8 Things Grandparents Can Do

Today is my oldest granddaughter’s birthday. Ellie is 5 years old. There is a special relationship between grandchildren and grandparents. I had great grandparents that I loved very much. It is said, ‘Grandchildren are the reward you get for not killing your kids.’ No comment, but I love my children and grandchildren.

I found an article by Dennis Guernsey called ‘What Grandparents Can Do.’  Let me highlight just 8 things I thought were helpful.

1. Grandparents can give children a sense of history. Grandparents are connected to a past that extends back farther than the parents’ past.

2. Grandparents can tell the family’s story. This includes reminiscences of what Mom and Dad were like when they were children.

3. Grandparents can contribute to children’s sense of identity. It’s important for children to understand that the base of who they are is broader and wider than just these two adults they live with. They are also related to others who contribute to who they are.

4. Grandparents can give another perspective to the world. People in different generations see things differently. Children are enriched by learning a different viewpoint.

5. Grandparents can multiply a child’s loving relationship. The more people a child has who truly love him, the more he feels important and valued.

6. Grandparents can help out financially. Often grandparents are more affluent than parents. Sometimes they can do things for their grandchildren that the children’s parents couldn’t do.

7. Grandparents can give parents the freedom to get away from their kids. A weekend or a week away from family responsibilities, with trusted caretakers for the children, is truly a gift to pressured parents.

8. Grandparents can provide children with a sense of security. We live in a very insecure world. Children may have terrifying fantasies – what would happen to me if my parents died? Knowing their grandparents, children can feel a little more stable. If something happened, Grandma and Grandpa would be there.

Can you think of any other things grandparents can do?

The Touch of Faith – One Woman’s Miracle

Have you ever been desperate for a miracle? Maybe a financial crisis or health concern caused you great distress. For me it has been family issues that I have begged God to intervene.

On a day when Jesus was traveling to visit a sick young girl, another woman slipped to his side unseen. A terrible disease had left her deathly ill, socially abandoned, and financially empty. She was desperate for a miracle. She simply touched Jesus’ clothes and was immediately healed.

In this story (you can read it in Mark 5:25-34), we discover what works when everything in life seems broken.

1. The Touch of Faith will work.

Jesus commended her for her faith. As a matter of fact, Jesus said it was her ‘faith had made her whole.’ What kind of faith did she have?

She had lonely faithBecause she was bleeding, Jewish custom prevented her worship in the synagogue. She was considered ‘unclean’ and could not have normal social relationships, even with family. For anyone to come into contact with her, they would be unclean.

She had desperate faithShe tried all treatments. Among the more bizarre remedies of the day was to hold a cup of wine at a crossroads while someone came up from behind to scare you. Another suggested to carry barley corn from the droppings of a white she donkey. She had spent all her money and instead of getting better, she grew worse. She was broke, cut off from home, society & religion, and in declining health. She was at the bottom.

She had ignorant faithShe thought His clothes had some kind of power. She was a little superstitious and didn’t have much faith in Jesus. Her faith wasn’t perfect.

She had selfish faithShe did not especially care about Jesus. She just knew He could help her. She would try anything. It appears she hoped she would not have to meet Him.

She had persistent faith. She did not give up looking for a cure – for 12 years. Sometimes we are tempted to give up on people or situations that have not changed for years.

2. The Power of Jesus will work.

As this woman reached out in her feeble, weak faith, Jesus’ power was released. Faith releases the power of God. What kind of power does Jesus possess?

Jesus has a powerful touchHer faith paid off. As soon as she touched the ‘hem of his garment’, she was healed. Jesus did more on accident than all the physicians could do on purpose. Actually, Jesus did not even touch her. It was his robe.

Jesus has a powerful look. She had not figured in the response of Jesus. Jesus would not give His power without her knowing Him personally. The disciples could not imagine that in a crowd like that with everyone touching and pushing each other that Jesus would feel the individual touch of one person in need. But He did. Jesus recognizes the need of the most ‘insignificant’ person.

Jesus has a powerful relationshipHer faith began a relationship with Jesus. What started as a chance meeting, became a family relationship. He addressed her as ‘daughter’ – a family name. She was now viewed by Him as one of His children. She not only received physical healing but spiritual healing as well. She truly had become a follower of Jesus Christ and was made whole.

This woman’s touch brought together two elements – faith and Jesus – and that made it effective.

This poor woman represents humanity – all of us. We are spiritually ill. We have spent our resources trying remedies which do not work. Christ comes to us from the Cross. We need to touch Him by faith. Do not fear that He will not respond. Do not fear that you are too ignorant. Do not fear that you are too selfish. Fear only one thing – that you will let Jesus pass without reaching out in faith to Him.

Baseball & Christianity – 5 Similarities

The Detroit Tigers are in the playoffs. My Cincinnati Reds look like they may not make it into October. But my second favorite team, St. Louis Cardinals, will also have an extended season.

I love baseball.  It’s the only sport that doesn’t have a clock.  It has so much strategy involved. There’s nothing in all of sports like a ‘baseball rally.’  As Yogi Bera said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

I was thinking of baseball and realized that it has a lot in common with Christianity.  So, just allow me to share a few parallels between Christianity and the game I love.

1. They both have rules and boundaries. 

Every game has these. Even if you play in your backyard, you have rules you have to go by.  We used to play with not enough players and have to call a certain section of the field ‘out of play.’  If you hit there, you were out.  Christianity has its rules and boundaries as well.  You can’t just do what you want and not have consequences.
2. They both are a team sport. 

Even if you have a Justin Verlander, he can’t do it all himself.  He needs a catcher.  Even if he pitches a perfect game, it’s not a win unless someone on his team gets a run.  You need each other.  Christianity is the same way. We all need each other’s participation.  We may have individuals who step up and become a mvp of a game or series or even a year, but they could never do it without others.

3. They both are about coming home. 

When you get up to bat, your ultimate goal is to come home.  Go around the bases and touch home plate.  Whoever gets the most players to come home wins.  Christianity is about going home – Heaven.  No matter how many bases we go through in life, we will one day touch home.  And we will be winners. Unlike baseball, everyone of us will go home if we have trusted Christ as our Savior.
4. They both are a long, slow game with lots of second chances. 

You may have struck out the first time, but hit a home run the next time you’re up to bat.  Baseball is a game of second chances.  So is our faith.  Peter is a great example of a guy who struck out before the cross, then hit a grand slam on the Day of Pentecost.  He was in a slump, but after the resurrection he got on a ‘hitting streak.’  Even if you’ve blown it before, hang in there.
5. They both have failure.

Even the best hitters fail two-thirds of the time. If you failed two times out of three in your job, you’d get fired. In baseball, a .333 batting average will land you in the Hall of Fame. No matter how poorly we play, God forgives our errors and puts us back in tomorrow’s lineup. No wonder we like baseball.

Okay, that’s a few I thought of.  If you can think others, let me know.

What Matters Most

I heard a great sermon by Dr. Mark Milioni last night at the National Baptist Bible Fellowship International Meeting in Taylor, Michigan. I was able to introduce him and had a front row seat the entire sermon (so I couldn’t nap). Dr. Milioni is the President of Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He is a personal friend and was a fellow pastor at First Baptist in Albion, Michigan. When I first came to Michigan, people would get us mixed up because he was in Albion and I was in Adrian. Now that he is President of my college, I have a greater interest in what is happening there. He is really turning it around and has seen growth in students, finances, and spirit. If you get a chance, pray for him and his leadership at the college.

IMG_1195His message theme was ‘if it mattered to Jesus, it should matter to us.’ We often get caught up in things that really don’t matter in life. Or maybe we think it matters, but it really doesn’t. He introduced 4 things that really mattered to Jesus in His ministry. So these things should matter to us.

1. Great Faith.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry He was amazed at the people who exhibited ‘great faith.’ One woman begged Him to heal her daughter. When He tried to evade the request, she responded that even the ‘dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table.’ She was willing to take the scraps of blessing the Jews refused. Jesus commended her for her great faith.

Yet, the disciples exhibited little or no faith throughout His time with them. They showed no faith in Him during the storm at sea. You would think being with Jesus would cause them to trust Him more, but evidently it didn’t.

We should show great faith. Faith matters to Jesus. We should trust Him and trust others.

2. Lost Souls.

Jesus was always talking to people about life and eternity. He went through Samaria to meet a woman at the well who needed ‘living, eternal water.’ He stopped at a tree to talk to Zachaeus because He needed forgiveness and a relationship with Him. He shared the Parable of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son to show how much God cared for the lost.

If the lost matter to Jesus they should matter to us. Even on the cross Jesus was dying for the sins of the world, and He took time to show a crucified criminal how to have eternal life. Lost people matter to Jesus.

3. Time with the Father.

Jesus spent a lot of time with a lot of people. But He always carved out time with His Father. My guess is, if the disciples didn’t know where Jesus was, they could probably find Him praying. It seems He was always on a mountain or in a dessert place spending time with His Father.

If Jesus needed time with His Father, shouldn’t we. We sometimes thing we can do it all by ourself. But we will end up hitting a situation we can’t handle. We need Him. Even when we thinks we can do it ourself, we still need Him.

And sometimes we just need to spend time with Jesus. Mark talked about his time with his granddaughter, Sophie. I can really relate to that. I love spending time with my grandchildren. And they don’t have to do anything. I just like being with them. Sometimes we just need to go God and spend time with Him. When life gets tough, sometimes just spending time with God is like getting a big hug.

4. You.

You are important to Jesus. Even though He loves the world and even though He loves the nations, He loves you as an individual. You are important to Jesus. Every person is important to Jesus.

If every person is important to Jesus, every person should be important to us. We should value our friends and our acquaintances. We should make every person realize the value they have.

Great sermon Mark!

Visit BBC website: http://www.gobbc.edu/

See other articles: Making Jesus the Priority of your Life, How to Have a Quiet Time, How to Have a Powerful Life

4 Questions of Reflection

On Friday, June 27, 2014 I was as old as my father ever was. He died young – 54. Realizing that God blessed me with more time than my dad, I took some time to think of where my life had been and where it was going. I spent that day doing something that my dad would have wanted to do – playing with all my grandchildren.

I think in life we should have moments when we ask ourselves some real questions of reflection and search for real answers to make sure we’re on the right path. Anniversary, Birthday, Birth of a child, Death, sickness, Wedding, Funeral, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, New Year’s Eve… These all provide a natural pause in our life to reflect and review our life.

Psalm 41 was written by David during an extreme struggle in his life. He was too sick to lead the nation as he wanted, so his own son, Absalom, took advantage and promoted himself as king, along with his trusted friend, Ahithophel. This is a great psalm to use to take a personal inventory by asking and answering four questions.

1. How do I treat others?

Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. (Psalm 41:1)

David knew the promises of God. God would show mercy to those who show mercy to others. David fully obeyed the Lord’s rules and had shown mercy to King Saul, to Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth, and to the needy in the land.  We have every reason to believe that David sought to care for the poor and needy in his kingdom.

It is good to reflect on our treatment of others in our lives, especially the less fortunate. Have I given to the poor? Have I encouraged the struggling? Have I helped others on the path of life?

2. How do others treat me?

Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? (Psalm 41:5)

It wasn’t enough that David was sick, but his own family and friends were turning against him. These false friends visiting him and lied to him (We hope you get well soon) but they really wanted him to die, even plotted against him.

It is good to reflect on the way others have treated us. When you’re going through hard times you find out who your real friends are. It’s good to realize the goodness others have shown us.

3. How does God treat me?

But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up… (Psalm 41:10)

David prayed for mercy because he knew he had sinned. When confronted with his sins, he confessed them and sought the face of the Lord.

God in His mercy doesn’t give us what we deserve, and God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve. He does this because Jesus Christ, His Son, died for us on the cross. It is good to reflect on the goodness and mercy of God.

4. How do I treat God?

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. (Psalm 41:13)

The main thing in our lives must be the eternal praise and glory of the Lord. It is easy to neglect God the hectic life we live. But He deserves to be praised and thanked.

When I was growing up my grandpa had a saying when we asked him about going to church.  He said, “Six days a week, God is good to us and on Sundays we give thanks.”  I’m afraid that many people don’t have this idea.  They feel that the reason one goes to church is to get something out of it.  Frankly, as a child, I’m not sure if I ever expected to get anything out of it or not.  At any rate, that wasn’t the point.  Where do we get the idea that what happens in church is about us?  It is the Lord’s day.  We go to worship the Lord.

Does God deserve to be worshiped?  I believer He does.  Then, the church service is the time for adoring God, for praising Jesus Christ, for giving thanks to our Lord who is so good to us.  That is why you should go.  That is what you should go to do.  If you get blessed, it’s a bonus, a by-product.  It’s nice when that happens.  I hope it happens a lot – but it’s not why you should go.  When it’s the Lord’s day you should go to worship the Lord.

What the Bible really says about spanking?

When I was growing up, I was certain that spanking was the preferred form of punishment for children. This was due to my continued reception of this ‘Biblical admonition.’ Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’?  Actually, Ben Franklin said that quote in ‘Poor Richard’s Almanac. Over the years people have believed that it is God’s truth.

So what does the Bible say about spanking? Spanking is not a biblical term, but the use of the word ‘rod’ in biblical language means ‘spanking.’ Though the Bible says very little about spanking, it says quite a bit about discipline and instruction of children. And at no point does the Bible propose that the ‘rod’ or any kind of physical punishment is the first step in correcting a child.

1. Bring up children in the way they should go.

The first step of discipline in the home is to make sure the child knows the right path to take. God instructed parents as follows: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up…” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). It is important for parents to teach children the right way to live. We teach our children to eat right, brush their teeth, use manners, etc. We should teach them to live a godly life.

2. Stay in a close relationship with your children and share godly instruction with them.

Parents should pass on their wisdom to their children. This is best done by maintaining a good relationship. Let your children be close to you. Spend time with them. Encourage and affirm them. They will desire to learn from you because of this intimate relationship. It is not just quality time – it is quantity time. You cannot delegate this relationship to anyone else. Solomon remembered David, his father, when he said, “When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, ‘Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.’” (Proverbs 4:1-4).

3. Practice discipline – Punish only if needed.

There is a difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline is to train a child in self control and submission to authority. Punishment is to cause pain for doing wrong as a deterrent. Punishment may be a part of discipline, but a small part.

Some Bible verses may help us in the area of discipline and punishment. “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death” (Proverbs 23:13-14).  Work on discipline, and be willing to use punishment. For parents who are hesitant about using the rod, they need to be reminded that the rod does not kill (we are not talking about abusive spanking) but the lack of discipline will kill.

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). If you love your child, you had better pay attention to discipline. It may even be necessary to spank. Without discipline, your child will surely die.

Here a a few principles I have found effective in child discipline:

  • Spanking is for disobedience – not for clumsiness, embarrassment, or mistakes.
  • Don’t spank in anger. All you do is get angrier and angrier.
  • Talk before a spanking. Tell the child exactly what was wrong.
  • Follow up a spanking with touch. Hug your child and reassure them they are loved.
  • Pray with your child. Use prayer to talk with God about the offense, repentance, forgiveness and better behavior.
  • Never hit a child in the face. Your child has a natural cushion for a spanking.
  • Use a paddle, not your hand. Your child should never be afraid of your hand.
  • If you’re going to spank, do it immediately after the offense.
  • If you’re going to spank, do it firm enough to hurt but not to leave welts or bruises.
  • If your child changes the behavior, don’t spank. Isn’t that why you were going to spank them in the first place? Even if you promised a spanking, it’s okay to change your mind.
  • Spanking after the age of 9 is generally unproductive. Other methods of discipline are more appropriate.
  • If you have gone ‘too far’ in your discipline, ask forgiveness.
  • Take individual differences into account. Some children are disciplined by looking at them. Others need to be shown. Not all kids need to be spanked. Some kids need more spankings than others (myself included).

Do you have any other ideas for discipline of children?

For Guys Only… 7 Ways to Treat Your Wife

Let’s be honest, guys. Most of us aren’t very good with women, especially our wife. We may think we are. But many of us fail at being the husband our wife needs. Looking in the Bible we discover a lot of help for us (because we need a lot of help).

Below are some Bible helps to be a better husband. If you aren’t a husband, these are good areas to work on in your life. I guarantee if you follow these principles, you will be glad you did. If you are a woman (reading this in spite of the title), you might want to forward this to your man. This is how God expects a husband to treat his wife.

1. “Love your wife as Christ loved the Church.” (Ephesians 5:25)

Christ’s love for the church is without limits, nothing is held back. He gave His life for the church – before you loved Him. His love does not depend on your love for Him. Under God’s authority – love your wife as service–as giving your life to God. Risk your life to help your wife.

2. “Love your wife in the same way you love your body and your life.” (Ephesians 5:28-33)

You care for your body daily to be as well fed and healthy as possible. You quickly take care of any needs or desires. In the same way, care for your wife’s needs and well being. Feel your wife’s pain and illness and rejoice in her health as if it were your own life. Basically, her needs or desires whether financial, physical, emotional or spiritual in your relationship must receive your full effort. Only in this way can you love her and provide for her just as well as you do for yourself.

3. “Be considerate as you live with your wife, with respect …” (I Peter 3:7

The Bible says that if we neglect this command, our prayers will be hindered! To be considerate, quit any irritating habits! When she needs help, do it! Help your wife with all of your energy, show your love to her with all consideration. Pray to see where you may be inconsiderate.

4. “Do not be harsh with your wife.” (Colossians 3:19)

Realize that harsh answers, angry looks, irritated tones of voice and impatience will deeply affect your wife. Be careful what you say, even jokingly. Rejoice that she is a lady and isn’t like you – remember that she is a precious gift God has given you.

5. “Rejoice in your wife all your life. Let her body satisfy you. Be captivated with her.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)

No man should look at other women or pictures of other women when he has a wife on whom he can gaze daily. A husband should become fully satisfied with his wife’s body, no matter what the size or shape. This is the true spirit of being captivated with your wife. Such a wife will feel sexy, attractive, and most of all, ladylike.

6. “Do not be captivated by other women.” (Proverbs 5:20)

Finding other women attractive and looking at them will erode your own view of your wife. You will be less satisfied with her and she will feel less special to you. No man can build a habit of glances without subconsciously doing it in his wife’s company. And she will notice. Remember to be captivated with your wife and no one else. She will feel like the Queen of the world and you will fall further in love with her.

7. “Call your wife ‘blessed’ and praise her.” (Proverbs 31:28-29)

Tell her that she is special and is greater than any other woman on earth. Don’t just mention her physical beauty, but her care for you, her hard work, and her ladylike attributes. She longs for those words and wants to hear them from you!

Do you know any other Bible helps for husbands?

3 Ways to Deal with Personal Demons

When I was in high school, the movie ‘The Exorcist’ came out. It was a bizarre fictional account of a young girl who was possessed by the devil and the exploits of an ‘exorcist’ to cast out the demon that controlled her. Though I never saw it (even the previews scared me), many of my friends did. Some laughed and thought it was funny. Others had uncontrolled bizarre behavior they blamed on demons.

Even now movies and TV shows depict demonic activity as either extremely frightening or part of a comedy. The result has been that many in our society understand Satan and demonic activity as either all-powerful and unstoppable or a fairy tale.

Mark’s Gospel tells the story of a man who was demon possessed. You can read the story in Mark 5:1-20.

It is a sad, hopeless story of what sin and Satan does to a person who runs from God. He was an extreme case, but many are today trapped by sin and decisions they have made.

I believe a true believer cannot be ‘possessed by demons’ because ‘greater is he (Jesus) that is in us than he (Satan) that is in the world’ (1 John 4:4). However, even believers can allow Satan and sin to dictate their decisions. Believers can yield to sin traps. I have met many true believers who are controlled by habits, thoughts, and actions from which they want to experience freedom. What do you do?

We discover three ways to deal with personal demons.

1. Do Nothing - Satan wants to steal and destroy.

This man was possessed by evil spirits who were trying to kill him. (They did kill the pigs) They had already robbed him of sanity and self-control. He was filled with fear and confusion. He was isolated and alone, robbed of the joy of home and friends. Had he continued much longer, he would have been killed or killed himself, then condemned to an eternity of judgment.

Satan and demons are real and want nothing better than to destroy everything you love, through force or deception.  To do nothing is to continue down the same road.

2. Turn to Other People - Society wants to isolate and control.

This incident reveals the inadequacy of people’s help in our problems. This man had extreme evil problems and about all society could do was isolate him, put him under guard with chains, but finally give up.

Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with going to others in time of need. The Bible encourages us to allow others the opportunity to help. But you need to know that society has its limits. If people have a spiritual problem there is no earthly cure.

A further understanding of society’s attitude toward this man is revealed after Jesus healed him. After Jesus permitted the demons to enter a herd of pigs, the citizens were angry. They cared more for their personal property than a man’s soul. In God’s scale of proportions, there is nothing so important as a human soul.

They pleaded for Jesus to go away. Unfortunately for them, Jesus did. There is no biblical record that He ever returned. Sometimes the worst possible thing that can happen is for Jesus to answer one of our requests. This appears to be what is happening to our modern society.

3. Turn to Jesus - The Savior wants to deliver and restore.

This man ran to Jesus, fell down, and worshiped Him. Jesus delivered him and restored him to sanity, society and service.

Instead of roaming among the tombs, he sits at the feet of Jesus. He was ‘dressed’ instead of naked. Instead of acting crazy, he was ‘in his right mind.’ What a testimony to the power of Jesus Christ!

Not only did Jesus save his soul and mind, He gave him purpose. The man begged Jesus to let him go with Him. But Jesus told him to stay. Jesus knew that the man’s place was in his own home, with his loved ones, where he could bear witness to the Savior. After all, effective Christian living must begin at home where people know us the best.

I hope you will choose to allow Jesus to rescue from the chains of sin and set you free to be the person He wants your to be.

9-11 13 Years Later

Today marks the 13th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in American history.  Most of us will always remember where we were and how we felt on September 11, 2001.

I was in a pastor’s meeting in Taylor.  I remember calling Judy and literally crying, though I knew she was okay.  I drove past a silent, unmoving Detroit airport.  Everyone I met was solemn.  Ben Negron called me and said we need to have a prayer time that evening.  We did.  And many others did as well.  I remember the next day putting out American flags on our driveway.  Nearly everyone honked their horns as they passed by in encouragement of our patriotism.  Do you remember watching our representatives in Washington gathering together singing God Bless America – Republicans standing with Democrats?

I remember hearing so many people ask for prayer for the families of those who died and for America.  I remember a full house on the following Sunday.  I remember watching the World Series that year.  The New York Yankees were in it and they changed the 7th inning stretch song ‘Take me out the ballgame’ to ‘God Bless America.’  Even America’s pastime recognized our dependence on God.

But now it is 13 years later.  Some things haven’t changed.

It seems when I watch the video clips of the airplanes hitting the towers, my emotions go right back to that day.  I still hurt.

I’m involved in our local Kiwanis club ‘Flag Project.’ We put up over 600 flags throughout our city.  Time doesn’t change my patriotism. I love America and love flying the flag.

I still love my wife and children and call to hear their voices.

We still have enemies.  The names have been changed but groups of people want to destroy America. The real fear is that many are now within our borders.

And God is still the same.  In tragedy it seems God is behind the scenes.  Many ask where God is when a catastrophe strikes. But He is still behind the scenes, moving the scenery to accomplish His will for His glory and our good.  His love for us is constant.

It is 13 year later and some things have definitely changed. 

Osama Bin Laden is no longer celebrating or hiding.  His death emphasized America’s resolve that, despite transition of politics and leaders, we will vindicate the death our citizens.

6,808 men and women who were alive in 2011, have suffered death in Iraq and Afghanistan due to their military involvement in Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.  We have not had another attack on American soil in 13 years and it is in great appreciation to our military that we continue to live in freedom.  But the families who have sacrificed so much are different 13 years later.

Today, our minds are consumed with the economy.  13 years ago our hearts were filled with love for one another and trust in God.  May it not take another tragedy to drive us to our knees.

13 years ago my family was 6.  Now we have 13. We’ve had 3 weddings and 3 grandchildren.  13 years later I’m called Pappaw.  May God continue to bless America so that my grandchildren can grow up in a country that is free.  May America be in a position of blessing so that my grandchildren will live with love not hate, peace not war, faith not fear.

God bless America.

Everything I Needed to Know about Life I Learned from Noah’s Ark

Thought you’d enjoy these words of wisdom I picked up.

1. Don’t miss the boat.

2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

4. Stay fit. When you’re really old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

5. Don’t listen to the critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

6. Build your future on high ground.

7. For safety sake, travel in pairs.

8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

9. When you’re stressed, float a while.

10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

11. No matter the storm, when you’re with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.