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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Psalms 64:1-10

Psalms 64 was written during a difficult time in David's life. The theme? A complaint against conspiracy. The principle? When others conspire against us, we can ask God for protection because he knows everything.

I like this Psalms because David is expressing himself honestly. And God is more than willing to listen to him. I like that about God. He is more than willing to listen to anything that we say to him.

Words spoken against us are among the most painful attacks we may have to face. If we trust in God, these attacks will not hurt us.

Notice the contrast between the secret counsel of evil in verse 2 and the open declaaration of God's works.

I trust this Psalms will minister to you today:

1 Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from that noisy crowd of evildoers.

3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their words like deadly arrows.

4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent man;
they shoot at him suddenly, without fear.

5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see them?”

6 They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning.

7 But God will shoot them with arrows;
suddenly they will be struck down.

8 He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.

9 All mankind will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
let all the upright in heart praise him!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Psalms 37:1-7

It's inevitable. There will be times in when you are attacked, slandered and torn down. Perhaps a co-worker, or a neighbor, or even someone where at church. What do you do?

I love Psalms 37:1-7. I trust it will minister to you today.

1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;

2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

During those difficult times, "set your face like flint" as Isaiah says, and keep on doing good. May it be so.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Trusting God through a dark time

Isaiah 45:3,4 tells us, "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."

During a dark time God has given us treasures that light our way.

Treasure number one: we are created by God as emotional people.

It is not just okay to feel emotions; it is essential to feel and express emotions when we walk through a dark time. It's okay to express emotions. It's okay to cry. It's okay to huddle up with close friends. It's okay to want to holler at God.

God has wired each of us differently and uniquely.

Treasure number two: bad things happen to good people.

Why me? Well, why not me? Life is not fair. I still don't like it - but it's true. This world is broken. Sin broke the world.

Only God can provide a way.

Treasure number three. You are not alone.

We are not alone. God is with us. Brothers and Sister in Christ are with us. It's okay to let others know that we hurt.

Treasure number four. Find a few close friends to gather around you.

None of us has the emotional strength to share the details of our hurts with a large group of people. We are tempted to prepare a handout that just says, "here, this is what's happening and how I feel."

Find one or tow people who are your closet friends to support you.

Treasure number five: Let there be deep healing.

Don't hurry the process. Let God touch into the deepest caverns of our soul.

Treasure number six: There is a difference between a wound and a scar.

Wounds go away. Scar's remain. The pain, suffering, and numbness will some day leave you. For some it may be a quick process. For others it will take some time.

Do things that bring healing. Be in church, spend time in prayer and in the Bible. Don't put fun on hold! Do fun things; be with fun people. Laugh until you hurt! It will heal. The scar, however, will remain.

Treasure number seven: God still loves you. God still loves me.

What you are walking through is not a punishment from God. It has not happened because God no longer loves you. God knows our pain. He understands sorrow and mourning.

God is with you! God is with me!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Handling pressure

We all face circumstances that put us under a tremendous amount of pressure and stress. No one is immune. Jesus experienced it in the garden of Gethsemane when he asked the Father if it was okay that he not go to the cross. He sweat drops of blood. What pressure!

My life verse for many years was, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Now, there were people in Paul's culture who like him had learned to be content. We refer to them as the Stoics. They trained themselves to be self-sufficient. And, to a degree, Paul shared their emphasis on contentment, but with a twist.

You see, for Paul it wasn't self-sufficiency but Christ Sufficiency. The stoic's sufficiency/contentment came from their own inner strength. Paul's came from outside, from being a man IN Christ on whom he was totally dependent and thus not independent at all in the Stoic sense.

You see there are two ways to handle pressure.

One is illustrated by the bathysphere, which is a miniature submarine.

It is used to explore the ocean in places so deep that the water pressure would crush a regular sub like a tin can. Bathyspheres compensate for the pressure with a steel hull that is several inches thick. They are small and cramped. When scientists in bathyspheres reach the ocean floor, however, they find they are not alone.

When the outside lights are turned on and they look out the thick windows, they see fish. These fish cope with extreme pressure in an entirely different way. They don't build thick skins; instead they remain elastic and free.

They compensate for the pressure outside through equal and opposite pressure inside themselves. You see maturing Christians aren't hard, thick-skinned stoics. They are moved by the needs around them. They care about what happens to themselves or others. But, they have learned to rely on God's power within to enable them to withstand the pressure from without.

As Paul said, It is Christ IN you the hope of glory.

You know we tend to say, I am okay...UNDER the circumstances. But circumstances were never meant to be something Christians get UNDER. With Christ's indwelling power we can be ABOVE the circumstances of life.

This word translated "strengthens" is also a rare word in the Greek but it is one that Paul used quite often. In I Timothy 1:12 he said, I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, Who has STRENGTHENED me. In II Timothy 4:17 he said, But the Lord stood with me, and STRENGTHENED me.

In Ephesians 6:10 he said, Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the STRENGTH of His might. The word means to infuse strength or to put power into. This strength, then, was not something that Paul conjured up from within.

No it was a power that was infused into his life. Paul's statement in verse 13 was not an expression of self-confidence but rather God-confidence.

I take my strength from God today.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Relationships take time

We live in a fast paced society. I think that goes without saying.

Over a hundred years ago, our culture was influenced greatly by farmers and ranchers. Life was slower.

There were seasons for planting, growing and harvesting.

Life wasn't rushed (at least in comparison to today's standards)

Today, everything is so fast. Words like "over-nite, "drive-thru" and "log-ong" have entered our vocabulary.

We all get impatient from time to time.

But there is one thing in life that refuses to be rushed. Our relationships with one another.

Relationships take time.

Let's use the analogy of growing a crop.

There has to be a season of planting - finding common interests.

Then there is a season of growing - you begin to appreciate each other's differences and similarities by spending time with one another

Then there is the harvest - where the friendship proves to be a source of strength and encouragement to each other.

We all want meaningful friendships.

Take time today to do just that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Asking for what you want

A lot of times we don't receive what we want or need because we are asking in the wrong way.

What are some of the keys to "asking well?"

Want Well

distinguish between our needs and your wants. Even with our wants, we need to want what is best for everyone as well as ourselves.

"Wanting well" means that I share my desires without driving someone away.

Realize that it's okay to try to get what you want.

Solomon said, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

Our heart's desires and longing bring life to our lives.

If we don't have ways of making them known, they won't be met, and we'll feel "sick at heart."

Wanting is key to feeling alive in a relationship, key to keeping the relationship vibrant for both people.

When asking, preserve the other person's freedom.

What happens if someone says "no" to what you want?

How do you react.

How can we ask in a way that doesn't bind the other person?

Give the other person an out.

Say something like, "I don't want you to feel like you 'have to' do this, but could you give me a ride to work tomorrow?"

Avoid the word need.

A "need" is something we have to have for survival.

We shouldn't cast our "wants" in terms of a "need."

Notice the difference between the two statements:

"I want to be close to you. And to be close, I need to feel like you are committed to me. So I would like you to spend one of the weekend days with me and see your friends on the other day."

"I need for you to be with me on one of the weekend days. You can't expect me to be close to you when you're gone both days."

The first request expresses vulnerability; the second feels more like a demand

Be clear, and be direct.

Make "I" statements, not "you" statements.

"I would like it if we could talk more than we have been doing. I would like to know more of what is going on with you. I feel out of the loop."

That's a lot more palatable than, "You don't ever really talk to me very much. You leave me in total darkness. Seems like you would want to tell me things if we were really close."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Praying to Mary

I believe there are those who attend Catholic churches who have a vibrant and real relationship with Jesus.

I appreciate many of Christian writers who are catholic, as in Henri Nouwen and Brennan Manning.

They bring a depth and a seriousness to our faith that is needed.

The question has been asked, "can we as Christians pray to Mary?"

My answer, wrapped in love, is no.

If you are interested in this, please read the article below by Tom Brown, Praying to the Father in Jesus Name."

Any input?

"In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God"—(John 16:23-27)

Here in this passage of scripture, Jesus tells us that we should not pray to Him. Yet many sincere Christians spend most of their time praying and petitioning Jesus instead of petitioning the Father. I hear their prayers, "Oh, Lord Jesus, please help me with this or that!" That is a wrong way to pray.

Jesus taught us that it is better to go directly to the Father. "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." So let's accept his teaching and not tradition. Jesus did not want to take glory away from His Father and so He instructs us to pray to the Father and not to Himself. Jesus submitted Himself to the Father’s authority; therefore, the Father is in charge. This truth is a revelation every Christian should understand. Your prayer life will become more powerful and effective once you receive this truth. Jesus taught His disciples to pray after this manner, "Our Father in heaven." Prayer is directed to the Father, not to anyone else.

Only while Jesus was on the earth, could people ask Jesus for help. However, Jesus said that it wasn't right to ask Him anything after His resurrection. We are now living in the day of the new covenant, so praying and petitioning Jesus is not the proper way to pray.

Someone may argue this point and say, "Why can't I pray to Jesus?" Because Jesus said not to! That is a good enough reason for me!

"Well, I don't understand why I can't," someone may persist. It's not whether you can't, but it's whether you should. Let me explain the work of the Trinity.

One Mediator

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 (Tim 2:5)

Notice that Jesus is the mediator not the object of our approach to God. Although Jesus is God by nature, He is the Son of God the Father, which places Him in a subservient role. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). Jesus is the mediator, which means that He is the go-between God and men. He is like a bridge. You cross the bridge to get to your destination. So you go through Jesus to get to God the Father. Unfortunately, many treat the bridge as their destination. They go to Jesus instead of to the Father. It is an unscriptural approach to prayer.

Let me explain what His being mediator is NOT. You do not say your prayer to Jesus, so that Jesus can take your prayer to the Father. Jesus ruled this out: "I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf." So His mediator-ship does not mean that you ask Jesus to pray to the Father for you. I bring this up, because our Catholic friends usually accept Mary as co-mediatrix. They will claim that they do not pray to Mary, but only ask her to pray for them. In this sense they see her as co-mediatrix. But notice that Jesus said concerning His mediator role that He would not ask the Father on our behalf. So if this were true of Christ, it would be true for Mary as well, according to the Catholic view.

Beside, the Word says that there is only "one" mediator, and He is the "man" Christ Jesus. The "woman" Mary is exempted from being co-mediatrix based on this clear passage.


Since Mary is not co-mediatrix, you can be sure that the other saints are not either. Why people would waste their prayer time talking to saints, I will never understand. I suppose I can't understand this kind of irrationality since I was never a Catholic. However, my wife Sonia was. I asked her why she used to pray to Mary. Her answer was silly, but honest. She said, "I figured since Mary was the mother of Jesus, he would have to obey her. So I prayed to Mary thinking she would tell her Son what to do."

Now some of you may be laughing at this explanation, but this is actually what was taught to my wife. Many Catholics believe just like my wife used to believe, and they are very sincere. However, being sincere does not make someone right. The only teaching we should adhere to is the Bible and not tradition. Jesus said to some very religious leaders, "You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition" (Matt. 15:6). In another place he says, "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men" (Mk. 7:8).

We all need to ask ourselves this question. Do I hold onto traditions that go against the word of God? If the answer is yes, then get rid of your tradition that has robbed the word of God of its power. God's Word has the power to save, heal, bless and deliver. But traditions stop the word of God of its saving, healing, blessing and delivering power. Praying to saints is really praying to idols. An idol is any person or thing that occupies the place in your heart that only God Himself should occupy. We should never put any person or thing in God's place. We should pray only to God and not to saints.

Why even pray to saints if Jesus said that we could go to the highest in all authority? Why go to someone lesser if you can go to the greatest? Let me give you an illustration: Suppose I had a problem with a certain federal law. Then the Vice-President hears about my problem and writes to me a letter inviting me to speak to the President about my situation. But instead of accepting the invitation, I tell the Vice-President, "I really do appreciate the opportunity to talk to the Head of Chief, but you see, I'm so unworthy to talk to the President. I wish I could get the nerve to talk to him, but I can't. Instead Mr. Vice-President, I'm going to talk to my Congressman about my problem. Thank you anyway."

Now, what would you think of me for turning down the opportunity to talk with the President? You would think I was crazy! Well, aren't we crazy for passing up the opportunity to talk to the Head of Chief of the universe?

I could almost hear Satan laughing at some people. He laughingly says, "Look at those people with false humility. Jesus told them they have the right to go to His Father, yet they're trying to pray to his mother! Ha! Ha! Ha!" As you read this article, you might be getting mad at me for tearing down your doctrine. However, I'm not tearing down your doctrines, instead I'm giving you something better. Isn't it better to pray to our heavenly Father than some saint? Sure it is! So, let us get on the right track and start praying to our Father in Heaven. Hallelujah!


Jesus not only taught us to pray directly to the Father, but he also said to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. In other words, we do not go to the Father without first going through Jesus Christ. If you’re trying to pray to God without Jesus, then you'll get nowhere. You see, no one is worthy to go to God the Father in prayer because we have all sinned. No sinner can go to God since God is perfectly Holy. However, God made a way for mankind to approach Him. That way is Jesus!

"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6).

What about coming to God through Joseph Smith, Muhammad, Rev. Moon, Hare Krishna, or some other self-proclaim prophet? The answer is found in Acts 4:12:

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

There are some people who want to unite all religions together. They falsely teach, "All the roads of all religions lead to God." But Jesus contradicted this by saying, "For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matt.7:13-14). Jesus is the small gate and narrow road. You must go through the Lord Jesus to get to God.

Several years ago I was talking to a girl about God and her relationship to Him. It was apparent to me that she was not born again. However, she tried to convince me that she was religious. She said, "I pray to God every day."

I shocked her with my next statement. I told her, "But God doesn't listen to you!" Her eyes got as big as quarters.

"Why do you say that?" she asked.

"Because you do not go to God through Jesus Christ." I then proceeded to tell her about salvation. That evening she accepted the Lord Jesus into her heart.

Many people are just like this girl. They pray to God and get no results. Why? They don’t get results because they don't go through Jesus Christ the Lord. God listens to you when you go through Jesus.


There is one more point I want to write concerning prayer: God is our Father! Many people think of God as being mean and angry. However, God is our loving, caring, and watchful Father. Whatever problem you might have pray to your very own Father, who will take care of your problems, if you're born again of God's Spirit. If you're not sure that you're born again, then please pray the following prayer out loud and from your heart.

Dear God in Heaven. I come to you through your Son Jesus Christ. I come as a repentant sinner. Please forgive me of all my sins. I'm going to live for you starting right now. I believe that Christ died for my sins, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day and that he is Lord. I now make Jesus the Lord of my Life. I'm now saved by the blood of Christ. Heaven is my eternal home. And God is now my very own Father. Thank you Father-God for adopting me into your Family. Amen!"

What do you think?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Blessing our enemies

We all have times when we feel that we are abused by the people around us.

It's going to happen.

Whether driving down the road or getting in line at the grocery store, abuse will come.

When someone verbally abuses us, blessing them is seldom our natural reaction.

Our natural response is to strike back, to hurt them as much as they have hurt us.

Our pride goats us into returning hurt for hut and insult for insult.

We know that it's not the right thing to do, but inside we feel that we can't just sit there and take it; we've got to do something.

God knows that and that is why he tells us to continually depend upon the Holy Spirit to speak words of blessing to those who have hurt us.

"Bless those who persecute you," Jesus says, "bless and do not curse."

Tough stuff.


Sometimes almost impossible - in the natural.

However, if we do bless those who curse us, we receive a blessing in return.

It's in blessing them, or leaving them in the hands of God, in praying God's best for them, in praying that God will convict them of their abusive behavior that we receive release and joy and peace in our own hearts.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My new friend

Yesterday I had lunch with a Rabbi here in town. He is my new friend. We had a great time. Before I knew it - two hours had passed.

When we sat down to break bread at the Waterfront restaurant, one of his first comments to me was, "this is the most unique encounter I have had in over 40 years as a Rabbi." He explained to me that he had never met with a fundamental, Pentecostal, Charismatic pastor before. Lutherans were the closest he had come.

I learned so much from him just from our first encounter. We are going to meet again. In fact, on Sunday evening, February 19, 2006, I am inviting the Rabbi to come to our church and we are going to open with a dialogue between he and I and then open it up for discussion questions.

I am in a season in my life with the Lord where I am actively pursuing a better understanding of the times, culture, habits, and way of life that Jesus lived in during the first century.

I believe that if I can learn more about the early first century, I can learn more and have a better understanding of who Jesus was while he lived on this planet.

Did Jesus come and give us a radical new system or "religion" with no tie in or forethought from his background as a rabbi? Or did he simply extend his teachings from his Jewish upbringing?

This is a question that I hope to see answered.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Perception is 9/10 of reality. I was in a discussion about that thought yesterday.

If I believe it's true to me, than it's true.

It may or not be really true, but if my perception is that it is correct, to me it is.

I am learning to work and minister to with people on the basis of their perceptions, not on the basis of what is true reality or what I perceive to be reality.

That can be a real frustration as a care-giver and leader.

Perceptions tend to come from our backgrounds, what we've experienced in the past, how we have been taught, what our presuppositions are, our personality, and our emotional state at the time.

It's all rather complex. For our perceptions change over a period of time. I've heard this said several times recently, "as so-and-so grew older, they really mellowed."

We being to learn what is important and what is not.

Iyania Van Zant once said, "our life's journey is an ever-unfolding work of art that tells the story of where we have been and with whom we have traveled."

My goal year is to grow in hearing and really listening to other's perceptions, whether I agree with them or not.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Talking to an atheist

I rarely meet someone who is sincerely a flat out atheist. Who doesn't believe in some kind of "higher power." And even if they say they are - I have my suspicions.

I would suggest that it might be the height of arrogance to believe that life begins in and ends with myself.

And within all of us is the inner belief that surely this life is not all there is.

So how do we share our faith with someone who claims to be an atheist?

If I knew the answer to that question, I'd bottle it and sell it because there is such a need for one.

Here's what I know:

Don't come on too strong.
Don't beat them to death by quoting Scripture or leaving tracts on their nightstand or by leaving praise music on in the house.

That can smack of disapproving that person, which I know you and I are not trying to do.

Yet we must be sensitive to the feelings of those who are close to us or anyone that we are talking to about the Lord.

What must we do?

We must earn the right to be heard.

We can't assume that just because we are friends with someone that they will take seriously what we say when it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ.

To the average person, sharing something new that contains veiled criticism of where they are standing with respect to god and Christ equals personal rejection or at the very least disapproval.

So before we can viably share our faith we must show them that we are their friends so that they don't perceive that we are making a radical break from our relationship.

Relationships are the key!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The vision thing

We had a great day yesterday in our church. Many of our church families were back after having been gone for the holidays - there was a great spirit of friendship and fellowship not only with each other but with the Holy Spirit as well.

We were also honored with a 25th wedding celebration from our church family. Many, many thanks to those who came. You blessed us with many wonderful cards and with your love - we love you too!

I spoke on vision yesterday morning or as I like to call it, "the vision thing." I trust that at least a great percentage of those who were listening "caught" the vision of where we desire to be!

I know that it is difficult to grasp the big picture of any church group - we all have our own situations and problems and difficulties - many are just trying to get through the day much less focus on where our church needs to be headed for the year.

May our church be blessed this year with a spirit of worship.

May we be blessed with a spirit of prayer.

May we be blessed with a spirit of service.

May we be blessed with a spirit of outreach.

May we be blessed with a spirit of nurture.

Onward and upward - for God's kingdom!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Doing whatever it takes

"Hook em horns!"

Texas won the NCAA division I football championship last night in a thriller. To show you what kind of a fan I am, I went to bed after USC scored their last touchdown, leaving two Texas defensive backs on the ground.

I thought that it was over - and it was 11:45 P.M. (EST)

I wish I would have stayed up - Texas came back and won, scoring two touchdowns in the last five minutes.

Vince Young was incredible.

But more than his play, I liked his attitude.

Here's part of an article I read today from Fox Sports:

"And then he took off. With the national title down to a final play, fourth down and 5 yards to go, Young scrambled untouched for an 8-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left and the No. 2 Longhorns stunned No. 1 Southern California 41-38 in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday night.

"Do whatever it takes," Young said.

"Do whatever it takes," Young said in being interviewed after the game.

That kind of statement fits well into kingdom theology.

Short of sin, we must, we are commanded to "do whatever it takes," to bring people to a relationship with Christ.

Sometimes it feels like we are far behind. Some of our "defensive backs," are seemingly down and out. It looks like all is lost.

But it is not.

We must "do whatever it takes."

While we have the Holy Spirit (and I am grateful for that!), the first step is to decide, "I am willing to do whatever it takes."

And perhaps, just perhaps, you might score the winning touchdown.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I am sensing an increasing desire in my life to lead those around me in times of communication with God.

Starting on Thursday, January 12, 2006, (and for every Thursday after that until the beginning of June) we are beginning a prayer time in our sanctuary for those who would like to stop in and pray on their way to work.

The sanctuary will be open from 6:30 A.M. to 8:00. I am going to invite people to come and go. You might pray for 5 minutes or 50 minutes depending on your schedule.

There will also be coffee, juice and donuts in the library which is across the foyer.

Connecting with God - connecting with others. Pretty good stuff if you ask me.

There are four types of connection with God (or maybe more - can you think of any others?):

I have continual conversations with God throughout the day.
I have a concentrated prayer time where I bring to Him my requests and do my best to listen to His response.
I worship and pray with those who are followers of Christ with me during the Sunday morning celebration.
I pray with others during a time of prayer where we intercede for others.

All 4 of these types of prayer are necessary!

Let's pray! Let's touch and be touched by God!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

25 years of marriage

Yesterday was the 25th wedding anniversary date for Debbie and I. 25 years! It hardly seems possible.

I love her more and more each day.

I still remember the first time I ever saw her, the first time we kissed, when and where and how I asked her to marry me, and of course our wedding day.

Debbie is my soul mate and my best friend.

She is gracious, kind, loving and caring for those in need.

I like the long conversations that we have, sometimes about everything, sometimes about nothing. She makes me laugh. She makes me mad sometimes and then we make up (it's the making up part that's fun!)

I am "myself" around her (whatever that is), and appreciate her always being "herself."

My prayer is for another 25-40 years of closeness with my best friend.

By the way, lest I forget, she is also the most beautiful woman in the world!

I love her with all of my heart!