Sunday, June 25, 2017

Photo of the Week #20: 25 Years As Husband and Wife

Wedding Picture - 1992
This coming Tuesday is our SILVER wedding anniversary - 25 years! Wow, hard to believe it was 25 years ago when my dad walked me down the isle to give me away to David. Here are some photos of us throughout the years. Some were definite anniversary pictures, while others were not taken on an anniversary but on the dates closest that I could find.

1st Anniversary - 1993
We defrosted the top of our wedding cake

2nd Anniversary - 1994

Camping - 1995
I was sunburned

At a friend's wedding -1996
David was the Best Man

5th Anniversary at Olive Garden - 1997

6th Anniversary, pregnant with 1st child - 1998

Family photo - 1999

8th Anniversary - 2000

Family photo - 2001

10th Anniversary, pregnant with 2nd child - 2002

Family photo - 2003

At a Fire Department dinner - 2004

13th Anniversary - 2005

David's 40th birthday - 2006

15th Anniversary - 2007

16th Anniversary - 2008

At a dinner theater with friends - 2009

Heading to another dinner theater - 2010

At home - 2011

20th Anniversary - 2012

Cancer treatments - 2013

22nd Anniversary at the local fair - 2014

23rd Anniversary heading to a dinner theater - 2015

2016
June 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Photo of the Week #19: My First Father's Day

I don't have very many photos of my dad holding me as an infant. But, I did find this one which was taken shortly after I was born. That means, it was probably taken on, or very close to, Father's Day of 1969. It was my first Father's Day with my dad.

Today is Father's Day 2017, and it is another "first" for me - the first one without my dad. It is very different to not have my dad to send a card to this year, or to be able to pick up the phone and give him call. But, it is not a sad day. Instead, I choose it to be a day of remembrance and gratitude; a day to thank God for giving me a father who loved his family dearly (and one I loved dearly in return).


Father's Day Graphics


Sunday, June 11, 2017

BOOK INFO: God Puts Us Where He Wants Us

In February 2017, my family and I took a trip to visit my parents. While we were there, my dad (a retired Pastor and Bible College Instructor) handed me a 3-ring binder that included some of his memoirs, thoughts, and past teachings. He told me he finally wanted to start working on the book we had been asking him to write, and asked me to edit it and get it ready for publishing.

I looked over Dad's material, and began editing the book in March. Dad was mostly home bound at this point, but we collaborated via e-mail and telephone calls until his book was finally published on April 17th. This book was a goal Dad had wanted to accomplish, and I am thankful I had the opportunity to help make it happen for him. It ended up being his final project on earth.

A BRIEF HEALTH HISTORY:  It was over 15 years ago when Dad had aggressive, fast-growing prostate cancer. He was told he would only have several months to live if he didn't seek treatment. After weighing his options, he and Mom chose for him to receive brachytherapy which, in short, is the implanting of tiny radiation seeds that kill off the cancer. The treatment did its job, and Dad was cancer free for the past 15+ years. We are thankful he was given these additional years to take part in the lives of his family and friends. The drawback is that the radiation seeds caused damage to Dad's internal organs and, over this past year, his health began to take a drastic turn for the worse.  Ultimately, his liver failed and he went home to be with the Lord on May 12th, less than a month after his book became available.

Dad wasn't perfect, and he was the first to admit it, but he loved the Lord and was always looking for ways to serve Him. So, when he became home bound, it was hard for him to be less physically active, and he went through a difficult time of feeling somewhat "useless." But, what he eventually learned is that God can and does use us, no matter what season of life we are in. Even as Dad's health was failing, God used him in the hospital to speak with others about the Lord. God also used him to be a counselor and encourager when people would call and talk with him. Finally, God used him to write this small, easy to read, 86-page book that shares "where he has been," and "where he is now" through a collection of memoirs, meaningful moments, teachings, and observations.

Dad's hope for this book was for his readers to be Spiritually encouraged, and to help us understand how God places us where HE wants us, and then it is our responsibility to serve Him no matter where we have been placed.

Here is an excerpt from the book on Create Space:

And, here is the link to order a copy in either paperback or Kindle.
(FYI: My mother, Carolyn, is the beneficiary of any proceeds.) GOD PUTS US WHERE HE WANTS US


SIDE NOTE:  The church on the cover of the book was hand-drawn by my dad from memory. It is Belew's Creek Chapel, a little church he ministered at in Missouri. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Photo of the Week #18: See You Later, Dad

For the month of May, I took an unexpected break from blogging. The reason? I was saying goodbye (or rather, "see you later") to my wonderful dad, and then began trying to adjust to the new normal without him here on this earth. It has not been easy but, with God's help, my family and I are slowly adjusting with the strength given to us from above.

This photo was taken sometime within the 2 weeks my dad was at home in a hospice bed. Among other things, his liver was failing, and we all knew his "time" was getting closer; but, even at the end of his earthly life, it was such an encouragement to see him sharing the love of Jesus with us. As he spoke to us, we know he was trying to make sure he would be seeing his family again someday in Heaven. For example, at one point, Dad asked me directly, "What will you say to Jesus when you meet Him?"

I confidently answered, "I will thank Him for saving me from my sins. And, then I will also thank Him for giving me a dad and a mom who took the time to teach me about Jesus."

Although I miss my dad terribly, I have felt the prayers of others, and truly feel at peace, knowing he is in a better place, and that I will see him again someday. His favorite song by The Booth Brothers is "Look for Me at Jesus' Feet." I certainly plan on looking for him there when it is my turn to leave this world behind. I hope you will be able to join us.

Please watch this 5-minute video tribute to my dad, made by my brother, Daniel. This was played during Dad's memorial service on May 20th. And, if you need more information about becoming a Christian and want to be sure you have a right relationship with God, please take a look at: WHY WE NEED SALVATION.)





SIDE NOTE:  In the photo you can see a little toy figurine attached to Dad's watch. When he first came home on hospice, he asked for something from one of his grandkids that he could hold next to his heart. He loved his grandkids dearly with unconditional, unending love.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Photo of the Week #17: Staying Focused

Last weekend, we visited David's family a few hours North of us. While we were there, Grandpa John and David gave JJ and me a lesson on shotgun shooting. It was fun. The above picture is me shooting a .410/.22 Over-Under Rifle/Shotgun. I was only shooting the shotgun part.

After that, we moved up to a 20 gauge double barrel shotgun, which had a little more of a "kick" to it. Here are a few short videos of us shooting that one...









Along the same topic as shooting and hitting targets, here is a hunting parable I found online about staying focused on the things that are above....


PRAY, AIM HIGH AND STAY FOCUSED
Author Unknown

There was once a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old shotgun and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go out hunting and kill something to eat for dinner.

As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit and he shot at the rabbit and missed it. Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it. As he went further, he saw a wild turkey in the tree and he had only one bullet left, but a voice came to him and said "Pray first, aim high and stay focused."

However, at the same time he saw a deer, which was a better kill. He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer. But then he saw a rattle snake between his legs about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake. Still, the voice said again to him, "Pray, aim high and stay focused.'"

So, the man decided to follow the voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun up in the tree and shot the wild turkey. The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun and hit the snake in the head and killed it. And when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond of water.

When he got up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and turkey to eat for his family. The snake (e.g. Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God: Pray first, Aim High and Stay Focused.

Bottom-line: Pray first before you do anything important, aim and shoot high in your goals, and stay focused on God and you will come forth successful.

Colossians 3:2 - Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (ESV)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Photo of the Week #16: Stream of Living Water


This past week, JJ attended a "live-in" program at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site near Charleston, IL. He was able to experience what life was like in the 1800's and took part in things like cutting a log with a two man saw, filling the wood shed, and dipping candles. I did take pictures of him and the other boys working, but don't want to share the pictures without the permission of the other boys' parents. So, I am sharing a picture of this stream instead. While JJ was working, EL and I took a walk on this beautiful day and we crossed a little bridge where I took a picture of this stream. It reminds me of the streams of living water, mentioned in Scripture.

John 7:37-39 - On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him." He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified. (HCSB)


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

500th Post on "He Holds My Right Hand"


I have been blogging for about 8 years, and this post is the 500th post! I have written about many different topics over the years, including devotionals, hymn studies, ways to encourage others, my cancer journey, autism, tourette syndrome, guest bloggers, book reviews, and more. It has been fun, and a huge learning experience for me in many ways.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have been blessed in some way by at least one of my posts. Below you will find links to some of the most popular posts that have been published here. I listed two from each year...



June 26, 2009 (My very first post)

April 24, 2010


Do you have a favorite?



















Sunday, April 16, 2017

Photo of the Week #15: Full Moon in St. Louis

David was at a conference in St. Louis this past week. Even though this was a work-related conference, I know he enjoyed the chance to get away for awhile and to wind down from some of the pressures he has been under. 

While he was there on Tuesday night, there was a full moon. The weather was nice, so he went out to the plaza of his hotel and was able to take this awesome shot of the full moon positioned directly in the middle of the Arch. I love this shot. It is a reminder of how God's majestic creations can be found anywhere in the world. It is also a beautiful combination of man's God-given creativity (the Arch) with God's perfect handiwork (the moon).


Genesis 1:14-15 - And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.  

Psalm 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Photo of the Week #14: Brother Helping Sister


Last week, I mentioned how EL has been saving up her money for a "My First Flyer". Well, she was finally able to buy it this past week. The picture is a little blurry, but here you can see JJ helping his sister learn how to control the flyer. She loves it, and is doing well getting it to take off, and also with steering it. She still has trouble landing it without crashing but, with help from her brother, I'm sure that will improve over time.

Romans 12:10 - Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (ESV)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Photo of the Week #13: "A REAL Helicopter!" (EL's Words)

On Wednesday, we were in St. Louis for EL's 6-month Neurology checkup. All is well. She's doing great, and hasn't had any seizures for 8 months! (Yayyyy!) So, we will continue to keep her at the current medication dosages and return again in another 6 months.

While were were at the hospital, a helicopter landed. EL has had helicopters on her mind lately because she has been saving her money to buy "My First Flyer" (a remote-controlled helicopter she has been wanting). So, when she saw the helicopter on the landing pad, she looked at it and said, "Oh, its a REAL helicopter!" She was so excited to see a real one up close. She said she doesn't want to ride in one, but just likes to watch them fly.

I don't have any interest in riding in one either, especially not for emergency medical issues. And, I agree with EL that they are neat to see in flight. However, if you see one of these medical helicopters flying in your area, I encourage you to take a moment to stop and pray.

Pray for:
  • the safety of the pilot and crew,
  • the skill of the medical staff caring for the patient,
  • for the life of the patient on board,
  • and for the peace of the family members who are worried about their loved one. 
  • Also, take the opportunity to pray for their salvation (if they don't know the Lord), or that this difficult time will help strengthen their faith (if they are already Believers). 

1 Timothy 2:1 - First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people (ESV)