Thursday, September 2, 2010

Full Honors

(photo credit:, 12/17/08 STEPHANIE GASKELL)

Today I am thinking about the beautiful funeral I had the privilege of attending yesterday.

It was a full honor military funeral at Arlington Cemetary putting to rest a dear friend's father, LTC Floyd Clark, who served honorably in the Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He lived a long and godly life as a son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and soldier until he was 90 years old!!!

The ceremony was so beautiful complete with a horse drawn caisson carrying the American flag draped casket, soldier escort, a full Army Marching band, and a 21 gun salute! It was such an honor to participate in the honoring of an American soldier and a friend's father.

There were many highlights... here are a few:

- when the soldiers were folding the flag and presenting it to his widow the chaplain explained to the family that for many years their family member honored the flag and that today the flag would honor him. How beautiful is that!!??

- this man's granddaughter wrote this as one of her favorite moments of the funeral: "I think my favorite part was the tourists that removed their hats and saluted as the flag-covered casket passed by..." I agree! As I witnessed the respect the tourists gave to this man, I could not contain my tears.

-the sound of the band playing Taps. Sooo hauntingly beautiful. Have you ever read the lyrics to Taps? Here they are. So beautiful.

Day is done
Gone the sun,
From the lakes,
From the hills,
From the sky,
All is well,
Safely rest
God is near.

Fading light,
Dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky
Gleaming bright,
From afar
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is near. (Here is a link to the history of Taps:

What a beautiful song of comfort as a loved one is laid to rest.

I salute you LTC Floyd Clark! Rest in your Lord's presence!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Glen Beck? Really?

I very rarely dip my toes in the waters of political discussion. I sincerely entrust all things politics to God. He is sovereign. I have no worries with the fluctuating political figures of the day . I truly believe that God has a plan. I am responsible to vote my conscience and you yours and I am not going to disrespect you for how you vote and I would hope for the same respect in return. As God's word says:

Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
[21] He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
(Daniel 2:20-21 ESV)

However, what I'm thinking about today is this: WHY are so many christians on the Glen Beck bandwagon? I'm not talking about the non christian republican or the non christian libertarian.. I'm talking about the bona fide evangelical christian who adore Glen Beck.

I really try not to be cynical in my day to day life but I can't help but wonder if Mr. Beck isn't a modern day snake oil salesman. He sells fear and discontent and many christians are buying it. Mr. Beck makes a living out of making people afraid!!!! If he can convince people that God is not sovereign and that America is going to hell in a handbasket, then everyone buys his books, goes to his rallies and puts money in his pocket thinking they are doing something godly in the process!!!

The other thing that concerns me is that Mr. Beck is a Mormon. When he calls America to turn back to God. Which "god" is he talking about? The one that the Morman religion believes in? The one where Jesus is NOT God? Because if he is, then that is not the God of the bible. This is concerning to me. If Mr. Beck left out the "god" talk I wouldn't be as puzzled. He would then be just another political commentator. But, he doesn't leave it at that. He brings God into it and it isn't the Judeo Christian God that is the God of the Bible that he's talking about.

Honestly, my hope is that at least ONE of the evangelical Christians in Glen Beck's inner circle is sharing the gospel with him. What is more important than the "saving" of America from whatever it is that Mr. Beck is afraid of? The condition of his soul. I TRULY hope he has heard the Gospel and the TRUE message of the cross. This is so much more important than whatever it is he's selling.

Are there a lot of problems in America? YES! Are there a lot of sinful things going on in America? YES! (but in my own life too... and yours if you are honest with yourself). Are there causes for great sadness and concern because of the rampant practice of abortion? YES! Are there health care concerns on both sides of the debate? YES!

BUT... for the Christian there is absolutely no need to fear for we do not look to a political figure or a talented speaker for our answers. We look to God and God alone for HE is sovereign over history.

So, that's what I'm thinking about today. What say you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Counseling Others

So, what am I thinking about today?

I'm still thinking about yesterday's post. I want to look at it from a different angle today.

What do I do when someone calls me with an issue/problem in their life? Do I immediately default to providing false assurances and start telling stories from my own life or others that I know concerning their issue? Or do I direct their eyes to Scripture and the truths found there?

Most times I will try to direct my friend's gaze to Scripture.... but sometimes I just start rattling about my own thoughts and my own platitudes ... trying to make her feel better. That's the counsel of man!!! The counsel of man doesn't go very far. It is not eternal like God's Word is.

One of my pastors once said, "Let Scripture bear the weight of your counsel." Isn't that great counsel????? !!!!! Scripture is our BEST counsel and Jesus is our only hope! Why would I ever substitute my opinions and thoughts for the truth of God's Word? It's pure folly!

So... to wrap up this topic.... when troubled we should seek the assurance of God's Word and when we are the friend that is confided in, we should direct our friend to the cross and to God's Word.

Pretty simple... and we know God's Word is THE best help there is.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

So, that's what I'm thinking about today. What say you?

Monday, July 19, 2010

counsel yourself, Diane!

So, what am I thinking about today?

I'm thinking about how easy it is to give others advice and counsel and how hard it is to follow your own counsel. Has this happened to you?

Today, I was giving counsel and encouragement to a friend who has a problem in her life and as I was talking to her I was thinking, "Now, do YOU do this, Diane? Do YOU trust all things to God and not fret and not worry?" I was telling this friend to not seek the assurances of other people but to seek comfort and assurance from God's Word. Then, in the back of my mind I heard myself say, "Do YOU seek comfort and assurance from God's Word alone, Diane?"

UGH! of course not. This particular friend will seek counsel from various people, trying to find the perfect answer to whatever is ailing her. This morning I realized that I am not any different. I'm worse! I am not the sort of person that talks to everyone about what's troubling me, seeking advice and input... nope... I TALK TO MYSELF!!!! I'm not even willing to seek counsel from others... I'll just help myself, thank you very much.

I mull things over, I fret, I re-enact conversations, I worry about what could happen, what did happen, what may never happen, what I said, what he said, what she said, what might happento me.... LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS, OH MY! I work myself into a tizzy!!!!!

I need to follow my own advice. Am I worried? Concerned? Fretting? I don't need to talk to a bazillion people for assurance and WORSE, I don't need to try and assure myself. I need to go to God's Word and seek my comfort and hope there.

Two scriptures come to my mind:

Psalm 94:19 "When the cares of my heart are many Your consolations cheer my soul."


Psalm 131: O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
[2] But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Some things are just to great and marvelous for me to occupy myself with. All things are best left to God and His perfect plan for my life... Oh may I follow my own advice and seek a calm and quiet soul as I rest in God and His Word. May I not raise my eyes too high and may I not occupy myself with things too great and marvelous for me to figure out. May I go to your Word, Father, and seek my consolation there.

PS.... the bible is very clear that it is wise to seek counsel and wisdom from godly people when seeking God's will for areas of decision in your life as well as Scripture. This is not what I'm talking about here.. I'm talking about the mind that sets itself on the course of worrying and fretting.... better off going straight to God and Scripture for that... worrying and fretting lead to well, more worrying and fretting. Ask God for help! He will help you! He has helped me!!!

So, that's what I'm thinking about today. What do you think about this?


okay, so... I was all motivated about a month ago to start a new blog... on that particular day I was thinking about being an empty nester and what that looked like. So, I decided to start an empty nester blog! Then I hit a brick wall. I have had nothing more to say about being an empty nester since that first blog entry. So, I decided to just scrap the whole idea of the blog... but... I have that itchy writing feeling... I want to write about whatever I am thinking about that day... SO.... today I had a brainstorm!!!! I will change my blog's name!!! The new name is : (drumroll):


perfect, right? now I'm not boxed in to one topic... we'll see how this works... so, my friends... hang in there..... please don't abandon my blog... :)


Monday, June 28, 2010

WHAT? I have an Empty Nest?

Many years ago my youngest son convinced my husband to help him build a birdhouse and give it to me for Mother's Day. I LOVED it and we immediately hung this little birdhouse right outside our library/family room window so I could see it as I was enjoying a book or watching tv.

Over the years many a family of birds have come and nested in that birdhouse! It's been so fun to watch the birds build the nest, settle in and before long we hear the squawking of little birds yelping for food! If you look closely at the opening of the bird house you can see little mouths wide open waiting for their sustenance. Before long, those little birds are booted out of the little house and whoosh they fly away!!

I often wonder if the mama bird feels sad that her little birdies have flown the coop or does she by nature not even give it a second thought?

Last August my 4th and youngest left for college. I was beside myself!!! I didn't know what to do with myself!!! I'm still not real sure but I have high hopes that God will show me what this next season of life will look like! I'm a little scared and a lot excited !!!

So please join me on this journey of my new season of life!! EMPTY NEST! I sure do miss the squawking of my little birdies! :) I look forward to hearing from many of you about your season of empty nesting or whatever season of life you are in!!!! May we be an encouragement to one another!

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven