Did you know that November 16th is the Great American Smokeout Day, sponsored by the American
Cancer Society? So this month, my blog is dedicated to all my friends out there who are still smokers! The following is a letter from your heart….endorsed by Ms. Boom-Boom LaRue!

I would like to introduce myself to you…..l know you, intimately, but I doubt you even give me much thought. I am the symbol of love, and I am the sole reason you are alive at this moment….l exist for you! I am your heart! I love you and because of that I remain on duty for you 24/7. I never sleep but I make sure you can, and then I make sure you wake up. But you have been trying to kill me….you have little regard for my dedication to you. You insist on smoking! Maybe you did not realize that one out of five deaths from heart disease are directly related to those filthy cigarettes!  I call them coffin nails!  Why do you continue to feed me nicotine? It is making it nearly impossible for me to get oxygen for you, it is raising blood pressure, and it is making me have to work faster and harder than I was ever intended. I need to pump 2 gallons of blood around every day, and those cigarettes are an obstacle to accomplish that! You are wearing me out before my time!

Damn it! That nicotine is speeding me up and trying to make blood clots! I am trying to protect you, but it is really difficult! And, by the way, everyone else around me is also complaining about the same thing! Smoking is damaging all of us in here……your lungs, your bones, your pancreas, and your skin, to name a few of us. You may not know it, but your poor lungs are struggling to keep you from developing bronchitis, pneumonia, and other diseases such as emphysema. Eventually, with emphysema, you would have to breathe through tubes attached to an oxygen tank! And smoking is a carcinogen causing all kinds of cancers. Believe me, they are all highly unpleasant and perhaps fatal! Your mouth, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidneys and bladder are all begging you to bring them some relief! Please….. stop smoking!

A cigarette has a fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a little toxic tobacco in between! Cigarettes are killers roaming the earth and traveling in packs! So be on guard! Your smoking bothers us, but it has the potential to kill you! We all care about you and we are cheering loudly for success in the effort we hope you will make, to give up “the habit!” Giving up smoking is not easy…..we are very aware of that. Each day is a battle, but you can win the war! Boom-Boom cares……really cares about all her friends . I am absolutely on your cheering team! Go for it! And while you are at it, perhaps you would consider working in a little exercise…..take a walk with Jesus!

CPR For Life

Hello Dear Friends:  I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your company and your comments, so please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment space at the end of this story.  Today, I would like to share my thoughts on “CPR for Life.”  The tale of the $20.00 bill was sent to me and I hope you find my sentiments worthwhile.  I found this story very thought provoking… hopefully you will be able to take some meaning from it for yourself.

A well known speaker began his keynote address by holding up a $20.00 bill.  There were about 200 people in the room, and when he asked, “Who would like to have this $20.00 bill?”  Everyone’s hand went up.  He proceeded by saying, “I am going to give this to one of you, but first, let me do this.”  He proceeded to tightly crumple the bill up.  He then asked, “Who still wants this?”  Still, everyone raised their hand up in the air.  “Well”, he replied, “What if I do this?”  And then he dropped it on the ground and took his foot and ground it to the floor.  He then picked up the dirty and crumpled bill and asked, “Now who still wants it?”  And everyone’s hand was still raised!  “My friends, you have all just learned a valuable life lesson.  No matter what was done to this money, you still wanted it, because it never decreased in value, no matter how dirty, crumpled and damaged it became.”  It was always still worth $20.00!

Like this $20.00 bill, there are times, in our lives, when we have been dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by decisions we have made or circumstances that come our way.  We feel as though we are worthless.  However, no matter what has happened, or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes.  To Him, dirty and crumpled or clean and finely creased, you are always priceless to Him.  You always retain your original value!

It may be difficult to see the value at the time, but you can be certain God is waiting for you.  He wants to comfort you and extend his steadfast, omnipotent hand to guide you on your road to recovery.  Recovery from any hurt, habit, or hang-up!  God’s love for you is beyond any experience you have ever had here on earth.  It is always and forever unconditional and glorious!

Oh… wait… I think I just heard someone out there declare they are not a believer.  You can trust Boom-Boom when I tell you I get that!  I really do get that, because, at one time, I inhabited that place…  I know it well!  However, you can also believe me when I tell you the next words are coming from that same experience.  When you find yourself crumpled and broken, and you are completely out of all alternatives, this is indeed a dark and lonely place a low point in your existence!  When you find yourself here and out of options, you WILL, out of sheer and utter desperation, turn to God!  Yes, God!  The same God you claimed you did not believe in!  And when you call out to Him, He will be there for you…  your last option will be available for you!  And when you discover God is all you have, you will also discover God is all you ever needed!  CPR for life!

Heart - CPR For Life


For Love of Duty

Hi… how are you today?  I hope your day is going in the right direction for all you want to accomplish!  If, by chance it goes in the wrong direction, don’t go with it!  Stay here with me for a while.

I have a confession to make!  I love firemen!  I really love firemen and they are my heroes.  I am one of their biggest fans!  Every day they are my heroes, but as much as I love them, I hope I never have an emergency that requires calling them!  However, if that should happen, it is a comforting feeling knowing that they are there 24/7… they are right out there where all the stories are coming to life.  They are out there making house calls!  They were once just ordinary men, but when they trained and became firemen, they were converted by their very sense of duty, into courageous heroes!  I happen to know one very well and I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with him… you know… vacations, dinners, quiet, thought provoking conversations… that kind of thing.  Therefore, I feel somewhat qualified to comment about firemen.

Another firefighter once told me, “firefighting is all about ass… busting ours to save yours.”  Wow… irreverent?  Maybe.  Sassy?  Perhaps… but you have to admit, that pretty much sums it up!  And a male firefighter is the only man you will ever hear say, “She’s hot tonight”… and they will not be talking about a woman.

Firefighters are a critical element in our daily lives as they provide safety and security for all of us, yet most of us take them for granted… until the critical moment we need one!  For firemen, failure is never an option.  They operate on the slogan, “duty first”.  Gregory Widen in Backdraft, said, “the funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen.”  Their sole purpose is to save the lives of strangers, save animals, and property.

Contrary to common public opinion, firemen are not lounging around the firehouse just waiting for the next desperate, emergency phone call.  They are continually going through extensive and frequently exhausting training.  This is necessary to stay current in all the new, complicated equipment, technology, and rescue techniques.  This training might encompass such things as high angle rope training to rescue someone from a tall building, water rescue, or underground and trench rescues.  Firemen in the position of paramedic must stay up to date on all the latest pre-hospital emergency procedures, medications, and proper drug overdose rescues.  They must be in top physical and mental performance even when awakened from a dead sleep in the middle of the night!  They never know what the next phone call will demand of them.

So, thank the next fireman you encounter and maybe even give that person a big hug… you will feel warm all over!  Yes, I do love firemen and may God watch over every one of them.  John 15:30 is for them!  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Our Great Nation… In God We Trust! Happy Birthday, America!

I absolutely love the 4th of July!  I love every part of it… the colors, the parades, the picnics, the music, the fireworks, the pagentry, and the significance!

Independence Day, or the 4th of July, is really my favorite holiday!  It is a federal holiday commemorating the day, in 1776, that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress.  The United States was born… a brand new nation, that was no longer part of the British Empire; but God would always be a part of it!

At that time, John Adams wrote to this wife saying, “I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty!  It ought to be solemnized with pomp, parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

So to this day, we, as Americans, carry out Mr. Adams’ expectations and we indulge in hot dogs, ice cream, fireworks, parades, music, barbeques with friends and families, all while adorned in clothes of red, white and blue.  But while we are enjoying our freedoms and the fun the moment provides, let’s not forget the blood, sweat, and tears that got us here… a nation with a foundation of strong Christian values!

These Christian values have come together to form a carefully constructed mosaic that is the very foundation of this great nation.  You may be surprised to know that of the 56 men who signed our Declaration of Independence, nearly half (24) held seminary or Bible school degrees.  The following quotes from some of our founding fathers, are small sampling of the strong moral and spiritual convictions that they valued and upheld.  These values and convictions have been passed on to you… treasure them!

George Washington, 1st U.S. President, “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion.  To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

John Adams, 2nd U.S. President and signer of the Declaration of Independence, “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited.  Every member would be obliged, in conscience, to temperance, frugality, industry, to justice, kindness and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love and reverence toward Almighty God… what a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”  – From the Autobiography and Diary of John Adams.

Patrick Henry, Ratifier of the United States Constitution, “The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”

Roger Sherman, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, “I believe that there is only one living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.”

Our Christian roots are indeed deep and mighty!  This is truly a gift to all of us and we all share in that inheritance… get involved in it, covet it, and embrace the love and power!  Truly, In God We Trust!

Boom-Boom thanks you for sharing part of your precious day with me… In God I Trust!

Dynamic Quotes From Some Who Have “Been There”

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them!”  Roger Babson

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you!”  Jim Rohn

“If the addict is pleased with your help, you are probably enabling.”  Sandy Swenson, Author

“Rock bottoms became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”  J.K. Rawling, author, Harry Potter Books

“There is no person walking the face of the earth who demonstrates more courage, dignity, honesty, and integrity, on a daily basis, than an addict in recovery.”  Anonymous

“Recovery did not open the gates of Heaven and let me in.  Recovery opened the gates of Hell and let me out!”  Anonymous

“Addiction is the only disease that manipulates your mind and assures you that you do not have it” AddictsToday.com

“I am not defined by my relapses, but my decision to stay in recovery despite them.”  RecoveryExperts.com

“Just because your father was an alcoholic, or drug addict, or any other dysfunctional behavior, do not be tempted to use that as your excuse.  If you do, you are looking at the wrong Father!”

“Eventually, every addict WILL have their last high… choose recovery so you can talk about yours!”  (paraphrased author unknown)


Boom-Boom cares… really cares from the depths of my heart!  I am crying for those of you who may be lost and are resisting recovery.  Just know that He has cleared your runway and you are ready for takeoff to something much better, if you choose.  Additionally, if you are in recovery, I am filled with deep admiration for your courage and sense of purpose!  I am praying for all of you and your Father is calling you all near to Him.  His grace and mercy, for you, is far greater than your greatest sin!
1 Corinthians 13:1-8

This One’s For You, Best Friend

Have you ever lost someone who was dear to you?  If so, I can truly relate to how traumatic that is for you… a devastating loss!  I just lost a very dear friend.  She was the best kind of friend to have and the worst kind to lose.  Her passing was not unexpected, so we all had time to prepare for the good-bye.  I was jolted into reality… you are never prepared!

She got a lot more mileage out of the body that they once pronounced would not make it six more months.  They took her right to Death’s door with treatments, and she slammed it shut right in the face of Death!  They were stunned at her longevity and success.  She steadfastly credited that success to the personal, daily relationship she maintained with Jesus Christ.  She fought the good fight and kept her foot jammed into Life’s door… it could not shut!  She declared it would shut when God determined it would shut and she would be ready!

She lived many years beyond what they predicted… full of joy and a joy to all those around her.  But when the time did come, we all knew it was inevitable.  However, knowing that truth did nothing to ease the pain of the enormous dent left in our hearts when it happened.  I am bewildered at the loss, but knew a farewell would be necessary before we could meet again.  Easy to say… difficult to accept when it gets personal… this one is my friend!

She would not have wanted us to make a career of tears.  She set the bar and it was high… it was a stretch!  But before she left, she said, “the world is in need of good people… angels… look for them as they come in many forms.”  She ought to know… she was one to all those around her.  She made a positive difference in someone’s life every day.  Kindness and love were always with her and she generously spread them around.  They are beautiful, healing virtues.  She always made sure everyone knew Jesus Christ was the only explanation she had for her unexpected longevity.  She read “The Word” and lived it out!  I was a witness to this miracle!  There is no other explanation for that gift of life she received, except for her own explanation… Jesus Christ.  Believe it!

Ms. LaRue Inquires: Looking for the Easy A?

A psychology professor wanted to demonstrate the impact of carrying around personal or emotional burdens.  He gave each student in the class, an 8 ounce Styrofoam cup, which represented the burdens, and asked them to lift it up and hold it out for a few minutes.  Everyone agreed, the cup was so light that this was not a problem!  The professor then filled each cup to the top, with water and again asked the students to lift it up and hold it out for a few minutes.  Although the cups were now heavier than when they were empty, with a little effort, everyone was able to do just that.

The professor proceeded with his lesson and instructed the class to hold the filled cups up for the next hour of the class.  Those who still had their cup up at the end of the class period would receive an A for the day.  There was much excitement as the students discussed how elated they were to have such an easy assignment!  At first, the cups seemed light enough, so this A was a sure bet!

Believe Ms. LaRue when I say it came as a shock to the class, as one by one, they discovered the cups were becoming heavier and heavier the longer they were held up.  They had to be put down… this was commanded out of necessity!  After 25 minutes had passed, the majority of the cups were back on the table… the load simply became overwhelming!  A couple of students made it to 30 minutes and two made it to 40 minutes, but no one earned the A!  It was astonishing to discover something that appeared to be so light eventually became an impossible burden.  And so it is with our own personal troubles… no matter how insignificant they first appear, when carried around long enough, it becomes impossible to continue.  They must be set down and that may not be pretty!  They will weigh you down and throw a blanket of darkness upon you.  It will become an arduous journey!

But burden is a choice, so why not start to practice putting them down or turning them over to someone else before you are forced to do so?  You will improve at anything if you practice enough.  Want to know a great place to start that practice?  Here is where you will find the easy A!

Psalms 55:22  “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and he shall sustain thee:  He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”  KJV

Matthew 11:28-29  “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Beyond the Razzle-Dazzle!

Hi, Kiddo!  Come on in and have a seat.  I am preparing for a performance but I would love to talk to you while I am getting ready.  Is that OK with you?  I hope so, because I have something on my mind I would like to share with you.  I was hoping you would show up.

One of the things I wanted you to know… and you can take this to the bank… you better believe it when Boom-Boom tells you “Your life is a show.”  And I know all about shows.  I’ve seen a thing or two, and I have had some hard knocks along the way.  I learned some lessons!  I could pass them on to you if you are truly interested.

You are?

OK, great… then… indeed your life is a show… and the show must go on!  It is kind of like a “hot date”… you just gotta’ show up!

The theater is not huge, but adequate, and after months of preparation, you are ready for the show to go on.  You have been given a few “gratuity tickets” for the performance and you have distributed them.  The moment has arrived, the curtain is going up… are you ready?  You have on all your stage makeup and it is easy to get caught up in all the razzle-dazzle!  You have agonized hours over perfecting every detail and now the spotlight is on you.  You are front and center… this is the defining moment!  The real deal!

As you gaze out into the audience, who did you put in your front row?  Are they worthwhile?  Who is in the back row and who is in the upper balcony?  And may I ask… where did you seat God?

Are you satisfied with your decisions?

The Wooden Book

It was one of those infamous, dark, dreary, damp and cold Michigan afternoons.  A day only a Michigander could define as “normal” and be satisfied!  It was Monday, so that means that the one and only, Ms. LaRue, was in attendance at the ongoing “Magic Show” at Doorway to Recovery.  As a matter of fact, this particular performance included a sumptuous chocolate cake, loaded with fat and calories just begging to be eaten and added to the circumference of any waist that happened to pass by!  It was a birthday celebration for the head magician and abra-ca-dabra…  just like that he was another year older!  The cake was a gourmet addition to the event.

Suddenly Boom-Boom realized there was a small, very unusual book lying on the desk where she sat consuming cake.  The book had never been there in prior meetings.  It’s cover was made of beautifully burnished olive wood that had been polished to a silky smooth finish.  It had an unusual artistic design burned onto the front cover, and the back cover simply had the word Jerusalem burned into it.  It was far from elaborate and had an almost primitive allure.  It seemed to be inviting someone to pick it up.  It looked sacred, and was truly intriguing!  What was this book about?  What secrets did it hold?  This profoundly simple yet strangely unique work of art was compelling, and Boom-Boom felt obliged to pick it up and hold it.  It was so handsome on the outside.  It was smooth and it seemed as though it was always meant to be there.  This little treasure had recently been presented to Mr. Burchell in appreciation for the guidance he had given the giver’s sister.  She had come from Colorado to present it to him, but the book originated in Jerusalem.  It was indeed special…  gorgeous to look at and comforting to hold while gently rubbing the cover.  However, upon closer inspection, it proved to be even more beautiful and compelling on the inside.  The outside, unbelievably, became almost irrelevant once the contents were revealed.  The true meaning and beauty came from within and it overshadowed everything else… everything!  It was the New Testament!  You will find absolute truth and beauty within it’s pages.  Absorb it!

Although the outer beauty initially attracted attention, it was the material contained within that was truly compelling and profound!  Like you, it is what’s inside that really counts!  This book will captivate you.  You are a Divine Being, and as such, let the truth and beauty from this book radiate from you.  Live by this book and that force will be a guiding light for those around you.  A beacon of hope!  They will take notice.

So, now that particular book has taken up residence there on the desk as a visual reminder of the precious privilege we have…  the privilege of having constant access to God and His word.  It is free and it will free you.  Help yourself!  Boom-Boom knows where it’s at!

Ms. LaRue and the Magnificent Gift of a Lifetime Received at “The Magic Show”

Hi….  I have been expecting you…  I really look forward to your arrival…  so don’t forget that we have arranged for a regular meeting together, right here.  I will be watching for you!

Today, as I promised I would, in the first blog, “The Magic Show”, I will try to describe the indescribable during our time together.  Words are indeed powerful instruments, but sometimes, even they are not adequate!  This is one of those times, but words are all I have, so please try to understand!

I had been coming to the Doorway “Magic Show”, I for about nine months, when Mark Burchell, my counselor, first suggested we close the “show” with a prayer.   Being a religious doubter and wanderer, which Mr. Burchell was aware of, my usual response was to say, “No thanks, I do not find much meaning in that, so let’s just move on.”  But something was very different about that day, about 4 o’clock, May 16, 2016.  Some vague force nudged me into participating in that prayer, in that moment!  I mean fully participate as I had never done before!  My mind was open, exposed, and free of any other distracting thoughts.  Very, very unusual for me, as I always like to keep control…  always!

There we were, two people being connected by a prayer!  Mark began, and his words spilled from his heart and out through his mouth, and they engulfed the room like a sweet, light mist filling the entire space.  His voice was the only sound behind those closed doors, and it suddenly occurred to me that I had not heard a prayer in many, many years.  These beautiful, soft, reassuring words of gratitude enveloped me…  I was transfixed and frozen in that moment!  And then it happened!  The most splendid, magnificent bonus of a lifetime!  It was as if I was suspended in that space, in that time…  I was a complete captive of the moment!  It was impossible to let anything else in that space or my mind.  I was being visited by the Holy Spirit!  It was tender, gentle, peaceful and overwhelmingly intense!  Warmth surrounded me… it was as if I was being cloaked in a warm wrap!  I experienced a sense of love in its purest form, and it was beyond anything we understood on this earth.  I was engulfed by it all.  It was very intimate, but not sensual, and it was just for me.  Again, I am trying to relay to you, my friend, the indescribable…  I was scared straight!  A wonderful scared…  I could not get enough…  I never wanted it to end, but then He was gone leaving  me in complete wonderment and joy!  His duty accomplished… a job well done!  It was truly a moment of Paradise… miracles do occur in the strangest of places!

That happened on a Monday, and the following Sunday I was in church for the first time in over 40 years.  I have been there every Sunday since then…  what a beautiful bonus of a lifetime from “The Magic Show.”  I firmly believe that this only happened because the right people were in the right place at the right time!  Somehow, over time, I had moved away from my early, strong Christian training…  I was wandering, but apparently not lost!  I knew home when I saw it!  My joy light was lit!

Come dream with me…  it can happen to you.  Believe!