Sunday, May 30, 2010

No, Freedom Isn't Free . . .

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud;
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

~ CDR Kelly Strong~
USCG (Ret.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


With every cast, he anticipated a big catch . . . and hoped to catch more than his Poppa.

Anticipation . . . so important to a fisherman - any fisherman, whether amateur or professional. Keeps him/her baiting the hook and casting over and over again. Getting "a bite" - or even better, a catch now and then - surely keeps hope alive!

It was a good day for Aiden! He caught five fish . . . and Poppa snagged just one. Poppa will tell you, though, he was too busy keeping a worm on Aiden's hook! He'll also tell you that watching an eight-year-old grandson reel in a catch is worth all the fish he didn't catch! He (Poppa) had big hopes, too . . . hopes that became reality every time the cork bobbed up and down, and Aiden yelled to Nana, "Got another one!"

It was a good day for all of us! Hope floated all over the pond in a little green, aluminum boat and resulted in a excited little boy - and two happy grandparents!

Anticipation and hope . . . needed when fishing and necessary in living! As Christians, we need to expect big things from God and pray big prayers. After all He is a big, big God . . . and He is the Hope of the world!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
~Edward Mote~

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If a Cactus Can Bloom . . .


Not the prettiest
Misshapen, covered with spines
And yet its blooms shine

This cactus, which has never grown much and really has little eye appeal, has beautiful, delicate yellow blooms. By looking at its rough appearance, who would have thought it could produce such beauty?

It's sad that society judges people, made in the image of God, by outward appearances . . . and misses so much beauty that blooms from hearts!

But not God!
He looks at the heart!
He sees the potential beauty that lies within each of us.
And when our hearts are yielded to Him, His beauty shines
through these jars of clay!
Or as writer Barbara Johnson says . . . through these cracked pots!
(I'm talking about me . . . not any of you!)

I like the kids' song that says: I am a promise . . . I am a possibility . . .
And you are, too!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Chase

It pays to consider the risks and dangers of "the chase" . . .

I watched as these two fox squirrels playfully chased each other in the yard. The fun and games quickly led them into the busy highway. Fortunately for them, they safely made it across.
That's not always the case, however.

For us human beings, "the chase" may involve a pursuit of power . . . or wealth . . . or recognition . . . or pleasure . . . or ______________.
You fill in the blank.
But each of these pursuits has the potential to take us places that we never really intended to go . . . places that threaten our moral and spiritual well-being.

If we are wise, we'll follow this advice:
Flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness,
faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
I Timothy 6:11

And that pursuit will ultimately take us . . . to an out of this world place!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Take the Plunge!

If you listen to southern gospel music, you've probably heard this song:
Step into the water;
wade out a little bit deeper.
Wet your feet in the water of His love.

Step into the water (children);

wade out a little bit deeper.

Come join angels singing
praises to the Lamb of God.

I like that word picture . . . wading out into His boundless love!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need a good soaking!

Wading just won't do!

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us . . .
I John 3:1

Saturday, May 15, 2010


28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?

The everlasting God, the LORD,

the Creator of the ends of the earth,
neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
and to
those who have no might
He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
shall renew
their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,

they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

The key to renewal is waiting . . .
Not in hopelessness . . . but in expectancy.
Not in idle passivity . . . but in seeking . . . in prayer . . . in resting in His promises.
Not in frenzied "doing" . . . but in quiet abiding in the Giver of Strength.

Waiting . . .
Not an easy place to be . . .
But the results are worth the wait!

Fear not; I am with thee; O be not dismayed.
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious omnipotent hand.
How Firm a Foundation - 1787~

Thursday, May 13, 2010


A bird does not sing because he has the answers.
He sings because he has a song.
~Joan Walsh Anglund~

Even in the difficult times . . . when I don't have answers . . . even when I don't feel like singing, if I listen closely, I can hear a sweet melody of hope echo from somewhere deep in my soul.

And when hope's spark has been rekindled into a flame that warms my heart, I find myself singing along - maybe not always aloud, but my heart sings nevertheless. It's amazing how He knows just exactly which hymn or worship chorus or gospel song I need! I'm glad He often sets the tune to "repeat"; that way I can "hear" and sing along throughout the day - and the night!

I really do believe the words in my header: He gives a song!

Some through the water, some through the flood -
Some through the fire, but all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow,
In the night season and all the day long.
~G. A. Young~

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


(Click on pic to enlarge.)

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he has stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life
that God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

When the mountain is steep
when the valley is deep

when the body is weary

when we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard

when we're battered and scarred

when we've spent our resource

when we've given our all

In Jesus name we press on

in Jesus name we press on
dear Lord, with the prize
clear before our eyes
we find the strength to press on

~Barney E. Warren~

At the end of the line . . . He waits! And we'll experience His sacrificial, unearned love . . . face to face . . . for eternity.

Talk about a Love Fest . . .

Now that's a prize that makes me want to press on!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
~Henry David Thoreau~

In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.
Isaiah 30:11

You are holy; I come in silence.
You are wise, Lord; I come to hear. . .
You are love; I come to draw near.
~Ken Bible~

Saturday, May 8, 2010


When you were small
And just a touch away,
I covered you with blankets
Against the cool night air.
But now that you are tall
And out of reach,
I fold my hands
And cover you with prayer.
~Dona Maddux Cooper~

Where have the years gone? It can't be that it was almost 35 years ago that I dressed Deron in the little blue outfit pictured above, and John David and I brought him from the hospital. Three and a half years later, Andy wore the same outfit as he came home to our tiny, tin-roofed, white house. Both of them were covered on chilly nights with the soft yellow/green blanket lovingly made by their Mawmaw.

Words can't express the joy that I've known being their mother, and I wouldn't trade the world for the journey we've had together! Each chapter of each of their lives has enriched my life, and I've watched with my heart bursting with pride as they've grown into fine men with families of their own. Saying that I'm proud of them just doesn't seem adequate to express what's in my heart. Sometimes words just aren't enough.

I am blessed beyond measure to be your mom, Deron and Andy! I love you!

Always know that I'm covering you with my love and prayers!

Friday, May 7, 2010


There's just something about a country bridge!

I mean a far-back-in-the-woods, no-concrete-in-sight bridge . . . like the one pictured above.

This particular bridge is very special to me because the Kisatchie creek running under it was the site of many happy times for my daddy's entire family - and he had a huge extended family at that time! Every Fourth of July the family gathered on the creek bank for two days of fun, food, swimming, food, reminiscing, food, fireworks, and more food! It was the best of times for all of us!

Recently, John David and I visited that beautiful setting, and we walked across the old bridge.

No, that's not a troll underneath, but it was a little scary for me! I'd much rather had solid footing under my feet . . . something that I couldn't see through! What you see is a pile of limbs, trash, and other debris that has been washed under the bridge.

Even though the structure is not modern nor is it architecturally beautiful, it serves its purpose: to get travelers from one side of the creek to the other side. Like other bridges, it spans an otherwise impassable area.

Remember the song from a few years back that said: Love can build a bridge . . . ? How true that is! Love spans situations that are otherwise impassable . . . and covers lots of "debris" that can pile up in life's streams. Walking across a bridge built by love may sometimes be a little scary, especially when you can see the "trolls" -both real and imagined - underneath. But that's when we must fix our eyes on our goal instead of looking down at the circumstances . . . and keep walking.

And when we think that the cost is too great to build a bridge of love, we'll be encouraged when we remember the great price paid by the Great Bridge Builder - Love Himself. Think of the bridge He built for us . . . a safe passage from death to eternal life. It's the only way . . . but it's open to "whosoever"!

Another good thing: there are no cracks in the bridge Love built! It's solid; we can count on that! And we can count on Him to walk with us . . . gently leading us when we're afraid . . . and encouraging us to keep walking when Satan brings up all the "debris" that His sacrifice has covered.

What a bridge . . . what immeasurable love!

Think about His Love; think about His goodness.
Think about His grace that's brought us through . . .
Great is the measure of our Father's love.
~Walt Farrah~

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.
~from Mending Wall by Robert Frost~

Walls are often necessary in life and serve useful purposes: protection, security, even beauty.

There is one place, however, that I don't want a wall. That place is my heart, my soul.

It's probably the easiest place to build a wall; no one can see it, and we can even convince ourselves it's not there.

Walls in the soul are built to keep God out . . . to keep others at a distance . . . even in an effort to hide guilt or bad memories from ourselves.

But walls make a heart heavy . . . and hardened . . . and bitter . . . and love's flow is blocked. A heart with walls is a divided heart . . . a heart not completely yielded to God. That kind of heart breaks His great heart of love.

The Psalmist prayed: Give me an undivided heart. That's my prayer, too.

A heart like Yours is my desire.
A heart like Yours is what I am searching for -
Full of compassion, nothing wrong within
Please hear me, Lord;
Give me a heart like Yours.
~CeCe Winans~

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I know.
It's just a thistle.
A weed!

But that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful.

Wonder how much beauty I've missed because of
labels that I've placed on circumstances. . . and more importantly,
on people.

I'm glad our Heavenly Father doesn't label His children.
He lovingly calls all of us "Mine."

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;
you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1