Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Virgin Mary Pondered in Her Heart.

 I'd like to share a portion of my daughter's  Christmas letter. Her words touched my heart, and I hope you enjoy them, too. Here's what Lanissa Coker wrote.

Lanissa and Craig Coker
with Mindy, Meghan, and Calvin.

"This year has been different in our house. We have not had the constant flow of guests visiting us. Christmas will no doubt be quieter for us. We will miss the laughter and chattering of family and friends. Last year, we enjoyed one another's company while I prepared Christmas dinner. These changes can bring about feelings of sadness and loneliness for us. We love our families, and it's okay to miss them and long to see them. 

I wonder sometimes if Jesus feels the same about us. Do you think He misses spending time with us? Do you think He misses the conversations that we fail to have with Him because we are too busy?  Do you think that might make Him experience sadness and loneliness? 

Sometimes I think about Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Bible says that Mary "pondered" all the the events surrounding the birth of Jesus in her heart. Not only did she want to think carefully about all that had transpired, she wanted to remember the smallest details of the Savior's miraculous birth.

Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. He is worthy of and deserves our time, and He so longs to fill our hearts with the peace and joy that only He can give."

                            by:  Lanissa Lewis Coker

Faith and Humor

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

It Is Well


Are you familiar with the hymn, "It Is Well with My Soul?"  If you've never heard it, the link to listen is below.

Finding peace these days is difficult. We all have challenges of some sort.

Millions of people are now without jobs. Businesses are closed because of government shutdowns. Thousands are losing homes and going hungry.

And let's not forget the three thousand who've died with Covid-19.  This terrible disease costs us more than life. We have fear, dread and division as a result of the virus descending on our world.

In addition to the challenges of Covid-19, we have the normal ones. Seniors must endure the side effects of old age. Folks are also dying of natural causes. Teenagers creating havoc for parents. Babies with incurable diseases. Divorce. Loss of income. Drug and alcohol addiction. Car wrecks.

During these difficult days, it becomes necessary to find peace. During the 24 hours of a day, tranquility and comfort isn't always possible

Life causes stress, but there can be peace with our souls.

Horatio G. Spafford, an attorney in Chicago lost his fortune in 1871, and his 4 year old son died with scarlet fever. He decided to send his wife and four daughters to England. The elegant ship they were on collided with another, and his daughters drowned at sea. His wife telegraphed, "Saved alone."

Horatio booked passage to England. When the ship reached the place where his daughters had died, he stood at the rail and looked down into the sea. He was in turmoil, but a peace came upon him, and he wrote the poem, "It is Well with My Soul."  It was later set to music.

As I sing the song, I'm reminded of the challenges in my life. Like you, I have many. However, because of Jesus Christ, I can say, it is well with my soul.

Does that mean I understand why God allows bad things to happen? Absolutely not!! Do I sometimes question Him?  Yes!! I do, but I always remind myself that He knows what He's doing, and that should be enough for me. Is this trust and acceptance hard to find?  Yes, sometimes, it is, and I spend hours and days working on my belief that He knows best, but I find that trusting Him works.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

Hymn "It Is Well with My soul"

Faith and Humor

Monday, December 14, 2020

How Dare You Call Me a Racist, and No! You Don't Know Me.


I try not to involve myself in political posts on Facebook or Twitter. I participated in a few several months back, and boy! Was that gruesome! I was surprised at the names people called me. I would never issue insults to anyone, but I sure received them.

And guess what?  The insults that shocked and hurt the most were from relatives!

A distant family member tore into me big time and accused me of being a racist because I supported the opposite political party.  

I have friends of all colors, nationalities, and religions. Most of the people in our church speak two languages, and some were born in other countries. We are all friends, and we love each other. 

It's impossible to defend oneself against a person who is intent on believing the worst of you. 

But I tried.

I attempted to answer with kind comments. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1.  I suggested to the insulting family member that she read my book, Family Secrets. Although fictional, The book would clue her into my thoughts and beliefs.

She replied, "I don't have to read your book to know what you are." This woman has never been in my home or my church. We've never had a conversation in person or on the phone. As I said, we're distant relatives. Very distant. We've merely participated in a few Facebook posts.

I wrote back, "I'm sad you misunderstand me."  I left the comment up for about 15 minutes and then deleted the entire thread. I stay off Facebook a lot these days. 

I have friends who believe differently than me politically, but we don't attack each other.

When folks bully me, I get irritated.

I try not to be discourteous.

And I'm downright, doubly-sure I'm not a racist.

Folks, be careful. It's too easy to assume the worst of people. And it sure is easy to be unkind.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Long Term Care Facilities.

 Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Nursing homes are accommodations where we pay large sums of monies to incarcerate our loved ones.

People don't imprison their relatives intentionally, of course.  I certainly didn't. Most, like me, must place our sweethearts in care facilities because we can no longer care for them ourselves.

However, no one knew Covid-19 would come along, and our flesh and blood would be kept from us. Isolation is for their own good, we are told, and to an extent, this is true. But isolation kills too!

Residents in these facilities are declining due to the shutdown. A lack of cognitive skills prevent them from understanding the circumstances. They'll ask, "Why can't you come inside and give me a hug?"  Such questions continue. One after the other.

Jail time in these facilities is expensive. Not only in money, but to the hurt and harm of the sweethearts in these necessary care places. 

Our daughter lives in one. I wrote an article about the isolation in Texas Hill Country. Dementia and Alzheimers are cruel diseases. 

It's past the time to find a cure. 

PBG Insider: Gay N. Lewis Introduces her "Sarah" series

Sarah at Christmas