What a gracious couple! What a gorgeous woman!

I have ALWAYS admired Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr--even when I was a "wee child" and the 5th Dimension was the "hottest thing going..."

But I particularly loved MARILYN McCOO! And I still do.

I had the wonderful privilege of meeting these two last weekend here in Chicago during a discussion group/book signing at Border's Bookstore on N Michigan Avenue. Their new book, "Up, Up and Away" celebrate their faith, their lives, their careers, and their almost 36 years of marriage.

Here's a link to their website:

What a wonderful testimony of the faithfulness of God in their lives--and the more so even before they completely committed their lives to Him. Their witness for the transforming power of Jesus Christ is amazing, and refreshing.

Check them out. Read the book...and give one to somebody.

So someone in Southern California has some SENSE

Dr Phil McGraw is a transplant to the Los Angeles area. He is one of the leading voices championing "common sense" and particularly where families are concerned.

Please check out his website:


Use the resources, watch the show, and get on with living.

So, what if we spent those $$$ elsewhere?

The Catholic League has become very vocal in their critique of Hollywood-endorsed morality. And for the most part, rightly so. Yet, I wonder how many of those small green slips of paper with badly drawn pics of dead presidents would float California way if all the "Catholics" decided to not patronize the "Hollywood industry"--at the theatre, in their homes, in their social gatherings, and anywhere else?

Read it for yourself....

I grew up fairly legalistic, where morality was concerned. I never attended movies, because the church denomination of which I was a part at the time said it was "immoral." But at the same time, most of the adherents would have questionable things in their homes on the "boob tube."

If we want to really send a message to "Southern California morality-makers" then we need to stop patronizing their wares...period. No rented videos of objectionable material. No movie attendance, stop buying those products that actively sponsor such materials....

But alas, most of us Christians are afraid to "put our money where our mouths are..."

We'd rather "curse the darkness" instead of "lighting the candle."

After all, it takes less effort...and provides instant gratification...

Complaining that is....

The Philly 5..Is this "Justice" in America?

Read it for yourself:
Case Dismissed for Philly 5, But Battle Has Just BegunPro-Family Leader Demands Apology; Christian Group Pursues Legal Redress

By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
February 22, 2005

(AgapePress) - The American Family Association of Pennsylvania is demanding that a judge apologize to members of a Christian group who were arrested during an outreach to homosexuals for comparing the street ministers to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Meanwhile, though acquitted, the Christian activists may be heading back into court.

Last week, Judge Pamela Dembe of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas dropped all charges against adult defendants belonging to the Christian group Repent America, who were arrested last fall for witnessing during a homosexual pride event in Philadelphia. The charges against the remaining member of the "Philly 5," a 17-year-old girl, were also dropped.

Eleven Christians were initially arrested, a group that ranged from 17 to 72 years of age. They were taken into custody and held in jail for 21 hours, simply for ministering at a city-funded, public homosexual event called "OutFest" in October 2004. They were charged with three felonies and five misdemeanors and faced a potential sentence of up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines each.

Some of the charges were dropped without a hearing, but four of the adult Repent America members that had been arrested -- Michael Marcavage, Mark Diener, Dennis Green, and James Cruse -- were bound over for trial by District Court Judge William Austin Meehan. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Lauren Murch faced a separate trial.

Justice Served with an Unflattering Comparison

According to WorldNetDaily reports, when Judge Dembe reviewed the evidence -- much of it provided by Repent America, since the group had videotaped the events leading up to the arrests -- she found no basis for the allegations against the remaining defendants and dismissed the charges. Dembe is also the judge who, last month, removed the bail requirement that the defendants keep at least 100 feet away from any homosexual gathering.

After hearing arguments and reviewing the videotape of the arrests, the Common Pleas judge noted that America is one of the few countries in the world "that protects unpopular speech." She said this means "Nazis can March in Skokie, Illinois" and "the Ku Klux Klan can march where they wish to" since, in the U.S., "we cannot stifle speech because we don't want to hear it, or we don't want to hear it now."

But while Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, is glad justice was served, she feels the remarks the judge made in dismissing the charges should have been withheld. She says the Repent America members did not deserve to be compared with fascists and white supremacists, especially after all they had been through.

"For 18 weeks their life has been in an upheaval," Gramley says, "and then the judge who dismisses the charges makes these statements. It's just outrageous as far as I'm concerned, and I would encourage folks to contact her and let her know that her comments were not appreciated."

Gramley feels Dembe's framing comments put the defendants on a par with hate-filled groups and characterized the Christian activists unfairly. "We're very pleased that the judge handed down the decision that she did," the pro-family spokeswoman says, "but we just wish she had not used the words Nazis and KKK in the statement that she made, equating Repent America with those types of hate organizations."

When Love of God and Neighbor Becomes a Hate Crime

Repent America founder Michael Marcavage would say that, far from being a hate group, his group is offering a loving response to sins that are destroying the social fabric of America. He feels the ministry has a calling and a responsibility to confront abortion, homosexuality, and other sins, and in describing its mission, he says, "If we love God, we will obey His commandments; and if we love our neighbors, we will go to them with the Word of God, so that they may be saved."

But after coming through his arrest and the ordeal of being tried in court for ministering at OutFest, Marcavage notes that the price of godly obedience is becoming increasingly steep in an increasingly faith-hostile America. "Christianity is being criminalized," he says. "The attack against Christians by government officials has never been so extreme. Not only are they removing symbols of Christianity from the public square, but they are now removing the Christians themselves."

Marcavage says what he finds most disturbing about this case, aside from "the arrests, imprisonment, and malicious prosecution," is the use of Pennsylvania hate crime law, which has added sexual orientation as a protected category. "Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham knew exactly what she was doing when she targeted us with the hate law due to our biblical opposition to homosexual behavior," the Repent America spokesman says. He notes that Abraham sits on the National Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, whose members he calls "the architects of the hate crimes legislation."

Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, has worked on behalf of the Philadelphia Christian group in the federal courts. In a statement responding to this latest ruling, he commented that the AFA Law Center is pleased for its clients as well as relieved that "justice has finally been done in the criminal system, and though it is apparently slow and rusty, the system still works."

But according to Fahling, Judge Dembe's decision to dismiss the charges ends only the first chapter in the ongoing saga of the Philadelphia 11. The group's legal representatives will be pursuing federal legal action against the arresting officers and the City of Philadelphia, and they are calling for a Department of Justice investigation into the corruption and abuse of power they allege took place in the so-called City of Brotherly Love.

© 2005 AgapePress all rights reserved.

Is it LOVE or is it LUST? You decide...

I wrote this for a men's group back in early January 2005. Tell me what you think:


Someone recently mentioned "loving rather than lusting..." and I found the statement to be immensely "loaded." There is just SO much there to consider.

Let's talk about a couple of items:

LOVE says, " I want what is in YOUR best interest...not what will harm you, injure you, or bring disgrace to you."

LUST says, "I want what I want, when I want it. My immediates needs and desires are paramount, and gratifying my desires is supreme....regardless of what you or anyone else thinks."

LOVE says, "You are one who bears the image of God, and I am compromising my love for GOD if I 'have my way' with you. God's image in you is holy. I will not touch it."

LUST says, "Your body, your sexuality, and your person brings me great pleasure (in that order), and once I'm gratified (not satisfied), then you hold little, if any value to me."

LOVE says, "Christ has made a way for me to be holy, to live holy, and to respond to every desire in a way worthy of being called 'Christian'"

LUST says, "Live, let live...and my contentment and desires are first and foremost. Regardless of who is destroyed in the process...after all, it's 'all about me.'"

LOVE says, "God is holy. He expects and requires me to live holy. No exceptions."
So what say ye?

Some great local churches..and their websites...

I believe in the local church!

I remember one of my seminary professors saying, "If you love the Body of Christ everywhere, then you must love the Body of Christ somewhere..specifically."

I couldn't agree more.

So, I wanted to post some links to some great local congregations that mean a lot to me. I either know the pastoral staff in these places, or I'm very familiar with their ministries. I heartily endorse these local congregations, and encourage you to visit with the "family of God" when you are in the vicinity.

Valley Baptist Church, San Rafael, California.

Senior Pastor Chris Losey and his wife Sharon have been precious and treasured friends for almost twenty years now. He is a retired United States Air Force Chaplain, and tremendous servant of the Lord and His people. I've had the great privilege of singing in this church on several occasions. It is always a great joy to be with these people in the San Francisco Bay area.

Denver First Church of the Nazarene, Englewood, Colorado

Senior Pastor Tim Stearman and his wife Jane have shepherded this marvelous congregation for almost twelve years now. When I was stationed at Lowry AFB (in suburban Aurora) right outside of downtown Denver, I became acquainted with the Denver First Church family. After my first visit there, I never looked for another congregation. I was "home" with the DFC folks--and no, I didn't grow up Nazarene, and not a member of the Church of the Nazarene. But this is one wonderful congregation. If you decide to visit, find Missions Pastor Lanny York, and tell him that Phil Hoover sent you. He will definitely be glad to see you..and to hear from me.

Westmore Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee

Senior Pastor Kelvin Page and his wife Debbie lead this growing congregation in the lovely town of Cleveland nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. You will find strong, Biblical preaching, vibrant fellowship, and a warm welcome at the Westmore Church.

On a personal note, I was a colleague of Pastor Page's during our undergraduate days at Lee College (now Lee University) way back in the early 1980s. He is a jewel of a person, and a shepherd after God's own heart. Pay them a visit.

The Moody Church, Chicago, Illinois

Doctor Erwin W Lutzer celebrates twenty five years of active service as the Senior Pastor of this great historic congregation in the heart of the Windy City. The Moody Church has something for everyone. Their ministries literally reach around the world. Pastor Lutzer's messages can be heard on anyone of three radio programs (Songs in the Night, Running To Win, The Moody Church Hour), and anytime via the Worldwide Web. This congregation is a vibrant, growing, engaging, and warm fellowship of people who seriously want to "connect with God and with each other." If you are ever in Chicago, please worship with the saints at The Moody Church. You will be so glad that you did.

Another friend..and a marvelous singer/musician

Please check out the website for my friend, Allison Durham Speer:


This lady who stands 5'1" has a voice that is at least ten feet tall. And what a communicator! What a wonderful, powerful minister of the grace of God through the gifts of music.

She and her husband Brian are just two great people.

Let me encourage you to check out her website, buy her music, and have them in your local church. Or at least encourage others to have them somewhere near you.

So, what are you waiting for? Go to the website....


For this Lenten Season...

Legendary singer/songwriter, Dottie Rambo, has given the music world more than 2500 songs in her short life span. I grew up hearing the Singing Rambos, and loving Dottie's music. None of those great songs has profoundly impacted/influenced my spiritual life like this one:

I boast not of works
Nor tell of good deeds;
For naught have I done
To merit His grace.
All glory and praise
Shall rest upon Him
So willing to die in my place....

My trophies and crowns,
My robes stained with sin
Were all that I had to lay at His feet.
So unworthy to eat
From His table of life
But God made provision for me!

I will glory in the Cross!
In the Cross!
Lest His suffering all be in vain!
I will weep no more
For the Cross that He bore,
But I will glory in the Cross!

--words and music by Dottie Rambo.
What a testimony! What a joy! What an everlasting hope! May it ever be so!

Another Janet Update....

Here's a letter from John, Janet's husband, dated 21 February 2005 (Yesterday):

(6:30 AM) Today is day 5 following Janet's second round of chemotherapy, and there does seem to be a predictable pattern developing. Day 1 of chemotherapy is quite simply, total exhaustion! The good news this time was very little nausea immediately following the chemo treatment.

Day 2 is a very interesting day judging by these previous two rounds. This is the day where Janet feels pretty much "bullet proof". As she stated in her newsletter, "I'd begun to think that chemo had been getting a bad rap - what was the big deal?". I was upstairs working on a photo album to upload to the web site, when I hear the vacuum cleaner running. I go downstairs and Janet is vacuuming everything in sight, good thing Max was with Paw Paw for a few days. We exchange looks, no words are necessary, she then gently turns off the vacuum and lies down on the couch. I am now back upstairs cropping, and resizing when I hear the unmistakable sound, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the washing machine. Halfway down the stairs she hears me and defensively states "it's just one load, and a small one at that!".....back to the couch. I return upstairs and am working on about the 3rd photograph with what seems like a million to go, I hear sounds like, clank, clink. whirr, whirr, Janet is in the kitchen....OK, you get the drift of day two. Now, before you get the wrong impression, before you write me and say "let her work, it is good for her!" I say " NOT ON DAY TWO!" You see, day two is a lot like your credit card during those last fleeting days of Christmas, everything looks wonderful, you feel wonderful, all is right with the world. Then comes the end of January with the dreaded credit card bill!

Which leads us to days...3 & 4....horrible, terrible, just downright BAD! Day 2 giveth and Day 3 & 4 taketh away, and then some. As Janet states "I feel like I have been run over by a garbage truck!" Her body aches right to the marrow of her bones, she has a metallic taste in her mouth and NOTHING tastes good. She is totally and completely consumed by fatigue.

Today is day 5 with Janet feeling like she doesn't have to look in both directions before getting out of bed so as to avoid a rogue garbage truck. She definitely feels much better, but the road is still uphill. She is taking it easy right now for we plan to start walking around the neighborhood every day from today forward. Her Dr. says he is a firm believer in exercise, get the heart working and the blood circulating.

(5:00 PM) Janet and I just returned from a walk around the neighborhood of approximately 3 miles. She did great, in fact I had to ask her to slow down a couple of times. Thank you again for the wonderful letters of sharing and encouragement. I will post another update in about one week.

Two rounds of chemo down and two to go, we are halfway home!.

God bless all of you,

Praising the Lord for such an encouraging report. Please continue praying for Janet Paschal and her husband, as they face this "trial" together. That's what the church is all about...how we "care for one another."

The "Janet Paschal" update...

John, Janet's husband sent out this email, and also posted it on her website (www.janetpaschal.com):

As I write this update, Janet is downstairs sleeping on the couch, a sleep that is so still and deep that it is a bit frightening. We have only been home for about an hour or so, Maw Maw, Paw Paw (Janet's Mother and Father) and Kay (her Sister) have just left with a promise to return day after tomorrow.

We arrived at the clinic at 8:30 am to have some blood drawn for the purpose of determining blood levels (white blood count and so forth). Then around 9:30 or so, we met with the Oncologist to review the results of the blood work-up and ascertain whether the tumor had been altered in any way as a result of the first round of chemo.

The Oncologist informed Janet that her white blood count had not returned to a level he would have preferred. Her count nudged into the region where they would NOT have to delay the second round of treatment; however, the number was sufficiently low enough to require another type of treatment in order to boost her immune system.

Also, an examination revealed the tumor had not changed in size or density. We were hoping to find a decrease in it's size, some measurable result telegraphing that the cancer was responding to the treatment. The Doctor was quick to reassure and to make clear that this phase was still very early in Janet's overall treatment.

11:30 am Janet was in her recliner reading (what else?) a recipe book while being administered her second round of chemotherapy. 2:30 pm we were back home, 3:30 pm Paw Paw, Maw Maw, and Kay left and Janet is now resting downstairs.

I have to be honest, once Janet was quietly asleep on the couch and I was sitting at my computer wondering what to say, a feeling of despondency settled over me. But then I remembered that Joshua was not instructed to march around Jericho just one time....and that Naaman wasn't instructed to dip into the Jordan just once, and so forth. I then went to the web site and reread all of the guest book entries, and the e-mail you have sent. I was humbled by the many prayers being offered for Janet, the encouragement, the moving testimonies of God reaching down and touching your lives and the gentle reminders of how "God Will Make A Way" for Janet as well. Thank you!

OK, now for some good news. Janet has followed quite a bit of the advice from those of you who have blazed this trail before us. She has gargled 4 to 5 times a day with warm salt water and has not experienced one mouth sore. She has also followed many of the suggestions of what to eat, how often, etc., and has experienced almost no nausea.

On the other hand, she has not followed the advice on the importance of resting and taking it easy. Janet is a dynamo and really has a hard time gearing down and coasting a bit....oh well, 2 out of 3 for now is not so bad!

We have been informed by numerous sources that the second treatment tends to take a greater toll on the body. I guess because of the cumulative effect of the treatment and also 3 weeks is simply not a sufficient amount of time to completely recover. Because of this, I will post an update in about 5 days from now letting you know how Janet is doing relative to the 5 days following the first treatment.

We covet your prayers and friendship. Please know that your encouragement sent via snail mail, e-mail, feedback form, and the sub/unsubscribe route are read and appreciated more than we can ever convey.

God bless.
Please continue praying for Janet and her husband, John. Feel free to visit her website, and to send her notes of your prayers, encouragement, or anything else you may want to send her.

Country as "cornbread" but this is GOOD!

One of the great country/gospel songs from my childhood tells us of our journey through life. Not even sure who wrote, "Life is Like a Mountain Railroad"--but it surely speaks to all of us.
Let it speak to you:
Life is like a mountain railroad,
With an engineer that's brave;
We must make the run successful,
From the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the hills, the tunnels;
Never falter, never quail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle,
And your eye upon the rail.


Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Til we reach that blissful shore;
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise for evermore.

You will roll up grades of trial;
You will cross the bridge of strife;
See that Christ is your conductor;
On this light'ning train of life;
Always mindful of obstruction,
Do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle,
and your eye upon the rail.

You will often find obstruction;
Look for storms of wind and rain;
On a hill, or curve, or trestle;
They will almost ditch your train.
Put your trust alone in Jesus;
Never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle,
and your eye upon the rail.

As you roll across the trestle,
Spanning Jordan's swelling tide.
You behold the Union depot
Into which your train will glide.
There you'll meet the Superintendent,
God the Father, God the Son
With the hearty, joyous plaudit,
"Weary pilgrim, welcome Home!"

Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us
Till we reach that blissful shore!
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore!

Amen, amen, amen!

If I were gonna be a Catholic...(link)

If I were going to be a Catholic believer, this is the kind I would be:


May the Lord continue to use and bless Pastor Pfleger and the people of the Faith Community of St Sabina on the south side of Chicago.

These people are carrying out the Scriptural mission of "lighting a candle" in a very dark world. Maybe the rest of us should follow suit.

Cancer Victim or Victor: Janet's Update

A few weeks back, I posted a link to my friend Janet Paschal's website/newsletter, where she told all of us that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I also asked everyone to pray for her. Here's her latest newsletter, and she sounds in good spirits:
Hey Everybody,
It's early, early Sunday morning; John and Max are asleep, as is most everyone except newspaper carriers and the first shift at Krispy Kreme . I've been lying awake identifying the sounds of 4am, like the baby birds in the gutter and the footsteps of the deer who've just topped off my hostas - again. I've also been thinking it was a good time for me to update you on all the 'stuff' going on.

I had my first chemo treatment almost three weeks ago. Having no idea what to expect, I was wide-eyed from the minute we parked in the garage. I had visions of wires and tubes and heavy equipment and torturers with masks, only to find that the treatment room was lined with recliners and staffed with soft-spoken, genteel nurses. The process was simple - an IV in the arm, a sedative, and the little red vial of the potent stuff. During the process they showed me a video of possible side effects, helpful hints, etc., during which I fell asleep (John said they could have saved the sedative and just started with the movie, as I tend to sleep through movies.)

That day and the next were not bad; in fact, I'd begun to think that chemo had been getting a bad rap - what was the big deal?

THEN days 3-5 happened, and I felt like I'd been hit by a tour bus! I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I began to consider the consequences if I just didn't take it anymore. Days 6-7 were better, and the next week I actually felt very normal, but fatigued. This week, I've felt as good as I've ever felt in my life. It's just as my oncologist said, one bad week, two good weeks; those are odds I can live with.

My next chemo treatment is this Wednesday (2 of 4) so I'll be halfway finished at that point. Following the chemo is lumpectomy, then radiation - oh yes, I signed on for the smorgasbord - a little taste of everything. Everyone says the chemo is the hardest part, so it should be downhill from there - at least that's what I'll be telling myself on days 3-5.

Remember I told you that my friend said this process would show you who you are, as the layers are peeled away and the deepest core of yourself is exposed? I didn't quite understand what he meant at the time, but I think I am learning. During the early days of tests, fear, shock, etc., I felt as though I was watching from a distance, scrutinizing someone else's faith, watching for fractures or weak spots. I really did not know how I would react. I fully expected to go through a gamut of emotions which included 'Why me? Why now? Is this fair?' and I can honestly (and happily) say that I have never felt any inclination toward those questions at all.

Statistically, our family was due (1 woman in 7 this year) and I am, in fact, grateful to be plowing through this in lieu of my mother or my sister. Not only has my faith not been shaken, but it has not been tapped, or analyzed, or called into question to any degree.. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT. It must be that the Lord gives extra grace, just as others have said. It has reminded me so often of my grandmother who stood in the face of her worried family and dared them to doubt the Lord's sovereignty.

Frederick Buechner wrote of his own grandmother whom he likened to the large rocks near the shoreline; weathered and battered, but unmoved and unshaken. I continue to see the Lord's hand in every little detail. I'm beginning to think He especially likes details. I'm amazed at the way He prepares us, the people He brings to us, the day-to-day 'ordinaries' He orchestrates. I am inundated with cards, books, flowers, notes, email - all of which are in plain view from where I am now sitting.

How blessed can you get?

One more thing - I am getting to your emails, except for some 1400 I accidentally deleted (oh yes, chemo has an adverse effect on one's technological reserves). Thanks for your patience.I am so grateful for you - and can't wait to tell you all in person.

Won't THAT be fun!


Please keep this precious woman in your prayers. Her ministry has reached around the world, magnified our Lord Jesus Christ, and encouraged hearts in places where only God knows all the details.

His name be praised!

Six Grammy Awards and counting...


The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has received a Grammy Award for "LIVE..This is Your House" released May, 2004.

This is very special to me, because our local congregation, Chicago Tabernacle, is a daughter church of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Chrissy Toledo, our Music Director (and Pastor's wife) is the oldest child of Brooklyn's Senior Pastor Jim Cymbala, and his wonderful wife Carol--who founded and has directed the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir now for more than 30 years.

Praise the Lord!

The Ninety and Nine

Ira D Sankey, renowned musician for Evangelis D L Moody in the 1800s, wrote this wonderful ballad, recounting the love of our Lord Jesus for all humanity. Here are the words:

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer:
“This of MineHas wandered away from Me;
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.”

But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die;
Sick and helpless and ready to die.

“Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;
They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”

And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of heaven,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”
My heart is always pierced with the marvelous words of our Lord in Luke 15 where he tells the story of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the lost son. In each of the three accounts there is great rejoicing when the "lost" objects are found. Not alot of questions...but an awful lot of rejoicing.

May it ever be so!

"Bible-Belt" Catholics

I have some very dear friends who express their relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ in the Catholic tradition. Needless to say, we have some theological differences...but by and large, those "differences" do not hinder our friendship and fellowship.

TIME Magazine's February 14th edition has this great story about Catholics in the Deep South. Check it out:


"Facing the Fight"...Are you ready?

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.

The Apostle Paul, in the First Century Church, has given some very clear and applicable instructions to the saints of God in the Twenty-First Century Church. His message is this:

"Face the fight and be ready when you do."

From Ephesians Chapter 6.

Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.


"Willing Heart"--Do you have one?

One of the great songs from the early 1980s was this original by singer/songwriter, Kelly Willard:
Willing Heart

Words and music by Kelly Willard

Once I stumbled into darkness
Doing only as I pleased
but I wasn't really happy
And my heart was not at ease.

I just didn't have the willingness
To follow His commands
'til I laid my heart completely
In His hands.

If you don't have a willing heart
Ask Him to give you one.
If you can't seem to make a start
Trust in His power!
For the Lord of Love is watching you
He sees what you're going through
And He can make a way
If you want Him to
Oh, do you want Him to
Then tell Him so.

All the things my heart held on to
Only filled me with despair
And the road that I was travelin'
Never took me anywhere
And I knew no satisfaction
'til I found my rest in Him
Then He filled my heart with
Gladness once again

©1981 Maranatha Music/Willing Heart Music
All rights reserved.
International copyright secured.
Use by permission only.