Mother’s Day 💐

Mother’s Day 💐

As I’ve grown older, Mother’s Day has become one of my favorite holidays. My perfect Mother’s Day includes food, fun, family, flowers, and a Mother’s Day card.

So in the days leading up to Mother’s Day, I always think of my sweet mom who passed away in 1998. I was blessed to have my mom for the first 44 years of my life. She was a great role model in so many ways; as a woman, a wife, a mom, a Christian, etc. I will forever remember her praying on her knees by her bedside at night and studying her Bible in the early mornings when I was a child.

Me and my mom in Indianapolis back in the late 1970’s:

She passed away at the age of 77 after suffering for several years from Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:25-28

My grandma was a godly woman too. When I was a child I loved going to her house just to be near her. When I was a teenager and again as a young adult, she would pull me off to the side and tell me that she was praying for me. I knew she loved me and she knew I needed prayer.

Here’s a photo of my grandma in our kitchen nook in Indianapolis back in the early 1970’s. I think she was cutting the meat off a turkey to make us some of her delicious homemade turkey noodle soup!

“Older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers or addicted to much wine. They should teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, so that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:3-5

My grandma was recognized and honored in her community as Mother of The Year” back the 1960’s.

And below is a photo of my great-grandma Stockrahm, I think this was taken in the early 1950’s. She lived with my grandma in Frankfort, Indiana when she was elderly and where my grandma took care of her until she passed away. I was very young back then when she lived with my grandma but I do remember she was very quiet, and my grandma was very protective of her. I remember feeling sorry for my great grandma because she couldn’t get up out of bed. I really didn’t get to know her well because I was so young, but I knew that my grandma loved her, and I loved my grandma, so I remember trying to be respectful and quiet around her.

My great grandma Stockrahm.

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4

I’m so thankful for my mom, my grandma, and great-grandma. They were wonderful and godly mothers! Having them in my life made an eternal impact in my life.

I want to encourage Christian mothers and grandmothers everywhere; to never give up, to continue in prayer for each one of your loved ones, to continue modeling Christ to your family, and to take opportunities as often as you can to share Christ with your children and grandchildren. Your godly influence has an eternal impact on the lives and futures of your children, grandchildren, and so on.

I also realize that not all woman become mothers and am so thankful that being a mother was in God’s plan for me. I thank Him 🙌🏻 for our three daughters, each of whom are mothers now as well, but more importantly, Christian mothers.

From left to right standing, my oldest daughter Michelle and me. From left to right seated my youngest daughter Mackenzie who is expecting a baby in July 2023, and my middle daughter Megan.

God has blessed us with six grandchildren, with one more grandchild due this coming July!

Christmas 2021

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6


My Mother’s Day story would not be complete without mentioning my two step children and four step grandchildren (plus one deceased) from my husband’s first marriage. They used to be very much a part of our lives, each in differing ways and at various times over the years. I love and and miss them, and am sorry we’re estranged. And while it may not be my story to tell, I believe it’s both my privilege and my place as a step-mother to continue to pray for them and their families. ❤️‍🩹🙏🏻

Called By Name

Called By Name

“Elaine Crandell! Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price is Right!”

I first remember watching “The Price is Right” sometime after I graduated from high school in 1972. I continued watching it on and off over the years, basically whenever it was convenient, when I happened to be at home during the day. I never really dreamed of being on the show until sometime after 1989, when I started working for Delta Air Lines. My travel benefits at Delta opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me and my family.

So in January 2005, my daughter Megan and I flew to Los Angeles for three days of sightseeing and shows.

Now instead of going to bed the night before the show, like a normal person might do, we left the comfort of our warm hotel room and spent the night standing (in my daughter’s case, sitting in her wheelchair) in the cold, in the dark, in downtown Los Angeles, on the sidewalk just outside of CBS Television City studios!

We arrived outside the studio really early, around midnight actually, which made us the third group in line, and pretty much assured us we’d be able to exchange our tickets for a studio admission number at 6:00 a.m. We spent the night trying to keep warm, eating bagels, and talking with everyone around us in line. It was fun but in the middle of the night I started feeling sick and went back to the rental car to lay down. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and got back in line. By the time 6:00 a.m. rolled around, the line had grown around the block and out of sight, and I had a soar throat, 😩 but, we got our studio admission numbers!

We left to go back to the hotel with strict instructions to be back within three hours to get back in another line. We freshened up but were afraid to lay down thinking we might oversleep.

About three hours later, with our admission numbers in hand, we got back in line at CBS Television City. This would be about a three hour process and although we were exhausted, it turned out to be a nice experience. It was here I met a young man who was a previous showcase winner a few years before. He was now working as a student advisor at a college and was back in line on this day with a group of students from his college. We talked for a while about a lot of different things, including my personal testimony of coming to faith in Christ.

Continuing our way through the admission line, we encountered the show producers who were conducting interviews with each one of us, one by one. I noticed they were very personable and were taking notes as they did their interviews. The producer who interviewed me asked me what I did for a living. I smiled and told him, “I make mad people happy!” He laughed and then asked me what I really did. I explained that I was a customer service agent for Delta Air Lines and that I help passengers and agents resolve various problems and issues.

He must have liked my answer.

Within a couple of hours, I heard my name:

“Elaine Crandell! Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price is Right!”

I jumped up, screaming, and ran up to the podium. Within a few minutes I got the winning bid on a metal detector and ran up on stage. At this point my heart was pumping and my mind was racing with so many thoughts: “Mercy, those lights are so bright! Do I look sick? Do I need more make up? Do I look like I’ve been up all night?!” Suddenly I found myself talking with Bob Barker and playing The Range Game. I looked back to find my daughter in the crowd and all I saw was what seemed to be everyone telling me to stop. I hit the stop 🛑 button but it was a tad bit too soon!

They cut to a commercial break and whisked me off stage to sign a bunch of legal papers: one giving my consent to be a contestant on a CBS game show, another explaining that I understood that I’d be responsible for any and all tax implications of my prize winnings, and yet another paper that gave me an option to decline any or all of my gifts.

By the time I finished signing all the papers it was time to go back on stage to spin The Big Wheel in the Showcase Showdown. I got a 95 in one spin and won the chance to win a showcase!

During one of the next commercial breaks, a stage manager came up to talk with me. He was nice and talking with him helped calm my nerves. My only regret at this point was that I realized then that I forgot to say, “Hello!” to my family when I was waiting for the Big Wheel to stop.

So then came the chance to win the showcase. Mine was a set of video phones, a Colorado Hot Air Balloon trip, a Colorado ski vacation, and a ski boat. I had no idea how much that ski boat was worth but decided to bid low as I didn’t want to overbid. My mind raced back to a few weeks before when my husband and I were invited to go on a ski boat but we declined because neither of us skied. I suddenly wished we’d gone as maybe the price of it would have came up in our conversations. Oh well, it was too late now.

As it turned out, the ski boat was worth a lot more money that I thought. I underbid my showcase by over $25K and lost to my opponent who also underbid her showcase, but by less.

What a day! All 24 hours of it! We went back to our hotel and as soon as the excitement wore down we both got a nice nap. 😴

A few weeks later I made a T-shirt to remember the experience. I used the photo of my expression when I realized I’d lost the showcase and titled it “The Price was Wrong!” Ha!

In retrospect, so much of what happened was right. I enjoyed and shared a great experience with my daughter. I won a metal detector worth $1100, which I still have. I got to be a contestant on one of the longest running game shows in television history. I got to meet Bob Barker, and I got to share my faith.

In the big picture of life, “The Price is Right” is just a TV game show. My name was called and I won a gift.

More importantly, Jesus knows my name and by faith I’ve already received the gift of eternal life. Life in the here and now, and life in the ever after.

Not because I’m a “good person.” Not because I was baptized or a member of a church.

But because I trusted in Jesus and His plan of salvation one night many years ago, when God lovingly convicted me that I was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. I responded and called out to Him in repentance and faith, and placed my trust in Jesus alone.

It was Jesus who took the penalty for my sins and paid the price in full on the cross, on my behalf. God, the creator, sustainer, and author of Life, made a way for someone like me, to be redeemed. The Price Jesus Paid is Right, and according to His perfect plan and unfathomable love. It’s for all those He calls to come and follow Him, who will respond in repentance and faith.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

Jesus Revolution Movie

Jesus Revolution Movie

For several years, beginning back in the early 2000’s, I followed Greg Laurie’s daily radio ministry, A New Beginning, and also later on podcast. I found him to be a very likable and effective evangelist. I have several of his books, The Great Compromise, Worldview, Run to Win, and Lost Boy, with my favorite being The Great Compromise.

On a January 2006 visit to California, I visited his church in Riverside, with two of my daughters for a Sunday morning service.

Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, California in January 2006, with my two oldest daughters, Michelle and Megan (in the wheelchair) and back when we all had the same hair color. Actually mine was gray even back then so my color came out of a bottle. 😂

In 2009, my oldest daughter and I went to hear him preach at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, where my step-grandson, Ethan, went forward to profess faith in Christ that evening.

Greg Laurie and Ethan at Prestonwood Baptist Church, February, 2009

A few years later I went to his 2016 Harvest Crusade in Dallas, also with my oldest daughter, and then again to his 2018 Harvest Dallas Crusade, where I sang in his choir.

So, it’s fair to say I’m very familiar with Greg Laurie’s ministry, although I have to say I’ve not been as active of a listener of late. For the past five years or so I have shifted more toward reformed Bible teachers, such as Alistair Begg, Steve Lawson, John MacArthur, etc. I’ve also developed a dislike of popular contemporary music being played at church, but that perhaps is a story for another day.

So, when I heard late in 2022 that Greg Laurie was involved in a new movie, Jesus Revolution, and that it was going to be released in February 2023 on a limited basis I was hopeful that it would be shown nearby. I’m old enough to remember the Jesus Revolution TIME magazine cover from June, 1971, and recall hearing people talk about it as the Jesus Movement. I was 16 years old at the time.

So, come February 24th, I was very happy to find out that Jesus Revolution was being shown in a theater within walking distance of our home! I bought tickets for the 6:10 p.m. showing, which actually was the first time in a long while that I’ve bought movie tickets. The stuff that Hollywood has been cranking out the past few years is mostly junk, so we rarely go to the movie theater anymore, also perhaps another story for another day.

So I was very hopeful and excited to go to this movie. I liked it but I have to admit it was a little different than what I was expecting. As I watched it and since watching it, several questions and concerns popped up in my mind. Thus, it’s the topic of this writing.

– First, I was a little surprised the movie didn’t clearly present the gospel. Or, did I miss it?

– The words spoken at Greg’s baptism were so vague. It was like he wasn’t quite sure what he was doing there. Like he was caught up with the crowd?

– And the under water portion of the baptism scene seemed overly dramatic. Why so much emphasis on the water? Baptism is a first step in obedience; an outward sign of an inward change. Why over dramatize the water? What about faith in Christ?

– I also don’t recall hearing much about repentance in the movie. Did I miss that too?

Now, I know Greg Laurie’s ministry. I’ve heard him clearly present the gospel many times. I even checked his current statement of faith on his church website in case something had changed, which it did not. It’s biblical. So I decided to look a little more into the making of this movie.

So after just a little research I learned that while the story is based upon Greg’s autobiography, the co-directors and screenwriter, together with Lionsgate had the artistic license to present the movie as written by the screenwriter. It’s not a documentary, nor is this the first time a movie is different from the book.

I also believe there’s an inherent risk whenever entertainment is combined with the gospel message. The gospel is Holy and is God’s perfect plan for sinful man. Movies are entertainment, created by man. Movies are not Holy and are not church, and repentance of sin has never been a popular subject with man. In our natural depraved state, we love our sins and do not want to part with them. Faith and repentance are gifts of God, and it’s only by the grace of God that we become convicted of our sin, turn from it and turn toward Christ.

Which brings me to two concerns this movie raised, both of which center around Lonnie Frisbee.

1. The actor who played Lonnie Frisbee, Jonathan Roumie, was involved in a practice called “grave soaking” in preparation for this movie. He actually visited Lonnie Frisbee’s gravesite and laid down next to his grave in an effort to “connect in some way with Lonnie” and “to pray with him.” That’s plain creepy and in no way Biblical. Period. What’s up with Jonathan Roumie? 🤔

2. And, what happened to Lonnie Frisbee?

While Chuck Smith and Greg Laurie went on to have successful Christian ministries, Lonnie Frisbee, I’m sorry to say, did not. Toward the end of his approximate one and a half year involvement with The Jesus Movement at Calvary Chapel, Lonnie grew increasingly erratic, self-centered, and overly focused on “faith healing.” After he left Calvary Chapel, Lonnie got involved with several questionable ministries, referred to himself as a “seeing prophet,” reportedly struggled with drugs and homosexuality, and died at age 43. I found several disparaging articles, comments, and videos on the internet about Lonnie Frisbee. Not a great legacy I’m also sorry to say.

Greg Laurie, in a recent interview, explained briefly that although he was not in contact with Lonnie Frisbee after Lonnie left Calvary Chapel, he did visit him just prior to his death in 1993. Greg stated that Lonnie Frisbee was in fact repentant of his sins. Greg then eloquently reminded us that we’re all flawed in one way or another, and that God often uses flawed people to accomplish His purposes.

To be clear, salvation grants us forgiveness for our sins and gives us a renewed life in Christ, but Christians still struggle against the flesh and the negative influence of our former sin nature. Ideally we sin less as we grow in Christ. It’s the process of sanctification. Why some stop growing or regress excessively I do not know. God knows. But I do believe that Lonnie Frisbee was used by God for a specific time period for a specific purpose. That specific time period and specific purpose was portrayed in this movie.

With all that said, my gut reaction is that if Greg Laurie was the screenwriter as well as the author perhaps the movie would not have raised so many questions. Regardless, I think the movie is still inspirational, despite all of my questions and concerns. In fact, it’s probably one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. While it may have some flaws, the message is still inspiring, the acting is good, etc. Moreover, I think the overall theme of this movie is that Jesus still seeks and saves the lost, and still sets the captives free. In addition, both Greg Laurie and this movie reminds us that God can and does use flawed people to accomplish His purposes.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

For the past several years, my husband and I have kept pretty busy traveling. Typically we fly once or twice a month, buy motor homes and vehicles, then drive them back home to sell. We go all over the United States but the route between Texas and Florida is our road most traveled. As we so often do, we stop for the night in Mississippi and/or Louisiana on our way back home to Texas. They’re good halfway marks and rest stops for us.

So, every year around this time, no matter which hotel or restaurant we stop at in the Mississippi or Louisiana area, we find ourself engulfed in a sea of purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras decor. The colors are beautiful, vivid and eye catching, but I’ve always I found it strange that they also decorate the Christmas trees. The same trees that held Christmas ornaments in December are decorated with Mardi Gras ornaments and ribbons in January, February, and sometimes March.

Last month after once again seeing the Mardi Gras decorated trees, I decided to look a little more into the history of Mardi Gras.

After a quick internet search I was reminded that the Mardi Gras tradition originally dates back well over 2000 years ago to the pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, which included raucous Roman festivals. When Christianity arrived in Rome, the religious leaders (Catholic) decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into their religion, which apparently was an easier task for them to do than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Quite an interesting merger.

Growing up attending a Methodist church, I was somewhat familiar with Ash Wednesday and Lent. However years later, when I actually got saved, I noticed the Baptist Church I attended didn’t really speak of Ash Wednesday or Lent. It was then I learned that the practice of Ash Wednesday and Lent were actually man-made traditions. A few years later I learned that penance is also man-made, unbiblical, and is not the same thing as repentance. See

Repentance is a change of mind toward God.

Repentance of sin and faith in Christ are two sides of the same coin. Repentance of sin is a necessary step in salvation, and an ongoing daily private practice for believers in Christ. It is not an annual public event or tradition.

Additionally, the wearing of an ashen cross on one’s forehead, fasting, or giving up something for lent, as a matter of annual public practice or tradition is not biblical.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

Now I know that Mardi Gras has long been considered a colorful cultural tradition for many of those raised in the south. The colors, the cakes, the family friendly parades and get-togethers have become a southern tradition that many people have enjoyed since childhood, but that’s about as kindly as I can put it.

I also know that some of what I’m saying here may be offensive. It’s honestly not my intent to offend anyone but it is my intent to always try to convey a biblical perspective. Tradition and culture add pleasure and variety to our daily lives but whenever they cross the line with what Bible has to say, I’m going with the Bible every time.

Truthfully, the debauchery, drunkenness, lasciviousness, and such that goes on in New Orleans and elsewhere in the name of “Mardi Gras” and “Fat Tuesday” is sickening to me. People overindulging, sinning egregiously and publicly; supposedly getting all of their sin out of their system before they start trying to be “good again.” One doesn’t become “good again” by performing man-made annual traditions. To me, this is a mockery of God and His plan of salvation.

And sin is serious business and should never to be celebrated.

Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Romans 6:13

The message of the gospel is that we can never be good enough to get to heaven. We must recognize that we are sinners who fall short of God’s glory, and we must obey the command to repent of our sins and place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Christ then, being the only “good person” gives His righteousness to all those who believe in His name.

The idea that Mardi Gras evolved from the mixing of pagan festivals and man-made traditions with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ does not sit well with me. While I suspect many who participate in the Mardi Gras debauchery do not claim to be Christian; they’re just there for the party. But to those who claim to be Christian, why perpetuate this mockery of Christ and His finished work on the cross? Trust in Christ alone, not in man-made traditions. No amount of participation in man-made traditions will increase your favor with Him. What He did on the cross is more than sufficient. What you do in response to His finished work on the cross is a matter of eternal life or eternal death.

Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. Jeremiah 21:8

Monday Memorization ~ 2023

Monday Memorization ~ 2023

This year one of our family goals is to memorize the answers to 52 questions put together by the Redeemer Presbyterian Church and TGC in The New City Catechism flip book from Truth For Life. Using the kid’s answers for simplicity, I’m looking forward to learning these in 2023! #MondayMemorization

Q1: What is our only hope in life and death?

That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.
Q2: What is God?

God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness and glory, wisdom, justice, and truth. Nothing happens except through him and by his will.
Q3: How many persons are there in God?

There are three persons in the one true and living God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are the same in substance, equal in power.
Q4: How and why did God create us?

God created us male and female in His own image to know Him, love Him, live with Him, and glorify Him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to His glory.
Q5: What else did God create?

God created all things by His powerful Word, and all His creation was very good; everything flourished under His loving rule.
Q6: How can we glorify God?

We glorify God by enjoying Him, loving Him, trusting Him, and by obeying His will, commands, and law.
Q7: What does the law of God require?

Personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience; that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves. What God forbids should never be done and what God commands should always be done.

Q8: What is the law of God stated in the Ten Commandments?

You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below – you shall not bow down to them or worship them. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony. You shall not covet.

Q9: What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?

First, that we know and trust God as the only true and living God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry and do not worship God improperly. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence, honoring also his Word and works.
Q10: What does God require in the fourth and fifth commandments?

Fourth, that on the Sabbath day we spend time in public and private worship of God, rest from routine employment, serve the Lord and others, and so anticipate the eternal Sabbath. Fifth, that we love and honor our father and our mother, submitting to their godly discipline and direction.
Q11: What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?

Sixth, that we do not hurt, or hate, or be hostile to our neighbor, but be patient and peaceful, pursuing even our enemies with love.
Seventh, that we abstain from sexual Immorality and live purely and faithfully, whether in marriage or in single life, avoiding all impure actions, looks, words, thoughts, or desires, and whatever might lead to them. Eighth, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else, nor withhold any good trom someone we might benefit.
Q12: What does God require in the ninth and tenth commandments?

Ninth, that we do not lie or deceive,
but speak the truth in love.
Tenth, that we are content,
not envying anyone or resenting what
God has given them or us.
Q13: Can anyone keep the law of
God perfectly?

Since the fall, no mere human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly, but consistently breaks it in thought, word, and deed.

Kid’s Answer:
Since the fall, no human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly.

Bible Reference: Romans 3:10-12
Q14: Did God create us unable to keep his law?

No, but because of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, all of creation is fallen; we are all born in sin and guilt, corrupt in our nature and unable to keep God’s law.

Kid’s Answer:

No, but because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve we are all born in sin and guilt unable to keep God’s law.

Bible Reference: Romans 5:12
Q15: Since no one can keep the law,
what is its purpose?

That we may know the holy nature and will of God, and the sinful nature and disobedience of our hearts; and thus our need of a Savior. The law also teaches and exhorts us to live a life worthy of our Savior.

Kid’s Answer:
That we may know the holy nature of God, and the sinful nature of our hearts; and thus our need of a Savior.

Bible Reference: Romans 3:20
Q16: What is sin?

Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law-resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.

Kid’s Answer:
Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, not being or doing what he requires in his law.

Bible Reference: 1 John 3:4
Q17: What is idolatry?

Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator for our hope and happiness, significance and security.

Kid’s Answer:
Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator.

Bible Reference: Romans 1:21 and 25
Q18: Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?

No, every sin is against the sovereignty, holiness, and goodness of God, and against his righteous law, and God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them in his just judgment both in this life, and in the life to come.

Kid’s Answer:

No, God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them both in this life, and in the life to come.

Bible Reference: Ephesians 5:5-6
Q19: Is there any way to escape punishment and be brought back into God’s favor?

Yes, to satisfy his justice, God himself, out of mere mercy, reconciles us to himself and delivers us from sin and from the punishment for sin, by a Redeemer.

Kid’s Answer:

Yes, God reconciles us to himself by a Redeemer.

Bible Reference: Isaiah 53:10-11
Q20: Who is the Redeemer?

The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, in whom God became man and bore the penalty for sin himself.

Kid’s Answer:

The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bible Reference: 1 Timothy 2:5
Q21: What sort of Redeemer is needed to bring us back to God?

One who is truly human and also truly God.

Kid’s Answer:

One who is truly human and also truly God.

Bible Reference: Isaiah 9:6
Q22: Why must the Redeemer be truly human?

That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin; and also that he might sympathize with our weaknesses.

Kid’s Answer:

That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin.

Bible Reference: Hebrews 2:17

Christmas Memories of Days Gone By

Christmas Memories of Days Gone By

My childhood Christmases were some of my fondest childhood memories. We were not well off financially but we always had wonderful Christmases. They were fairly traditional all except for one thing: we had it in the middle of the night! It was not until several years later that I realized that most people don’t have Christmas at 3:00 a.m. 😂

Christmas 1956
Christmas 1956
Our family Christmas card Circa 1961 or 1962. I’m sitting on my dad’s lap, Dennis standing next to me, and Doug on my mom’s lap. Standing in the back is Eldon, Joyce, and Ronnie.

Actually, my dad worked a second job as a musician. He playing guitar 🎸 and got home around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. So instead of him going straight to bed and having to wake up in a couple of hours, we’d all got up when he got home. By the time we were done opening presents, my mom would fix us a big breakfast and then she’d lay back down for a morning nap while we played with our new toys. Then it was off to my grandma’s for a visit and dinner. She would give each of her grandchildren a small gift or maybe just a dollar bill for Christmas, but the size of the gift didn’t matter to me. I loved my grandma. After a day of food and fun playing with my cousins and siblings, we’d pile back into the car and fall asleep on the ride back home.

On my grandma’s stairway with my cousin Connie, and my brothers Dennis, Ronnie, and Doug, Circa late 1950’s or early 1960’s.

When I was old enough to shop for presents on my own, I remember going to Ayr-Way (later bought by Target) and getting all my Christmas shopping done in one day. I loved being able to do this, and really enjoyed buying my family handpicked gifts. It didn’t matter that they were from Ayr-Way. I thought they were perfect gifts and I felt joy in giving gifts that I had bought on my own. In retrospect I believe this is when I first experienced gift giving as a blessing to the giver.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

Now many Christmases later, with grown children and ever growing grandchildren, I still enjoy giving gifts at Christmastime, but more so it’s being together as a family and making memories together that I cherish the most. Our Christmas gatherings have taken on a deeper meaning to this aging wife, mom, and grandmother. Lord willing, I’ll have many more Christmases and many more years here on earth but I know my days are numbered.

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14

As for man, his days are like grass: he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone … But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him. Psalm 103:15-17

One day God will take me home and in turn, I’ll be but a memory to my loved ones, and awaiting to see them again in heaven. In the meantime it’s my hope and prayer that each one of my loved ones will have personally received the most perfect gift ever:

The LORD Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Count your Blessings

Count your Blessings

In the early 2000’s, most likely in November around Thanksgiving time, I sat down and wrote out a list of blessings in my life. Of course, my salvation in Christ, my family, and God’s provisions topped the list. But I specifically included personal experiences and events in life which probably wouldn’t seem like a blessing to most people, and quite frankly didn’t initially seem like a blessing to me at the time either. I realized, however, that many of my spiritual blessings and much of my spiritual growth came from relying on God and His word during, and in some cases years after, I’d experienced difficult times in my life. Many of which have become topics in my blog which I began writing in 2016. Romans 8:28 was and still is one of my favorite Bible verses:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Over the years I not only learned that being a Christian does not make any of us immune to life’s trials and tribulations, but that those trials and tribulations very likely have a divine purpose.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4

Thus my blog posts are generally about my life experiences combined with one or more aspects concerning the gift of faith, our sin nature, repentance, trust, God’s amazing mercy and undeserved saving grace, salvation in Him alone, forgiveness, etc.

Specifically on the topic of forgiveness in relation to thankfulness and blessing, I realize it was not until I received God’s forgiveness that I was able to genuinely forgive others. That forgiveness which I’ve extended to others has in turn blessed me in ways I would have never realized without first being forgiven by Christ. The joy of knowing that God knows the worst of me and loves me anyway, is immeasurable. The blessing of being forgiven by Christ and the freedom of forgiving others also brings a joy to my life that is hard to describe. Words like peace, happiness, gratefulness, thankfulness, blessedness, probably come closest to describing this feeling of joy.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:12

So, twenty years after making that list of blessings, I’m still thankful 🙌🏻 for my salvation in Him, my family, and His provisions. His amazing grace and providence in my life is in fact amazing. I’m once again reminded that sometimes blessings may not initially appear to be a blessing. It is with hope and faith in Him that we look to God for answers, and in His perfect timing. In the meantime, we are to “count your blessings” as Johnson Oatman, Jr reminds us in his hymn:

Count your blessings,

name them one by one;

Count your blessings,

see what God hath done;

Count your blessings,

name them one by one;

Count your many blessings,

see what God hath done.

#JohnsonOatmanJr 🎶 ✍🏻

Knowin’ Where I’m Goin’

Knowin’ Where I’m Goin’

Travel has long been one of my favorite things to do, ever since I was a child. And for me, part of the fun of traveling includes the planning, and the thrill of doing it on a budget, especially for leisure travel. For example, several years ago I remember getting a kick out of flying standby round-trip from Dallas to St Louis to my nieces wedding with only a few dollars in my pocket. She picked me up from the airport and I stayed at her house for the weekend. I enjoyed the wedding and visiting with family, no rental car needed, and it cost me zero in travel expenses. I came home with the same few dollars in my pocket!

There’re countless times and places I’ve traveled over the years very inexpensively on leisure trips, thanks to my airline employee/retiree benefits which include free air travel, discounts on hotels, car rentals, and cruises, and all of which I’m very thankful for.

My last leisure trip was to/from Indianapolis this month for my 50th high school reunion. I bought a confirmed ticket there because I wanted to make sure I’d get there the day I planned, but decided to travel standby on the return because I wasn’t sure if I’d be going to Dallas or Tampa, plus getting back on a certain day wasn’t as important as getting there, so standby was a good option for my return. I also booked my hotel using reward points and reserved a rental car with a discount rate. Everything was set. At least I’d thought it was…..

I made a little mistake on my hotel. 😬

Well actually, kind of a big mistake.

So like I said, I get a kick out of traveling as inexpensively as I can. I booked the hotel several months out using my husbands Wyndham Rewards points as I was initially hoping I could convince him to go with me. I put IND in the hotel search bar as I prefer to stay close to the airport, which is this case is on the south (southwest) side of town. The search returned with their south location. I booked it. So far so good.

As I got closer to my travel date, and long after my husband decided he was not going with me, (he didn’t even go to his 50th reunion), I pulled up the address of my high school on my iPhone and noticed that the hotel was actually in Southport. I thought “Great! That’s close to my high school. That’s even better!”


Same hotel name. Wrong hotel.

So on Thursday morning I flew nonstop from DAL Dallas Love Field to IND on WN Southwest Airlines. Got my rental car. Drove to Frankfort to have lunch with my cousin, Jeri. I had a nice visit and then went by my grandparents old house and also their graveyard. Then on to Lebanon where I met my 2nd cousin, Chrissy, for dinner. After a nice visit I put in the address for my hotel on my CarPlay Maps and headed back toward Indianapolis. It was dark, around 10 p.m. when I exited I-465 on to US 31 South and I was shocked when my CarPlay Maps told me to take an immediate right. I thought, “Oh no! Not THAT hotel.”

I remembered THAT hotel from over 50 years ago. It was a very old hotel. It was late. I was tired. I thought maybe, just maybe, they’d updated it and that it would be ok.

Wrong again.

As I walked to my room I saw some attempts to update the hotel here and there, but it was still a very old hotel. As I opened the door I saw the carpet was ragged. As I closed the door I saw the hotel policy on the inside door was dirty and halfway peeled off, and the top door lock wasn’t fitted right (it was bent and loose). That made me a little nervous. I went to the bathroom and when I flushed the toilet it didn’t have enough water in the bowl to flush properly. The toilet paper holder was rusted, and underneath the sink area was filthy.


I sat down on the bed and thought about how exhausted I was. Did I mention I’d been up since 3:30 a.m? I closed my eyes and asked the Lord, “What should I do?” 🙏🏻

I called my husband and told him I made a BIG mistake. While on the phone I heard people out in the hall which made me feel even more nervous; unsafe actually. My husband proceeded to tell me that he remembered THAT hotel too and told me a few of the bad things that he remembered about it…😳


I decided then that I’d just look for another hotel online and then in the morning ask my cousin Connie, who I was planning to visit the next day, if I could come stay with her for the two following nights. A couple of months earlier she’d offered for me to come stay with her but I’d already made the hotel reservations and I thought I wouldn’t be a very good guest since I was planning to go to so many places on this trip.

So while I’m on the phone talking with my husband I get a text from Connie! She asked me if I was at my hotel and if everything was ok.

Answered prayer ⬆️ ❤️

I was embarrassed to tell her that I’d made a mistake on the hotel. I didn’t want to come to her house so late and asked if I could come the next day but she insisted she was still up. So at 11:00 p.m. I got to her house and stayed three nights. I was so thankful 🙌🏻 and had such a nice time visiting her.

The rest of my trip went great; visiting my brother Ron, my parents and brother Eldon’s grave, going to three reunion events reminiscing with friends, and a Sunday visit with my brother and sister-in-law, Dennis and Pam, at their new house in Westfield. We went to church, had brunch, a nice 3 mile walk on the Monon Trail, and a yummy 😋 dinner at home. The next morning I returned my rental car and flew standby on Delta IND x/ATL TPA. It was fun to travel standby on Delta again. It’d been over a little over four years since I last used my travel benefits on Delta.

So my inspiration for naming this blog post came from a Christian financial radio program I used to listen to years ago featuring Larry Burkett. He used to say, “Do your givin’ while your livin’, then you’re knowin’ where it’s goin’.” Good advice with a catchy country twang!

So the point I’d like to make is this. ⬇️

While “knowin’ where I’m goin’,” is good practical advice concerning hotel reservations, it’s of utmost importance concerning our eternal destiny.

While it’s OK to make a mistake with a hotel reservation, it’s not OK to make a mistake with your eternal destination:

⁃ Don’t assume where you’re going.

⁃ Be diligent; verify the location of your reservation.

⁃ Reconfirm your reservation.

I’m not assuming I’m going to heaven because I’m a “good person” or because I joined the church around the age of 12, because I was baptized, “good works” or because I go to church.

I’ve been “knowin’ where I’m goin’” ever since one night in my mid-twenties when I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about all the sin in my life. (I’d heard a clear and biblical gospel presentation a few nights earlier on a Billy Graham TV program.) I cried out to God asking for His forgiveness. I realized that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. Now up until that time I considered myself a Christian but it was not until that night that I turned away from sin and turned toward Christ that my life actually changed. I’ve come to know Him more through the years though His word, talking with Him in prayer, and have “reconfirmed my reservation” with Him many times over since that night my life changed.

And to be clear, it was the Holy Spirit that stirred and convicted me of my sin. It was God’s will and timing, not mine. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44) It is God who draws us to Himself.

Jesus not only paid the price for my sins, He paid my sin debt in full. I received Him by faith through His marvelous grace. Salvation is a gift from God, but a gift is of no use unless you receive it.

Ephesians 2:8 underscores this truth: “By grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God.”

As the hymn writer, C.L. Bancroft (1863) reminds us, we’re not saved by anything we’ve done, we’re saved by a work done for us:

Because the sinless Savior died,

My sinful soul is counted free,

For God the just is satisfied,

To look on Him and pardon me.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13

The Great Exchange

FeaturedThe Great Exchange

Earlier this month, while searching for a song to use for an updated memorial video for my high school class, I listened to several different songs with the intent of picking only one, but decided instead to go with three different genres: Country, Contemporary Pop HipHop, and Christian. They each have a story to tell.

The Country song, Temporary Home, is beautifully sung 🎶 by Carrie Underwood. Co-written ✍🏻 by Carrie Underwood, Zac Maloy, and Luke Laird in 2009, the lyrics tell three stories about temporary homes; a young boy living in foster care, a young mother and her child living in a halfway house, and an old man in a hospital bed surrounded by his loved ones. The refrain has a Christian themed message:

“This is my temporary home,

it’s not where I belong

Windows and rooms

that I’m passing through.

This was just a stop

on the way to where I’m going

I’m not afraid because I know

This was my temporary home.”

The Bible tells us that this world is not our home and is yet a precursor to the world that is to come. We are literal “strangers, sojourners, and aliens” who are mearly passing through.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Hebrews 11:13-14


The Contemporary Pop/HipHop Mix, “See You Again” is a catchy and very popular tune with a “sentimental, miss my friend” message. Sung 🎶 by Charlie Puth (with Wiz Khalifa) for Furious 7, the seventh movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise movie series, which was released in 2015.

The story behind the lyrics is that Charlie Puth co-wrote ✍🏻 the lyrics, along with Justin Franks in 2014, in memoriam of movie star Paul Walker as a result of his 2013 tragic car crash. The movie, Furious 7, was not yet completed at the time of Paul Walker’s death. Charlie Puth and Justin Franks reportedly co-wrote the lyrics drawing from their own personal emotions from each having had friends die in tragic accidents as well.

The emotional lyrics include much about friendship in contemporary terms, memories made, and a hopeful themed refrain to “see you again,” however the song takes a couple of left turns when the lyrics speak of death in terms of “Damn, who knew,” and “And any road you take will always lead you home.” Two contrary non-Christian themes.

The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one “road” to heaven and that road is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Not only is there just one road to heaven, the gate to that road is narrow.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

And death is inevitable, 10 out of 10 people die.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27

For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. Ecclesiastes 9:5


The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news! Mark 1:15


The Christian song is one I first heard back in the mid 1990’s, and has long since been one of my favorite songs. Written ✍🏻 in 1990 by Bruce Carroll and Barbara Kinnamon, and beautifully sung 🎶 by Bruce Carroll, the lyrics speak for themselves, telling the gospel message in it’s entirety. It is aptly titled, The Great Exchange:

Once upon a time,

upon a hill far away

An unfair proposition

before a righteous Man was made

Could’ve changed His situation

but instead chose to obey

At the great exchange.

An eternity He traveled

to be there at that place

The chosen destination

to show mankind God’s grace

His longing to redeem us

could only be explained

At the great exchange.

At the great exchange

Even then, He knew me

and He bore such pain

And He did it all for love

An undeserving servant

who’ll never be the same

Since the great exchange.

I walked that same hillside,

as I knelt down to pray

He showed me all the wrong I’d done

And the price He paid that day

And then I arose forgiven

His loss became my gain

At the great exchange.

Everything that mankind lost,

Jesus has reclaimed

The pathway to eternity

by His death arranged

And all of this, He offers

if you’ll meet Him today

At the great exchange.

At the great exchange

Even then, He knew you

and He bore such pain

And He did it all for love

An undeserving servant,

you’ll never be the same

Since the great exchange.

At the great exchange

Even then, He knew you

and He bore such pain

And He did it all for love

An undeserving servant,

you’ll never be the same

Since the great exchange

Since the great exchange

The great exchange.

YouTube links: Temporary Home See You Again The Great Exchange

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

My first car was an old clunker. It was a light blue Chrysler and I’m not sure of the year (late 1950’s or early 1960’s) but it was definitely old. It had what I would describe as “wings” on each side at the rear of the car, and a convenient hole in the driver’s side floorboard where I could empty my soft drinks and coffee. Ha!

Strangely, it had an automatic transmission but no “P” for park; I had to put it in “N” for neutral and pull the parking brake. This would have been fine, except for the fact that the parking brake was broke. So, I had to open my door and throw a wood block under the front tire to chalk it in place. The real problem came when I’d miss the tire and have to hurry out of the car, get the block from wherever it landed, and wedge it under the tire before the car rolled too far. Good times! Ha!

Hey, I was 16 years old, it was 1970, and I was happy just to have my own car, even though it was a clunker.

It basically got me from point A to point B, and it had an AM radio, which was always tuned-in to either pop or rock music. 🎶

June 1971, in my light blue Chrysler.

The problem was my sense of direction; it wasn’t very good. I was always getting lost. I remember crying on more than one occasion because I was lost. This was the point when I first began thinking how cool it would be if my radio could please just tell me where I was, and how to get to where I was going. I was on the edge of brilliance (😂) but somehow fell short of inventing GPS navigation.


In 1972, I got a major upgrade; a brand new 1972 Camaro Rally Sport in Mojave Gold, complete with rear spoiler, an AM/FM stereo radio 🎶 (woo-hoo!), an 8-Track Tape player, lots of pop and rock 8-Track Tapes, and I graduated from high school, all in that order.

Me and my Camaro, May 1972. (My dad gave me $1000 for the down payment, and I worked full-time my senior year of high school, paid my monthly payments weekly and got it paid it off within a year.)

Fast forward to today, I drive a 2019 Jeep Grande Cherokee. It has a beautiful Pearl Red exterior color, and my favorite interior feature: Car Play with access to my iPhone apps, media, contacts, maps, and more.

October 2017, at the Texas State Fair in the Car Pavilion. I told Harold I loved the color of this 2018 Jeep. He surprised me a little over a year later at Christmas time with a brand new Pearl Red 2019 Jeep Grande Cherokee!

Lots of changes.

Much for the good.


Of all of these changes over the past 50 years I’d have to say that the greatest change has not been in my cars,

but in my heart,

and in that which I choose to feed it.

The change in my heart came in the mid 1980’s when I repented of my sins and surrendered my heart to Jesus. The choice of what to feed it followed in the days after, up to and including today.

“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.” Psalm 25:4

So these days,

My favorite thing to listen to while driving is Christian talk radio. My favorite station is AFR, a Christian Talk Radio Station based in Tupelo, MS. That station, combined with my favorite iPhone apps, Truth for Life with Alistair Begg, One Passion with Steven Lawson, and Grace to You with John MacArthur; and some of my favorite Christian Podcasters, like Allie Beth Stuckey of Relatable, and Jan Markle of Understanding the Times, have been a godsend in my life. There are many more great pastors, teachers, and Christian leaders I like to listen to, but way too many to mention them all. Suffice it to say that I’m thankful 🙌🏻 for each one of them. They, along with Bible study and prayer, help me keep more “in tune” with God and less “in tune” with the world.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8

So, how cool is it, that my getting lost when I first started driving, and my desperate hope that the radio would tell me where I was and how to get to where I needed to go, has actually come true in my life,


in more ways than one:

Thanks to my Car Play maps and navigation system, I no longer get lost.

Thanks to Christian Talk Radio and my favorite iPhone apps that guide me in my walk with the Lord.

Cooler still,

Thanks to the Lord,

“I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.” #JohnNewton

By the grace of God,

I know who I am, (a sinner saved by grace).

Where I am, (in Christ Jesus)


Where I’m going. (In the world but not of the world; on my way to heaven one day in God’s perfect timing.)

“Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” Jeremiah 42:3

And enjoy the ride along the way.