Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Dear Abby,

One of the many things I admire about Papa is that whatever he does, he gives 100 percent. He doesn't complain or fuss about menial tasks, he just gets it done. Yesterday we were priming some strips of wood for the ceiling of our porch. I do not like detailed work and quickly lost heart in it. I like jobs that go fast, not time consuming small things. I eventually went on to another job I had started earlier while he labored on. (Some would call that ADD.)

Many times in life you will be called on to do things that are not easy. You already know the difficulty of playing the piano for competition or a recital, playing sports on a team and competing in the school spelling bee. These are the things that will "grow" you. I know you don't like the stress of being in the spotlight. One of these days you will be playing for the larger crowds or making speeches in speech class in front of a lot of people. The key to getting through it is to do it as unto the Lord. You have to forget about yourself and focus on why you are doing it.

Abby, whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly. Use your music to be a blessing to others, play the game for the team. Don't let nerves steal what you have prepared to give away to others.I am looking forward to all that God has prepared for you. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.." (ECCLES 9:10).

May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.


Monday, March 19, 2012


Dear Abby,

A few years ago I read a book about one of our senators that had been captured and tortured in Vietnam earlier in his life. He was a POW for a few years before being released. He loves his country and has served it well. One thing that stood out in my mind is, that while in isolation for many hours, he rehearsed in his mind old books that he had read and movies that he had seen earlier in life. He said this is what helped him to keep his sanity during his captivity.

I began to think about what I'd do if everything was taken from me. What would I rely on to get me through such a difficult ordeal? Abby, there is no doubt in my mind that the single most important thing to get me through would have to be the scripture that I have hidden in my heart. The reason I say that is because I have already learned the significance of God's Word in my life in some of the darkest times.

You have had the opportunity to learn scripture from early childhood. Do not take it for granted or become bored with it. There is great danger in that. I challenge you to sit with pen in hand and write down all the scripture you know. Practice falling asleep while quoting scripture or while getting ready for school in the mornings. Keep it fresh in your mind and meditate on it.

God's Word will give you wisdom and direction for life. Cherish it for the treasure that it is. I heard a missionary tell of handing out Bibles in Russia. People would stand in line for hours to get a Bible and then kiss it when they got it. Americans have no idea how blessed they are to have so many Bibles available to them.

Some of the chapters I have memorized are Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Psalm 100, Psalm 121(my favorite), I Cor.13, and I am now working on Hebrews 11. There are many single verses that come to mind throughout the day depending on what may be going on at that time.

May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Dear Abby,

When you were very small your parents began to teach you "good habits." You know what I mean, things like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, cleaning your room and saying "please" and "thank yous." These are the things that help shape our character when we are small.

I would like to suggest to you a good habit to begin at this age in life is to guide your conversations with friends toward the things of God. You are at the age where God really begins to work in your heart. In every group of people there is someone guiding and setting the tone for the conversation. If we are not careful our conversations will go to the negative realm. We can always find negative things to talk about, it comes natural to us. The challenge is for someone in the group to steer the conversation to spiritual things.

Of course you want to talk about what girls love to talk about and that is fine, but be sure you monitor the tone of the conversation so that it is pleasing to the Lord. One of the ways to do that is to read good Christian books and share them with friends. Ask your friends what the Lord is doing in their lives and tell them what He is doing in yours. Ask your friends how you can pray for them.

Abby, pay attention to the conversations you have with others. See if there are opportunities for you to talk about spiritual things, if not, create them. It is a good habit to get into. When people walk away from a conversation with you, be sure they were blessed by your presence.

May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I do love and pray for you.


Thursday, March 1, 2012


Dear Abby,

When I was growing up it was very important for people to be dependable. The lessons for that began with school attendance. Tardiness was not tolerated except for something that couldn't be helped. Other areas of dependability involved appointments, jobs, volunteer work and commitments to church choir or other opportunities to serve.

The small things early in life help us with the bigger things as we grow up. If you understand the importance of being on time for school and church now, then it won't be as hard when you get a job or go to college to be dependable.

There are times in life that we are called on to do things when we don't feel like it. People today rely on feelings more than they use to. They may or may not show up for church or even a job if they don't feel like it that day. Abby, feelings should not control our lives. I am not talking about being sick. That's another story. There are many days that I have seen Papa in a lot of pain or extremely tired but he chose to go to work anyway. That is because he learned at an early age that dependability is very important.

If you join a choir, a school club, accept a babysitting job, or other commitment, be there and be there on time. Be known for your dependability. It does have its rewards. It may not involve money or recognition, but you will reap many benefits for it in your lifetime.

You've heard me quote this children's poem before:

"Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!"

May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.