Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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May God bless you in your journey of faith.

This Month's Message

By Fran Caffey Sandin

I shivered in the cold wind and pulled my coat further up around my neck. Resting on a flat bed trailer behind my grandfather’s old tractor, I noticed the stars seemed brighter than ever in the clear, frigid, spring skies. Ma told me I would freeze if I went with Pa. Now I believed her and wished for my fuzzy flannel nightgown and cozy covers.

The old tractor jerked and groaned as we repeatedly started and stopped. Trying desperately to save a fruit crop threatened by a late freeze, Pa had decided to warm the blossoming trees by placing smudge pots around them. Breathing pungent kerosene fumes and smoke, Pa’s helper, Willie, and I rode on the trailer and hopped off at each stop to place the black, flame-tipped pots. I thought we’d never finish.

We returned home very late that evening, and I felt tired and sick. Despite his own fatigue, Pa headed for the kitchen, rattled some dishes, and mixed a fresh, hot lemonade drink for us that warmed me all the way to my toes. When I finally crawled into bed, I felt good. I had helped my Pa.

The next morning Pa prayed, “Lord, give us thankful hearts for these and for all our many blessings.” It was the same prayer he prayed over every meal. Pa depended on God for everything, so I knew he meant every word.

Bright sunshine soon replaced the East Texas cold snap. But bad weather at the wrong time had greatly diminished Pa’s crop of peaches and plums, a major source of his income. As a grade-schooler living near my grandparents, I carefully observed their responses to various situations. In spite of adversity, Pa seemed to view the bigger picture of life. He worked hard, but like the Apostle Paul, he also seemed content in his circumstances, whatever they might be. He acknowledged God’s goodness, and he never missed a day of thanking Him for His blessings.

Long after Pa passed away, I remembered his sweet, humble spirit, and I wanted to recapture his attitude for my own brood. A grateful heart had already become more than just a memory as I tried to personalize Pa’s prayer; but prayers of thanksgiving became even more special when I grew up, got married, and had children of my own.

The words of Paul encourage me to always be thankful. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 NASB).

Dear Father, At this Thanksgiving season, let us see your love and provision at every turn, even when we may not understand our present circumstances. Let us replace grumbling and complaining with thankful hearts. Because Jesus Lives,