You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Larry & Lea’ category.

Grandma’s Apron

I don’t think our kids know for sure what an important role grandma’s apron played in history. It was like a badge of honor to wear it. It showed how capable the girl or woman wearing it was to handle whatever challenges came along.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath while she tended to keeping her home. It was a part of her everyday wear; a practice she had started when she was a child.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood-fired cook stove. Still, she smiled when she thought of how much better that was than the open fireplace her grandmother had to cook in!

That apron also served as a handy potholder for retrieving hot casseroles from the oven, or those heavy iron skillets from the stove top. It was essential for gripping those pesky caps screwed on the glass jars of food she canned and stored earlier.

It carried in all sorts of vegetables she pulled from the garden. After the corn was shucked, the peas shelled, or the beans snapped, it was handy for carrying out the waste.

On the return trip it carried in wood chips and kindling for the kitchen stove. Sometimes it carried in a piece or two of firewood just to keep the fire going until the men got back up to the house.

From the chicken coop, it carried in that morning’s eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven of the cook stove.

In the spring, the apron was used to bring in sweet berries, and in the fall, delicious fruit from the trees out in the yard. On cool mornings grandma wrapped it around her arms to still the chill while she got the wood fire going.

Toward evening, when dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron real high, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

When unexpected company drove up the dirt road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds! And, as the dust settled, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids as they snuggled in close.

But perhaps the most wonderful role it played was drying children’s tears, or draping over their shoulders for comfort, cleaning out dirty ears, or applying just a little spit to clean a dirt streaked cheek.

It was certainly a simpler time, when grandma’s “old-time apron” was arguably the most versatile and comforting device in memory. It once symbolized everything good about the safety zone of the American home; love, devotion and skill at everything from cooking to medicine and home management to child psychology.

No, our kids can’t know what a wonderful thing grandma’s apron was, but they’ll go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on it!

(I don’t think I ever heard of anyone catching anything bad from grandma’s apron . . . . )

PRAISE GOD! I give thanks today on so many levels for SO many blessings our family has received! God’s shower of blessings for Lea and myself during and following her illness have just been absolutely humbling. Even though Lea’s medical expenses left us financially devastated His provisioning for us has been constant and steady. Along the way we have found a much better relationship with Him, with each other, and with our service in a local church body.

I am greatly relieved that the Indiana house Dottie & Dave purchased to provide for our needs has indeed been sold. The house was certainly a perfect blessing for us, and its provision was one of the most generous acts I have ever heard of. I know the Lord has arranged for their compensation, and Lea and I feel an undying gratitude, and love them all the more. The house again became a solution when my mother suddenly needed help with housing.

Just as that occurred, the Lord opened a door for Lea and me to relocate to Texas for the next phase of her recovery. We were led to a fine doctor who accepted the special challenges of Lea’s medical needs, we were provisioned a lovely rental home in a delightful setting in close proximity to my younger son’s family, and I was able to continue the part time consulting work that helps with expenses. Lea has found a renewed sense of purpose in caring for our new grandson, and her mental progress has been amazing since we relocated

She now has accepted the fact that it is unlikely that she will ever have her abdominal ventral hernia surgically closed, and that she will have to wear an elastic binder that reaches from her hips to her shoulder blades 24 X 7. The joy of caring for the grandson, and seeing God’s wonders reflected in his development, has been the best medicine for her and has lifted her from the troublesome place her mind resided prior to our move. Again, the Lord provisioned for our needs according to His plan!

When Lea’s illness devastated our financial reserves, we sorrowfully abandoned the lifestyle we had enjoyed, and just got down to the basics of survival. Back then Lea still had an active fistula draining pancreatic fluid onto her new skin graft over her bowels, which had been left exposed by her many surgeries. Her medical needs were intense.

Her physical weakness caused her to be confined to a wheelchair or walker, her mental acuity was very poor due to the addictive narcotics she was taking to control her constant pain, and her emotional state was tremulous at best. Providing a continual flow of positive experiences, and protecting her from negative ones, was a constant requirement, since it could take her days to recover from mental anguish.

Over time, as she continued to heal, she was able to reduce the amount of narcotics she needed to offset the pain and was able to get back to meal preparation, which is one of her favorite activities. She improved physically, too, and eventually was able to progress from using a walker to a cane, which affords better mobility. Even though she subsequently had knee joint replacement surgery, the implant was not entirely successful, and she still has to use a cane to maintain her balance. Perhaps some day we will have that surgically corrected, but she isn’t ready to consider that yet.

We are becoming active in our local church as her health permits, and really enjoy going to adult bible study on Wednesday nights. It is a delightful gathering of like-minded Christians with a prepared meal and study of the scripture led by the pastor, who has a charming demeanor and comprehensive knowledge of the scriptures. We were led to his church by our new neighbors.

We have had the privilege of getting to know our grandson’s maternal grandparents better, and delight in being able to spend time with them. They have vastly different backgrounds than our own, but we share the love for our family and a love of the Lord that has made our move here much easier. We look forward to growing closer as we all help our grandson grow in the Lord.

Looking back over the past three years, I am so glad God intervened in our lives! I had mistakenly planned for security, but God planned for spiritual growth. I had tried to build security for Lea’s retirement, expecting that I would be the first to go to my heavenly reward. He took security away to remind us that our purpose here is to prepare for eternal life. Lea and I have much less now, but have gained so much more. We no longer have financial security, and I continue to struggle with that emotionally, but we have the peace and comfort of knowing that He is moving mightily in our lives, and that His purpose for us will play out in His way in His own time.

One of my favorite hymns, Amazing Grace was made even more special for me a few years ago when I heard my daughter-in-law perform it, a cappella, during a very touching ceremony to recognize fallen Civil War era soldiers. I will never forget how beautiful her voice sounded as it echoed off the tall buildings downtown as a horse-drawn wagon passed carrying a flag draped casket.

I received a link to a video of a performance of Amazing Grace by Wintley Phipps, in one of the most profound performances I have heard. It made chills run up my back, and brought tears to my eyes, as I felt the Spirit and visualized the setting this hymn came from. I think you will enjoy it, too.

Wintley Phipps is an ordained Seventh Day Aventist minister, world-renowned vocal artist, and president of the US Dream Academy. He also founded Songs of Freedom Publishing Company and Coral Records Recording Company. Mr. Phipps has been the featured speaker and performer at many notable occasions around the world. Additional videos can be found just by searching on his name. He currently serves as Pastor of a church in Palm Bay, Florida.

If you aren’t familiar with the slave-ship-captain-turned-evangelist John Henry Newton, there is a lot of interesting information on him on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia. He was the author of many hymns, including Amazing Grace. He was born in London, the son of a shipmaster in the Mediterranean service. At the age of 11 he went to sea with his father and sailed with him on a total of six voyages.

In 1743, he was pressed into naval service, and became a midshipman. After attempting to desert, Newton was put in irons, court martialed, and received a flogging of eight dozen lashes. He went on to become enslaved himself before being freed by a friend of his father’s.

Sailing back to England in 1748 aboard the slave-ship Greyhound on the Atlantic, the ship encountered a severe storm and almost sank. Newton awoke in the middle of the night and prayed to God as the ship filled with water. It was this experience which he later marked as the beginnings of his conversion to evangelical Christianity. He later said that his true conversion did not happen until some time later: “I cannot consider myself to have been a believer in the full sense of the word, until a considerable time afterwards.”

Still, he didn’t renounce the slave trade until later in his life when he wrote a tract decrying it in aid of abolitionist sympathies. He only gave up seafaring and his slave-trading activities in 1754, after a serious illness.

Much later he published his thoughts about the African slave trade, which is quoted here:

“With our ships, the great object is, to be full. When the ship is there, it is thought desirable she should take as many as possible. The cargo of a vessel of a hundred tons, or little more, is calculated to purchase from two hundred and twenty to two hundred and fifty slaves. Their lodging-rooms below the deck, which are three (for the men, the boys, and the women), besides a place for the sick, are sometimes more than five feet high, and sometimes less; and this height is divided towards the middle, for the slaves lie in two rows, one above the other, on each side of the ship, close to each other, like books upon a shelf. I have known them so close that the shelf would not, easily, contain one more. And I have known a white man sent down, among the men, to lay them in these rows to the greatest advantage, so that as little space as possible might be lost.

“Let it be observed, that the poor creatures, thus cramped for want of room, are likewise in irons, for the most part both hands and feet, and two together, which makes it difficult for them to turn or move, to attempt either to rise or to lie down, without hurting themselves, or each other. Nor is the motion of the ship, especially her heeling, or stoop on one side, when under sail, to be omitted; for this, as they lie athwart, or cross the ship, adds to the uncomfortableness of their lodging, especially to those who lie on the leeward or leaning side of the vessel.”

John Newton went on to study theology, and went on to pastor churches and was also a prolific hymnist. So popular was his preaching that the church he pastored in Olney for 16 years had a gallery added to accommodate the large numbers who flocked to hear him. In 1767 William Cowper, the poet, moved to Olney, worshipped at Newton’s church, and collaborated with Newton on producing a volume of hymns, called Olney Hymns. This work had a great influence on English hymnology. The volume included Newton’s well -known hymns “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken”, “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds!”, “Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare”, “Approach, My Soul, the Mercy-seat”, and “Amazing Grace”.

What a blessing it is, to listen to this performance, and experience anew the thrill of God’s love!


Lea and I have been keeping very busy since relocating to Austin to be close to family that can help with Lea’s care. We have been enjoying getting to know our new neighborhood and community, finding a church, meeting new friends, and getting to be with our new grandson. It is amazing to see how he changes in just a few days, and we love to see how attentive mommy and daddy are, and how much they appreciate this precious gift. Some of our favorite times to date have been spent with his other set of grandparents, who are a joy to be around. They were both so very supportive while we were in Hartford Hospital, and their sharing and caring didn’t stop when we got home. We love them dearly, and look forward to many pleasant times together.

We have been seeing doctors since we arrived, making sure Lea’s many needs are being addressed by appropriate specialists. Our new family physician is a very pleasant young man, and is very thorough, just as Dr Miller always was. We have had lab tests, ECGs, chest X-rays, echocardiograms already, and he is going to refer Lea to an orthpedic surgeon to see what needs to be done to straighten up her leg. Even with the complete knee replacement, her leg still bends in so much that she still has a limp and has to use a cane for stability.

Yesterday, while holding Benjamin in her arms, she misstepped while turning in the bedroom, and fell to the floor. She protected him, holding him close, and fell first on her artificial knee, and then spun herself around to fall against the bed and bedside table with her back and left shoulder.  Neither of them was hurt, but she was very visibly shaken for several hours afterwards, just thinking about how quickly it had happened, and how dangerous it may have been. She still can’t handle stress well at all, and this type thing can still send her into an  anxiety attack. She was so fatigued by it all she went to bed at 8:30, and slept soundly for 14 hours!

Lea’s disability coverage under Social Security comes to an end on the 19th of this month, and she automatically will receive Medicare coverage, even though she isn’t retirement age yet. We were able to acquire a Medicare Prescription Plan for her at reasonable rates, but we are still going to hit the Medicare gap by June or July. We’re not certain Gap Insurance would be a good investment for us at this point, but any hints that additional surgery might be required this year could get us across that gap early enough in the year to make it a wise step to take.

She and I continue to enjoy cooking, and we are also checking out the local eateries as we try to have lunch out each day as a part of her mental recovery, which was originally suggested by Dr Mah, and recommended by Dr Miller. Each and every social interaction helps her regain her mental acuity, and I think we are seeing a lot of improvement in the last several weeks. It sure makes me happy when I see her social skills resurfacing, and the way she enjoys interacting with others. She has always loved people, and I have always admired how that bubbly personality of hers could dominate a room.

I continue to teach classes over the Internet in my part time job, which allows me to be at home and take care of her. But, I’m beginning to feel that I am going to have to get other work in order to get some health benefits. It sure isn’t a comfortable thought, leaving her at home alone, but simple economics may mandate that change be made. Regardless what comes down the pike at us, we know the Lord will be watching over us, and His will is what will be done.

We continue to grow our prayer list, and invite you to let us know if you would like us to add your concerns. Please take time to click on Prayer to review the prayer requests that have been added recently and still need your support. God bless!

My father, Eugene Vaughn, loved Christmas tradition. He instilled in his children, and eventually his children’s children, the blessings of family gatherings over the Christmas and New Year holidays. These times were always filled with one-on-one activities we just didn’t seem to take time for any other time of the year . . . card playing, piecing puzzles, playing Battleship, and, of course, on Christmas eve, reading of the Christmas Story from the bible.

In later years, Lea added a Birthday Party for Jesus to our Christmas eve traditions, with an elaborately decorated table filled with festive foods and snacks. It was also a time of wonderful, heartwarming, conversations, and building excitement for the youngsters present that year. Our granddaughters will never forget the excitement of receiving “Reindeer Food” that they could sprinkle in the lawn around the house, to attract Santa’s reindeer.

These traditions have great impact in the life of a youngster, and live on to bless future generations. This was never made clearer to our family than when our youngest son went off to college, and found himself yearning for those traditions. He expressed these things very eloquently in a short story he wrote and a subsequent Christmas Carol he composed to celebrate the importance of family during the holidays. Here is what he recently wrote:

“It was 1991, and I was a sophomore at Purdue University. When Christmas rolled around, I was painfully low on cash. I wasn’t sure what to do for my family for Christmas that year. I had been toying around with a bit of writing over the last few years, so I came up with the idea of writing a short Christmas story. Little was I to know that so many feelings… so much of me… would find its way into the story. When I read the story to my family Christmas night, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was a beautiful moment — one that I will remember forever!

Now, fast forward nine years…

It was the year 2000. I had spent almost every waking moment that year writing music for a studio band that I was in, so I decided to attempt writing a Christmas carol for my family’s traditional talent show that we do every year on Christmas night. Easy stuff, right? Ha! I was only able to write a couple of verses in the one or two hours that I had, but it went over really well. It was fun when I asked my family to sing along after having only heard the song for the first time just a few moments before! I wasn’t even sure what key the song was in!

Well, the next year, I had a little surprise up my sleeve. Starting in late July, I began collaborating with Brian Hazard of Color Theory to finish the song. It wasn’t easy writing a traditional-style Christmas carol — trying to capture the true warmth and magic of the season without being too cheesy — but it was incredibly rewarding when we finally wrapped it up! And what a wonderful surprise for my family that year! I couldn’t even wait until Christmas night. Christmas Eve hit and I was all aglow!

I had really started getting into the spirit of Christmas early that year and it was a long wait until December 25th! Since I had a bare bones recording studio in my home, I had also decided to create an audio version of my Christmas story that year. It had gone through a lot of small revisions over the last ten years, but it was time to finally put it in stone. So, while I was working with Brian on the Christmas carol, I decided to ask him to write a short instrumental to include in the audio version of my story. It was designed as a companion song to the carol, but was meant to capture the deeper, more personal side of Christmas. I swear there was such an amazing degree of divine intervention involved, because Brian created the song with very little direction from me; yet, as I began to piece everything together — layering his music in with my reading — I must have cried a dozen times out of sheer joy! The timing and overall feeling of the music matched the storyline perfectly! Bravo!

Please visit Brian’s site at — beautiful music from an incredibly talented individual!

I am sharing these two productions with you simply because I love Christmas and I hope they will somehow touch you the way they have me all these years. Please feel free to share this site with anyone and everyone — it’s a great way to help your loved ones find their spirit! Christmas is such a beautiful season! It brings out the best in us… reminds us of everything we take for granted.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Listen to the original Christmas carol and read the lyrics here: The Magic of Christmas

Read the original Christmas short story and listen to the audio version here: The Warmth of My Santa’s Beard.”

Lea and I shared a wonderful Christmas day with our grandson and his extended family, were able to do a webcam visit with our granddaughters and their parents in Hawaii, and had a joyous day filled with His bounty of gifts, affection, great food, reverence, and carefree light heartedness. Lea is in reasonably good health, it seems, and our quality of life just keeps getting better little by little. And, yet, there was a part of my thoughts that kept drifting to those who were so dear to us, but too far away to be together.

I had sent an email containing a link to the video I posted of Lea giving our grandson a bath a few days before Christmas to many of these loved ones, as a way to help them see how well Lea has progressed in the last two years, after miraculously surviving a deadly sudden illness. One of the persons I had sent the link to was one of the nurses who tended her during the 180 days she was in Hartford Hospital.

This particular nurse was one of the special ones to us. . . he was the first nurse who took Lea outside after four months in the hospital. It was cold in Hartford. Lea was still on life support. She wasn’t strong enough to sit up in a regular wheelchair. She had already had over two dozen surgical procedures. She was on constant tranquilizer and anti-depressent IV drips. Her vital signs had to be continuously monitored.

This nurse, Chris, and Danielle, a patient care assistant studying to become a nurse, moved Lea into a cardiac chair (at home we call these recliners), attached remote monitoring gear, portable oxygen and medications, and took her outside the hospital for her first breath of fresh air in months. The hospital has a nice garden area with a gazebo that worked perfectly for this little outing, and I snapped this photo on our way to the garden.

Outside HH 2005

Needless to say, Chris’ willingness to take her outside was an additional burden for him during already difficult work days, and our appreciation for this, and many other kindnesses he bestowed upon us, knows no bounds. Chris, by the way, is also in the reserves, and has been called to active duty a number of times. Shortly after this trip outside, he was called to active duty to assist with medical support, as a flight nurse, during hurricane Katrina. When he returned to work at Hartford Hospital, he continued caring for Lea as though nothing special had happened. He even stopped in to check on her after she had been moved out of the Critical Care Unit. He, and fiance Amanda, drove us to the airport to fly home, so we wouldn’t have to take a taxi.

He will always hold a special place in our hearts. And, my thoughts were on him during this Christmas day, because I had gotten an email from him Christmas eve, stating that he was back on active duty; this time in Germany, where his medical team flew into Iraq and Afghanistan to tend injured soldiers being flown back for treatment. I was humbled by his letter, and asked for special prayer for him and his unit at the Christmas eve service at church. I was also a bit ashamed that I get so caught up in my own day to day concerns I forget what others are going through.

Pasted below is Chris’ email letter, received mid-afternoon Christmas eve:

“Merry Christmas to all from cold and foggy Ramstein, Germany. We have had over a week to get settled into our routines and get our lives as normal as you can. Much to my surprise there seems to be a regular flight schedule which allows for a day of recovery, a day of standby alert and then a mission. We fly every 3rd day and get a true day off once every 10 days or so. My crew and I have been to Balad, Iraq twice already and our flight time is quickly adding up. We obviously land in total darkness and try to minimize our ground time which I am all for.

While I haven’t been officially tested for it I think I am extremely allergic to mortars, shrapnel and anything that might have missile like characteristics. The attached picture is three of us from Westover shortly after we entered Iraq on our first mission. It’s hard to see with the lighting but you have to take what you can get.

Chris in Iraq

The other picture is of me cooking up some cookies shortly before we landed back in Ramstein. I think they were pretty tasty but it is hard to mess it up when they are already made for you.

Chris bakes in flight

Our unit uses donations to purchase sweets for us to cook up when we get a chance and after seeing how much of a hit they were it is totally worth it. The days are extremely long and depending on mission location the duty time can easily approach 24 hours long. The crew I am with, especially the enlisted are truly awesome. On our last mission our patient load almost doubled, we had 3 vented patients added at the last minute and had to fly with equipment that I haven’t seen since flight school over 4 years ago. Without missing a beat the aircraft was totally re-configured and within 30 minutes we were ready to accept patients. Not bad considering that for most of them that was only their 2nd or 3rd live mission.

Our holiday today consisted of shopping earlier and dinner at Chili’s. We will try not to over do it. Christmas Eve and Christmas are huge over hear and there is nothing open off base. With another mission tomorrow nobody was up for a late night anyway. Our Christmas will be spent in the festive colors of tan and black, flying for over 16 hours and getting back sometime the following day. In all honesty if I have to be away for the holiday there is nothing more rewarding than flying wounded troops home on Christmas.

I hope that all of you and your families have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year (just in case I am lazy and don’t write before then.) Remember to keep those in Afghanistan and Iraq in your prayers and world peace is one of my personal favorites when you are making your wish list. Talk to you soon, Chris”

Needless to say, Chris’ letter touched me, and reminded me how self centered we become, even when we think we are reaching out, and consciously seeking His will for our lives. So, I was already sensitized when I went to my email the morning after Christmas and found another email letter from Chris. This one brought reality crashing in, and I felt led to share this with you.

“December 25th, 2007.
Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Our mission was scheduled to leave within 90 minutes and our crew of 7 was sitting in a van waiting anxiously to get the day started and wondering what in the world we could be waiting on. Our mission was to take us to Bagram Afghanistan aboard a KC-135R, a 16 hour day and that is if everything goes according to plan. The earlier we get going the earlier we get back which will be sometime early tomorrow morning if we are lucky.

One distinct disadvantage to using this aircraft is that we need a specialized piece of equipment called a K-Loader in order to lift all of our equipment up so we can load it into the aircraft. With the lifter already 30 minutes late we sat and we waited and waited, and… Then going down the middle of the tarmac was not only one lifter but two! It was finally our turn, however the trucks never stopped, they just kept on going.

This sequence of events brought some curiosity on my part which quickly changed back into our meaningless conversations we
were having all along. I watched the loaders pull up behind a C-17 that had just landed and had parked only a few spaces from where we were. Like clockwork people prepared the aircraft after arrival, chalking the wheels, lowering the ramp, and moving vehicles.

After a few minutes I looked over again and was surprised to notice that everyone around the aircraft had suddenly stopped working. All of those people who moments earlier were hard at a work around the plane had gathered near the rear ramp and now they
were standing at attention, then they saluted. I now knew why we were waiting. Somewhere back home maybe a few hours before this, a family got the news that no family ever wants to receive; their loved one will not be coming home.

After a few more minutes, a slow moving blue truck with a blinking yellow light appeared from behind the C-17 followed by one of the
loaders we had seen earlier. On it was a single flag draped coffin, a hero heading home. As the small convoy drove the length of the tarmac other vehicles it would pass would come to a complete stop and turn off their lights, those who were working on the ground would stop what they were doing and render the time honored salute given to those on their final voyage home.

Waiting was no longer important anymore. Out of respect, the DOD and the Air Force strictly forbid taking pictures of these events and rightfully so. So, this is my experience to share with you.”

I am so ashamed of my selfishness! Oh, dear heavenly Father, forgive me my shallowness and self centeredness. Please give peace and comfort to those who are not as richly blessed as You have chosen to make me. Father, my heart goes out to those who have sick and injured loved ones on their minds, and particularly that family that received the horrible news of the loss of their loved one on Christmas Day. I pray for their comfort, Lord, and that You will hold them in the palm of Your loving hand, as they struggle to overcome their grief at this tragic loss.

Father, I pray, too, for those You have chosen to be our care givers. Bless them, Lord, as they go about tending to the needs of those sick and injured in their care. Tend to their own hearts and minds, that they might receive gratification from what they do to help others. Guide their hands that they might be steady and true. I pray for a circle of protection to be put around Chris and his team as they continue to be put in harm’s way to help those who need medical attention. I pray for all our troops, Father, wherever they might be; that You will always be present in their hearts and minds. Bring them home safely to their families to share a glorious day of celebration.

Continue to bless this Christmas season, Lord, protect it from those who would diminish its importance. Give each of us the moral strength to stand by, and fight for, the right to publicly declare our gratitude for the sacrifice made by Your son, Jesus Christ, that we might have eternal life. It is in the name of Jesus, my saviour, that I humbly lift up this prayer. Amen!

This heartbreaking email arrived Sunday evening from my dear sister in law, Kathy, requesting prayer for her granddaughter Kora, age 6.

“I’m writing to ask for everyones prayers. My grandaughter Kora (Corys daughter) hasn’t been feeling well the last 2 weeks. She has been going to the doctors alot and missing alot of school. Doctors kept thinking it was a virus. Well Monday her lymphoids in her throat started swelling, then tuesday lymphoids under her arm, and on wednesday in her pelvic area. They have done blood work of all kinds, MRI, CT scans and also a brain scan. They called us early Friday to bring her in for more test and contacted St. Louis childrens hospital as they think it might be cancer. We have to take her tomorrow Monday , Dec. 3. Please everyone pray for her that she will be okay. We need all the prayers.    Thanks Kathy”


This sweet little girl is a delightfully darling child. I, too, would like to ask that you join us in lifting Kora up to our blessed Savior for miraculous intervention. I pray, Dear God, Father, that it is your will to spare Kora, that she may continue to bring joy and laughter to this family. We know, Father, that Kora has a role to play in your great plan, and we pray that it is a role of overcoming adversity to go on as a witness for You and Your gracious outpouring of blessings.  Be with her family during this time of uncertainty; give them comfort in knowing that her precious soul is forever in Your care. Blessed be Your name, Father. Bless You for the gift of salvation through the cross. Thank You for Kora, and her victory over this sickness, if that be Your will. In the name of our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ, we now lift her up for Your blessings. Amen.

Lea and I have been quite busy in recent months as her stamina and overall health continue to improve, and she is able to return to being more herself. We praise God, and bless His name, for the wonderful miracles He has worked in our lives over the past few years in particular. The mere fact that He allowed her to survive those months in Hartford Hospital still overwhelm me with emotion. And, now, at this season, we are, for the first time, going to be able to open that box of ornaments we received while in Hartford.

I had hung those ornaments around her hospital room for Christmas 2005, and with the help of Austin, a maintenance worker originally from Jamacia, we hung those I thought she’d most enjoy from the trapeze and frame above her bed, and placed others on the window ledge, a bedside table, and hung them on the bulletin board, trying to make her room as festive as possible. And, as I recall all those wonderful caregivers who took such special care of us, I pray that God is working in their lives to help them be the blessing to others that they were to us.

Now, as December has rolled around two years later, we feel exceptionally blessed that she has recovered so well, and is able to enjoy family activites again. We are looking forward to a wonderful family Christmas again this year, and feel particularly blessed that we will have a new family member present; Benjamin Lucas, our grandson, born October 26th.  As you can see in the photo below, he is already “in the spirit!”


What a wonderful shower of blessings we have received in recent weeks, not the least of which is the fact that Lea is getting to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family. The past two years she has been hospitalized, so this is a truly joyful time for us. The photo is really special for us, because it shows our miracle girl napping with our latest miracle, grandson Benjamin. We have truly been blessed, and we give praise to our Lord and Saviour for the miracles He works every day! Happy Thanksgiving!

Lea and Benjamin

I generally don’t just dismiss entertainment because someone says there is a dark meaning behind it, but there is a movie coming out in early December that directly targets our Lord and Savior, Christianity as a whole, and actually promotes aetheism. I’m against that. I received an email relating to this movie from my brother, David, and felt that I needed to share it with those of you who have influence with children in any way.

There is a children’s movie coming out in December 2007 called The Golden Compass, which has been described as “atheism for kids,” and is based on the first book of a trilogy written by Phillip Pullman, a militant atheist and secular humanist who despises C. S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia.  His motivation  for writing this trilogy was specifically to counteract Lewis’ symbolisms of Christ that are portrayed in the Narnia series.  Pullman’s avowed objective is to counter Christianity and promote atheism. 

The Golden Compass, a fantasy film starring Nicole Kidman, has rightfully been drawing fire from concerned Christians. The film is based on the book Northern Lights,  which was released in the U.S. as The Golden Compass, the first volume of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy of children’s books. Books of the trilogy have sold over 15 million copies around the world, and it is expected that the movie will be widely accepted as well.

In a 2003 interview Pullman explained the theme of his books, and the movie, when he stated that “my books are about killing God in the minds of children.” Conservative British columnist Peter Hichens labeled Pullman “The Most Dangerous Author in Britain,” and described him as “the writer the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed.”

The Catholic League has condemned The Golden Compass, and has produced a pamphlet that unmasks the hidden themes of the trilogy and the upcoming movie. The League’s position is that children will go to the movie, which is based on the least offensive of the three books, and that they will then purchase the trilogy and its seriously anti-religious themes.

While The Golden Compass movie itself may seem mild and innocent, the books are a much different story.  In the trilogy, a young streetwise girl travels through several worlds in an epic struggle to ultimately defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God.  Another character, an ex-nun, describes Christianity as “a very powerful and convincing mistake.”  In the final book, characters representing Adam and Eve eventually kill God, who at times is called YAHWEH.  Each book in the trilogy gets progressively worse regarding Pullman’s hatred of Jesus Christ.

The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman, is set to premier on December 7, during the Christmas season, and will probably be heavily advertised.  Pullman’s promoters hope that unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the movie, enjoy its relatively mild anti-religion theme, and then purchase the entire set of books for Christmas. This is a serious threat. Check it out for yourself. See what the editors at SNOPES have written about this movie: click here

Please consider a boycott of the movie and the books. Also, pass this information along to everyone you know, including your church leaders. 


Experience the Miraculous Healing of Lea Vaughn, and the incredible spiritual journey of her husband during 180 days of treatment in Hartford (CT) Hospital. Read his original daily emails to friends and family in "Hartford Letters" above. ____________________________


Blog Stats

  • 44,901 hits