Saturday, November 23, 2013

National Adoption Day

Today, November 23, 2013 is National Adoption Day. We have two very special boys in Children's Church who were recently adopted by Buddy and Melissa. God adopts each one of us. We become his child. We are all adopted by God. We are so excited that Daniel and Isaiah legally belong to Buddy and Melissa.
Here is the lovely family with cousin Michael.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day 2013

As most of you know, every Veteran's and Memorial Day I post a writing from Lynn Murray, a colleague of my mom's. This is his final writing before he retires.  Hope you all enjoy.  LuAnn

For the past several years I have taken the liberty to remind you of the significance of both Veterans Day and Memorial Day.  As this is the last of those reminders before I retire, I wanted to make an attempt to explain why I have shown up in your inbox just prior to Veterans Day and Memorial Day over the past several years.

I have sometimes quoted parts of the American Creed that states "I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies".  Those words very much represents the way I feel about this great county we live in, but the sentiment expressed in those words is only part of why I do this.
Another phrase I have almost always used is one we all have heard numerous times; ‘Freedom is not Free’.  Having come of age during, and served in, Vietnam I knew what seems like more than my share of young men who paid the ultimate sacrifice and made that phrase more than just words to me.  Charlie Ayers was a high school and college classmate whose flag draped coffin was my first real encounter with the sacrifices so many brave young American’s have made over the course of our country's history. Charlie's mother was another victim of Vietnam.  She was never the same after his death.  I do believe that the loss of a child is one of the most difficult things a person can endure,  Charlie's mother, Ona Lee Ayers, pain was more difficult than most that find them self in that circumstance, and she struggled with the loss of her son until her own passing.

Another group that I want us never to forget are those ordinary young men and women who answered their country's call and were wounded in action.  Many times those wounded in action live out the rest of their life with very painful emotional and physical scars.  Ironically, Charlie had two neighbors, Danny Knight and Jack Sauceman, who fall in that category.  Both suffered wounds in Vietnam that are still visible more than 40 years later.

So my last patriotic reminder to you is a bit longer and a lot more personal than some of the others I have sent, but I wanted you to have some sense of why I have done this.  There have been, and will continue to be, countless Charlie's, and Danny's, and Jack’s in every generation.  I just wanted to do my part to make sure you never forget the human sacrifice that has made this country so great. 

As we remember all our Veterans this weekend I would leave you with the words of a song that goes to the heart of Veterans Day and Memorial Day; ‘All gave some, some gave all’.

Never Forget.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall in the Smokies at

Hope you enjoy this video. This is the Children's Church visit to the pumpkin patch, a look around the area, and Youth Sunday.