A hand of fear gripped the crowd that dayAt Jairus's home
When the doctor shook his head
And said, "She's gone"
And, you could feel the mother's heart break,
and you could hear them cry and mourn
Their little girl was only 12 years old

Somewhere in the distance,
Outlined against the sun,
There came a Man with a mission from the Throne
They said, "Look, somebody's coming"
But, what they did not know
It was their Promise coming down that dusty road!

There's a Promise coming down that dusty road
From His Holy hands healing virtue flows
He's got the key to what you need
Death and hell He will defeat
There's a Promise coming down that dusty road!

The one who turned to mock Him
When Jesus did speak
He said, "your daughter's not dead,She's just asleep"
Then He turned to the unbelievers
And He told them all, "Go home"
They heard Him say, "Leave me and death alone"

Then He laid His hand upon the child,
He looked death right in the eye
He said, "All power in Heaven and earth belong to me"
And, with a voice that sounds like thunder,
He hurled death asunder,
And, then He said, "Little girl, rise and be healed!"

There's a Promise coming down that dusty road
From His Holy hands healing virtue flows
He's got the key to what you need
Death and hell He will defeat
There's a Promise coming down that dusty road!
I am so thankful that I have experienced the "healing hands" of this Promise...that I know our God still heals and delivers today. I'm so humbled that God would reach down and heal someone like me. He is the healer of sick bodies, mender of broken hearts, and restorer of troubled souls.

Praising God for His healing power!

Some of my favorite words...

In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He's the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
Even though these words were penned many, many years ago...they are oh so true today! I am constantly reminded that I am living in the "last of the last days"...and that I must have a sure foundation in my life. That foundation is Christ Himself.

I heard someone say something very profound the other day: "There is a ROCK between me and a hard place." That Rock is Jesus!

Relationships matter...

About fifteen years ago, I remember hearing the guest speaker say something profound during a Sunday morning worship gathering at the church where I was a regular attender in west Texas. This lady said,
There are only two things you can carry from this world to the next: Your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and your relationship with other people.

Even though I remember her message was very good, that one statement seized my heart...and I've always remembered it. This lady was also diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. I don't know if she is still alive or not...but her words still are very much alive in me!

The Bible has so much to say about relationships. All kinds of relationships. And since God's Word says so much about them, relationships must be of paramount importance to God Himself.

Sadly, some of us (myself included) have experienced the painful reality of relationships that have gone sour. Some of these events have been my fault...some of them have not. But the pain has always been real.

I found out, a long time ago, that it is much easier and much better to keep relationships in good repair than it is to "repair them" once they have been damaged or broken.

Even in the family of God. And especially in the family of God.

"Because I care...."

I was talking with a wonderful, wonderful godly man last night. He is now a retired minister, having served in the pastorate, and in several capacities for his denomination. I've known him for almost 30 years. He is a precious, precious man.

I try to call him about once a week or so, just to check up on him. His precious wife preceded him to Heaven, and he is a bit lonely. As a matter of fact, when I received his Christmas card last year, he had signed both of their names....it brought tears to my eyes.

But this wonderful man said something that hit me like a ton of bricks. We were talking about the pastorate, his years of serving in active/fulltime ministry, and he then stated, "Brother Phil, I never ever went to see someone in need or in the hospital or at their home because it was my job. I always went to see them, or called them because I CARED about them. I loved them, and wanted them to know that I CARED and that GOD CARED."

I was almost speechless! It has been such a long time since I've heard someone say they "cared"...and that was their only motivation!

It made me stop and think, "What is my motivation for all the people in my life? Why do I call these folks? Why do I want to stay in contact with them?" It is because I care!

So, now the question for all of us:

"Are you in relationship with people just because that is what you are being paid to do?"

In my humble opinion, that would be a HORRIBLE way to make a living.

Do you really, really care? How do you show it? How do people know that you are in their lives for the long haul?

I care because God cares...and you will know that God cares because I care.

A nation of "Whiners"...I agree.

Several days ago, former Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) made a remark about how we are a "nation of whiners"...and took alot of flack for his comment.

But, alas, he was absolutely correct. We, the people of the United States of America, have indeed become a nation of "whiners". We will whine about anything and everything...just give us a chance....or suggest a topic. Most of the time, we don't even need that much help...we can find something to "whine about" all by ourselves. At least, I am honest enough to admit it.

Of course, anyone who has half an eardrum will constantly hear about how "bad the economy" currently is, and how it's all the fault of the President or Congress or the Federal Reserve or the Japanese or Batman (even though Batman did pretty well this past weekend with his new flick). Could it be that finally we decided that we don't need all the "stuff" that the consuming public is so accustomed to purchasing? Maybe we have reached an unfathomable point of saturation, and the bottomless pit of "consumer lust" does have a landing spot after all?

Yes, I think that gasoline that is more that $4 a gallon is outrageous. But I do remember President Carter warning us about "cheap oil" more than thirty years ago--when I was a teenager, and witnessed the oil shortage firsthand. But it's not the "end of the world." However, listening to people bellyache and moan about the price of petrol--yet some of these same 'whiners' would drive to the bathroom if they could get their car in the house. A really good idea: Learn to walk again, and also learn to use public transportation...both of them are good for you. (I know that public transportation isn't available or accessible to everyone, so I am among the fortunate few here that can rely on it...most of the time).

We tend to whine about the price of food--and we all like to eat. But look at some of our eating habits, and what we waste. I must admit that I am getting MUCH better about this. I am being very careful in how I grocery shop: I will mentally decide when and how I will use every item I buy at the grocery store. I do my best to not buy more than I will use....and I don't have to be a slave to "name brands" either. Yet, I buy what I need, and know I will eat before it spoils...

We tend to whine about our jobs...I'm just very thankful to have one. There are days when everything I touch turns to GOLD. Today is not one of those days. For some crazy reason, everything I've touched today has ROTTED IN MY HANDS! Not a single thing has gone "right" today...but I'm thankful that I have a productive, and mostly enjoyable job.

So, yes Senator Gramm was largely correct. We are indeed a nation of whiners. We need to stop all this whining.

These are hysterical....


Even though I do not own an automobile, I have been a fan of National Public Radio's "CAR TALK" for years. Tom and Ray Magliozzi, better known as "Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers" are absolutely delightful to listen to every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. (central time, of course). They do their broadcast from the Shameless Commerce Division of "Car Talk Plaza" in Cambridge (our Fair City), Massachusetts.

It's an absolute hoot! Wouldn't miss it!

Now, Public Broadcasting System (aka PBS) has come out with these 30 minute animated episodes featuring the voices of these two, in what will be some of the funniest television I've seen in a long time.


Why the struggle?

I remember a famous musical artist in the "contemporary Christian" field who had some terrible "moral problems" more than a dozen years ago...

When she finally came "clean"...she said, "I just want to stand free and clean before the Lord, and His people..."

What a feeling! I want to always stand "free and clean before the Lord and His people..."

But sometimes there is tremendous fear...not from God, but from His people. And that's sad...

When we fear "God's people" more than we fear God Himself.

Right now...actually, for the last several months, I've been having an intense internal struggle...and haven't felt that I could share it with anyone...because of the fear that grips my soul.

Fear of:


Why such fear?

Jesse Jackson: SHUT UP!

Mr Jackson,

Let me say that I rarely want to "take any one to task" as much as I want to just let you have it with all barrels blazing.

Quite frankly, sir, you continue to prove that you are an idiot.

I have a couple of suggestions for you:

1) Stay off the television circuit. Make sure that your "spokesman" (who can't possibly be as incompetent with words as you've proven to be) tells whomever calls that you are "not available." He/She doesn't need to say anything else.

2) Get involved in some activity that doesn't bring "glory" or "recognition" to Jesse Jackson for a change. Go help the homeless in Chicago, or New York, or Zimbabwe. Do something constructive for a change.

3) Listen to Senator Obama and Dr Bill Cosby for a change. These are two of the very few men in this nation who will speak the "truth" to the Black community. You know they are speaking truth is the reason you dislike the message so much. You have pretended to be a "leader" in the black community for as long as I can remember. Where have you "led" these people? How have the lives of people in the black community improved "under your leadership"?

I submit this much: Their lives haven't improved significantly.

4) Finally, Go do something worthwhile...where no one (i.e, the media, your press people, and your "fans) will ever find out. Listen to your son...your name sake. He's the smart one in the family. You continually prove that "his father" isn't nearly as bright as the son.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!


I'm just a few hours early, and that's alright with me. (I guess it has to be 'alright' since I'm the one doing the writing here, eh?)

I'm very thankful to be an American. I'm so grateful that I was born, raised, and nurtured here in this place called the United States of America. This is indeed the "land of the free" and very much so, the "home of the brave."

Of course, those who keep saying this is a "free country" obviously haven't looked at their pay stubs lately! And with energy prices soaring through the roof, it's anything BUT free in the foreseeable future.

Yet, there is no place like America. I've been privileged to travel in 34 countries on 4 continents, and have seem some absolutely breathtakingly marvelous sights. Some of these places were "distant dreams" from my childhood/teenage/college years. And just stepping on the ground of places like Seoul, South Korea and Budapest, Hungary and Bologna, Italy--all just a dream hidden in my heart many years ago.

But there is always the thrill of being back in the "nifty Fifty." Just something about when the plane touches down on American soil. Just something very special, very precious about looking out across the "fruited plains" of this continent, and knowing that "I'm home."

But even more important, is the fact that knowing while I was born an American, that "this land" is not my final home.

I really do have a citizenship in a land "Whose Builder and Maker is God" (Hebrews 11). That's my final home.

National Issue #10: Returning to Civility

This may be more "pipe dream" than anything else, but I believe that the "lack of civility" in these United States is a serious national issue.

I can't remember a time in my short life (46+ years) when people have been more ugly, more rude, and less well-mannered than in current times.

I'd like to blame it on "global warming"--but that can't possibly be the reason.

I'd like to blame it on "poverty" and the "plight of the poor"--but that can't be it either. I was raised WAAAAY below the poverty line, and I have almost impeccable manners---or at least I think so.

Where did all the name-calling, blame-gaming, and obnoxious behavior (all of which we tend to tolerate under the mantle of "free expression") come from anyway? Who said this is "acceptable behavior"? Where did they (whoever "they" happens to be) get such a horrific idea that this is "acceptable"?

What happened to "thank you", and "please" and "May I?" and "You're Welcome"? What happened to people playing their car stereos at levels where NO ONE else (and particularly not those of us who are trying to sleep in our homes (with our windows closed) can hear the music, or the reverberation?

What happened to people getting all the "facts" before they start spreading "lies" about those with whom they might disagree, politically, philosophically, or spiritually?

Whatever happened to the "truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"? Did that disappear with the television series "DragNet"?

Whatever happened to adults being worthy of respect and attentions simply by the virtue of being "adults"?

I had a smart-aleck 14 year old kid give me more than a little "back talk" and "attitude" when I corrected something the other day. **I would have never lived to be "14" if I had exhibited that kind of behavior towards ANY adult, and my grandmother caught wind of it. She would have KILLED me. No questions asked, and no excuses accepted.**

What happened to national, state, and local leaders having "civil" discussions, and even vehement disagreements without regarding each other as the Anti-Christ of Revelation, or the BEAST from the same New Testament book?

What happened to people who are able to work, actually going to work, school, or something productive, other than the food stamp office, and the nearest and dearest handout facility?

We must return to civility....

National Issue #9: "Service Before SELF"

My wonderful friend, John L Borling (Major General, United States Air Force, retired) mentioned this whole concept about seven years ago, when I last had dinner with he and his wonderful wife, Myrna.

General Borling is one of the greatest military heroes I've ever known. He was a POW in Vietnam for almost 6 years. He has served his country and his God all over this world.

He emphasized the concept of "service before Self"--even though not many people bought into the idea.

Maybe it's because too many of us want "self BEFORE service."

Both Presidential candidates are talking about change, and service, and how we can make this land that we so dearly love a better place for all the inhabitants.

I'm convinced the only way we can be better than we are is when we decide that "serving" is not just a forgotten past-time of bygone generations.

We need to regain a sense of what it means to 'serve' in this nation. Too many of us have gotten a "free ride" in this nation, and think that we have fulfilled all of our obligations just by paying our taxes, waving our flags (occasionally), and not committing any heinous crimes.

While all of those things are important, I'm convinced that each of us can do more...and we MUST DO MORE.

It's time that we Americans 'get over' the whole melodrama called "it's all about me"--and get back to the business of service. Whether it be the Peace Corps, Americorps, the military services, the local halfway houses, or any other number of organizations, it's time to start 'serving' again.

Both Senator McCain and Senator Obama will do well to emphasize and encourage such activities.

Let's break our addiction to "stuff" and start being the great nation that we have always been--and that we need to be again.