Week Twenty-Six, 2022

For I hold you by your right hand — I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. Isaiah 41: 13

He is the Creator of the universe, yet knows our name. He threw the stars into the sky, yet God knows and cares when we cry at night, or when we worry about something in our lives. He holds us tight when we lose someone we love, or when the world seems too overwhelming, and we feel too weak to move on. Our God always does that. Showing us in those moments, that He knows where we are and what we’re going through. And that He cares.

As the story has been passed down to us, President Abraham Lincoln was known to often visit hospitals to talk with the wounded soldiers during the Civil War. During one of his visits, the doctors pointed out a young soldier who was near death, and President Lincoln went to be with him at his bedside.

The President asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” The soldier obviously didn’t recognize President Lincoln, and with some effort he was able to whisper to him, “Would you please write a letter to my mother?” A pen and paper were provided, and the President carefully began writing down what the young man was able to say.

“My dearest mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty. I’m afraid I’m not going to recover. Don’t grieve too much for me, please. Kiss Mary and John for me. May God bless you and father.”

The soldier was too weak to continue, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and added …… “Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln.”

The young man asked to see the note and was astonished when he saw who had written it. “Are you really the President?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” Lincoln replied quietly. Then President Lincoln asked if there was anything else he could do for him. “Would you please hold my hand?” the soldier asked. “It will help to see me through to the end.”

In the hushed room, the tall gaunt President took the boy’s hand in his and spoke warm words of encouragement until death came.

God is always as close to us as the President was to the soldier. And He is never closer to us than when we’ve been shipwrecked, crippled or hurt by life. Always holding our hand. He is there when the circumstances of our days, or the unknown things lurking just around the corner drive us to the edge of despair, as we wonder which way to go.

He understands and He knows the way. And He will always be with us, wherever we are, and wherever we go, holding our hand

.- Scott Whitaker



Following a twenty-year career in the Marine Corps, Joseph A. Kennedy was hired in 2008 as assistant football coach for the varsity and head coach of the junior varsity squad at Bremerton High School near Seattle, Washington. Soon after, he began kneeling to pray at the fifty-yard line after each game. After a few games, some of his players asked to join him and players did.

His post-game prayer continued for several years, but, in 2015, Bremerton’s athletic director told Kennedy his prayers were against the rules. He refused to stop and was placed on leave; the school district did not rehire him for the following season. Recently, First Liberty defended Coach Kennedy before the US Supreme Court.

Critics allege that the prayers were public, not private, and that the coach was acting coercively in his professional capacity. By contrast, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Coach Kennedy explained his position and the stakes involved: “Unless the US Supreme Court rules in my favor, teachers could be fired for praying over their lunch in the cafeteria if students can see them. That doesn’t seem like the Constitution I fought for in the Marine Corps.

“I just want to be back on the field with my guys, building a team to accomplish a mission. I hope the Supreme Court agrees.”

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The New York Times is profiling a movement called “fictosexuals.” These are people who consider themselves married to a fictional character, whether a doll, a character in a video game, or a similar “person.” One person who “married” a doll wants us to know that as artificial intelligence and robotics allow for more profound interactions with the inanimate, the number of fictosexuals is likely to increase.

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Harvard’s “Study of Adult Development” followed two groups of men over eighty years to “identify the psychosocial predictors of healthy aging.” Beginning before World War II, they interacted with over seven hundred men as they scrutinized blood samples, performed brain scans, and collated surveys.

According to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of the research project, “The clearest message that we get from this eighty-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”



When you know firmly what your mission is, it creates passion. Coach Tom Allen

We cannot work our way into heaven, but we are justified by our faith. Cindy Heiberg

We cannot allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear. Max Wilkins

Well begun is half done. Aristotle

The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates

America is the most anxious nation on planet Earth. Kelly Knouse

Rest is a weapon given to us by God. The enemy hates it because he wants us to be stressed and occupied. Elizabeth Elliott

The cross is in the sign of a plus, not a negative. We don’t judge our religion by what we don’t do. We judge our God by adding Jesus to our life.

We are all creations of God, but not all of us are children of God. Jo Mo Cousins

All of the world’s problems could be solved if men would do what God has called them to do. Chris Dodson

God is inviting you to a rich, abundant life – a life with Him. Will you accept the invitation? Will you come? Dan Shock