Why Someone Like Trump Can’t Have My Vote

In the last debate, Donald Trump was adamant that the chemical weapons didn’t exist.  Let me share with you just one reason Mr. Trump cannot have my vote.

Ring - 10th Mountain Division

Just weeks before the terrorists bombed our Twin Towers, our Pentagon, and took down planes full of people, P3 sang for the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, NY. They were the first deployed after the vicious acts of 9/11. A base active with life became a ghost town over night. I was honored to stand face-to-face with the bravest, the true heroes that fight for freedom. They believe all lives matter, including the generations ahead.

Many… many months later, we were back in Fort Drum, NY. We were off base, but we met a soldier who made it home. Visibly hurt by what he was hearing in the American media, he told me of the weapons of mass destruction they found. He told me about the massive drums of nerve agent they found and the shells it was to be loaded into. He told me about how innocent civilians were gassed, like how we spray a bug with Raid. Masses of people were being paralyzed and dying slow deaths because their own government was drenching them with chemicals.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  – John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

Just because the chemical was not loaded into the shells near it doesn’t mean they didn’t find the weapons. But hey, if it works to win a political war to say they didn’t exist, go ahead. After all, many deny the evidence of all the gassed bodies of the Holocaust too.

I was heartbroken for this soldier, his family, our true heroes who never made it home, and for the thousands of innocent men, women, and children who were murdered by their own country.  Caught by my broken heart, I can’t recall the soldier’s name, but I will never forget his eyes.

I will forever be overwhelmed with the honor I received, that God chose me to share His love with the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division – our brave U.S. Army – before they deployed.

It’s human nature to want to hide from pain, but if we continue to just believe what we want to believe we will bury our own nation to the powers that “corrupts absolutely.”  I’ll believe a soldier over the U.S. media every time.  Facts matter, even when they’re painful, and especially when we vote for someone to lead our nation.

If you believe good exist, you must also acknowledge evil and fight it with absolute truth.  That is power uncorrupted.


Seneca Rocks -10th Mountain Division, Tribute


just breathe


Today I took what was most likely the longest route to my destination.  In the long slow journey I got to see and experience more than I ever could in my hurry.  Slowing down allowed me to breathe in beauty.  Today’s slowdown could make me question how much I have missed in my rushed yesterdays, but reaching back robs me of the now just as much as always reaching forward.  Sometimes, we just need to be in this moment in order to truly see it all–our yesterday, our today, and our tomorrow.



Why Not So Happily Ever After?

Not So Happily Ever After


“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails…” 1 Cor. 13:4-8a

When in a dating relationship, we’re quick to fight hard for the other person, for their happiness and well-being.  We’re conscious about being kind, polite, patient, and we give of ourselves until exhaustion forces us to surrender to our pillow for a full nights rest.  We think good thoughts, dream good thoughts, and speak good thoughts over the other person as we believe in them, hope in them, and endure with them.  “There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” that will keep us from trying to make sure the other person is happy.

“I Do!”

After the wedding, we often shift from a selfless servanthood attitude to a selfish mentality that’s more demanding.  With all their imperfections, we longed for their time, their attention, and their love, before a commitment was made, only to allow our spouse’s imperfections to dictate our level of love after the wedding.  What happens to grace after the honeymoon?

Back to real life!

The awesome and the ugly things of life were present before the week on the pink sandy beach, so why are we surprised when both the good and bad continue after?  Real life with our jobs, family, friends, and hobbies was happening before the wedding too.  So are those more beautiful than ever sunrises and sunsets that we enjoyed through the eyes of new love.  They’re still happening, even when work resumes, when the babies come, and when the in-laws show up.  So, why do we stop enjoying time with the one we pledged our heart to?  When does the shift from selfless to selfish happen, and why?  When is it that we decide not to be each other’s hero anymore?  It’s as if we can no longer be best friends once we take on the title of husband, or wife.

It happens to all of us.

Step by step, one accusing thought leads to another, and so begins the dialog in our mind.  Instead of taking the thoughts captive, we feed the attacking whispers until they grow from an accusation to a guilty verdict before the other person knows they’re even on trial.

I don't remember you looking this way before the wedding, and you smell funny!

I don’t remember you looking this way before the wedding!?!?


The rose-colored glasses get traded, not for glasses that give us clearer vision, but for ones that distort with a darkened cloud of the “What about Me?” syndrome.  The more we listen to the whispers, the more our eyes get clouded by lies.  Little by little we begin to close our heart off to the one we said we would love for a lifetime–for better or for worse.  Did we really mean, “For as long as you make me happy.”?

Could it be that we’re placing an unrealistic expectation on another person to ensure our own happiness?  That’s a lot of pressure to demand from another imperfect human being.  If we’re willing to be honest, we have to admit that we ourselves can’t even live up to some of the expectations that we demand from others.

I think unmet expectations contribute to a lot.  We build a fantasy world in our mind about what life will and should be, and then we choose to live there instead of in reality.  After all, we always get to be right in our personal fantasy land.  Getting real with ourself will most-likely be the first unmet expectation that will disappoint us the most.  It’s easier to look through a microscope at someone else than to look into a mirror.  If only we could step into the messiness of reality by surrendering selfishness to embrace the adventure of living life together–with our own spouse.  If only we could find the enormous amount of courage that it takes to lay down the facade of our internal world and allow ourselves to be exposed for who we really are, a work in progress with equal amounts of imperfections as the other person.  Only then can we truly live in the land of “Happily Ever After” with the one we chose to partner our life with.

If they really knew me.

I also believe that many of us are fearful, not so much to love another person, as much as we fear being vulnerable to being loved.  The fear of letting someone get so intimately close that they can peer into our deepest thoughts and emotions scare us.  Many of us can’t accept ourself.  That leaves us fearful that no one else could either if we truly let them see us.  “I struggle with acknowledging my own shortcomings to myself, so how in the world could anyone else truly love me if they find out about…(fill in the blank)?”  We wrestle!  “If people really knew the thoughts I had to take captive, the things I get impatient over, and the things I’ve done in my past, they would never want me.”  Fear causes us to lock up our heart.  It causes us to demand the position of control.  Fear is a deadly enemy of trust and is a dark smoke-screen to truth.  Sadly, there are many marriages that exist only in the smoke.  They never come to know the freedom of living in the light of truth and trust.

When fear screams at us to run and hide, to push others away or control the boundary lines of how close they can get, let’s remember that it is satan that is the accuser of the brethren.  He not only accuses others but he is also the one who is reminding us of our own past mistakes and shining the spotlight on our own personal flaws.  This is the very moment we need to draw strength from God to face our past.  Remember, Jesus has already redeemed it.  Once we can accept God’s love and forgiveness, we will be free to acknowledge the areas we are still needing to grow, and grow we will, like a flower fully exposed to the sun.  If the accuser can’t get us to self-loath, then he will do his best to blind us to what others do for us by shining a spotlight on what they don’t do.  But, if we can come out of hiding from ourself, then we won’t be so quick to push others away as they work through their own imperfections and fears.  Grace can abound after the preacher pronounces two people “Husband and Wife”, and Ever After can be happy.

Happily Ever After starts today.

In the middle of the dishes, the house repairs, the screaming babies, and the hard to please bosses, we can choose to find the beauty of real life.  Sure, life gets hard, but in the hardships let’s not fail to see the truth.  We are a part of a great adventure.  We are laying a legacy for future generations.  Our actions and reactions today can cause a ripple effect that will last for many lifetimes to come.  Today, I can choose to love all the wonders that are before me – today – or I can slip away into my internal world and live a lifetime of lies.  If we live too long affected by the “What about me?” syndrome, we will die never knowing the elation of true intimacy–to know and be known.  The legacy we pass on will be a cloud of fearful smoke.

The choice is mine.  I can leave a legacy of love and commitment, or one of selfish ambition and deceit.

Married or single, let’s thank God for His love and for teaching us to surrender to Him.  If we can open our heart to God and allow Him to love us intimately, we’re more likely to love deeply and have the ability to receive love when it’s offered.

You never know when your part of this adventure will end, so purpose to take some time during the next sunset to reminisce about the day’s crazy adventure.  Give thanks for the one God allowed you to walk this journey with, as imperfect as you are.

God’s mercies are new every morning, so let ours be also.


Purpose to be each other’s happiness, then you can live Happily Ever After in both the awesome and the ugly things of life.

The Rhythm of His Song

The Color Of Your Song

“Did God really say?”

Those manipulative words sent a ripple of discourse through all of creation with the first Adam, and continues to question God’s rightness today.  That wily nature from the father of all lies became part of the human bloodline with the first act of disobedience against the Composer of our life-song.  Sadly, we often continue to allow that harsh sound to infiltrate His music.

We cannot tune people like a musical instrument, to do and act and sound the way we wish them to, unless we hold sway over them or dominated with persuasive words and actions.

To manipulate a person is like asking them to be a piano instead of a drum, or a sitar instead of cello.  We cause the instrument to play in the wrong frame and time, and create discourse instead of harmony.  Or worse, we cause it to play in a different composition altogether – a song it was never intended for.

Let’s be careful with our own life-song.  Let it be one of honest intent, acting in love for others.

Why do we create such a sad melody that lacks fullness of life, and the beautiful sounds and colors of the Creator’s production?  Why do we insist on ignoring the Conductor’s baton and then try to lead others around us to do the same?

Manipulation is never needed when we truly trust the Composer of our own song.  He alone knows exactly when, and where, and what measure we are to play.  He knows what other instruments we are to resound with, and when we are to share our song with them.  He also sees when a string is broken and needs repaired.  He knows when a crack tears through a woodwind and will call it aside until it can be tended to.  He allows it to rest beside Him, but He never leaves the song with a hole, He fills the gap with Himself.  He sees, hears, and knows every facet of the song He has written.  He does not miss one beat, one breath, one note.  He is trustworthy.

“…for You alone know each human heart.”

He knows the song written for us and the timing in which it is to play, Jer. 29:11-13.  He knows when other instruments have caused discourse and rub against our ears and emotions, and He will fix their disruption when we let Him.  Sometimes He allows us to hear the clash of lost timing and wrong notes, so that we can recognize the harmony of His masterpiece and our need to follow His baton.

Our delay is God’s perfect timing.

Trust Him.  Do not fear.  Don’t get anxious and rush the timing, Phil. 4:6-7.   The rhythm of His song is never off.  A musical rest does not mean that your song is over.  If another instrument seems to be playing on and you’re feeling left behind, hang on, because you’ve only come to a rest.  Waiting and counting the rhythm is a very important part of the music.  You have not been overlooked.  The Conductor will direct you with very detailed precision.  Timing is everything to keep the melody and harmony beautiful and strong.  So take a deep breath, rest, and keep counting the beats, keep watching the hand that holds the baton, and soon you will be led to sing and play your beautiful part again – to be heard.

If you can think of and dream about the beautiful life you wish to live, how much more lovely can God’s song be for your life, Matt. 7:11?

“Did God really say?”

Yes!  He has given us promise after promise of His goodness and love for us.  Search for Him in His word.  Get to know Him and learn His limitless love for you.  When we know Him we can’t help but trust Him.  When we trust Him we no longer feel the need to rush the rhythm of His song, nor do we try to manipulate others to do the same.

Will You Trust Him?


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Be watching next week for more thoughts from my Israel trip.

Thankful For The Loss of My Blueberry!

“If you are faithful in little things…” – Luke 16:10a

I was so sad,

the moment I dropped the delicious plump blueberry down the sink.

Lost My Blueberries!

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

But then my frown turned upside down, because I had a blueberry to drop.

A change of perspective!

I lost, but I had something to lose.

I failed, but I had the ability to try.

I hurt, but I had someone to hurt me.

Perspective can change everything, and that change of perspective will soon unfold the loss to see the gain.

“…you will be faithful in large ones.”

I lost, will soon be I possess.

I failed, becomes a second chance.

I hurt, will turn to I love again.

The question is, will we accept change when it comes?  I believe we will have the courage to accept the coming new, if we can look beyond our present loss and see the treasure in the trial now. 

So yes!  I am thankful for the loss of my blueberry.  Its loss gave me new sight.

Have you ever had the experience of losing a blueberry?


It’s not about denying our pain, it’s about letting our pain grow us and not imprison us.

Coming Soon.  Except – “My I rise above being dumb as sheep to soar with the wisdom of the winged.”

A Bunch of Fat-Happy and Well Dressed Little Robins

In all of this week’s busyness, I’ve finally found time to sit down and write.  As I paused in thought and looked out my window, suddenly my front yard became filled with a bunch of Robins.  I watched them.  Even after a very long and extremely cold winter season, they are fat and covered with thick warm feathers.  “That’s just like God”, I thought.

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?” – Matthew 6:26

No matter how long your winter season seems to be lasting, be at rest.  God will provide even more for you than the happy and well fed birds that fill my yard this chilly February morning.

Take a moment to pause.  Look around and see how good God is.  You too may be surrounded by a bunch of fat-happy and well dressed little robins.  Let them testify to the faithfulness of our loving Creator.

Pause.  Look.  Breathe.  Rest.  “Are you not of more value than they?”

~ Shannan

It’s ironic that my next blog also involves birds.  A short except from it, “My I rise above being dumb as sheep to soar with the wisdom of the winged.”

Redefining Courage

Extreme Mouse

This Life Takes Redefining Courage.

I met an older gentleman, Mr. Russell Stubbs, on one of my four flights this past weekend.  He was 40 years my senior.  I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation as Mr. Stubbs shared stories of his family with me.  He was married 51 years but knew his bride since the 6th grade.  They raised their children together, and those children gave him five grandsons.  All five grandsons still call and text their grandfather almost every day.  One of his grandsons asked him to pin his stripes on him during an honorary ceremony for the Air Force.  Another researched and had his grandfather ordained, just so he could have his granddad marry him and his new bride.  When this Grandfather sends a text message to these five grown men, they almost always text him back within 15 minutes.

Family, through all the ebbs and flow of life, is still one of the most powerful forces.

Mr. and Mrs. Stubbs had emotional presence and stay power.  They walked life’s journey together, through the sunshine and the storms.  Mrs. Stubbs went to heaven 5 1/2 years ago, and Russell shares what he still believes to be most valuable.  What does Russell share about his life?   He shares the true successes – the years with his wife, his kids, and now his grandkids.  Very little was said about the things they accumulated and the achievements it took to gain those things.  No.  What Mr. Stubbs smiles at today is his true treasures, a legacy of what’s real and lasting – his family.

With all the redefining of words that’s going on in our nation today, let me be so bold to redefine a word.  Courage.

Bungee jumping.  Speedboat racing.  Running with the bulls.  Or, business, business, business.  They may all take some form of courage, but being risky is not always courageous.  Staying is courage.  Being present both physically and emotionally takes more courage than any free-fall sky diving, or extreme sport that catapults you miles above any solid foundation.

Be it physical or emotional anybody can run, but few can stay.

“They walked life’s journey together, through the sunshine and the storms.”  Stay Power.  Now that’s extreme.  That’s courageous!

Old Couple Holding Hands

Oh Wait Just Minute!  Check This Out!

The Definition of Courage: Merriam Webster Dictionary  

The ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous –  Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Example – “Sometimes when I debate whether to risk my individuality or conform, the memory of my son’s picture brings me courage.” —Sue Monk Kidd, Reader’s Digest, August 1990

I may not need to redefine the word courage, just be reminded what it already means.  Thank you Mr. Stubbs for your reminder!

Stop Being So Humbly Noble

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best… and put it on him… Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” – Luke 15:22-24

A few years back a friend came into my life who had so much potential at greatness.  He is creative in ways that make some of us jealous, but he forfeits his talent and hides behind a smokescreen of success in the business world.  As our friendship deepened, I realized he was overcome with guilt and shame over his past mistakes.  He felt paralyzed, unable to move forward with his life.  Although he was a Christian and had repented for his sin, he refused to receive the redemption Christ’s sacrifice offered him.  Sadly, he continues to wander today, refusing God’s great love and forgiveness.  He has, not God, condemned himself to a prison of loneliness, and keeps those who try to love him locked outside the stonewall he’s built around his heart.  He builds his walls with the excuse that others deserve better than who he really is, but in reality he’s buying into the lie that he’s shameful instead of redeemed.  It’s as if he has said, “Christ’s sacrifice is enough for everyone else, but not for me.”

I wonder how often we forfeit our blessings because of fear or self-condemnation?  How often do we become a martyr for self in the name of nobility, or try to pass off the good that comes our way with false humility?  “But you don’t know what I’ve done and the places I’ve been!”  We chime.  It’s true that there are consequences for our actions, but there is also redemption.

Have you been The Prodigal Son?  Don’t stay in that mindset.  The Father stands waiting to receive you and ready to bless you with all the abundance heaven has to offer.  Your gifts belong only to you.  In God’s kingdom, which is here now and tangible, there is more than enough for all of His children.

Redemption – To release from blame or debt.  To get back.  To change for the better.

Bag Over Head

Why do we run?  Why do we hide?  Are our decisions fear based or are we being a martyr for a less than noble cause?  Passing off our blessings to someone else simply because we feel unworthy is handing them less than God has for them.

There’s nothing noble or courageous about denying the good God is offering us.  No, the truth is we are just masking a darker part of our soul that’s stating that the cross is not enough – for me anyway.

Noble – Humbly accepting all that is offered and walking faithfully forward despite what lies behind.  (Shannan’s definition)

Have you trusted God and accepted His Son, Jesus?  Then why disregard any other portion of His word?

“Those who come in through me will be saved.  They will come and go freely and find good pastures.  The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life – in all its fullness. – John 10:9-10

His mercies are new every morning, so accept all He is offering you, a rich and satisfying life.”

What fears haunt you in the secret places of your mind?  What is it that you fear others will find out?  What regrets keep you running from others and from yourself?


Are you ready to stop letting the enemy lie to you and steal from you?  Then stop keeping a record of your wrongs.  Stop letting pain dictate who you are and isolate you.  I dare you to let Love swallow it up.


“Love will never condemn you for being lost, but love will not let you stay there alone, even though it will never force you to come out of your hiding places… love is opposed to everything that is hurting you and keeping you from being free.” – Cross Roads, by WM. Paul Young

Stop being so humbly noble.  Living takes courage.  Are you ready?


I refuse to rebuild walls.  I choose to risk all again, because every step, every stumble, and every loss, leads me to greater gain – truly living.

~ Love Is Worth It ~

Are You Ready To Leave Familiar?

He's Making All Things New

Picture the place where the seed was laid.  The place where the enemy of your soul told you that you are any less than a beautiful masterpiece with great purpose.  Now see that God has hold of that weed and is ready to uproot it.

Are you ready to let go of familiar?

The uprooting process will be painful for a moment, but what God wants to plant in its place is radiant.  The pain will be brief, like a surgical procedure, but beyond it is a life filled with laughter.

Meditate on the moment the lie was planted.

Acknowledge the pain and why your reaction was helpful to you as a child.  You did your best to get through that time and the coping mechanism helped you to survive.

But now that reaction has become destructive as an adult.  The walls you’ve built around your heart not only keep people from harming you further, but they also keep you from the blessings God so longs to give to you now.

Let God transform your mind as He has your heart.  Let Him love you.

Now let Him be the first to dance with you in your new season of absolute freedom as He hands you your heart’s desire.

Picture the place where the seed was laid.  Now picture it never taking root.

God Redeems!  He can make it better than it was before the painful season.

Are you ready to leave familiar?


Living Forward and Loving Deeper – 2013

Letting God

Untie The Knot

Untie The Knot 2

Face it.

Let God shine His light on it.

Ask yourself what it is about the memory that holds you captive.

Is it joyful?  Pain-filled?

Then thank Him or release it to Him.

You can only be free today if you’re willing to deal with yesterday.  Be courageous.  Go there and untie the knot.

Momentary discomfort can birth a lifetime of Joy!


Walking Forward Victorious and Loving Deeper, 2013!

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