'Dancing on the Back Nine': A Lifelong 
Lifestyle Commitment to Good Health

70th Birthday

My father died at 62, my grandfather at 59, my great grandfather at 61. In fact, I do not have a forefather as far back as I have records (1684) who lived to be older than 68. So I was highly motivated almost 50 years ago to begin making wise choices for diet, exercise, and supplementation. Although I am a very private person, I produced the following videos to provide testimony that, when we make a lifestyle commitment to include God's provisions into our daily lives, we don't need to be much diminished in strength, but can be supported for a good measure of health and fitness ("rooted and established by his Provisions" - Ephesians 3:17), even into our later years (Psalm 91:16; 92:12-14).

I do not have a great need or desire to live a long time; but only to be healthy while I live. 

"He will keep you strong until the end so that you will not be without health." - 1 Corinthians 1:8

8th Decade Fitness 

70th Birthday Run

69th Birthday Run 
"Chase Tractor Downs"

7th Inning Stretch League 2017

Fitness 2017

Winter 2016/2017
"Dancing on the Back Nine"

Fall 2016
"Wandering Sights by Night"

Fitness 2016

Fitness 2015

Fall 2014

66th Birthday Run

4th Quarter League 2014

Second Wind League 2014

Summer 2014

Spring 2014

Winter 2013/2014
"In and Out of Season"

Fall 2013
"Meaningful Outdoor Workout" (MOW)

Fall 2013

donloyw's Journey Notes


Journey Notes 



donloyw's Journey Notes
Volume 20

June 2020

What’s with the geese and weeds this year? I asked God to remove these non desirables from my life, but when I looked outside, they were still there. So apparently God said no - maybe because it was not his Will, or because I did not behave good enough, or believe hard enough, or pray, cry, or plead hard enough, or stroke him sincerely enough to make him smile in order to earn a "blessing." Or maybe it was for reasons I don’t know - except that he is God and does whatever he wants to do to bring glory to himself or for reasons that are none of my business (hyper-Calvinist doctrine). Or, maybe it was because, as it occurred to me when I was reading Galatians 6:7-9, that God has ordained his Law of Sowing and Reaping (Cause and Effect) to govern outcomes in my life based on the choices I make. So I did some research to learn some common sense, non super religious, non mystical, non hocus-pocus, non hopey-hopey, cross-my-fingers ways to get rid of the geese and weeds – which I applied. When I looked out today, I found that the geese and weeds were on the demise.

Don Whisnant / The Grace Perspective 20E30

So about the geese: We moved to to our present home from a condo community that was overrun with geese. Our walkway stayed covered with poop. (Funny story: The geese began showing up about the time our neighbors’ small son got a new bike with a horn. When the honking became non-stop outside our door, I thought I should say something. When I finally opened the door to speak to the young man, I discovered it was a gaggle of geese.) Since, I did not know how to legally get rid of the geese, we moved. When the geese followed us, I set out to address the problem. Of course we could just live and let live. But I have learned that, when geese find a spot they like, they move in, and not with the intent to improve the community. I have also learned from my years in Atlanta as a HOA president that communities can decline, but that we can help slow the decline by giving attention to problems, including geese.  

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 20F06

May 2020

When I was a youth pastor in my early 20’s, I didn't have a clue how to counsel gays except to warn them of the judgment of God upon them. Today, I support gays for learning how to experience Christ for healing and salvation. Once, when Georgia showed up at one of our camps as George, I told her that I was going to have a few of the guys on our camp staff take her behind the cabin and depants her. She quickly changed back to Georgia and, best I remember, had a good week.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 20E02

April 2020

Recently, Carole and I drove into a new retirement community, just the kind of place we would like to live. We learned that the entrance fee for living there was as much as a half-million dollars, and then about five thousand a month. Upon leaving the place, and given our modest income, Carole and I decided our current older home, friendly neighbors, and quiet community will do just fine after all, and where we can practice living a little bit of Heaven on Earth until we get there.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 20D04

March 2020

On a day trip out of town this week, Carole and I stopped at an exceptionally friendly WalMart. It was refreshing because, at our local WalMart, we are often saddened by the unhappy faces of employees. It may be the result of unmet management needs, or it may be that workers are so broken and unhappy that a good job doesn’t make the difference. Recently, during a disappointing experience, we came upon a extraordinarily gracious and helpful employee. Surprised, I said to her, “Now wait a minute! You work for WalMart. You are not supposed to be friendly!” She laughed and then whispered that she was being insubordinate.

Don (Carole) Whisnant / Journey Notes 20CO7

February 2020

Recently, a young man walking with two girls through J. C. Penny, and after looking at my wife and me, shouted out loud to the girls for everyone to hear, "(Vulgar Expletive) NO, I DON’T WANT THAT (Vulgar Expletive)" I am 71, I worked for Sears and Penny for 7 years while in college and seminary, and have enjoyed for many years going to malls to shop and also to walk, but have never heard such an outburst of vulgarity in a mall or any other family-friendly, privately-owned venue. Not too long ago, I asked two security officers if parading around the mall wearing a t-shirt with a vulgar term emblazoned on it violated the mall’s code of conduct. They didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. I asked if they thought it contributed to diminish community and public values. They agreed but weren’t motivated enough to confront the violator. So my dilemma became what can I do. Do I confront offenders with a frown, or verbally chastise them? That’s what I want to do! But I am seeking to be increased with the Heart of Christ so that I can minister to their brokenness – which I am sometimes enabled to do. At other times – for example, at a restaurant recently, a party of four was so loud that everyone in the restaurant seemed disturbed. I thought maybe it would help if I stepped over to the table and kindly ask if they would tone it down a bit. But, instead, I looked at them from across the room and stuck my fingers in my ear. When they finally saw me, they got up and left. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 20B01

January 2020

I am disappointed when conservative talk show guys resort to name-calling when they argue for their point of view. Some name-calling may be okay. I’ve called people nuts, boneheads, butt-heads, idiots, etc.. Even so, through the years, I have begun to experience a little more of the heart of Christ for people – even those I don’t like. While watching the House Managers make their case against President Trump recently, Carole and I just shook our head in disappointment. At one point, Carole got really upset, and I knew exactly what she wanted to say about one accuser; but instead of saying it, and after pausing to take a deep breath, she said he was “mixed up!” I managed to say he was “obtuse.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 20A04

donloyw's Journey Notes
Volume 19

December 2019

When I saw that the name of the new store at the mall was a vulgar acrostic that violated the mall code of conduct, I first spoke to the store manager, then went to see the mall general manager. In a few weeks, the store closed. Also, recently, when an open mall kiosk displayed a vulgar t-shirt, I asked the owner to remove the shirt. She said she didn’t see anything wrong with it. So, I went back to the general manager who said she would instruct the owner to remove the shirt. When I returned several days later, the display was gone. Darkness prevails when good men do nothing.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19L28

Times were different many years ago when I was a young minister: Pastors were revered and the church house was respected. I was different too, more like an Old Testament prophet. I was influenced by J. Frank Norris, pastor of the largest church in the world at one time, who shot and killed a man that burst into his office to make good a threat he had made. In my early ministry, I too would not have been an easy target for an angry someone who wanted to cause me harm. The word was out not to mess with me. And no one did. Except maybe for the time a belligerent man resisted me when I asked him to leave the building. So I had to grab him and throw him out the door. On the parking lot, he had an epileptic seizure - so I ended up assisting him with pastoral care, which a more mature pastor would have done in the first place. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19L21

I dreamed one night this week that the world had been shaken - that the only thing left standing was what could not be shaken (our experience of Christ). In my dream, a group of maybe a hundred people was gathered in a gutted out cinderblock building to hear me talk about the power of Christ to produce in us the Life of God. They listened carefully (as I have experienced hundreds of times through the years). When I was done speaking, no one left but remained (as the 120 did in Acts 1:14-15) in a spirit of fellowship (koinonia: mutual hunger to experience Christ). When I awoke, I understood the dream was of a time during the coming Kingdom Age when Satan will be bound, Christ will govern the nations in peace and righteousness, evil will not be tolerated, and we (the lowly in this life) will reign with Christ to preach and provide support ministry throughout the world.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19L14

I was told in my early life that credit buying was the American way for us to obtain our needs. But during the last thirty years I have learned that credit buying is not God’s way. Today, Carole and I owe nothing – not for our home or vehicles or anything else. And it is not because we have large incomes or wealth – because we don’t. We have modest savings equal to the average middle class salary and live mostly on SSI. I have never taken a salary from our ministry or accepted payment for our counseling - except for small amounts that showed up occasionally in an envelope (which were always used to buy gasoline or pay utilities, or re-gifted to help others). My first life’s verse was Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God (his Redemptive Purpose for my life), and everything you need will be added unto you.” I have a Bible packed away somewhere that misprinted the verse, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” to read “Godliness with contentment is great pain.” I have thought about that misprint when I walked to my destination because I did not want to charge the cost of gasoline, driven old cars when I did not want to finance a new one, and ate cabbage for a week or peanut butter sandwiches because I did not want to charge a meal. Today, when I am asked what I need, I can’t think of anything to say except that, at the core of my being, “Christ (God’s Provisions of Grace which flow to us through him) is really all I need.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19L07

November 2019

The only slang word I ever heard my dad say (one time) was “pishaw!” But my mother got upset once and said she felt like saying “shoot!” So I did not grow up at home or with friends hearing curse words or vulgarity, which meant I was left with the need to learn better words to express myself. As a grade school kid, I remember venting my need to say a bad word by repeatedly calling a neighborhood kid DARNnell. Today, I don’t have the need to say DG words, (doggone, gosh darn, etc., or even dagnabit – substitutes for goddamn). That kind of language won’t be heard in Heaven. I know that because I have found the more I am filled with Christ, the less I have a thought to say anything except yea and nea as Christ instructed.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19K30

I told the service person at a local business that I remembered her from my first visit months ago, that her service was perfect and absolutely set the standard for excellence, and that I had told her manager how impressed I was. “Thank you so much” she said teary eyed. She asked if I was sure it was her. I said absolutely, that I even remembered her name was Theresa. She said her name was Christy. I apologized and said yes, of course. She said it was okay, that the names were close. Usually, I am good to remember names, but do recall many years ago renaming people. After knowing Diane for a year or so, she told me one day that her name was not Diane. I asked what it was. She said it was Ruth. I asked where I got the name Diane. She said she had no idea. I also remember asking the name of a young lady who I was meeting for the first time. She said Melva. I thought she said Nova, so I nicknamed her Scotty, short for Nova Scotia. She is still called that by her friends today. One of my favorite stories is about the little girl who said the park in her little town was named after Hall of Fame football player, Sam Huff. I said the name of the park was spelled Hough. She said it was misspelled.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19K23

At a fast food restaurant this week, I observed a new employee working with a lot of energy and commitment. As I was getting out of my car, he was sweeping the parking lot, but looked up to say “thank you for dining with us today.” Inside, he cleaned tables, swept the floor, washed the entrance windows, and welcomed diners – all with a broad, non-stop smile (either amusing or irritating his coworkers). He asked each customer how they were doing. If they responded to say they were doing fine, he would smile, say he was doing fine also, and then thank them for asking. Or, if a customer did not respond, he would do the same – smile, tell them he was doing fine also, and say thank you. Years ago, I remember a famous evangelist and former Hall of Fame football player coming to our church. When he drove onto the parking lot in a big motorhome on the afternoon before the evening event, I and several other staff members looked on star-dazed. When he emerged, he greeted each of us with an enthusiastic handshake and said, “You are glad for me to be here, I know you are, I am sure!” (I think a hundred or so youth trusted Christ for salvation during that week of meetings.)

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19K16

My new favorite tv program is Caught in Providence. It’s a courtroom tv program with a compassionate judge who gives breaks to struggling people for traffic violations, sometimes to offenders who give teary-eyed excuses that seem a little phony. I have really never had a judge who gave me much of a break, even when I gave explanations that were exaggerated – like the time I told the judge I was speeding because a little yellow sports car was chasing me. He laughed. So did the courtroom. This week I dreamed I was in the house of a neighbor who was not at home. When he arrived, he caught me going through a drawer. I explained that the door was not shut when I dropped by, so I thought thieves may have broken in. When he asked why I was looking in the drawer, I said I was checking to see if they had taken anything.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19K09

October 2019

Wife, Carole, likes to ask my opinion on things political and especially Scriptural. She says God has identified me as a Resource for her. I welcome that, but tell her that nothing any of us has to say is Truth unless it comes from God. So sometimes I have to say I don’t know; other times I say I need to think about it. But I try to be careful that I don’t give her an answer just so she thinks I’m smart. I have learned that the smartest people among us know what they don’t know. The least smart have not learned that yet. (I told my know-it-all friend one day that he did not know everything, that everyone is smart, but only in different areas. He said he didn’t know about that.) I also sometimes don’t understand what I know. For example, I don’t really understand how a phone can transmit the likeness of my voice to a receiver hundreds of miles away so that someone can comprehend what I am saying. (My dad use to say he did not understand how a brown cow could eat green grass and give white milk!) But I do understand the dynamic that makes possible me hearing God and understanding Truth – that it is the work of the Holy Spirit producing the Mind of God in me per John 16:13, Ephesians 1:18, and Psalms 119:30. Otherwise (as my uncle liked to say), I don’t guarantee anything I say or think I know.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19K02

Carole and I drive slow. We learned years ago in our travels to make the journey a part of the experience – rather than to hurry to our destination in order to begin whatever. We did not always do that. Earlier in life, Carole was always in “get there” mode. So was I, and I have a lot of fast driving awards to prove it, losing my license at least once. Now, we rarely pass anyone, but mosey along in the right lane. I have enjoyed how stress free traveling can be. The only problem has been misjudging traffic lights when they turn yellow. In our fast driving days, we could get through the light before it turned red. But when driving slow, the light can turn red before we get passed it. So we have decided we are okay as long as we do not see the red. Which is a good plan - if we don’t cheat. This week, I came upon a traffic light that turned yellow. When I continued through the intersection, Carole asked me if the light turned red. I told her I didn’t know because I didn’t look. When she asked why not, I said, “If a tree falls in the forest when no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Or the new version, “If a wife is fussing, is her husband listening?”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19J26

I asked the park ranger to identify the big white bird I saw on the lake. He said it was a swan and that its name was Ron Swanson. I asked the young lady at the check out to pronounce her name. It was a pretty name but different. She said she named her little girl Amour, which means “love” - because she wanted her to know that she was loved. I asked Carole if her name meant “awesome” because I thought she was awesome. She asked if my name meant “awesome.” I said it did (it doesn’t), and that we must be the Awesomes.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19J19

I’m a confessed germaholic. I don’t like to stay in hotels or buy used vehicles, don’t kiss dogs or let them lick me (their saliva may not hurt me but worry the poop and vomit I've seen them eat will). I also wash my hands with soap and hot water before meals, although I have been told that exposing myself to germs will increase my immunity. That may be, but to expose myself deliberately seems foolish, the same as putting God to the test. Also, Paul wrote, “Don’t you know that, when you expose yourself to evil, it will overtake and enslave you” (from Romans 6:15-16). The nastiest animals I know are Canada Geese. When I see them anywhere near our neighborhood, I launch bright colored pieces of wood at them that terrifies them so that they fly away and don’t come back. We hear them hysterically honking occasionally when they fly over our house, but I tell Carole they are warning each other, “Don’t go down there!”  At the Sunday buffet this week, Carole said she didn’t want me to eat any pork. But the ham looked so good that I took a small serving. I told Carole I just wanted to taste it. When I ate the whole piece, I explained that, as I thought about it, I decided I shouldn’t waste food.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19J12

I remember a young seminary student many years ago who launched into a long pious-sounding speech to God when he was asked to close a meeting with prayer. He was high energy at the start but began to sputter when he exhausted all the pious words he could remember, so could not think of an impressive way to close his prayer. After a moment’s pause, he recovered to say, “And, dear God, you pray for us and we’ll pray for you!” Carole came from the other side of the house into my work office yesterday to tell me she heard me whisper to her, but didn’t see me when she turned to look. I told her it was not me, that it must have been the Lord. You think? she asked. Could be I said. I asked her what he said. She said it was “Hello Darling!”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19J05

September 2019

Carole and I renewed our driver’s license this week at the DMV. I ask the lady given out numbers if we could get the two for one special. She said she was not laughing today because she did not feel well. But my assigned agent was a friendly guy. He said the DMV had made a few changes in recent years, so I would need to take my glasses off for my photo. I told him they were a part of my attire. He asked if I had a different pair for each outfit. I told him real men did not wear outfits. He glanced at me and asked if I wanted to fix my hair for the photo. I said my barber moved, so I was letting it grow out, and that, anyway, real men don’t fix their hair, they comb it. I told him that, years ago when I moved to another state to work as an associate pastor, the DMV included my occupation on my new license. When I saw it, I asked if they would add a “t” to their abbreviation for associate, that I did not want to be an ass pastor in my new position. As it turned out, identifying my occupation (the corrected one) was a benefit. When I was pulled over later that year to receive a fast driving award, the officer looked at my license, closed his tablet and told me I could go, that he needed all the help from the Man Upstairs he could get.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19I28

A friend emailed to say he enjoys Journey Notes. Writing about self is tricky. People who are being supported in their relationship to Christ welcome to know a little more about the Resources they are connected to. (Others may not have an interest.) This, in the same way children honor parents, churches honor pastors, and wives honor husbands. A husband is blessed to have a wife who honors him, especially to give him opportunity for influence. No husband could be more blessed than I. Carole wants to know my opinion on about almost everything, especially the Scripture. I had an old uncle to whom I asked a lot of questions. He was good to give helpful answers but sometimes he added, “But I don’t guarantee ANYTHING.” So this week when Carole was asking me questions I couldn’t answer, I just said, “I don’t guarantee ANYTHING!” I got on a roll saying that just to be funny. At first she laughed but finally told me to stop saying it. So later, when she asked me another question, I said, “I don’t humahum HUMAHUM!” I couldn’t help myself.  

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19I21

I enjoy engaging with gracious people. I love their joy and happiness, their smiles and humility. They cut up and laugh with both friends and strangers. The service person at the tire store this week was especially friendly and helpful. Later, at WalMart, the voice that called shoppers to attention was energetic and engaging. After making her gregarious pitch to promote an item, she gushed her appreciation for customers who chose to shop at “their wonderful store.” She was fun to listen to. But she was soaring so high that I feared she was going to have a hard time finding a way to land. But she did. After a brief pause, she said, “So, again thank you SO MUCH for shopping with us today!” And then with a final burst of energy, she said, “And thank you for … FOR HAVING A WONDERFUL DAY!” I thought it was very funny, but, then, I am easy to entertain.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19I14

On our trip to the mountains recently, an elderly, homeless-looking lady stood in the heat at an overlook parking lot offering her paintings. But instead of selling them, she placed a little box for donations on the trunk of her car. As I looked on, two Millennials walked up, selected a painting, and then walked away thanking her. Disappointed, she kindly called after them, “Absolutely, this is my hobby. I love to give my paintings away!” But God has provided for us so that we do not need to be so broke that we can’t give to help deserving others, or so that we need to panhandle. The financial advisor on radio says that, before retiring, baby boomers should at the least have their home and vehicles paid for, no credit card debt, enough cash flow to buy food and pay utilities, and some savings for emergencies. Carole and I owe nothing to anyone, have a small income and some savings so that, if we live modestly, we will be okay. But living modestly means we don’t take cruises or expensive vacations, and limit our time away to day trips. Carole said it would be nice if we could live in a golf course community. I told her that maybe we could think about a putt-putt community.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19I07

August 2019

I was grieved this week when I heard a church lady harshly criticize her neighbor. Unkindness toward others must surely be a stench that grieves God. I thought about that later in the day when I walked into a small business shop. The person who greeted me suddenly had an unfriendly look on his face and grunted at me. I also noticed the most foul odor coming from somewhere in the shop. So I left. Outside, the odor lingered in my nose as I walked to my vehicle. I looked back at the business and shook my head with disappointment. Just then two men walked into the shop, but then after only a few moments, they came out, pointed at the sidewalk, and then across the parking lot at me. Looking at the ground where they were pointing, I saw a trail of dog poop leading to where I was standing, which I must have transported into the shop. I took my shoe off, banged it on the ground, and placed it into a plastic bag. At home, I sprayed it with a water hose, scrubbed it with soap, vinegar, and a stiff brush, then left it to bleach in the sun. Stench is hard to get rid of. A floating molecule must have grabbed onto the inside of my nose, because I think I still smell it. It may take awhile. Worse, the shop may need to shut down for a day or two.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19H31

One day the Disciples were arguing about who of them was number one. Jesus said to them, “The first in this life shall be last in eternity and the last shall be first.” But my early mentors taught me that I should strive to be number one in whatever I did - that, as a pastor, my goal should be to build the largest or at least fastest growing church in the world, and if not in the world, in America, and if not in America, in my state (which I did in 1983), and if not in my state, in my town, and if not in my town, on my street. So for 15 years, I set out to build large and fast growing ministries, motivated by my need and desire to be number one (which as it turned out was mostly a psychological need for validation missed during my childhood). During his ministry on earth Jesus was not first, especially among religious rulers and even family members. Instead, he suffered intense opposition, and then was crucified, dying alone except for his mother, two women, and one disciple. But he is now positioned in Heaven at the right hand of the Father “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given” (Ephesians 1:21-23). He will also reign during the Kingdom Age as King over all the earth for a thousand years, during which also we who are last in this life (according to religious and worldly standards) will preach the message of grace to millions who will welcome and rejoice to hear it. Scripturally, a home is established by two persons, a man and a woman, who covenant together for the purpose of being fruitful, producing few or many children. (Old joke: Adam lamented that the only problem with Eve and him being the only two people on Earth was that, whatever he told his wife, the whole world knew about it.) A local church is also established (according to Matthew 18:20) by at least two persons who covenant together for the purpose of pursuing and living out God’s Calling for their lives in the world. This means, a church can be the world’s largest with thousands of members or the world’s smallest with two members.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19H24

On Saturday, Carole asked me to wash her car before our day trip. I washed the car, but since it was hot and humid, and since she was driving, I asked her if I could detail only the driver’s side. Out of state, we found gas prices 30 cents cheaper, but we were already 3/4‘s full. I said we should leave the engine running when we stopped to eat so that we could buy more gas. I like to save money, so when I found a pair of work pants on sale at Roses, I asked the checkout lady if I could get a second pair for the same price. She laughed and said I could. Carole doesn’t think everything I say or do is as funny as I do. I tell her I am just having fun. She said she may have me committed to a funny farm. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19H17

We sold our 2000 Nissan van for money to help buy new tires, brakes, and paint for our ’86 Toyota, then went to the DMV to turn in the old license plate. Carole took a number and we sat down to wait. The first number called was 78. Carole said our number was 86. I turned the number around and told her it was 98. She said I was being bad because she trusted me and sometimes did not know when I was teasing. Leaving the DMV, Carole said she needed to pee bad. I told her to be good, not bad. I asked her if she knew where bees went to pee. She said she didn’t. I said it was to the BP station. At home, I edged my neighbor’s yard in 90 degree heat. Carole said I was being good. I told her I drank a lot of water.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19H10

Once I lost track of time, so was running late for an appointment. (It was not because I didn’t drive fast enough.) Coming up on a red light, I “prayed” for God to turn the light green so I would not need to stop. The light stayed red. When my “check engine light” came on, I “asked” God to heal the engine. The light stayed on. When my tire went flat, I “asked” God to re-inflate it. I ended up changing the tire. So, I am re-thinking my plan to promote a “miracle” healing service, although I know a large crowd would attend. Instead, I may promote a meeting to pass out bottles of water, which is the number one health need people have (besides oxygen). In my early ministry, I hyped church attendance – once by promising to show something that had never been seen before and that, after I showed it, it would never be seen again. It was a peanut that I shelled and ate. When I stopped doing that sort of thing and began announcing instead that I would teach hurting people how to experience Christ, the Water of Life, the crowds stopped coming. As a result, I had to give up my gig as a church growth consultant. But I am still available to churches who want to downsize. Recently I helped a church downsize into their broom closet.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19H03

July 2019

On my runs through communities, I notice new homeowners sometimes have a good start with maintenance. The house and lawn look nice when they move in but they don’t follow through to meet the demands of regular maintenance, so the place gradually gets run down. Others buy an older home but invest time and care so that it is more beautiful every year. There is a lot to say about people who fail in early life but are renewed to make wise choices so that they end well in their later years. (“God’s Provisions will keep you strong to the end.” – 1 Corinthians 1:8) Maintaining old cars has become my hobby, especially my ’86 Toyota Camry (Grandpa) with 97K miles and ’93 Buick Century (Grandma) with 130K miles. I have two other old vehicles, both about 20 years old with low mileage. My new neighbor has a ’95 Ford Ranger with over 200K miles. He said his ’94 Ranger had 400K miles when he sold it for a $1000. So we have a lot in common to talk about. I remember the young guy who thought he could increase his gas mileage by driving fast because he would get to his destination faster. I told him that a conditioned runner could run a marathon faster than a race horse. I also told him about the famous long distance runner who died young, and said that God created us so that, if we make wise choices for health consistent with his law of cause and effect, we increase our prospect of living longer. Billy Graham lived to age 99. Earlier in life he said he walked a lot where he lived and that his wife was committed to preparing healthy meals. Carole helps watch out for my food choices. At Cracker Barrel on our day trip this week, I spotted the Jordan Almonds at the check out. Carole knows I could eat a ton of them, so asked me if I would just eat only a few. I said I would, but if I failed, I’d keep trying.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19G27

I dreamed this week that I was a young minister living in the same house with one of my former employer-pastors. But I never saw him, except once when he told me I would need to run 90 miles an hour. I awoke thinking about what Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are overburdened, broken down, and wornout and I will recover you.” Working as a young minister to win God’s favor broke me. I remember the day I stopped doing his Work, and began trusting him to do his Work through me. Carole and I have had our needs met ever since, although we have had modest incomes. Our modest home is paid for, worth twice what we paid for it. We have five older cars (only one newer than 20 years old), all paid for. We owe nothing for anything, except the utility bill which is amazingly low every month. Our doctors and dentist tell us we are in excellent health and to keep doing whatever we are doing. Health, however, is not automatic, but is organic: That is, it must be renewed daily or it diminishes. That means, we must make wise lifestyle choices for diet, exercise, and supplementation and especially to be renewed in our experience of Christ (the Daily Bread) every day - or else our brokenness, like a weed, will begin to resurface. This week I told Carole’s hard of hearing 100-year-old friend that she looked more like a young 80. I said I liked George Burn’s song, “I wished I was 18 again.” She asked me why I wanted to be 80. I said I wished I was eighteen, not eighty. She said I didn't look 80.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19G20

I bragged to Carole that I had lost weight when I tried on new workpants this week and was able to take them off without unzipping them. But when I checked further, I found the size printed on the inside label was larger than the information stapled to the outside. I was disappointed. I told Carole that I got pranked. Carole said she thought I was wealthy when she first met me but then found out I wasn’t. She said she also thought I was smart.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19G13

I don’t ever remember being called a boy. But I do remember the first time I was called a man. I was a young minister going house to house knocking on doors to introduce our church and talk about Christ. A little girl answering the door at one home called back to her family inside to say there was a man at the door. I was 18. Thus far, I have not been called an old man, although I expect one day it will come. But I think the sales associate at J. C. Penny this week may have come close. I was standing at a distance away from the register where Carole was making a purchase when a second sales associate arrived to ask if I needed to check out. I said that I was with my wife but teased that she had instructed me to stand ten feet away from her until I got my hair cut. The lady said, “OH NO! You look so retro!” I forgot what retro meant so asked my smart phone. The best I could understand, google said it meant vintage-inspired or imitative of an old-world lifestyle. In other words, I think she was suggesting I was old fashion. I recall being told as a 19 year old preaching church revivals that I was a prude and did not act like a teenager. And I remember that I always liked to say that the rest of the story was I hoped to stay that way.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19G06

June 2019

Carole’s friend Louise just turned 100. She only recently stopped driving and sold her car, but still lives alone with a caregiver visiting once a week to check on her, provide company, and take her shopping and to get her hair done. Once or twice a week, Carole visits with her for an hour or so. During a visit recently with seniors, Carole asked a new friend her age. She said she was 84 but that, after she turned 80, she started counting backwards, so said she was 76. I told Carole I liked that, and that on my 71st birthday I would begin counting backwards so that I would be 69. She said she did not like that idea. I asked why. She said because in 70 years when I got to zero I would be gone. But I do need to do something about getting older! Carole says the older I get, the funnier I think I am. I asked her if she minded me teasing her so much. She said she didn’t and would not know what to think if I stopped, but that I really needed to stop teasing strangers in public. She already had opportunity to say that to me earlier this week when I saw my hair in the mirror at Rose’s Department Store and asked a lady going into the fitting room if she had a comb I could borrow. The lady laughed but Carole didn’t think it was funny.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19F29

A mentor once warned me that giving too much time to reading the Scripture would result in me becoming so heavenly-minded that I would be of no earthy good. But I found in the years that followed that a worse danger was being so earthly-minded and performance-driven that my work was not effectual and had no eternal value (John 15:1-8). I dreamed recently that a famous pastor became deathly ill. I was told I could save him, but that I would need to have holes drilled in my hands. I said no, that Christ had nails driven through his hands and died on the cross so that we could have health, and that God does not call us to give up our health to save others.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19F22

There is a hole in my house where things fall, never to be seen again. My favorite pair of work boots has disappeared into that hole. So have my baseball glove and a new baseball hat. I told Carole that at least I knew where they were. Years ago, I lost my cell phone in a warehouse. I was horrified and pleaded with angst for God to help me find the phone. I found it exactly where he told me to look. Recently, when I drove too fast over a bumpy railroad track, my van almost shut off, but corrected so that I made it home. I told my Pentecostal pastor friend who said he once prayed for his old truck when the check engine light came on and insisted the Lord healed his truck. But when I prayed for my van, the Lord told me to look under the hood. When I did, I saw that a battery cable was loose, apparently because of the bumpy ride over the railroad track. This week, I could not find a business card. It reappeared when it fell out of my undershorts before I got into the shower. So I still have hope for my boots, glove, and cap.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19F15

I told Carole I thought pollen was making my ears feel stopped up. She asked if my head was okay. I said maybe not but that my heart was. She asked if my heart had anything to do with my hearing. I said it did. God seems to allow just enough adversity in my life to remind me of my temperament afflictions and need to be renewed by him each day. I wished I had more of Carole’s temperament. Nothing much bothers her. I can’t remember her being irritated with me except to roll her eyes and shake her head in disbelief. A husband that gets the breaks from his wife that I do for stupid behavior is blessed. I didn’t fare as well with the guy I was talking to yesterday. When a spider landed on me, he nearly slapped me down trying to save me.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19F08

Looking at fences on a day trip in the country this week, I told Carole that my mom put up a fence at the side of her house to block the view of her neighbor’s yard, but had it installed backwards with the finished side facing her - so that it looked like it was her neighbor’s fence and because she did not want to offend her neighbor. I said to Carole, “There’s a right way to put up a fence, you know!” I showed her a rail fence and said it was installed correctly. She asked how I knew that. I told her the rails were facing the road. She asked if I was a fence expert.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19F01

May 2019

After my run today I told Carole I ran like I was 60. She said I meant like I was 50. I said I ran like I was 50 when I was 60. She said I meant like when I was 40. I said I ran like I was 40 when I was 50. She said I meant like when I was 30. I said I ran like I was 30 when I was 40. She said I meant like when I was 20. I said I ran like I was 20 when I was 30. She said I meant like when I was 10. I said when I was 10, I ran like a 70 year old. When I returned from my run yesterday, Carole said she was tired. I told her to take a nap. She said she was laying down when I came home. I asked if she meant she was lying down. I said builders lay bricks and hens lay eggs. She said no wonder she was tired. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19E25

On date nights, Carole and I watch old black-and-white reruns on a 9-inch iPad. Our favorites are Restless Gun, The Range Riders, Gene Autry movies, and especially, Tales of Wells Fargo. There is always a lot of shooting and fighting, but the good guys always win. In the early years of tv, our grandparents had a hard time separating tv entertainment from reality. I remember many year ago an elderly man fussing because his favorite cowboy was not fighting very well and was getting beat up. I told him it was just tv. He said I was right, that he forgot.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19E18

I told a teenage runner at the track that I was 70 and could beat him in a 20 yard sprint. That is, if he didn’t cheat, I said. He didn’t believe me, so we marked off 20 yards and lined up. I told him we would start on the count of three. When I said “one,” I took off. So did he and easily beat me. I told him I would have beaten him if he had not cheated.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19E11

Behavior can break out in brokenness in every relationship - at home with the family, in the community with neighbors, in the workplace with employees, and sometimes even on Sunday with members of the Church. The brokenness can manifest as ugly behavior but also as coldness to care about the needs of others. At the cafeteria on Sunday, the line servers were wonderfully friendly. I told everyone I could how much I appreciated them (although the dining area attendant needed some extra training: He asked a couple of times about us and our meal, but it was always as he zoomed by, not pausing long enough for us to appreciate that he was there.) The checkout lady greeted every guest with a big smile and lots of friendliness. I sure liked her. She said have a blessed day to the couple paying ahead of us. I hoped she would say that to us. And when she did, I was ready. “Christ will do that for us, you know!”  I said. “AMEN!” she said.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19E04

April 2019

I asked the checkout lady if I could pay for my two-dollar-something purchase with cash. I told her I had ID. She laughed. I said the older I got the funnier I thought I was. I said my wife was trying to get me to stop trying to be funny. The checkout lady said no, no, don’t do that, that I made her day. Later, going into the gym after eating a big lunch, I asked the desk person if he had a cot in the back where I could lie down. He said no, that I needed to go ahead and workout. Forty-five minutes later on the way out, I told him “My fine now!” explaining that was what my grandson had said after he burped. He said I was funny.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19D27

At Walmart this week, I waited at the intersection of two main aisles watching for Carole to reappear. I see a lot of people that way - some very friendly. From my right, an older man with a hitch in his stride threw his hand up and nodded his head as he approached where I was standing. I nodded, smiled, and threw my hand up at him. As he neared, he threw his hand up and nodded again, so I threw my hand up and nodded at him again. After he passed by, I noticed he had an impairment that caused him to throw his arm out and bob his head like Grandpa McCoy when he walked. Carole said I should tone it down and just smile.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19D20

On Monday, I called to make an early morning appointment for Friday with a service company to give us a quote on some needed work. So on Wednesday, I got dressed early in advance of the appointment. When no one showed by 8:30, I called the company to ask if they had us scheduled for 8:00. The office lady assured me that, yes, we were scheduled for 8:00. I asked if I could expect the service guy to be on time. Yes, she said. But it’s already 8:30, I said semi-snarky. But it won’t be Friday until the day after tomorrow, she said kindly.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19D13

When I practice playing our Yamaha piano, I use earphones. Carole and I knew a minister who had perfect pitch when he whistled. He never needed to warm up or practice. The server at lunch this week whistled while she worked. I had never heard a server do that before. She also smiled beautifully at guests. I can’t whistle but told Carole I had been practicing and asked her if I could whistle a tune for her. She said no. She said I could hum if I wanted to. I asked her if I could whistle for her if I practiced more. She said I could if I used earphones. 

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19D06

March 2019

On a long walk recently while passing by an elementary school, I noticed teachers were dismissing students with strict security measures in order to ensure their safety - precautions not even thought of or needed not too many years ago. In recent years, I have also begun taking extra precautions for safety, although I have great confidence that we are safe doing God’s work in the place he uses us. Still, I had an experience this week that was pretty scary. While driving a 20-year-old vehicle I just bought, I heard a ticking. I turned off the radio, then the heater fan, and then pounded on the dashboard, but the ticking continued. It sure sounded like a ticking bomb to me. I was within a serious moment of stopping and getting out of the car to run for my life when I noticed my turn signal was on. I turned it off and lived to see another day.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19C30

I looked over in a place of business this week and saw the politician who represents my district. When I called out his name he looked up and smiled. He remembered me, not by name, but because of the issue he helped our community with. I don’t have a relationship with any other politician, but I have had the privilege of knowing and working on staff with some well-known names in ministry, including two national radio ministries and also pastors of several of the largest churches in America. But I have also had encounters with other influential people who I doubt today know I exist, including a missionary couple who I spent some time with as a kid preacher. When I saw them several decades later, I had such appreciation for them that I wanted to give them a hug. They had to think a minute or two to remember who I might be. I was disappointed. But I have always taken delight in knowing that God knows me intimately. He is absolutely my best friend, and assures me of it every morning during my quiet time. My relationship with Christ is intimate and meets to the depths of my soul the intense health need I have for validation, affection, and significance – and supports me to stop short of throwing things at providers who disappoint me.  

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19C23

Things get old and wear out, including roofs, sump pumps, appliances, vehicles, lawn equipment, and office equipment, even though we take care to maintain them. I am trying to get the very last bit of use out of my 11 year-old laptop even though a half dozen keys are falling off. Parts of us wear out before others do. A 90-year-old family member suffers advanced dementia. He hardly remembers anything about anything. But when time comes to pray, everything makes sense to him. He talks to God clearly and passionately. When I reach his age, I fully expect to be experiencing Christ the same as ever – although other areas of my well-being may be challenged. This week, after getting a few items at Walmart, Carole asked me to find her a cart. I asked if she meant an empty one. She said yes. The first empty cart I saw was being pushed by a woman with her young son. Walking up from behind her I told her my wife asked me to find her a cart and asked if I could have hers. She didn’t get my friendly humor and looked at me like I was a derelict. When I told Carole, she shook her head and said I really needed to stop doing that.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19C16

Carole and I schedule our sleep, meals, and work (the same as we budget our spending). We also schedule our entertainment. On date nights, we like to watch old black and white movies on tv. Tales of Wells Fargo has been a favorite. Agent Jim Hardie rides hard, draws fast, and shoots straight, so usually catches the bad guys in a hurry, leaving us time enough to watch another episode before bedtime. But this week Hardie faced a whole gang of outlaws in a gun fight. The sheriff’s posse with him was not much help, so the fight seemed to go on and on. In mock exasperation, Carole looked at me and said, if the good guys don’t do any better than that, we’ll be up all night.   

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19C09

In my early ministry some thought I was quite the success. So did I – that is, if the measure of success for ministry is rapid growth in church attendance. But my ministry was motivated in those days in large part by my need to be a “Champion for Christ” and by the notion I needed to win God’s favor. But about 30 years ago I began learning how to experience Christ to enable me for Christian living and ministry. Still, I have plenty of opportunities to feel sadness for elements of my past. For example, at a restaurant with Carole recently, our server called her husband her “old man” and confessed a lot of disappointment with him. Carole saw the sadness that came on my face. After we finished our meal, she took my hand, looked straight in my face, and said, “Honey, you are my teacher, my pastor, my best friend, my husband, and my resource, and I thank God every day for you. Whatever your past was or however different it could have been, nothing can compare to the wonderful life and ministry God has given us for these past 30 years.”

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19C02

February 2019

I don’t want to lose my ability to remember or process thoughts, so I take supplements to support brain health, exercise to increase blood flow to my brain, and do memory work every day. I also organize – that is, I put everything where I know it will be when I need it, especially my keys and wallet, even tools and equipment,  and including also my shoes and socks, underwear, and other clothing. Singer Glen Campbell explained his dementia as forgetting things he did not need to know. But I already don’t know much of anything I don’t need to know. Still I can be forgetful, and when I am, it concerns me. That’s why I was more than concerned this week when getting dressed. Since my t-shirts don’t have a label, I always feel for the vertical seam on the right side of the collar to know which is the right arm of the shirt. That has worked successfully for me for many years. But, on this day when I felt for the seam, found it on the right side of the collar where it always is, then put my shirt on, I had it on backwards. So I pulled it off (hate that), checked again for the seam, found it, and then put it on again. Once again the shirt was on backwards. With sadness and dismay, I reluctantly accepted that, after all these years, I had forgotten which side of the shirt the seam was on, and that my mental well-being had taken a sudden plunge. I was about to lament my fallen state of health to Carole when I noticed (O could it be!) that I had my t-shirt on inside out.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19B23

Immature youth sometimes lack appreciation for rules. But as we grow, law and order become more important to us. Then as we age, some of us begin to mellow. But not so quickly for others of us who have the Melancholy temperament. I may still be too much like the elderly man in a favorite tv commercials who slowly hobbled past a red sports car parked on his street. Stressed, he shouted at the parked car to “SLOW DOWN!” I still have a strict protocol for drivers merging onto the highway, the same as for walkers and runners who enter walkways and trails. (And it’s not whoever gets there first!) Melancholies also have a strong sense of fairness. At a favorite cafeteria a few years ago, their food was not its usual best. At the checkout, I told the manager I did not want to pay for the entree. When he argued, I shared my tension with him and then left. I also didn’t go back for a year. Never mind it was my favorite cafeteria, I showed them.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19B16

During the coldest days of winter, Carole and I usually go to the gym or to a closed mall to exercise or walk. But a lifestyle commitment to daily exercise is demanding. That’s why we fail to do it unless we are supported – by
  • a sustaining motivation (desire for health),
  • a safe, sensible regimen,
  • a schedule, and
  • someone who cares - for example, a family member, friend, or coach, and
  • especially Christ. (Our experience of Christ, renewed in us daily, transforms our hearts to value our health.)
Participation sports like softball, basketball, or golf can be good choices for exercise. The benefit is not really in the participation itself, but in the preparation (conditioning) so that we can participate without injury. George Foreman is one of my favorite athletes because he boxed into his late forties. Tom Brady is another excellent example of conditioning at an age when others have retired. I didn’t watch this year’s Super Bowl, although I like the Patriots. Carole is not a football fan but was curious to see what the big deal was about Brady, so she turned the tv on to watch the start of the game. I came into the room later to check the score and to ask what was happening. She said she didn’t understand much what was going on - except that everyone was beating up on each other.   

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19B09

Our actions and appearance sometimes reveal who we are. For example, a modest person will behave modestly and a honest person will have an open countenance. Shyness, humility, and happiness also have a way of revealing who we are. But not always. That’s because we sometimes learn how to mask our true selves. For example, we wear clothes and makeup to make us look more attractive than we might otherwise be, or drive a fancy car to appear rich and famous. Years ago, a small town in Georgia mandated a building and landscape code for a new retail complex. But years later when I went into some of those establishments, I was disappointed how dirty they were on the inside. So while Carole and I take care to look healthy, we also want to be healthy. That’s why I was happy when the eye doctor said again this week that my 8-10 year old prescription has not changed, that I do not need new glasses. But Carole thought new frames might be nice, so I got new frames with my old prescription. “I like them,” Carole smiled. I asked why. She said they made me look intelligent.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19B02

January 2019

Squirrels and raccoons, even coyotes and bears, fine creatures I am sure in their own habitat, would like to get into my house, and so I build barriers to keep them out. Canada Geese, created by God and also fine creatures perhaps (surely in some way in their own habitat), try to invade my community and destroy our lawns, but I found a way to keep them out. When elements in the world are not willing to peacefully coexist with me on a win-win basis but target the wellbeing of my home and community, I build barriers to keep them out. When cyber enemies try to download their images and messages onto my computer, I buy anti-malware programs to protect against them. When members of a religion knock on my door wanting to share information from a different bible about a different god, I don’t let them in, per 2 John 1:10. When family and friends, and even counselees, come to my home with no interest to receive support or to provide support for learning how to experience Christ, I spend limited time with them. When immigrants want to come into my country, but are not willing to embrace our Constitution and the values our government was founded upon, I support policies to keep them out.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19A26

My pastor dad was a cut-up. I guess I get that trait from him. Sometimes teasing people may be my way of releasing tension, or maybe of getting attention, or maybe it’s because I am getting older, and the older I get, the funnier I think I am, so want to spread the joy – which is sometimes appreciated (“You made my day!”), but sometimes maybe not. On Friday this week at Zaxby’s, I ordered the Tuesday special from the young, fearful-looking order taker. She didn't know how to take my humor and seemed intimidated. I told her I was just teasing, that I would just go ahead and take the Thursday special instead. On Sunday mid-afternoon, Carole and I walked into a steakhouse when the lobby was empty, so I said to the young greeter, “One more customer comes flooding in!” But she didn’t get my stupid humor. She said, “So will that be three dining with us today?” Earlier in the week, we entered a restaurant when the young greeter was on her knees behind her desk doing something or other. Seeing her on her knees, I asked her if she was taking prayer requests. She didn’t know what to say. After a meal last week at a favorite restaurant, the young checkout person asked if everything was okay. I said it was good, except that, every time I came in, it always ended the same way. When she asked “How’s that?”, I handed her my bill and credit card. She didn’t seem to get it and may still be wondering what the bricka brackum I was “complaining” about! This week, I was telling the managing owner of one of our favorite restaurants how impressed I was with her young staff. She said today’s kids are so connected to their devices that they don’t know how to engage with the public and that she had to go through a lot of hires before finding young people who were socially healthy enough to communicate with customers. Later, on the way home, Carole said I interacted with almost everyone I met. I said especially when I am in ministry mode. I offered further thoughts on the subject, but got too deep in the woods for her to keep up while she concentrated on navigating the trip home in heavy traffic. So I stopped by saying, “That’s what I think. So what do you think?” She said she agreed. About what I asked. That what you said is what you think, she said.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19A26

During the holiday months, I gain about a half-pound a week. That’s 6-8 pounds. Carole may gain one or two. I hate the cold, so don’t run on the trail as much. Instead, I use my exercycle at home and also walk 2-3 miles several days a week with Carole at a converted mall. Yesterday, I told Carole that excessive exercising to offset our overeating was not good. She agreed and said we were walking fools. I said no, we are walking Whisnants. She said that’s what she said.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19A26

The leadership God used most in my early years to influence my life didn’t know I was alive, especially at the time God called me to connect to them, and in some cases for a long time after. But, even so, God used them wonderfully to support my growth in Grace. (Conversely, relationships that fawned over me and were aggressive to recruit me were interested, as it turned out, mostly in using me to develop programs that would increase church attendances and offerings.) In 1992, when God called me to Atlanta to connect to the ministry of First Baptist, the church did not know I existed. During the four years I was there, Dr. Stanley faithfully provided pulpit ministry (preaching and teaching) to support my growth to understand the message of grace.  “I passionately pressed on to take hold of that (sanctification) for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (placed me there)” - Philippians 3:12. Through the years since, God has called many hurting people, none of whom I knew, to connect to our ministry, not for the purpose of giving support to us, but for the purpose of receiving support, especially for learning how to experience Christ. That’s why the only gift we receive from those who come to us is of themselves (2 Corinthians 8:5), to open the door of their hearts, to receive the support we offer. That principle is also the reason we welcome the opportunity to be supported by the Resources God sends to us – including elderly members of the family. This week, Carole and I met for lunch with a dear, 88-year-old, family member who again came bearing gifts. Smiling, I said to him not to offer me anything he did not want me to take. He laughed and said he noticed that.
DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19A19

Carole and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary this week. God knew what I needed when Carole came into my life over 30 years ago. I was broken and she was patient to give God opportunity to recover my life so that I could be in her life the way she needed me to be. During the 1990’s, God began calling and preparing Carole and me to provide support counseling to broken people who were suffering the same failing circumstances I had come out of. Through the years since founding GracePoint Counseling in 2002, God has brought hundreds of hurting people to our ministry whose hearts have been fertile for the Message of Grace he has given us to sow. And it is my confidence he will continue to do so to the end of this Age, also during the 1000-year Kingdom Age, and throughout eternity. I told Carole that eternity is a long time. She said eternity will not seem long in Heaven, not long.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19A12

When running in a neighborhood years ago, a large, loud barking dog charged across a yard at me as I passed by. When I turned to charge back at the dog, its owner came running out to berate me. I told him I was disappointed he had more concern for a dog than a human. He said anyone who would charge at his dog was less than a human. So I realize I risk hurting feelings when I make comments about the obsession our present culture has with pets. God has a place for animals or he would not have created them. But they are not humans and should not be treated or talked to the same as humans or invested in the same as humans. And there is no such thing as a dog having a human sister or a human mama or daddy. That’s why I winced this week when I saw frozen desserts for dogs in the ice cream freezer at Harris Teeter. Also, animals don’t understand English or speak it (although they can react to sounds). So, yesterday when a dog charged at me on the running trail, I was amused when its owner hollered “et” at the dog. “Et”? When had I heard that word before? O, yes, I remember! When a childhood caregiver many years ago needed to stop me from darting off in the wrong direction or doing something stupid, she would holler “et” at me. Somehow, without any explanation from her, I understood that the word meant no, and that it did not mean to go for it! Now that I have rediscovered the word, I have a use for it when I see humans obsessing over their pets.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 19A05