Friday, June 22, 2012

LASTING LOVE - from Youth to Old Age

I think it's always touching to see an old couple who obviously care deeply for each other. My own mum and step-dad were very special to me and I loved the way they interacted with each other. And only yesterday I saw a couple who had celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. What a wonderful success.

In a time when divorce is all too easy, we should ask what these folk did to hold onto such an amazing lifetime commitment. Of course there are always exceptions when abusive behaviour or betrayal happens, but how does the average couple guard against this?

The old axiom, "the family that prays together, stays together," is a step in the right direction. Because the fact that the closer each gets to God in our daily lives, the closer we come to our beloved partner. And there are so many ways we can stay true to our wedding promises to love and cherish each other. Sometimes it's just too easy to hurt the one you love, and that's where saying sorry and forgiveness plays a huge part in cementing the matrimonial bonds. The following story points out this truth:

 It was a busy morning when an elderly gentleman arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was n a hurry as he had another appointment at 9:am. I saw him looking at his watch and decided since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

It had healed and the sutures were removed and his thumb redressed. While taking care of him, I asked him did he have another doctor's appointment because he was in such a hurry. The gentleman said no, but he needed to go to a nursing home to have breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me she had been there awhile because she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.
He replied that she no longer knew him and had not recognized him for five years. I was surprised and asked, "And you still go every morning even though she doesn't now who you are?" He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

True love is neither simply physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

* I give my thanks to my second cousin, Kerry Minto, for this lovely example of true, long lasting love.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Lynne Gentry knew marrying a preacher might change her plans. She didn't know how ministry would change her life. This author of numerous short stories and dramatic works travels the country as a professional acting coach and inspirational speaker.

Lynne lives in Dallas with her husband Lonnie and counts spending time with her two grown children and their families her greatest joy.Lynne is also the co-founder of The ECHO Project, a humanitarian organization dedicated to being the voice of those who have no voice in Africa. She and Lisa Harris are working toward making a difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor in a dark part of the world.

This girl who grew up on a Kansas dairy farm never wanted to be a writer, but she has always been a storyteller. Her mother called it "Selling wind in a bag." Lynne started out writing plays and skits. Then in a moment of sheer insanity, she decided to take a stab at writing full-length novels. Reinventing Leona is one of her keep that in mind when you read it.

Lynne can milk a cow, drive a tractor, organize a banquet, prepare a kid for that first professional acting audition, or sit across the table and enjoy a cup of coffee with you.

She counts her thirty-year marriage and her two wonderful children as her greatest accomplishment.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Lynne.  Look up her name on Google to discover more! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Throughout her life, JoAnn Barnett was always amazed that God would take a quiet young girl from Grand Rapids and allow her to be the instrument that touched  so many lives. When others praised her accomplishments, she was quick to point out that all the good in her came from God. Even in the most difficult times of her life, she rested in her faith that He was in control. Whether as a missionary worker, a music minister, or as a wife and mother, JoAnn joyfully served others with all her heart.

* Strongly called to mission work, she offered her musical talents to a young couple, Les & Martha Nixon, who were leading a ministry in Australia. In the coming months, JoAnn travelled throughout the land, accompanying them on the piano and organ as they spread the Word of God.

While in Australia, JoAnn met a young man named Graham Barnett while helping out at a beach ministry. The two got along very well, but Graham was still in school and JoAnn was moving around a lot in the course of her work. She played for Billy Graham at his Australian Crusades for a time, but soon returned to the States. Back at home, she helped to organize events for Youth For Christ in Chicago. In the early 1960s, JoAnn had an opportunity to return to Australia once more. While there, she ran into Graham again, and this time the young couple started dating. Romance soon deepened into love, and JoAnn and Graham realized that they never wanted to be separated again. On January 10, 1963, JoAnn and Graham were joined in marriage, beginning a loving and committed relationship that would last for almost fifty years.  After their wedding, JoAnn and Graham visited Michigan briefly before moving to England, where they would live for the next three years.

The next stop for the Barnett family was Australia, where JoAnn and Graham were blessed by the birth of their first child, Mandy. They then moved to Michigan, where they would finally settle down. Dr Graham Barnett completed his education and starting working, while at home the family grew to include Daniel and Hayley. JoAnn was a wonderful mother, and temporarily set aside some of her outside commitments so that she could focus on caring for her young family.

On January 17, 1986, JoAnn was diagnosed with cancer, and her family was shocked to learn that she was only expected to live two more years. Even in this, what must have been one of her darkest hours, JoAnn put all of her trust in the Lord, meekly accepting whatever he chose for her life. Although she had some difficult times, JoAnn was blessed with another twenty-six years of life. JoAnn remained active as a “prayer warrior,” continuing to grow in her faith to the very end.

JoAnn Barnett was a compassionate, generous and selfless woman, who truly spent her life serving others, and thus serving the Lord. Her infectious laugh and beautiful music brought joy into the hearts of the countless people whose lives she touched.

Yes, dear JoAnn is sorely missed by her family and friends, but I have a feeling right now she's occupied in making even sweeter music to her Lord in Heaven!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Good Things Come in Small Parcels

I was born in Sri Lanka many light years ago,well shall I say...a
Anusha, Shan, and son Asela
 long time before this digital age. In spite of that fact I am delighted I am alive and kicking in the 21st century world – where websites abound, where communication is dead easy, where I can type my letters and articles and books rather than write them, where a letter to family and friends is only a simple click away! In January 1999, my husband and I and our then eight year old son migrated to Australia. We are now blessed to have two beautiful islands we call home.

I stand at exactly 5 feet and a half inch all. To compensate for my lack of inches, I married a man who is 6 feet tall! I love the finer things of life, including good food and especially chocolates! I am passionate about many things; life, love, family, friendship, music, books, the beauty of creation, writing and much more! My greatest passion is Jesus and the difference He has made in my life.

Why do I write? Because I feel impelled to. When I write, I know I am doing what I was born to do. I write because I have this message to share. It is simple: Jesus loves me and He loves you. His love is Eternal and His love never fails. The love of Jesus is my song. His love is my anchor. His love is my guiding star. He keeps me afloat when the world is soggy and the rainclouds form. His love is my hiding place. I have experienced His love over many years. It only gets better with time.

Thanks Anusha. What an enthusiastic testimony of the Lord's goodness in her life.You can visit her website at