via www.arlingtonnationalcemetery.com

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.  Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you. –Deuteronomy 32:7 NIV

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Each year on Memorial Day individual American flags are planted in front of the gravestone for soldiers lain to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.  During the years my husband was assigned to the Pentagon he, along with many others, had the opportunity to place the flags at each headstone.  He observed that when you look at the cemetery as a whole the number of white tombstones dotting the hillsides overwhelms you.  But, on the day he placed flags he took time to read the name of each honored soldier’s grave.  He noticed the age they died and the war in which they served.  For him this experience became more than an expression of gratitude for the many who have given their lives.  He made it a personal thanksgiving for each individual soldier.

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Remembering is an important concept in scripture. We are encouraged to remember both good and bad things of life. We are told to remember, so we won’t forget.  Remembering keeps us from losing touch with those who have experienced pain caused by war.  The headstones at Arlington and other national cemeteries around the country are reminders of lives lived with honor and sacrifice.

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Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for our nation.  General John Logan is attributed to instituting a day of national remembrance for casualties of war.  His words ring as true today as they did in 1868, “Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.” (1)

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As we read or hear of the numbers of military personnel lost during a particular war remember they are not just a statistic.  Each one had a name and a hometown.  Each one was a son, daughter, mother, father and friend to people who loved them.

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If you have lost a loved one in a war know they are not forgotten.  Their sacrifice is remembered by a grateful nation.

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Gracious Father, thank you for the lessons of remembrance throughout your word.  Help me to remember the sacrifices made for the cause of freedom.  It is uncomfortable to think about war and it is easy to forget that sacrifices are being made by individuals and families.  I’m sorry for my complacency and my own desire to distance myself from events that are shaping history.  I pray your comfort on families who have experienced the loss of a loved one because of war.  I look forward to the day when there is an end to conflict on this earth.  In your name, amen.

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(1)  General John A. Logan’s Memorial Day Order, Harrisburg, PA: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. http://www.suvcw.org/logan.htm

This entry was reprinted from  The One Year™ Yellow Ribbon Devotional (May 25) by Brenda Pace and Carol McGlothlin (Tyndale House, 2008). Used by permission.

Yesterday marked the end of my stint as a Granny Nanny. For the past seven weeks I have been the daytime care giver of the sweetest one year old girl. The daily visits from this little one made me forget about all the other things going on in my life right now. We developed a routine as we kept each other company. I already miss her!

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My little guest arrived at 6:30 a.m.


By 8:00 a. m. she was ready for a little snooze

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Then it was time for breakfast

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Followed by a splash in the tub before getting dressed for the day

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It was too fun to watch her ‘read’

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And discover delicious strawberries!

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I will cherish the celebration of seeing some of her first steps

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She never tired of my phone, computer or iPad!

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Each day I was on her love list until she caught a glimpse of these two…

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Cousin love is so special and fun!

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But, it doesn’t compare to Daddy/Mommy love!

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Or, G’ma love! I already miss her!

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This was my supper tonight…and last night…and the night before. This blend of onions, mushrooms, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, asparagus and squash was delicious. I tossed the veggies in a little bit of olive oil and sprinkled them with cracked pepper and sea salt. They were then roasted in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. It was a colorful and healthy summer supper. So easy and quick! Roasting brings out such concentrated flavor in the vegetables. Oh, and if you’re a Weight Watchers fan, this meal is just 4 points on the new program. I’m thinking about other vegetables that could be added to tweak the blend for next week. Any suggestions?

Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional. – Max Lucado

…but we were for the weekend! The chaplain and I spent a great weekend in KC and we enjoyed some wonderful KC food!

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Breakfast at Kate’s Kitchen. This is a place where the locals go for an amazing start to the day. It’s in an unassuming strip mall, but don’t let that fool you. We were met with warm service and delicious food!

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I sent this text to my dear friend who lived close to KC for several years: “Best KC BBQ?” I received an almost immediate response: “Jack Stack!” She didn’t steer us wrong (no pun intended). The atmosphere was lovely and the BBQ terrific!

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We couldn’t leave KC without devouring a Kansas City strip. The Hereford House was the right choice!

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The chaplain never met a frozen custard he didn’t like and he met one at Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard that he REALLY liked. Eclectic, charming and delicious!

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Contrary to what you may think after reading the above culinary report, we were actually in Kansas City to celebrate the Chaplain’s graduation. His diligent study was greatly rewarded as he was named the Outstanding Doctoral Graduate! I don’t think the smile left his face all weekend. The road to wearing that cute hat was long and arduous, but it ended so well! Congrats Dr. Chaplain!

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via istockphoto.com

The next time you find yourself alone in a dark alley facing the undeniables of life, don’t cover them with a blanket, or ignore them with a nervous grin. Don’t turn up the TV and pretend they aren’t there. Instead, stand still, whisper his name, and listen. He is nearer than you think. – Max Lucado

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This weekend I traveled to Virginia to speak at a women’s retreat. The group was wonderful and the setting was beautiful. I came away feeling refreshed in body and spirit. How great is that?

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My destination was ‘The Homestead.’ Now, this is my context for hotels with the name Homestead and where I thought I was headed:

via google images

Imagine my great surprise and delight upon the discovery that this was THE Homestead for the retreat:

via google images

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The adjectives that come to mind to describe The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA include: gracious, lovely, genteel, refined and elegant. This weekend I experienced the best in southern graciousness and hospitality.

I love surprises!

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Hope you had a weekend that held a pleasant surprise!

Just when the truth about life sinks in, His truth starts to surface. He takes us by the hand and dares us not to sweep the facts under the rug but to confront them with him at our side.

– Max Lucado

via Google images

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Max Lucado is gifted in his ability to craft word pictures. Today, the quote above caught my attention. I’m in the midst of writing a paper for a class. It’s one of those writing assignments that requires reflection, soul searching, and self examination. I’ve gotta tell you–self-examination can be a challenge. Do you agree? Too often, I choose to evade such scrutiny. Or, when I take the time to analyze, I  do as Max describes–sweep my findings under the rug. This assignment isn’t letting me sweep!

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Scripture encourages healthy self-examination. Galatians 6:3-5 (NASB) instructs,“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.”

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I’m encouraged by Max’s reminder that God is by my side through the process of self-examination.  It doesn’t seem so daunting when I remember He will strengthen and guide me through the change that most probably will be required as a result of the inward view.

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Why do you think we evade self-examination?

©Brenda Pace, 2011

For years I’ve been on the hunt for restaurant style tortilla chips. If the package held the words thin and crispy, it was in my grocery cart. Without fail I have been disappointed–that is, until last week. While purusing the aisles at the World Market I spotted this package:

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Oh, my friends…these chips are IT! They really are THIN and they really are CRISPY.

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The package even claims to be good for you. Who could resist? Not me!


I’m not that gullible, but it’s a nice sentiment, isn’t it?


Pair these chips with this salsa from Trader Joe’s:

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We’re talking chips and salsa heaven!

Happy Cinco de Mayo…a day late!

via Chattanooga Times Free Press (www.timesfreepress.com)

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The words of an old gospel song have been going through my head this week:

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‘Til the storm passes over,

‘Til the thunder sounds no more,

‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky

Keep me Lord, help me stand

In the hollow of Your hand,

Keep me safe, ’til the storm passes by.

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I stopped for breakfast at a local diner and the buzz of conversation all around me was the storm and its aftermath. An elderly gentleman–a stranger–came up to my table and asked, “What about that storm? In all my years, I’ve never seen anything like it!”

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I was out of town last week when the storm hit. I heard the damage was extensive, but when I saw it with my own eyes I was shocked! Houses and businesses were literally piles of sticks and crumpled metal. It was as if the storm chewed them up and spit them out. I was heartened to see an army of volunteers standing beside tables filled with food and necessities.

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The literal storms have passed, but the emotional waves that follow such an event take longer to calm. Continue to pray for the physical help and emotional comfort of those who were involved. a