Family Update

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV

God sometimes has a way of working that seems strange to me, and none stranger than the weather during our trip to Texas to be with family over the Christmas holidays. All their plans to show us the sights, were frozen in place by temps that plummeted to 10 degrees on the second day. Of course, for those of you up in Buffalo, that might seem pretty tame, but compared to our Florida weather it felt like Siberia! So, rather than seeing a cattle drive, the lake or a park, we huddled indoors with our grandchildren, and what a blessing those ten days turned out to be. There is no scenery in Texas or anywhere else that compares to their smiles!

Though we did make it out to eat twice, the most precious moments were starting a Bible study program with our special needs grandson, Christmas caroling briefly with them at a neighbor’s house and tickling our youngest bouncy grandson while we watched George of the Jungle! Yes, we slept in bunk beds and had to wait for the bathroom to open up on occasion, but now that I sit far away in our comfortable home, I already miss them! The flights were way overpriced, but the time was priceless. We can always make a few more dollars but we can never replace time that has rushed like the water over Niagara Falls and now is gone forever. Today, in my seventh decade of life, I have no regrets over the financial success I didn’t attain, only over missed opportunities to hug my children, wipe away their tears when they fell down or walk with them once more to the park. But I am thankful for the times when I listened to my wife, put down the newspaper, and went out to shoot hoops with our boys before they were gone. I hope you enjoy a few of the photos of our stay. Have a blessed day everyone!

Thanksgiving by Candlelight

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you! 1 Thessalonians 5:17

One Thanksgiving, when our sons were still teen-agers, Nancy had to work the first half of the day. To make things easier, she had prepared some of the food the night before, but the turkey was up to us guys to have cooked by the time she came home. So, while Nancy went off to her duties at the department store, I started wrestling with the bird and had the boys get the table set. Believe it or not the sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and cheesecake for desert were all ready by the time Nancy got home about four-thirty. As soon as she got in the door our boys anxiously started asking if they could watch a football game from the table. Nancy groaned inwardly, and said, “Not until we are at least done eating the main course, please!”

Photo by Pixabay on

Then as we sat down and bowed our heads to give thanks for another year, a funny thing happened. The lights went out! The day had been sunny and warm, by Northeastern Pennsylvanian standards. While the boys and I sat stunned, Nancy, with a huge grin, leapt into action and pulled out the candles from the cupboard. By flashlight, I found a nice pair of candlestick holders and then in the flickering light that kind of reminded me of Abraham Lincoln in his log cabin, we bowed again and laughed as we gave thanks. After a hearty “Amen!”, we dug into the most delicious holiday meal that I can ever remember! Then, just as we finished eating, the lights snapped back on. The game was eventually watched, and later we learned our mysterious blackout happened because someone’s pickup truck had knocked over a power pole. But whatever the explanation, I am convinced to this day that God in His own special timing, took us off schedule, to remind us that taking time together and being thankful to him is what a real Thanksgiving is all about!

In happy moments, praise God. In difficult moments, seek God. In quiet moments, worship God. In painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.”

Rick Warren

Time to Be Thankful by Peter Caligiuri

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16 KJV

We have time to eat turkey
And time to have our pie
Time to watch some football
And for buying stuff on line

But for everything God gave us
Will we take time to say “Thanks”
Or just argue over politics
And a film that stars Tom Hanks?

But if Jesus is the center
Of all we do and say
Then truly we can celebrate
This Good Thanksgiving Day!

It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors. - George Washington

Thankful for happy memories with my real Thanksgiving treasures!

Prayer Request

I don’t often share personal things about our family, both due to my own reticence along with the desire to protect their privacy. However, this week we really need your prayers for our daughter-in-law Melinda. Last year Melinda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer exactly as my wife had been five years ago. She went through the same chemo regimen as Nancy and seemed equally to have beaten this terrible disease up until this Monday. That was when a scan revealed the beginnings of cancer on the lining of her stomach. Her doctor has already scheduled for Melinda to start another 6 rounds of chemo on Tuesday. This has been devastating emotionally for all of us. I would so appreciate your prayers as we begin yet another journey into the unknown. Please ask especially that the Lord would encourage, heal strengthen and give direction, especially for Chris and Melinda. Thanks so much!

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, 
that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 
James 5:16 ESV