Sunday, February 23, 2014


It’s been cold here in the Heart of America this winter. Especially at 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. So I drive down to the mall and walk for an hour or so. Exercise.

Well, yesterday seemed no different than other mornings. Cold, a little icy here and there, a gentle wind. I went so late that I saw the beginnings of a beautiful sunrise. Once inside the mall, I took off my coat, gloves and ear muffs; stretched a little and took off walking. Same as other mornings.

Along the way, maybe half way, I happened to be talking with someone about my shoes. They are special shoes; shoes I’ve had since at least the year 2000. Can anyone say 14 years? “Oh, you should take care of your feet,” my walking companion said.  “You should get new shoes every….” Well, more often than 14 years. I had to explain that I rarely wear these shoes. I kept them because they are so near and dear to my heart.

Ever wonder how an old pair of shoes can be near and dear to your heart?

In 2002, in the apartment building where I lived, a fire burned up everything we had. In the morning, we left the house. In the evening we came back to nothing. All that we owned were my pickup, her car and the clothes we were wearing—including those shoes. So I kept them as a memento.

Well, then this happened yesterday morning. When I finished my walk and headed back to the car I heard, Ka-flop-ka-flap!  Ka-flop-ka-flap!  Ka-flop-ka-flap!” What? But the sound went away after a few more steps, and away I went back home. Later, in the afternoon, while I was outside enjoying spring-like weather, I heard that noise again. I investigated and discovered that my cherished shoes had broken. The sole on one shoe was Ka-flopping-ka-flapping! 

When I got back in the house, I took my walking companion’s advice and disposed of those shoes. Obviously, it was nothing like a funeral, but for a minute it felt like it

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Five Crowns

I once did a Bible word study on the word “Crown.” I have no idea where I got the idea to do so, but I did. It didn’t take long before I discovered that individual Christians can receive as many as five crowns.

Listed below are the Five Crowns and their Scripture references, in order from the Old Testament through the New Testament.

  1. The Knowledge Crown—Proverbs 14:18. “Prudent” is the key word here. “…having or showing careful good judgment.” The opposite of foolishness (folly). The more prudence, the more knowledge will be crowned upon a person. I’m pretty sure this crown is bestowed during our lifetime on earth. I recommend that you read the whole 14th chapter where many foolish people and prudent people are compared and contrasted. Interesting.
  2. The Crown of Beauty—Isaiah 61:3. This crown is for those who minister to the poor, the brokenhearted, mourners, prisoners and people who grieve for Zion. Again, I recommend reading this whole chapter. It’s a beautiful song of freedom, honor and a glorious future
  3. The Crown of Righteousness—2 Tim 4:8. In this letter to Timothy,  the Apostle Paul was not at all hesitant to claim this crown for himself. And he quickly added “…to all who longed for his appearance.” That’s everyone who’s looking forward to the second coming of Jesus.
  4. The Crown of Life—James 1:12. This crown is especially designed for people who are enduring or have endured abuse, physical torture, imprisonment and even death because they claim Christianity. In the early days of Christianity, many Christians were murdered for no other reason. And in this modern era we can think of several nations with zero tolerance for Christians. Abuse, torture, imprisonment and death run rampant there. I also firmly believe that this promise applies to young girls and women who have been enslaved into sex trafficking—even in the good ol’ USA. Pray for Christians around the world.
  5. The Crown of Glory—1 Peter 5:4. This crown is dedicated to the elders (ministers, pastors, priests—and missionaries) of local or neighborhood churches. It will be given as soon as the Lord comes back. It will never fade away (see Revelation 4:4).

These then are the Five Crowns that I believe await us. You want one? Or all five?

If I have come up short here and someone wants to add or correct me, that’s fine; please do so. I could use another crown. Scripture has many other references to the word crown. But most of them are verbs, not nouns.

I used the New International Version as my lead study Bible.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Angels Watch Over Us

My friend Jennie Carpenter gave me this idea. It’s all her brilliance. My recap of 2013.

  1. At noon on New Year’s Day, my daughter had been married for about 24 hours.
  2. I began a project: “365 Days of Gratitude” to post on Facebook.
  3. It was 72 degrees here one day in January. Two days later, it was 10. TEN degrees!
  4. I had my first helping of kale in January.
  5. I fell asleep during the Super Bowl and never knew who won for three or four days.
  6. I turned 70 for the first time.
  7. I started writing my first full-length novel. A romance novel, despite my age and gender.
  8. 2013 was the Chinese Year of the Snake. 2014 is the Year of the Horse.
  9. Our church baptized 17 people one Sunday. Lots of praisin’ the Lord, movin’ and shakin’. Know what I mean?
  10. We made a down payment on a house. We got our money back. Bad house, after all.
  11. Our friend, Bob Sewell passed away in Dallas. (#1)
  12. I make our own Almond Butter.
  13. I always eat Ice Cream for Breakfast on March 20. Please join me. I’ll explain later.
  14. Two sisters-in-law and an aunt came to visit. No reason. They’re from FL and MS. “Girls Night Out” for four days.
  15. I went way too many days without writing in my diary. What’s up with that?
  16. I have a collection of coffee mugs from 35 states. Only 15 more states to visit.
  17. A teenager asked for my autograph, just because I write. I asked for her autograph, just because she wants to become a writer. I keep it in one of my diary books.
  18. April is Autism Awareness Month. Please help us find the missing piece.
  19. I like Greek food; Persian (Iranian) food, Mexican food, Chinese food, American food, Middle Eastern food, Holy Land food, Japanese food, Thai food, Italian food—just to name a few.
  20. I watched the movie, “The Lone Ranger,” in a theater (think Johnny Depp).
  21. Our great friend Bud passed away in Arkansas. (#2)
  22. We joined two “fellowship” groups in our church. One is music only; the other is a book study. Both are fun and the people are great!
  23. I like personal mail. Personal letters. Haven’t had one in awhile. Need my address?
  24. I watch “The Red Green Show” on PBS as often as I can.
  25. Our neighbor died in her sleep. (#3) She used to babysit our dog.
  26. The 4tha July is my favorite holiday.
  27. Everybody should have a fast, fast car! Or a Harley. Or both. And a pickup.
  28. I love kids. All ages.
  29. My barber, Dave, retired. He let me be the 3rd from last customer on his retirement day.
  30. Three super friends read (parts of) my novel manuscript and sent back input and encouragement.
  31. Every 5th Sunday of the month, teenagers are the  greeters at our church. They let me be in charge. I guess I’m just a kid at heart.
  32. Marcie and I attended my nephew’s funeral in Colorado. He died in Afghanistan. (#4)
  33. After a two-year absence (not my choice), I started blogging again. Yee-haw!
  34. I hydroplaned off the freeway at 60 mph. I was almost #5. Angels, for sure.
  35. I wear colored T-shirts for underwear. I like red ones best. Or bright yellow. Or orange…
  36. I got to spend almost an hour with Angela Hunt, renown Christian author. She’s an angel.
  37. I never missed a writers’ meeting this year. I missed a couple of critique groups, though.
  38. Gloria and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary with friends and family.  Fun, food, fellowship, fotos and frolic. Scroll down to the previous post to read all about it.
  39. Our grandson lived with us for three months, then took a gamble and moved to Las Vegas.
  40. I got a Chinese fortune cookie that says, “You have a charming way with words and should write a book.” I saved that one and put it my diary book.
  41. Yankee Stadium is a special place and I want to go there. Who’s with me?
  42. Mariano Rivera pitched his last game for the New York Yankees. He is a class act. (I wanted him to be Number 42 here.)
  43. Peppermint Ice Cream is a Christmas tradition at my house. Come on over!
  44. Sometimes I wish I was a famous photographer. And artist. And graphics designer.
  45. I dream of walking across the United States. I want to. It will only take 16 months.
  46. I walked about 450 miles this year. In the mall during cold weather days; outside, otherwise. Two years ago I walked over 1200 miles all year. In all kinds of weather.
  47. Church/Mass on Christmas Eve seems only natural.
  48. At our Christmas Eve service, Miss Laurel sang the best version of “O Holy Night,” I ever heard in my entire life. Thrilling and goose-bumpy. Like an angel. I told her so.
  49. We opened gifts at my daughter’s house this Christmas Eve. Family matters.
  50. I crave In-and-Out Burgers. Or Smashburgers. Or What-a-Burgers. Even Jack in the Box burgers. Wanna welcome the new year with me?
  51. I’m getting set up to do this again next year. Stay tuned. Wait here for me.
  52. I’m a jenius. So is Jennie. The only two in the world.
Thank you, Jennie, for your post. You’re an inspiration. You’re a delightful writer. You’re a special friend to so many people. Angels watch over you, don’t they?