Carol Wilson Update

Stage 4 Cancer brought many challenges--and also a host of loving and praying friends. Almost-daily postings to this site are to help my friends walk with me through this journey, and to express my gratitude to them and especially to God...On 7/8/08 Carol passed through that final curtain of death and is now healed. We thank God for her life and "arrival"! Chuck

Friday, March 27, 2015


I have been blessed by two different visitors since returning late Tuesday.  Both came some distance to spend time with me.  Friend Mark came here from out of state to interview for a potential job and drove an extra 2+ hours out of his way to spend a special block of time with me yesterday.  We had a delightful time together and I so much appreciate his encouragement and challenge.  Close friends are so very important in our lives, even at this stage!  It was very special having Mark here to bounce many thoughts and Ideas around and have God use him to reevaluate some specific areas of my life…Iron sharpening iron in motion!

Yesterday I read about David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and once again was amazed at the power of a young man standing against the giant Goliath, who was around 9’ tall.  David must have had his hands full commuting back and forth between his brothers who were in Saul’s army and tending his father’s sheep.  That must have been quite amazing seeing David confront huge Goliath with only a sling and a bag of pebbles.  Only with God’s guidance did that pebble hit its mark and bring the giant down.  It was interesting to me how his brothers became angry with him for stepping forward rather than exercising love and concern for their younger brother.  I especially like the faith and testimony of David as he warned the Philistine; “…I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have denied.”  (17:45)  To me, that was another reminder that anything is possible with God when in accordance with His will. 

I trust that your week went well and that the upcoming weekend will be a tremendous blessing as we celebrate Palm Sunday and reflect upon all that was accomplished by Jesus on the cross for us!

Love to you all,


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Obedience and Trust

The book of Judges certainly is an interesting study of leaders and the pitfalls that they succumb to.  Of around a dozen judges mentioned in the book, Deborah and Gideon appear as two of the best.  Looking at their preparation and gifting, I believe that most would not have predicted that they would be at the top of the list.  Deborah was a prophetess and a songwriter.  Gideon, a timid man with unimpressive credentials started out cowering in a winepress to avoid being seen by the Midianites.  Ultimately Gideon and his army that was reduced to around 300 men won the battle with the Midianite army that was 135,000 strong.  An unbelievable task considering the odds, that was only accomplished by his obedience and faith in God.  An amazing account of God bringing victory out of what humanly speaking appeared to be certain defeat!  

On the other hand there is the history of Samson, a man with unbelievable physical strength, dedicated to God from his birth ending up on the trash heap so to speak, a failure and dishonored.  Turning what was great potential into a great moral collapse.  It is certainly a vivid reminder that it is not the gifting, ability or strength that brings about success.  That results from obedience and trust in the Lord.

Later in the week I will be driving up to our Charlotte office.  I will spend some time with grandson Justin in South Carolina, and with friends in the Concord area while there.  It will be a bit of a quick trip this time but good to be able to catch up with a few people along the way.  Your prayers are always a tremendous blessing!

Have a wonderful week!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fun Time

The trip to Hilton Head with the family was a special event, but unfortunately Keith had to make two trips for interviews to both Boston and Florida.  On his return from Boston, his flight ended in Charlotte due to fog on the coast and he had to rent a car to return that night.  We had a bit of rain and cold weather but plenty of games to keep us occupied when it was not ideal beach weather.  We all especially enjoyed biking on the beach and the two youngest, Ella and Sophia rode along in their trailer.  It brought back fond memories of my pulling grandson Gavin in a trailer and his continual reminder to me “stay on the road Bop” when one wheel would “accidently” slip off the edge of the pavement.

Today I was reading about Samson in Judges 14.  It is a tragic reminder of the danger in not obeying the Lord.  Samson had amazing potential to serve his Lord but spent most of his life fulfilling his own passions and desires.  It seems almost unbelievable that he would do such a thing after his upbringing and his experiences of having “The Spirit of the Lord come powerfully upon him” on several occasions.  What a tragic ending to finish his life blinded and bound.  Certainly a good reminder at all ages to finish well and to encourage those around us to do likewise. 

Let's be certain not to take God's blessings for granted!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Everlasting Love

This is one of the photos that I took of a sunrise while in the Bahamas.  Every morning it was a great reminder of an exciting new day filled with God’s blessings because of his everlasting love (hesed) that is recited so many times throughout the Scriptures, as by faith we are obedient to Him.

As I am coming close to the end of the book of Deuteronomy I have enjoyed many wonderful insights from it.  Moses certainly was human and suffered consequences from his disobedience by not being able to enter the Promised Land.  However he did not brood or become angry, but accepted God’s action without argument, continuing to carry out God’s plan allowing Him to working through his life.  What an example!

Deuteronomy 30:11-20 is a good reminder of three things that God looks for in each of our lives today.  He gives us the option to obey or not, which in turn results in life and prosperity or death and destruction. (vs. 15)  Those three listed are to; “love the Lord your God,” “walk in obedience to him,” and “keep his commands, decrees and laws.” (vs. 16)  I am certainly glad to be living in New Testament times after Jesus came into the world to give his life for us then placing his Holy Spirit into our hearts to give us guidance and direction moment by moment, if we stay in tune with Him.

Tomorrow I will be joining part of my family at Hilton Head for a week.  They have invited the whole family but I know that job responsibilities will prevent some from joining us.  I am thankful for my loving family and the health and strength to continue to spend time with them despite the many miles between us.

Have a blessed week end,


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Delightful Visit

Restaurant on the beach
Lisa and I had a delightful time with Paul and Ruth while visiting them on the Island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.  The weather was a bit windier than usual but was no problem for us.  In fact we got some beautiful views from their home at the top of a hill overlooking the ocean.  There are many outcroppings of coral rock along the beach a short distance away, and the breakers would spray far into the air as they thundered in, leaving vast amounts of foaming sea that looked like a huge quantity of soap suds.  On the Caribbean side, the sea is usually quite calm and a great place to enjoy the spacious sand beaches and gorgeous blue water.

Continuing to read through the Scriptures each morning, today I read Deuteronomy chapter 5 which includes the Ten Commandments.  After presenting the Commandments to the Israelites, Moses told the people that the Lord had heard them as they spoke to him and said; “I have heard what this people said to you.  Everything they said was good.  Oh that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all of my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!”  (Deut. 5:28-29)  I like the reminder from Moses at the end of the chapter; “So be careful…Walk in obedience…so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days…”  (Vs. 32-33)  So let us not only speak the truth, but internalize it and allow it to change our hearts and lives.  A good reminder throughout each day!

Love to all,


Monday, February 09, 2015


I am always amazed at the “coincidences” that God brings into my life!  Some years ago I read The Red Sea Rules written by Robert Morgan and was most blessed and helped at a time during some crucial decisions.  In December Erwin Lutzer (Moody) “happened” to send me a suggested Bible reading plan for 2015 covering each book of the Bible.  The readings are more by topic and do not include chapters not pertaining to the topic.  Following that plan the past couple of weeks, I have been reading Exodus 1-14 which just “happened” to be about the plagues and the Egyptians pursuing the Israelites into the Red Sea.  Last week we just “happened” to have author Robert Morgan in our village for a Bible Conference.  It was the first time I had seen him and I was challenged by his seven sessions and enjoyed a bit of one on one time with him.  I have attended conferences with authors before, and occasionally find it a disappointment.  NOT Rob Morgan!

As I read Exodus 14 this morning about the Red Sea adventure, I could see that many ways that I have been impacted by that little book and those 10 Red Sea Rules.  The main ones that strongly spoke to me were Rule #1 “Realize that God means for you to be where you are.”  Rule #4 “Pray.”  Rule #8 “Trust God…”  Rule #10 “Don’t forget to praise Him.”  If you want to know more, let me know or better yet, pick up a copy for yourself.

Wednesday I will be flying to the Bahamian Island of Eleuthera with Lisa to spend a few days with Carol’s sister Ruth, and her husband, Paul.  I am taking my copy of the book to read again on the plane and will have plenty of time there to reflect upon God’s blessings in my life, and praising Him.  Something that I too often forget when confronted with “the cares of the day.”

Have a Blessed week!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Never too late

We all know about best laid plans.  Well, I certainly experienced major upsets in my well planned schedule during my trip.  The first upset was a call the day before I was to leave from the daughter of the folks I was scheduled to stay with, reporting that the wife had been taken to the hospital ER and they were still unaware what the problem was.  The husband has some sort of dementia so cannot safely stay alone.  I quickly called to see if there was room available in the guesthouse and was pleased to find a vacancy.  The retirement party was great.  I had the opportunity to catch up with several that I would not have seen and enjoyed numerous lengthy conversations.  My days at the office stretched out much longer than planned so I was not able to head for Raleigh/Durham until late in the day.  Friend Keith experienced too much “on his plate” that day and his plans to prepare dinner did not work out, so he took me out to eat.  After talking late into the night, we were too tired Sunday to go to the planned earlier church service but made it to the last one.  I encountered some nasty cold, windy and rainy weather coming home with a chest congestion that is now improving with the help of antibiotics.  Even with the cold front that has come into Florida, I am glad to be back in my own bed, seeing sunshine.

During my morning reading I am getting well into the book of Exodus.  I always enjoy reading about Moses and how God ultimately used him.  At 40 years old, he looked like the man that had a chance to bring relief to his people.  He had position, training, natural ability and the desire, BUT one foolish act (killing a man) forfeited those advantages and he was dejected and just plain miserable.  Then he encountered God in a most unusual way when he was now around 80.  Seeing a bush on fire which did not become consumed by the fire, got his attention.  God speaks to him saying that He wants to use him but Moses gives excuses why someone else should be selected.  He knew what Pharaoh was like, was now an old man and even had a speech impediment.  God gave his rebuttal and assured him “I will be with you” sharing with him some of the means the He would use to convince Pharaoh.  The end of chapter 4 says; “Moses and Aaron brought together all of the elders of the Israelites, and told them everything the Lord had said to Moses.  He also performed the signs before the people, and THEY BELIEVED.” (4: 29-31)

The story of Moses is a great encouragement to me.  Whatever our background or past may have contained, regardless of age, God still has a plan for us to be serving for His glory.  I look forward to traveling with Moses through Exodus again and seeing God use another unlikely individual for His glory.  That challenges me not to get discouraged or give up regardless of difficulties, health issues, age or any circumstances as long as he gives me breath.

I trust that your week is going well and that each of us will live above the circumstances.

Love to all,


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Abundant Blessings

I trust that each of you is enjoying this new week.  It has been a special time for me.  We currently are being blessed and challenged by our Prophecy Conference at church with speaker Jimmy DeYoung.  Living in Jerusalem for over twenty years has given him a lot of insight into the prophetic scriptures’.  Yesterday I enjoyed having dear long-time friends from Michigan arrive to spend a bit of time with me.  As seems to be a frequent happening these days, they were delayed in their flight, but arrived in time to share dinner together and enjoy some wonderful fellowship prior our rather late bed time.

On Wednesday, I will be leaving to spend a bit of time time at our SIM office, celebrating a retirement of friends, a birthday, and visiting others in Charlotte, Concord, Durham and Wake Forest.  Several are experiencing some rather difficult health issues which reminds me to thank the Lord for the strength and health that He provides daily.  There is no doubt that I cannot keep up quite the pace that I once did, but am thankful that after eight decades, I am still able to be up and about.

At the beginning of the year I started a reading program through the Bible and have been studying the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis recently.  What an amazing life and example of God using a rather obscure young man who by faith trusted Him as he experienced amazing challenges in his life moving from the depths of the royal prison to become second in command of an entire nation.  Several statements stuck in my mind as he focused on God’s will rather than his fleshly desires.  When confronted by Potiphar’s wife, he responded; “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”  He would not allow her to tempt him and he not only rebuffed her advances but “…refused to even be with her.” (39:9-10) As a result we read that; “…the Lord was with Joseph and gave his success in whatever he did.”  (39:23)  Thinking about the prior and the following events in his life, I wondered how many times I have missed the Lords best blessing and guidance because I did not, by faith, believe and follow him as His Holy Spirit prompted me.  At this age it is both a joy and a disappointment to review my “obedience” over a life-time and at the same time be so very grateful for the grace and mercy the He continually extends to me and his own people!

I trust that each of us will have sensitivity and exercise complete obedience to the Lord’s guidance as Joseph did, enjoying success in everything that we set our mind to.  Have a blessed week!



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Faith, Hope and Love

This morning during a sound sleep at 3:00 am I heard my phone ringing.  I answered it and heard; “Hi Chuck, it’s so good to hear your voice.”  Then I awoke!  Immediately I recognized it to be the voice of a dear friend that is dealing with more challenges than I can imagine.  I was able to be together briefly with this young man who lives several states away, a few weeks ago.  He had five major issues before him!  When my brain finally was functioning at that early hour, I earnestly prayed for him recalling his email yesterday, but not knowing what was going on with him at the moment, then drifted back to sleep.  This morning I awoke to find two emails from him.  Never have I been so thrilled to hear from someone!

As I was drifting into reality later this morning the word faith sprung into my mind, and after I finished reading the two emails, I turned on the coffee and opened to Hebrews chapter 11.  I quickly read through chapters 11-13 then returned to more carefully attempt to hear what God wanted me say to me through them and to understand what He sees going on in my actions and emotions.  Yes, tears of regret as well as thankfulness fell freely as I realized the power of faith, hope and love expressed there.  Previously in 10:32 we read; “Think back on those early days…”  And I did, recalling many challenges similar to this young man that I faced, and how I handled them.  I recalled numerous ones that were poorly handled, when I “hit the bottom” but now see how God, through His Holy Spirit and some of his faithful encouragers, brought me through.  My greatest desire is to be obedient to Him and be available and usable by him in the lives of those around me!

The benediction in Hebrews 13:20-21 is my desire for you as well as myself today!  May God give you a blessed weekend.

Love to all,


Friday, January 02, 2015

Fantastic Christmas

I trust that each of you had a wonderful Christmas.  Your prayers were answered as all went well on my trip.  The flights were full but comfortable and everyone stayed healthy so there was no sharing of any “bugs”.  Several asked about how we managed with 20 staying at the house.  It went remarkably well but we did bring the pop-up camper into the heated garage providing beds for five of the group.  The smaller children were thrilled to sleep in “beds” made up on the floor of their parent’s rooms, and Karin and Keith’s dog Haley was eager to be invited to snuggle up with some of the kids.  One night the bedroom doors all were left closed so she awoke me at 3:00 AM not pleased to be sleeping alone. 

We had a fun time with gifts for the kids.  I was “Boppi Clause” with a pillow stuffed in my shirt with my elf helper Joshua assisting in the distribution of the gifts.  The weather there has been unusual.  In October when the cold front came through, the lake had several inches of Ice on it.  Christmas day it was around 50 with no ice on the lake.  The morning of my departure the thermometer registered 14 and as I took off from the airport in the evening, snow was falling and a sharp wind was blowing.  I’ll admit that I was happy to land back in Florida to mild evening temperatures.  The two-hour drive back home was without heavy traffic and I was in bed shortly after 11 PM.  Thanks so much for praying.  I was a bit concerned if it was wise for me to travel into the cold that time of year.  It is so easy for me to get pneumonia when exposed to the cold.  Thank you Lord for a wonderful time with the family!

A blessed and Happy New Year to all of you!



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Blessings

We had a different message Sunday as our pastor presented his acrostic for CHRISTMAS.  I thought it provided a good focus for the Sunday preceding Christmas.  He described God as; Creator (Col. 1:18-20), Hope (Rom. 15:13; Phil 1:6), Returning (1 Cor. 15), Infinite (Ps. 147:1,6), Savior (Lk. 2:8-11) and Trustworthy (Jn. 3:16, 3:5).  He pointed out Christ is the most important part of Christmas and for the MAS he reminded us that Material gifts Always Spoil.  A tremendous contrast to Christ!  Obviously expanded upon each point.

I will be flying to Indiana on Christmas day to celebrate with the entire family (20 of us) at the lake house.  I had not planned to make the trip due to my respiratory problem when exposed to cold weather, but have been encouraged by the family and my pulmonologist who is sending extra meds which he assures me will take me through the four days that I will be staying there.  With all of the gatherings here in the village and with parties with church friends, my schedule has been full since before Thanksgiving.  So full in fact, that I have not found time to get Christmas greetings out.  That task will have to wait until after I return.

It is most interesting living on the lake here.  The staff has installed colored lights around the lake which add to the beauty of the fountain with its changing colored lights.  The alligator and turtles have been sunning themselves quite often and today I saw a first!  We have a pair of what folks call Egyptian Geese that are beautiful.  Suddenly there was only one around and I was fearful that our alligator caught one.  Then we noticed the mother high up in an osprey nest.  Today she appeared with six little goslings in tow.  We are hoping that they do not fall prey to the alligator or the huge turtles that are in the lake.

Have a blessed Christmas remembering that “This is how God showed His love among us:  He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him,”

Love to all,


Monday, December 15, 2014

Ecclesiastes 12 Days

These past weeks have been a whirlwind of activities for me with all of the opportunities for fellowship and holiday parties.  Friday evening I hosted 15 people at my house to welcome a friend moving into the village to a home across the street from me.  It was a bit crowded serving that many here, but it was doable and everyone seemed to have a good time from the hugs and generous responses I received as the party broke up over four hours later.  On Sunday I had a couple over for lunch after church to help use up some of the leftovers.  In the evening I attended a Christmas musical program and entertained several friends for dessert afterwards.

I completed the book of Ecclesiastes this past week and have enjoyed reflecting upon many of the thoughts that have stuck in my mind.  I can certainly relate to the final chapter (12) when he moves his focus from youth to when we “grow old.”  The verses that start “Remember when…” used to be a laughing matter but now have become more a reality.  I don’t think we can be reminded enough to; “remember our Creator now, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken”

Thinking of those difficult years, do join me in praying for Mary in Charlotte recovering from hip surgery and confronted with her transplant kidney from years back not functioning properly and possibly going into rejection mode.  For Ron here, who having had seven stints previously along with open-heart surgery is hospitalized with heart problems, and Stuart in Charlotte having additional “upsets” from the chemo program that he is on.  Also do pray for Rachel in Charlotte that is going through many tests to attempt to determine what the nasty physical problems are that she is experiencing.  So many friends are facing mighty difficult times, along with their families.  Some of us are experiencing those Ecclesiastes 12 days.  Thanks for praying!

I will be flying to Indiana to spend a few days at Christmas with my family.  All of my family members are planning to get together at the lake house, so my daughter say; “Dad you have to come!”  My doctor has armed me with extra medication which hopefully will keep me breathing in spite of the cold that is not kind to my lungs.  Hopefully the weather may break a bit then to make it easier.

Love to you all,


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Everything from Him

I trust that each of you enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends.  I had a delightful time with friends in North Carolina but I did indulge in too much good food.  Being an Italian family, they do not let you go hungry…and I just could not avoid sampling every item in every course.  Okay, I admit that I more that sampled some items.  My challenge now is to drop those extra pounds that accumulated.  By extending my planned stay a day at each end, I avoided much frustration with heavy traffic and accidents along the way that extend travel time.

I continue to enjoy working my way through the book of Ecclesiastes.  Thinking back over the chapters, I recall numerous pursuits that are noted as worthless or chasing the wind:  Pursuing wisdom, our work, possessions, status, companionship, fame, money, a long life, food, and just plain desires.  Quickly reading those chapters could be quite depressing if we miss the main point.  The author reminds us that; “…these pleasures are from the hand of God.  For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?  God gives wisdom, knowledge and joy to those who please him.”  (3:24-26)  I found myself thinking back over my life and recognizing times when I tried it alone and the results turned out to be less than perfect, while on the other hand when following his lead produced success, often way beyond my fondest expectations.  I need to keep that front and center in my future pursuits!  Both by allowing him to lead and also giving him thanks for what he produces in and through me!

Have a blessed day and week!


Sunday, November 23, 2014


A few days ago I started reading Ecclesiastes and have been challenged by the messages that the Holy Spirit directed to be assembled.  It appears that many of the thoughts run parallel with Solomon’s in Proverbs, but I am aware that there is some debate about who really penned the book.  My feeling is; who cares!  I know that God generated it, and I am not that concerned about who actually drafted it.

I needed the reminder that everything can be meaningless.  How often I find as I reflect upon my day that it seems to have been meaningless.  I didn’t accomplish what I planned or things come up that have to be handled that were major challenges and possibly detracted me from what I had scheduled.  Later I look back and see them part of an over-all plan that I was not even aware of at the time.  As we are reminded, our plans may turn into a day of only “chasing the wind”.  (1:17) Reading on we are reminded; “For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?”  (2:25)  Then we are clearly told; “God gives wisdom, knowledge and joy to those who please him”.  (2:26)  As I read the chapters, I am reminded that I not only need to be more intentional in what I say and do, but I also need to be praising the God that through his Holy Spirit within me is working out HIS plan for HIS glory as I yield every aspect of my life to him!  Now, if I can just remember that in every situation!

Yesterday I attended a delightful memorial service for a dear lady that was over 100 years old.  At her birthday celebration some time back, even though her body was pretty well “spent,” her mind was sharp and she was looking forward to her future with an infectious joy.  What a blessing it is to know so many dear ones that faithfully travel life’s journey, finishing well!  That is a continual prayer for myself.

Seeing that my family will not be together for Thanksgiving, I plan to drive to North Carolina to spend the holiday with a dear family whom I have not been able to see for some time.  I am looking forward to the delightful food that they always prepare and a special time of catching up with each other.  I trust that ‘you all’ (I have adapted to the south) will have a blessed Thanksgiving also.  Let’s not forget to be praying for each other as we are together with family and friends…and for journey mercies for those travelling.

Love to you all,


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Delightful Trip

I had a wonderful weekend with Lisa in DC.  We were able to cover far more than I could have anticipated.  Lisa worked out a fantastic schedule so that we did not have to rush but managed to keep a full and extremely interesting schedule.  The Washington Monument has been closed for some time after being damaged by their earthquake so I was interested in again going to the top and seeing what repairs were done.  Tickets for the day were gone by 9:00 AM but we were able to schedule a tour early afternoon.  In the morning we visited the Smithsonian and were able to acquire tickets for the program “To Space and Back”.  We completed the afternoon at the Holocaust Museum which is most sobering.  Numerous videos have been added since I last toured the museum.  It brought back vivid memories of our touring concentration camps in Europe some years ago.  How can humans ever do such things to other humans?

Sunday we focused on Abraham Lincoln attending New York Presbyterian Church, where he worshiped, which is located a couple of blocks from the White House.  For lunch we ate at a small café that Lincoln frequented and we were told that was his preference over the fateful play, but Mrs. Lincoln preferred the theatre.  We toured the museum at Ford’s Theatre and went to the balcony to view the box where Lincoln was shot.  From there we went to the home across the street where he was taken and then died.  In the evening we went to The Kennedy Center to attend a fun Brazilian Jazz Concert with a friend following which we enjoyed a late evening tea time at the center.  It was a full day!

I left DC mid-morning after the traffic had improved a bit, spending the night with friend Keith as I had on the trip North.  I returned late last evening after an uneventful two-day drive to find the Longs had dinner awaiting me.  It was a very special time of reviewing much history and spending precious time with Lisa, Keith and other friends.  I am thankful to God for strength and health allowing me another blessed trip.

Love to you all,


Wednesday, November 05, 2014


It was fantastic having Keith ride home with me from Indiana and spend a few days here before flying back.  A dear friend had dinner waiting for us upon our return to the village and we had fun playing Sluff with a group of friends the following evening.  We enjoyed some tourist things and Keith also attended a monthly hospital meeting with me when I meet with medical people to learn more about the hospital and their approaches to pulmonology problems.  The time went so fast that it was hard to believe it was time for him to leave.  Since then I have been keeping a fairly rapid pace helping some of our residents with technical problems and assisting a bit at our village office.

Tomorrow I will be heading for Washington, DC to spend the weekend with daughter Lisa.  I will spend a night with friend Keith in Raleigh/Durham on the way, being that it is now a two day trip for me.  DC is always an exciting place to visit.  There are so many activities available along with a multitude of museums where much time can be spent.  It is always a thrill for me to spend time in the city with Lisa.  She always finds interesting places to visit and programs to attend.

I am sure that we are all relieved that election day has passed and with it the multitude of political advertisements, many of them quite offensive slamming the opponent while failing to honestly disclose the plans and qualifications of the advertiser.  I just “happened” to read Proverbs 28:2 yesterday which I thought was perfect:  “When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.  But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.”  With our newly elected leaders, let us be faithful to fervently pray for them.  Not only for their decisions but more importantly that their hearts will be open to God.

Your prayers are precious!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Heading Home

It has been delightful being with the family here in Indiana for the past few days.  Gavin and Calli came from college for this weekend to be with us.  The trees are colorful but their leaves are rapidly falling, bringing that phase of fall rapidly to an end.  Farmers are busily harvesting their soybeans and corn in preparation for winter that is not too far around the corner.  The weather has been dry and mild making it an excellent time for us to get some of those fall chores out of the way at the lake.  Keith and I cleaned up a huge volume of leaves and dropped the boat off at the marina for annual service today so that it will be ready to hit the water again when summer comes around.  Looking at the trees, it appears that only one more leaf removal will be necessary this year.

Tomorrow I will be heading back home and Keith will travel with me, spending a few days in Florida before flying back home.  Unfortunately Karin is unable to get someone to take her cases, so will be unable to join us.  We plan to spend a bit of time in South Carolina with Justin and Laura on our way back.  I am thrilled that Keith is able to make the trip with me.  It will make the miles go much faster.

Thanks for keeping us in prayer.

Love to all,


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I found much to “chew on” in the 22nd chapter of Proverbs.  The chapter focuses upon many facets of a persons character which challenged me.  I found it an interesting activity to evaluate my own life against those 29 verses and have to admit that I did not feel that I came up to standard with a number of them.  One more project for me to be working on!

The importance of training our children was clear; “Direct your children onto the right path.  And when they are older, they will not leave it.”  (vs.6)  As I was thinking of the many possible definitions of “right path I suspect that this likely would include taking in to account their interests and abilities, which is not the first thing that I would usually think of.  It is often easy for us parents to have a plan for our children and try to fit them into that plan without considering all factors.  It was also obvious that discipline does not include just corrective discussion.  Verse 15 says; “A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.”  That reminded me of Proverbs 13:24; “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.  Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”

As I pondered the verses I was reminded that as a child of God, I too am subject to the discipline of my loving Heavenly Father.  That is something that is difficult to accept at my age, but still true.  It is much more appealing to focus on the blessings and benefits of being a child of God without accepting the fact that as a child, I am still in line to be disciplined when my heart may also be filled with “foolishness.”  Yes, I was challenged!

Tomorrow I plan to leave early in the morning to spend a few days at our lake house.  I am eager to catch up with the family living in that area and also check out the new heating and air conditioning system that has been installed.  It was not functioning well during my last visit so that problem should now be corrected.

I trust that each of you is having a blessed week!

Love to you all,


Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Lord Directs

I had a most interesting day yesterday visiting Solomon’s Castle.  A 12,000 sq. ft. building sided with recycled printer plates, housing the builder’s residence and thousands of interesting and unique items that he constructed over the past 42 years recycling tons of items/junk.  Following our tour of his multi-room castle and living quarters we enjoyed lunch at the Boat in the Moat which he also constructed.  A highlight of our lunch was having the opportunity to talk with the builder, Solomon, who turns 80 this year and also his wife.  His active mind is constantly designing more items and his hands are continually busy constructing the amazing and often humorous items.  It was a delight to enjoy a clear sunny day after our many days/weeks of rain.

With our clearing weather, the removal of many shovels of drying mud from my driveway, and with the help of a friend, my grass seed is now spread over the topsoil which hopefully will root and hold the soil in place before any future downpours.  I was reminded of my grandfather, a farmer, who was always careful to seek the Lord’s guidance in every aspect of his work and grateful for whatever he was able to harvest after a busy year of hard labor.  He humbly thanked the Lord for the harvest which always met his needs regardless of size, and I never heard him complain about a light harvest or the hard work.   
 This morning as I was reading Proverbs, I was reminded of my grandfather and challenged by the words; “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?”  (Proverbs 20:24)  That reminded me of an earlier Proverb; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6)  I was reminded that I have a wonderful promise but at the same time a crucial responsibility if I wish to enjoy it.

Have a blessed week,


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rain Continues

The street is full of muddy water and my house is completely surrounded from daily rains that are expected to continue for a few more days.  The only way I can get in and out without getting my feet wet is to use my golf cart or the car.  I attempted walking through the water to the mailbox yesterday and ended up with black mud caked to the soles of my flip-flops and between my toes.  The mud is from a load of topsoil that I had delivered for the front yard.  My timing sure was off that time!  This is one of the “benefits” of living in a lower area a few steps from the lake, but thankfully no water is coming inside.  I have been assured that not a single house has flooded since the 1967 dedication of the property.  I trust that we do not break that record this year!

Yesterday while the rain was pelting down, two Sand Hill Cranes were looking rather forlorn as they peered into my house dripping wet and the alligator appeared a bit confused when he was on the grass but still covered with water.  This afternoon I had a variety of 21 birds fishing in the water at the side of my house.  This has been interesting to watch but a bit of a nuisance for all of us. 

Between two of the downpours I saw a beautiful rainbow that appeared to end close to the other side of the lake and I was reminded of God’s Word.  “When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures.  Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life.”  (Genesis 9:14-15)  It is great to be reminded that God is in ultimate control!

Have a blessed new week!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Fantastic Trip!

We are having a torrential downpour so it is a good time for me to sit down and update the blog.

My trip went extremely well and I appreciate all of your prayers.  Several have asked for statistics so here are a few.  During the 27 days away, I drove 4,100 miles, visited in 16 homes, slept in 8 different beds, and with the exception of Lisa who is in DC, was able to see all of my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  I’ll make a trip to DC later to catch up with Lisa.  Toward the latter part of my trip, I received word that a good friend, Jay Tolar who had been battling ALS for many years passed on, so I adjusted my plans and was able to attend his memorial service.  All in all I was able to see a tremendous number of people in that short time.  What delightful memories!

While traveling I heard a speaker say; “Remember as you say good bye, that could be the last time.”  I was impacted by that statement at each visit, asking the Lord to make me sensitive to their situation and be an encouragement while visiting.  I certainly was encouraged by each one that I visited!

Being able to attend the memorial service for Jay was a high point for me.  While serving as a missionary in Nigeria, Jay was forced to return with his wife and family to the States when diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  I saw him frequently during those five years as the disease took its toll on his body.  During that time I never heard him complain, but he always was cheerful and ready to encourage whomever he was with.  As his body became weaker and speech became imposible, he did not give up.  He would be navigating his specially equipped wheel chair even when it was necessary to control it and communicate with his eyes through the computer.  He would type a sentance and after a few moments the computer would speak what Jay's eyes had typed.  His love for the Lord and people was always evident.  Do join me in praying for his wife Heidi, and their two young children.  It is difficult losing your husband and father at such an early age.  He was only 48!

The rain continues to pelt down and I see considerable flooding in the yard while getting warnings on my phone about flooding conditions in our area.  Thankfully my house is still a few feet above the lake level!

Love to you all,


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

True Joy

I have been “on the road” for three weeks and anticipated heading home by now, but hearing that a friend who has struggled with ALS for many years in South Carolina passed on this week, I have altered my route to attend his memorial service in Charlotte on Saturday.  I now plan to return by way of Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte to visit others and attend his service.  Presently I have returned to our Indiana lake house but will be heading out early tomorrow.

This has been an encouraging trip visiting in thirteen homes so far.  The Apostle Paul said; “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, and also want to be encouraged by yours” (Romans 1:2) and I have certainly experienced that encouragement.  Hopefully I brought a bit into their homes also.  Several I have visited are in their later years, and it has been a delight to see the joy in their lives even when experiencing continuous physical challenges.  During my travels I heard Chuck Swindoll say; “The obvious is often not the most significant” and I couldn’t but help think that is so true in their lives.  True, they were not thrilled with some of their circumstances, but that joy in knowing the Lord and trusting him fully was clearly generating great joy regardless of circumstances.

James tells us; “When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great Joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”  (James 1:2b)  Not only did I see joy in the lives of those visited, but I saw an amazing example of true joy in the life of my departed friend, Jay.  I believe it was about five years ago that he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) while he and his wife were serving as missionaries in Nigeria.  At his early age (30+ years younger than me) with a small family, while suddenly facing a fatal disease causing an extremely difficult future, he continued to encourage multitudes right up to the end.  He certainly faced the test of his faith using it as an opportunity to continue serving his Lord regardless of the circumstances while radiating his underlying joy.

All of this has caused me to reflect much upon the contrast between joy and happiness.  The media constantly brings us all sorts of items for our happiness that may be useful for the moment, but real lasting joy is the rare commodity that we should be seeking.  Yes, that message is for me!

Hopefully my next blog will be from home...tired but filled with fond memories of my visits.

Love to you all,


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Enjoying the visits

After a fairly rigorous road trip, I am taking a few days to relax with Sue and Jeff at their home overlooking the Lake Superior entrance to the Sault Locks.  I always enjoy watching the freighters slowly passing by, headed for the locks that will drop them some 26’ from the Lake Superior level to the Lake Huron level so that they can continue on to their many destinations.  Occasionally we even see ships from other countries that have come through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

After church today we went out for dinner at a charming oriental restaurant in Canada.  I remembered to bring my passport so we were able to cross the border.  After dinner we took a drive to the Canadian Locks where we are allowed to walk over the actual locks and take an interesting trail over to the rushing and very full rapids.  Since 9/11 we are not allowed near the locks on the American side.  Due to the heavy snow fall last winter and heavy rains this summer, the lakes are extra high and we had to remove our shoes and socks and walk through about a foot of very cold rushing water to get back onto the board walk along the edge of the rapids.  We were unable to make the whole trail loop due to much deeper water farther on, so returned by the way we had come.  We spent a bit of time watching both a tour boat and a pleasure boat pass through the locks.  Sue talked with the Harbor Master about arranging a trip through the locks with a group of friends in kayaks while the weather is still favorable. 

It has been a blessing to connect with numerous friends and family members along the way.  The main challenge has been to limit the time of each visit so I can make all of the stops as planned.   There have been a few people that I missed due to their being out of town, but I have been pleased at how well my hastily planned schedule has worked for Indiana and Michigan.  I am praying that the balance of the trip will work as well.

I trust that each of you will have a blessed Labor Day weekend as we are reminded that fall will soon be upon us and the weather will be cooling rapidly, especially in the north.

Love to all,


Monday, August 25, 2014

Get Out of the Boat!

I arrived safely at the lake in Indiana Thursday and have been keeping quite busy catching up with the family and dealing with little maintenance items that always seem to accumulate.  I just came in from removing a large paper-wasp nest for the next door neighbor.  This seems to be that time of year.  We had to deal with a big nest of yellow jackets earlier that moved into the partition, entering through a small hole next to the gas line.  I gave up counting them after going beyond 150, but fortunately they seem to be conquered now!  Sunday we saw Keith off on a business trip to Germany, and today I spent a few hours mowing the lawn which is growing well with the warm weather and a heavy rain.  Tomorrow Karin and I will drive to Bethel College to spend some time with Gavin & Calli.  It’s hard to believe that this is Gavin’s last year at Bethel, and the start of interviewing medical schools for next year.

During my trip I received an email from friends in Lansing asking if I could stop by, so I am planning to travel that way as I visit the family.  I know that there are far more people that I would like to visit than time will allow, but I plan to connect with as many as possible along the way.

Sunday we were challenged by Pastor Denny to “Get Out of the Boat” and exercise our faith.  Reminding us of Peter’s exercise of faith in stepping out of the fishing boat to go to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-32), we were challenged to examine what our “safe boat” is and to step out like Peter, in faith, proceeding toward what God is calling us to.  Some things mentioned were being more intentional in our conversations, giving God more of our time, being more purposeful in our giving, and expanding our involvement in Christ honoring activities.  We were warned of the ease of becoming “boat potatoes”.  I had to stop to think about that for a couple of seconds! 

I trust that your weeks is going well and appreciate so much your encouragement and prayers.

Love to all,


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

He is merciful!

I plan to leave early in the morning for the lake in Indiana.  I’ll spend the weekend with the family located in that area, and when I am a bit rested up, I plan to continue on visiting as many family members and friends as possible.  I have no itinerary at this time.  That will develop as I see how travel-weary I get.  I notice that I do not have the stamina that I had a few years ago, but I am thankful for the strength and health that the Lord continues to provide.  As always, your prayers for guidance and safety are greatly appreciated!

Thinking about prayer, recently I read “We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful.”  (Daniel 9:18b)  It is so easy to get into the rut of thinking that we never should encounter any “problems” but how many times have we seen a situation that at the moment appeared to be a disaster, turning into a huge blessing.  Our “vision” is so very narrow and we tend to be so self-centered that there are times when we are far better off not getting what we ask for.  Recently I heard Warren Wiersby say “sometimes God’s greatest punishment is to give us what we ask for.”  That has caused me to more closely examine what I pray for to be as certain as possible to be praying according to God’s will and for His glorify!

Love to you all,


Monday, August 11, 2014

Times flies when having fun

I am amazed how “busy” I can get when not going to a regular job Monday through Friday.  I even find myself getting behind in keeping up on the blog each week. 

We have been having some rather humid and rainy weather causing me to focus more on inside activities because my repertory system does not respond well to that weather, requiring additional medication which I prefer to avoid as much as possible.

Saturday morning we had a bit cooler and dryer air, so I did some minor yard work around the planting areas.  I was amazed to see that the 20” papaya tree that I planted three months is now about 10’ tall and I counted 21 papayas from 3” in length to small nubbins that have appeared. 

Speaking about being busy, interruptions like the wildlife around the lake takes some of my time.  The vast variety of birds, huge turtles, alligators and my favorite, the Sand Hill Cranes.  While typing this there was a knock on the glass door by my computer desk.  Glancing up I saw two of the cranes trying to get my attention.  When I didn’t respond to the knocking, the male started pecking loudly on the door knob.  When I opened the door and went out, they jumped into the air with their huge wings outstretched and seemed to be begging.  I cut a slice of multi-grain bread, tearing pieces for them to gobble down.  That seemed to satisfy them and they continued on searching for tasty tidbits under the sod as they continued around the lake.

I suspect that you have seen news reports about the challenges in Liberia at the ELWA Hospital.  Kent and Nancy continue to slowly improve,  our non-essential personnel have been evacuated and continue to be healthy as they are closely monitored for any indication of the Ebola Virus.  Please join us in thanking the Lord for answered prayer and continue praying for those infected along with the dedicated people ministering to them in extremely uncomfortable conditions with hot protective clothing in extremely hot temperatures.  They need great wisdom along with good health and extra stamina.  We are thankful for them and for those arriving to assist them.  It is our prayer that the Lord will be glorified through many lives!  The Psalmist says “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.”  (Psalm 119:71)

Have a blessed week,


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Don't be Afraid or Discouraged

I am safely back home with the only casualty being an encounter with fire ants.  I decided to would check my oil before heading back and had parked with the front of my car over an area of landscape covered with pine straw.  Unbeknown to me, there was a nest of angry fire ants underneath.  Before I realized what was happening, I had hundreds of the little fellows on my feet, which only had sandals for protection.  Fortunately the car wash was close by, so Keith directed me there and he blasted water on my feet and legs to wash them off.  The cold water was momentarily soothing and fortunately Keith had some medication to apply that helped relieve the burning and itching.  I have a few dozen small red welts as a reminder of the incident, but no further reaction, for which I am most thankful.

While in Raleigh/Durham I was following the Ebola outbreak which has been a real challenge at the ELWA Hospital in Liberia.  The wife of one of our SIM missionaries and a doctor have symptoms of the deadly virus in spite of major precautions being taken while treating patients.  As of last report, the doctor is showing a slight improvement, Nancy is holding her own and one of the Liberian nurses is showing symptoms.  All are being carefully monitored and our SIM team from three continents is doing all they can to serve and provide support.

With our Charlotte leadership deeply involved in this challenge, I was asked to handle some of the routine things possible while being many miles from the office.  Thanks to the miracle of smartphones, I am able to take care of a few things to relieve a bit of pressure back at the office.

Pray with us for those showing symptoms and those ministering.  The SIM Rapid Response Team along with Samaritan’s Purse personnel are working around the clock ministering to needs and doing everything possible to prevent further spreading of the virus.  The ELWA Hospital was temporarily closed down for full decontamination of the facility.  Pray for the teams, personnel and Liberians working at ELWA.  Pray for protection, stamina, good health, strength and great wisdom.  Pray for all of West Africa where the Ebola situation is critical!

It is easy to become anxious or fearful as we assess all that is going on in the world today, but I am reminded:

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

Love to all,


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Exalting and Praising

Today as I was on the computer and not paying attention to the activity outside, I heard a knock on my door and when I looked up there were two sand cranes looking through the glass.  Apparently they felt ignored.  I thought that you would enjoy seeing the big guys.  They must be about three feet tall and most interesting to watch.

Today as I was reading the last Psalm that David wrote I couldn’t help but notice how he both began and ended the Psalm giving an indication of his feeling toward his Lord:  “I will exalt you my God and King and praise your name forever and ever…I will praise the Lord and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.”  (Psalm 145:1& 21)  I was thinking how great it would be to begin and end each day in the same way as my daily focus, so that is my goal.

Tomorrow I will be leaving early for Raleigh/Durham to visit friend Keith.  He has been putting in many extra hours on the job and is ready for a few days break so he asked me if I would be available to come that way to share his few days of vacation.   I am finding a benefit of retirement is the extra freedom to take advantage of spur-of-the moment activities.  I am praying for safe travel with minimal delays and for a good time together catching up on our lives.

Love to you all,


Monday, July 14, 2014

Safe Travels

I safely returned to Sebring on Thursday, with Stuart, Donna and Rachel arriving on Friday beginning our day together with lunch here.  It was a delight to have them here looking for a possible home, and a special thrill when they selected one which they will be occupying as soon as he gets medical approval from his Oncologist.  This will most likely be some months away but it is great to anticipate having Stuart and Donna joining us here in The Village!  The home has had numerous updates already so will only require window treatment, appliances and a few improvements to adapt it to their needs.  They left for Charlotte this afternoon, planning one overnight stop during their around 10 hour trip.  Please join me in praying for them.  Rachel has been experiencing some challenging health issues, and Stuart is quite weak from the heavy chemo treatments which will again be commenced shortly after his return home.  The trip will be a much more difficult one than for those of us in good health.

It was a special time for me to be with Keith and Karin, my college grandkids Gavin and Calli along with Justin, Laura, Ella and Sophia at the lake in Indiana.  We managed to pack a lot of talking and together time into a few days.  I plan to take another trip in the not too distant future to visit other family members and friends in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.  As we get located further apart, it gets more difficult to get together with everyone at the same time.  I won’t mention that Chuck could be slowing down a bit too!

As I traveled back I heard Jack Graham make a statement that has continued to challenge my thoughts.  He said that our focus should be on God’s will, purpose and glory.  As I thought about that statement I could recall too many prayers and desires just to heal a sickness or get through a difficult time with my thoughts were far from God’s will, purpose or glory.  Was that situation actually his will, for his purpose to accomplish his glory?  Shouldn’t every moment of every day including every situation we find ourselves in, be usable by HIM?  Instead of complaining and trying to minimize those undesirable situations, I am now trying to focus on what can be accomplished for God through it and thank him for the “opportunity” to be used by him.

As Jesus faced much discomfort, pain and ridicule he said; “Now my soul is deeply troubled.  Should I pray, ‘Father save me from this hour’?  But this is the very reason I came!  Father bring glory to your name.”  What an example Jesus gave us!  I need to keep that at the forefront of my mind…Gods will, purpose and glory no matter what!

Love to you all,


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Six Years Ago

Six years ago we were at Carol’s bedside as her breathing became more labored and we were aware that she would soon pass through that curtain of death.  The memories continue to be fresh in our minds, especially at this time of year as we are aware of our own lives fleeting by to our final breath here on earth.  Remembering those days, daughter Lisa sent me the following email: 

“Six years ago we sat by mom's bed as thunder rolled outside and the elements seemed poised for an earth-shaking event.  Somebody wondered if it would be her Independence Day.  Today hurricane Arthur hovers over DC and I am reminded of how that day felt.  Having each of you present was a significant part of that experience for me and I know we're in this day together, again, even though we are miles apart.  I love you and am thinking of you.  My wish for this day is that we live into the freedom and joy that was mom's truest desire for each one of us.  I am so grateful to be in this together”.

I am enjoying the weekend at the lake in Indiana with Keith, Karin, Gavin & Calli.  Today the flotilla of decorated boats passed by the lake house and tonight we will watch the fireworks over the lake with Justin, Laura, Ella and Sophia arriving late.  It was a long drive for me but special to spend time with family members, catching up on their lives.  

I suspect that many of you will be spending time with family members also, and praying that you will enjoy safe travel and a blessed time together.

Love to all,