Saturday, January 24, 2009


Are you ever tempted to delete emails when you know it's likely to be a chain message or one of those tear-jerkers that have been circulating for years? I am. But when my dad sends one, I open it up because he forwards them infrequently, and when he does, he adds insight.

For instance, this morning, I'd already deleted the message once (a woman from his church has both me and Dad on her mailing list), but I opened his email with the same subject line, and sure enough, the note from him said, "Your mother prays with the faith that the little girl in this story has."

It's nice to hear things like that from and about your parents. But I get a couple of other lessons from it. One, that God sent us emails, OK, really books of the Bible, and they're the same messages that have been circulating for centuries, but we can still get insight from our Heavenly Father. The second lesson is that, maybe when we pray, God doesn't want to hear the rote, same old-same old, but a little personal message from us.

We had an interesting author on our talk show last year who had written about praying in different forms: with your drawing, your singing, your writing. The upshot was prayer didn't have to be spoken. So maybe I will email God. But it won't be a chain message.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Yuma, Arizona

My hubby and I used all of our vacation days last year, moving from Texas and working on freelance projects. So family visits were due as soon as we could use vacation days this year. We planned to go see his parents in Yuma, Arizona. The Chamber of Commerce couldn't have ordered better weather. The blue-blue skies held no clouds and temps climbed to 75 each day. It was a pleasure to stand out on the street and not be hot or cold.

Mark has been eager most of our marriage to rent a recreational vehicle, even though he knew I wouldn't be thrilled about it. One of the first things I told him when we started talking about getting married is that I didn't like camping, and I wasn't a good cook.

But I decided if it would make him happy, I would at least try staying in an RV for a few days. So we picked up the RV in Phoenix and drove three hours to Yuma. It wasn't so bad, really. The RV made me thankful for our home, the bathroom with lots of hot water, the closets, the dishwasher and the comfy mattress.

The best part about the visit was being with Mark's parents. They are a lot of fun: quick-witted and interested in making jokes and singing harmonies. What strikes me is how much they love each other. Nancy has to take lots of medicines after open heart surgery, and Bobby patiently gets them organized for her and fixes her meals. When I had a chance to encourage him, I said, "You sure are a good husband." He replied, "She deserves it."

Wow--how many couples would let illness drive them to bitterness or complaining? Bobby acts as though it's an honor to care for his wife.

With a role model like that, I'm sure my husband will be sweet to me in years to come. So, I guess it was worth it to try the RV. Maybe I will brush up on my cooking skills next.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I wish you a peaceful but exciting new year.
I hope you grow in faith, but that you don't have to suffer loss or pain to do so.
I pray that you will be able to keep the resolutions that make you healthier and happier.
I look forward to hearing about your dreams, testimonies, stories and adventures in 2009. I'll share some of mine here.

And I realized that this month begins ten years of my ezine, the Good News Newsletter. It's short, sweet and designed to encourage Christians... or make them think. The content is always different than the essays here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe, go to my website and look for the button that says "free newsletter," or send me an email and put "subscribe GNN" in the subject line.

In the meantime, may God bless you extravagantly in 2009!