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Friday, July 22, 2011

We are born with a need to be loved and we never outgrow it!

When my children were born the viewing window displayed a worn piece of paper.  In bold letters it said, "Every child is born with a need for love....and they never outgrow it!" 

That statement embodies the foundation for all our self-esteem.  No matter how hard an individual tries, they will never be able to stand totally and completely alone.  They can boast about it and announce they don't care what the world says.....but the truth is that we all care.  We all want to be liked even when we are fighting big issues and driving a large program like say....Governor Christie.  He appears to be tough as nails - and he is a tough politician.  Great!  But I bet he goes home at night to a very strong family who is waiting with open arms to embrace him and give him the love and support he needs.

In my minds eye I see people like Governor Christie, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Billy Graham - I see them all standing on a platform - alone.  It looks like they are out there facing the world - alone.  But if you lift the skirt around the podium, you'll see 50 people standing beneath the podium.  They are the pillars that are holding up his platform.  They are the ones that feed his need to be loved and supported.  They are the ones that help him dodge the stones being thrown at him.  They are the ones that help him decide everyday to get back on the platform and do the right thing.

When a person is void of loving supporters who understand the mission, understand the life, support the goals and overwhelmingly support the individual - that person can't succeed.  That person will become dysfunctional.  That person will not be able to heal after an attack and will eventually crash and burn. 


But I'm a nobody Debbie.  I just go to work and do my job and come home to pet my dog.  Why would I need anyone?

You need just as much support as the man on the firing line.  You need to know that your life matters.  You need to know that you are loved and valued as a human.  You need to be connected to others in this world in order to feel that you have a life.  So...get out there and make some friends.  Reconnect with your family. 


The best way to receive love is to genuinely give it.  And the best way to do that is to see the good in others.  When you see something that makes you smile or that you enjoy about another person - TELL THEM!  Don't hold back. 

For example, if your boss comes in dressed really nice, what do you do?  Most people think "Oh that's nice." but wouldn't dare say anything.  How silly!  Everyone loves a compliment.  It's not brown nosing to let someone know they reached a goal.  Everyday we get dressed and go out into society - our goal is to look be beautiful.  Don't go overboard and act like she just won Miss America.  Make it a simple compliment of - "Nice dress." as you turn to go back to what you were doing.  That kind of compliment can make a person's day.  It will leave both of you feeling good.  You will know you helped her to feel good about her choice and her day will be better knowing she has been recognized. 

When the mail gopher drops by your desk with a ton of mail for you, why not say, "Thanks John.  Oh, and by the way - I've watched how committed you are to your job and to making sure the deliveries are on time.  Thanks.  I appreciate it."  That's all you have to say to make his day.

My wonderful friend Pat Sanders sent me a great e-mail today.  I hope you enjoy the following story.

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.  She told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.  It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment. Over the weekend, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much."

No one ever mentioned those papers again.. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose.. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to view her student.  One of the soldiers moved beside her and whispered, "Were you Mark's math teacher?"
She wiped a tear and nodded yes. The soldier stared into the coffin.  "Mark talked about you a lot."

After the funeral, the teacher attended a luncheon and sat with Mark's parents and classmates.  His father smiled at the teacher.  "We want to show you something."  He took a wallet out of his pocket.  "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher recognized the paper as the list containing good things about Mark.

Mark's mother wiped her eyes.  "Thank you so much for doing that.  Mark treasured it." All of Mark's former classmates gathered around the teacher. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home."

Chuck's wife said smiled, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album."

"I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."  Vicki, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times." She quickly added, "I think we all saved our lists."
The teacher broke and cried.  She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again. She cried thanking God that she had done something to help her students feel loved.  She cried knowing that their lives had been changed because of a simple act of love. 

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

Good story Pat, thank you!  I hope you will spread a little love and appreciation today!

God loves you,


Friday, July 15, 2011

How can we change America and the world?

Contemporary psychology promotes the idea that when we are born we are complete.  Every thought, every action, every disposition is in place and there's really nothing anyone else in the world can do about it.  Government, society, ideologues play into that philosophy by agreeing that a person is who he is and that since he can't change without help..."the masses".....should be told what to do and what to think.  Of course that's a contradiction - if governments and ideologues can tell you what to do and get you to change - why can't parents or friends?

Parenting is the lowest common denominator!  Everything in this world comes back to parenting - everything!  Society begins with parenting.  Governments begin with parenting.  The person you have become and will continue to be is rooted in parenting.  

How can you say that?   What about people who don't have parents?

Someone took that role.  Babies can't exist on their own.  They don't have the ability to feed or care for themselves.  Someone must take on that role and help them at least reach the level of being able to survive alone.  And even if they were on a island and their parent died when they were four....being without a parent and trying to exist alone would turn their life in a different direction.  Those formative years are the most important to a human.  And the person that's shaping those years will determine the future direction of that life.  P-e-r-i-o-d!

But what about our personality, our uniqueness, our intelligence...don't they shape our lives as well?

Of course they do - but it's the percentage we should look at.  We are environment and family based people.  There's been a lot of research done on this.  That's why when a person goes to see a psychologist - the first topic he wants to discuss is your family.  "Tell me about your mother - your father - your home growing up."  Yes we can be influenced by other forces, but it's our need to be loved and accepted by our family that drives us.  It's all the swirling and subconscious movement of our formative years that festers and bubbles up into our conscious lives.

You my dear are a beautiful design created first by God.  He gave you a soul, a heart to love, a mind to think and his love to grow on.  The moment you were born, your need to grow in love propelled you to crave touch and intimacy with others.  It begins with a mother and father showing you both sides of pure protective love.  Good parents will protect your innocence, your physical well being and your mind.      Good parents provide a safe environment where you can build your faith, your self esteem, your talents and your love and compassion for others.  In this safe environment you learn to work hard, to develop a pure love for others and how to not only fit in society but how to help society become a better place for others as well. In other words, your family - your environment - teaches you how to be the best person you can be so that you will go out and impact society.

As you rub up against others you do change, but strong individual rooted in truth will refuse change based only on a dysfunctional need to be accepted by others.  The goal is to only change if you were truly wrong.  The goal is to be a light of right - a person who stands for the truth and is willing to share that truth with others.  It's only then that our society goes forward.

As long as parents are sending dysfunctional teens and young adults into the world - this world is doomed!  It's only when parents decide that their biggest and most important job is to deliver a whole and healthy adult to society - that's when America changes!  That's when churches get better!  That's when crime diminishes!  That's when the entire world is impacted.

As long as parents want to foolishly promote that they have nothing to do with their child's life - the world will be on a downward spiral to impending doom.

The solution isn't to take children away from parents.  If you think parents are missing the mark with their children - just wait until you see a child raised by a government.  That's absolutely the most dysfunctional child on the planet.

The solution is for parents to understand their job, their calling and how important their love is.  When parents are as committed to raising a healthy child as they are to taking care of their own bodies or being successful at work - that's when the world will change!

God loves you,


Monday, July 11, 2011

Compassion can be deadly

I am easily moved to tears.  When I find out that someone is being mistreated, my emotions can take over and I'm not only a mass of tears but I become an energized force trying to find a way to help the victim.

It's important that all of my readers understand what I'm trying to do.  I don't want to misjudge anyone or to cause anyone to slip into clinical guilt.  But there are several components that you need to understand.

Compassion must be in full bloom when you are a Christian.  You must look at the pain in the world and jump to help.  You must be moved to tears by the needs of others.  Like Jesus on the cross, you must look at your enemies and be so moved by their needs that you whisper, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

Unfortunately, many people stop there.  They think that God is all about forgiveness, that he is all about making you feel good and that he has nothing to do with judgement or helping you move forward.

The truth is that as a "Teacher, Minister, speaker, writer" I have the God given responsibility to point out the "Good" I see around me.....but I also am called to point out the "Problems".  That's hard!  I don't want to hurt anyone.  We live in such a demanding and critical society that everyone is filled with stress and suffering from low self-esteem.  We often feel as though everyone is out to attack and we are so desperate for approval and love that we would rather continue making mistakes than have anyone offer suggestions for change.

When we allow compassion to overshadow truth, we deny ourselves the chance to grow.  The truth is that growth and change is steeped in criticism and negative reflection.  I've never heard anyone say...."My life is going great!  I'm making lots of money, I have a great family, I love my job....I'm having the best time of my life!  You know, I think I'm going to change everything.  I'm going to get a different job, a different family....etc...."  You get the picture.  No, as long as everything is okay in our life - all of us, including me - we will hold our breath and hope that nothing changes.

We only change when someone points out a problem.  We only consider different choices and different thoughts when we are challenged to do so.  It's important that in our desire to be compassionate and not judge unfairly - that we don't shrink away from being honest or offering an opinion that is desperately needed in order to spark change.  Using Compassion as a reason to ignore sin will produce the same deadly results as participating in sin.

One of the largest components to the failures of today's youth is their inability to accept thoughts and opinions different from their own.  Like little spoiled children the liberal calls the patriot names because he can't tolerate a different opinion.   The atheist sues the state because he apparently doesn't have the ability to turn his head when faced with a cross.  Our children are so weak that they can't sit quietly while one child bows his head to say a silent prayer.

In order to find strength we have to be able to challenge ALL our beliefs and all our actions.  By challenging them, turning them over and looking at them, tearing it apart and looking for every clue - we become stronger in our beliefs.  Challenging your beliefs does not mean you are a bad person or that you don't know what you are doing.  Challenging your beliefs doesn't mean you are walking away from them.  Challenging your beliefs or your life is simply a way of cleaning up the inconsistencies, strengthening the foundations and becoming a brighter light with your life.

Recently, I received a comment (to be released once this is posted) about my post Mega Church Pop Stars.  After reading the comment I stopped and prayed for the writer.  I could hear his desperate need to be understood and loved. I am sure that he is overworked and struggling with all the demands of pastorship.  He is probably one of those precious few that does more than preach - they actually live it.  While he may not have needed my thoughts, perhaps others do. Here's my response.....

I am so thankful that you wrote.  Thank you for your comment.  After reading it I stopped and prayed for you and your church.  I am truly sorry if my post made you feel bad in any way.

I would like to address some of your issues.  First of all, I do feel called by God for what I'm doing.  I'm very careful that everything said on these blogs has been put through a time of prayer and contemplation first.  I posted about the church we visited two weeks after we were there.  I prayed many times about the thoughts that burned within my heart.  I am sure there have been times when you knew you had to preach a sermon that would step on toes.  You probably begged God as well to let you skip that sermon and yet you couldn't because you knew the problem existed within your congregation.  I'm sure that as you contemplated preaching that sermon, you were worried that the people who didn't need it would take it to heart and those that do need it will walk away untouched.

While you may not have needed what I said....I know there are others that do.  America has a lot of problems and unfortunately many churches aren't meeting those needs or training their congregations to meet the problems with deep faith and strong convictions.  The contemporary church is not as strong as other generations have been simply because individuals are so distracted by the world they live in.  The reality is that the church will lead us out of our problems but only if pastors get real about faith and less worried about being a star.  I am positive there are a few large churches that take care of every member and work hard to be sure the truth is taught.  I visit, listen to and research the theology of many churches and I've found that most of the time - not all- the motive is not "disciples"....the only motive is numbers that will produce funds that will produce more programs that will make everyone feel like stars.  That was my only point.

Also, on this blog I've recommended the book "5 ministry killers and how to defeat them" by  Charles Stone.  This book is wonderful and I recommend that every pastor and member of a church read this book.  I liked it because it reprimanded members who didn't take "scriptural" care of their pastors.  I also cried when I heard this pastor talk about being "called" by God.  I think the reason a pastor can get into the pop star role is because he's made pastoring a job.  No pastor should ever think of his position as a job.  Once it's a job you are forced into the role of pleasing people rather than God.  You are forced to make compromises in order to keep "the job".  It's only when a pastor is "Called by God" and is determined to only follow God's leading - that's when he can't be touched by the whims of stardom.

How do I know that?  Because I do have a minister's license.  I've spent many hours studying the Bible and discussing God's calling on individual lives at a christian university.  Both of my parents are ministers and my Dad built three churches completely on his own with no denominational help.    I helped with those churches while I was a teen, during my college years and continuing into my married life.  I was as close to being a pastor without the title as you can get.  My grandmother was an evangelist and I have over 34 ministers, evangelists, missionaries, deacons, and various church workers dotted throughout the extended family.  My entire life has been church.  I've held every position within the church - including board member.  You are right that I've never held the "Pastor" label, but as an only child I sat at many supper tables and listened as my parents (family and friends who were pastors) discussed the problems and trials of the church.  When I was old enough I became a part of those discussions and prayed with my parents for answers.

I've watched my parents cry at the pain directed at them by church members and I've heard their prayers when they simply didn't have the strength to face all the stress that went along with being God's shepherd.

The difference for me is that I also watched them defiantly buck trendy misconceptions in order to stay true to their calling.  They insisted that they were not allowed to "change" any part of the word of God in order to boost their own attendance.

The difference in the Mega Pop Star pastor and the dedicated pastor is simple and easy to spot.  It's easy to tell the "motive" of both people.   A pastor called by God will always think first of the "spiritual truth" rather than the desire to "appeal" to any generation.  A pastor who simply seeks a job will always be concerned about his own appeal.

Dr. Foth is one of my favorite speakers and pastors.  He served many churches and has worked as Senate Chaplain and director of the White House prayer breakfast.  While speaking at a conference he said, "We must always remember that God is as pure as water.  He is the living water.  We don't need to add anything to him or help him in any way.  He can stand alone."  He used an illustration of coke.  "Coke has water in it, but the formula for coke is pages long.  It will rot your teeth and cause all kinds of medical issues.  Water has a very simple formula  H2O.  You can drink all you want and it will never harm you.  In fact, it will keep you healthy.  When we add things to Jesus we dilute him and make him weak.  When we use the simple message of Jesus Christ and allow him to work - miracles happen."

I get hundreds of e-mails asking for more posts on churches and their purpose.  Many of these people are finding their spiritual instruction on line from people (pastors?) like me.  I am reminded of a small verse in Ephesians 5 that gives us a clue into God's requirements.  Paul told husbands to love their wives, even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it,  - and he went on to say in Eph. 5:26 "that he might present it (the church) to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish."  I believe that God wants us to strive for just such a church.  Can we be perfect?  No....but I believe we should try to do all we can to get as close to that goal as possible.

Thank you again for commenting on my blog.  I hope that God will bless you and give your ministry his power.  I will be praying for you.  Please feel free to contact me at any time through my website at

God loves you,


Monday, July 4, 2011


My Uncle Don sent the following to me.  I cried while reading it.  This bit of history will bring all the flags and all the pomp down to individual determination and commitment.  I hope that our generation will be able to protect and defend this country with the same courage and loyalty that our fore fathers did!

While, the 4th of July is a time for great celebration, we sometimes lose sight of its true meaning. The following gives us all a better understanding of the sacrifices made by those who helped create this Great Country we enjoy today.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson Jr, noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

They gave you and me a free and independent America . The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: Freedom is never free!

Ask this brave young man who lost his father....

God bless America!
God loves you,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Darlene's Daily


As we look to the promise of tomorrow, may we never lose sight of the beauty of today.


One woman was talking to her friend, "You should listen to my neighbor," she says. "She is always bad-mouthing her poor husband behind his back. I think that's so rude. Look at me! My husband is fat, lazy and cheap; but have you ever heard me say a bad word about about him?"

There is never time to do it right, but there is always time to do it over.

--Carl W. Buechner


My 17-year-old niece asked me if she could use my name as a reference on her resume', which she planned to submit to a local fast-food restaurant. I agreed.

A few days later she called and told me to meet her at the restaurant later that afternoon. When I asked her
why, she replied, "The manager wants me to come in for an interview, and she told me to bring my references.

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. --Golda Meir

Two buddies are fishing, but they haven't caught anything all day.  Then another fisherman walks by with a huge load of fish. They ask him, "Excuse me, but where did you get all those fish?" The other fisherman replies, "If you just go down the stream until the water isn't salty, you will find a ton of hungry fish." They thank him and go on their way.

Fifteen minutes later, one fisherman says to the other, "Fill the bucket up with water and see if the water is salty."  He dips the bucket in the stream and drinks some. "Nope. Still salty."

Thirty minutes later, he asks him to check again. "Nope, still salty."  One hour later they check again. "Nope. Still salty." "This isn't good," one fisherman finally says. "We have been walking for almost two hours and the water is still salty!"

"I know," says the other.  "And the bucket is almost empty!"

Live the life you love.....Love the life you live.


Thanks, Darlene
Have a wonderful week-end!
God loves you,