Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Symbols can be objects rich with meaning that signify a message. Our American flag and the anthem symbolize all the lives sacrificed to defend our country. The flag is red, white and blue. White signifies purity and innocence; red signifies valor and bravery (blood); and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. What's there not to like about these values every American would do well to exhibit?

When players on a football field won’t honor our flag and our anthem, they’re not exercising a right to free speech, no, they’re disrespecting the individuals who fought so they could live a free life. Football players are not heroes when they take from a country without giving it at the very least respect. 

Tell the young widow who receives a folded flag that draped the casket of her young husband on his burial day that our flag and national anthem have no value. Nor did her husband’s life given so football players could run around on a field playing a ball game rather than dodging bullets.

Perhaps fine football players who take a knee $100,000 per game when they dishonor the values of the country they live in. Give this money to surviving spouses and children who sacrificed forever the presence and emotional and financial support of their dead family members.  

Let these football players who want to make political statements about race relations and police behavior give talks to kids in school, community forums, do something proactive that costs them personal energy and time – an appropriate way to exercise their freedom of speech.

Shame on team members who will play side by side with men who are traitors to the value of lives sacrificed for them and their posterity. It should disgust every player to see our flag and anthem mocked.

Shame on the coaches and the franchises who are willing to overlook this gross degradation. Each player who kneels is guilty of degrading these symbols of sacrificed lives.  The souls of the valiant who died for our freedoms cry out: Shame, shame, shame.

While only the first verse of the National Anthem is commonly sung at sports events, there are four verses to our National Anthem. This is the last verse:

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Our Family - Proud to be Americans!

You may want to check out my exciting political suspense novel Directive 99 available at amazon in print and ebook formats.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

     Making New Year's resolutions? I like this chance to pause and prioritize. For 2018  I'm choosing things I won’t bring into the New Year.

     I refuse to bring fear. The news is filled with the horrors of 2017 – Las Vegas massacre, hurricanes, horrific floods, Isis attacks –I mourn the pain of my brothers and sisters but I won’t be consumed with dreading that these events will recur and maybe touch me or my loved ones.

I won’t have a lack of love for others. Because some people are evil, I won’t assume those I meet may be. I won’t shy away from making human contact and reaching out when I see a need.

I won’t bring inattention.  I’ll notice each amazing sunrise and sunset, and the beauty around me every day in nature. God commands me not to fear but to trust Him and never stop loving people and looking for signs of His presence everywhere.

     Some things I will bring into 2018 are my delight in worshipping God and serving others.

     I'll bring my joy in praying for you, my family, my friends, the people I’ve counseled through past decades as a psychotherapist, our Silver Sands golf students, the children I’ve taught and my readers.

     I'll bring God’s principles to live by and share over and over. I won’t be who I was last year nor who I’ll be the following year – I’ll be the me of 2018, simple, complex yet always complete in Christ.

     2018, every day of it, is a gift to be opened and savored. May this New Year be your BEST EVER!

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pondering Christmas 2017

Been pondering how vital the first Christmas is to our faith, that long ago birth of Jesus - the divine entrance of God as a human being into our world. Everything became different from then on. Jesus was, is, and will always be truly the Change-maker.

Since Christ's birth, God is not, and need never be, distant from us. Jesus understood human frailty and broke the inevitable sin connection we had. The birth of Jesus initiated a divine cleansing – God showed His willingness to live not only among us, but within us.

Lest we forget…
The Holy Spirit is the Helper Jesus promised us for today and all our tomorrows giving ongoing gifts that bless us daily as we keep them open and available - Holy Spirit treasures of fortitude (courage), long-suffering  (patience), wisdom, piety, reverence for the Lord, counsel (intuition), and understanding. It’s these precious gifts that empower us to live with joy exploding in our souls through all the whatevers of life!

On a personal note:
We began 2017 in Florida enjoying three months in Venice living on the ocean.  Walking the beach, reading, writing, golf and dancing to local bands are favorite activities there. We had delightful visits from our daughter Pam and her husband John and several couples’ friends. And traveled to Fort Lauderdale, FL to see our daughter Tamara who enjoys life there.

In April we returned to our house in the woods of Fontana WI, which we treasure more every year –the birds and squirrels know us by name. Major house projects - re-carpeting and new windows - filled our time. Then over a dozen out of town speaking and book-signing events where I was privileged to tell the story of the Gospel and relate God’s miracles in our lives.

In between came writing and editing my next mystery novel with my publisher Pelican (The Windemere Affair) along with distribution and promotion of previous books on marriage, parenting and inspirational novels. In my blog, Thoughts on Fun, Faith and Family, I like to encourage families to maximize their lives together.

To my delight Wayne became an author also this past year sending out
daily reflections to our family and some friends at their request. I hope to compile them into a book this year. They’re really outstanding – I’m beyond proud of him.
The end of July Wayne was diagnosed with an aorta aneurysm to our great shock because he had no symptoms. After two months getting a second opinion, other procedures and pre-op tests he had aorta repair and by-pass surgery on September 26 followed by home health care nurse visits and three months of cardiac rehab.

Wayne is recovering well and can play golf again, although he’s still rebuilding his stamina. We both exercise together at our local athletic club and dance as often as we can. We’re glad to have this behind us and continue our routine of fun times with our adult children and their spouses - our greatest joy always is family time. We're so grateful to them all for helping us through these difficult days - we appreciated your prayers as well. Here are some of the family on our traditional cookie-baking day last Sunday:

 How did these grandchildren get so tall!

We became great-grandparents in June when Pam’s oldest Katie and husband Alex became parents of Brayden Parker (above). A new era begins.

Bible study, church services, being in community with our family and God’s amazing community of Christian believers give us great joy.

We love this season of Christmas lights and our indoor and outdoor Nativity scenes –reminders of God’s ultimate act of self-giving modeling for us the means of our true and deepest happiness – loving and serving others.

Our prayer is that you, we, all of us, may know Christ ever more intimately as 2018 unfolds. Merry, blessed, happy, sacred, fun-filled Christmas to you and all your loved ones!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

This Year I’m Doing Thanksgiving in a New Way

I’ve been thinking about thanking God differently.

For example, thanking God for bad things that never happened - thanking Him for His protection and amazing rescues.  Most of which I’m not even aware of, but sometimes I know – like when I almost caught my foot and tumbled down 12 stairs, the truck that just missed my car. I imagine you can think of many rescues yourself.

Thanking God for unsung heroes in my life who often don’t get noticed. Like my son-in-law John who did so much to help during Wayne’s health crisis. Helping me prepare our garage for winter, winterize our boat, extra driving, generously sharing his wife for several overnights, shopping for food for us. He is such a willing selfless worker who stays in the background and doesn’t get acclaimed nearly enough. I happened to catch this picture of him in our kitchen during a recent family gathering. I bet you can think of an unsung hero in your life too. What a blessing they are.

Thanking God for all the intriguing animals in the world – not just dogs as wonderful as they are, but deer that parade through our woods, chipmunks I like to watch scurry around on our deck. Those pesky, persistent squirrels that make me pause and smile. I need to toss in birds and fish too – fascinating!

Thanking God for the gift of light – the pleasure of flicking a switch and brightening a room. The brightness of the world after a couple days of rain.

Thanking God for ink – pens and printers- so we can literally see the ideas that come from someone else’s brain.

Thanking God also for the gift of knowing deep within myself that there is a holy, gracious, living Being Who is worthy of my immense thanks. God's greatness is why I have the joy and privilege of being a thankful person.

May this be your best Thanksgiving day ever and the start of a beautiful holiday season of gratitude.  We all have sooooooooo much to be thankful for. Perhaps this Thanksgiving you’ll find some new things for giving thanks.

One of the best things in the whole world to be thankful for every day is the gift of family and friends – priceless! That's YOU.

                               Blessed Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

O Lord you are such an incredible Creator and Sustainer of this world and all that is in it – how we praise You!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thankful For Strong Hearts

I'VE LEARNED the human heart must become resilient because it will crack apart often. The spouse you choose, the family you create, that child placed in your arms after the miracle of birth – purest joy and the start of immense heart achings.

My heart broke into pieces at the first ear infection when baby cried and I couldn’t make the hurt go away. In sports, those times the coach chose not to put my eager child in the game. And much, much worse. The doctor saying my child had cancer with a fifty-fifty chance of survival - near devastation.

O the complexities of the heart. The cycle of loving goes on - happy heart, whole heart, broken heart, restored heart. I never knew my heart could truly burst with joy at one moment and then experience intense devastation. No one warned me the heart was so fragile but now I know. Concern over my husband’s health, distress over an adult child’s problem. It doesn’t stop at any age. Grandchildren have the same effect.

My heart has been broken and mended a thousand times. You’d think it would become callous with time but each sorrow hurts like the first. Yet, hopefully each one makes me a little stronger.

I want health and happiness uninterrupted by nothing and lasting forever for all my family, children and grandchildren. Is that too much to ask? I know disease and sinful evil people exist, but keep them from my beloved.

Thankfully, I survive in my broken state because I place those I love in the care of the only one who loves them more – my Lord and my God, their Lord and their God. It may seem a little act, but it is enough to keep my heart beating. And more, it keeps joy and gratitude in my soul.


WE ARE SO GRATEFUL for my husband Wayne's healed heart! I so appreciate your prayers for him.  He attends cardiac rehab three times a week and is doing well. Praise God for His  healing mercies. 

Happily, my edits are back on track for my next inspirational mystery novel, The Windemere Affair. If you’re part of my Circlemaker prayer team, or would like to be, prayers are appreciated that this mystery will honor God as it covers some hot button topics.

Please take the opportunity to receive my gift to you! Our  free e-book this month is Joyful Christmas Reflections - deep, sweet, short meditations to prepare your heart for Christmas before the rush begins. Available through amazon on Kindle November 29 & 30.

I’ll be giving my inspirational talk, Stages From the Heart to the Page on Wed. December 13th for the Elgin Area Christian Women’s Connection at Villa Olivia Country Club in Bartlett, IL. For more info, contact person is Jan at 630-213-1205.
Ezekiel 36:26
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Heartfelt Blessings Upon Blessings!