memorial dayThis is Memorial Day Weekend for those living here in the United States. There are a couple of videos below.

Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States.

It began as a way to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War. Later, it was extended, after World War I, to honor American military who died in all wars.

There will be barbecues, visiting friends, road trips, great sales, NBA Playoffs, Major League baseball games, and of course, the Indy 500. Some people even have a longer weekend, as they get Monday, Memorial Day, off from work.

Here in the United States, we should take a little time this weekend to pause and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we could have freedom. We can also pause and thank God for the freedom we still have, freedom that comes at such a very high price.

If you don’t live here in the United States, take some time this weekend to pause and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for your country. And, regardless of where we live, we all ought to keep praying to God for our country.

We Will Not Forget

Memorial Day


How I Spent 7 Unplugged Days

Have you ever just unplugged yourself from it all? I did. Sheer bliss!

No phone calls. No voice mails. No texts. No emails. Bliss!

No Instagram. No Twitter. No Facebook. Bliss!

I unplugged for seven days as Kathy and I took a cruise celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary. Lazy time. Relaxing time. Reading time.

I read two books, seven articles (I printed ahead of time), and


He Gets My Vote

There are some today who would say the greatest person in the world is the president of the most powerful country, the United States of America. Others might say it is the pope, overseeing a church of around 1.2 billion people. Others may say it’s some very benevolent person.

When it comes to the greatest person in the world today,


My Wedding Anniversary Is A Milestone, But...

I’d like to, but I really can’t brag.

It’s been a lot of years.

Kathy 1971But compared to them, we have a long way to go.

That lovely lady on the left? It’s her anniversary picture; I still carry it in my wallet. Kathy and I have been married now for 45 years.

I know to some, including me, that’s quite a milestone. But compared to John and Ann of Connecticut, we have a long way to go. They have been married for 83 years!

He’s 104 and she’s 100. I thought doing a story about them on this, my anniversary weekend, might be inspiring to some people. Mostly it’s mind blowing to all of us. Listen to the segment Liz and I did on The Optimistic Spin. And there are some pictures of John and Ann below.

Meanwhile, I am truly grateful to God for my wife and our marriage. And do you think perhaps after another 38 years for us, some bragging might be in order? I do!


joh and ann 3

john and ann 1

john and ann 2

Below is the most recent video I could find – from 2014.


Moms Are Very Special!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms! You’re very, very special!

I wrote the following last year. I recently edited it. It’s a little bit of appreciation for all those ladies we call, Mom! Share it if you think it will bless Mom.

rose - 1


Some governments use the word “ministry” to describe various functions, like ministry of finance, or ministry of education. The word “ministry” means service. Therefore, the minister of education would be one who serves the country with regards to education.

I believe being a mom is a ministry, a very, very unique service.

No woman can ever study hard enough or prepare long enough to be ready to be a mom. Moms surely need God’s gracious help and encouragement with the responsibilities and challenges.

It actually begins nine months before she is even officially called “Mom.” For nine months she serves with her own body; every day, she carries and nourishes. And, on top of that, her own body grows and grows until the day of the birth! For nine months she literally gives her own body in service.

Then comes the birth itself – one of the the toughest physical jobs a human being can do! And once labor is completed and the new baby arrives in the world, then the service really begins.

Mom begins the constant care for that completely helpless child, even feeding the baby from her own body! Those precious days, for both mom and baby, turn into weeks and months as the little baby begins to grow.

Soon, the little child begins to have some mobility – at first just squirming, then rolling over, and eventually crawling. And then comes the first big step, literally, and the child is now walking and words are coming out of the mouth of this little human being.

Involved in it all is the woman we call “Mom,” teaching, helping, guiding, directing, feeding, holding, loving and caring for this growing child.

And it continues, week after week, month after month, and year after year. As the child grows, Mom continues to minister, now teaching the child right from wrong, as well as a million other things.

Finally, one morning, her child is headed to school and Mom gets a break, sort of. Really, just some time to regroup and prepare for the next phase of being a minister to this child.

Outside influences will often carry diverse opinions about important issues Mom previously taught her child. Mom now ministers by answering questions and helping her child to be logical. She teaches the child God’s Word, which will keep her child on solid ground in a shaky and often confusing world.

In her heart Mom knows God is real, and His Word is true. But she also knows the day will come when her precious child will have to make up his or her own mind. Even though Mom knows her child may some day take another path, she continues faithfully ministering.

The day for her child to make all his or her own decisions is not here yet, and so Mom continues to do her best, loving and guiding and ministering.

The years roll by and the day finally arrives when the child leaves home, and heads out into the world. It is a day of tears: tears of joy her child is grown, tears of sadness knowing she will be apart from someone she has ministered to every day for so many years.

What life will this young person make? What choices? What decisions? Mom knows and has taught her child that choices have consequences, but she also knows she is not going to be there every day anymore.

And so, the next phase of ministering begins for Mom: a friendship relationship as a sister in Christ, ready, if asked, to counsel, lots of prayer, and always, always the love of God.

Ministering moms know, understand and practice the love of God. Her door is never locked; her arms are always open for hugs, in the good times and in the not so good. Her heart, even when hurt, is always full of unconditional love.

And regardless of how old Mom gets, she will always be ministering to her child, some way, somehow, until her last breath. All this, and so much more, is why being a mom is a great ministry, a very, very unique service.

heart bouquet


Today is the National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.


How To Handle Painful And Difficult Situations

sunflower fading
In the past couple of weeks I’ve learned about, from friends or relatives, a 6 year old, a 16 year old, and a 34 year old, all from different families, who all died suddenly. Life is precious. There are no guarantees. Life is fragile.

Offering condolences, encouragement and prayers to families sorrowing is often all we can do. Yes, there is that great day coming when death itself will be abolished. But until that day arrives, the stark reality of our frailty is sometimes very obvious.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently. I don’t remember the book or author he said he was reading, but he told me the book was all about

A Gift For You!

Next Tuesday, May 3, I’m going to send out a free gift to all Confidence And Joy subscribers!  What is it?  Well, let’s just say it’ll be just in time for Mother’s Day, coming up May 8.

If you’re not a subscriber, just type your name and email address in the box in the right column of this page. Subscribers get an email whenever I post something new.

When you subscribe, you’ll get my free eBook, Nine Simple Keys To Answered Prayer, and, you’ll also get the free gift I’m sending out next Tuesday.  Don’t wait, sign up before midnight Monday night!


I’ll Be Speaking At The Phoenix Rescue Mission This Saturday

This Saturday evening I have the privilege of speaking at The Phoenix Rescue Mission.  I’ve been doing this for many years.  I love it!  I always try to bring a message of hope and encouragement.

Many thanks to the Mission for allowing this opportunity to share the Good News.


Is Your Attitude Really That Important?

CJ-logo-light-for darkWhen our kids were growing up, we told them many times, “You need to change your attitude.”  Why?  Because attitude is a game changer.

What is your attitude about the direction of your life? How do you feel about your life today, right now? For most people, if things are going well, their attitude is good. But when things are not going well, their attitude is lousy.

Much has been written and taught about attitude, and you’ve probably heard different things over the years. Someone once said,