Posts

Trust is Essential!

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I recently had another scheduled procedure where they have to put you out and into a twilight sleep condition. I have been in similar states throughout the years for an appendectomy and joint replacement surgery as well as during treatments for cancer. There is always a risk in putting you in such a condition, but I have learned that I must trust my doctor, anesthesiologist, and others who assist them if I am to receive the necessary health procedures. Image Credit: unsplash.com I learned years ago as an eleven-year-old boy how to trust God for salvation and to deal with my sin condition. Trust is one of the most essential exercises of a believer. In the Bible, faith is spoken of repeatedly as the key in our relationship with the Lord, "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him, must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6 NIV ). We are living in a day of skepticism, doubt and fear. We are s

The Intentional Connection

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Mimi has upgraded her iPhone and is slowly adjusting to it. Lately, she has been visiting her setting's app more times than she would care to count! I have gotten in on some of the resets. I was pulling the comforter on my bed back recently and heard what I thought was her signature phone ringtone sounding very loudly from one of the extra bedrooms. Upon investigation, I discovered it was a back-up iPad ringing FaceTime instead. When I opened the device to power it down, I was surprised to see our five-year-old granddaughter in all of her beauty. I immediately said, “Hello, sweet girl, what are you doing back here in Mimi’s work room?” Without responding to my funny question, she simply greeted me, “Hi Poppi!” That kid melts my heart every time she calls! Even though she and her family just returned home to New Mexico from a two-week visit here in Illinois, she still loves to talk with us face to face! It’s a connection we can’t resist! Face-to-Face Connection Image Credit: clipa

Chapter Friends

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Our beloved nine-year-old granddaughter Eloise and her school friend, Evelyn (Evie) enjoy their daily interactions with each other at school. Evie asked Eloise recently, “Do you think we’ll still be friends when we get old?” And Eloise enthusiastically responded, “Of course!” When Matt shared this with me, I thought, how sweet! I then asked him, “Well, what did you say to her?” He played the role of a “Daddy Downer” and said, “Honey, you shouldn’t have fibbed to her! You don’t know the future!” He reasoned, as an adult of experience, that we should be careful not to over promise because many friendships don’t last forever! Friends: Ellie and Evie Image credit: clipartmax.com One of my greatest blessings has been to keep up with friends from years back. And… one of my greatest disappointments has been the inability to keep up with all my friends!  Out of hundreds of relationships, I have only been able to keep current with a few of them. Occasionally, I will drop a Christmas, birthday

"Our Only Hope!"

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Sometimes when I am reading or watching television, one phrase will stick in my mind. This is what happened Christmas Day as I watched the launching of the James Webb Space Telescope and then followed the event by reading around it in the news. The Webb Space Telescope was named after the second administrator of NASA, James Webb, who was appointed to his position by President John F. Kennedy. Webb guided the agency during the Apollo era. James Webb Space Telescope Image credit: iStock.com The launch of the J.W. Telescope is sure to eclipse the innovation and importance of its enduring predecessor, Hubble, back in April of 1990. This innovative and costly ten-billion-dollar space observatory has a unique purpose as it orbits our sun. The goal of its mission is to study infrared light in deep space. It is expected to be able to “look” 13.7 billion years back in time! Scientists hope that this telescope will give insights into the origins and beginnings of the universe. This Christmas sea

"The Cattle Are Lowing!"

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Marc and I made a quick trip to Vandalia just days before Christmas so he could eat breakfast with Grandpa Joe. Living in Texas means that he doesn’t get the opportunity to catch up with his 92-year-old grandfather as often as he would like. Marc has always been a family guy. I refer to him as our middle child since he was born between his older brother and his twin sisters. As a result of his birth order, he has always championed both sides! He can easily brag on Matt and equally celebrate what Michelle and Melissa are accomplishing. He loves all things family and will make sacrifices of time and distance to put himself in the place where he can continue to bless all of us with his time and attention. Of course, this comes back to him because each of his siblings and his parents too, think he is a very special guy! Brooks' Farm, Vera, Illinois On many occasions when we are with grandpa, he likes to drive us around the town and countryside doing what he calls, “running his traps!”

The Wonder of Christmas!

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My wife and “editor-in-chief” has been correcting me for years! And I’m not just thinking about her weekly and helpful comments regarding this blog! She loves to correct me when I misspeak or sing the wrong word in a Christmas carol as seems to occur every holiday season. I could argue that for some reason I have always found the phrase, “I wonder as I wander” in the beautiful carol, The Wonder of Christmas by John Niles, to be somewhat of a “tongue-twister” for me! You would think two similar sounding words like these should be an allowable nuance when singing, but Monique can detect the slightest of caroling infractions in only a moment. She will lean toward me and sarcastically question, “So you wander as you wonder?” I try not to act upset, but I am! 😉 "Star of Wonder"  Credit: unsplash.com I do love the wonder of this season and I like singing about it too! Do you realize how often the word, wonder or a form of the word, comes up in carols and conversations during Chri

Christmas: Family Blessings!

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Over the years, I have often said, “It was Monique’s idea to have a large family!” As she would explain it, this vision for family began to emerge when she was a little girl taking care of her many play baby dolls! Truth can now be told that after meeting and falling in love with her, I was totally unaware of her dream to build this family that now numbers twenty-one counting mom, dad, four children, spouses, and twelve grandchildren. I was naïve about how this vision would play out in our marriage and in the making of our home! I have told her, “All I ever wanted was you!” And she quickly responds, “All I ever wanted was you and all of them too!” We have been saying this to each for what will soon be fifty years this coming June! "The stockings are hung by the chimney with care!" I was thinking this week about the blessing of our four children. Our oldest has been involved in the politics of persuasion most of his life! He excelled in school, was a champion speller, knew all