Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

Just a little reminder that there are 364 days until Christmas. Excluding Sundays, there are 312 shopping days until Christmas.

Also a reminder to remember our troops, especially those who spent Christmas in harm's way. A reminder to pray for them and to be thankful for them and those who have served before them and have given so much so that we could enjoy yet another Christmas Day in safety.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"That Holy Thing"

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34-35

It was a miraculous conception. Mary was His mother, but God was His father. As we heard in our sermon Sunday, this Child was holy in every sense of the word. He always was the Son of God, but was given a body of flesh through His mother's side. All of this the work of the Holy Spirit of God so that the incarnation of Jesus was like no other event that ever occurred. And the best part of it is that this Child, the Son of God, who became as one of us in the flesh, yet without sin, went on to humble Himself to the fullest extent by dying on the cross for those who are sinners. So, my dear Christian friends, is it no wonder that we celebrate this birth? And if you happen to be someone who comes to visit here and don't know the Christ of Christmas, come to Him today and rejoice in Him, whether you celebrate the holiday itself or not.

Merry Christmas to all and a blessed holiday season to you and your family!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sweet Sixteen Girl

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even for evermore.
~ Psalm 121 ~

Well, it's another birthday in our family and this time, it's our daughter Neesie, who many of you know already. Today she turns sweet sixteen and her dad and I are so thankful for the young lady she has become as she reaches this milestone. We are especially thankful to see her love for the Lord increasing and to see precious traits of character emerging as she approaches adulthood. May the Lord in His mercies preserve her is our prayer and may we continue to see the fruits of the Spirit of Christ in her life. The above passage is her life verses that we have recited to her almost every night since she was a wee girl. May she always trust in the truths found in these words, and hold them close to her heart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NEESIE! Much love from Dad and Mom!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Tips #2

I got this one (forward) today and it reminded me that I hadn't posted in a week and that it's Tuesday and I could use it as a Tuesday Tips post. (See last post if you're confused.) I had the urge to post pictures of my kids and grandkids anyway, so this email fit perfectly, except for the riddle thing at the end that totally confused me so I'm leaving that off.

Well, I must say that I agreed with much that was said in this forwarded email, originating with Paul Harvey [this is questionable-could be someone else.] He talks about the fact that people can try so hard to make things better for their kids that it makes them worse. Then he talks about some hopes and desires he has for his grandchildren. I sure do have many of the same desires and hopes for mine. Here are some excerpts for you to ponder and hopefully take to heart.

I would love it if they never had to had a hard day in their life or that they would never need to shed a tear or that everyone would always love them and treat them like gold, but you know, what kind of person would that cause them to be? Above all else, I hope they'll know Jesus and have Him to help them through whatever life may bring. I love them so much and part of me wishes all their hurts could be taken away, but mostly I hope, as expressed here, that all of the hurts that are sure to come will be refinements:

Selena with her mommy

Shana with her Auntie Nee

Perhaps some day there will be more of you, but for now, this is for Lena and Shae-Shae:

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. [As both your mommy and Auntie Nee have the latter.]

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. [Well, I don't know about the back eye part, but maybe some bruised feelings.]

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom .

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it.. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.

Just copying these here brought some tears. Perhaps the same will happen to you as you think about your children/grandchildren.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Tips

I don't know why I'm having so much trouble of late getting to making blog posts. There seems to be one "pressing need" after another that needs my attention. For instance, the gift I ordered for my granddaughter coming in with half of it missing, whereupon when I call the vendor I find out that they don't automatically send in the missing part but you have to return the whole thing, wait for them to issue the return slip, or whatever it is, before you send it back for credit, etc.etc. After bragging about how I do most of my shopping online, this doesn't say too much for me as to how well I checked out the return policy at this place. So now I've been online trying to find it somewhere else because I'm afraid to order from this place again. Whew!

Next, I've had a health insurance situation needing attention, and you know how it is to get on the phone with automated systems and the like, and that took forever.

Now, I've somehow (only me) lost the map activity book and key which was supposedly included in our curriculum materials which came in July, but I can't for the life of me remember where I put it. So Neesie's been assigned map activities by the video teacher, but this scatterbrained home teacher can't find the materials she needs!

I wanted to make this post this morning, but every time I want to make a post, these are the type of things that happen. These mixed in, of course, with the normal duties. Then, I have to confess that lately I've gotten distracted with some things that perhaps I shouldn't let take up my time, but being one of those curious types, I've been keeping up with certain happenings which I really have found intriguing,
and that too has kept me from blogging as much.

I got this bright idea. I thought about passing on some of the helpful info I get from some friends who send me forwards, many containing humorous tidbits or helpful hints. So that's what this post is really all about. I'm starting a new category and calling it "Tuesday Tips" ( I don't know if anyone else is doing anything like this, but if so, please forgive me as I'm not being a copycat on purpose). Not always, but on some Tuesdays I'll pass along some of the information or even lighthearted nuggets I get from my friends. I'm thinking most of it will be helpful to folks who come here, even if just to give them a chuckle in their day. So here's the first one. It's a note that may be copied by all of my pet owning blog friends.

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - pet nose height:

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food.
The other dishes are mine and contain my food.
Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.
Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort.
Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep.
It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible.
I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom.
If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, and try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open.
I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required.
The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's back parts. I cannot stress this enough!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Once to Every Man and Nation

We are seeing history written these days, which is true of any day and age, but particularly so during the time we find ourselves in. At this historical time, I've been finding myself reflecting on the past, for some reason, and not the future. The Present Crisis was a poem written by James Russell Lowell, an abolitionist, and was first published in 1845. It was written by Mr. Lowell as a protest over certain issues connected with slavery. I posted this portion of the poem a couple of months ago, but I want to repost it today since it's been so much on my mind of late.

Because of several issues surrounding the current day and time, some national, I wanted to reflect on this poem once again, due to its depth and meaning. The first and last stanzas are particularly important for us to remember, certainly those of us who are believers. It's EXTREMELY important that we embrace what's being articulated here. There are some of you who know what I mean in a more particular way. Note that the last stanza says that it's often the portion of truth to be on the scaffold, while wrong is often on the throne. But note this certainty most of all: It's the scaffold that sways the future, and somewhere in the shadows, though unknown and unseen by many, GOD IS KEEPING WATCH ABOVE HIS OWN. I read somewhere that this poem reminds us that it is GOD who is in control of history and HE will write the last chapter. Amen. Hallelujah.

[ Scaffold, in capital punishment, refers to a structure at a gallows that the condemned stand upon, often with a trap door; it can also refer to the elevated structure on which a condemned person is set to be beheaded. (per Wikipedia)]

This is the hymn version:

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

~James Russell Lowell