Monday, November 11, 2019

Our Protector(s)

My husband and I walked down the street the other day to an estate sale.  Although we didn’t personally know the neighbor who had to move into a home, we often saw him from afar on our daily walks.

While we were in his house looking around for the sale, a man came in with a Vietnam Vet’s hat on.  I thanked him for his service and we chatted a bit.  He showed me the injury to his hand and joked that he could no longer catch change in his hand anymore when he goes through drive through windows.

I told him our neighbor was a Vietnam Vet and that he had been a cook.  He remarked, “They got shot at, too, if the food wasn’t good!”  He went on to tell me a story about sneaking in to get pie or bread or something like that, after hours, because you can only eat powdered eggs for so long.

Anyway, since I graduated high school the year of our bicentennial, I was in the habit of thinking Vietnam Vets are twenty-something young men.  Stupid, I know, but I have such a lack of awareness of time passing that my brain fools me into thinking our vets never aged.  My mind is frozen in time.

Wasn’t Vietnam just yesterday?  I simply cannot fathom that those vets could be retirement age.

Today as we celebrate Veterans Day, I suppose many people think of it as just another government holiday, but it isn’t.  

Those of us who have never served can never really know what it is like to leave our families and always be prepared if called upon.  We know it can be hard on families, because many of us have experienced it from the other side—worrying about our loved ones when they leave for a tour—but we don’t know the day to day challenges and suffering that individuals experience as part of their military service.

No matter where we are, whenever there is an event that honors veterans (I saw one this summer at an outdoor festival which a number of our aging veterans attended) I can barely get through it without crying. 

Even people singing The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, with hands over their hearts, makes me tear up.  I proudly sing, even when people around me do not, because I believe in what our flag represents.  How can we face those who have fought for our freedom and remain silent?

Check out the last part of the last verse of our song.  Did you know that it is much longer than what we sing?  You can find the whole song here

“Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

Isn’t this a faith-packed verse?  We are blessed with victory and peace. God has rescued us!  He preserves us! It is in him we must trust.

The fingerprints of God are truly all over our country and he always prevails, no matter what we may be going through.

During the summer our neighbor’s flagpole “clinks” as the flag waves in the wind.  I find it very calming and chilling at the same time.

When you see our flag flying, it may be a symbol of our freedom, but it should also be a reminder of our God who will continue to preserve and protect us as a nation, united under him, no matter what.

Thank you, to all of our veterans, no matter where you have served or in what capacity.  Your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed, or unappreciated.

Janet Cassidy

Friday, November 8, 2019

Grumbling Lately? (OGW - 021)

Have you found yourself grumbling a lot lately?  Complaining about work or the world around you?

Time to sing a new song!

Psalm 98 is just what we need when we feel like we are living in a vacuum that is overtaking the joy in our lives.

Today’s episode of Opening God’s Word will help you make the shift you need!

I have also posted (below) a prayer of gratitude that I pray every day to encourage me to be thankful for all of the blessings God has given me.

I hope you will make it a part of your day as well.

Have a blessed day in God’s Word.

Janet Cassidy

A Prayer of Gratitude to God


I am so grateful for everything that you have given me.  

Thank you so much for the loved ones in my life,

For the many ways in which I am cared for and supported.

Thank you for the many ways I can serve and give to others.

Thank you for the rich tapestry of colours in creation,

for the beauty which is all around me,

for the skies and the ever changing cloud formations,

For the breathtaking sunsets and early morning mists.

My heart is so grateful and brimming with thanks.

I could write a thousand books about your great goodness,

And still have many stories to tell.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I thank you with everything I am.

All my being cries thank you Lord!


(a short prayer of gratitude to God from 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

To the Theater we go!

We were rushing to get to the movies to see the Downtown Abbey movie after we finished binge-watching the series and I was really excited to have the opportunity to go.

I had heard that they did some renovating at our theater, but when we got there, we were a little surprised.  We thought it was a little weird that we had to pick our seats while buying our tickets.  

I get that it will be convenient for those who buy their tickets online, so we don’t have to arrive “two hours before the movie starts” as the young ticket seller told us.  I haven’t gone to a movie two hours early—ever—but then I tend to stay away from “opening nights” anyway.

So we stood in a short line behind two women who had never been to our theater before, and we listened as the young man explained the layout for seat selection on the computer screen in front of them.  After some deliberation, they went on their way and it was our turn.

I quickly picked our seats without much thought as we were already running a little close to the start time.

We got into the mostly empty theater—there were maybe two people already seated—and decided we did not like the seats I had picked out, so we just took the empty ones nearby that were more to the middle.

As luck would have it, out of ALL THE SEATS in the empty theater, two people came in and we were in one of their seats.  We offered to move back to our seats, but they were very nice and didn’t care, so they chose seats other than the ones they had selected as well.  

So much for the new seating system.  Not sure who anyone would complain to anyway, if someone wanted to stick with their chosen seat.  It’s not like there’s anyone who stays in the theater to make sure fights don’t break out.

As you can imagine, for this viewing, the whole idea of chosen seats was quite ridiculous. (I admit it was 10 a.m., but it was the only time offered!)

Even more ridiculous to me is that they sell alcohol there now, and that they have VIP seating for $2.00 more.  Like I want to pay more for a movie ticket than we already do just so I can have a little tray in front of me.  (I’ll admit to being frugal.)

Anyway, I really liked the movie and that’s what counts.  I wish they would do serial movies with the Downtown characters.  The setting was so beautiful and the clothes were amazing.

While I cannot imagine getting dressed so finely for dinner every night or having the need for a maid to dress me, it is fun to consider that somewhere in the world this is someone’s reality.  The idea of a grown person needing someone to put on their jewelry or take off their scarf seems about as ridiculous to me as the seating selection system.

Oddly, the world isn’t always aligned with my way of thinking.  Sometimes I have to submit to the powers that be, namely progress.  I’m not against progress, generally speaking, and I do keep pretty up-to-date with things, but sometimes it takes me awhile to get on board.

I remember hesitating to get a microwave.  I thought it ridiculous that people would be cooking all their meals in it.  I figured this wave of the future would be an instrument of bland food.  I have mostly used ours over the years for warming up, so it’s fine.

Don’t laugh, but I remember seeing “www” on the side of a truck and commenting to my husband, “What is that?  I am seeing it everywhere.” (Enjoy this clip of Katie Couric on The Today Show around the time the Internet came into fashion. Hilarious.)

Just for fun, I also have to share with you a clip from Ellen of a young girl trying to do things that were very ordinary for most of us only a few years ago. You won’t stop laughing.

All of this has made me realize how much change I have already seen in my lifetime and it makes me wonder what we do today that will be outdated for our grandkids as they become mature adults.

I’d like to say that God will always be “in” and I expect that is true, but it is no joke to say that at this time there is a great need for those who believe in God not to keep him to themselves.  

We wouldn’t ever want anyone to laugh at believers or see belief as something that is outdated.  If people ask, “Who is that? I’m hearing about him everywhere,” hopefully we will have a better answer than Katie Couric did about the Internet!

Janet Cassidy