Posted in Family, fear, gratitude, life, love, loving others, prayer, Scripture, sovereignty of God, thankful, Trials, wisdom


We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

It was good…and suddenly it wasn’t. Yup…it was my birthday, and I was on my way to Cracker Barrel to have breakfast with three of my friends…and one of them was buying. It was snowing and the roads were ok but not great. As we neared the restaurant my Apple Watch vibrated and I glanced down and saw three words, “Help, Help, Help.”  Now that will get your attention.  The message was from my oldest granddaughter and moments later was followed by another short message, “I have been in an accident.”  Then for a few minutes things went silent.  While we knew she was on her way to work we had no idea where she was.

The message was sent through our family chat group so soon messages were flying but her end was silent.  We were frightened…we were afraid. A free breakfast suddenly had lost every bit of its appeal.  Only one thing mattered and that was a young lady somewhere that was in trouble.  Well, soon she let us know that she had called 911 and the police and an ambulance were on the way. Through a location service on her phone, we learned where she was, off, literally off, Interstate 57.  Her dad immediately was on the way and after a long, few minutes, was there with her.   Here’s what happened.

She was driving on the Interstate and apparently hit a patch of black ice.  Though going straight, the back of the car began to fishtail, and she went off the side of the road and down a steep embankment.  The journey was well over 100 feet and the car missed several small trees and ended up in a ditch at the bottom.  The airbags deployed and that gave her a mild concussion.  Her left leg was also banged up but amazingly she was ok.  When we later saw the pictures of the path of the car, it was clear that something Divine had happened.  Someone bigger than her was in control that day.

One of the most revealing things in the photo was a large and deep concrete culvert. The truth is if she had been no more than 50 feet further down the road, she would have dove, front end first into this deep culvert and the story would have had a different ending.  God, and I do believe it was Him, that day and in that circumstance administered a large dose of grace that averted a tragic ending.  His ways are mysterious and why her and why then is known only to Him.

Things like this happen all the time with all kinds of different outcomes but one thing remains constant.  For those of us who believe in Him and follow Him it is a moment in the classroom of faith.  It’s one of those constant lessons in life and a school that we never really graduate from.  The Bible says we are to walk by faith, and it also says that without faith it is impossible to please God.  That day God shouted, “Trust me.”  But there is more.  We also learned a little more about gratitude.  You see, I can say that it never occurred to me to ask God, “Why did you allow this?”  No, rather, the only thing that I could say was thank You, not for the accident but watching over her through the accident.  And, honestly, it was because of the accident I discovered again His watch care. Had she arrived at work safety that day, well, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Faith and gratitude…two very important cobblestones that we need to learn to navigate this journey called life.  And as we journey, there will be times when it is easy to believe and easy to rejoice and there will be times when it seems impossible.  But remember, He really is a good, good Father and in this broken, fragile world He is still God.  Why he averts somethings while allowing others I don’t have a clue, but I know He is worthy of my trust.  One of my favorite parts of the Bible assures me that He can, He does, bring good even out of bad situations and for that I am grateful. I am still enrolled in the school of faith and one of our class mottos are three incredibly powerful words, “He’s got this.”  And…He does.  Bro. Dewayne

Posted in food, gratitude, life, Military memories, priorities, Scripture, thankful, Veteran's Day

Cracker Barrel Moments

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

 It was an unexpected blessing. This morning my friend Jeremy gave me a call and asked if I wanted to go to Marion (a town about 25 miles from where we live) with him.  He needed some stuff from Sam’s so it just sounded like a good thing to do.  And do you know what? It was.  He swung by the house and off we went.  As we traveled we talked.  We have one of those “what’s said in the truck, stays in the truck” things so it is good to have a place where you can let your hair down (uh, if you’ve ever seen my hairline you know that is metaphorically speaking) and just be guys.

As we neared Marion, he took a turn down Main Street, which was a little odd for going to Sam’s, and before I knew it we were at Cracker Barrel.  That caught me off guard since I thought we were just doing the Sam’s thing. It turns out my bad ear failed to hear the part about, “I’ll buy your breakfast.”  So, hey, the trip went from good to really good. Let’s see…time away with a brother and free breakfast…yup…that works.  We were quickly seated in Cracker Barrel but that is when the quickly ended and it was also when I realized I might be having a couple of “Cracker Barrel moments.”

We waited awhile before a server came by.  He was kind and gracious and so were we.  He took our order and Jeremy and I began to talk.  We talked about this and we talked about that and then, because there was time, we talked about that again.  Finally, after oh, three days, our food came.  It really wasn’t too big of a deal because I was spending time with a friend, and I was studying for a sermon on patience and needed some practice.  But I did say to Jeremy, pointing at the food, “I was just about to have to work on my patience.”  He smiled and said, “Hey, you got some place to go?” Ah…Cracker Barrel moment number one. Enjoy the moment.  Truth was there was nothing I was going to do that was more important than just visiting with a friend.  Someone once said that one of the most spiritual things we can do is take a nap.  Number two on that list might be visiting with a Christian brother. Check.

Cracker Barrel moment number two happened a few minutes later.  After we were seated for a few minutes an older couple came in and sat down nearby.  Their server was there immediately.  I think I frowned. Their food came (before ours…I might have frowned) and then shortly after, our own breakfast feast arrived.  Judy was not around so I order the works.  Then it happened.  A young man walked in and was seated close to the older couple.  I watched as the young man went over to the older man, excused himself for interrupting, said something.  They shook hands and the young man returned to his table.

The older couple left first and then Jeremy and I stood to leave too.  I stopped at the table of the young man and asked, “I saw you go over and talk to that older man.  What was that about?”  I really already knew.  The young man said, “He was a veteran I was thanking him for his service.”  Yup…I was right.  The older gentleman had a ball cap on and it identified him as a veteran. I said, “Well, thank you for thanking him for his service.  That was very kind.”  I don’t know who his Momma was, but she sure did a good job raising him.

Two Cracker Barrel moments—two exact opposite lessons yet both valuable.  Live for the moment…whatever is next can probably wait and always, and I mean always, take the opportunity to do the right thing…like thanking a veteran.  I left Cracker Barrel a lot fuller that day…pun intended. We enjoyed a good meal, some great fellowship, and had a blessing thrown in for dessert.

Tucked away in one of those books of the Bible that we rarely read is a verse that says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” I think my visit to Cracker Barrel hit on a couple of those.  None of us know which day will be our last day but it is good to know the One who does. Until that time we need our Cracker Barrel moments to remind us we are still learning and that “He’s got this.”

Posted in Family, gratitude, life, Scripture

The Underwear Fairy

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Solomon 2:15

She did it again. I know you have heard about the Tooth Fairy and probably your Fairy Godmother but have you ever heard about the “Underwear Fairy?”  I am pretty certain this is not a one house deal.  I haven’t researched it extensively but from what I can gather this behind-the-scenes, mythical being shows up in houses across America and possibly around the world.

So it goes something like this.  Everyone has routines and mine looks something like this.  Wakeup, coffee with the weather lady on our local channel, quiet time with God, more coffee, exercise, breakfast, nice hot shower and get dressed for the day.  Part of that getting dressed thing involves the unmentionables of the underworld—underwear. And here is where it gets amazing.

Everyday I open a drawer in my bathroom and behold there are underwear in there.  I grab them up, put them on and bam out the door I go. Amazing.  As the days pass, the supply gets lower and lower.  And then out of the clear blue sky the drawer is full again and the process starts all over again.  I couldn’t really figure this out till one day it dawned on me.  There must be an “Underwear Fairy” who washed, folded and put my unmentionables right in my drawer.  Without reward, without asking, day after day and week after week it happened.

It took a while but I finally decided to find out who this mythical person was.  So I camped out in my shower behind the curtain like a kid waiting on Santa Claus. And sure enough, I heard the sound of a drawer sliding open and jumped from behind the curtain and yelled, “Got you!” And what did my wandering eyes should behold?  An old guy in a red suit with eight tiny reindeer? No, that would have been weird.  A bunny rabbit with a basket? Weirder. Nope.  It was my wife Judy.

Yup…all along it was her.  She would go and get the dirty clothes basket out of my closet, carry those clothes down three flights of stairs, throw them into the washer, go back down later and throw them in the dryer, go back down later and get them out of the dryer and take them upstairs and fold them.  She would then sneak into my bathroom and quietly fill my drawer with my drawers and tee shirts.  Amazing.  And here is the crazy part.  She has been doing this for almost 44 years.  I can’t believe it took this long to catch her.

Well, that is how I came to discover the “Underwear Fairy” and that is also how I came to begin to learn something.  While all of us appreciate the big things people do for us, sometimes, maybe a lot of the times, it is the small things that matter.  Since this discovery it is not uncommon for me to say my wife, “Judy, the “Underwear Fairy” came.” And hopefully that is followed by a thank-you and maybe even a kiss.

I really had to weigh it carefully if I could write about underwear.  I even asked the fairy herself if she thought I could.  She wasn’t sure.  Well it wasn’t a matter of could…it was a matter of should.  Each day our lives are filled with the small things that people do for us…things we take for granted.  Why not take a moment today and say thank you.  If your husband takes out the trash, or the kids pickup the house, or one of the guys at the office buys donuts or any of a thousand things…say thanks.  Learn to appreciate the small things.

Tucked away in the Song of Solomon in your Bible (That is one of the books the preacher never preaches from. You might need the table of contents.) are these words, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”  The little foxes can be those missed opportunities when we take others for granted resulting in ingratitude. Relationships can grow stale and love can whither on the vine if we fail to water them with gratitude. Remember that. So you might need to stop and look for the fairies and foxes in your house, your neighborhood or where you work.  Be sure and thank those around you that make your life just a little easier.  And for sure if you see the fox of ingratitude—“shoot that thing.” Oh, and on your list, be sure you have God at the top of the list of things to be grateful for.  Everyday from sunrise to sunset and beyond He is working behind the scenes and writing you love notes with acts of mercy and kindness.  Things like letting you rest in Him.  Things like letting you know, “I’ve got this.”  And He does.