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

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

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.



Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s my sister Joyce and I used to go out to the airport to watch the airplanes take off and land, and to walk around the terminal, just for fun. I was in my early teens and this was before the days of increased airport security; back when we day-dreamed of flying somewhere; back when life was simpler, and back when the main airport in Indianapolis was known as Weir Cook.

So, one day while we were walking around at the airport, my sister recognized Bobby Gentry of “Ode to Billie Joe” 🎶 fame, standing near one of the counters. The airline had lost her guitar and my sister talked with her about it. I barely recognized her, even with her signature poofy hair-do, but I was definitely impressed after I realized who she was. I remember thinking it was so cool to actually see someone famous in person. Her song, “Ode to Billie Joe,” was an amazing piece of storytelling about a boy who died jumping off a Mississippi bridge, a girl who secretly loved him, some mysterious circumstances, and her family who spoke of his death with casual indifference while eating dinner.

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, or talking on the phone with several different “famous” people. I’m sure everyone has a few. Some of mine include,

• Jerry Mathers and Tony Dowell of Leave it to Beaver fame at a dinner theater (Beef and Boards) meet and greet photo-op in Indianapolis.

• Mel Torme (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”🎶) when he stood right behind me at the America The Beautiful Circle-Vision 360° Movie at Walt Disney World.

• Robert Ulrich (Dan Tanna in the crime drama series Vega$, and Spenser in Spenser for Hire) on a telephone call one day when I booked several flights for him and his family to/from Florida, while working for Delta Air Lines in Tampa.

• Gary Collins on a telephone call discussing his wife’s (Mary Ann Mobley) reservation, while I worked at Delta Air Lines in Los Angeles.

• Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbuster’s, St. Elsewhere) in a little store onboard a tour of The RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

• Henry Winkler (The Fonz) photo-op with my daughter Megan at a Dallas children’s hospital.

• Yakov Smirnoff (Soviet-Born Comedian famous for the phrase ‘America: What a country!’) photo-op with my daughter Mackenzie and me in Branson, Missouri.

• Thomas Kincaid, “Painter of Light” photo-op with Harold and me after we purchased a Hometown Morning Limited Edition Canvas in Longview, Texas at a Thomas Kincaid Gallery Event.

• Bob Barker when I was a contestant on The Price is Right TV show in Los Angeles.

• Jay Leno photo-op at a Tonight Show taping in Burbank where my daughter Megan and I talked with him before the taping. He called us “The Dove girls.” 🕊

• Ben Affleck at a Tonight Show taping with my daughters Michelle and Megan, where he came over to say, “Hello,” and to shake our hands.

• Robin Thicke photo-op at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, when he came over to speak with me and my daughter Megan after a show taping.

• Robin Roberts photo-op at NYC Times Square at a GMA taping.

• Jason Mraz photo-op in Los Angeles at an American Idol Finale with my daughter, Mackenzie.

• NASCAR drivers, Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt Jr (with my grandson Landon), Danica Patrick, etc. photo-ops at TMS (Texas Motor Speedway)

• Willie Robertson photo-op at TMS.

• Marie Osmond when she and I spoke on the telephone on two scheduled QVC/Nutrisystem TV show call-in’s. She called me “girlfriend” and a “silver fox.” 😂

• Meghan Linsey (from The Voice) at a Nutrisystem photo shoot at a Tampa advertising studio.

So, out of the above list, how many of these people have you heard of or remember?! If you’re around my age, maybe most of them? 🤔 But if you’re young, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of any of them. Ha! Actually, I think it’s pretty likely that after a generation or two, most people who’re famous for one thing or another, eventually sink into obscurity along with everyone else.

Which brings me to the main point I’d like to make. In reality, we are all just people. Being famous for something doesn’t make a person any more special than anyone else. While a famous person may be a great actor, artist, musician, or athlete, etc., in the eyes of God they are equal to people who cannot act, paint, sing, play an instrument, or play sports, etc. Eventually no matter how famous a person may be during their lifetime, “this too will pass.”

The Bible tells us that,

“God created man in his own image,”(Genesis 1:27) and “there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:11)


Yet He is not partial to princes, Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands. Job 34:19

The Bible also reminds us that no matter who we are, famous or not, our life on earth is relatively short.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:14

And no matter who we are, all of our days are numbered.

As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. Psalm 103:15-16

Most importantly, the Bible warns us about holding people, places, or things (idols) in higher esteem than God. God is to be honored above all things and to be worshiped in “spirit and truth.” (John 4.23)

Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy. Jonah 2:8


“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

Ultimately, the most important person we will ever encounter in this life is Jesus Christ. Everyone else pales in comparison.

Jesus Himself reminds us,

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:13

Have you encountered Him?

I have, and am here to say if you have not yet came into an authentic relationship with Him, through repentance and faith in Christ alone, please do so today, before it’s too late.

And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh;” Genesis 6:3

So while it is fun to meet interesting and famous people along life’s highway, the Bible reminds us that we’re to keep it in proper perspective. Don’t be overly impressed. Celebrities put their “pants 👖 on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.”

And maybe,

Instead of just thinking of the fun and excitement of encountering someone famous, maybe God is calling us to pray for that person.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

And what if,

God has a specific purpose in mind for you that relates somehow with a particular person or event.

Put on your thinking caps. 🧢

Better still, pray about it. 🙏🏻

And be careful about what impresses you.

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24

Interestingly, my sister’s and my early love of going out to the airport all those years ago, led both my sister and me to get involved in the aviation industry. My sister got her private pilot’s license, including a commercial rating, which she held for several years. As for me, I worked for 30 years in various capacities in the airport/airline industry. First at a small airport, Eagle Creek Airpark, and for two airlines, American Trans Air in Indianapolis, and Delta Air Lines in Tampa, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, and Dallas.

The Sun ☀️

The Sun ☀️

The sun is amazing. It provides light, warmth, energy, and natural vitamin D to support our immune system. All of which are provisions that God has graciously made for us to enjoy and to benefit from. In actuality, without the sun, life as we know it, would cease to exist.

I remember when I was in my early teens back in Indiana, one of my best friends had the prettiest golden tan. I figured I could have a tan just like her if I just laid out in the sun like she did. Right? One day after we had just spent the afternoon in my backyard laying out in the sun together, and as I was just beginning to think I was getting some color, her mom came to pick her up and said to me, “Elaine, you need to get out in the sun more.” 😳

Later that summer, on a Florida family vacation, I stayed out on the beach all day the first day, walking up and down the Daytona Beach coastline. My thought was, I’d surely get a good tan if I did that, right? Wrong! 🤕 I was practically burnt to a crisp, from head to toe. I spent the entire rest of our family vacation sick in bed with sun poisoning. It was the absolute worst sunburn of my entire life. I remember I was so sick to my stomach, I was dizzy for days, and I fainted whenever I tried to stand up. It was awful!

It’s safe to say that I learned early on that too much of a good thing, or something used in the wrong way can and does have consequences. I also realized that I’m fair complected and that fair skin just doesn’t tan as well as other skin types.

So I’ve pretty much avoided overexposure to the sun in one way or another ever since. At first it was mostly seeking some shade whenever outside, and giving up laying out in the sun, but it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I started thinking about sun damage and started wearing sunscreen daily. In my 40’s I experienced the first of several Basel cell skin cancers that have emerged over the past 25 years or so. In my 50’s I did find some skin care products that lightened some of the brown spots on my face, and I also increased my sunscreen SPF to 50. Now at age 67, and at the suggestion of my dermatologist, I’ve starting wearing a sun 👒 bonnet as well.

May 2022

Hat or no hat, the long term effects of sun exposure, especially the years of not wearing sun screen when I was young, has taken its toll on my skin. Regardless, I still enjoy the outdoors as much as possible and am thankful for all of God’s provisions, including the sun. I say all of this to make a point of something disturbing that was recently brought to my attention and is actually my main purpose of this writing.

There’s a false theology involving the sun that started many years ago however still exists today, called Astrotheology. It’s best described as the combination of astrolatry (worship of the sun, moon, and stars) and Christianity.

I find it both disturbing and incredible that there are so many false religions and false teachers in the world today. What is it about false religions and false teachers that draws people in? Why believe a lie instead of the truth?

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25

Anyway, to explain Astrotheology in more detail, the following includes excerpts from one of my favorite websites, Got Questions:

Astrotheology attempts to twist Scripture so that Jesus Christ, instead of being God’s SON, is actually God’s SUN. Astrotheology ties the gospel to ancient god myths and mystery religions.

True theology looks up at the stars, moon, and sun; sees proof of God’s glory; and worships Him for what He has made.

The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

True theology does not worship the creation (which astrolatry does), and it does not view the creation as a symbol of God (which astrotheology does).

The false concept behind Astrotheology is that the story of Jesus Christ is the story of man’s relationship with the sun and the seasons. Early man was afraid of darkness and realized his dependence on the sun, waiting for the sun to come again day after day. Darkness became a symbol of evil (the devil), and God, who gave us the sun for light and warmth and growing food, was good. Eventually, says astrotheology, these ideas were expressed in the Bible as the story of Jesus Christ.

Astrotheology falsely teaches that Bible verses that say Jesus is the light of the world (e.g., John 8:12) are really referring to the physical sun. Additionally they purport that the twelve months of the year are represented by Christ’s twelve apostles, and the four Gospels represent the four seasons.

Additionally, Astrotheology falsely teaches that the mythologies of ancient gods such as Osiris, Horus, Adonis, and Mithras were based on seasonal cycles, and that the story of Jesus Christ is just a retelling of those ancient tales. Several books and two recent films, The God Who Wasn’t There and Zeitgeist, are making these claims popular.

The problem with such claims is twofold: 1) astrotheology and similar beliefs dismiss the evidence for the historical Jesus Christ, and 2) the so-called parallels between the Gospels and the mythical religions are invalid, as honest research will show. The claims made by the historical Jesus are unique and do not match the stories of the pagan gods.

Any attempt to allegorize the Word of God, pervert its plain sense, or deny Jesus Christ is abominable. The Bible warns us against “ignorant and unstable people” who distort Scripture “to their own destruction. . . .

Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position” (2 Peter 3:16–17).

Don’t be led astray.

Instead of being led astray by the claims of astrotheology, we should “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Instead, grow in the grace of God.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:16-17

Gilligan’s Island

Gilligan’s Island

What fun it was to watch Gilligan’s Island 🏝 when I was a kid! I was 10 years old in 1964 when it came out, and it ran for 3 seasons. I suspect it’s been in re-run syndication ever since, and is available on all sorts of media venues. As I’ve mentioned before in some of my earlier writings, I spent a lot of time watching TV 📺 when I was young; probably way too much. It kept me “busy,” a bit distracted from reality, but for the most part it entertained the little lost girl that I was.

🎼 “Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailor man, the skipper brave and sure. Five passengers set sail that day for a three-hour tour. A three-hour tour.” 🎶

In case you’re too young to remember, the show was about a group of seven people who were stranded on a deserted island, who’s activities and antics we’re primarily centered around getting off the island. They also entertained themselves with crazy skits and just plain silliness, however the irony and endlessly frustrating thread throughout the majority of the episodes was the fact that somehow other people came to the island and somehow always managed to get off. Whereas the seven castaways always somehow failed each time to get off of the island. And, invariably, it was Gilligan who sabotaged all of their attempts to escape the island.

Recently, while listening to a radio talk show, I learned that the show’s creator, Sherwood Schwartz, admitted that each of the “Gilligan’s Island” characters represented one of the Seven Deadly Sins (per Roman Catholic theology).

For example,

1. The Professor was guilty of pride.

2. Mary Ann was envious of Ginger.

3. Ginger was lustful.

4. The Skipper was a glutton.

5. Mrs. Howell was angry often.

6. Mr. Howell was wealthy and greedy.

7. And last, but not least, Gilligan was the sloth.

Interestingly, while researching this topic, I also found some articles that both changed and deepened the plot. The plot twists claim that Mrs. Howell was actually the sloth, that the Skipper had two sins, gluttony and anger, and that Gilligan represented the devil. Their primary reasoning was that Gilligan wore a red shirt, and sabotaged every attempt to get off the island, aka “hell.” Interesting theory. 🤔

I prefer the first theory over the second, but who knows? I could be wrong.

Gilligan was such a likable guy, but maybe he was the devil and only portrayed himself to be a likable guy. The Bible does warn us that Satan sometimes disguises himself as an angel of light. Maybe Gilligan’s sabotages were ultimately to keep them all there in their private hell, forever bound in their sin…. 🤔

Wait, it was just a TV show.

Anyway, I find it interesting that the inspiration behind the creator of Gilligan’s Island was based upon the theology of the Seven Deadly Sins. While I’m not a Catholic, I do agree that sin is deadly, But more so, I believe that sin is deadly but primarily to the point of unbelief.


When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we’re made free in that faith. More so, it is in the gift of faith, the conviction of sin, repentance, and trust in Jesus alone, that we are freed from the penalty of sin. It’s the Great Exchange.

The bad news is that we’re all sinners, (Romans 3:23.) Furthermore, Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death, but the good news is this: the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So the moral of the story is this:

If you stay in your sin and never come to an authentic faith and relationship with Jesus; you’ll “never get off that island” and will spend eternity separated from Him.

Don’t “castaway” your life for the fleeting pleasures of sin. Sin is a snare of the devil. Don’t be fooled. Turn to Jesus today in repentance and faith; place your trust in His sacrificial death for your sins. Keeping in mind, being a Christian doesn’t make you sinless, but as you grow in Christ, you’ll sin less as God changes you from the inside out.

Christians not only make it “off that island” but have eternal life beginning here on earth and lasting into eternity with Jesus. ❤️



First, came the dress. Was it white and gold or was it black and blue?! Then came the audio recording. Was it Laurel or was it Yanny?! 😂

Just in case you’ve forgot, or else have been living in a cave the past few years, the “dress” was a viral internet phenomenon in 2015, and the “audio recording,” which was just as popular, if not more, was in 2018. Both were quite the internet buzz and I found them both fascinating and fun. I saw white and gold, and I heard Laurel! What about you?!

I wondered….

How can two people look at the same photo and both see something different? 🤔


How can two people hear the same audio recording and hear something different? 🤔

Apparently, there were scientific explanations for both phenomenons, and I did read about them, but they didn’t really thwart my fascination. 😂

On a more serious note, I believe there’s a similar phenomenon that relates to our ears. 👂🏻

How can two people hear the same gospel message but only one actually listens and receives the message?

Yet they did not listen or incline their ears, but stiffened their necks in order not to listen or take correction. Jeremiah 17:23

Likewise, there’s a similar phenomenon that relates to our eyes. 👁

How can two people look to Jesus and The Good News but only one sees and receives Him as Savior?

The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

And the problem is not just confined to our ears and eyes, but more so and more importantly, the Bible tells us that problem lies within our hearts.

The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes; Otherwise they might see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.”’ Acts 28:27

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. John 3:19-20

Basically, the root of our heart problem is sin….

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23


The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23

But God made a way….

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

So how do we get this new heart?

Just like a heart patient who’s in need of heart surgery. Not someone who just needs some medication, but someone whose in desperate need of heart surgery in order to live.

Spiritual heart surgery…..

By turning away from sin, and turning toward Christ, in repentance and faith.

By faith believing He is God’s only Son, who died a sacrificial death on the cross, taking the punishment that we deserve.

By faith believing Christ died and rose again three days later, according to the scriptures.

Trusting in Christ alone.

Knowing that….

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” John 6:44

Hearing with our ears ….

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Seeing with our eyes….

To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 23:18

And with a new and grateful heart….

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

If you’re in need of heart surgery, don’t wait, book your appointment today with the Great Physician. Tomorrow may be too late.

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9:12

Martin Luther and the Man on the Middle Cross

Martin Luther and the Man on the Middle Cross

It was on this day, October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther, nailed his 95 Theses to the church doors in Wittenberg, Germany and began what is known today as The Reformation.

During this time, the nailing of notices on the church door was a way of public communication and proclamation. As a devout Augustinian Catholic Monk, he was inspired to write his 95 Thesis in protest to the various corruptions and injustices he witnessed in the Pope and in the Catholic Church. One of which was the Pope’s solicitation and collection of money from the poorest of the poor to build St Basilica’s Cathedral, all while the Pope was one of the wealthiest men alive. The foremost corruption however was the “selling of indulgences” as a means of forgiving people of their sins, and the preaching of good works as a necessary means of salvation. To further clarify “indulgences,” it was a corrupt means in which the priests profited from the rich by inferring that they could “buy their way into heaven” and provide “absolution for their sins” by the giving of large sums of money to the Catholic Church. Simultaneously, these “indulgences” inferred a condemnation of the poor as they couldn’t possibly have enough money to “buy their way into heaven.”

No doubt, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses caused quite a stir, as speaking publicly in this way against the Catholic Church was very much frowned upon at this time in history. Luther was subsequently excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1521 and went into hiding. Now during this time it’s interesting to note that the Bible was primarily only available in Latin. While in hiding, Martin Luther paved the way for the people of Germany to understand what the Bible actually said by translating the New Testament from Latin into German, which took him approximately 10 years to complete. For the first time in history, the Bible was made available for people to read in their own language. At this same in history, the printing press was created which made it possible for many copies of the Bible to be made available. Thanks to John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, the Bible was translated into English and spread during this period as well.

In a nutshell, Martin Luther’s intention was to reform the Catholic Church however instead of reforming the Catholic Church, the church divided. Those who agreed with Martin Luther became known as Protestants. Those who disagreed with him remained as Catholics.

As an adult I find Martin Luther and the facts about The Reformation very interesting. I don’t recall hearing or learning much about him or The Reformation when I was young. It very well may have been that I wasn’t interested in this subject back then. It also could have had something to do with the fact that over the many years since The Reformation, Protestantism evolved into two differing schools of thought; Arminianism and Calvinism, and perhaps the subject for a future blog.

I was raised in the 1960’s attending a Methodist Church, where I first trusted in Christ, and which was primarily comprised with those of Arminian thought. However I drifted away in my teens and twenties and lived life doing whatever I wanted to do; more or less, young and dumb. In my late twenties and early thirties I became convicted of my sins, repented, rededicated my life to Christ, and joined the Baptist church. The Baptist Church has a fair amount of both Calvinist and Arminian thought, however surprisingly more of those who either didn’t know or care to know the difference.

The past few years I’ve aligned more so with Reformed Theology and Calvinism. I have embraced the fact that God is sovereign over everything and is in ultimate control. As a side note, I recently separated from the Baptist Church primarily because of the ongoing progressivism and ongoing corruption in The Southern Baptist Convention, a subject for a future blog perhaps as well.

I thank God for Martin Luther, for his brave writing and posting of the 95 Theses; for his diligence in translating the Bible, and for birthing The Reformation, the foundation of Protestantism. Martin Luther established the fact that the Bible is to be the central source of authority for Christ followers, and that salvation is reached through faith and not deeds. Martin Luther’s teaching birthed the beginning of what we know today as the 5 Solas: sola fide, sola scriptura, solus christus, sola gratia and soli deo Gloria!


By Scripture alone.

By Faith alone.

By Grace alone.

Through Christ alone.

To the Glory of God alone!

I’m thankful for the Reformed pastors that followed after Martin Luther: John Calvin, John Knox, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Spurgeon. I actually feel a particular allegiance with Charles Spurgeon as he “was saved in a Methodist church, became the greatest Baptist preacher in history, and then a die-hard Calvinist.”

I’m thankful as well for present day Reformed pastors such as Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Sinclair Ferguson, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Steven Lawson, Paul Washer, Voddie Bauchaum, and Alistair Begg, just to name a few.

In summary, we are saved by grace through faith. Salvation cannot, nor could it ever, be obtained through indulgences, sacraments, or good works. We are not saved by our goods works, nor are we saved as a result of a profession of faith. It is in repentance and faith in Christ that we’re saved as a result of what Christ achieved on the Cross. The Cross is central. On the Cross He bore the weight of our sins. On the Cross He paid the penalty for both my sin and yours. On the Cross He made a way for Salvation. Salvation is by faith alone, in Christ alone, by the grace of God alone. It is a gift of God. All of us, including Protestants need to be reminded of this, lest we forget. I think Alistair Begg does a good job of explaining this in this video clip, The Man on the Middle Cross:

Click here ⬇️

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

#Hot! ☕️

#Hot! ☕️

Hot coffee! ☕️ My love for it first began with it’s aroma back when I was a little girl. My mom drank hers black, hot, and in a small White Castle coffee cup. The first time I tasted it as a teenager, I was surprised it didn’t taste as good as it smelled. But, by the time I was old enough to live on my own I was an official coffee lover, although I took mine with milk and sugar.

Nowadays my requirements for a good cup of coffee are pretty simple. I prefer Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals, with a little skim milk, Splenda Naturals, and most importantly, it must be hot! Lukewarm will not do!

So, you can imagine how excited I was to own my first microwave oven back in 1980. It was a wedding gift from my mom, and it wasn’t just any microwave; it was a Sharpe Carousel Microwave. I actually didn’t cook much in it but I found it perfect for making and keeping our coffee hot. ☕️

Fast forward to May of this year, our youngest daughter got me a really cool 😎 Ember Temperature Control Smart Coffee Mug for Mother’s Day! Cool 😎 as in really nice! I love it! ❤️ When used properly, it keeps my coffee a perfect 143 degrees.

Three things I’ve learned about using my Ember mug:

1. You must start out with hot coffee. For example, you can’t pour cool or lukewarm coffee in the mug and expect it to work properly.

2. You need to start out with a full cup. It doesn’t work well if you only pour in a half of a cup. It needs to start out full.

3. You need to keep it charged. While it will work off of its charging base, it doesn’t work for long periods of time. It needs to be connected to its base often in order to keep a good charge.

Thinking about all of this brought Revelation 3:15 to mind:

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!”

In this verse, Jesus was referring to the church at Laodicea. It was a dead church; their hearts were lukewarm and their deeds were hypocritical; done for show and not with the heart or the love of God. Basically, the church was full of unconverted, pretend Christians who saw themselves as “rich” believers, but in reality they were self-sufficient hypocrites who relied on their own prosperity and their own good deeds. The Lord saw them as wretched, pitiful and “poor” unbelievers, who he chastised using the analogy of the temperature of their water:

Their drinking water was disgustingly lukewarm. It came from a viaduct via a nearby spring but it was practically worthless. It wasn’t hot like a hot springs that people could bath in, nor was it refreshingly cold for drinking: it was lukewarm, basically good for nothing and nauseating to drink. Thus the analogy of the Lord’s response to the Laodiceans who sickened Him like the lukewarm water:

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16

A very stern warning!

And thus a simple analogy:

1. Lukewarm won’t do: You must be born again. Good works are not a substitute for salvation, nor is their any value in trusting in prosperity or possessions. Attending or being a member of a church doesn’t make you a Christian either.

2. You need to be full: There are no halfhearted Christians. To be a “lukewarm Christian” is the equivalent of being an unbeliever. You’re either saved or your not saved. Fully trusting in Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross, taking the penalty for our sins in our place, turning to Him in repentance and faith.

3. Stay close to God: Christians stay connected and ever growing in their relationship with God through prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and grow in the truth of God’s word through meaningful Bible study. Good works are a result of salvation, not a means of salvation.

Something to think about the next time you enjoy a delicious hot cup of coffee. ☕️



My dad was bi-vocational, working in the office for White Castle by day, and playing guitar by night (mostly weekends) at VFW’s and various events, including a local TV show called Midwestern Hayride. His day job was because he needed to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. His night job was simply because he loved playing the guitar. He was self-taught and quite talented, and more than just a guitar player, he strived to be an entertainer, and that he was. He would often point out other musicians to me that were also good entertainers, and although we differed in the type of music we liked, he was correct about entertainers. Entertainers have a talent and they knew how to use it.

Like most people, I never went into the entertainment industry, and rightly so as I don’t have a theatrical or musical talent, but I do remember thinking about how cool it would be to have a great singing voice, and how cool would it be to be a famous actress?! In retrospect I think my motive was more about being famous. Not really the best of motives. Although, who hasn’t ever dreamed of being famous or at least getting attention for doing something like that? It’s human nature. But therein lies the problem, our human nature. It’s our human nature that always seems to get in the way and mess things up. It’s our human nature that likes to draws attention to ourself, and it’s our human nature that’s wants to claim whatever talent or ability we have as some sort of personal achievement. It can also be that same human nature that causes us to dream about having a talent that we find attractive in others, all while ignoring or being ignorant of the talent that we actually do have.

Do you know what your natural talents or abilities are? It’s probably something that you enjoy doing and something you’re good at.

While specific talents and natural abilities are possessed by everyone, and regardless if we’re aware of them or not, spiritual gifts are only possessed by Christians, and it’s important to know the difference.

Spiritual gifts are only given to believers and are given by the grace of God for the specific purpose of doing a ministry that God has called us to do. Spiritual gifts, also known as gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as teaching, exhorting, generosity, leadership, showing mercy, etc., are to bring glory to God and to help us, and other believers, in our walk with Him. Spiritual gifts are to be used to draw attention to God, not ourselves.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” I Corinthians 12:4-7

Do you know what your spiritual gift or gifts are? While our spiritual gifts differ, all believers have them. The one thing we have in common is that we are to be actively using them, and using them in the way that God has planned.

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received.” 1 Peter 4:10

As believers we should ask ourselves from time to time, are we’re using our spiritual gifts in the way that God has intended for us? And, are we in any way combining our talents and abilities along with our spiritual gifts in a way that does not glorify God?

Which brings to mind something that has been weighing in on my mind for quite some time now and is prevalent in many of today’s popular churches: pastors who preach contemporarily worded (aka woke and worldly) messages and who draw attention to themselves unnecessarily, church services that are choreographed like big TV productions, and of course, contemporary Christian rock music artists that “whoa”and “woo” the congregation with loud and popular music as if they were at a concert.

Are they all talented? Yes.

Are they using their spiritual gifts to glorify God? Suffice it to say that it’s probably a good thing that it is not up to me to decide that.

To clarify, I believe if you have some type of natural musical or theatrical talent, that’s great. I enjoy music, movies, and secular entertainment just like everyone else.

My point is, don’t blur the line between natural talent and spiritual gifts.

Don’t assume the charismatic and popular preacher is rightly preaching and teaching the Word of God. Don’t assume that large churches are glorifying God with their entertaining productions. Don’t assume that singing popular contemporary Christian music is equivalent to worshiping God. And, don’t assume that attending church is the equivalent substitute for a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.


“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

So that,

“you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Philippians 1:10


“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.” Hosea 14:9

And pray,

“I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!” Psalm 119:125