Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Roots

Will and I had a wonderful day last week visiting the Jackson County Fair.  In wanting to offer my son the chance to see my heritage, I had hopes that he too would form his ties to our family past.  Today we struggle at times in passing on our heritage to our children and grandchildren since we live in such a mobile society with few roots.  Not to long ago families did not move very far from the homes in which they grew up.  Several generations lived in one house and so traditions and family history were passed from generation to generation, all found with in the one home.  All contributed to the collective family with each giving valuable and necessary contributions to the family as a whole.  Much of this wonderment has passed into history quietly without notice.  We have lost an integral part of our heritage to the ages, parts of us that make us who we are and have become.  Knowing our family past and the contributions that our forefathers have given, help us to see the part we play in today's world.  We have lost that key to our lives in so many ways today.  Pride in the accomplishments of our fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers and beyond those to generations before them.  I encourage each of you to take time in sitting down with your families, if you have not done so, and relive the history of your family to your children.  Take them to the places where history was made for your family, perhaps then your children and grandchildren too can understand where they as individual members of your family have come.  Perhaps it will give them insight into their futures as well.  

I wanted Will to have similar experiences that I had when I was growing up in Jackson seeing the Jackson County Fair, and with the hopes of meeting family and friends at the fair grounds.  We had a wonderful day celebrating cousin Mike's inauguration into the Speedway Hall of Fame, seeing cousin Ron and his sons, Adam and Tim driving their antique tractors in the tractor parade and visiting with them as well.  We were able to see part of the fair races, visit all of the animal buildings, and see old buildings with mock ups inside them, the way they were set up around the turn of the last century.  Seeing pioneer reenactments and their families and how they lived when the area was first being settled, as well viewing old farm equipment.  One of the pieces on display was a 1917 thrashing machine that I stood on and cut bundles when I was not much older than Will.  Dad and Bobby's steam engine powered that thrashing machine.  Now I can show Will the pictures from the past and he can say one day to his children that he too became a part of history by seeing Uncle Leroy's thrashing machine and his cousins antique tractors on display.  He will show them Dr. Mayo's buggy that he stood in front of, touching an integral part of Minnesota history and that of his family's as well.  Have a great week ahead, Augie

Through the Eyes of a Child

Curious fawn looking at the kids toys
Today brought a pleasant surprise by Abby saying, "Look daddy, a baby dear!"  I was scrubbing and waxing floors when she delivered the announcement.  I quickly got the camera and was able to snap the shot I am sending you now.  Abby's excitement was contagious and exhilarating, I got very excited watching her get so enthused about seeing a baby deer.  What a wonderful blessing we have when we learn again to be a child through the eyes of innocence.  I sometimes forget to step back and get excited all over again.  In looking at the tasks facing me each day,  I have tunnel vision and forget to stop and take time to focus on the simple things of life that bring so much joy when stopping to notice them.  

Yesterday, Will and I were on a father-son date at Target.  Will had been saving his allowance to get a new lego toy so he was very excited about our trip.  When Will and I entered the store I noticed a mom in the back of Target yelling at her two year old son.  She was threatening him with slapping his fingers if he touched her phone one more time.  Will automatically held my hand and squeezed as hard as his little fingers could.  I quietly told him not to worry even as the mother continued yelling at her son even more.  My first reaction was to think, what a bad mother she was yelling at her son like that.  My next thoughts were, "What do I say to my son?"   I took Will to the next isle and knelt down and said that it would be ok and that he had nothing to be afraid of.  I tried to distract him with looking at the lego toys, but that was to no avail.  He was visibly shaken and I could see that his mind was focused on the mom and child.  I next asked him to look for his choice in what he wanted to get.  He then started to look over the different Legos and was able to focus on what toy he wanted.  The mother by that time had moved to another part of the store.  Will made his choice, but I could see that our time together had been scared by this mother's angry encounter with her son.  

After paying for the toy, we started to leave and I suggested that we could get a slushy and chips if he wanted.  This I had hoped would bring joy into my son once again.  It was not to be, the mother and child were right behind us.  The boy was running away from the mom and she was yelling at her son again in the check out line.  Will instinctively started walking to the little boy and I was able to retrieve him before he made contact with her child.  I then asked him what was he up to, he told me that he was going to tell the little boy to listen to his mother.  I then said that that job was left only to the boy's mom, where by Will then turned to the slushy machine.  After a while we sat at the table and I was praying for what to say to my son that would help him to understand what had just taken place.  The thought came to mind about what we taught both children to do when seeing an ambulance or police car.  They would pray for the rescuers and the people needing help.  I next asked Will what it was he did when seeing an ambulance.  He said that he prayed for those needing help and the people in the ambulance as well.  I then proceeded to use the analogy for praying for this very distressed mother and son.  His reply was a teachable moment for Will's daddy.  "That is what I was doing daddy when I saw her being upset."
Hummingbird visiting Anne's honeysuckle bush
For myself, I did not think of praying for the mother when this was happening.  A child was teaching "me" when to pray.  Christ said that we must become like a little child in order to enter the kingdom of God.  God was teaching me how to do this today.  His choice was not that of a minister's sermon, a friend's advice, nor that of any adult.  He was teaching me through a little child's natural faith.  

As we grow into adult hood we sometimes lose our natural faith in believing that God does care for us and listens to us.  We too many times are like the apostles in the boat seeing Jesus walking on the water, first reacting with fear and then disbelieving what their eyes and mind were telling them.  "No, this can't be Jesus, it must be a ghost!"  They were trying to sort out the unthinkable by disbelieving what they knew to be true.  Only Peter had the unquenchable faith that allowed him to go beyond his fears and he too took the step on water whereas the others sought the safety of the boat.  When in the store, I wanted to shield my son from what I saw as a very troubled mother.  Will on the other hand saw it as an opportunity to pray for this distressed mom.  Through his innocent faith, Will knew who had the power to change the situation and help this lady and son by calling on the author of life.
Peter had this faith, as that of a child.   Seeing Jesus through that of a child's eyes is what I want today.  

Have a great week!  Augie

Quiet Places

Today I woke up to our cat tapping me on my face with her paw, her way of asking me to get up and feed her.  The second attempt in doing this got me out of bed.  I realized that I needed to hit the golf course and try to get  back before everyone got up.  This is a regular routine for me each day and when I don't set the alarm, a kitty of ours has her alarm set in getting me out of bed.  

I find my time on the golf course walking by myself is very beneficial in that it gives me time to pray and praise God.  My everyday concerns and worries seem to wash away, then I find myself becoming more relaxed as well.  My mind seems to clear and my perspective is more inline with that of a follower of Christ.  The times that I don't do this I seem to struggle with the cares of the day.  

In reading in Luke this morning I came across the scripture of Martha complaining to Jesus about her sister Mary not helping her prepare the meal for Christ and the rest of his followers.  His reply was not what Martha was expecting, "You are worried and upset about many things. . ."  Jesus was telling Martha that the cares of this world can be put into perspective if we look to him for guidance and trust Jesus for the outcome.  I have found that the hard part is giving it over to him, I always want to take it back.  I have realized then that I am not trusting in Jesus to handle these difficult challenges facing me.  Sometimes I don't want to let my problems go, I would rather hold on to them, while at other times I am not certain what I am to give to Jesus and what my responsibility is.  The more that I stress and fret over the problem, I seem to get more confused and overwhelmed by it.  

For many us we have our quiet places that we can go to and pray and gain perspective.  For me it is going out to the golf course around sunrise by myself, or walking through our woods near our house and sometimes perhaps, as I am doing right now, sitting on our porch near the flowers that we planted and watching the wildlife nearby.  Today I am sharing this time with Abby as well.  She is lining wild flowers up near the steps of our porch all the while enjoying running back and forth out to the meadow.  Now as I am writing this, she comes nearby me and asks if I would write about her as well.  

I have found that when I do seek the quiet places and times that work in my busy day, it goes well and I am more at peace with the demands that face me.  When I have a difficult time giving my problems to Jesus, I praise him instead and find that my struggles seem to wash off like rain falling from the leaves of a tree.  As I now look out and see Abby picking wild flowers and singing at the top of her lungs, I want to have the same care free life as she has, being a child trusting in her father to take care of her and knowing that life is exciting and full of adventure.  
Have a peace filled day.  Augie 

Storms of Life

Today started with a mix of sunshine and clouds.  It seems that the weather was not sure what it wanted to do.  When the sun appeared it was so bright that it was blinding.  I realized that it had been cloudy and raining so much the last several days that my eyes had not adjusted to the bright light when the sun peaked through. While inspecting the area around our house after all the rain that we have had, I noticed in looking down into my garden from the deck that part of the it had been washed away.  This will make replanting the garden three times this year.  Life seems to be filled with rain and sunshine though.  We start over when we face set backs and we go on from there.  Some of those hardships are not as easy to recover from than others though.  It takes all of our reserve to gather our strength and face another day and we find that over time we gradually get back on our feet again.  At other times, our faith is shaken and we are rocked to the core.  We find that this challenge we are facing is just too much.  We are devastated by what has just lambasted us and we see that our reserve is used up.  What can we do, how can we go on to just get through the day, much less tomorrow and the next.  How can we make it now? Where am to find the place that I can go that offers me strength to face all the other challenges that I will encounter, when I can't even get through the one that stairs me in eyes today?  
> God says that he can be our strength when we cannot go on.  In Exodus 15:2 it says, "The Lord is my strength and my song."  He not only tells us that we can have his strength, but he will also give us his joy as well.  In Psalms 46:1 it says that God is our refuge and our strength.  Here God is telling us again that he is not only our strength, but also our place to go when the storms of life are too much for us to bare.  I am reminded of the other day when Abby fell and scraped her leg.  Abby ran over to Anne and she cuddled Abby while she cried.  Abby first needed to be held and comforted in her pain.  Next, Anne took her and ministered to her injured knee. In watching what transpired here, I too noticed how God works in our lives if we allow him in.  He can comfort us and bandage our wounds if we invite him to be a part of where we are at.   
> Today some of us face overwhelming issues that can be seen as insurmountable, but I know that Jesus hears our prayers and he comforts us if we are willing to invite him to receive his love.  I am reminded of my cousin's aunt who had severe physical distress every day.  She had laid in her bed racked with pain that I can only have imagined what is was like.  My cousin told me that people would come to visit her and they would leave finding that she had ministered to their needs instead, and in turn left filled with peace and joy.  This wonderful lady knew Jesus and in her tremendous pain, she found peace and happiness that went beyond her suffering and reached out to others around her. Jesus was so much a part of her life that he allowed her to be a blessing to those outside of her world.  This wonderful lady exuded peace and joy that went beyond the confines of her wracked body.  I marveled at how God worked in her life.  She chose to not let her physical body limit her love for Jesus and how he wanted to use her.  
> God sometimes does not answer our prayers as we would like, but he does answer them in the way that is best for us, ways we might not understand, yet.  If we allow him to answer our pleas with his will being done, then one will find the peace and joy, just like my cousin's aunt had received.  
Matt 6:10 says, "Your will be done."  Perhaps the hardest thing we have to do at times is to let go, not give up, but let go into God's care and wait for Him to work in our lives by laying down our will before him. A song verse I had learned when I was a child in Sunday school has become my prayer so many times, "Lord I am weak, but you are strong," please be my strength today. Augie 

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I got up yesterday at 4:30 to have breakfast with a friend at HyVee and later I went out golfing with him. But, before leaving I was reading my morning devotions and when focusing my mind on what I had just read, I looked out on the deck and noticed the petunias swaying in the wind. Their gentle frailness seemed to protest each time the wind chose to blow them back and forth, but they had to relinquish to the stronger force. This made me think of the other evening when I was talking to Will about the wind. We looked at the tall cottonwoods swaying in the strong breeze on the hills above us. I said to Will that it looked like the wind was caressing the trees, giving them a hug by gently rocking them back and forth. 
  Now this morning when looking once again at the petunias, I noticed something very unique. In the middle of each flower was a perfect five point star.  The strange thing about this was that when walking up close to the petunias, I could not see this unique phenomena, that is the stars in each flower. All these years I never noticed the stars in these beautiful plants. I began to think of how God gives us new eyes to see things differently as well.  
I have found myself struggling at times to get through difficult circumstances, but during those challenging times when asking God to help me, he has always been faithful to show me how "HE" looks upon what is happening to me. Just like when I looked at the petunias up close, I could not see the stars within them.  We sometimes are too close to what is happening to see the outcome of the problem we are facing. God though gives us a new vision to see his will through difficult circumstances, if we choose to seek his guidance.  It seems that the hardest time to relinquish the reigns is when we are struggling the most.  I recall onetime when given training in rescuing drowning swimmers who were panicking, we were told to wait at times until the swimmer stops thrashing around and then retrieve him.  I thought that was awfully strange to wait, he might drown.  The instructor at that point seemed to be reading my mind, he then responded, "If you do not wait for him to give up, he will pull you both down at the same time." At times we are in the same situation in life, we are panicking and can't be saved until we stop trying and wait for God to help us.  Like the rescuer in the water, he might have said, " if you would have stopped struggling so, I could have gotten to you sooner.  We at times are so much like our drowning swimmer, we need help desperately, but because we are struggling so hard, we fail to see that there is help near by.  
Scriptures tells us that Jesus stands at the door and knocks and he waits patiently for us to answer his call.  Have you ever noticed the picture of Jesus standing at the door knocking?  If you look close, you will see that there is no outside door handle.  The handle is only on the inside.  The picture portrays a patient father who waits for us to answer his call to come in and who wants to be apart of our individual lives and circumstances.  In revelation 3:20 it says, "Here I am!  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."  Are you struggling today with a problem that is overwhelming?  He stands at the door of our heart and waits patently to help, we only need to stop struggling and give it to him, then he will be free to help us. 

Newness of Sight

 Greetings!  Today I was reminded of how nice it is to have cool days.    Not to long ago I remember hoping for warm weather and at that time, I was tired of waking up to the 30 and 40 degree mornings. What ever happened to the normal temperatures of May when it should be in the high 40s and low 50s at 6 a.m.   After reaching 95 today with high humidity, those cooler temperatures seemed quite appealing once again.  It appears to be a state in our existence that we are always wishing for something that we do not have.  

I look at my 7 year old son who works for his money by doing things around the house, the garden, as well as helping grandma and grandpa with cleaning, raking and picking up.  He dreams of the next Lego that he wants to get and soon after getting it, I notice that he once again is occupied with his older favorite toys.  The newness soon wears off and at times, he dreams of other toys to save for.  
I think if I would admit it, I am the same way, I miss my old 92 Ranger pickup and wish at times that I hadn't got rid of it so quickly.  I was eyeing an SUV at the time, thinking that would make me so happy driving it through out the countryside.  In the end, my dream vehicle brought me high repair bills and my gas mileage went down.  It wasn't as attractive in my driveway as it was when in the Ford dealership lot.  
God though is very patient with us and doesn't want us to be drawn to whims that tickle every fancy that comes along.  He desires for us to be content with the things that he has given us, to see enjoyment with the jewels that he has placed within our grasp.  We have a tendency at times to look across the fence and see instead what others have, things we do not possess.  Discontentment soon follows and we quickly become discouraged as well as feeling empty inside.  

God was teaching me this last week about contentment and where to place ones true values.  Monday, I was planning to see my doctor about something rather minor, though I could have put it off, I decided to take care of it none-the-less.  Just before going to the clinic, I experienced a sudden loss of strength, I began to shake and I was short of breath.  That night I shook violently and sweat profusely.  My doctor diagnosed me as having Lime's disease and so now I am on antibiotics.  It has taken me about a week now for my strength to slowly return, with my balance almost back to normal.  My family became very concerned for me and my children said they would pray for me as well.  Changing bedding daily because of me soaking them with sweat every night was difficult.  Now after several days, I can walk at a normal gate and wake-up with dry sheets.  Today I see where my treasures are, not in the garage, they are in my arms.  I realize now more than ever, how much God has given me.  My thoughts of having my pickup truck back are all but forgotten.  Having health and my family is what is most important.  God is teaching me through this that I shouldn't be counting the things I don't have, I should be counting the minutes I get to have with my family.  Counting the moments of waking up and seeing a beautiful sunrise, birds singing, and the quietness of solitude when looking at his beautiful sunsets.  Seeing, not just looking at, but really seeing the beauty of his flowers he has given me to enjoy. Listening as well to the wonderful sounds of little feet coming up the steps and then hearing the words, "Daddy!"  My eyes have been opened this past week.  Thank you Lord for helping me to see more clearly.  

Have a great week filled with newness of sight.  Augie

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Today while sitting on the deck and watching
the sunrise and seeing the birds flying to and fro, I am amazed how God has
created such a wonderful world filled with such intricacies.  As I sit and
watch this all unfold, I see tiny little seeds floating by no bigger than a pin
point.  They would gently glide by, some landing softly on the deck while
others were seeking other places to be.  God has a plan for each of them,
some to be food for a small bird flying by, while others will become a plant or
perhaps a great tree somewhere; they are wonders of nature, each seed will in
turn sustain life for God's creatures.  

Yesterday while recuperating from my
illness I was sitting on the porch watching the hummingbirds and the little
baby cardinals on our porch lattice.  Anne planted vines of honeysuckle
near them and they have grown on the lattice, thus providing homes and food for
our feathered friends.  As I turned my gaze over to the woods, I noticed a
small opening there in the forest.  I could see into the deepest part of
the woods where the sun did not shine.  I wondered what creatures were in that
part of the woods where I could not see.  

While gazing intently into the forest my
thoughts went back only a short time ago to the day that Will, Abby and myself
were looking for leprechauns in those same woods. We would call out for them to
show themselves, but to our discouragement, none appeared.  We then found
signs of their presence.  Abby found a large strange looking mound of dirt
located in an open spot near some sumac trees.  Will noticed that it had an
entrance hole so we called down for the leprechauns to come out.  Much to
our chagrin, they did not appear.  Looking around further, we found
another hole and surmised that they must have escaped through that exit.   We did find evidence though of the
leprechauns being there. Green moss was located in spots near the mound.
 Each place where the moss was found, we found that it was the exact
location of where a leprechaun had sat. The children had located several places
where the moss was growing and both Will and Abby became very excited in seeing
that the leprechauns had been close by.     

Another day we noticed fairy dust on a
branch of a tree, a silvery crust on the bark.  I told my children that
here is where a fairy sat down to rest.  Will wanted to scrape it off and
bring it back to Mama, but after Daddy stopped sneezing from holding it, I
convinced them to show her by having Mama come up to the site. They now hold
our woods as a very magical place filled with wonder and awe.  I too wish
with all my heart for a leprechaun or fairy to appear.  

This summer I am going to take Will to
the top of our 500 foot hill behind us because that is where Shawnasee the king
leprechaun lives.  There is a small cave entrance there, but as I told
Will, it is closed most of the time and is only opened when the king decides to
come out and run through the forest with the other leprechauns.  Will
still looks for the pot of gold in the woods.  

We sometimes as a family, go to a local
cemetery (Woodlawn), which was constructed with over 70 different species of
trees, not counting all the wonderful bushes and shrubs growing there.  It
is at the edge of the forest and has an abundance of wildlife walking, playing
and flying in it.  The original design for Woodlawn Cemetery was to build
it as an arboretum and cemetery. In carrying out the traditions of the German ancestors,
they built cemeteries like Woodlawn in much of Germany.  They used these resting places for
parks and picnic areas as well.  Space was at a premium in Germany and so
by combining the beauty of a park with that of a cemetery, it became very
functional.  The German immigrants
carried on this tradition here in Winona as well. People today walk, run and
bike through the cobblestone and narrow roads leading to the terraced hills of

We as a family like to visit Woodlawn
because of the beauty of the trees and shrubs when blossoming in the spring,
and also because leprechauns live in the woods that border the cemetery.  I quite often roll down the windows of
the car and holler out for the king of the leprechauns, “I know your out there
Shawnosee, show yourself!” in an Irish accent. Abby and Will then follow with
the same calls. 

Along with calling and looking for the leprechauns,
we have also discovered that they are very fast and hard to see. Well, this is
always so much fun for us, even Anne gets into the role by telling the kids she
hears the leprechauns running by us because of the rustling leaves we hear, the
origins, (which will never be revealed) are from the wake of our car. 

It was such fun, except for one Sunday,
while we went through the same routines at Woodlawn, upon entering the
cemetery. I hollered out as I always do for Shawnasee the king leprechaun, and we
all got excited in anticipating what would happen next. What transpired though
was not expected.  I hadn’t seen the
two ladies walking above us on the terraced hillside.  When approaching them, I greeted each lady with a good morning
and much to my surprise, they just looked at me as if I were dangerous and/or
deranged.  I could not figure out
why they looked at me the way they had. Then finally they both hesitantly
responded with an unsure greeting in reply as they were passing.  

I looked over at Anne and then realized
what had just happened, they must have thought I was hollering out at them or
some imaginary foe, either way I do believe they wanted to leave the cemetery
very quickly.  Either way, the leprechauns did not
appear that day.  Only a red-faced
Daddy appeared to his family. 
Being children though, they were not fazed by Daddy’s embarrassment.  Each child wanted to find either a leprechaun
or a fairy that day.  
How we need to be children at
times.  To have their unfathomable
faith and belief that the impossible exists and that the unseen is

The Sand Pile

I imagine that everyone is enjoying the beautiful sunshine today. We have had rain for about a week straight and it is nice to see the sun again.
This morning I was out on the deck enjoying the warmth of the early morning sun while reading my daily scriptures. I was reading Matthew 18 when the disciples asked who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps they were vying for places in the world to come or just curious to know. I believe the answer surprised everyone including the disciples. Jesus said, "I tell the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me."
These verses remind me how important and precious children are and how important it is too . So many times we look at the problems of adulthood and we try to solve a particular problem by looking at all the possible solutions and then hoping our choice is the best one. So how does being like a child come into play with the adult world?
The other day I was asked to go out to the sand pile by Abby and Will. I wasn't excited about the idea of getting sand in my shoes and socks, but I went anyway. I sat there and thought of the many things that were holding my attention back at the house and wondering how I was going to get them done. At that moment I looked down and saw that Abby had built a large hill out of sand.  In looking over at Will I saw that he had dug a sand tunnel and was carefully removing the remnants of sand from his tunnel. He was already to start driving his trucks through his creation. Abby on the other hand was decorating her sand hill with sea shells, rocks and sticks. They were happy having daddy watching them build their creations. Then Abby at that moment looked up and said, "Daddy, will you play with me?" I realized that my body was there with them, but my mind was in the house. I hestitantly said yes and began to look for sea shells for her sand hill. As I did this I began to notice that I was enjoying myself and Abby was very excited about having her daddy help. Will at that time asked if I would help him move some sand for his project. I began helping Will as well and found that we all were having time of our lives.  In making the sounds of the bulldozer and dump trucks I found Will starting to do the same. Psychologists say that I was modeling for my children and they were following suit. I would say that I was doing just the opposite, I was modeling my children and following them. My worries and concerns left me and I enjoyed myself more than I could say. The thought would occasionally enter my mind that what some adult would think to see a grown man making bulldozer sounds. I pondered this a little while, and only to come to the conclusion that they don't know what they are missing.
In retrospect, in looking back, I was putting my cares in my pocket and enjoying the moment. My children were teaching me that it was ok to take time and have fun with them.  
My mind now goes back to the other day, Abby and I were at Starbucks standing in line when I looked back and noticed that Abby had started talking to two young women standing behind us.  She was inviting them to come to her house and see her kitty and play with her.  They were very kind to her and said that it would be fun.  What surprised me even more was Abby's next statement.  "I like you" she said to the two ladies.  They looked a little surprised and responded by saying in unison, "we like you too."  And so, I am learning from my children to be a child again.  Perhaps this is how we should come to Jesus in the same way, as a child.  
I encourage you to be a child today, have fun in the sand pile.  Augie


How many times do we struggle with contentment?  

I know that I do indeed strive at times in being grateful
and thanking God for all the blessings that he has given to my family and me.   If I am being honest with myself
at these moments, I am focused on what I do not have and not on what I have been blessed with.  During those times that I am self-absorbed, I have a
tendency to look at life through filtered lenses.  I see all the inadequacies there are in life and ask myself,
why am I being shorted again?  Why
don’t I receive what others have?  
Then, God opened my eyes recently.

I received a pray request for a little boy that was very ill.  I could see by the request that his parents were hurting
very much.  As time had passed the
little boy’s health had continued to deteriorate and it looked all to clear
that God was going to take him home to be with him.  The parents were grieving deeply over the unfolding events
and I am sure they felt helpless to change anything.  The doctors told the parents that they could do nothing else
for their son.  In a short while the
little boy went home to be with Jesus, leaving his mother’s arms only to be
gathered into Jesus’ gentle hands. 

As I read these lines the parents had written, I was torn
in my heart for the grief they were going through.   
I began to weep, and at that very moment, I felt the touch
of my son by my side.  He reached
over and got up into my lap to comfort me.  I was suddenly reminded of how frail life was.  I looked at my son and remembered how
we almost lost him at birth.  He
was in an incubator for several days. 
He struggled for every breath that he took and as he did, I would tell
him how his mommy and I loved him so very much.  During those moments he would reach out and hold on to my
small finger and look into my eyes as if to tell me how much he loved us.  I stayed by his side falling asleep at
times and when waking up, I would find he was still holding on to my little
finger and staring intently into my eyes.   After many hours of prayers and tense moments, the
time came, and after what seemed to be an eternity, his breathing began to
relax.  The doctors examined him
and told us that his other lung had attached to his body and he was going to
pull through.   I broke down
and wept.  My mind raced back to a
few short months before when we lost our first child mid way through Anne’s
pregnancy.  God had now given us a
precious gift, a son to raise and love. 
We have continued to commit him to God each day when lifting him up in
prayer.  Will is now 7 and is growing
up so fast.  He has a gentle heart
and is very kind to his little 4-year-old sister Abby.  

 The other day we were out celebrating Mother’s day at a busy
restaurant, I noticed that it had several TVs going and many
families visiting with one another. 
In the midst of all these activities I looked to my left and noticed
Will had his eyes closed.  I then
asked him if he was ok.  He looked
up to me and said that he was praying to Jesus about something that was
concerning him. I was once
again reminded how mysterious God’s ways are to me.  I was humbled by this little boy’s innocence and how Will
worked out his questions, not by getting frustrated and complaining, he sought
life by first seeking the author of life. 

God was teaching me, through my son, that contentment is
found by treasuring what we have been given and understanding that “all” we
have are gifts given to us by the Lord of life. Take care, Augie



Mother's Day

Today we are celebrating Mother’s Day.  Annually we get together and honor our wives and mothers on this special day of the year for all the wonderful things they have done. 
My thoughts go back to the many times that my wife Anne has gotten up in the middle of the night to answer calls of distress by our two children.  “Mommy, I am afraid!”  She jumps out of bed and immediately goes to the child calling for her.
 Many times in the morning I have woken up only to find that Anne was not next to me.  Upon entering the children’s room I have seen Anne with her arms wrapped around Abby or Will, both soundly asleep.  When she comes home that day from teaching, I can see that she is very tired from the little rest she had the night before.  Anne has never complained or said, “I wish you were the one taking care of the kids last night!”  All she has told me is how wonderful it was that she had the chance to hold our child and comfort them.  She has shared with me a number of times that there is no greater feeling in the world than in having your child reach out and put their hands on your neck or cheek all the while they were sleeping.   Feeling the closeness of mommy next to them has given our children a sense of security that only mothers can give.  
 I also think at this time of another mother who lived about two thousand years ago.   She watched her son in a cradle and wondered what great blessings God had given to her, in seeing her beautiful son laying before her.  This mother watched her son grow up and become an adult.  As with all moms in the world, she watched him leave her cradling arms and become a man.  What thoughts must have gone through her mind as she saw him speak to thousands of people and giving them the gift of hope, watching him heal the sick, deliver them from demons and feed the poor.   She was a woman of little words, it is said that she treasured many things in her heart.  What gentle compassion she must have given to her son while he grew up.  She was chosen to teach him all the things that he must know as a child and to apply these as an adult.  God used this gentle woman to raise our Savior.  She is honored throughout all time as the mother of our Lord.  

 This same mother watched her son hang from a tree and listened to him as he spoke to her from the cross.  He knew of her anguish and love for him and even while dying such an excruciating death, he thought of his mother during this most wrenching moment.   Mary not only loved her son deeply as mothers do, she worshiped him as her savior.  Her son came to her at this most grievous time and ministered to her to broken heart.  Jesus is still reaching out to mothers and touching their lives today.    

May Jesus bless you moms on this most special day!  Augie