Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Carrying Tomorrow's Burdens


“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength—carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”―Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie was a wise woman. She pegged worry for what it is—a robber. Unfortunately, most of us open the doors of our minds and hearts to it anyway, and let it carry off our most valuable possession—time.

As a mother, I’m most guilty of worrying about my children. I consider every angle of how to solve a situation, when I should turn the problem over to God. I’m not absolving myself of responsibly to do the best I can within my circumstances. But often I worry about things beyond my human capabilities to fix in the timeframe I want the problem solved.

In doing so, I give myself way more credit than I deserve for control over my life or those I’m worrying about.

God has challenged me on this recently. I must say, I usually fail the test before I dust myself off and request a retake. That’s when He starts dealing with my heart.

Are you a worrier?

This is what Christ had to say about worry.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34

The Bible says Jesus was tempted in all ways. Surely, worry tried to bring him down during his life. His reassuring words show that it mattered greatly to him that we not waste our time in such misery.

So what are some practical solutions to break the worry cycle?
     ·         Consciously replace the worry thought with a positive one. This is easier said than done. I know. But when I force my mind to think about what is working right in that moment, it lifts the burden of worry.
     ·         The most obvious solution is prayer. Our Father knows the worries before we give words to them. He wants us to leave our burden with Him and trust Him to carry it. Don’t return to pick it up after you’ve left it at the altar.
     ·         Call (or e-mail) a friend and share your concerns. Carrying a burden alone often magnifies it. Perhaps vocalizing the worry will diminish its significance in your mind or help you clarify how to solve all or part of the problem. If not, you have a friend praying with you for a solution and offering support.
     ·         Memorize Scripture. From my own experience, being able to recount even part of a verse helps instill peace into my troubled thoughts. Psalm 119:11-16 is a good example of how God’s Word instructs us in this process.

I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word.

If you have a prayer need you’d like to share here, please leave it in the comment section or email me confidential requests. I’d love to hear from you.

Take a moment to lift up those on the prayer list above, as well as Sgt. Jesse McCart, an American soldier wounded in Afghanistan and now in rehab. Two people from our prayer list have passed away recently. Please remember their families in your prayers. Praise reports are also listed. Enjoy the video below of "Word of God Speak" by Mercy Me.

 “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”― Mark Twain

God bless,

 © Laura Hodges Poole

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Powerful Truths of Desert Dwelling

Desert Dwelling
Who wants to live in the desert? I doubt any of you raised your hands. Last week we discussed leaving our comfort zone, sometimes not by choice, and residing in the desert or wilderness. Why is this necessary in a Christian’s life?

Despite the fact many trials are a byproduct of living in a fallen world, God can and does use trials, and yes, sometimes even orchestrates them, for our spiritual growth.

Throughout my spiritual journey (and believe me, I’m not there yet), I’ve discovered some powerful truths about the desert, as well as why it’s imperative for spiritual growth.

Sometimes your mission/calling is discovered in the desert. The desert can also prepare you for your calling.

Moses spent one-third of his life in Pharaoh’s palace and the other two-thirds in the wilderness and desert. John the Baptist chose to live in the desert. The Bible doesn’t explain why, but perhaps he found the trappings of the good life a threat to his calling. Before he was king, David spent time hiding in caves to elude death by King Saul. David’s wilderness experience surely brought him spiritual maturity and wisdom to be the next ruler of Israel.

Desert experiences often follow mountaintop experiences.

Mountaintop experiences alone don’t bring spiritual growth.

Other than his resurrection, Jesus’ most joyous moment was probably his baptism. Yet, afterwards he spent forty days in the desert (Matthew 4:1-10).

Moses had mountaintop experiences with God while in the desert, but upon leaving the mountain, he found the human condition more deteriorated each time.

Seeking only the “why” and “how” or someone to blame impedes learning the purpose of the experience.

“Do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness.” Hebrews 3:8

I recently finished reading His Desire Is For Me by Bob Emery, which underscores how pain and loss can be used by God in “order to capture some stray part of our lives that has not yet fully come under his control.” Furthermore, our journeys into wilderness are a process in which to get to know God, for “it is not in our comforts, but in our lack of them, that we are pressed to discover who he really is.”

The enemy will attack.

You-know-who will whisper in your ear that this is not your fault, you don’t deserve the trial, God has forsaken you, yada yada yada. Don’t listen. He knows what his ultimate fate is and will try to take as many souls with him as possible. He will tempt you with power, prestige, and yes, even good works. Jesus stood firm against the enemy, and in Matthew 4:11, the Bible says, “Then the devil left him…”

You’re not alone! God dwells with you there! He protects you, meets your physical and spiritual needs, and replenishes you.

The other half of Matthew 4:11 says, “and the angels came and attended him.”

God fellowshipped with Moses throughout his leadership of the Israelites. God’s counsel is recorded in several places. In Numbers 3:14: “The Lord said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai…”

“They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock.” Isaiah 48:21a

“David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.” 1 Samuel 23:14

“He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas.” Psalm 78:15

Jesus often dwelled in the desert—by choice and by calling.

Dwelling in the desert means quiet time with God. Jesus understood the necessity of lonely and barren places for spiritual maturity.

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16

“At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness.” Mark 1:12

The cross was the loneliest place on earth. Jesus prayed to avoid it and, even as he was dying, cried out, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?”

God has the power to intercede.
“Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Genesis 21:14-18
No matter how bad the situation, God is still on his throne. He has not forgotten you. Trust Him for a solution in His perfect time.

Some deserts are worse than others.

Comparing our degree of hardships with others or trying to assignment fairness to our trials is futile. We live in a fallen world. Bad stuff happens—to good and bad people. This weekend here in Anderson, a local 25-year-old man was run over by a drunk driver. His younger 15-year-old brother died in a car accident last month. His father died of cancer in June. How fair does this feel to the mother? I can’t possibly imagine. Some deserts have no explanation or reason in our human minds.

Sometimes the hard work is up to you.

Don’t hear me say something I’m not. I’m not saying take the reins from God’s hands and try to solve your situation alone. But often you can do things like returning to school to retrain if you’ve lost a job and have little hope of finding another one in your field. Perhaps you’ll have to work at a lesser paying job while you do so. But battles, whether physical or spiritual, require joining forces with the Holy Spirit to overcome.

God restores!

“He turned the desert into pools of water
    and the parched ground into flowing springs.” Psalm 107:35

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11

What a great promise!

And right now, in the good times and bad
You are on Your throne, You are God alone.

What is your desert? If you’d like prayer, please email me or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Please remember our permanent prayer list, as well as Sgt. Jesse’s McCart’s updates above. Contact information for sending postcards to him and other soldiers is listed on his page. We have several folks battling cancer. Would you take a moment to lift them up in prayer?

God bless,

 © Laura Hodges Poole

Thursday, October 18, 2012

3 Reasons to Enter Writing Contests

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” Ernest Hemingway

Writers crave positive feedback on their work. When you're a beginning writer, family members and friends often provide feedback, but let’s be real. Would they tell you if your writing stinks? It’s like singers auditioning for American Idol. In their introduction, when the contestant says Grandma thinks they sing like an angel, America cringes. I know I do. J

Writers also want recognition which could lead to publication and/or securing an agent.

Here are three reasons why writing contests can help meet these goals:

Critical Feedback

Besides joining a critique group, a great source of honest feedback is writing contests. These are easily found through a Google search or in the contest listings in Writer's Market. The best contests are linked to reliable publishers, magazines, or groups like Romance Writers of America. Avoid contests with high entry fees and no publication or critique. Some contests offer cash awards in lieu of publication or feedback. The objective is to get feedback, no matter what prize is awarded the winner.

Contests judged by published authors, agents, or editors provide valuable feedback. You couldn’t hire an editor for the amount of an entry fee, yet typically two or three critiques are included in that fee.

Seek contests with more than one critiquing judge. This gives a comparison between potentially conflicting opinions. I prefer three-judge contests because of this. Regardless of the number of judges, consider all comments carefully. Even the most stinging critique will often have kernels of truth to improve your writing. In the end, it’s your choice to toss or use the suggestions.

Place your work in front of an agent/editor

Paying $25-30 to have part of your manuscript read by a published author, an editor or agent is a great investment. Seriously, this is what you’d pay dining out. Can you think of a single restaurant meal that could top an agent’s critique? You’ll have to tell me where, so I can eat there. J

If the contest has more than one round, the final judges are usually acquisitions editors and agents. In addition to their critique, they sometimes request a full manuscript after any revisions. This is your chance to shine! The process doesn’t always lead to a contract, but it’s a good start.

You might become a finalist or even win!

Last, but not least, enter a contest because your manuscript might be good enough to outshine the competition. You could win! This will add credibility to your writing career and perhaps land a contract or nice cash prize. Simply being a finalist also adds a writing credit to your résumé.

So what are you waiting for? Get to work! Polish that manuscript and find a contest to enter.

Now, it’s your turn. Have you ever entered a contest? If so, what was the experience like?

© Laura Hodges Poole

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Residing Outside The Palace

Palace Living
Remember the old TV show “I Dream of Jeanie?” Suppose you were Larry Hagman’s character, Major Anthony Nelson. You’ve found the magic lamp and the genie has given you three choices of where you can live:
  • A palace
  • The desert
  • The wilderness
Which did you choose?

Don’t get too comfortable. J

Now the genie reveals you must leave your first choice and pick from the other two. This is actually where you’ll live.

Not fair?

“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor…Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian.” Exodus 2:11, 15b.

Moses spent four decades in Pharaoh’s palace, enjoying Egypt’s finest things. He was educated by top scholars, outfitted in royal clothes, and ate delicacies enjoyed by the elite.

What happened to change this?

Between the time Moses stepped out to watch his people and the time he fled, he killed an Egyptian. He alone created a situation in which he had no choice but to flee. However, based on the anger that flared inside of him and prompted the killing, he’d already chosen sides.

Leaving the palace was inevitable.

We don’t know what inspired Moses to step outside the palace and watch the Hebrew slaves work. Perhaps it was something he did routinely. Maybe God had been dealing with Moses’ heart about his destiny. Or he was simply restless. He was forty years old at the time. Whatever Moses’ personal reasons for jeopardizing his elite position, God had prepared him for leadership by allowing him to grow up under Pharaoh.

After forty years in the Midian desert, Moses returned to lead the Israelites out of captivity. God’s perfect will included Moses leading his people from Egypt to the Promised Land. God’s permissive will allowed Moses and everyone else involved to make choices that ultimately led to their demise.

Despite the Israelites’ disobedience, God’s objective was met—and never doubt this will happen—it always happens regardless of our disobedience. But those involved didn’t reap the harvest because they didn’t obey God with their whole heart.

Although Moses was barred from entering the earthly Promised Land, we see in Matthew 17:3, he did indeed make it to the eternal one. While our sin does not always directly connect to our hardships and trials, the original sin in the Garden of Eden does. God is a patient God, not wanting anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, we must tolerate this fallen world until He deems it time to bring believers into the new heaven and new earth.

Most of us have never lived in a palace. But if we were to reflect on our life, especially in this country, we can see the times we resided metaphorically in each of these three places.

Sometimes we’re forced from the palace by life events. God calls some of us to leave our comfort zones to go into the wilderness.

Jesus spent time in the wilderness, most notably after a joyous event—his baptism. John the Baptist made his home in the wilderness.

However we manage to arrive in the desert or wilderness, if we spend our time searching for the path to the earthly palace, we fail to learn the lesson derived from dwelling in the desert or wilderness. Because God's intention is to grow and strengthen us for His work. 

Next week, we’ll talk about how God meets us in the tough places. Meanwhile, never forget—

God dwells with us in all circumstances!

What is your wilderness? If you’d like prayer, please email me or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Your experience could be an inspiration to others struggling, as well, so please share, if you feel led.

Please remember our permanent prayer list, as well as Sgt. Jesse’s McCart’s updates above. We have several folks battling cancer. Would you take a moment to lift them up in prayer?

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We’d be held

Praise God for always holding us in His hands!

God bless,

 © Laura Hodges Poole

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Emily's Story: A Child's Battle Against Cancer

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~Winston Churchill

I’ve not seen a more remarkable attitude than that displayed by cancer warriors. Among these warriors is a 12-year-old young lady, Emily, who is battling Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. You might recognize her name since we have been praying for her on this blog.

I’m privileged to share this update on Emily, the beautiful daughter of Steve and Nicki Kempen. Steve has graciously bared his soul and feelings regarding Emily’s progress and her future below. I'm sure his words will inspire you to lift this family up in your prayers. 
The past couple of months have been extremely difficult mentally/emotionally...which is odd to me...considering that Emily has progressed extremely well. 

First, I'll update you on Emily's status, and then if you want to stick around for additional reading, I will try to add perspective to the past couple of months.

Emily is scheduled to have her Chemo Port removed from her chest and have a few of her leg wounds revised on Wednesday, October 10th, at 7:00 am EST. Even though this is supposed to be a minor procedure, compared to everything else she has endured, it is still scary, and has us (Nicki and I) nervous. As far as Emily is concerned, she is excited and ready to get the surgery finished. We would appreciate prayers for a safe surgery that does not have any complications, successfully removes the port, shows that there is NO CANCER, and revises her leg wounds so they can heal properly.

Her physical therapy has been going well. She is now placing about 40% of her weight on her left leg. Our therapist races her with his non-dominant leg, and she can hold her own pretty fact she has won a couple of the walk-abouts. Her activity level increases every day.

Emily is keeping up with the 6th grade, and taking tests from her home bound teacher. I am extremely proud to report that she has passed all tests with high marks...even though she works and manages through chemo fog. Her spirit, kindness, and determination still amazes me! Oh, and she already has more hair than me. My kindred follicle spirit has moved on...and I am happy for her! We are now trying to guess if the treatment changed her hair color...

Britanny [Emily’s twin] is adjusting well to life in Middle School, as well. Her grades are outstanding, and she has scored well in her Advanced Placement classes. Soccer has been a little rough...a lot of players have turned over, and they are learning to play together. However, the chemistry of the team is fantastic. All of the girls get along well. Hopefully, the group will understand they are in a transition phase and stick together. The potential is great.

As mentioned above, the past two months have been odd. Hearing the "all clear" on the scans, and Emily completing chemo were two of the happiest moments we have ever experienced. However, it seems bittersweet. Our lives have a new normal...and we are still trying to figure out what normal is.

My mind obsesses with the lingering question: "How do we make sure more cancer or side effects never appear?" Prayer? Meditation? Stress Relief? Diet? Exercise? Vitamins? Lucky Pennies? Investigational stuff? What do we do? Where do we go? How do we help? How can we make sure the scans are always clear? 

Last Saturday (September 29th) at 11:00PM EST, most of the Osteosarcoma Board Members joined in prayer to heal, and help all of those impacted by this deadly disease. Osteosarcoma can take many things, but we can never let it take our spirit, our hope, or our will to win! That is easier said than done. Our prayer list contained over 200 children, brothers, sisters, husbands, fathers, mothers, and friends that have battled Osteosarcoma. Some battled bravely without success, many are still battling bravely despite a difficult prognosis, some have completed round one and are optimistically moving forward (Emily), several are just getting started in their treatment, and many have beaten Osteosarcoma.

The past two months, while positive for Emily, have been difficult for many. Several Osteo Warriors passed, and several (that we are close to) received news that Osteo spread to their lungs, or that the chemo was not working well. In addition, several children that we know battling other forms of cancer earned their Angel Wings.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among children. It has been years since a new treatment has been approved for children with cancer...almost 20 years for Osteosarcoma.

Did you know that September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?

Did you know that only $1.00 of every $100.00 raised for cancer is directed toward children's cancer research? The $1.00 is then divided among the various forms of childhood cancer. I was shocked to learn of these statistics.

The past several months have been extremely busy with school, work, and activities. Some of the stuff we have experienced is so silly, trivial, goofy, utterly stupid, void of common sense, head scratching, shortsighted, or shallow...but somehow we still get caught in is that? I have no idea...but in the story of life. I think you can expect this kind of stuff will happen...and it is just noise, filler, and part of being human...all I can say is don't let the little bumps rattle you too much...and if you can, stop and laugh at some of the goofiness...

I know I get caught up in the silliness at times...yet perspectives change quickly when you realize a 12-year-old can't sleep because she is so excited to get a port removed from her chest or wants to visit children on the Cancer Floor she absolutely hated because she knows those children need friends. I am not sure how to verbalize or write the rest of my thoughts here, so I will leave the conclusion for your interpretation.

As always...THANK YOU for supporting us through prayer, support, and your kindness!

Steve, Nicki, Emily and Britanny Kempen 
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Ephesians 3:20

Father God, we lift up Emily to your grace and mercy. Place your hand upon Emily, her surgeons, and the operating room staff today. Thank you for the healing mercy you’ve already extended to her. Wrap her family in your comfort and peace during this difficult time. We admit we don’t understand the whys of cancer and other trials on this earth, but we know Who walks with us and strengthens us despite them. We give you all the praise, glory, and honor through your Son Jesus. Amen.

If you would like to leave a word of encouragement for Emily’s family, please do so. I know they would appreciate it!

Do you have a personal prayer need? I'd love to hear from you. Please share your requests in the comments section or email me confidential requests.

God bless,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crossing The Deep

Guest blogger and Christian author Kelly Martin shares her writing journey and a word of encouragement this morning. Welcome, Kelly!

1 Thessalonians 5:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

I love the title of this blog, A Word of Encouragement. I have an ‘encouragement’ blog as well: Encourage 365. I firmly believe that encouragement is needed in this life to build people up and just plan keep them going.

There are times when people who give encouragement, need to get it. I can’t speak for Laura, but I know that I get down sometimes. Thankfully, God always sends me someone to help me, give a kind word, a smile, a scripture, a word of encouragement.

My sister, Kathy, is one of those people. A little over a year ago, I decided I was going to write a book—not just a book, a novel in 30 days (Nanowrimo—National Novel Writing Month). This was a crazy idea—not only because a WHOLE novel in just a month is a hard goal, but also because I have three small kids, a husband, teach full-time, and do so much other stuff. With her encouragement, I did it.

The first draft got finished before Thanksgiving last year… and I have to tell you, it was pretty rough! (as rough drafts tend to be). With her help, I read, revised, and edited until I got it ready to send to agents/publishers. In July, I signed a contract with Astraea Press for my Young Adult/Christian book CROSSING THE DEEP to be published on Oct. 9th!

There were so many times I wanted to quit. So many crying texts to her… fussing texts… frustrated texts… worrywart texts… what if texts (actually she’s still getting those). But each time, she encouraged me to keep going.

Folks, we have no idea how far our encouragement goes.

If you see someone at the store and God tells you to tell them something, do it. It could make their day! I know it’s hard. My husband is much better at it than I am, but encouraging others is something we need to do.

The world is full of negative, violent, upsetting images/news stories; don’t you think it’s time to spread some positivity around?

Encourage each other. Say a kind word. Smile. Don’t knock anyone’s dreams. You never know what God has in store for them—and He just might have put you in their lives to get them there J

I want to thank Laura for allowing me to guest on her blog today. I truly appreciate it! If anyone reading this needs prayers or a word of encouragement, you can email me at or go to my blogs: and

When religious Rachel Harker gets lost with Asher Jenkins, a skeptic, on a church sponsored hiking trip, she expects help to come quickly. Still lost five days later, she wonders if God is listening at all. As she slowly loses her faith, Asher is forced to find his.

About Kelly Martin...~Kelly Martin is a writer, blogger, mommy, teacher, wife, sleep deprived lady (not necessarily in that order). She loves to write young adult/Christian fiction and thinks there needs to be more of it in the world. Her first book, CROSSING THE DEEP, is being released TODAY from Astraea Press. Her second book, SAINT SLOAN (also a YA/Christian novel) will be out in late winter 2013. When Kelly isn't writing, she's thinking about writing-- or watching youtube.

She can be bribed with chocolate and free ink pens.

 Follow me on twitter: @martieKay 
or on facebook: Kelly Martin, Author
OR on my blog:


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Armed With God's Strength

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
I returned Sunday night from a four-day weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with my family. We enjoyed much needed downtime. My daughter Lindsay is graduating from college in December, and my son Josh will graduate high school in June. They’re both anticipating what the next stage of life will bring. 
Lindsay and Josh
Life is defined by transition. Unplugging for a few days gave me a new perspective on my goals and commitments. Saying no has always been difficult for me, and I don’t know many writers who pass up opportunities for growth or advancement. In fact, most share a similar trait—unplugged equals rejuvenation and then it’s game on! I’m excited by my long to-do list and the ministry outreach God has set before me.

As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure. 2 Samuel 22:31-33

Think about the power behind these verses. God’s way is perfect. His word is flawless.

The God we worship is bigger than our problems. He’s on the path ahead, arming us with His strength, and keeping our way secure.

Whether you’re excited or feel defeated by the challenges that lie ahead, the simple truth is God is there!

If you are struggling to live this truth, take a few minutes to worship with Natalie Grant’s live performance of “Your Great Name/Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” You’ll be blessed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit through this song.

He is the solution for whatever you’re facing!

Do you have a particular prayer need? I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments section or email me confidentially. While you’re here, please take a moment to click on the prayer list above and lift up other requests, as well as Sgt. Jesse McCart, an American soldier who stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost part of both legs and some of his hearing.

If you have not heard about the 40 days of prayer for our nation, it began on September 28 and will continue through election day. TC Avey does a good job of explaining the purpose behind this effort. Visit her blog, "Wisdom of a Fool," for more details. 

God bless,

 © Laura Hodges Poole