Our Last Conversation

(A devotional thought from the book One Smile, One Heart)

CoconutsI didn’t realize that it was going to be the end of her life. I was visiting Melissa at Huntsville Hospital. We were talking about the upcoming presidential election. I shared with her that I was praying for a president with three qualities: Godly values, integrity, and wisdom.

As Melissa was always willing to pray for everything and everybody, she said, “Well, I’m going to pray that way, too!”

I expressed that things had just gotten so bad in this world. She said, “Oh, Beck, they really have.”

That was the last conversation I had with Melissa. She unexpectedly slipped into unconsciousness the next day and moved on to heaven shortly thereafter.

Wanting to preserve my sweet friend, I returned in my mind to that last conversation. I parked there and contemplated it. And then, in slow motion, a truth of great magnitude rose in my spirit. The things that were so heavy on our hearts that day are no longer the slightest concern to Melissa! In fact, none of the dark horrific things on this whole planet are a worry to her now!

If only we could set our hearts on things above… our minds on things above…


“Set your HEARTS on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2 NIV).

One Smile, One Heart

10 Great Things That Happened in 2012

New Arm1. I got a new prosthetic arm. It is a process that I only tackle once every ten years or so. It involves much research, many decisions, a huge financial commitment, lots of trips to the prosthetics facility, and a challenging adjustment period. But it’s done and I am pleased with the results. I’m glad I did it in 2012 and don’t have it to look forward to in 2013. 🙂


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Elvis Presley for President

Yesterday I took off my Executive Pastor hat and put on my Election Inspector hat. It was my third time to work at the polls: in March we had the primary election, in April the run-off election, and yesterday a special election concerning an amendment to the Alabama constitution. I love learning and watching the voting process. It represents freedom and America at their best.

I ran for president myself twice—president of my junior class and president of my senior class, that is. (I won both times.) But I can certainly say that the elections I have participated in this year have been much more involved. Here are some random “insider” observations I find interesting.

  • Preparation to be an Election Inspector includes attending an Election School (2.5 hours) and studying a 51-page manual.
  • A day of working at the polls is a long day. You report for duty at 6 a.m. and drop the ballots off at the courthouse about 8:30 p.m., if all goes well.
  • “Write-In Candidates” are pretty entertaining… Mickey Mouse, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan, Donald Duck, George Washington. One woman writes in her husband’s name and he writes in her name every year.
  • An “AutoMARK” terminal is available at each polling site to assist people with disabilities. For example, if a person is sight-impaired, the machine can enlarge the text on the ballot or even read it out loud to him/her through headphones. He/she can then mark the ballot using the Braille-labeled keypad. Or if a person has limb paralysis, he/she can mark the ballot by plugging in a “Sip-N-Puff” device (the voter blows on a straw to send inputs). How cool is that?
  • When the polls close at 7 p.m., the work really begins for election workers. They must tediously organize tons of stuff into twelve envelopes and multiple bags/boxes. Items get stuck with precinct identification labels, “Record of Elections” tape, and “Voted Ballots” stickers. And every single item gets signed by all election workers. Finally the Election Inspector (that was me yesterday) takes everything to the courthouse to be turned in and checked for accuracy. Whew.

Our election system is a wondrous process. You still have time to register to vote and experience it for yourself on November 6th. See you at the polls!

Thanks to whoever pranked my son. The 58 election signs in our front yard made a great picture for this blog post!