The Queen B (6/2/1940-12/1/2018)

I wrote this blog after seeing my birth Mom, Betty Jean Padgett back in July of 2017.
It was the last time I would ever see her…

Betty Jean passed away this evening, surrounded by her loving husband Doug, son Doug Jr., daughters Laura and Ellen.
I was privileged and honored to know and love Betty Jean and the whole family, all of  whom received me into the fold as a true family member with all of its rights and privileges just twelve years ago…
I love you Betty Jean! I will miss you!
We will see each other again, and together we will once again… Dance!



The Queen B sits on her throne, a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel.

Her reign covers towns with names like Gloucester, Mathews, West Point, Ware Neck, Gwynn Island, Urbanna, and Saluda.

Her reign reaches out to bodies of waters with names like Chesapeake, Rappahannock, Mobjack, and York.

From the Commonwealth of Virginia down to the Sunshine State called Florida, so has the train of her regal robe traveled.

The Queen B is married to King Doug, better known in the royal family as Senior.
The King’s thick Virginia accent is soothing to the ears as the phrase, “We are going about the house” would be pronounced, “We are going aboat the hoase.”

The royal family consists of two Princes and two Princesses, an equal balance of beauty, brawn, brains, love, and loyalty.

Prince Doug, commonly called Junior.
Princess Laura.
Prince David
Princess Ellen, the Baby Sis.

Three of the Royal Children share the Queen B and King Doug’s full DNA genealogy, with Prince David only sharing the Queen B’s genes as a traveling Court Jester made his way through the kingdom during the difficult Civil War of 1962-1963. With Prince David’s striking resemblance, the family has teased the Queen B that perhaps the traveling Court Jester was actually the King of Rock N Roll in disguise…


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A Knock on the Door…

A year ago on May 14, 2014 my precious daughter Faith turned nine years old.
I was in Houston, Texas on that day.
Eleven hundred miles away Faith was in Dubuque, Iowa.

Since then the whole family has moved to Houston, Texas.
As I drove away last month to begin my ministry as the pastor of the Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, Faith looked at me with her big blue eyes and said, “Daddy, will you call me on my birthday? You know, you weren’t there on my ninth birthday and now you are not going to be here on my tenth birthday.”

She was so matter of fact.
She was going to be in Houston, Texas.
I was going to be in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fact of the matter was my heart broke at the sound of these words whispering out of her mouth.

I missed her ninth birthday.
I wasn’t about to miss her tenth!

Unbeknownst to Faith I had purchased a ticket to take the “red-eye” to Houston, Texas from Las Vegas.
I boarded the plane at 12:05 am on Wednesday morning.
I arrived in Houston, Texas at 5:24 am.
I jumped into the rental car at 6:03 am and pulled into the driveway of our home at 6:30 am.

I walked up to the front door.
It was locked.
I knocked.
Within ten seconds the door flew open and there she stood…
Faith Louise Dendy…
One day shy of being ten years old…
Her big blue eyes became bigger than blueberry pancakes!

There was that moment, that ever precious moment where reality seems to stop for what seems like an eternity when in reality it is not more than one tenth of a second.
But in that moment…
She recognized
She realized
She reacted
Without a word
She raced
Into my arms
Wrapping her barefooted feet around my waist
Enfolding my neck with her long loving arms
Burying her head into my pounding chest!

All I could hear were the muffled sounds of my daughter’s voice through her tears and through her surprise and wonder say over and over and over again…

“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”

And all of this started with “A Knock on the Door!”


I love surprises!
I love being surprised and I love surprising other people!

I have no doubt that I learned this from Jesus.
Jesus is always full of surprises!
You think Lazarus is going to stay dead? Watch this! “Lazarus – Come out!” And guess what? Lazarus comes out of the tomb, alive!  A little stinky…but alive!
You think the wedding reception party of the year is about to come to an abrupt end because the host ran out of wine? Ha!! Jesus turns the sixty gallons of water into the best wine anyone had ever tasted! Party on!!

The list could go on and on.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was when I kept hearing this knock on the door of my heart for many years.I finally took the time to open the door to find out what all the ruckus was about and then SURPRISE!!!

There stood Jesus!!
At my door!
Of my heart!!
It wasn’t even my birthday.
But in a very real way…it was my birthday.
Jesus tells Nico (Most people called him Nicodemus, but I like the nickname of Nico!) that we are invited to be born again. Once Jesus comes into our hearts and into our lives, it’s like starting a new life, a new birth all over again.

Opening the door of my heart and inviting Jesus to be the honored guest and eventual Master of the home of my heart has been the most wonderful surprise of my life!

With Jesus every day is an adventure.
A life of risk…
Decisions of faith…
Moments of mystery…
Never ending curves of learning, growing, and maturing into the person God wants me to be.
Years and years of trusting, counting on and believing that God has an incredible plan for our lives.
Seasons of security, acceptance, and mercy…
Countless opportunities to share, to love, to be loved, to offer grace, to ask for forgiveness and also to bestow forgiveness.
It’s the roller coaster ride of a lifetime…
An eternal lifetime!

And all of this started with “A Knock on the Door!” 

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”  (Revelation 3. 20)

Laugh often and Fear not!

Look what Faith made in art class yesterday…A card for me!!
What a beautiful surprise!