Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category


“You did not choose me,


but I chose you …”


– Jesus 


Each day we have the opportunity through our thoughts and actions to choose Jesus.  When we choose kindness over irritabilty or choose reading the Bible before entertainment (social media, TV, etc.) we choose Jesus.  Sometimes I even whisper the words, “I choose you, Jesus.”  At other times, at the end of the day, I will think, “I didn’t choose well; I didn’t choose Jesus today.”  In 2014, let’s make a concentrated effort to “choose Jesus!”

My close friends Dianne and Perry Dodge hold marriage conferences.  One of their talks discusses what five minutes a day can do for your marriage.  When you improve your relationship with God, it can improve your marriage.  Making small choices for just five minutes every day can make a big difference in your life.  Here are some of Dianne and Perry’s suggestions of ways to devote five minutes of time to God throughout the day.  I challenge you to choose a few of these ways to spend more time with God.


What Do You Have That You’re Willing To Give To God?

My first 5 (or more) minutes of the day 
5 (or more) minutes of television time in the morning 
5 (or more) minutes of television time in the evening 
5 (or more) minutes of email/Facebook/internet time during the day 
Get up 5 (or more) minutes earlier 
5 (or more) minutes in the car 
5 (or more) minutes at lunch time 
Leave work 5 (or more) minutes early 
5 (or more) minutes during ________________________ 
Underneath each one of the above that you’ve picked, write down what you’d like to do during those 5 minutes. ie. Pray (talking to God, and listening to Him), read scripture, thank God for the things He’s done for you, pray for your spouse, pray for others, write in a spiritual journal, listen to inspirational music that draws you closer to God, etc. 
    (used with permission)

I would love to hear what you choose from the list and how choosing Jesus makes a difference for you in 2014. I choose to devote my lunch hour to God. 

How great it would be to hear Jesus say at the end of my life, “You chose me!”

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  (Colossians 3:22) 

Eight and a half years ago, Dianne Dodge and I prayed that my youngest son would be born on her birthday, January 1.  Not only was he born on her birthday, but he was also the first baby born in Nashville, TN in 2006.  Happy birthday to Dianne and my son Sterling!  

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Defend the weak & the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor
& the oppressed.
Psalm 82:3
Ty Osman II had a passion for helping the poor.  He developed this passion by imitating his parents, who began taking him with them on their annual mission trips to Honduras when he was ten years old.  Ty’s family returned to the same village, and over the years Ty became extremely attached to the children.  When they saw one another, it seemed as though they had never been apart.  This year, those children will be asking the question, “Where is Ty?”  While we can hope their heartache will be eased by knowing Ty is in a glorious place, we can continue Ty’s work by contributing to the needs of the orphans.
Both Hands, an amazing non-profit organization that helps both orphans and widows, is honoring Ty and providing us with a way to contribute. Here is information from their website:
Nashville Big Build 2012 in Memory of Ty Osman II
A team of volunteers will be working on a widow’s house to help raise money for an orphanage in Honduras. 550 children live and attend school on the Escalon Project Campus in La Entrada, Honduras.100% of the money raised from our Nashville Big Build project will help provide education, food, housing, and facilities for this orphanage.
Since Ms. Sharon’s husband passed away, it has become difficult to keep up with the necessary improvements and repairs to her home.

So on April 14, a team of volunteers will be working on her home. Think of fundraisers where people raise sponsorship for a charity golf tournament or 5K race. Only with this project, instead of golfing or running, we’ll be helping a widow in need.

The widow benefits, an orphanage in Honduras is blessed, and a group of individuals are able to spend the day serving others. The more money raised, the more children can be provided for through this orphanage in Honduras.
Ty Osman II was a young man of character with a true servant’s heart. He brought laughter and joy to everyone he met. Ty passionately served others, and in all things, he glorified the Lord. He took annual trips with his family to serve at an orphanage. The 2012 Nashville Big Build Project is named in memory of Ty Osman II.
This past Sunday, I visited Ty’s church where the preacher Dean Barham showed us a way that all of us can give more. He told us that the early Christians would fast for a few days and then give the money they saved to those in need.
And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food.
–The Apology of Aristides ~ 130 AD
I would like to propose a challenge: for the next month, let’s fast from “fast food” and give that money to continue Ty’s love and work with the orphans in Honduras. 
How can you help?
Join the Both Hands Team for the Nashville Big Build
In Memory of Ty Osman II!~

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A Time to Mourn …
Ecclesiastes 3:4
Oh, how I wish that mourning were not a part of our lives here on earth.  I wish it weren’t time to mourn for the incredible young man Ty Osman II.  For those of us who know Ty, it is our time to mourn and grieve, and to remember and reflect about what we can learn from his life.  For those of you who don’t know Ty, I would like to share a few of the many things that are being said about him. 
Ty …
  • Radiantly full of joy
  • Fun to be with
  • Loved God with all of his heart
  • A servant to the poor
  • Full of goodness, kindness and love
  • A defender of the weak
  • Splendid man of God
Every day Ty sought others out, to know them, include them, and invite them into a relationship.  To be pursued and known – what a gift.  Ty’s life modeled what God initiates every day with me … seeks, invites and includes.  Sorrow pours from my heart, but peace resides knowing Ty is with the one who knows and loves him best …  Ty’s life is truly an example of God’s love.  With all my heart, I am thankful for his example of finding joy in being with others and pursuing ALL of his relationships with abandonment.
  — Christiana Liddle
When it comes time for your loved ones to mourn for you, what words do you want said about you?
I am making everything new.  Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21:5 & 4

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My eyes are dim with grief. 
I call to you, Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
 Psalm 88:9
On Friday night, I went to bed thinking about Psalm 88:9 and asking myself the question,”Can you ever be prepared for grief?” On Saturday, I woke up to the news that Ty, the son of my close friends Ty and Nancy, had been in a serious car accident and was on life support.  Then this morning, I received the gut-wrenching news, “Ty is gone.  They are donating his organs.”
The devastating sorrow I now feel is answering my own question: “No, you can never be prepared for grief.  You can only be prepared to receive comfort by knowing the source of true comfort.”
No guilt in life, no fear in death —
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from his hand;
Till he returns or calls me home —
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
  by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

“So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” — Paul
In honor of Ty Osman II
A beautiful man of God


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My times are in your hands.
Psalm 31:15
As I was filling out paperwork to have my medical records sent to a new doctor I noticed something unusual.  Under “date of birth” was the heading “date of death.”  I could have been clever and written “only God knows”, but I instead I just left it blank and moved on.  But the question made me wonder: what if I did know my “date of death”? Would I be living differently?
Yesterday was the “date of death” for our dear family friend Bill Frey.  Bill helped shape me into the person I am today.  His quiet generosity made it possible for me to go on mission trips to third world countries as a teenager.  These mission trips opened my eyes to a level of poverty I never knew existed.  My mom says I never complained about my clothes again after returning home.  I didn’t know at the time that it was Bill who had provided the way for me to go, but I was aware of many other ways he blessed my family.
My dad worked for a small church in the suburbs of Boston from the time I was ten until I was twenty.  Bill Frey and his family welcomed and cared for all of us as if we were their own family.  Because of Bill, I have wonderful memories of being in their home, swimming in their pool, and going with them on vacation to Nantucket.  They exemplified 1 Timothy 1:18-19:
Command them to do good, be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.  — Paul
Bill Frey made great investments assuring treasures in heaven, and he did take hold of the “life that is truly life.”
 Dedicated to Bunny and Melissa

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no more pain

Why is my pain unending and
my wound grievous and incurable?
Jeremiah 15:18
My heart is heavy because of the intense chronic headache pain of a new friend and the emotional pain of an old friend.  The pain of my friends, my daily pain, plus the suffering in the world often feels overwhelming.  It gives me hope to remember that “there will come a day, no more tears, no more pain, no more fears” (Jeremy Camp).  When our pain feels unending we can know that there will be an end to our pain.

This day is an actual day that will occur.  It is not some far-off dream, but a reality and one we can look forward to like we would a wedding or a birth.  For important days there are preparations and anticipation. Let’s prepare for and anticipate the day that we will be free from pain.  God will wipe every tear from our eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (based on Revelation 21:4).

“If you are hurting today, take heart. Every day you are one day closer to the other side of your pain.”  Chrystie Cole 

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create ….”  Isaiah 65:1

To hear Jeremy Camp’s song There Will be a Day click here. 

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Shine like stars

You shine like stars in the universe
As you hold out the word of life …
Philippians 2:15-16
Recently, our very dear family friend, Liz LaVelle, was in a fatal car wreck.  She turned twenty-years-old in June.  Liz knew how to “cultivate inner beauty”.  She had a passion for helping foster children and convinced her parents to be relief foster parents. My sister Elizabeth wrote this poem to honor Liz, and I wanted to share it with you. 

For She is Shiny

is death final?
i say no.
it is a period.
at the end of a beautiful run on sentence.
in the midst of a beautiful novel.
a novel where there is, written between the lines,
a message
a secret message
not one bottled up at sea
never plainly seen
but sung so clearly
no, death is not the end

it’s a springboard for life
for her to unveil her love
to shine on
and to shine in
to her precious family here
she knows that love is eternal
that it lives
alive in our souls

it is good to remember
to read again the lines
to read again between them
because there
you will find her
for she is shiny
her truth in life
her love in death
is shiny

Elizabeth Smith Kendrick


Liz’s grandmother is my “Mama Sherrill”  Click here to read about her

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