Earl Lees, Eulogy, February 1996

Earl Lees was born in Pittsburgh on January 30, 1916, to the late William and Elizabeth Smith Lees. Earl lived a long and blessed life … 80 years, one month, and 16 days (2/16/1996). Today we are here to remember, honor, and give to him our respect.

“He is survived by his wife of nearly 49 years (Ruth) Brunner Lees, two sons, David (Linda) of Tallmadge, OH, William (Debra) of Fredericksburg, VA; and four grandchildren: Rebecca, Matthew, Rachel, and Jessica. 

“Earl Lees began his adult life at age 18 upon graduating from high school during the depression years. There was no work in this area, so he left Irwin and went west, to begin his second education in the school of hard knocks. Hopping freight trains, he made stops in Idaho, where he worked at digging potatoes, to the State of Washington, where he worked on apple farms, to California, where he threshed rye and wheat, all just to eat, to sustain life.

He was back in Irwin three years later due to his father’s ill health. After several odd jobs, he found work at Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he worked until being drafted by the Army in 1941. 

“Earl was off then to war in the United States Army where he served his country in the Ninth Infantry Division, 60th Regiment, 2nd Battalion. General George Patton was his General. Earl again went through hard times spending two- and one-half years overseas in Europe fighting for his country. His Army duty took him throughout and across Europe-where he ended up in Germany. He once went three days without water in the deserts of Northern Africa. ,             · • .· , 

“Earl did not talk about World War II. He gladly served his country, but the memories of war were anything but pleasant to him. He received the Purple Heart Medal after being wounded in Europe. He came home to Irwin, back to his lifelong job at Westinghouse, and soon met his love, whom he married in May of 1947. 

“Mr. & Mrs. Earl Lees were soul mates. They made decisions together as a team. They were together to the end. Ruth by her personal care during his long illness added a couple of years to his life by her skillful nursing. 

“Earl Lees was not a flashy man, nor very talkative He was a man who excelled at the ordinary things of life. A meat and potatoes kind of man. He lived for God, his wife. and his family, friends, neighbors, and his job. Earl was loyal to all these l ‘ve mentioned. 

“He was a man you could set your clock by. In forty years at Westinghouse, he was never late. He was home at 3:55 PM, supper was at 5:00 pmHis sons knew to be at the supper table at 5:00 for meat and potatoes! Earl was very dependable, predictable, and always faithful. He always had a smile. During deep snow days, the boys were awakened early to clear the driveway so that he could be at work on time. 

“Earl had no enemies because he was always good to people. His yard was the best-groomed yard in Sheridan Terrace (made the local paper). He would pay his sons to pick dandelions from his yard. He made time to help his neighbors. He was not a complainer, nor did he speak badly of anyone. 

“He would do for anyone and expect nothing in return. He mowed their yards, cleaned off their snow, raked their leaves.Earl Lees was a humble, sweet-spirited, God-fearing man. He shared his garden vegetables, cared for his elderly neighbors. When asked, “What do I owe you?” his answer was … “Pass it on.” That was his motto in life: “If I’ve helped you, pass it on … now you help someone.” 

“A man with a song or melody, a happy man, a positive person, gentle and kind and very honest. He cared for the neighborhood children and always had a word or comment for them. To the boy down the street named Spear, he’d say: “Shake, Spear.” If you said “hey”, he’d say, “hey is for horses.” If you would say “Wait a minute,” he would respond with”Weight broke the wagon.” If you would say, “open the door” it was “Influenza” etc. So many quips!

“In earlier years he brought the Cub Scouts to Irwin. His sons cherish the memories of the things they did together. For years and years, he taught Adult Bible Classes and was an elder of his church, and serving in church repairs. 

“Along more personal matters: 

“Earl Lees loved his wife and family. He gave them stability. He taught them to work for a living. He gave precious memories to his grandchildren. After receiving the news of cancer, there was a family trip, where he became as a child. At the age of 79 He took a family trip to Washington D.C., MD., and NJ. All his family was present. He made that vacation a time to be remembered for the rest of their lives. He played with his grandchildren, teased them, sang to them skipped with them. 

“Rebecca remembers her grandfather teaching her how to ride a bike. Jessica remembers Grandpa skipping with her. Encouraging her to be a happy child

“He was a wonderful example of what a man should be as a husband, father, grandparent, friend, and neighbor. He sang the cadence: “You had a good home but you left .. left, right, left.” 

Earl has left. 

Earl is not dead,

He is just away (He left)

With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand

He has left us for another land 

Think of him still as the same 

He is not dead – He just left us and went away. 

Eulogy written by and service officiated by life long Pastor and friend of David and Linda Lees: Terry Schmelzenbach. He also ministered to Bill and I in our reconciliation process. And he served as Pastor for Ruth Brunner’s service. More later…

Earl Lees Family Legacy. His sons, their wives, and grandchildren.


As we researched Earl Lees’ WWII service, we long for more information about him. In digging through old records, we found his eulogy. This actually fills in a few blanks. What was his life like before WWII? We only knew a few details.

Digging into online records, we found some interesting facts: Earl’s grandfather was named Samuel, He was born in 1854 and died in 1932.  Samuel was married to Elizabeth Watts Lees, who lived from 1863 to 1932, both were from Northern Ireland. They had 10 children. Four of their sons immigrated to the United States. Earl’s father, William, arrived first, in 1906 at the age of 25. Joseph Lees arrived at age 23 (born around 1890) and Matthew Lees, was 20 (born around 1892-93). These two brother’s arrived on the Caledonia, from Londonderry, Ireland on May 12, 1913.  At the time of immigration, their last place of residence was Magherafelt, Ireland. We couldn’t find any information online about the fourth brother, Joseph. David and Bill recall their dad drove them to his home in the Philadelphia area-but no one was home.

Earl’s father, William, was born August 8, 1881, in Londonderry County, Northern Ireland, UK. He died on December 30, 1938, in Irwin in the care of Earl and Samuel. Bill just learned a few years ago his grandfather’s name was William. Did Earl name his second son after his dad we wonder? Looking at all the family records, this is a common practice. Bill only recalls his dad telling him his middle name, Douglas, was in honor of General Douglas MacArthur. Bill’s youngest grandson’s middle name is Douglas, in honor of Bill!

Earl’s mother Elizabeth Smyth Lees was born in 1884 in Northern Ireland and died in 1918 in Pittsburgh – during the flu pandemic. We couldn’t find her immigration info or their marriage date.  At the time of her death, she left three surviving sons. Their ages at the time: Sam was 9, John (Jack) was 7 and Earl was 2. We know their baby brother also died in 1918 of the flu. Earl RARELY spoke of his childhood. 

Earl did not share any memories of his stepmother, Marian Telfer Lees. She was born on September 11, 1879, in Muirkirk, East Ayrshire, Scotland. She died August 14, 1931 (aged 51), in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. We don’t know when she married Earl’s father. They did not have any children. She brought a niece and a nephew into the marriage. No other information is known. But yet, we have this precious picture of Earl with his step mother, her niece, nephew and another unknown relative. We wonder why his dad, William, wasn’t in the picture. Was he the photographer? Or like his grandson, Bill, he hates having his picture taken!

Undated photo of Earl sitting in the middle, with his stepmother, her niece, nephew, and one other unknown relative. This was taken in Irwin, PA.

Earl’s oldest brother was Samuel William Lees, Sr. born September 22, 1909, in Pennsylvania. He died on February 19, 1983, at the age of 73. He died in Elyria, Lorraine county, Ohio, and is buried in Ridge Hill Memorial Park, Amherst, OH. He married Edythe Harriett Kleckner about 1935. They had three children. We don’t know when he moved to Ohio, but their dad was living with him at the time of his death.

John (Jack) Lees was the second oldest brother, born September 11, 1911 in Pittsburgh, PA. He died 3/31/1974 and is buried in Irwin Union Cemetery. He never married. 

Jack, left and Earl on July 20, 1936 in New York City

As we read Earl’s letters home, he is writing to his brother Sam. He references Sambo, Sam’s son, and his daughter, Barbara. We only have 17 letters from his two years plus in the Army. Are their other letters stuffed in an attic somewhere? As we write and share this information, we do hope to learn more. But alas, there are no surviving relatives from this era.

May 10, 1947, Wedding day of Earl and Ruth. To the far right is his oldest brother, Sam, Earl, Ruth, and (front) Sambo, behind him is Barbara, an unknown woman, Edythe Kleckner Lees. The couple to her left is also unknown. This wedding took place in Irwin, PA.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

How to love the unlovely

I learned in Blogging 101, when you write an epistle in response to someone else’s post, Julie Sheppard’s in this case, (to join her discussion, click here to read it), it is best to write a post in your own blog! So that is what I am doing. I have actually shared this story a number of times, so I might as well tell the whole story here!

But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven. He lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. If you love only those who love you, why should you get a reward for that? Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than anyone else. Even the people who don’t know God are nice to their friends. Matthew 4:44-47 ESV amp Continue reading

Triumphant Entry!


From Pinterest

I love it when a sermon really grabs my heart and inspires me to share it. And that happened today, Palm Sunday, which celebrates Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.  This account is written in all four gospels so it must be a very important event in the lives of believers: Matthew 21-22, Mark 11-12, Luke 19-20, John 12. But today, he shared from the Gospel of Luke, 19:28-48.

As I turned to these verses, I noted they were not marked. “Interesting, can’t wait to hear this sermon” I whispered to myself.  You see, I have a “Sunday”Bible which I carry to church each Sunday.  I’ve marked it up a lot, and especially mark the scriptures used in the sermons, date it and now that we are traveling, note where I was.

The pastor continues, there is one particular verse not noted in the other three gospels. Luke 19:41:

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it… 

Wow, as many times as I have read this Gospel and these verses, it never stuck out to me that He WEPT!  I do know the one other time Jesus wept, at the death of his friend, Lazarus, in John 11:35. Nearly everyone knows this verse because it is the shortest verse in the Bible. But it is so important. It shows Jesus’ humanity and his compassion.

I searched for many pictures and videos to find one where it might show Him depicted with tears. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but found this tidbit as I searched: “Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is found very early in Christian art, on 4th century sarcophagi in the gloomy Roman catacombs – perhaps because the early Christians wanted to emphasise this glorious moment rather than the tragedy of the Crucifixion.” (From here.)

But we Christians celebrate this event and it is noted in our Bibles as being a “Triumphant Entry” into Jerusalem. After the sermon today, I liked how one commentator mentioned this really could be called the “Tearful Entry.” And we don’t view the Crucifixion as a tragedy. It shows the ultimate love gift to each one of us and to whoever will accept it, the willingness to die so others can live.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

So why was Jesus taken to this tearful moment we want to think it a Triumphant Entry? Because He knew how many would reject Him and reject the gift of not only eternal life, but of peace on this earth. And not the warrior type of peace we imagine, just as those who lived in the times of Jesus, but peace in our hearts knowing and understanding why He was sacrificed for us….

Rather than repeat the sermon, I found this short two minute video that really effectively shares the message. But if you can’t watch the video, you can read another Pastor’s notes here. After you watch or read about it, do you understand His tears?

I don’t know about you, but I am viewing today as a bit more of a somber day, a day to really search my heart. Am I living how Jesus deserves me to live after His sacrificial death? I do know I want everyone I know and love to accept Him and His death so they will spend eternity with me….and all my loved ones who are up there waiting for us….

The Enemy of our Faith

CovenantPresbyterianChurchPCAWe were so happy to be back in our home church for a month this past January. Our Pastor, Tom, is an extraordinary teacher of God’s Word. You know you’ve heard a good sermon when you continue to talk about it for weeks; and, we are still keeping it at the forefront of our thoughts!

Tom started the new year with a series from the book of Joshua. This is one of my favorite Old Testament books. Call me crazy but I just love the life lessons I’ve learned from it (mainly how Moses was Joshua’s mentor and how obedient Joshua was to God. Some people think it proves our God is not all loving. Click here to read how the slaughter of the Canaanites was righteous by God). Our Pastor took this book to a new level for me in the four sermons we heard. All spoke to us in just the areas we needed, but one really has stuck with us: the fourth one in his series titled, “The Enemy of Faith: Joshua 4-5.” (Click here and look for it by this title if you would like to hear the original sermon in it’s entirety.)

Briefly, I am going to cheat a little and rather than repeat the context of these chapters and to not quote some of the harder scriptures, I found this resource where I am going to take a few excerpts (italicized in blue). Joshua starts out where Deuteronomy ends: After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. (Joshua 1:1-2 ESV). Joshua was one of only two men from the older generation of Israelites still alive forty years after Israel’s departure from Egypt (Num 14:29-30; Deut 1:34-38). During those forty years he had gained much valuable experience as Moses’ assistant. I won’t belabor and go over all of Joshua’s accomplishments up to this time. But suffice it to say, hard as it was, he was obedient to God’s commands.

Let’s take the portion of scripture in which the focus of the sermon. This is what impacted us and then the three statements to etch the sermon further into our minds:

The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:19-24 ESV

The one thing that sticks out to me as I re-read the Bible yearly (made that commitment in 2004) is how forgetful the Israelites are! And every time I read how they grumbled and complained and accused God of hating them, I say to myself, how could they forget what’s He’s done for them? How don’t they know how much He loves them? And then I remember, “Oh, I do the same thing…..” So maybe that is why this sermon is so important for me.

1. The Remembrance of God’s Goodness (read Joshua 4:1-24):  The Bible always takes us back to where we need to go to see the continuity of the message from the Lord.  Deuteronomy 8:2  –  “And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”  AND Deuteronomy 8:11 “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today….”

Do you remember the day, week or even month when you finally realized the Lord our God was real? And that He loved you?  And that He sent His Son as a living sacrifice for your sins?  And that you are forgiven?  And that you will spend ETERNITY with Him?

I’m so blessed as I have several such encounters with Him. First was when I was nine in church, during a sermon. I realized then I was a sinner, that Jesus died for me and I wanted HIM as my Lord and Savior. I told my parents and they took me to meet with the Pastor. When I look back at that visit in his office, I see myself like this:


Seriously! I felt like I had to convince the Pastor I knew who Jesus was and what He did for me. And the pastor? He tried to dissuade me from making this commitment at this young age. We were in a Military chapel outside of Tokyo, Japan when this happened. He accepted my decision and I was “sprinkled” in baptism. Then my dad was transferred to Langley Air Force Base when I was 12. And one of the first things my parents did was join a church and get me fully immersed. But I missed a message during both of these events to hear I should begin reading my Bible daily in order to get to know God and form a relationship with my Lord and Savior! Or to regularly attend Sunday School so I could learn more about Him and His ways. But God had His hand on me and I went forward when I was 21 and was really “born again” this time! And then I met my husband in the ministry where I went forward (Christ is the Answer) and I thought I finally got it. But no, eventually, my husband and I fell away from church, the Word and a close personal relationship with the Lord. Our marriage ended in divorce. BUT we have a happy ending! God is every so faithful and HE restored our marriage. We blogged about it here.

Because of this, I can fully identify with the Israelites. Each time the Lord spoke clearly to me, I accepted it and then went on with life as if it didn’t happen until we remarried. And I’m still growing but now you may see why I have committed to reading the Bible DAILY and being in church every Sunday (with a few exceptions). I can’t hear enough of God’s Word to keep me closer to Him.

2. The Assurance of God’s Promise (read Joshua 5:1-9): God urged Joshua to lead Israel forward to occupy the Promised Land. This land was a free gift from God. All the Israelites had to do was go forward in faith to claim the promise.
In verses 5-9, God gave Joshua further instructions in how to carry out his assigned mission. These instructions are arranged in a chiastic structure that emphasizes some main points and shows how those points are related:
(a) At the beginning and end of the passage, (Chapter 5) in verses 5 and 9, is the promise that God will always be with Joshua and the Israelites. It is God’s continued presence that provides the necessary setting for Joshua’s mission. Without God’s presence, Joshua would not be able to succeed.
(b) In the protective environment of God’s presence, Joshua could be “strong and courageous”, as is mentioned in the second and next-to-last parts of the chiasm (verses 6 and 9).
(c) Strength and courage would be needed for Joshua and the people to implement the Torah, the commandments God had given through Moses. By obeying the Torah, the Israelites could enjoy the full measure of blessing that God intended for them. This is brought out in the third and third-to-last parts of the chiasm, in verse 7 and the end of verse 8.
(d) The beginning of verse 8 is the admonition that occupies the central position in the passage: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night ….” To carry out God’s commandments, the Israelites would need to study them, commit them to memory, and internalize them.

And then to take us to the New Testament where the Apostle Paul gives us this reminder:

1 Corinthians 10:1-5 “For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

3. The Continuance of God’s Provision, (read Joshua 5:10-12): This tells us the Israelites celebrated the Passover and the next day “they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.”  I loved how our Pastor said that our God is not a “razzle dazzle” God – or others have said, He is not a genie in a bottle. But that He does provide us with our regular provisions such as a paycheck for the work we do or even better, for the family we are given. And we are to delight in the ordinary where our needs are provided. But more importantly, we are to always remember His mighty acts (such as our own testimony) and the greatest of all, was His sacrifice on the cross. That is the promise we have for eternal life!

So how did this impact us? We had one of our best hikes, in my opinion, in part because of the great conversation we had for the nearly four hours in the woods. And that was to not only relive this sermon, but to remember all the great things the Lord has done in our lives. We see how easy it is to forget. We fall back into our grumbling and complaining lives….but hopefully, after this, we pray we don’t forget and that we keep our faith as fresh as it was when we first believed!

Making a decision….I’m staying here!

UPDATE: thanks for all the feedback and input! I’m keeping things as is. Looking forward to Blogging 201 and more wifi!

Should I phase this blog out and move everything over to The TumbleLees, our travel blog? See poll below. If you have any solutions, please comment.

I started blogging in 2011. First as a way for my husband and I to share about our marriage as we have a story to telI. We tried to be very transparent about our trials and tribulations. As we began to rebuild our marriage and our family, we began to travel more, so some of our marriage stories include travels. Our favorite place in the USA became the Rockies in Colorado, so there are a few blogs about it. And we discovered we both loved to hike, so we began to incorporate our hiking adventures. We never dreamed we would sell everything and begin to travel full time and hike a lot. But that happened to us over the past two years. So that blog became about our full time travels, but was done in our voices. While we do nearly everything together, and we can complete each other’s sentences, I needed another outlet for my own personal journey. And this blog was born. But it has floundered.


photo courtesy of pixabay

blogging. helps!

Enter Blogging University hosted by WordPress. What a great experience this has become, but I have not been able to focus much time or energy on this blog. And it seems our travel blog interests more people. So now my dilemma. Shut this blog down and just focus on our travel blog and just make it more my voice? In reality, my husband doesn’t write at all, we just bounced ideas around and I never published until he proof read it and offered suggestions or improvements.

So I have been through a process of trying to brand this blog, but it seems I am splitting myself in two. Coupled with the fact that I don’t have unlimited wifi – as a full time travelers, we have to pay as we go.

I’ve wanted to create a blog to share about all the bloggers I am following. They have enriched my life and I have “borrowed” some ideas from many. And as the August Blogging 101 ends, I’ve sensed a closeness and something very unique. And then I learned a core group decided to make an Alumni Group. What a great idea and it is presently open so you can enter and decide to become part of the group. Here is our fabulous Blogging 101 Community blog roll by categories!

A few observations about what makes a really good blogger to me and the ones I follow fit that category:

  • A good sense of humor, to be able to write in a humorous way. What a gift! Sadly, I don’t seem to have that ability to share in my writings. So far…..
  • Blogs about real life journeys.
  • Sharing about spiritual matters. While I am a born again Christian, I want to know about others spiritual journeys. I am so excited about following blogs from others very passionate about their faith, but whose faith is very different from mine. In fact, i am sensing a key to world peace is if we just share our faith more and what is GOOD about our faith and how we have many similarities.
  • As a fitness buff, I do enjoy inclusion of any health tips, and especially other hikers.
  • And as a traveler, I also enjoy other travel blogs.

It’s amazing how many bloggers I have chosen to follow these past two months. I actually have spent more time reading their blogs and commenting than focusing on my own blogging. And I’ve learned so much!


Feeling accomplished!


Are we mature, or just old?

This is a follow up to my second assignment in the WordPress Blogging 101 class.  We were to create a blog to a specific audience.  My aim was to those who need hope. That is what I heard growing up….well, actually, mom always said “you have to have faith.” I think faith and hope mean the same….or do they? Well, according to one great blog, it says they are sort of the same, one means now: faith is in the present. Hope is the future, we hope for better things. But what I learned in this blog, is that we need both, and the one thing we must have, is LOVE! But I digress….

We do our best to attend church every Sunday (we travel full-time so sometimes we miss), we do a short Bible Study nearly every morning and I try to read a few chapters of my Bible every morning…first thing! We also pray before we attend church that our worship will be pleasing to God, but also, for Him to give us a Word (or sermon) we really need. Usually, we are blown away by how pertinent the service is. And today is no exception.

The title of the sermon was “Growing up in Christ.” Since I’ve been a Christian for decades, I wasn’t sure I would learn much….but indeed, I learned A LOT and all that I needed to know why I still have so many struggles in life. If you read my last blog, you’d think I had it all together and was living happily ever after. Well, let’s just say I have peace and joy in my heart all the time, but sometimes it isn’t apparent.  And now I know why….I’m still an immature Christian.  So without preaching, here is what I needed to know today and these are snippets from the sermon:

From Hebrews 6:1 and this is the context of what I needed today. I’m using a version I normally don’t use, but I did like it best in The Living Bible:  “Let us stop going over the same old ground again and again, always teaching those first lessons about Christ. Let us go on instead to other things and become mature in our understanding, as strong Christians ought to be. Surely we don’t need to speak further about the foolishness of trying to be saved by being good, or about the necessity of faith in God…”

Growing old just happens, but “growing up” or becoming mature is an option!  Our maturity is based upon our attitudes, and as John Maxwell famously quoted, “Attitude is based up altitude.” Ouch, I thought I had a good attitude…but I have been lacking….

One of my favorite little books of the Bible is the Book of James. I was blessed to teach the teens in our church years ago from this book. And I’ve done two Bible studies as well as I read it at least once every year (and have now for 11 years). So today, it was pointed out it is a great book to learn what maturity really looks like. Ouch, again. So many verses are in my head…now I pray they will be in my heart and more importantly, in my actions.

So here are five things quickly, and as the sermon went, fill in the blank:

Maturity is _______

1) Positive. From James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds….”  I KNOW this! Right?  I think I am positive all the time…well, maybe most of the time….except maybe not when someone crashes into our truck that pulled our home around and it is totaled….

2) Caring for others. From James 2:8 “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right….'”  Oh, I’ve got this one! Yep, I love everyone, except that guy who crashed into our truck….Oops.

3) Controlling ones tongue.  Ok, I have to quote more than the one scripture because there are some great word pictures here…and it is impossible to control our tongues. So there, I’m OK because I sure was mad when our truck was wrecked, and after all, I at least didn’t use curse words. I have overcome that much with my tongue. And actually, he was an old man, so I wasn’t really mean to him, I just told him he ruined our lives home….And I did get really upset dealing with the insurance company after the old man admitted it was his fault and the police put it in their report….but the insurance company didn’t seem to care it wasn’t just a truck, it moved our home and we needed to move it  in two days….sorry, I’m digressing again….From James 3:3-9.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.  Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

4) Living as a peacemaker not a trouble maker. From James 4:4 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”  Remember, I have peace and joy in my heart. I know I have this one…I even took a Bible study course on being a Peacemaker. That’s me all right…well, except when I had some trouble with the insurance company that day….Did I mention it was just this past May? Yes, May 2, 2015….

5) Patient. From James 5:7 “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” AND James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered (or been patient). You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” Oh, no!!! I wanted and needed an answer on May 2, 2015 (it was a Saturday) that the insurance company would contract for a tow company to tow our home, that we had JUST sold to it’s new owner on May 4, 2015 in Maryland. We were in Virginia and since our residence is Florida, that really makes insurance companies crazy. I don’t even want to relive our day on Monday when it took forever to find the right person up the management chain to get the authority to order the tow truck.

So my husband and I tried so hard to live up to our standards as Christians and on this day (and a few more later on in the month) we failed miserably.  But here is the HOPE!  The lesson continued, what does it take to become mature? Given in reverse order, and I’ll let you look up the scripture verses if you want to learn more:

4)  It’s not automatic!  That’s for sure…. (Hebrews 5:12-13)

3) It’s a life long process!  Oh, good, I still have time. (Proverbs 8:5 and 2 Peter 3:18)

2) It takes discipline! Well, I have been known to be a disciplined person….so more hope! (1 Timothy 4:7b)

1) Finally, maturity requires a commitment! (Galatians 5:24)

So how the sermon ended was based upon a military term, “About face” or repent and start over!

And now for my journey to bridle my tongue. So far, in two days I’ve succeeded!

Red Sea Rules! By Robert J Morgan. A brief review

“The Red Sea Rules”

The Same God Who Led You in Will Lead You Out
By Robert J. Morgan
This powerful little book contains 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times, centered around Exodus 14. Each rule is centered on scriptures and testimonies.
This book was divinely inspired when the author (a pastor) was dealing with a problem. He was reduced to a bundle on nerves because it was someone he loved who was in trouble. He prayed for God’s help, then opened his Bible to the days reading, Exodus 14. God clearly used the Israelites “trouble” and then  he began to see these 10 steps. (From the preface.)
Red Sea Rule #
1-Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
2-Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief.
3-Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
5-Stay calm and confident, give God time to work.
6-when unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.
7-Envision God’s enveloping presence.
8-Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.
9-View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
10-Don’t forget to praise Him!
Each chapter ends with a few thought provoking questions that allow you to step back and reflect on the readings and scriptures. Bill and I used this as our daily devotional for six weeks. Each rule has about 3 or 4 testimonies. We’re excited about how our Lord is strengthening us from this devotional!