Start the next part of your journey. Go far close to home at McDowell Tech, the 6th best community college in the USA

Hold on tightly

By Ken and Jan Merop

Avery Countyken and Jan Merop Avery County


The first night alone in the house with my one-year-old son took more courage than I had.  Once I knew all the doors were secure and my son was asleep in his crib, I retreated to my bedroom.  The separation had occurred and divorce was on the horizon.

My edgy nerves and roller-coaster emotions vied for control.

I had gently held and rocked my son…carefully placing him in his crib while drowsy, but not asleep.  Checking on him several times, his peaceful countenance and gentle breathing calmed me…even though worry for his and my future threatened to suffocate me.

Once in bed with mountains of pillows at my back, I picked up my Bible and devotional book and prayed in between readings.  And then God’s word spoke to me and covered me like a cozy comforter.

Joshua 1: 9, NKJV even now wraps me in God’s everlasting arms. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

A while ago, I learned that the Hebrew meaning for strong is ‘sound legs;’ for courageous… ‘having a secure grasp.’

I needed to stand strong in the face of opposition while holding on tightly to God’s promises, plans, purposes, and values.

With all that was going on, I needed to cling to those promises even if my shaky legs hadn’t found their soundness just yet.  I took hold of Jesus’ hand that had promised in John 10 that I was the Good Shepherd’s little lamb…and that once in his mighty hand “no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  I and My Father are one.”

In today’s upside-down world with definitions of words and values changing as fast as the blink of an eye, it is important to be reminded of God’s words to Joshua.

God gave Moses’s mantle of leadership to him and, a mighty warrior that he was, his knees must have been shaking as he yielded to the Lord’s command.  The Lord instructed Joshua to cling to Scripture and meditate upon it day and night.  Not just as some calming influence, but “that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.” 

These words apply to us as well in the times in which we live.  Listen to the Lord through his word and do as it says.  Be courageous because he is with us wherever we are and wherever we go.

So, hold on tightly to his hand.  Selah


The Door

A solid door forbidding entrance?  That depends.

Its rugged sturdiness keeps intruders out

and families safe inside.

But those who hold a key in their hands

gain entrance with ease.

Our faith is that key that unlocks salvation’s door.

Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts.  Will we let Him in?

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,

I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me”

Revelation 3: 20, NKJV



Ken and Jan love residing in the mountains of Avery County.  Visit Jan’s new blog, Journeying with Jan.  Ken’s photos can be seen at