Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Physical Therapy

My therapist gave me specific exercises, specific ways to lie down, sit, stand, etc. Now, I have to do them three times a day to change from where I am, to where I want to be.

Lord, help me and others do what we need to do, to get to where we want to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Expansion

Expanding the prayer circle is not an easy choice, but a rewarding one. This past Saturday immediately after my brother had called with the news, that the third time, our cabin had been burglarized, and now arson was attempted, I posted it, for prayer. Within 48 hours, the Sheriff's department had confessions and recovered much of everything that had been stolen. Expansion of the reach of prayer includes letting go of some privacy. Some hindrances to expansion are: "I don't want to bother God or others with my problems. He and they have enough to worry about.". "I don't want anyone to know …". "This is so embarrassing…".

Once you break through those issues, it's like breaking through the 20 mile mental wall in a marathon, or the 36 mile wall in a 50 mile run. Expansion doesn't cause more worry, but more of God's presence. We perish when we lose the redemptive revelation of God (Pro. 29:18). God loves every human being and has a wonderful plan for their life. Without that vision of God's nature, a person perishes. With that vision of God's nature, a person prospers.

From me and my brother, we are thankful: to you for praying, to the Sheriff's department for responding, and ultimately to God.

Lord, you call us out of ourselves into community. Help us yield to expansion of our circles of prayer. Give us a fresh revelation of your redemptive nature.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Life can be prolonged

A short scan of all my face book friends and family show the wide range of experiences from the weekend. Some had fabulous football outcomes, and others had abysmal. Some are in relationships and others are ending. Some graduated from college, others are struggling with their future. Some are riding the wave of health, others, myself included are waking up to yet another set of symptoms. In this environment of communication it is easy to covet what someone else is experiencing and be bummed out at your own.

I find myself coveting a winning football season for the Washington Redskins. It is no fun, to watch a premier franchise, play poorly and then see others playing so well. It was not pleasant being the team that gave the Lions newsworthy attention as they ended their losing streak.

Comparing what I have to what others have is what opens this door to covetousness, and covetousness robs life, robs joy, robs peace, and shortens life. Without covetousness, one's life is prolonged (Proverbs 28:16). In fact it states that we must hate covetousness. On Saturday, I watched a football game, and the most dominate saying on t-shirts on the opposing teams fans, was "Gator Hater". It's all tongue in cheek humor and fun to hassle ones opponents, and is part of the American consciousness to pull very strongly for your team and "hate" your opponent.

In living rooms across America, I doubt very seriously if what happens on the 50 yard line after every pro football game happens. It doesn't in mine. No matter the outcome, the followers of Jesus Christ, from both teams go the center of the field, kneel down, hold hands, and offer themselves to God. I, as a fan, was in no mood, to kneel down, on my floor, after the game, and offer myself to God, yet the ones who actually played the game did. That's the way to overcome covetousness. That's the way to prolong one's life.

Lord, forgive me and others for wanting what others have. Help us kneel down in the center of our field of play, and offer ourselves to you, and give you thanks for what we do have.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Never without hope

A follower of Jesus Christ, active in a community of God's people is never without hope. The church (community of God's people) is the both the body of Christ and habitation of God through His Spirit.

This morning, some have already experienced the filling with hope, as the church gathers around the world. Today could very well be the day we all receive the manifestation of the substance of everything we hope for.

I may wear a medical mask this morning, as I have the symptoms of a cold. I will also wear a back brace as my back continues to recover. Every Sunday, there is always something or someone that may be a very good excuse to miss the assembling together. If we wait for ourselves to be perfect, or our lives to be perfect, or our schedule to be perfect, or our lives completely caught up, we will never assemble together.

Lord, all over the world, may every person who presses forward through some very good excuses, and assembles together in church, both be givers and receivers of your countless blessings.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sabbath

After a fitful, non restful night, the morning brought a warm breakfast while watching hunting shows, yard work, house work, movie, football, install cable line, talk with brother, nap, organize play room, camo taped and cleaned guns, ate fabulous fresh grilled tuna caught last Saturday in Mexico, sitting in recliner watching Gator football, and soon to eat fresh apple crisp with ice cream with my spouse of 31 plus years.

Only stress of day, was hearing my brothers and I, cabin was broken into the third time, this time, with attempted arson. Praying the perpetrators is imprisoned soon.

Since Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath, anyone at anytime can find rest in Him. Doing something different while praying in the spirit is rest for me.

Lord, thank you, for down times, in prayer, that brings us your peace and rest. For those who continue to break into our cabin, we pray that the law enforcement official will make a quick arrest. Until that time, we trust you for protection.

Friday, September 25, 2009

5000 to 2

Feeling pretty empowered right now. Just figured out how to file emails in Outlook. Went from 5000 in my inbox to just two. Kind of the opposite of feeding the multitude miracle, but a miracle none the less.

No Rules

Self-control, self-discipline, temperance, moderation, all point to ruling over one's own spirit. The life with no rules is glamorized and exalted as the rite or right for the week-end. TGIF is often code word for "PARTY". Alcohol and tobacco use ended my parent's life way too early, and contributed to their divorce. My own alcohol and drug use as a teen ager contributed to every wrong decision and led me away from the good life God had planned for me. How stupid could a person be to smoke pot and try to win a track scholarship at the same time? Drug, alcohol, and tobacco use contributed to some awful decisions and destructive outcomes.

I am pondering these things as I weaned myself off of the prescription drug Percocet (Oxycodone) the last few weeks. It's true, I needed the drug, and it helped me overcome the unbearable pain of multiple bone fractures these three months. Now, that the bones are surgically repaired, it's time to move on without Oxycodone. Some really powerful people have become addicted to this drug, and I have already made the choice 35 years ago to not go down that path. Last night I had all the symptoms of withdrawal that are listed in Wikipedia, and it stirred the desire to "rule over my own spirit".

Proverbs 25:28 "He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls".

God loves humanity and offers a wonderful self controlled, temperate, moderation filled plan for our lives, without abusive use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. Temporary prescription drug use is a great thing, and was so much appreciated. Broken and crushed bones rubbing against nerve endings are indescribably painful, and Percocet was a God sent help in a time of trouble. But… now it's time to move forward without it.

Lord, some good things of life, given to us for temporary relief of pain, can become depended upon. For this we repent, and ask forgiveness and grace to move on so we may rule over our own spirit. For all who are in the middle of unbearable physical, emotional and mental pain, we ask for special grace and help from a multitude of God sent professional counselors. Help us all keep moving toward completeness and wholeness without drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Thank you for bearing our pains, sorrows and sicknesses and we accept your provisions and give you our unbearable mental, physical and emotional pains. We accept you, Lord Jesus and your gift of life.

If you live in Northern Virginia, the sermon topic this Sunday at Vienna Assembly of God is, "You are never without hope". Check our website at viennaag.com for directions and details.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Testing

Testing to see if this will work, and won't send anyone to Ebay.

Better

After pain meds and anesthesia have worn off, it's good to feel better. Still have a little discomfort from the surgery, and slept most of the night in a recliner, but my back is better, straighter, and stronger. Had devotions while soaking up my fifteen minutes of doctor recommended sunlight every day.

Lord, thank you for the caring experts in the interventional radiology department that successfully "poured concrete" into and around my T-12 and L-1 Vertebrae. Thank you, that today, I am better than yesterday. Bless the current group of health care students as they ponder their future and grant them grace to pay for the high cost of a great education in the medical field. Bless those who are currently in the health care industry, as their futures are being debated in congress. Give your wisdom to the debates, we pray

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Surgery

There is a calm assurance in my and Brenda's heart about today's surgery. Good friends and family praying are an invaluable source of comfort and strength. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lips

The Virginia Department of Motorized Vehicles is not a professional photography studio. I have a good friend, T.R. Cook, who is a professional photographer, and when I go to him for a professional photograph, more times than not, he encourages me to smile. It is an issue for me to smile on cue. At driver's license renewal time, after waiting for a good while, with others who had been waiting, I stood for my picture, and amazingly, I was smiling. The very pleasant person behind the counter said, "Mr. Burns, we need another picture. This time do not smile". Then, I couldn't stop smiling. I think she took three more, and said, now, "Mr. Burns, I need to you to squat down, you are a little taller than most". Then, it became a little hilarious and we both got tickled and I couldn't not smile. Eventually, after the moment passed another picture was taken as my quads began to burn, she said, okay, Mr. Burns, that will work, you can stand up now." I think, the reasoning behind a non smiling drivers license photograph is that when or if a law enforcement official is enforcing a law, and telling you to submit and consent, the normal facial expression is not a smile.

Proverbs 22:17 says, to Listen (consent and submit)… Those two words are not smile producing, although they are life producing. The next verse goes on to say… "your lips will be accustomed to confessing them". Submit and consent to God's word, and eventually, with practice, with diligence, over time, "your lips will be accustomed to confessing them". Submitting and consenting to a health report, financial report, news of any type, eventually will be found on ones lips. Five plus years of overcoming an incurable form of cancer, and now with secondary issues that have my team of physicians ordering tests and more tests, I find it slowly, and surely that my lips are becoming accustomed to confessing the promises of God instead of the potential new problems my body is facing. Submit and consent are not a smile producing combination initially. However, the response to the question "how are you?", that I am becoming more and more accustomed to confessing is "by His wounds I have been healed" (Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24)

Lord, help our lips to become accustomed to submitting and consenting to your word. Forgive me and others for not smiling in the submission and consenting process.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hunting # 2

After hunting down and installing a dishwasher it was onto another hunt. This time it was to install tree stands for deer hunting. With four compression fractures, Brenda had expressed concern for me going into the woods alone, so upon invitation she joined me Saturday morning. We loaded up the trailer, ATV, stands, stuff, and more stuff, and the day was spent in God's creation. Brenda grew up in the city, and though hunting is not her thing, she is adventurous, and we high fived each other a few times that day as we were enjoying a new adventure for her. It really does become more difficult after 31 years of marriage to have new adventures together and it strengthened our bond to still be able to do so. Brenda wasn't accustomed to the power of an ATV, and as I weaved through the woods to the place to hang a stand, there were times, the only path was blocked by small trees, so I just drove over them. When I arrived at the stand location, my wife of 31 years was speechless. Again, after 31 years it is increasingly difficult to have that kind of moment. Together we hung both stands and she discovered lots of deer sign near both stands. I really couldn't have done this without her. I showed her places I had camped, where my son had harvested his buck, my daughter had shot her squirrel and numerous locations of memorable hunts. We both were exhausted as we drove into the driveway of our home, we both knew, we had strengthened our bond. She had willingly entered my world, died to herself, took on the form of a hunter and humbled herself. The result was elevation and exaltation from me, and deep appreciation and praise. It was easy to say "I love and appreciate you."

Lord, thank you for 31 plus years of dying to selfishness and living unto you and one another. Help us continue for 31 plus more. Forgive us and others who have missed your plan through selfishness, insecurity, fear, and all forms of sin. Help us all to enter one another's world and through the act of compassionate humility, become more bonded, appreciated, understood and in our heart and in our words express our spouse's name above all other human names.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hunting

My wife and I went appliance hunting and found (on clearance) a dishwasher that exceeded our expectations. Slowly, we began the process of installation that included removing the old one. We found extensive water damage, and ants. We had to take our time, dry out the floor, demolish the old tile, fog the ants, sand the floor, and recoat with a water proof varnish. It took us all week, as one project would have to be done, and we would have to wait for either the floor to dray, the varnish to dry, or to consult the installation manual. It was nice to wake up to a counter free of ants, and a dishwasher full of clean dishes, and no water on the floor.

Proverbs 19:2 "… to be overhasty is to sin and miss the mark".

Taking our time to repair the old, and install the new, is a blessing. This morning, we are about to go enjoy the outdoors where we will share the fine art of hanging tree stands, riding ATV's, picnicking, viewing wildlife, etc. In a music context, there is no music in the rest, but the making of it. Floors dry if given a rest, damage is repaired if time is taken, and advance preparation in hunting should improve the success ratio.

Lord, help us enjoy the time it takes to wait while repairs are done, and preventative and proactive measures are taken. Forgive us for being overhasty.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tests are good!

Flu shot, EKG, multiple criteria to check on my blood, stethoscope to chest, blood pressure, pulse, temp, etc.

Spiritual and physical tests are no fun, but good for us! Both are necessary to diagnose our spiritual and physical health.

First Haircut since Chemo

Proverbs 18: 9 "… he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commts suicide." First haircut, troubleshot and replaced defective switch for garbage disposal, removed old dishwasher, repaired floor, repaired cabinet, completed sermon, multiple letters, lowered in-box, conditional approval from the Board of Architectural Review for signs and exterior doors, etc. and I am tired this morning. It is at least a two cup of coffee morning. Soon to install new dishwasher, complete the Sunday flow, EKG, blood work, rework plans, contact vendors, and misc. other things.

Lord, in you, the impossible became possible and is now completed. You are incredible, and incredibly encouraging. Grant wisdom to my team of physicians on why I have four compression fractures and bring your health to all our flesh and strength to all our bones. Help my niece recover from her surgery to remove her tonsils and for a completely successful surgery for Mrs. Draper. Help all of us follow you, to use our endeavors to heal ourselves, and to repent of destructive actions.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ramadan Kareem

After a serious health discussion with my Islamic oncologist, I awkwardly said, "not sure how to say this, but… blessed Ramadan? To you?"    

She helped me, and said," thank you, but we say, Ramadan Kareem, which means, May Ramadan be generous to you".

As a follower of Jesus Christ, and surrounded by an ever increasing number of followers of Islam, I choose the nice approach. There is a moving of the Holy Spirit in dreams, visions, and miracles that is drawing followers of Islam towards following Jesus. Let us position ourselves to be the mentors/disciplers/pastors to them. The most generous spiritual experience would be choosing to follow Jesus Christ, so we can say it in faith, without compromising our faith, "Ramadan Kareem to you".

Lord, grant us love, generosity, and graciousness to the spiritual seekers within Islam. Grant us favor, so we may lead them closer and closer to you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cruisin’

8.5 mile bike ride while praying in understanding and Spirit (I Cor. 14). Gathered with others who enjoy experiencing God in the outdoors. Sent some ants to insect heaven. Rejoicing that yesterday's potential disaster is almost completely dried up without damage. Found replacement appliances on a clearance sale and many more things are cruisin' into place. Even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by him (Pro. 16:33 Amp)

Lord, thank you for offering life in the Spirit. Help us enter and enjoy the cruise.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reminder

8 mile bike ride followed by exercises from my physical therapist. In devotions I was reminded again of something I need reminding often.

When I came to the office, I heard something unusual. I traced it down and found one of our water fountains was showering water, and had created a flood. At the same moment, the carpet cleaning crew arrived, that had been scheduled, by divine coincidence and they helped clean up the mess. With help, fans and sunshine a disaster was averted. The reminder verse was:

All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil (by anxious thoughts and forebodings), but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast (regardless of circumstances). Pro. 15: 15 amp.

By grace, the flood didn't prompt me to mutter grumblings, but they were forming in my head. The scripture reminds that our days can be made evil by our anxious thoughts and forebodings, not the circumstances.

Lord, I appreciate this kind of reminders, and just in time. Forgive me for the muttering grumblings that were beginning to form, and help me and others keep a glad heart regardless of circumstances.

Monday, September 14, 2009

In Christ, all things are possible

Seven mile bike ride is easier on the back than walking or running. MRI revealed, I have four vertebrae compressed 40%. Following some guidelines on building up and strengthening my bones.

Life and health

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart is life and health to the body (Pro. 14: 31). So many things and people can disturb one's mind and affect the calmness and serenity of life. So many things are beyond our control, but how we are affected by them, are within our control. We can both 'foam up quickly and fly into a passion' (Pro. 14: 17), or choose to be joyful regardless of circumstances. These are tests of life. Losing our calm, and becoming disturbed about uncontrollable situations, and saying, "you made me mad', or "life sucks" just robs a person of God's life and health for one's body.


If like me, you find this incredibly difficult to maintain consistently for any length of time, it has and will affect the life and health of one's body.


Lord, help us to desire and maintain a calm and undisturbed mind and heart, no matter the external circumstance. Forgive us for foaming up quickly with passion when life, people, situations, betray, offend, or persecute us. Give us your peace, and help us keep it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tame your tongue

Taming our tongues should be our number one priority after accepting Jesus as Lord and savior, for in doing so, a person becomes perfect, or complete, or mature, or fulfilled. James 3: 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

Lord, help me, to understand, that within the ability to tame my tongue, lays my fulfillment.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chiseled by trial (Pro. 11:2)

A friend of mine told me recently, "my wife has been doing Pilates, and her abs are like a six-pack!" I replied, "I haven't done a thing, and mine looks like a keg".

Whether physical or spiritual, to have a 'chiseled' body or spirit, it has to be exercised. Exercise can either be willfully planned or executed, or ….! Spiritual trials are those exercises we choose to plan and execute out of a relationship with God, and/or situations of life, we find ourselves in, and respond to out of spiritual fruit, character, and grace. Unplanned spiritual trials come not of our choosing, but by a myriad of possible reasons. Often we find ourselves in situations that require a power greater than ourselves. Daily deepening devotions are just one example of willful choice to place one's self in a trial of faith, and grow, and develop 'chiseled abs'. Responding in a Christ like manner to any number of negative or disappointing interactions is an example of those trials we don't plan or choose. Both are part of the follower of Christ's life of trials, and both bring the follower a chiseled spiritual life.

Today is an anniversary, of a terrorist planned attack upon the United States. There are differences between an outright attack and a trial, and maybe tomorrow, we can think about the difference.

Lord, your plans for us are always good, wonderful and abundant. Help us respond to the various trials of life with your goodness, your wonderful attitude and abundant grace. We humbly ask for peace on earth and good will towards all mankind.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

MRI

Good news is cancer hasn't spread to my spine. Still some evidence of lymphoma in my marrow, and multiple vertebrae are compressed. Will soon discover what is next, but until that time, there is a lot of life to enjoy.

Lord, thank you for carrying grace and unconditional love.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

    

Strength

The way of the Lord is strength. (Pro. 10:29). After 4 back to back MRI's, without moving my back, I had passed over and beyond my mental limits. An hour and a half in a tube, head to toe, head first, with only inches of space, with loud cacophonous bass notes, pushed my mental strength beyond its known limit. This is what a test does. Test's push us to places we didn't think we could go.

It is the morning after a test, and it is a time to renew, rebuild, refresh, and reflect. I am now mentally stronger than yesterday, but I haven't fully recovered, so I don't feel it quite yet.

Lord, thank you for being our strength coach that knows we are able to press through limits, when we don't think we can. Thank you for your strength that is found in following your ways. Give us grace to wait patiently in your ways for the results of every type of test.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Physical Therapy

Lying flat on my back is more difficult in this season of life, than running hills used to be. My first session with a Physical Therapist, was all about teaching me how to do specific exercises. I left after thirty minutes with a sheet full of 'easy' exercises and am now officially, seriously, exercising my body back to health. They only take a little over thirty minutes and I have to trust my Therapist that I am going in the right direction. During the exercises I listen to Spiritual Therapists in a Christian context who also recommends specific spiritual exercises. Today, the Spiritual Therapy was exercising ones faith, by using the words of our mouth to minister to others. Specific exercises were given, and each of the preachers recommended we go out and exercise our faith. Listening and doing the various therapies, whether physical or spiritual under the watchful eye of a therapist is only the beginning. It is the doing of them this morning that will engraft them into my life.

Lord, in the physical and spiritual lead us all to a place of health, and grant us grace to do what we must do to get there. Forgive us of bad habits that hinder us from reaching health, and help us establish good habits until they are engrafted into our being.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prayer

A 100 degree to a 94.7 degree temperature swing in a week isn't normal. This morning, I compiled a log of medications, symptoms, temperatures, etc. of the last week, to assist my oncologist and primary care physician. Communication to earthly doctors is not easy, and is time consuming. I am still optimistic that it is effective.

A high temperature as well as a low temperature is a signal, that something is not right. Conveying that signal to doctors in a way that is understandable, within the time frame of office hours is much more burdensome than the 24/7 communication with the Almighty we all have available to us.

Prayer to the Great Physician is easy and effective.

An hour of prayer seems long, until one compares it to the time it takes to write out a daily log, summarize a weekly log, email in six parts because of text limitations, communicate to an appointment staff, drive to the appointments, wait in the office, have the appointment, pick up medicine, drive home, etc, etc. etc. If there are tests involved it becomes even lengthier and more burdensome. If pain medication is involved, it also has to include a driver who takes off work to keep the patient from driving.

Just wanting us to think, that the time we spend with the Heavenly Father, is short, easy, effective and rewarding, in comparison with communication with physicians and counselors, and makes a difference in the moment, the day ahead and in eternity.


 

Lord, compared to earthly physicians, and earthly counsel, time with you, is so much easier and rewarding. Forgive us, for whatever keeps us from a devotional time with you and help us to always communicate relationally with you. Lord, say a happy birthday to my mom and let her know I have no short or long range plans on seeing her any time soon.


 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Florida Native

Florida has a lot to enjoy, and was a great state to grow up in. Best of friends and family still reside there, and I would still be there, except the Lord had other plans. My wife (also a Florida native), and I just arrived home after a miraculously delightful time with our three grown children and their families. We love our kid's spouses, and our relationship. We don't second guess the decisions made thirty years ago to follow where the Lord was calling. We played games, fished, boated, worked, passed through a time portal and celebrated October birthdays a month early, ate, prayed, and enjoyed life. Often, tears of overwhelming joy would come, as I reflected on the joys of life that have come from obeying the Lord, and there is more to come.

Tonight, two great teams from the ends of Florida are playing before a national audience. Great people comprise this unique state, and it should be an interesting, entertaining game. Growing up in central Florida, I was raised in a University of Florida home, so this game is just fun to watch. I slightly lean towards Florida State, because one of my two son-in-laws grew up in a Florida State family.

Lord, thank you for the places of our beginnings, and the places of the journey. It was, is and will be amazing.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Help is from the Lord

Son and son - law worked on projects I couldn't do. More and more things I couldn't do are now done.

Lord, thank you for the instruction to "do what you could not do".  Help me listen and pay heed to your instruction. Thank you for mercifully sending help.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Search

I found an ancient tool amidst rubble that was dug up to make more room for my garden. Now, every time, I pass the site, I linger and scan for other treasure. Places of discovery become places to linger for more. Ancient wisdom says to seek Godly Wisdom as one seeks for hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:4). The more one seeks and finds Godly Wisdom, it begins a cycle of seek/discovery/seek/discovery.

Lord, help all of us keep seeking, so we can find, so we can keep seeking so we can find, so we can…

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I love my job

After reading test results I can't help but think of the person's whose job it is to do the test. My urine culture result is:" NO GROWTH AFTER OVERNIGHT INCUBATION". God bless the persons whose job it is to incubate and monitor urine cultures.

The prescription to live quietly without fear or dread of evil is to pay attention to God's wisdom (Proverbs 1:33). There is no co-pay, no side effect, no negative interactions with other prescriptions, and God's wisdom is easy to swallow. This morning, just my antibiotic prescriptions, had a papa bear, mama bear and baby bear size. The pain medication has multiple negative side effects. The prescribed medicine to help all them flow through my digestive system is so nasty to taste it causes an instant gag. Yet, the daily deepening affect of paying attention to God's wisdom as revealed in the bible, adds the promise of an eventual blessing, and sometimes an instant one if we will just pause our life to read and pay attention.

The best gift a parent can give their children is the gift of reading, and specifically the gift of reading God's wisdom. God's wisdom is better than a field of treasure, costly gems, pure gold, and 25 years of season tickets to your favorite sports team. And, God's wisdom is an easy pill to swallow.

Thank you Mom and Dad for encouraging and sometimes forcing me to read.

Lord, will you pass on my thanks to Dorothy and Cal. Help us to regularly read and pay attention to God's wisdom. Grant all of us your wisdom to navigate the complexities of life. Make it easy to swallow. Amen