the article for yourself by clicking here.)

Excuse me, but Christianity was originally based on worship of God under the New Covenant. Too many today are stripping away worship of the true God by replacing Him with gods (little g here, folks) such as self-worship or greed. Scientology does not even recognize God, let alone worship Him.

Come on, folks, don't be sheep led to the slaughter by a wolf in sheep's clothing. Does your minister teach from the Bible or does he deviate into other religions and practices that are not Bible-based? No matter how innocent it might seem to incorporate non-Christian teachings into sermons, remember the devil is expert at making sin appear appealing and innocent!

And also remember that ultimately, you are responsible for what you listen to, believe and act upon. Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorized fire before God and God killed them both. Under the New Covenant, punishment might not be as dramatic and immediate, but the Bible says that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so mixing strange religions with Christianity is a very poor decision for minister or lay person to make.

Worship God and God alone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Music of Healing

Tonight, I was pleased to find a song I used to love listening to on the radio. It’s called “My Name Is Lazarus” by Greater Vision. The story of Jesus calling Lazarus forth from death to life after 3 days in the tomb is one of encouragement.

And so is the healing of a blind man. He Saw It All” is by the Booth Brothers.

You can listen to either song just by clicking on the song title.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pet Slaughter

I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it. ~Abraham Lincoln

Earlier this month Berceloneta, Puerto Rico hired Animal Control Solution to clear three housing projects of pets after the city recently took over administration of the projects.

Municipal workers surrounded the housing complexes and prevented anyone from leaving with a pet. Pets were confiscated in front of children. According to Mayor Sol Luis Fontanez, it was expected the animals were to be adopted or euthanized humanely.

The animals were turned over to Animal Control Solutions, which was to be paid $60 for every animal picked up and another $100 for each trip to transport the animals to a shelter in the suburb of Carolina. Injections were administered, allegedly as a sedative for the ride to the shelter. The animals were then, “slammed into vehicles.”

But instead of being taken to a shelter, 80 animals were thrown from a 50-foot-high bridge in the neighboring town of Vega Baja. Some were already dead from the brutality and injections when tossed, but many were still alive. As can be imagined, from that height, there were innumerable broken bones, even broken backs, and other injuries. A few survived and somehow managed to crawl up to the highway. Six or seven were eventually reunited with their owners. .

Despite this, Animal Control Solution owner Julio Diaz denied these were the same animals he confiscated. But police have confirmed their involvement and the mayor has confirmed the public housing administration was also involved. No arrests have been made but an investigation is ongoing.

A $22.5 million (euro15.75 million) lawsuit has been filed against the municipality of Barceloneta, Mayor Fontanez, Puerto Rico's public housing director, the owner of a private animal control company (no surprise) and several others.

Public outrage was not limited to Puerto Rico and the United States. Many nations were represented among the signatures on a petition that was delivered to Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá, Governor of Puerto Rico during a demonstration.

Just for the record, the housing projects also receive funding from the U.S. government. The Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington said it does not have a no-pet policy and would not authorize a mass confiscation of animals.

Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility. ~S. Parkes Cadman

Friday, October 19, 2007

Free Health Care

There has been a lot of information passed around in emails on Canada’s “free” health care. None of it has been complimentary to Canada. To read what complimentary things Canadian Health Care has to say about itself, click here.

To get an entirely different view of the Canadian health care system, you can watch videos of actual cases where the system falters or fails. The easiest way to find and access these videos is through director Stuart Browning’s YouTube site. While there, be sure to watch, “A Short Course in Brain Surgery and “Two Women.” Both are fairly short.

England has a national healthcare system and from what I have been reading on it lately, it isn’t any more popular than Canada’s. Many certainly do not want a national health care system in the U.S. We already know how well our government coordinates to accomplish little or nothing.

At one time Hillary Clinton suggested modeling a national healthcare system in the US after Arizona’s AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) program. What a disaster that would have been!

Not too surprisingly, the American Medical Student Association is touting universal health care.

We are slowly and definitively drifting closer to where we have zero input in our health care – diagnosis, treatment and timing of our inevitable demise. The government does not give away freebies, especially expensive freebies. One way or another, those who have the greatest need will suffer the most and gain the least from a national health care plan.

The latest idea is evidently a national insurance plan of one type or another. Yes, there are innumerable Americans who do not have health insurance and would like to have it for themselves and their families, but the question arises as to whether a national insurance plan would fare any better for needy citizens than the government’s response to hurricane Katrina victims.

Remember, “Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.” (Ronald Reagan.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Abandoned By God

Sometimes I get the feeling from things I hear and read that many today believe God is lounging around in heaven, smiling and knitting Good Christian awards to hand out to anyone and everyone who has ever not kicked the cat and has done at least one good deed in life. (Multiple personal good deeds preferred but well-bred family connections count.)

Okay, that's stretching things a bit, but you get the idea. In today's society, the general conception is too often that anything goes with God - that he's just a big teddy bear of a grandfather waiting to hug us every time we mention His name.

It might be a surprise to some to learn that God is in charge because - well, because he is God and we aren't. And he is not obligated to honor our misguided conceptions of who he is and what he expects of us, both personally and as a nation that has been blessed beyond belief for generations. For these unearned blessings, he has been recreated in the image of a universal collage and set out on an ice floe to die of neglect.

America, as much as I love this country, has allowed sin to become so commonplace and publicly in-your-face it is impossible to not notice America is suffering the consequences.

I was just listening to the first half of John MacArthur's broadcast entitled "A Nation Abandoned By God." This is an eye-opener for those who think God is still blessing America as a Christian nation.

And for a limited time, this is available on CD - for free. Just listen to the broadcast and order your copy while it is available.

True Revelation

There is so much confusion and contradiction in Christianity today that newcomers to the faith - and even old-timers - can easily be led astray from the true gospel, as preached by Jesus and his apostles, into idolatry disguised and eloquently preached as Christianity.

There are innumerable versions of the gospel message and religious how-to books and websites available. How can you recognize the truth when you hear or read it? By the guidance and inspiration of the Spirit of truth - the Holy Spirit.

Vicki of Windows To My Soul has a food-for-thought post on her blog today. It is titled, "Regurgitation is not Revelation."

Oops. Guess the words food-for-thought and regurgitation are an oxymoron, but they are aptly descriptive.

Vicki is a passionate writer. I hope you will drop by and read some of her posts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Living Will

When I hear the word euthanasia, I think of an animal in great pain and with no hope of recovery. I have a mental image of a tearful and loving - or at least a kind-hearted - owner holding the animal as a veterinarian gently injects it so as to end the animal’s suffering.

Over the years, euthanasia has become the acceptable word used to describe killing animals at shelters. In a large part because of irresponsible owners, backyard breeders, puppy mills and folks who don’t want to sterilize their pets, millions of healthy, adoptable animals are routinely killed each year. Many are still stuffed into death boxes and gassed with carbon monoxide. Others are injected. A vein on larger animals might be the injection site, but the small animals are jabbed in the heart. The animals do not die willingly. They are frightened and fight to live. Too frequently workers drag them into the death room. Is this what humans consider a pleasant or comfortable death? Then it isn’t euthanasia, is it?

But the word euthanasia helps assuage the guilt of those who contribute to pet overpopulation as well as those who are responsible for “euthanizing” them. For many shelter workers, killing the animals is the hardest part of their job and they do it as gently as possible; however, there are those who enjoy killing and are attracted to employment where they can legally abuse and kill animals.

Jack Kevorkian, or “Dr. Death,” as he was often called, was one who helped redefine the word euthanize. It is now “assisted death.” At the rate society is “progressing,” it is only a matter of time before “euthanasia” for humans will not only be accepted but required.

When my mother spent a few days in the hospital a year ago, the first nurse she met in her room began campaigning for her to sign a Living Will so Mother’s wishes would be followed instead of (the nurse glared at me) any of her children making decisions for her. I didn’t know much about a living will at the time, but it sounded fairly innocuous. I was considering filling out one for myself, until this morning when I read Dr. Albert Mohler’s blog entry “Sign Your Way to a "Good Death?" -- The Soft Slide to Euthanasia” ( posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007) and Charlotte Allen’s story at the Washington Post, “Back Off! I’m not Dead Yet” (Sunday, October 14, 2007; Page B01).

I had not seriously associated a Living Will with future potential permission to “euthanize” the one who signed the document. These articles gave me food for thought, and perhaps they will do the same for you.

Can what Dr. Mohler and Ms. Allen write about actually happen? One day in the not too distant future, it is conceivable the word euthanize could be as innocuous-sounding in terms of human death as it has become in relation to unwanted animals.

There is a story of a frog that is put into a pan of water on the stove with low heat. By the time the frog realizes the water is dangerously hot, it’s too late. As a human being, and especially as a Christian, you don’t want to wait until the water begins to boil under the pot you’re sitting in. Do some research before signing a Living Will so you can make an informed decision.

Nancy and Naomi

A friend sent a link to a testimonial video - a series of photographs - that tell an amazing death and life story of a mother and newborn baby.

I hope you will take a few minutes to watch the video and then read the message directly below it. Click here to watch the video.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Anything I Can Do

I was just listening to the song "Is There Anything I Can Do?" by Jeff and Sheri Easter and thinking, this should be one of the major themes of life, whether a person is a Christian or a non-Christian.

Some needs only a close friend can fill, but sometimes God will send a stranger to help you through. So, whether your friend needs a hand or a stranger needs a friend .... is there anything you can do?

Click here to listen to the song.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Inasmuch, Sue

Billie Sue Edwards Bates – January 2, 1943 – October 13, 2007

Sue Bates died early Saturday morning. She will be buried next to her husband Ron (click here to read "Inasmuch, Ron") who died in late July of this year, in the village of Goloshei, Romania.

"Missionary, wife, mother to four sons, 'Mama Sue' to hundreds of God’s poor young lambs, Sue Bates came to Romania seventeen years ago with her husband, Ron Bates. Through the years the service of Ron and Sue Bates included a preaching ministry to Rroma (Gypsy) churches, printing the Braille Bible for the Romanian Blind Society and for Russian Christians, funding basic medical services for the needy, distributing gifts from European and North American Christians to churches, schools and the homeless, and overseeing homes for almost one hundred single mothers and street orphans. Her and her husband’s ministry always sought to live out Jesus’ command in Matthew 25:40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. " (Quoted from the October 14, 2007 Inasmuch newsletter.)

You can read more about their ministry at Inasmuch. The newsletter will undoubtedly be posted on the website soon.

Sue and Ron left a wonderful legacy of love behind. And surely those they ministered to will pick up the mantle and carry on.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dunderhead Award 1

In case you don’t know what a dunderhead is, keep reading and you will figure it out.

I created this award after learning Stone Mountain Park in Georgia was building Coca Cola Stone Mountain. This is nothing more than a great mountain of snow – in 80 degree weather, no less. The state has just endured a summer of tough watering restrictions because of drought conditions in the state.

And to thoroughly insult those who have faithfully followed the state and individual county rules, this project began on the day Governor Sonny Perdue declared October “Take a Shorter Shower” month. Yes, folks, as Atlanta area residents were asked not to flush toilets unless necessary, a tourist attraction was busy creating snow from the dwindling supply of public water.

No, we haven’t been able to wash our cars in our driveway or bathe our dogs outside all summer, but this resort turned on their snow-making equipment, fully intending to squander 1,231,200 gallons of precious water per month to make snow. Supposedly, this is the equivalent of 106,138 showers. (I assume this figure was arrived at prior to the shorter shower announcement.)

Have you figured out what a dunderhead is yet?

Fortunately, when this story hit the news, there was such a public outcry, the snow mountain project has hit an ice boulder and crashed.

The reason given as their basis for stealing shower water from the public is they thought they were covered under an exception to the law. Namely, making snow was an essential part of their daily business. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division states otherwise. They are in violation of the law.

Stone Mountain Park has its own lake to draw water from. There was no need to filch precious public water.

I’m certain, if you didn’t previously know what a dunderhead is, you have figured it out by now. If you want to confirm your definition, click here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Vick Visits PETA

I am not a big PETA fan, but a friend forwarded a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) newsletter today in which PETA claims Michael Vick not only visited them but returned to take an “8-hour course in empathy and animal protection.” And he returned again to take the test. (I assume he passed the exam.)

Now, according to PETA, this does not change its stance on Vick doing jail time, nor its stance on wanting Vick barred from ever having contact with or owning another animal.

If this is true, is Vick sincere? I can no more answer that than I could whether his apology was truly sincere. To be honest, it did not appear to be, but I don’t know his heart. However, if Vick is honest and he has actually never been exposed before to animal sensitivity teachings or educated as to how and why animals should not be abused, this missing link in his education points toward the necessity of educating children at home and in school while they are young.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has educational materials specifically for educating children on humane treatment of animals.

The number of animal torture and killing cases involving young children is rapidly growing. Children ordinarily love animals. For any child to abuse any animal is abhorrent and abnormal.

Children need to be educated in animal etiquette. The time to start teaching them is before they begin to act out their aggressions and fears on helpless animals. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, they are taking out the physical and psychological abuse they are receiving at the hands of trusted parents, other adults or their own peers on trusting animals.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bear Bridge Rescue

Now here is a bear rescue you won’t want to miss. There are 3 links listed to the same photos with slightly different write-ups because news stories sometimes are archived and disappear within a few days and this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime rescues.

Nevada Appeal

The ability of men to come up with innovative ways to overcome a problem or meet a need is amazing. So, why is it that some men will go to great lengths to save the life of an animal while others treat animals with disdain and brutality?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Snippets, Sp 29, 2007

Tanya Head. It is sad to read the recent news story of Tanya Head, who is accused of posing for the past six years as a 9/11 survivor. My question is, if Head is not who she says she is (even her name is now in doubt), why has it taken six years to figure this out?

On the surface, it would seem she might have been drawn to the attention and status her survivor’s claim accorded her. Although she did not apply for nor receive financial compensation, this did put her in the limelight where she had occasions to meet prominent politicians, lead tour groups, and become a fundraiser and president of the charity World Trade Centre Survivors’ Network.

For the past six years, she was somebody – a survivor of the World Trade Center attacks and the subsequent collapse of both towers. If she did lie about being on or above the 78th floor when the plane hit the south tower, she must be some actress!

Did she lie? If she did, she must be a very lonely person with some deep needs her pre-9/11 life and friendships couldn’t fill.


Locked in a CT scanner. Yes, this is a true story.

Elvira Tellez, who has been diagnosed with bone cancer, went to a clinic in Tucson, Arizona one afternoon for a CT scan to see if her cancer has spread. After being placed in the scanning machine about 4 o’clock, the lights were dimmed to relax her, she was told not to move, and the technician walked away, forgot about her and went home.

Hours later, after screaming for help, Elvira managed to wiggle out of the machine, only to find she was locked in the clinic. Panicked, she called her son and then 911. She was able to unlock the door for deputies. They then contacted the office manager who claimed to be unaware of the situation. Elvira spent the night in the hospital.

That’s not bad enough. A physician at the clinic admits this is not the first time a patient has been locked in the office after hours. How does one forget a patient left helpless and scared in a CT scanner?

The moral of this story is that the next time you have to visit a clinic for any type of testing, take along a friend with a good memory, one who will miss you when the clinic doors are being locked and you haven’t returned to the waiting room.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

End of a Chain

I have no sympathy for anyone who would tie one or more dogs in the yard and allow them to die at the end of a chain, without food, water, or medical care.

Anti-tethering laws are popping up here and there across the nation and gaining momentum. Chaining a dog outside is inhumane and can lead to aggression. Consider this; would you want to spend your life on a chain that constricts your ability to exercise and in some cases on a chain so short you can barely move at all? Or even on a longer chain that wraps around any nearby object as you pace and has the potential to choke you to death? If you have a kind owner, you might have a doghouse, but many chained dogs don’t have any type of shelter, not even a nearby shade tree in the summer or a place to curl up in when the weather turns stormy or cold.

Many chained dogs are neglected. It is easy to “forget” to feed and water the chained dog. Out of sight means out of mind in too many cases. In an open yard, chained dogs are vulnerable to attacks by other dogs. They can’t hide or get away. They are also susceptible to “teasing:” abuse by children. That dog doesn’t think it is funny to be poked with a stick or to have his food or water bowl taken away “in fun.” But when the dog eventually bites someone taunting him, stealing his food, or entering his chained territory, he is deemed dangerous and disposed of.

Dogs are social animals. Chaining them denies them interaction with other canines and with their owners. Picture yourself living in prison in solitary confinement, without interaction with others of your own species.

Thankfully, many areas are passing anti-tethering laws. There are times when tying a dog outside for a short period of time is a necessary or temporary convenience, but to confine a dog solely to a lonely life at the end of a chain is cruel.

It is suspected that those who would most vocally oppose an anti-tethering law would be those who own but neglect a dog and those involved in dogfighting. Fighting dogs are kept chained separately because they are trained to be highly aggressive to other animals.

So, this said, you can guess I am not on the side of the folks who used to own a dog rescued from death in a yard at the end of a chain and named Doogie by his rescuer. His rescuer’s name is Tammy Grimes and she is scheduled to go on trial in Pennsylvania for saving the dog, getting him medical care, and refusing to return him to die at the end of a chain. The way the previous owners treated him was cruelty, against the law, but the law there has refused to prosecute them. Instead, they are prosecuting Tammy Grimes.

When will men stop thinking of animals as inanimate objects? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out animals can experience fear and pain, and deserve far better than they often receive. If you want something to help you relax at the end of a hard day that requires no financial commitment for upkeep and no effort to care for, get a porch swing. But if you want to be greeted with enthusiasm and affection, get a dog. He’s worth the effort and expense.

But don’t chain him in a far corner of the yard and forget he exists. Doogie had five months of freedom from a chain before he died. Five happy months with vet care, medication, nourishing food and loving contact.

And for that freedom, for Doogie and other chained dogs, Tammy Grimes is willing to go to jail. Perhaps the DA will have a change of heart and the previous owners who chained him and left him to die will be prosecuted instead. When you read the story of how law enforcement and the judicial system has dealt with the rescuer instead of the abuser, you might wonder which species – animal or human – in certain cases best fits the derogatory term “dumb animal.”

Click here to visit Tammy's website, Dogs Deserve Better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sneaky Snake Bite

You can add another reason to your list of why over-imbibing disconnects your brain cells from reality.

First of all, I have doubts about the mentality of anyone who would keep a snake as a pet, and I know a number of people would argue against me on this subject, but I stand firm on this point. And here is a good example.

An Oregon man had a few beers with friends, opened his mouth and inserted his pet Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake’s head. (This is North America’s largest venomous snake.) What would most people assume would happen? Well, it did.

He was rushed to the hospital with enough venom in him to kill 12 to 15 people. His tongue swelled, filled his mouth and obstructed his airway. With an obstructed airway, he had only seven minutes to get major medical help before he died of asphyxiation.

The doctors put him in a medical coma for three days. Three weeks later, he is home, recovering well, and still handling his rattlesnake as casually as someone else would a pet Chihuahua. Since he is keeping the snake, he would be smart to give up the beer. But I doubt it.

To read one news report, click here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tomorrow Has Come

A tribute to my mother, who passed away one year ago today.


By Janice Price

How swiftly do the years flow by (comparing now with then).
The hands that rocked my cradle then, now barely hold a pen.
The feet that paced the floor with me are sore and wracked with pain.
The sturdy legs that climbed the stairs reluctantly abstain.

A stroke, some falls, a shattered hip – all things we couldn’t share.
Determinedly, her swollen feet propel her “rolling chair.”
Where once we could stand back to back and match at five-foot-four,
Her body’s lost the war with time. Her neck bends toward the floor.

Her eyesight faded years ago. She legally is blind.
She keeps up with the daily news to exercise her mind.
She once could hear a silent sin. Her hearing was acute.
She now maintains volume control is languishing on “mute.”

Her hair remains quite dark and fine, with just a touch of gray.
She misses how her gardening once brightened up her day.
Tomorrow was a future date. No way we could foresee
She'd live in prison, physically, though technically she’s free.

One day tomorrow came to pass. My mother has grown old.
We need to share more memories - relate the tales untold.
She smiled her way through failing health. One day she’d rest a while.
Tomorrow’s here. Let’s share a joke. And launch that impish smile

But now her time on earth has passed. Her steadfast faith endured.
No longer deaf or blind or lame – of this we are assured.
We buried her beside her son, through tears – emotions numb.
Though death is not the journey’s end, tomorrow sure has come.

© 2000, 2007 Janice Price

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Outrage Over Abuse

Hardly anyone in the United States today does not know who Michael Vick is. He has come to symbolize public outrage against the bloodthirsty and criminal “sport” of dogfighting. He is not, however, the first sports figure to be involved. More than one black sports player has expressed astonishment at Vick’s arrest and defended him. After all, dogfighting abounds in their home state. Well, those guys might know where all the local dogfights are held, but that doesn’t make dogfighting popular with the masses or an integral part of their “culture.”

Vick’s defenders claim the clamor is racially motivated and he is being unjustly persecuted. Well, I am not racially motivated in my outrage against any dogfighter. I don’t care if he is black, white or pink with purple polka dots. What he is doing is despicable! Thankfully, today it’s also illegal.

Dogfighting is not a harmless sport! And the victims are not those like Vick who are arrested, but the dogs which have been trained, specially bred and sometimes pumped up on steroids to fight other dogs. The humans might go to jail, but the dogs are killed. Even though they are gentle and obedient with humans, they are trained to be dangerously aggressive toward other animals.

In fact, in this “sport,” one of the tools used to train one of these dogs might have been the Labrador Retriever, the Chihuahua, or the cat that was stolen from your back yard. Or it might have been the kittens or puppies you gave away “free to a good home” in the Wal-mart parking lot or with a sign on the tree in your front yard.

What stirred me to write this is an article by Rowland S. Martin. He echoes the sentiments of other editorials written in recent months, which purport that the outpouring of outrage was solely because Vick is a celebrity. I understand what he is saying. Readers and viewers are more interested in Britney Spears or any other famous person than unknowns who are violently and senselessly abused and often killed.

Because where, he asks, is the outrage when violence is perpetrated against humans? I don’t know about you, but I am still outraged when I read or hear of any type of abuse. There is so mind-numbing much of it worldwide, but the outrage still exists.

For many of us.

But for others, their consciences have been seared, their hearts hardened, and all traces of empathy have been washed away. There are no tears left for the pain and suffering of another living being, whether man or beast. Society often faults latchkey children, the popularity of violent video games, gory movies, the necessity of joining a gang to survive in some areas, etc.

Shouldn’t misplaced hero worship be added to the list? Just because an actor or a sports player earns – excuse me, is insanely paid - an astronomical sum, that person is not automatically a person of character or one to be emulated. But young folks don’t understand that, any more than they understand that if Dad takes them to a dogfight, a cockfight, or a hog-dog rodeo, the violence they encounter in such an atmosphere will condition them to become insensitive to bloodshed and the pain of living beings.

And so we are inundated in the news with horrid details of teenagers and even young children perpetrating unbelievable abuse against animals. It is basically only a matter of time before they graduate to criminal abuse against humans – if they haven’t already. The lack of remorse some of these young people demonstrate concerns law enforcement and the judicial system.

Shouldn’t we be grateful there has been a vocal and sustained outcry against what Michael Vick subsequently admitted to doing? Let’s teach our youth that it is not okay to hero worship and imitate Michael Vick, who played football well but was cruel to animals and gambled heavily. And let’s put all the Michael Vicks out of business! There are too many like Michael Vick who believe their fame and money places them on a pedestal and protects them when they mess up or break the law. Vick, the hero Quarterback, let his team down when he gambled and lied about it. He let his idolizing fans down. He broke state and federal dogfighting laws. His actions deserved a public hue and cry of outrage. Prominent people are not above the law - man’s law or God’s law.

It should be no more permissible to abuse an animal than a human being, and although many will be quick to protest that animals are not human, that is no excuse for the pain and suffering of the animals men subject to dogfighting, cockfighting or any other vicious blood “sport.”

Don’t support abuse by ignoring it, condoning it or participating in it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thank you, Sheriff Conway

Just over a month ago, Sheriff Butch Conway offered a reward of $10,000 – from his own pocket, mind you – for information leading to the arrest and conviction of dogfighters in Gwinnette County, Georgia. Way to Go, Sheriff!

Georgia has the most deplorable dogfighting laws in the country. Law enforcement has shown little interest in pursuing these lawbreakers because little or nothing results from the investigations and arrests. But it looks as if that might change.

Thanks to Sheriff Conway of Lawrenceville, the Georgia Sheriffs' Association is now offering up to $2500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting.

Thank you, Georgia Sheriffs' Association! It isn’t much of a reward in comparison to Sheriff Conway’s offer, but it gives hope that law enforcement intends to buckle down and pursue those involved in dogfighting.

Forcing any type of animals to fight, often to the death, is a despicable form of animal abuse! Parents who bring children to these “sporting events” should be charged with child abuse. Children are not only exposed to the bloody brutality of fighting, but these fights attract heavy betting and drug sales/usage.

Already Sheriff Conway’s offer of a reward has resulted in a raid in Snellville. Four men have been charged with dogfighting, 10 pit bulls have been seized, and drugs have been confiscated. Unfortunately, it is the dogs that will receive the harshest penalty. Pit bulls live to please their masters. Their reward for obedience? They will be put to death.

It’s way past time for Georgia to get serious on sniffing out dogfighters and meting out swift and stiff punishment to them.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Help Them See

I never heard of the Yahoo group before the other day when a welcome-to-the-group email arrived.

Complete your Yahoo! Groups account: Your email address has been added to the email list of a Yahoo! Group. To gain access to all of your group's web features (previous messages, photos, files, calendar, etc.) and easier control of your message delivery options, we highly recommend that you complete your account by connecting your email address to a Yahoo account. It is easy and free.

A second message arrived at the same time – a profile form for me to fill out and return. I ignored both messages. The next morning another profile form arrived to be filled out. Along with it came several other messages, some profiles of strangers and a few message postings from group members.

I reread the original message. I checked out the website, trying to find how to “opt out” without linking this Mercy And Percy email address to a Yahoo account. I wasted a lot of time trying to find out whether this was even legitimate. Email and web addresses can be faked. Finally, I decided to take Yahoo up on the abuse reporting policy stated in the email.

Report abuse: Because Yahoo! Groups values your privacy, it is a violation of our
service rules for moderators to add subscribers to a group against their wishes. If you feel this has happened, please notify us:

My privacy was definitely violated! I neither signed myself up nor was given any advance notification the group intended to add my email address. I went to the above Yahoo address and circled round and round the site, never able to find a means to report abuse without signing up to link this email address to a Yahoo account.

Now why would I want to give out a lot of personal information for something I did not initiate or approve? It would seem that if Yahoo enables the group to usurp email addresses and add new “members” without permission, then Yahoo should enable those “members” to report abuse without having to sign up for a Yahoo account.

I googled Yahoo abuse and found an email address. My message was returned with the notation they were the wrong department and I should go to this link that took me back to the same point where I went round in circles again. I gave up and there were no messages for a couple of days.

This morning there was a host of emails from the group, including another blank profile form. (I presently have 63 Yahoo group messages.) Again I went round and round Yahoo. Finally I was forced to do the last thing I wanted to do – I replied to the spamming “Christian” group, telling them to delete my email address. They kept sending back you-must-unsubscribe” messages and eventually that’s what I had to do. Unsubscribe to a group I never subscribed to.

I couldn’t believe it but they shot back a form sorry-you’re-leaving message and wanted to know why I was leaving. So I told them. And the message also asked what they can do to make their ministry better. They can stop hijacking email addresses and invite people to join or at provide a means to sign up voluntarily.

I do not want to give them publicity so I won’t name the group, (but you can connect the letters - h e l p t o s e e) but I’m writing this to make you aware Yahoo provides opportunity for groups to harvest email addresses and subscribe people without notice or permission and then makes it impossible to complain without giving out personal information for Yahoo to collect.

It’s too bad neither Yahoo nor the group will read this because it might help them to see – Yahoo, that there is a great weakness in their abuse reporting and group systems, and the group that their “Christian” sign-up system is seriously flawed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Born Without Limbs

After reading an email about a unique young man, I found his website, read a bit and watched a video or two. He has an amazing story and ministry.

Nick Vujicic was born without limbs. That alone makes him stand out in a crowd. Add to that his enthusiasm in service to the Lord and he is indeed unique. His motto is, “From life without limbs to life without limits.”

Visit his website,, and learn more about this inspirational Australian. Be sure to watch his video, “Nick’s Home Movie.”

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Bridge Collapse

It is virtually impossible to avoid reading or hearing about the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis on Wednesday during rush hour. It is also impossible to not be emotionally affected by the extent of the damage and the number of people involved.

The Engebretsen family, Ronald, Jessica and Ann, have been interviewed several times. First, they were hopeful that wife and mother Sherry was rescued but unidentified, perhaps a “Jane Doe” in a hospital. Later, Ronald’s composure began to break as he talked about his missing wife. Hope was fading, but the family struggled to remain hopeful. Today, that hope is gone. Sherry is among the confirmed dead. You know that family is suffering. So are all the others who have either been notified their loved ones have died or are still waiting to hear the worst.

Individuals and churches across the nation are praying for those involved as well as their families. Whenever a disaster occurs, questions inevitable arises, such as, where was God and why did he allow this to happen?

John Piper of Desiring God wrote a touching story titled (click on link to read it) “Putting My Daughter to Bed Two Hours After the Bridge Collapsed; What Do Tragedies Like This Mean for Us?”

He has also posted a video with footage from the scene. The audio is from the messages “Where is God.” The video can be found on Desiring God or on YouTube.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Inasmuch, Ron

There are those who talk, those that write, and those who act. Ron and Sue Bates have been among those who act for the street children, orphans, and homeless of Romania for over 15 years. Let’s face it, many of us who live in the United States are so spoiled by modern conveniences that we would rather “minister” via a website or blog than to get our hands dirty helping others or to pass on the love of God by hugging a homeless person.

For some, physical ministering is not an option and thus blog postings to encourage others are an act of service. But many physically able folks – in particular the younger generations – often have time on their hands (witness the rising crime rate among the young) and serving others would be not only practical but it would help them to grow in character.

Remember, one definition of “minister” is to attend to the wants and needs of others. It does not merely mean to preach. Sometimes it means listening to a stranger ramble or an elderly person recount the same stories over and over, or to work with those society has cast off and abandoned. Some folks don’t know how to be still and listen or to act; they only know how to “preach.”

There are many in Romania who have experienced the love of God through Ron and Sue Bates. Their Inasmuch Foundation is based on Matthew 25:40. Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of street kids and have done it unto me.

These are quotes taken from today’s Inasmuch Newsletter.

“Ron was, as we are, imperfect, but he always wanted his love for his orphan girls, street kids, blind people and the gypsy believers to be perfect. His greatest ministry was with the gypsies. Ron’s gift was preaching the gospel and expounding God's word. He loved God's word and always appreciated the hungry, open heart of the gypsy Christians. He frequented the village of Goloshei and because of his great love for them and their common love for the Lord Jesus he wants to be buried in that village, so Thursday we will celebrate his home going.

“Ron was born in Ft. Worth, Texas. He was saved when he was 16 and spent the rest of his life preaching God's word and learning more about the kind of God we really have. Our wonderful workers and I, Lord willing, will continue the work as Ron would desire. Perhaps someone will come here to work alongside us. I would like this to be my legacy, also to serve with the Romanian people for my remaining years.

“Ron and I were married October 7th 1961. We have spent four years serving in Japan as missionaries and the past 17 years in Romania, privileged to have served the least of these, making our lives happy and fulfilled beyond imagination.” (Emphasis mine.)

Ron Bates’ (August 10th, 1939 - July 31st, 2007) ministry in Romania has ended, but Sue intends to remain and continue their work. If you can spare a moment, you might send her an email of encouragement from the website.

Jeff Taylor has posted a tribute to Ron Bates on his blog Romania and Missions.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Visit Patsy's Miracle

I read the story of the miracle of Patsy’s healing from herpes simplex encephalitis, a virus that attacks the brain, in the newspaper yesterday morning and checked out the website as soon as I sat down at the computer.

God does not answer every prayer for healing in the same manner. On some occasions a patient might be immediately and miraculously healed. Sometimes, despite prayers and everything that can be done medically, the patient will die.

At other times, the healing will be slow, with faith-testing crises and well-meaning friends and medical personnel shaking their heads and predicting imminent death or life as a vegetable. This was what Patsy’s husband Ron faced. His faith was tested as he trusted God to heal his wife. Ron’s faith that God would heal her was so strong that he ordered her a new car while she was still in a “death coma.”

Ron has put up several billboards in heavily traveled areas of Atlanta, Georgia, stating Jesus healed his wife and directing passing motorists to visit their updated website. (Not while they are driving, of course.)

I encourage you to visit their website and read the story of Patsy’s life-threatening illness and her recovery. The story will encourage and uplift you. Visit

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Beautiful Morning

What a beautiful morning!

The sun is shining. The sky is clear. The birds are singing and there is a spring in my step.

That’s what you assumed I was going to say, isn’t it? Well, it’s not. The sky is overcast and dreary. If the birds are singing, they have turned the volume to “mute.” The spring in my step broke years ago.

But when I walked the dogs earlier this morning, the air was cool and a fine mist enveloped us as we strolled. Yes, for once we strolled. Usually, Buddy is practicing for the Indy 500, Samaritan is making sudden stops to sniff and dig, and Merci’s pace alternates left-right-front-back-stop-sprint.

With rain threatening, we cut our usual walk in half and strolled the route twice. Halfway through the first lap, the mist turned to a fine drizzle. Oh, did that feel good after the hot, humid weather normal for early July.

All that I could think of was how grateful I am to have this lovely weather. Even the fierce storm two days ago was a blessing. Georgia, currently in a drought situation, is desperate for rain. My front lawn has more brown than green showing.

Unfortunately, weeds thrive in this weather. Like sin, weeds need little incentive to take root and spread. After we returned from our walk, I walked the yard, swinging the weed chopper. It only cuts off what shows above ground. It doesn’t kill the root.

And that is how effective human effort is against sin. You can follow all the steps in any number of self-help books on how to change yourself and your life, but human effort can only succeed in cutting off what shows in your life “above ground.” It takes the Holy Spirit working in your heart to dig out and kill the root of sin. It is a painful process but the reward will be eternal.

Yes, indeed, it is a beautiful day. The weeds will be growing, but after the rainfall, so will the grass.