Friday, May 25, 2012


Dear Abby,

When I was growing up I thought my parents were not afraid of anything. Because of that, I never had a fear of storms or people or life in general. ( Except for those huge palmetto bugs, lizards, spiders and other critters the South is so infamous for!) I do remember when horror movies became popular and occasionally I was allowed to go see one with friends. (I have no idea what my parents were thinking.) That is when I would struggle with fearful thoughts. Even today I cannot allow myself to watch things that involve murders and frightful evil.

There are a lot of "what-ifs" in this life. Your mind must be protected as much as any other aspect of your being. It's not that we should bury our heads in the sand and ignore what is going on in the world, but we are instructed in PHILIPPIANS 4:8 to think about things that are" honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report." The only way to do that is to guard our minds. Be careful about what you read, watch and who you listen to.

If you do become fearful of anything, ask God to help you to overcome it. You can quote scripture and pray for peace of mind. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:7) Abby, a "sound mind" is what every Christian should have. Guard it and nurture it as you do your body. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. Much love and prayers go out for you.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Dear Abby,

I am sure by now you have come to realize that life on earth is all about submission. We are all under the authority of someone at all times. It is necessary to have an order to things if life is going to be productive. Within your home, your parents have the authority over you and your siblings. At school, teachers have authority over the class. In government, we have those in authority to help keep law and order in our land. There must be a method to the madness lest chaos reign.

God is the one that established the idea of authority. Romans 13:1 says "the powers that be are ordained of God." It goes on to say if we resist the powers over us, we are resisting God's design for our good. We need to follow the design that the Creator gave us.

I read this definition of submission: "One equal, voluntarily placing himself under another equal, that God may be glorified." That really puts things into perspective! When I choose to submit to those over me, I bring glory to God with my life. We all have a choice to make. Should I have a submissive spirit (not to be mistaken for weakness) or should I go through life doing as I please and no one better get in my way!

Papa and I talked about this subject a few days ago. He began to name people who are examples of those "under authority." He also named some that he felt did not have an attitude of submission in their daily walk. We should be known for our submissive spirit. Our attitudes and actions tell all. The opposite of this would be "pride and arrogance."

Abby, you cannot go wrong with an attitude of submission. You understand the difference in that and weakness. It takes more character and strength from God to be under authority than it does to be rebellious and prideful. Ask the Lord to give you that submissive attitude that will bring glory to Him. Your life will run much smoother if you do. May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Dear Abby,

I read this quote by Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador, written about 60 years ago: "Wherever you are, be ALL there!" The first thing I thought of was how frequently I am looking at the top of someone's head because they are looking down at a phone, iPad, or some other device. When Jim wrote this quote he didn't have this technology so he was referring to giving your attention to people regardless of the era you live in.

My point for you is to "be present when you are present!" (You can quote me on that one.) It is so important to give people our full attention when we are with them. We don't know what opportunities we are missing by zoning out or looking down at something all the time. We should not be walking around with a phone in our hand all the time as if our life depends on the next text or phone call we may receive!

Your generation will have to learn to put those things aside when you are in the presence of others be it church, family meals, or just visiting with friends. If you don't learn the appropriate time to use these, you will be robbed of deep intimacy that comes from face-to-face communication with people in your life. You will be like a bunch of marbles bumping into each other all the time.

So what will you choose to have people know you for? Will it be the top of your head or your sweet face and smile? Abby, wherever you are, be ALL there! May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. I love you very much.