A Word for 2005...Precious Promises

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.

Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.

In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

"Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation."
With such exceeding and precious promises, what more can we ask for?
Praising Him this day!

" A lifelong sentence" or was it...?

My personal physician recently diagnosed me with HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE....

Since I've heard all the "ills" of this condition, I almost felt like a "death sentence" had been pronounced on me.

For those who are remotely interested in High Blood Pressure, here's a great site:


And yes, I'm learning to modify my diet, exercise more than I have been doing (and any exercise at all will be MORE than I've been doing in recent months)....

So here's for a healthier 2005...

For 2005...My prayer...

Gloria Gaither is probably my favorite living poet....hands down! More than twenty years ago, she penned a wonderful song of testimony and petition. Here it is:

I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven;
I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child, and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive another;
The law of love I gladly will obey.

I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion;
I’ve been so loved that I’ll risk loving, too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I dare to see another’s point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I’ll be there to care and follow through.

Your kingdom come around and through and in me,
Your pow’r and glory, let them shine thru me.
Your Hallowed Name O may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world thru me.

-- words by Gloria Gaither
--sung to the tune of Finlandia

My favorite Christmas Song...

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet, the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth", I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till ringing, singing, on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

- Words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864.
- Music by J. Baptiste Calkin, 1872.
And when I hear the bells on Christmas Day, I'll remember that "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep." I'll remember that regardless of what has gone "wrong" in 2004 that HE is indeed full of mercy, tender compassions, and that His love knows no limit, and His grace knows no measure.

I'll remember that regardless of the heartaches of this year (and there have been plenty) that the tiny Baby born in Bethlehem's manger is still the Healer of wounded hearts and shattered dreams. He is the "heart-mender" and the "mind-regulator" (to quote a Negro spiritual from my childhood), and nothing that happens will ever escape His watchful eyes.

No disappointment or disillusionment
No wounds, scars, or conflicts.
No misunderstanding, rumors, tale-bearing, nor idle gossip.

He has experienced it all. And He sees it all.

May there be "goodwill toward men" in the name of that Blessed Baby born in Bethlehem so many years ago.

So who/what are they "singing" about?

Interesting to say the least....

© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

Santa Claus joins President and Laura Bush in singing carols at the White House

WASHINGTON – What's virtually missing from the White House commemoration of Christmas this year?


The little baby in the manger.

The reason for the season.

While President Bush was re-elected last month in an election victory many attributed to an outpouring of support by evangelical Christians impressed with his candid outspokenness about his faith, some Americans notice the White House website lacks even a single mention of Jesus, whose birth is celebrated by hundreds of millions worldwide Dec. 25.

The official White House site proclaims this as the "Season of Merriment and Melody" – not the birth of the Savior of the world.

"Throughout the world, the holiday season is greeted by joyful music that brightens hearts and evokes wonderful memories," reads the message. "This year's theme brings to the White House the magic of holiday songs that have been favorites for generations of Americans."

Among the website's many photographs of secular decorations is a shot of a creche, or Nativity, displayed in the East Room, but the baby Jesus is virtually invisible.

The White House has not responded to WND's request for comment.

The White House residence, the site proclaims is decorated with "delightful vignettes illustrating many of the best-loved songs of the season."

White House decorated like a winter wonderland.

Not one of those songs is a traditional spiritual carol or hymn. Instead, the songs listed include "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "Here Comes Santa Claus," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," "Upon the Housetop," "Blue Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," White Christmas," "Frosty the Snowman, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Marshmallow World."

In fact, even the word Christmas is only used in song titles and as an adjective – such as before the word tree.

At the lighting of the National Christmas Tree Dec. 2, Bush remarked: "Tonight we begin a joyous season, and the city of Washington is never more beautiful than during the holidays. At Christmas time we celebrate good tidings first announced two thousand years ago, and still a source of great joy in our world. Laura and I are always happy to join in the Pageant of Peace, and we thank you all for coming this evening.

"The season of Advent is always the season of hope," Bush continued. "We think of the patient hope of men and women across the centuries who listened to the words of the prophets and lived in joyful expectation.

We think of the hope of Mary, who welcomed God's plan with great faith. We think of the hope of the Wise Men who set out on a long journey guided only by a slender promise traced in the stars. We are reminded of the hope that the grandest purposes of the Almighty can be found in the humblest places.

And we embrace the hope that all the love and gifts that come to us in this life are the signs and symbols of even a greater love and gift that came on a holy night. The old carol speaks of a 'thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.' And every year at this time we feel the thrill of hope as we wait on Christmas Day."

Bush went on to remember troops serving in foreign wars this Christmas season.

It has been noted that the Bushes' holiday card this year includes a Scripture verse. But, again, it does not mention Jesus.

This card has a line from Psalms, 95:2: "Let us come before him with Thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."

First lady Laura Bush supervises the card selection. She also picked cards with Bible verses when her husband was Texas governor.

The Republican National Committee paid for production and distribution.

On Dec. 9, Bush participated in a special menorah lighting ceremony at the White House.

"Hanukkah is a festive holiday that celebrates a great victory for freedom," he said. "We remember the liberation of Jerusalem and a miracle witnessed in the holy Temple 2,000 years ago. For eight days the oil burned, and the light of freedom still burns in Jewish homes and synagogues everywhere. We are honored to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah in the White House this evening."

Likewise, Bush issued a Hanukkah proclamation Dec. 7. "I send greetings to all those celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights," he said. "On the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, Jews around the world commemorate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago. During this time of darkness, the Temple had been seized, and Judaism had been outlawed. Judah Maccabee and his followers fought for three years for their freedom and successfully recaptured Jerusalem and the Temple. Jewish tradition teaches that the Maccabees found only one small bottle of oil to be used for temple rituals, but that oil lasted eight days and nights. The miracle of this enduring light, remembered through the lighting of the Menorah, continues to symbolize the triumph of faith over tyranny."

He continued: "The bravery of the Maccabees has provided inspiration through the ages. We must remain steadfast and courageous as we seek to spread peace and freedom throughout the world. This holiday season, we give thanks to God, and we remember the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and their families. We also pray that all who live under oppression will see their day of freedom and that the light of faith will always shine through the darkness. Laura joins me in wishing you a blessed and Happy Hanukkah."

In 2001, Bush issued a Kwanzaa greeting from the White House, and repeated it in 2002 and 2003.
So where does JESUS play into all of this "much ado about whatever"?

A "must read" for Christians who wonder....

I recently saw this lady, Carol Kent, do an interview on television. I heard the incredible story she told. I found this review of her book.

Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances
Carol Kent
NavPress: Christian Living ISBN: 1576834743
About the Book

In some theoretical realm we all know that life can change drastically in an instant --- a slip on the ice, a freak accident. But most white-collar, suburban churchgoers do not expect the message that Carol Kent and her husband received in October 1999, just a few weeks after she had mused, "Does life get any better than this?" (Their careers --- directing a national Christian speakers' bureau --- were on track. Their only son --- an earnest Christian, a navy lieutenant --- was married and the stepfather to two young daughters, whom they enjoyed grandparenting.)

The devastating news? That their son, Jason, was in jail, charged with the first-degree murder of his wife's ex-husband --- a crime witnessed by several bystanders. With this as the book's setting, you quickly understand the subtitle "Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances."

As may be obvious, the book's title is drawn from the biblical story of Abraham, who was willing to give up all claim to his son Isaac. It is a book about surrender and the paradoxical lessons it can teach. "There is hidden power in our unthinkable circumstances," she says. Subtitles of the eight chapters outline the journey: "The Power of Unthinkable Circumstances;…of Relinquishment;…of Heartache;…of Community;… of Hope;…of Faith;…of Joy;…of Speaking Up."

The narrative, which includes quotes from journals of Carol and her husband, draws the reader into the depths of parental wipeout but without dragging the reader through detailed specifics of the author's own circumstance. It is, at the same time, a very personal and yet impersonal story. You "see" emotion and spiritual process and growth more than you "see" Jason or the courtroom, for example; in some ways Jason is representative of any "heart sacrifice," any relinquished dream. (Unlike Abraham, the Kents have seen no miraculous and evident "deliverance." Jason is serving a sentence of life in prison without parole.) "When we release our grasp…It's an act of trusting God when we cannot envision a positive outcome. But in the end, it's the only thing that works."

Carol's spiritual discussion in some chapters is supplemented by anecdotes tracing other people's faith journeys: a woman hearing that a husband has sexually abused a daughter, a single man losing the love of his life. The copyright page says some of these are "true to life" and included with permission; others are "composites of real situations." This disclaimer made it hard for me to endow a few compelling anecdotes with real-character authenticity.

Because of their nationwide ministry, the Kents have been "upheld" by a network of supportive "stretcher bearers" who have girded them in ways that may be enviable to the average reader. But I encourage the average reader to set aside that distinction and walk this journey alongside the author, who dares through darkness to hope in God's redemptive purposes --- some of which she can identify by the end of the book: "If [we] had never endured unthinkable circumstances, we might not have understood the pain of brokenness…. If there had been 'a lamb in the thicket' for our family, we wouldn't have launched Speak Up for Hope," a new prison-related ministry. "If life hadn't held unspeakable tragedy, we never would have been the recipients of such extravagant love."

Each chapter ends with questions that help the reader process personal pain. To her credit, at the end of the book, Carol goes out of her way to establish that her pain is not necessarily greater than that of other people's losses. "We don't need a meter to tell us which pain hurts the most. All of our heartaches produce great sadness, and telling our stories to each other brings a release, a comfort, and the knowledge that somebody cares." Most of all, she's newly aware of the love of God. "I know He loves me more than I love my 'Isaac.'"

--- Reviewed by Evelyn Bence

You can buy this volume in any Christian bookstore, as well as ordering it on line from one of the many distributors available.

Get this book for yourself. And for someone you love.

Holiday Eating Tips..thse are funny!

Holiday Eating Tips....

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. (Optional) Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner!
Before anyone gets in a "twit" these tips are by no means my own...even though I think they are hilarious!

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"--revised


T'was the night before Christmas and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus
was anywhere to be found.
The people were all busy with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking, and shopping in stores

No one sang "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed".
Instead, they sang of Santa dressed-up in bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart,
Papa drank beer from a tap.
As hour upon hour the presents they'd wrap

When what from the TV
did they suddenly hear?
'Cept an ad.. which told of a big sale at Sears.

So away to the mall they all flew like a flash...
Buying things on credit..and others with cash!
And, as they made their way home
From their trip to the mall,
Did they think about Jesus?
Oh, no... not at all.

Their lives were so busy
with their Christmas time things
No time to remember Christ Jesus,
the King of Kings.

There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior...
they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time
to "Shop til they dropped!"

On Wal-mart!
On K-mart!
On Target!
On Penney's!
On Hallmark!
On Zales!
A quick lunch at Denny's!

From the big stores downtown
to the stores at the mall
They would dash away,
dash away, and visit them all!

And up on the roof,
there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung icicle lights
up on his brand new step ladder.

He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus...
Light of the World.

Christ's eyes... how they twinkle!
Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous!
All our burdens... He'll carry!

So instead of being busy,
overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in Christmas
and enjoy some good nights!

Merry Christmas, my friends!
Author Unknown

Where I Work

Coyne American Institute is one of the oldest vocational training schools in the United States. We are leaders in the HVAC, Electrical Maintenance, and Electronic Technician trades. We have just moved into a gorgeous, spacious new facility, built just for us.

Here's our website:


I'll write more later.

Lee University at the WHITE HOUSE....

I am an alum of Lee University, Cleveland TN (www.leeuniversity.edu). I am so thrilled to learn that "Voices of Lee"--one of the premier musical groups in the USA will be guest artists at the White House. Here's the story:

Lee University's Voices of Lee have been asked to perform at the White House for a special Christmas performance on Dec. 17.

The 15-member ensemble will give a concert for the invitation-only guests of the president's home, who will be viewing the Christmas decorations at the house.

Their hour and a half, a capella performance will feature what Murray calls "vocal orchestration" with traditional Christmas music such as "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and "Joy to the World." The group will also sing "Tender Tennessee Christmas."

The group was referred to the White House by Congressman Zach Wamp's office. When Rhonda Houston, of the White House Visitors Office, contacted the group, director Danny Murray said they immediately accepted the invitation and completed the appropriate security documents.

"This is the kind of thing every group at Lee wants to do," Murray said. "We're really excited about it, and the kids are just elated. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Murray and his singers hope to meet the president and first lady, though they have no idea if the couple will be there or who the president's special guests are.

In recent years, the guests have included New York City firefighters who served during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The invitation comes at a special time for the Voices of Lee, as they are celebrating 10 years of singing and ministry.

The group's trip to the White House is just another performance to add to their already long list of memorable concerts, which include performances in Jerusalem, the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and numerous a capella festivals across the country. The group has also appeared on "Good Morning America" and Bill Gaither's "Praise Gathering."

"During their college career, you hope something like this could happen, but you never know," Murray said. "This is something they will look back on and always remember."

The Voices of Lee website: www.voicesoflee.com