Friday, January 21, 2011


Do you like to work jigsaw puzzles? I sure do. My mother did too, so that must be where I get it. I think it has to do with putting things in order. The thrill of looking for a piece and finding it because just one tiny speck of blue is on it. Or comparing the piece to the picture until you find where it should go. And no, I do not put the border together first. I used to do that, but my card table just isn't big enough. The border is saved for last.

My current puzzle is 1,000 pieces and I have worked on it for almost two weeks. Honestly, I thought this would go together quickly. Wrong! Hopefully, I will get it finished tonight.

Here is the puzzle I am working on.


What do you see when you look at this picture? Do you see different colors? Different shapes? Places where pieces are missing? Do you wonder what it will look like when it is finished?

When I look at puzzles, I see my life. The pieces all fit together and the missing pieces are right there waiting to be put into place. Waiting for me to learn new lessons. Waiting for me to --- Well, waiting for me to do it God's way. As I take steps in the right direction, another piece of my life is put into place. I like to think about God putting my life together.

There is one thing God does different. God puts the border together first. The border of my life puzzle is His love.


Have you ever felt like parts of you were missing?


In the beginning God created

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Lord, You created my life and I am a puzzle only you can put together. Keep putting those pieces in place until I am whole. Amen

Friday, January 14, 2011


I was going to write on winning 2.5 million dollars and how it was only going to cost me $895 postage and handling to receive that money from Jamaica. Bill and I have laughed about this all day.

Then I went on online. I am not laughing now. I have tears in my eyes and a humble heart, because I heard about a 13 year old boy, Jordan Rice, who said, "Save my brother."

Jordan Rice lived in Australia and, as you know, Australia has flooded. Many lives have been saved. Many lives have been lost.

During disasters and emergencies, the true nature of a person emerges. When the rescuers could only save one, Jordan told them to save his brother. And they did.


Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 1 John 2:10

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16

SAVE MY BROTHER -- Jordan, rest in peace.

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Our dear Lord, we come to you with tears over lost and disrupted lives. Lives that have been touched and changed because of floods. Snowstorms. Violence. We lift up each person that is searching for a loved one. Cleaning up the mud and the snow. We lift up each person that has empty arms because a loved one has died. We lift up the injured. Lord, give comfort.

As our tears flow, we also feel humbled by those, like Jordan, who have said, "Save my brother." Lord, surround each rescue worker. Each person that is helping their neighbor. Or helping a stranger. Be with doctors and nurses as they give care to the injured. Be with ministers as they give comfort. Be with those providing food. Or clothes. And those that sit and listen or hold a hand so one of your children will not feel alone. Lord, give comfort. Amen

Friday, January 07, 2011


Why have I waited so long to read the book The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch? I am only halfway through and can hardly wait to finish. I will then watch the video of his last lecture.

Mr. Pausch tells about being on a football team and the coach really getting after him.

Coach Graham used to ride me hard. I remember one practice in particular. "You're doing it all wrong, Pausch. Go back! Do it again!" I tried to do what he wanted. It wasn't enough. "You owe me, Pausch! You're doing push-ups after practice."

When I was finally dismissed, one of the assistant coaches came over to reassure me. "Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he?" he said. "That's a good thing," the assistant told me. "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you."

"They've given up on you" -- That made me think about how we treat our kids today. What are we teaching them? Do we give up on them or do we teach them? Do we care enough to discipline them?

I read a newspaper article about parents suing a school because their son got kicked off the basketball team. He didn't want to cut his hair. The rule: Hair cut above the eyes, over the ears and off the neck. Makes sense to me. You would want your players to be able to see where they are going. The parents said their child should be able to have his hair cut anyway he wanted. If the parents win, what does this child learn? He learns rules are not important. I have news for all people: There are rules in life. The choice is yours -- Follow the rules and play on the basketball team or wear your hair long.

There is no last place anymore. Every team gets a trophy. We wouldn't want anyone to feel bad. Give me a break! There are losers. One team wins and one team loses, not one team wins and the other team almost wins.

And teachers, get out those red pens. There are mistakes!!! 2 + 2 = 4. 2 + 2 = 3 needs a red mark beside it, not a discreet pencil giving them half a credit for trying. We are creating a generation of students who do not know how to take criticism.

Have we given up on our children? When we allow them to not follow the rules or suffer the consequences, when we do not teach them how to lose and when we do not correct them, it is because we have given up on them.

Oh drat. God has rules he expects us to follow. God says some people will lose out and not enter the kingdom of heaven. God does discipline us when we do wrong.


And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." (Notes on this text: Suffering and persecution should be seen as corrective and instructive training for our spiritual development as his children.)

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


This is a new year. Is there anyone you have given up on? Anyone you have just said, "Why bother? They just don't get it and will not listen?" Is there anyone you need to give another chance?

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

How do I pray for discipline? I don't like getting told I have done something wrong. I don't want to lose! And all those rules! How about if I just do as I want? How about if I --- O, Lord, discipline me. Teach me your rules so I may learn to live the abundant life you have planned for me. O, Lord, discipline me. Teach me to handle defeat so I can learn humility. O, Lord, discipline me. Do not quietly point out my sins. Be bold so I do not miss your directions. O, Lord, discipline me. It is then that I know you love me and that you have not given up on me.           Amen