Skip to content


“Thank you for today,” she said. “I had such a wonderful time!”

She started saying that somewhere in her nineties, and we heard her say it occasionally well beyond her hundredth birthday.

I assumed those words came from a long-ago memory pattern. Yet that line always came in an appropriate context.

Early on, “Thank you for today,” she’d say with a smile, “I had such a wonderful time!” after we’d taken her somewhere outside of her Assisted Living Apartment or her Nursing Home.

As her ability to go on such outings decreased, she would say that sentence when we’d been with her for a special event like a concert at her facility.

Eventually she would still express her excitement and gratitude with those same words even after something as simple as fast food Happy Meal in the lobby.

She was my mom.

Ruth Morgan Baldwin Neber Scheets is how her full name appears on her tombstone. From those five names, the initials she used as a monogram or a signature were simply RBS.

Her body gave out and she died two years ago today at age 105.

Probably the first thing she said on the other side of eternity was some variation of “Thank you for today; I had such a wonderful time!”






A Prayer for All Saints Day

We bless your holy name, O God,
for all your servants who, having finished their course,
now rest from their labors.

Give us grace to follow the example
of their steadfastness and faithfulness,
to your honor and glory;
through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

She’s Right There

She was in her 90s.

She was just out the hospital and into a new nursing home.

She’d been summarizing what her medical team had told her over the past couple of days about her condition and her prognosis.

The more she shared, the quieter her voice grew and the longer the pauses between sentences, until we were sitting in silence as she looked out the window at falling leaves.

Suddenly she sat up a little straighter,turned to face me, shook her index finger at me and in a louder, firmer voice announced, “But I’m sure not about to sit around and feel sorry for myself!”

And then she laughed, and said, “You better never play poker, Joe. I wish you could see your face!”

I laughed and agreed with her, and then we talked about her forward-looking attitude and what seemed to be her indomitable spirit.

She reminded me of what’s in our Scriptures —

Summing it all up, friends,

I’d say you’ll do best

by filling your minds and meditating

on things true, noble, reputable,

authentic, compelling, gracious

—the best, not the worst;

the beautiful, not the ugly;

things to praise, not things to curse.

Put into practice what you learned from me,

what you heard and saw and realized.

Do that, and God,

who makes everything work together,

will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

(Philippians 4:8,9 in The Message version)

She’s living right there.





Are We Listening, Church?





Salem Witch Trials: not a fun game

I’ll just step over here, outa the way —



God’s WHAT?! — part 9 in a series of 9 on opulence.



great wealth or luxuriousness.
“rooms of spectacular opulence”

luxuriousness · sumptuousness · lavishness · richness · lushness · luxury · luxuriance · splendor · magnificence · grandeur · splendidness · grandiosity · costliness · fanciness · plushness · plushiness · ritziness · swankiness · poshness · classiness · wealth · affluence · wealthiness · riches · prosperity · prosperousness · money · fortune · deep pockets

— How’s that connected to God? Like this —

May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
— Romans 15:13, New International Version

— God wants the joy and peace and hope that is within us to slosh out of us and anoint everyone around us.

Imagine: intentionally overflowing, with no need to grab a paper towel!

Where Do I Begin? — part 8 in a series on opulence.

Reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory.

Jesus did it; now you do it!

Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God.

Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do!

For instance:

Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing;
I’ll sing to your name!

And this one:

Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together!

And again:

People of all nations, celebrate God!
All colors and races, give hearty praise!

And Isaiah’s word:

There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse,
breaking through the earth and growing tree tall,

Tall enough for everyone

everywhere to see and take hope!

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

— Where’d all that come from? Glad you asked! Everything above this paragraph today is Romans 15:7-13 in The Message version.

Where do we begin to live that out? How about at the beginning: Reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!