6,782. The number of military casualties during operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command.  http://projects.militarytimes.com/valor

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. For many it just means a three-day weekend full of picnics, swimming, and fun.  For those in retail it means, hard work as the stores capitalize on big sales.  But for those who understand the true meaning of “memorial,’ this day honors those who have sacrificed their lives in service for their country.

They are men and women who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place by protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. They sometimes fight in wars they don’t understand and don’t want. They endure great hardships, both mental and physical. The cost is high and these warriors frequently return with wounds that we can’t see and live with nightmares born from the horrors of war. Sometimes they return in flag-drapped caskets, signifying the ultimate sacrifice. The ones we remember on Memorial Day. Continue reading

Memorial Day

The Cost of Faith

As I read today’s headlines “Sudan Judge sentences Christian Woman to Death for her Apostasy,” I was appalled. According to the article on MSN, after a hearing in which she was accused of leaving the Islamic faith and after being asked to recant her faith, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag  “calmly told the judge: ‘I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.””  http://news.msn.com/world/sudan-judge-sentences-christian-woman-to-death-for-apostasy

Her sentence: Death

The 27-year-old pregnant woman, is married to a Christian from South Sudan.  Her father is Muslim.

As I read this article I had to wonder how many American Christians would calmly state “I am a Christian” under penalty of death.  I suspect it would be far less than those who claim to be Christians. Continue reading

Life Really Isn’t Fair – 5 ways to become a victor

Sometimes being an ordinary person really stinks!  Most of my friends and family fall in the “ordinary” (however you want to define it) category.  During this week I have friends who have had health issues, marital issues, financial issues, and  even dealing with suicide issues.  Unfortunately, life is bound to throw us all a curve ball on occasion. Sometimes we are a primary contributor to the issues, and sometimes we are are impacted by the decisions someone else has made.  In all honesty, life really isn’t fair. Continue reading

Focus on Five – Things to do to minimize regrets

regretsTwo of the most recent events that have headlined the news for the past two weeks are the disappearance of Flight MH370 and the massive mudslide near Oso, Washington. Both of them are events that have left uncertainty, grief, and frustration for many. And once again, we are reminded of how fleeting our days can be.

When catastrophic events such as this happen, we are often forced to take a look at our own mortality. A life that is here today can be snuffed out quickly. I know this to be true. When my husband came home from work on October 27, 2009, he followed his regular evening routine as he went to the basement to lift weights. He never came back up those stairs, and met Jesus as his soul took flight from this earthly home. Continue reading

Visiting the Past

In preparation for getting my house on the market, I have been doing quite a bit of “purging” lately. Some things are easy to let go of, some are not. I am a real book junkie and have (literally) hundreds of books in my home. I gave away about 100 books to our youth minister, whose organized wife probably cringed when he brought them home!  I have donated many to the thrift store, but still have four bookshelves full of books! Even though I now put many of my books on my Kindle, I still love the feel of opening a book and perusing it’s pages, awaiting the marvelous things I discover within.

But I digress. What really started my thoughts going today is going through my “keepsake” box. You know, the kind that several of you have hidden away in the basement or stuffed in a cedar chest, or maybe in a drawer. The smell of old papers wafted to my nose as I opened the box. And so began the assault on my memories.

Continue reading

Welcome to My World

Today I am finally taking the plunge and setting up my very own blog page. In all honesty, I have debated long and hard about doing this.  After all, I am a very ordinary person.  There is nothing particular that distinguishes me from millions of other people.  And, if we are being frank, I can be pretty boring on occasion.  So why write a blog?  What do I have to say that has not already been said in a myriad of different ways?  Nothing.  Zip. De Nada.

But somewhere deep inside of me I have this compelling urge to write and share from my heart.  I am a very ordinary person, but I am inextricably, irrationally in love with an extraordinary God.  And that is the crux of it all.  I love watching God moving and working in the lives of ordinary, every day people like me. He never fails to amaze me and even though I know He is capable of extraordinary things, each time I see Him in action, it is brand new and awe-inspiring.

Continue reading