Thursday, November 15, 2012


Dear Abby,

I enjoy the pictures of you and your friends on Instagram. There is a "glow" about you that cannot be bought. Proverbs 15:13 tells us that a cheerful countenance comes from the heart. If our heart is pure and clean it will show in our countenance.

I have observed people for years now. I especially like to watch children and young adults to see if their are "lights" in their eyes. When children are loved and protected they have a glow about them. If they are hungry or scared they do not. The same applies to our spirits. If we know The Lord personally, we stay in the word and keep ourselves clean, we will glow.

Abby, look at yourself in the mirror when you are mad or upset then compare it to pictures that you like of yourself. You will see what I mean by the "glow." There is a big difference in countenances. One is warm and welcoming while the other is sad and unapproachable. Some of the most beautiful people I know are not necessarily beautiful by birth. I am talking about the heart that manifests itself in the face.

Remember to glow or not to glow is a matter of the heart. Guard and protect it from anything that comes between you and your walk with God. May The Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. Love you very much.


Thursday, October 25, 2012


Dear Abby,

You are old enough now to know that some things in life are just painful. People often say and do things that cause pain for themselves and others. THAT'S LIFE! The question is: "How do we deal with it?"

We all have "defense mechanisms" that we use to get through the painful times. The one thing our family is known for when one of us is hurting is to cry. We can't help it, we just get weepy-eye syndrome.

You have already developed your ways of coping with pain I know, because it is developed gradually in one's life. Perhaps you keep a journal and write to ease the pain. It could be that you play your music and take it out on the keyboard! I like to sing to comfort myself. (A little chocolate doesn't hurt either!)

We are all individuals and handle emotions differently. One thing we should not forget to do during difficult times is to remember that no one can comfort us like The Lord. We are told many times in the scriptures that He cares for us personally. We can talk to Him and read His Word for assurance.

Abby, always remember Jesus cares, He really cares. May The Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.


Saturday, September 22, 2012


Dear Abby,

I got a text from you yesterday asking what I was doing. I was in a store looking at yarn. I asked you to allow me to pass on the craft of crochet to you. It is one of the most enjoyable, productive things you can do with your hands.

You have been both fortunate and unfortunate to be born in a generation of super technology! Fortunate because machines can do it all, making products plentiful and inexpensive. Unfortunate because something is lost between grandmothers, mothers and daughters in passing down crafts such as sewing, knitting, crochet and cooking. All of these things, by the way, have made some women very wealthy in the last thirty years or so. (Martha Stewart for one.)

Fortunately, you come from a family where you can learn to do many of these things. Your mother enjoys creating her own things and likes to share it with others. Aunt Amy also is very creative and has a blog about sewing. I like to cook and also crochet and knit occasionally. Grandmother has made many quilts and given them away. You have one yourself. She also embroiders very well.

I have been crocheting for 42 years, taught by an older cousin when I was 18. I wish I knew all the things I have made and given away. It's wonderful to be able to do something with my hands besides hold an iPad or phone all the time.

Abby, learn all that you can from the women in your life while you have the opportunity. One day you will pass down the same handcrafts to others. You will remember fondly those special women who touched your life and took the time to share something special with you. May The Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Dear Abby,

Don't we live in a beautiful section of our country? We are so blessed to live this close to the Smoky Mountains. I have many fond memories of times spent there with friends and family over the last 36 years. We have pictures of our children at different ages of their lives in the mountains with both sets of grandparents. We also have pictures of our own grandchildren in some of those same special places.

One of those special places is "The Chimneys." Papa and I went there yesterday for a picnic. Every once in awhile he will feel the urge to go to the mountains. He also has memories of going there as a young child with his parents and a grandmother and aunt. There is something special about driving "up" to the mountains and looking for bear and deer. Papa likes to walk on the huge rocks and listen to the roar of the water all around him.

Another special place in the mountains is "Cade's Cove." It really is a beautiful haven of peace and quiet where you can get away from the hectic life we all live. Not too far from there is a small town called Walland. You have been with us to the cemetery where Papaws relatives are buried. Your mother took pictures so as to remember but you should know the name of it is "Keebles Chapel Cemetery."

Here are the names for you to look for:

James Cross, Born Sept 12, 1881, Died Dec 26, 1934 (Your great-great grandfather)
Pearl Ogle Cross, Born Sept 7, 1893, Died Feb 13, 1973 (great-great grandmother)
Leon J. Cross, Born Feb 9, 1931, Died Jan 6, 1956 (great-great uncle)

Abby, I wouldn't trade all the memories and times spent there for all the best that Disney has to offer! Not me! Some of the most simple things in life, like picnics in the mountains, cannot be replaced by anything man can dream up. Be sure you carry out the tradition of going to the mountains with your children. We must plan a breakfast up there soon with the whole family. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. Love you very much.


Saturday, July 28, 2012


Dear Abby,

Papa and I have been married for 40 years today and I want to tell you about our romance. We both gave our lives to serve the Lord in ministry at a young age. We left for Bible College at eighteen and met shortly after we arrived. We really didn't have "love at first sight" because real love comes from knowing someone not just looking at them.

It didn't take long for us to realize we wanted to spend our lives together after spending hours talking about what we each wanted to do with our lives. Our main goal was to serve the Lord and tell others around the world and here at home about His love for them. Neither of us had money to spend on dates so we would go watch basketball games in the field house (gym) and talk for hours on end. Our love grew quickly for each other out of the love we shared for the Lord.

We got married before our 20th birthdays! (Hard to imagine today.) We headed down the road to life and have had many adventures together. We never looked back or regretted marrying each other. We have been through some very tough times as everyone in life does, but it increased our love for each other more.

Abby, set your heart on pleasing God and ask Him to guide you in choosing a mate. He will not let you down. You must trust Him and guard your heart with all diligence. Papa gave me a card this morning and reminded me of a verse that he and I claimed for our marriage. It is "Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together." Ps. 34:3. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Dear Abby,

I really feel impressed to talk to you about "old" people. A few generations ago the older people in our lives were treated with great respect and consideration. Some countries still place a high priority on the elderly. I was taught to be very respectful of anyone older than myself and to listen when they were speaking. When you think about it, they really have more to say than anyone else because they have lived longer and had more experiences.

When Papa plans a speaker for our church, he usually asks the older more experienced preachers to speak. The reason being he knows he can learn a lot from them. He and I have had the privilege of spending hours with older pastors and evangelists and their wives. We have taken every opportunity to ask questions and to glean from their years of experience.

I want to tell you about a Christian man that is about 104 yrs of age. To my knowledge he is still living. His name is George Beverly Shea. He has been singing for the Lord for most of his life and what an amazing voice he has! He was born in Canada into a Christian home. I think his father was a Methodist minister. He had the opportunity to have a career making a lot of money but chose to give his life in service to the Lord. He travelled and sang with the Rev. Billy Graham all over the world and saw countless numbers of people from many countries come to know the Lord. I love to listen to him sing because I know he is singing from his heart. I have listened to his testimony on YOU TUBE and been encouraged to know that this man has walked with God and found him to be faithful these many years. He has no idea how many people he has encouraged simply because he chose to serve God and stayed the course.

Abby, don't ever take for granted the "old" people in your life. Every time you get the opportunity to listen and observe one, pay attention. It may be in church or school or your home. Take the time to do a "search" of George Beverly Shea and I know you will be blessed by his testimony and his voice. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.


Monday, July 2, 2012


Dear Abby

You are on vacation with your family this week and I am enjoying just thinking about it! We were at the beach earlier this summer and if I close my eyes I can hear the ocean and feel that wonderful sense of relaxation you all are having. I just have one thing to say about your vacation with the family and that is "Enjoy every minute of it!" The memories you make together in these days of your youth will be with you forever. God has given you parents that work at making happy memories for you. He has also given you a brother and two sisters to enjoy. Have a wonderful time and savor every moment. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.