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IMG_5688This month we honored the “mothers” in our life.  That is a special calling.  They experienced so much pain and trouble over the years of practicing motherhood.  Yet, they covered it up with the joy of pouring into our lives.

Now, on this special day of our year, we treat them with celebration and delight.  Flowers, candy, presents, service, spoken words, time for a phone call, treating them to a special meal and an endless number of ways to bring her honor.

Our children are all far away, thousands of miles away. They would all contact her with excellent expressions of gratitude.  But, she would miss them all.

The planning of a special day was up to me.  My smile and my mind were in synchronized harmony.  There were no surprises, just delightful fun.

It all began with making her breakfast.  The menu was not fancy but it was special.  We enjoyed the delectable meal and of course, I did the dishes.

She had some free time.  Then, I took her to a movie.  The film was an action adventure with a special twist to honor a late actor who passed away during the filming.

We talked about it on the way home.  Both of us remarked about how well done the honor factor made the film special.  As people of faith we connected immediately to this actor’s reputation of faith as well.

The special day came to a close in church.  We love our church and pastor.  The worship was encouraging and the sermon was very up-lifting.

She elected to make dinner.  It was her standard offering: fantastic, delicious and filling. This woman has done a brilliant job with all of her chosen duties to family.

We who have been blessed by her service and love.  Looking back and recounting her contribution into all of our lives seems endless.  Our children especially have rehearsed her mothering now that they are adults.

Instead of looking for ways around her watchful eyes, they now see the values that she was pouring into them.  Now, their values that they have chosen to live by have many roots in what their mother had taught them.  They are amazed, pleased and also grateful for what mom invested in them.

On this day, Happy Mother’s Day, Yvonne.  You have done a faithful job of rearing our three little ones into taking their place as outstanding adults. Well done!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

A good friend sent me a recommendation.  That’s uncommon but usual in this modern-day of social networking.  Pictures, videos, ideas, conversations and advice are regularly fed to all of us.

There is a ton of stuff that is very good.  Sharing great information makes life full and keeps us all up-to-date on the happenings, news and alerts that are worth our attention.  Then, there are a few standouts.  Here’s one that is one of those.

Check out the song “Where’s the line to see Jesus”.  It is special.  Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=OExXItDyWEY&vq=medium

Becky’s 4-year-old nephew, Spencer, was out shopping with his family.  He saw the long lines of children waiting to see Santa Claus.  Very naturally, he asked his mom, “Where’s the line to see Jesus?”

It was one of those memorable moments.  Becky’s sister mentioned this to her father which launched an immediate inspiration.  He jotted the words down, composed music and shared it with family, friends and Nashville.

The song has moved many.  When I was introduced to it this year, I was in the middle of studying Isaiah 40.5 for an upcoming sermon.  My thoughts were already on the focus of Jesus who came not just as a baby but as our Savior.

We need a Savior.  Our sin has us in a predicament that has no solution.  We are lost for all eternity and we need to be rescued.

Jesus came not to give us an addition to a holiday.  Nor did He come to be another reason for a celebration.  Rather, He came to give us hope for eternity with the stunning forgiveness of sin and a new life that is forever redeemed.

Sin has been wiped out.  That is how amazing His grace is for everyone who believes in Him.  People don’t forgive, nor do they forget.

God, our Father in heaven, not only forgives through His Son Jesus Christ, He also declares that Jesus’ redemption for us more than takes care of our sins.  That’s a reason to celebrate.  It is a wonder that lasts longer than a party, open gifts or a credit card payment plan.

Jesus made it possible for us to never despair again.  His gracious mercy has embraced any and all to come to Him by faith and enjoy being clean again.  This is the kind of hope that will never end.  Join me and get in line (it’s short) to thank Jesus for His great gift of hope to us.

photo credit: google image

The Tigers lost game six.  The Rangers have won.  I cheered loudly but they must not have heard me.

This past weekend was tough.  Several of the teams that I cheer on in the arena of sports met with defeat.  One is defeat is tough; but several on the same weekend is a big downer.

My Detroit Tigers losing the ALCS was tough enough.  But, the weekend did not stop there.  On Sunday my Detroit Lions lost as well.

That loss was deeply felt since it was the first loss of the season.  Not was it the first loss of the season, it was a loss at home.  To make it feel even worse it was a loss against the San Francisco 49ers; that’s the city where I currently live.

The 49er fans are rabid.  They are fierce, loyal and rampant about their team.  I was frequently reminded of the SF victory by teasing fans.

It made their victory so much sweeter with a defeated foe to razz.  I understand that.  My being here helps them celebrate even more enthusiastically.  It is a pleasure to help others rejoice. 

Nevertheless, I am a fan too.  My team did very well this season.  Entering into the post season championship run to the World Series is always exciting.  It is a tribute to the excellence of the team.

I have been away from Detroit for two years.  When we lived there, a Tiger’s game was always on the calendar.  Our trek to the ballpark with good friends was a memory-making venture.

We lived in the Motorcity for years yet the Tigers kept losing.  Each season our hopes would soar but we saw more losses than wins.  But, we kept cheering on our men wearing the English D.

This past season our Tigers did very well again.  With the ups and downs of professional sports the mean growth up the charts was exhilarating. We had a lot to cheer and celebrate this year.

Pitches were laser-sharp.  Bats cracked at just the right times.  Defense in the infield was acrobatic.  Outfield heroics snagged fly balls like a bat snatching bugs with radar precision.

Losses come with the game.  None are planned.  Each one leaves the heart a bit sad.

But, the wins were just at the right time.  They were just the right amount.  We went a long ways this year.  Thank you Tigers for another great year!

photo credit: google image

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