Posted by: Donna Douglass | Wednesday April 3, 2019

A tale of two legacies

Both the Kohouts (Donna’s dad’s family) and the Knockes (Donna’s mom’s family) show deep pride in their family heritage. The Knockes (Mom, her younger sister and her niece) sat leafing through old pictures and articles about various family members, recalling with admiration their accomplishments. We shared a few fond memories and funny stories of our own, but terms stemming from broken families blended almost unnoticed into the entire conversation.

In contrast, there is no such memorabilia from the Kohout side. Instead of articles, relations on that side and I sometimes ponder through sweet memories of time together as an extended family consisting mostly of intact immediate families. Our daughter is even named after Grandma Kohout who never once worked outside her home and garden but whose love drew everyone together. And I wonder, which leaves a better legacy? Accomplishment or relationship? And how do I live that today?

Posted by: Donna Douglass | Thursday March 22, 2018

Life Lesson from my Dog, Part 3

Complying with Chili’s morning routine, I let her out the front door. She ambled to the edge of the porch, surveying the yard from her slightly raised position. After a brief pause, she lowered her head and began to set off toward the walkway. Her hind end had not even descended from the single step, however, before her nose diverted her. She half turned back, rear leg still on the step, as her nose was drawn apparently irresistibly to some smell on the back edge of the step. That smell led to another off to the side of the porch. And that one, to another down along the front of the house. Her body followed, mindlessly submitted to the haphazard leadership of her nose.

Years ago Rich Mullins wrote, “They said, follow your nose. But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head.”(1) Especially in these uncertain times, Lord, help me to be led solidly and intentionally by You, not pulled in every haphazard direction by the whims of culture and distractions of the world!

(1) Maker of Noses, Rich Mullins
“They said, boy, you just follow your heart, but my heart just leads me into my chest.
“They said follow your nose, but the direction changed every time I went and turned my head.
“They said, boy, you just follow your dreams, but my dreams were only misty notions.
“But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses and the Giver of dreams,
“He’s the one I have chosen and I will follow Him…”

Our dog Chili

Posted by: Donna Douglass | Monday February 26, 2018

Every good and perfect gift is from above

I hold them in my hand in my pocket, loosely, so I don’t melt them. I can’t wait to give these yummy little kisses to my girls…as soon as they come to me. I can’t see them all because this is a tall playground with lots of wooden structures. But I’ve just called them, and they have acknowledged. Now Zoe appears. Then Gwendi. Immediately after, at top speed around a corner bounds Matti. I whisk out the kisses, hugging each girl and giving her a sweet. As we drive to our next activity, I wonder, If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!*

If my kiddos hadn’t come when I called them, how could I give them a good gift? What about me? Am I doing what God’s asked of me, so that He can give me the good He wants to? What part of "me" is standing in way between the good He wants to give, and my outstretched hand? Or are my hands so deeply entrenched in "my things" that there isn’t one free to receive? How do I submit to His call and run to Him so that He can give?

*Matthew 7:11

Posted by: Donna Douglass | Tuesday September 27, 2016

Further Up and Further In

22 September: My dad, Bill Kohout, departed Valley Hospital, New Jersey, at 3:15 this morning to join Slick’s good friend Howie Forstrom (who just passed away 2 weeks ago) and many others on the hiking trails of heaven. Memorial will be at Hawthorne Gospel Church on Sunday 2 October at 2pm. Fellowship to follow in the Pavilion. All welcome. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be sent in Bill’s name to Star of Hope Ministries or to the Hawthorne Gospel Missions Fund, and stories, notes or words be sent through the contact page at Thank you all again for all the love and support in this time.

Obituary: Bill was the middle child of Matilda and John Kohout, between John Jr and Matilda Anne. He was born in 1940 in New York CityAt the age of ten, the family moved to Thornwood, New York, in Westchester County, where Bill lived and helped in the family garden until he left for a year of college at Virginia Military Institute. After hitchhiking out of there, he finished his education at University of Kentucky where he met Diane. They married one day shy of her 21st birthday on January 25, 1963 in Readington, NJ where Diane had grown up.

When he was about five, Bill, his mom and siblings flew from New York to Virginia in a DC-3 airliner. The pilots asked his brother and him to sit in the cockpit for the flight and both caught the flying bug. Bill began his flying career in the Air Force, teaching Vietnamese students in a T-28 in Biloxi, MS, then transitioned to C-141s in the Reserves until his retirement from the USAF. Meanwhile, except for a brief hiatus to work for the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1980’s, Bill flew 727s then 757s and 767s with United Airlines until his retirement in 2000. After that he began to work in earnest…

Friend and pastor Larry Miller befriended Bill in his mid twenties and introduced him to Jesus, which began the real labor of Bill’s life. Wherever Bill found himself, he brought the fragrance of Christ and gravitated toward leadership, teaching Bible studies, helping with the youth group at their church on Long Island, helping Africa Inland Mission revamp their board, more recently serving on the board at HGC. Tuesdays found Bill beginning the day with a men’s group in his home then traveling to Preakness Hospital to minister to the folks there. He continued to volunteer and to serve on the board of Star of Hope Ministries for more than 30 years.

But beyond and deeper than any list of titles or accolades was the personal impact Bill has had on more lives than we will ever know. So many have testified that Bill invited them, or asked them, or walked alongside them, cried with them, asked them questions they needed to hear or just listened to them. Or that Bill is the reason they serve as they do today. He may not have personally led more than a handful of souls to cross the line of faith, but he certainly furthered the Kingdom of God in ways we will only learn of when we join him in Heaven.

We love him and miss him more than words can say. And when we get to join him “further up and further in,*” don’t be surprised if he has all the best hiking trails picked out and invites you to come along…

*From C.S. Lewis The Last Battle, referencing the ever-increasing glory and delight of Heaven, beyond all imagination

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