I am in awe of the men and women who enlist in the armed forces. Their bravery is something to be admired.

My pastor said when he joined the marines in 1966 that he was told at bootcamp that only 20% of the men with him would return alive. They were expecting them to go to Vietnam. I wrote a post about my pastor here.

My boss, a retired lieutenant colonel from the Marine Corps, hosts a Marine Corps birthday cake cutting every year in our office. He and another marine read the current letter from the commandant and then cut the cake with a sword.  This is always something the office looks forward to celebrating with these proud marines.

In the last several months I’ve been reading non-fiction. For some reason, fiction hasn’t interested me as much and it shows in my inability to write my own fiction, but I’m working on it.

Amongst the non-fiction books that I’ve been reading is a series of biographies about veterans.

One that had me crying was Fearless: The Undaunting Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator, Adam Brown. Adam Brown wanted his story told, not because of his courage, but because he thought his story of addiction could help someone else. And I think that is the true nature of the men and women who join the military. They want to help others.

Another fascinating story, Hope Unseen: The Triumphant Faith of Scotty Smiley, I discovered accidentally when searching for another book in the Durham Library.  Scotty was blinded with shrapnel from a car bomb. He has since gone on to earn a Master’s degree from Duke Univ. and teach at his alma mater, West Point.

And finally, I had the privilege in my writing career, to hear Jeff Struecker speak at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. Jeff’s battle story is found in the movie Black Hawk Down. He has written the book, The Road to Unafraid. I haven’t read this one yet, but I intend to.

The common thread in these books–faith and courage.

Our men and women in the military are all courageous, and I salute all who are serving and have served today.

Thank you for your service. I am truly grateful for your sacrifices.

I challenge my readers to read these books.

2 Timothy 1

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

My sister is an accountant. A CPA to be exact.

But I’m not going to talk about her. (Though I love her dearly).

Did you know that God has every hair on your head numbered?

Every last one of them.

He even knows how many just left my head and made it into my comb.

But there is one thing he stops counting. Hebrews 8 in the Message Bible says:

This new plan I’m making with Israel
    isn’t going to be written on paper,
    isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time I’m writing out the plan in them,
    carving it on the lining of their hearts.
I’ll be their God,
    they’ll be my people.
They won’t go to school to learn about me,
    or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons.
They’ll all get to know me firsthand,
    the little and the big, the small and the great.
They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
    with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.

He knows the number of hairs on your head, but he will wipe the slate clean of your sins.

Isn’t that cool? The ultimate Accountant will stop counting sins.

Matthew 10:29-31

Forget About Yourself ] “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering thehairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.


Church services were canceled today, so I thought I’d post worship through music.

The Church Youth Ensemble plays “Amazing Grace”.

Worship the One whose Grace is Amazing.

My sweet son is on the trumpet. I love him.



I admire strong brave people, because there are times when I’m not brave and when I’m not strong.

But I know two young people who are both brave and strong.

Zach and  Dalton are giant-slayers.

In 2010 Zach started on his quest to slay the giant.

The Doctors could not figure out what was going on in his small body. His red blood cells were being killed as soon as they were being made. Steroids and blood transfusions kept him alive.

But there came a time when he needed a stronger intervention.

In steps his big brother, Dalton, who was a perfect match for bone marrow donation.

Before he was to go into the hospital for the procedure, Zach, his parents and members of the church planned a celebration of life service.

When Zach was just a small thing he gave his heart to Christ, and I don’t know of too many adults who show such faith in the Savior as this young man.

Below I’ve posted the service in its entirety. Zach chose all the songs. And I have to say, an adult couldn’t have done a better job. The songs are powerful and spoke to what he is going through right now.

You can read more about this giant-slaying quest on his Caring Bridge Page:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/zachsides/journal

Whom Shall I Fear

I’ve confessed that I have slight prepping tendencies.

I happened upon these videos which I think are a great introduction to preparing for different disaster scenarios.

The biggest disaster is to live with the weight of sin. But it is the easiest disaster to avoid, because we don’t have to do anything about it. It was all done for us. Jesus took the weight of our sin with him on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sin. And all we have to do is accept that he did and receive the forgiveness that only He can offer. It is simple really.

Engineer775  mentions that the US is not mentioned in Bible prophecies. I’d like to think that it is because most of the country will be raptured. Those that put their faith in Jesus will be one of those raptured. I wouldn’t want to be LEFT BEHIND.

On this, my last day of vacation, I finished reading Julie Klassen’s novel, The Tudor’s Daughter, and, I have to say, I enjoyed it immensely.

The novel contains several elements of a couple of my favorite stories — the gothic romantic suspense of Jane Erye by Charlotte Bronte and the misguided infatuation toward a younger brother found in the movie, Sabrina (starring Harrison Ford).

The novel also had elements from a movie that starred Tom Cruise, though I will not say which one, because then you’d definitely know the secret the family at Ebbington Manor is trying to hide. Definitely.

When I read novels such as this I wonder why I even bother to write, because I’m not in the same league.

Did you catch the clue I left in one of the preceding paragraphs?

See the book trailer here:



I would love to say that I am currently enjoying the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference which is going on right now at a place nestled in the mountains just off I-40 in North Carolina–Ridgecrest.

This is the second conference I’ve missed since 2006, and I think I’m having withdrawal symptoms. While there I laugh and cry, commiserate with other unpublished writers and hob nob with the rich and famous published authors (I know there are those laughing at my comment, but hey, I’ve had the pleasure of being critiqued by none other than Jerry Jenkins who has sold over 70 million copies of his Left Behind books).

That’s beside the point, though. I still took the week off from work with the idea that I’d have my own little writers conference at home where I’d sit on my back porch, edit my finished novel, and read writing craft books and a few novels.

I stumbled across a book called One Second Later by William Forstchen about the consequences of an EMP attack(I have slight prepping tendencies, which, when coupled with my novel writing tendencies, makes me a very crazy person). I chose to read the book this week.

The book is set in Black Mountain, NC which is right there at Ridgecrest, where I long to be.

Usually I would not recommend novels with language that offends me, and this book has many instances where I cringed, so I’m not recommending it. The most offensive to me is the Lord’s name in vain, though some would say it is writing real.

The book, however, has opened my eyes to some things I need to do for my family as a precaution.

I would feel perfectly well supplied if I had water, and heat in the winter, but one thing the book made me realize is how important our medical services are. My son takes a medication that he agrees is as necessary to him as food. He could get by without it for a month, but after that, he’d start experiencing seizures that would eventually kill him from lack of sleep–essentially they would drive him mad.

The book was intriguing to read because I’m familiar with the setting, but also because it has raised an awareness about how dependent we are on our electrical grid. Scary stuff. Read it at your own risk. You’ve been warned.


Have you found your dreamboat?

Pastor Barry talks about keeping the fire burning. Listen to his message using Song of Solomon Chapter 1 presented the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.

Years ago Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins wrote the Left Behind series which, at the time, became the bestselling series of all times.

Why would that be?

People were intrigued by the end times(apocalypse type stuff–now zombies seem to be the thing), but I also believe people read the novels in search of answers.

“What about me? How will it affect me?”

Maybe you’re asking yourself those questions.

On January 20, 2013 my Pastor preached on the subject. The title of his sermon was “The Fulfillment of all the Signs of His Coming.” If you’re one of those with questions, I urge you to listen to find out if we’re living on the edge of destruction?


By the way, my son came home after the sermon and said, “That was his best sermon yet.”  (My son says that just about every Sunday–I’m glad he’s listening).

The gremlins in the computer took away the right video for this post, and I can’t seem to get it fixed. So, here is the link. You’ll have to click over to youtube to view it. My apologies.



(You’ll need to take away the quotes from the above web address to get to the right video)

Happy Birthday, Grandma.

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