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