Dec 31, 2010

How Can You Plan Tomorrow?

New Year is here; a new time to start again; but will you really? Or have you got it all figured out; all planned? My question to you is doing it your way last year; “How did that work for you?” Are you really happy with where you ended up after 2010 came to an end? 
If you didn’t end up where you wanted to be, perhaps you need to go another direction.

My challenge to you is to use this time to ask Jesus Christ to come and be your Savior and be your Lord; to be the One who lets you know what to do with new adventure.

Which Way the Wind Blows by Annie Herring and Nellie Ward

Feel a Feeling
Say a Saying
But you'll still be lonely
If you think life is only for this moment

Do a Doing
Mourn a mourning
Still won't get you off your sorrow
So go ahead and cry, but you can't pry a look at tomorrow

You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow
You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow?

Run a Running
Hide a Hiding
Whenever you hear the truth
And when you ask for the proof, you won't listen. Listen

Praise a praising
Build a building
Trying to get peace in your life
And you don't even know wrong from right
Where is your wisdom?

You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow?
You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow?

Die a dying
By believing and receiving
Forgiveness from Jesus who took the sin from sinning

You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow?
Jesus knows which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow?

Believe Him and receive

You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow?
You don't know which way the wind blows
So how can you plan tomorrow?

Do you know this Jesus? Call 1-888-NEED HIM. Someone is waiting to talk with you right now. Or go to: 

Dec 24, 2010

The Man and the Birds

"The Man and the Birds" By PAUL HARVEY, ABC RADIO
Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as my Christmas Story of the Man and the Birds. You know, THE Christmas Story, the God born a man in a manger and all that escapes some moderns, mostly, I think, because they seek complex answers to their questions and this one is so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced I submit a modern parable. 

Now the man to whom I'm going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn't believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn't make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn't swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man. "I'm truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, "but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas Eve." He said he'd feel like a hypocrite. That he'd much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized, that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me. That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. "If only I could be a bird," he thought to himself, "and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand."

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells - Adeste Fidelis - listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow."  

Dec 17, 2010

What Else Do You Want?

Even after the last present was opened, as a kid I was always searching diligently under the family tree, longing to find one more present with my name on it. It’s probably why we could all sympathize with Ralphie (from “The Christmas Story”) when he longed for a bb gun instead of the football "An Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"

Christmas time has the possibility to bring out the greed in each of us; the Bible calls this “coveting”. Without God, we all have the possibility of breaking several of the Ten Commandments; including: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

Part of the reason “coveting” is sin is because in it we try to get things for ourselves instead of relying on God. WE are the ones who know best and so WE are the ones who drool over what someone else has. And that hurts and offends the God who has revealed Himself as a Father and as a provider.

I don’t think that God is against us wanting; but rather against us trying to get something that we THINK will lead to our satisfaction and happiness. So, we settle for less than what God would have given by taking something He didn’t want us to have. Instead of the choicest foods we end up eating “pabulum” (soft, bland, mushy, unappetizing and thus with little worthwhile content; used as a food for weak and invalid people). God knows what we need; we need to ask Him to provide and look to Him alone.

In the story of King David sinning with Bathsheba, I recently noticed a verse that perhaps explains what I mean. In verse 8 of 2 Samuel 12, God (through the prophet Nathan) is wondering why David didn’t go to God to get his needs met. God tells David; “And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!”

As you spend time this Christmas season, learn to look to God alone to meet your needs; ask Him so that you stay away from coveting something that is not rightfully yours.

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? (2 Samuel 12:7-9)

Remember; Jesus is the reason for the season.

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs:

"Christmas Time" by One Bad Pig from the album “Swine Flew”

Santa Claus is coming and the kids are getting greedy
It´s Christmas time
I know it´s in the story ´cause I seen it on the TV
It´s Christmas time, it´s Christmas time

You go into the forest and you cut down all the trees
It´s Christmas time
I know you got a power saw, but who plant the seeds
It´s Christmas time, it´s Christmas time

Whoa, whoa
Whoa, it´s Christmas time
Whoa, whoa baby
Whoa, whoa
Whoa, it´s Christmas time
Whoa, whoa baby
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I gotta buy a present, can´t remember who it´s for
It´s Christmas time
I´ll see you in a hour when I get back from the store
It´s Christmas time, it´s Christmas time

Whoa, whoa
Whoa, it´s Christmas time
Whoa, whoa baby
Whoa, whoa
Whoa, it´s Christmas time
Whoa, whoa baby
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

It used to be the birthday of The Man who saved our necks
It´s Christmas time
Now it stands for Santa Claus, they spell it with an "X"!
It´s Christmas time, it´s Christmas time

Merry Christmas ya´ll
It´s Christmas time, it´s Christmas time...


Dec 9, 2010

When the tears fall

By Tim Hughes (When Silence Falls)

I've had questions without answers
I've known sorrow, I have known pain
But there's one thing that I cling to
You are faithful, Jesus You're true

When hope is lost
I call You Savior
When pain surrounds
I call You Healer
When silence falls
You'll be the song within my heart

In the lone hour of my sorrow
Through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me, You sustain me
My defender for ever more

When hope is lost
I call You Savior
When pain surrounds
I call You Healer
When silence falls
You'll be the song within my heart

And I will praise You
When the tears fall
Still I will sing to You
I will praise You
Jesus praise You
Through the suffering
Still I will sing to You

When hope is lost
I call You Savior
When pain surrounds
I call You Healer
When silence falls
You'll be the song within my heart

I will praise You
I will praise You
When the tears fall
Still I will sing to you
I will praise You
Jesus I will praise You
Through the suffering
Still I will sing to you

When the laughter fails to comfort
When my heart aches, Lord You'll be there
When confusion is all around me
And the darkness is my closest friend
Still I'll praise You
Jesus praise You

Tim Hughes (c)2004 Kingsways Thankyou Music

Dec 1, 2010


Change comes into our lives every day, every moment and from everywhere. Nothing seems to be the same or stay the same. In fact, the only thing that seems to stay the same is the fact that everything changes. Each day we get new chances to see life anew with fresh and exciting opportunities; or to complain about the “good old days”.

Sometimes things change for a season and then they are brought back; “retro”. Movies and television shows have been re-written and brought back to life and modernized, hoping that we wouldn’t notice the change. Television hosts are bounced from time slot to time slot and from station to station; all the while hoping that their loyal audience will stay with them.

Products like the Ford Mustang and “original” Coca-Cola, and others have gone back to the old formulas and reintroduced them hoping that we wouldn’t realize that once again they’ve changed. But they’re not the same, and we know it. Nothing will ever replace the smell of those old cars and sugar-laced Coca-Cola.

Sometimes I don’t like change and I wish that things could stay just the same. This year my beloved Dallas Cowboys are a mirrored opposite reflection of the great team that they were in the nineties when they were Super Bowl Champions three out of four years. I’m still a Cowboy fan, but now we shout greetings to other fans; “WHAT about those Cowboys?” instead of; “How about them Cowboys?” I don’t like being in last place.

Change affects all of us deeply at times. In my lifetime I’ve seen way too many relationships end in divorce and families fractured. Homes become shattered and changed; no longer “just the same”.

I’ve seen too many people getting laid off or losing their jobs that they had for 20 or more years. It’s hard to walk around an office or business or factory when close friends are no longer working there. 

I’ve heard too many cries wondering when life would stop changing; for at least a little while, so that they could put up their feet and catch their breath. 

My friend, are you looking for hope in this ever changing world you find yourself in? The Bible tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”. (Hebrews 13:8). Isn’t that great? What it is saying is that as the world we live in ever changes; GOD DOESN’T CHANGE!

In another place in the Bible, God tells us; "For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” (Malachi 3:6)

Our world may change, but God doesn’t. The same God who was with Daniel in the Lion’s den, Noah during the flood, David when he was fighting Goliath is still the same today. To me, those are comforting words. They are kind of like hearing that the shingles may blow off your roof during a storm but your foundation will remain unchanged!

And because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He is still longing for you to get to know Him. Do you know Him? You can, today! We may not be able to start each day with no change, but we can awaken with the hope that as we turn to God each day, we will find His mercy fresh and new waiting for us to use. Great is His faithfulness; in that we can place our hope!

Are you ready to get your life “stabilized”? Have you tried to clean up your life with no success? Are you tired of trying to do it your way? Call 1-888-NEED –HIM; someone is waiting to talk with you.

JUST THE SAME by Phil Keaggy & Buck Herring (Original Lyrics) (unreleased demo)
When Moses and his people 
From Egypt's land did flee,
Their enemies behind them,
And in front of them the sea.
God raised the waters like a wall,
And opened up the way,
And the God that lived in Moses' time
Is just the same today.

When David and Goliath met,
The wrong against the right,
The Giant armed with human power
And David with God's might.
God's power with David slinging stone,
The Giant lowed he lay,
And the God that lived in David's time
Is just the same today.

Just the same, just the same today.
Just the same, just the same today.

When Pentecost had fully come,
And the fire from Heaven did fall,
The mighty wind, the Holy Ghost
Baptized them one and all.
Three thousand got converted
And were workers right away,
And the God that lived in Pentecost
Is just the same today.

Just the same, just the same today.
Just the same, we're just the same today.

Other version:
Locked into a corner, up against a wall
I know you've been stumblin, trying not to fall.
I can feel your sorrow, I can share your pain.
I can hear the questions exploding in your brain.

Walking in the shadows, feeling all alone
Looking for the answer, rolling every stone.
Tears that run in silence and laughing in a game,
Though my eyes can't see you
I know we're much the same.

Much the same, much the same this way.
Much the same, much the same this way.

Miles may lay between us,
And rivers where the bend,
But near you is a brother,
In whom you can depend.
So share the weight with others,
And call upon His name.
Don't try to bear the load alone
Cause Jesus took the blame.

And He's just the same, just the same today.
And He's just the same, just the same today

Nov 25, 2010


thanks•giv•ing [thangks-giv-ing]

1. The act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, esp. to God.
2. An expression of thanks, esp. to God.
3. A public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
4. A day set apart for giving thanks to God

I went to get my tires changed early one morning this week before the winter storm that was predicted, only to discover that “everyone else” had the same idea as me; so I had to wait in line…outside…until I could go inside.

I quickly noticed that the sidewalk was covered in bird droppings. Based upon the amount, I would venture to guess that the flock that had been there prior to me had been quite large. 

So I stood there, waiting my turn, using the opportunity to practice thanksgiving. I was thankful that I had the time before the store. I was thankful that I my boss was paying for the new tires. I was also thankful that he had also paid for the Jeep that I was driving and that I was still employed in this topsy-turvy economy. And, I was really thankful that when I dropped my phone clip, that it missed all of the droppings.

I went up the sidewalk a bit, wandering as I used the time to make some phone calls as I waited for my turn. As I turned the corner, I almost tripped over someone who was fast asleep in a sleeping bag. Based on the items surrounding this person, it appears that this spot on the sidewalk had been the place that he slept the night before. I should probably add that the temperatures the night before had been around twenty degrees.

I must admit, I didn’t need to “practice” thanksgiving at that moment; thanksgiving rolled off my lips. It’s funny; sad actually, that we complain easily, yet need to practice the giving of thanks. Well, today is our day to practice the giving of thanks. Use the gift of thanksgiving as a jump start to a whole new way of living. You, as well as those around you will be glad that you did.

Nov 18, 2010

Welcome Little One

We made the Big Leagues this week. On Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 6:34 in the morning, our daughter Elizabeth (with her husband Chris at her side) gave birth to her first child. 

We are now grandparents of a beautiful baby girl whose name is Fallon Ann Dougherty. The name is pronounced as "FAL-en." The name has its roots in early Gaelic and Irish origin. The meaning of the name is "superiority or power descended from a ruler."

My granddaughter Fallon came into the world weighing 6 lbs 11 oz, 18 ¾” long with a full head of hair; her eyes were wide open, and she was ready to eat. What a precious gift!

We got the call at 2:00 in the morning telling us that they were getting ready to go to the hospital. As I got dressed, my mind played movies for me of Elizabeth when she was a little child. Time flew by so quickly over these past 27 years as Elizabeth has now become a mom. With great fondness and gratefulness I relived those times fully aware that not all men get a chance to have a child; let alone a child who loves them back.

What a privilege it is to be a part of this couple’s new great adventure of life as they now are parents. I am so excited to be a grandpa! I saw what it did to my dad and my father-in-law. I am so looking forward to walks, and talks, and all that my new job description will bring. I am looking forward to once again building ice rinks in the backyard as the seasons change.

What an opportunity to be a part of sharing the love of God with someone whose slate is clean and heart is open to love. The thing I realize is that no matter how old we are, we all need love. We were created to give and receive love. Love is what this whole thing is about.

And, no matter how old we are, we are all longing and looking for love. Some of us find it, and unfortunately, some of us don’t, or we find a substitute that never really satisfies that deep need. And we spend our lives wandering through life as a little child longing for love. 

How about you? Do you know that you are loved; really loved? Believe it or not you can. God is waiting for an opportunity to love you. But don’t take my word for it; take His – the BIBLE.

Unsure where to start? Drop me a line:    
I would love to share with you how you too can, like my granddaughter Fallon, have a slate that is clean and heart that is open to love.  or call 1-877-2GRAHAM (1-877-247-2426) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Child (In Everyone's Heart) by Phil Keaggy from the Album “Ph’lip Side”

Just a little boy in the town, town, town
Just a little boy with a frown, frown, frown.
In the afternoons he goes down, down, down
To the lonely room near the lost and found department.

There's a little boy in every man's heart
Crying out, trying out.
As he rushes in to hear the band start,
So alone in the crowd, in the crowd.

Just a little girl on her daddy's knee,
Just remember when she was one, two, three.
In a little while she'll want to be free,
And your little girl will be seventeen tomorrow.

There's a little girl in every daddy's heart,
Dreaming eyes, scheming eyes.
When she sings for you remember your part,
Listen up when she cries, when she sighs.

There's a little child in everyone's heart,
Needing love, needing love.
There's a little child in everyone's heart,
Needing love, needing love.


Nov 12, 2010

Jesus Washed Judas Feet

It is amazing how easily offended we can get; and consequently how hard it can be at times to forgive and “let-it-go”. I have seen families destroyed by un-forgiveness. I have seen lives lived so far below existence simply due to un-forgiveness. We all have seen countries and cities divided and ravaged by acts of revenge due to un-forgiveness. There are clubs and gangs whose sole reason to exist seems to be based upon hatred due to un-forgiveness. One of the more famous feuds in America was the The Hatfield–McCoy feud (1878–1891) which involved two warring families of West Virginia–Kentucky. 

Yet, God has a different plan; a message intended to change all of mankind. It was His intent that this message of forgiveness be preached throughout the whole world. 

So why do we not forgive? My suggestion is because we are so in need of justice (and self-centeredness) that we can’t see the bigger picture of what a waste of time it is to hold on to someone “until they pay.” In this lies one of the greatest tragedies of Christianity; forgiveness made available to all people yet not accepted and made real in their personal lives. One of the most neglected teachings of Jesus is that of forgiveness.

When asked by the disciples of Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus showed them (and us) a format known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9-15). In Jesus’ example, He says; “Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Notice, Jesus did not suggest we pray; “Father help us to forgive others as you forgive me’, but rather “Forgive me the same way that I forgive other people”. Wow; do we really want forgiveness under those terms? If we realized what we prayed or asked, we would be quick to start forgiving a whole lot more quickly.

Another time in the Bible, Peter asked how many times we should forgive someone for committing the same thing. Jesus said “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22). That means that potentially, I may need to forgive someone 490 times a day for the same stupid thing! Forgiveness could end up being a fulltime assignment in my life!

During the “Last Supper” we see a very clear example of how strongly Jesus commands us to do this (John 13:11-15). Jesus is gets up and washes ALL of the disciples feet; including Judas who was about to sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus (Teacher and Lord), after He washed ALL of their feet, tells them “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:14-15)

My friends; it is not enough for us to preach forgiveness as one of the cornerstones of Christianity; we must (with God’s help) live it out. Forgiveness changes relationships between husbands and wives, children and parents, family members, neighbors; everybody!

Understanding this principle of forgiveness will change your entire life, too. When we learn, with God’s help, to habitually do nothing but forgive, then we will see victory and peace in our lives and relationships; and we will also see answers from Heaven. We too will be able to do the things that Jesus did. We too will be a true follower of Jesus when we learn to wash the feet of Judas.

"Jesus Washed Judas's Feet" by LUST CONTROL from the Album Fun Fun Feeling
Jesus washed Judas' feet
Jesus washed Judas' feet
Jesus washed Judas' feet
Jesus washed Judas' feet

Why can't you forgive too?
Why can't you forgive too?
Why can't you forgive too?
Why can't you forgive too?

Jesus knew he was the devil from the start
Jesus knew he was the devil from the start
Even when you know your brother's wrong
Love your enemies
Love your enemies
Love your enemies
Love your enemies
Discipline in love
Discipline in love
Discipline in love
Discipline in love!
(John 13:5, 25-30)

Copyright 1991 Lust Control

Nov 5, 2010


This time of the year; just before an election, it is not unusual to see yard signs. The neighborhood in which I live is filled with yards that become adverting canvases in which politicians shout for voters’ attention. But one yard in our neighborhood had a unique yard sign. It wasn’t shouting for attention or trying to sway a voter. Instead, the yard sign; prominently on the front of the lawn, simply asked two questions of those who pass by the yard. 

A simple question on each side of a silent piece of cardboard stuck in the ground. On one side it asked; “IS THERE MORE TO LIFE?”

On the other side it asked; “IF GOD DID EXIST WHAT WOULD YOU ASK?” Simple questions, yet so very profound and the answer so potentially life changing.

So how do you answer those questions; you, the reader of this blog? What would you ask God if He did exist? What great mysteries would you want Him to explain? I think that you would be surprised if He really did answer you; wouldn’t you? Maybe that is why we are afraid to ponder; let alone to ask God. A neighbor told me that she thought that that question was absurd; “God DOES exist!” she said; “Why would someone not believe that He does?”

What about the other question; “IS THERE MORE TO LIFE?” What gets you up and out of bed in the morning? Is it really your life’s goal to make “Popsicle sticks” and then die? Is this all there really is? Is your mundane; “Do-it-because-you-have-to” life really all there is? Is this really as good as it gets?

As a Christian, both answers make all the difference in the world for me. They are the reason why I get up, why I put up, why I look up. Yes; there really is more to life than meets the eye.

Personally, I believe that there really is a God out there who created this entire world in which we live. I believe that He is a personal God who longs to reveal Himself to all who seek Him; and even to those who don’t. I believe that He wants to dialog with you; for you to ask Him your tough questions. Go ahead; He can take it.

And I believe that there is an afterlife that awaits us when we die; a whole world beyond what I can see. I believe that so many people live their current life far below really living. I don’t think that necessarily is how God wants us to live. And, I believe that there is more to life beyond what we are currently seeing; the Bible calls this place, this life beyond the one that we are currently walking through; “Heaven”.

So yes, I do believe that there is more to this life than perhaps you have experienced.

I love the way that Eugene Peterson translates Philippians 3:20-21 in the Bible: 
 “But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like His own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which He is putting everything as it should be, under and around Him.” (From “The Message”)

Do you know this Jesus? Call 1-888-NEED HIM. Someone is waiting to talk with you right now. Or go to:

(Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright � 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.)

Our Lives by Phil Keaggy from the album “Town to Town” Sparrow Records 1981

My, how the days have gone by,
Did we sing, did we laugh, did we cry?
Again, there's a year left behind,
Did we rush, did we care to take time?

Time for old, forgotten people who look
To the younger ones to be their eyes.
To inspire and to cheer,
Hold a hand and draw near to the wise.

Can we count the lessons that we've learned,
When love's a gift how then can it be earned,
Have we finally found the meaning to our lives.

We soon recall to mind
The days we'd gladly shoulder
Each other's burdens and hold hands.
The old were once so very young
But they grew older,
The children changed with every passing glance.

Here, passing through space and time,
Did we think that we could tow our own line?
Who said there's no God to be found?
You're misled, He is all around.

Round the corner there are children
Who look to the older ones to be their guide.
To inspire and to cheer,
Hold a hand and draw near to their side.

Can we count the lessons that we've learned,
When love's a gift how then can it be earned,
Have we finally found the meaning to our lives

Oct 29, 2010

Quiver Full

Last Saturday, Cathy and I welcomed into our family another daughter-in-law. My youngest son Josh got married to the love of his life; Jen, or “Jennie O” as she has started referring to herself now that her last name starts with an “O”. I heard a rumor that she is planning on talking to the Jennie O Turkey Company hoping to work out some sort of a deal for Thanksgiving.

Josh and Jen met when they both attended and graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

What a great time we had as family and friends joined us over two days in the celebration of this new union. So many people were willing to travel to a wedding far from home to stand alongside this young couple as they pledged their vows together before God. One woman traveled from as far away as Mexico. What a joy it is to have friends and family!

Once again I had the tremendous privilege and blessing of being both a dad and a minister (the one who married them) to a couple starting out on the great adventure known as “marriage”.

I say privilege because it is something that I realize is a gift, not a right. Earlier in the month I attended a wedding at which, for whatever reason, the mother of one of the persons getting married was intentionally not invited.

I say blessing because Psalm 127:4-5 says; “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them…” We now have 6 adult children, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and a grandchild on the way! So, Cathy and I clearly have our “quiver full”.

As we drove home after being gone for a couple days, Cathy and I pondered just how good God has been to us in giving us such great children; not perfect, but great none the less. And I realized that God has provided such great marriage partners for our children who are married (and friends to those who are not). I have a quiver full of life and hope in the form of young adults who really make this world a better place because they are in it.

We are so grateful for the many people whom God has used to help shape and form our children. Friends and loved ones who have stood alongside all of us as we have gone through this life since the day Cathy and I said “I do” to each other so many years ago.

So today I write this blog and ponder how good it is that I have a quiver full. Trials, yes, but through it all God has been good to us.

God has been good to us; not because we deserved it; because we don’t. Simply put, God has chosen to bless us and for that I am grateful. Our married life hasn’t always been easy, nor has it been without heartaches and trials. The Bible tells us that Jesus said; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).

God has chosen, by His grace to be good to me. And for that I am grateful and my tears well up with thankfulness.

Under the Grace by Phil Keaggy
I lie awake in the middle of the night again
I try to make some sense of it all rushing in
There's so much I feel within this heart of mine
I well up inside and my eyes, they overflow
For I know, it is grace

The look of love in the shape of your face I have known
It speaks of this deep sacrifice you have shown
And the wonder of it all is, I didn't deserve this
I couldn't have planned it so right
And so my eyes, they overflow
Let it rain, let it pour, let it go
For I know this, yes I know - it is grace

And the hungry in heart seeks for its place and a home
But it may tear you apart when you see
What this grace here has done
Fly, fly all you burdens - go fly away
It's here I remain - under the grace

It seems there's so little time to make amends here
If not for you, will then I'm without a friend here
©1998 Word Music/Sebastian/ASCAP