“Today, we honor and celebrate Dr. King, a giant of the civil rights movement whose nonviolent resistance to the injustices of his era — racial segregation, employment discrimination, and the denial of the right to vote — enlightened our Nation and the world.”
“In the face of tumult and upheaval, Dr. King reminded us to always meet anger with compassion in order to truly ‘heal the hurts, right the wrongs and change society.’ It is with this same spirit of forgiveness that we come together to bind the wounds of past injustice by lifting up one another regardless of race, gender, creed, or religion, and rising to the first principles enshrined in our founding documents.”
“As a student of nonviolence, Dr. King called on us not to ‘satisfy the thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.’ In the national effort to achieve freedom and equality, and in this shared love of country, we must endeavor with all our might to meet the promissory notes endowed to us by our Founding Fathers, as Dr. King fervently wished.”
“With the same dream, faith, and hope championed by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we recommit to upholding his legacy and meeting our sacred obligation to protect the unalienable rights of all Americans.”
The president released the above proclamation for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US…
• For President Trump as he reminds the nation of Dr. King’s approach of compassion and forgiveness.
• For God to work through the president’s reminder to bring calm and unity.
• For Americans to return to a sense of familial love and the cooperative founding vision of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
CONTINUE WITH US IN PRAYER:
Pray for the president and his administration.
Pray for all elected officials in Congress.
Pray for God’s continued protection and blessing upon the United States of America.
Pray for your neighbors and fellow Americans.
Pray for peace and understanding with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
What a glorious anniversary it is! I just have to shout out to our Lord and Savior for this wonderful couple, Bill’s brother, David, and his lovely wife, Linda. Linda is actually more than a sister-in-law to me. I need a blog post just on what a positive influence she’s had on my walk with the Lord. But for today, I need to share how much their marriage has helped us and SO MANY others!
I’ve talked about them several times in past blog posts. Particularly when Bill was facing heart disease as writtenabout here. Click to read the whole blog, or at least, read this paragraph:
“Thankfully, Bill’s brother and his wife are both in the health care field and are very experienced with this issue. They knew about the test, so they wanted the results. They live states away, but thankfully, only a phone call away. They began to mentor us. First, they are strong Christians and helped us in our divorce and remarriage by their prayers and counsel. So everything was bathed in prayer. They gave us some great tips and suggestions while Bill had to make a decision.” AND as in every bit of advice they have given us over these 45 years, it was rock solid. Bill today is enjoying excellent health! We also married 45 years ago, so they have been in my life for 45 years from today forward.
Or when we spent one of the most meaningful Memorial Day weekends with them, written about here. Best part of that blog post, which I would HIGHLY recommend reading, is their picture at the event:
They not only probably helped saved Bill’s life – or at least helped him enjoy a longer and healthier life – they helped restore our marriage. You can readabout it here or read the most important except below. Had it not been for Linda’s fervent prayers, I’m pretty sure I would not be writing this post about my dear brother-in-law and his wife! Our lives would have been a mess and no telling where we’d be spiritually. This paragraph was after we were well into the divorce process:
“I dove into God’s Word and also into a book recommended by my sister-in-law, Love Life for EVERY Married Couple: How to fall in love, stay in love, rekindle your love by Ed Wheat, MD and Gloria Perkins. (This is the Biblical marriage manual and is the BEST book ever written for marriages, taken straight from the Bible! In my next post, I will share the five types of love needed in every marriage!) Linda pleaded with us to read it before our divorce was final. Bill did and he tried to get me to read it. But I was not ready, until we finally lived apart.”
But today, I just want to share a little about them and their marriage. Or maybe you are getting the “picture” of this happily ever after couple! I am imagining Linda cringe as she would read this. She would say, “but OH WE HAD TOUGH TIMES!” Yes, they did and they are open to share – how they got through them by God’s Grace! And how they made their marriage better and better and better! But of course, there was pain in suffering along the way. In fact, what marriage hasn’t had tough times? The secret is what do you do to get through the tough times? Not only is their pathway to the Lord but that became our pathway after we remarried!
David and Linda have been dedicated Christians, parents and health care professionals. They have enjoyed many great hobbies, have traveled to many wonderful places and have now entered into their “golden” years as retirees.
There is only one little twist to this ideal couple. And I am sharing this for you to join us in prayer! On June 2, 2020, just two months shy of their official retirement, a CT scan revealed David had stage 4, Peritoneal Carcinomatosis (PC) which originated in the appendix. This is an extremely rare form of cancer. (Actually the scan showed the doctor more testing was needed.)
PCis a late stage manifestation of several gastrointestinal malignancies including appendiceal, colorectal, and gastric cancer. In PC, tumors metastasize to and deposit on the peritoneal surface and often leave patients with only palliative treatment options.
by JRW McMullen Mar 22, 2017
David was in essence told to get his affairs in order, he only had a few months to live. WE ALL WERE DEVASTATED!!! But as people of faith, we all bowed to the Lord and prayed for His divine intervention. And to make a long story short, HE HAS DELIVERED!!! It was a miraculous surgical option and he is thriving. It had been our prayer he would live until we could see him again. It was VERY hard to travel to see them, with all the concerns over COVID and the fact we had our two grandsons living with us, to make the trip to Missouri to be with them. But here we are on Christmas Day, 2020!
Just a few more pictures to commemorate their 45 years together, including all their children and grandchildren! They have enjoyed a rich life and we all pray they have many more years to continue to serve our Lord and Savior. Amongst their hobbies, his are hunting, fishing and anything outdoors with family while hers are rug hooking, painting, crafts, daily Bible study and anything outdoors with family. Together they love to hike, camp, bike ride, be with their children and grandchildren and anything outdoors! Click for a slideshow:
Let me close with my favorite memory of their marriage. Just know that Linda and I are very close so we have no secrets. We know the good, the bad and the ugly! A few years ago, she shared how they had a couple over for dinner. They ministered and mentored SO MANY couples and individuals over their 45 years, they can’t be counted. Anyway, there was a couple who knew them well and saw them in both good and bad times. The wife confessed how she wished she had a marriage like theirs! She never saw them fight or be disrespectful to each other. We know they’ve had tough times behind closed doors, but no one saw them. Well, except maybe their children-and even then, I doubt they could recall any “fighting.”
They have been GREAT examples to their three adult children. All of them became Christians and serve the Lord in some way. They are proud grandparents of seven. But it’s not been all joy and happiness as there has been serious pain along the way. But they can honestly say, they will continue to Praise and Worship our Lord and Savior all the days of their lives!
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
(For more information on what this verse means, here is one resource. David and Linda don’t want to waste their pain, the are praying the Lord will use his illness and their suffering for HIS Glory!)
Nothing tugs at our heart strings more than a child in need! One of my nieces, Rachel, has been a good friend to Clara’s mom, Lori since 2007. They met in Mexico while serving as teachers after college. Eventually, both accepted teaching positions in Colorado Springs. And then both went on to have three children each. Eventually, as is common in our culture, both of their families moved apart but they are “virtually” connected!
Clara turns 11 on March 26, 2020. Rachel’s mom, my dear sister-in-law Linda, has been kept up to date on Clara’s life since meeting her a few years ago. Linda has a memory of seeing Clara, her little sister Ana Cecilia and Linda’s grand daughter, Hadassah, running and playing on their farm. No one suspected an unknown and undiagnosable disease was lurking in both Clara and Ana Cecilia. Continue reading →
What a kind and unsolicited compliment to be told by a close family member, she knows I am constantly praying for her and her family. Actually, I need to tell you more about her, she is my sister-in-law, married to my husband’s only sibling. I wasn’t always known to pray – in fact, she started praying for my spiritual life soon after we met! Now talk about a person who prays. But Linda Lees not only prays, she fasts as the Lord leadswhen there is a crisis or critical event with any of her family members or friends lives. I can say she has had more influence on my spiritual life than anyone else. And in her blog post “The Fast” I learned how to take on a 72 hour fast.
I wanted to share my latest effort in seeking out answers to my undiagnosed health issues. I write this for those of you who may also be encountering an unwanted chronic health condition. As a nurse I also feel like the safest thing to say, at this point, is that if you attempt fasting for health reasons that you need to do so after consulting your physician.
As a christian, fasting has been something that I have done at times when I have had a heavy heart about some situation that needs divine intervention. I have NEVER fasted for my own needs but only for the needs of family and friends. I have always fasted in secret and later have shared the amazing answers that I have received after God has intervened. I have been a little conflicted about sharing this part of my search for healing because I believe strongly…
I’ve missed blogging, both on this blog and on our Travel Adventure site. I usually say these posts are more for me – as a diary of where my life was going, where it went and where it needs to be (this site is more for where it needs to be). As I am aging, I see more and more the need to have these events documented somehow. I am so sad I never blogged about all of our motorcycle adventures (many were pre-blog days) nor do I have a good journal of our early years in Florida (2004-2011). I started a few journal entries to keep our daughter informed of those times – but until I actually began blogging, those memories are now about lost except on some digital and paper photos “somewhere.” Continue reading →
On December 15, 2016, Bill thought he was about to die. Not everyone gets a second chance at life – but many do. If you had a second chance, what would you do to make a difference in your life? Continue reading →
Ruth A. (Brunner) Lees, 98, formerly of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania died Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Mount Vernon, IL. She was born March 17, 1921 in West Newton, a daughter of the late Walter and Minnie Louise (Huber) Brunner and was also preceded in death by her husband Earl Lees, and siblings Rosella “Posey” Fulmer and Warren H. Brunner. Ruth graduated from Westmoreland Hospital School of Nursing in 1943 and served in the Army Nursing Corps during WWII serving as a Lieutenant. She worked as a private duty nurse after the war. She was active with her late husband in the 9th Infantry Division Reunion Group and was a Red Cross volunteer for over 45 years. Ruth was a professing Christian and humble follower of Jesus Christ. She demonstrated her faith in daily practical help to those around her. She was a member of a local church wherever she lived. She will be best remembered for her selfless service to others. She is survived by her sons David E. Lees and his wife Linda and William D. Lees and his wife Debra; her grandchildren Rebecca (Byron) Jones, Matthew (Lindsay) Lees, Rachel (Fernando) Navarro, and Jessica (Shane) Cox; nine great grandchildren; also nieces and nephews. Friends will be received from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the William Snyder Funeral Home, 521 Main Street, Irwin, 724-863-1200, where a funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. with Rev. Terry Schmelvenbach officiating. Interment will follow in Union Cemetery, North Huntingdon. For online condolences please visit www.snyderfuneralservices.com.
My husband and I are grateful we both had such wonderful parents who then became wonderful in-laws! Both Ruth and Earl Lees were two very special people with timeless and interesting backgrounds. So while I am highlighting Ruth, much of this is about Earl as well. Her two siblings were also remarkable. We are talking about the Greatest Generation! Continue reading →
(I wrote this July 1, 2019 and forgot to publish it. I just noticed it in my drafts. I was drained then and now I find myself emotionally drained again. I’m so grateful for my faith and Paul’s testimony gives me what I need to remember: “…That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”)
It’s been tough to blog since our lifestyle change – which has been very good (transition from full-time RVing to a house), but yet, it has left me emotionally drained. I can’t explain everything, but suffice it to say, buying and selling a home in a months time by itself can take a huge emotional toll on anyone. Then add to it a death in the family and numerous other family situations, and you may start to get the picture. I’m not at liberty to share all as they are not mine to share – but I will toss in three situations that are mine:
Bill’s amazing mom has been declining these past few years. Each time we visited her in Mount Vernon, Illinois, we thought it was the last time we would see her. She has not recognized him (although once she said she knew who he was – for a fleeting minute) let alone, has not been able to talk to him. For 9 years (2004-2013), we lived near her. We were her main lifeline to the outside world as she had given up driving. Bill took care of her home and yard while I took her to her appointments and we took her to church. She and Bill talked for hours each week – in person. About everything! Her mind was still sharp although physically, this once very active and independent woman was in declining health. She needed us to do most everything for her. Thankfully, five years ago, we were able to move her near Bill’s brother and his wife – both are Registered Nurses (RN). His brother is a Certified Register Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and his wife is currently working in a Surgery Center where she does everything an RN is needed in the operating room environment. All this is VERY important as her health and mental capabilities continued to decline. She just passed away on June 20, 2019 at the age of 98. I will write a separate blog post about this WWII 2nd Lt. Army Nurse (RN)! She was a nursing supervisor at the local hospital until she decided to get pregnant. She returned to work as a Private Duty Nurse after they started school. She was at the bedside of many patients in their last weeks, days and hours. She knew how she wanted to die – or not die! Sadly, she was in hospice care her last month – and died how she didn’t want to go -but thankfully, she was at peace and in no pain. But it pained us to not be able to be with her – we had the responsibility of caring for our two grandsons this summer….which is next.
The main reason we moved to Myrtle Beach and decided to settle down was because of our grandsons. There is much more to this, but in a nutshell, Bill wanted the boys to spend summers with us. For one, it was his childhood fantasy! His family spent a week at the Jersey Shore when he and his brother were young. They stayed at the same cottage each year. The grandmother owned it and her grandson stayed all summer. Bill was so envious. So now he finally has his dream, a cottage at the beach (ok, our house is a house and we are three miles from the beach but it’s close enough) – and grandsons! Our daughter and son-in-law reluctantly agreed. After all, it meant the boys out of day care so a huge financial savings to them (and to use the time and money for remodeling). We have had to push ourselves to get our home ready for their first visit with us – over Spring Break for 9 days! And then after they left, we had a month to finish getting ready for their summer long stay. Their parents brought them over a long Memorial Day weekend. It started off with a bang! So far, they are both fish – loving both our community swimming pool and the beach; they are mastering their bike riding; have enjoyed putt putt golf; bowling; events at the Nature Center (ok, so their attention span wasn’t the best, but they got to pet a snake); unlimited bounce house fun (I highly recommend Fun Warehouse in Myrtle Beach for 10 years and under); lots of Arcade games; hiking (Colin says since not in the mountains, it’s not really hiking); movies, popcorn, ice cream….I can’t remember all we have done with them (I am making them a photo book to capture the great times). But it has all been with a toll on our aging bodies….thankfully, they sleep between 10 – 12 hours a night! We get to recharge our batteries but are still pretty exhausted. They both have upcoming birthdays. The oldest turns 6 and the youngest in 4 in August. And in August, we will return them to their parents after a week there.
Finally, a little about my mom. If you know us, you know we relocated my mom, now 95, from Florida to Virginia last July. She is now two hours from our daughter’s home in Virginia. While I can’t get there enough to see her, I am helping my one sister – her caregiver, by taking care of anything I can remotely….While mom is in assisted living, mentally she is very sharp, physically, she has limitations. She is legally blind and has to take medicine to control her erratic blood pressure which is precarious. However, the place we had her in had not been ideal – so this weekend she moved into a newer and better facility. It’s all a big task for my sister who has a few other family obligations to also manage. Thankfully our daughter and son-in-law plus my two nephews helped my sister.
All of this collided and culminated with my mother-in-laws passing. Although, all I can say is that God’s in control and HIS TIMING is perfect. Our daughter and son-in-law have physically been able to drive to help my mom and sister the past three weekends. Initially, we had hoped the boys would have a long weekend with their parents but due to mom’s move, they helped her….so we did our best to keep them fully entertained….
This blog is about my faith journey. I try to share any great new insights I may glean in this life. And I have gleaned so many things this year….
As I shared how drained I was, my precious sister-in-law who has so much more going on, ministered to me. So, in addition to helping her husband with the caregiving of my mother in law (they also just sold their home, are changing jobs, moving, etc.) she could help me! So maybe as we share how drained we both are and how we are looking to our Lord for our sustenance, perhaps it will help you!
I have to admit, I was a very lost at several points in my life. I’ve shared part ofmy testimony here, but there is still so much more to share. In all my sinful and lost ways, God keeps showing up and blessing me in ways I can only PRAISE and WORSHIP Him! Because of my past, which included Bill’s and my divorce and remarriage, we are now faithful church members. I started another blog to share about this. If you aren’t familiar with our story, start here.
Because of extensive Bible reading and Bible study, I pretty much “know” the Bible – but am I following what I know? Oh, no, I fall so short….However, I am trying. Bill and I are both so excited about our new church and the Biblical teaching we are under. Perfect messages each week for us to grow together and closer to how our Lord would have us live. But yet, still so weak….
And here is the GOOD NEWS!!!! When I am weak, He is strong! Do you remember that song as a child? I have been weak so many times – and He has proven His strength to me time and time again.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-10
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US. And it’s the 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. People are gathering at their relatives and friends homes to celebrate and reflect on what they are thankful for. But today, I am still struggling to make sense of the recent death of one of my daughter’s good friends, Tara, age 34. She died in a car wreck – she was on her way to see a friend. And today, so many are traveling. I’m praying for all of them, especially our daughter and her family.
Tara was the mom to a 10 year old son and 5 year old daughter. She was the wife of a Sheriff’s Deputy. She was the only daughter to a mom and dad, the only sister to their son. She was the best friend to so many friends. And she had an incredible impact on our family. Because of her, she gave me my daughter back!
This may help you understand why I am struggling with her death – my daughter was a bit lost and Tara helped her find her way back to good health. And in part, she helped our daughter maneuver through her two subsequent pregnancies. And they even shared a time of being pregnant together – our oldest grandson was born a few months before her daughter. And they had another good friend who gave birth to twins a few months before our first grandson. They were quite the trio. There is nothing better for a woman than to share being pregnant with a good friend or two – I had that privilege myself!
I could hardly sleep the night I learned of her death – my heart went out to her family and especially her mother. She and Tara were especially close. And her husband – as a law enforcement officer, he is sworn to protect and serve his community – but yet his wife died in a car wreck in their community. Her precious children were – well, just so precious to her! She frequently posted pictures of them on facebook so I feel I know them both, but yet I have never met them in person. I was praying without ceasing the first night – and now every time I think of her. Praying for God’s comfort to surround them, to hold them, to fill them with His love and wonderful memories of her.
Tara and I had a special relationship and she promised we would see each other soon. She reached out to me recently. She is so much like my daughter, “…please don’t ask questions. I just need to know where in the Bible I can read about being tested and why and how. I just need some support right now from God….” I shed a few tears as I love her heart. We’ve chatted about the Lord a few times before so I know she was searching for a closer relationship with Him. First verse I sent her:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
I told her there was so many. And then I sent her:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name… 1 Peter 4:12-19
Then I thought of another verse:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
After telling the Disciples about what was coming, He concluded with this:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
My heart was so blessed when she later responded, “Thank you so so so so much. This is just what I needed 💜.” I instantly thought of our these, our last communications. What was she going through? I can only surmise.
She had a dream of 10 years. Because I was a retired Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), she had talked to me about her dream, because she wanted to do the same. Because she was a mom and her husband an LEO, I explained how rough the hours are on the home life. So she changed her goal. Soon after our communications, she became a Code Enforcement Officer in her county! Oh she was so proud of this and she shared pics of her in her “uniform” many times on both FaceBook and Instagram. We were all so proud of her.
I haven’t been sure how to express my grief and my thoughts. But then today, my husband’s and my devotional spoke to my heart:
“…yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15
How long will you live? No one knows. Life is like a vapor. You are here for a season, and then you were gone. The most important day you have is today. The Bible says much about today. It is the day of salvation. It is the day the Lord has made. Now is the time to serve the Lord God. Do not delay. Make today a masterpiece.
This devotional was written by Dr. Ted H. Traylor, Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, Florida. He continues:
As a pastor, I frequently go to the cemetery with families to bury loved ones. Most often they are older people who have died, but not always. I have been there for infants, teenagers, and young adults. We never know how long we have. That is why today is critical.
Nowis a powerful tool. one of the most important factors and having success is to focus on a goal and take action. Since death can come at any time, here are a few questions to ponder:
Have you settled the questions of eternity with Jesus?
Is there anyone you need to forgive?
Is there a person you need to tell “I love you?”
Now is the time. Today is the day.
Tara with her arm around our daughter. Oh happy day! All her friends have been post ing pictures of them with her….and she always has her magnificent smile on!
Please join me in praying for her family. And the families of all those who are grieving this holiday.