Someone to Watch Over Me …

I posted this years ago but dad is on my mind so strongly today …
     and I’m reminded again of the old song,
          “Someone to Watch over Me.”

Dad was the one who made me feel safe, protected, and loved. I thought nothing could ever go wrong as long as he was there. If it did, I had complete faith that he could take care of it. As far as I was concerned, he could take care of anything. In my eyes, he was all-powerful.

Because dad disagreed with many of the man-imposed beliefs of the church he grew up in, he wouldn’t go to a formal church, however, I never heard him criticize it or his parents. As I grew up, I began to see that while he didn’t go to church, he was a believer in Christ. He didn’t talk the talk—he simply lived what he believed.

I watched dad’s attitude and manner with my grandparents. I saw the way he honored them. He never raised his voice or spoke to them without a sir or ma’am—can you tell he grew up in Texas! I don’t remember dad using foul language, yelling, or telling dirty jokes in front of the family. I wasn’t “taught” to be respectful of my parents and grandparents—it was modeled in front of me.

Dad was very strict and his rules were not to be broken. I can still hear his voice going very soft when I did something I shouldn’t, and I knew I was in trouble. I was taught to never ask why or beg him to change his mind. I was actually in my forties before I learned where the “never ask why” came from. Matthew 5:37 says “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’, and your ‘no,’ be ‘no.’ Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

The value of controlling my tongue was brought home to me very early in my life. You’ll notice that I said the value of controlling my tongue. I’m still working on the control part; it’s been a lifelong challenge. I have clamped my teeth over my tongue many, many times, and wished I had many other times. At dad’s constant prompting to think before you speak, I learned the importance of thinking things out. Most of the time when I did stop and think, I didn’t need to say it or ask about it. Usually just slowing down kept me out of trouble.

I don’t remember dad ever telling me he loved me in words; but there was never a time in my life when I doubted his love. I knew it, just like I knew that morning always follows the night. One of the most important things I realized very early in life was that I was the child and dad was the adult. He was the authority over me and always would be. And I felt safe and protected.

Don’t get the wrong idea, dad wasn’t perfect, he had flaws like everybody else, but he walked the walk. And this laid the groundwork for my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Dad made it easy for me to accept the authority of God the Father.

No matter what our earthly fathers are like, good, bad, or indifferent, we all have a heavenly Father who created us and knew us before we were ever born (Psalm 139), one who knows the number of our days, who wants the best for us, who promises to take care of us, and who through belief in His Son Jesus Christ has made us heirs of His eternal kingdom along with His Son.

Dad went home to God the Father’s eternal kingdom a long time ago, and when I am missing him, I open God’s Word and read His promises …

And I know without a doubt that
Someone is still watching over me …

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DAD

Posted in Father's Day, General, Jesus Christ | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Left Behind … Have you ever wondered?

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes in the dark of the night I think about what might have been. You know—the kind of night when sleep won’t come and the past fills our minds. I think about my loved ones who have moved on to heaven. I wonder what they are doing and if they remember life here on earth.

I think about the apostles and wonder if they felt left behind when Jesus ascended to heaven. I know Luke 25 tells us that after Jesus blessed them, He left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. However, I wonder if in the middle of the night when they couldn’t sleep if they ever wondered what Jesus was doing and if He remembered his life here on earth.

But then I remember that Jesus was fully alive when He ascended into heaven.

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote a poem entitled, “Of Death I Do Not Approve and I am Not Resigned.” This poem resonates with me and I find a small comfort in knowing someone else has had the same feelings as I have. I’ve struggled so many times with the emotional earthquake of losing loved ones and I find no comfort in the finality of death. My soul cries out at the injustice and the loss. No, I do not approve and I am not resigned.

The amazing thing is God Almighty did not approve of death either. When Jesus saw Mary weeping and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled and asked where they had laid Lazarus. Come and see, Lord, they replied. And Jesus weptJohn 11:33-35

Jesus wept … With His tears, God tells me that He did not approve of death any more than I did, that He was not resigned, and that He was not willing that any should die. This God, this God who is love, this resurrected living God, this incredible God who created man and woman, was not willing for His loved ones to return to dust.

God had a plan to save His created people, not to harm them but to help them. He did what no one on this earth can do. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who not only paid the price for our sins, but defeated death when He gave up His life on the Cross. He returned to life three days later and conquered death for all of mankind and for all of eternity. Jesus did this out of love for the Father—and for you and me.

Jesus wept…Here is the comfort for my soul. God is not off in the clouds watching, He is here now. Here, God gives me hope for a future. Here, God gives me assurance that the dead will rise, that I will see all my loves’ faces again.

Just like everyone, I struggle daily with this imperfect world. My journey has been a long and uncertain one mingled with both good and bad times. And yes, sometimes in the rawness of grief I falter, but the Lord always reminds me He is with me and this earthly place is not my final destination. I am convinced this world is only temporary and that death has been defeated. There will be a time when the imperfect will be made perfect, when life will be fair, when pain and grief will no longer exist, when sadness will be replaced with joy, and Christ Jesus will reign.

Easter is why we don’t give up.

 Easter is the day Jesus rose from the grave and defeated death. Because of Easter, “The trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed … Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15: 52.54

Easter is the day that gives me hope. Easter is a day of celebration, a day to celebrate life and to remember Almighty God loves us and we will see our loved ones again.

Left behind—temporarily…But I am comforted in the knowledge that God can and will make everything new and right and beautiful and perfect someday. I am comforted in His promise of an eternal future for all who believe in His Son. I am comforted in His promise of a grand reunion with my loved ones.

Oh, what a celebration of life that will be!

May your Easter be filled with peace and joy and hope!

 Jesus Christ lives!

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Nothing is the Same…When Right was Right and Wrong was Wrong

 

 

 

 

Life was so much simpler when I was a child in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

Watching the news the past few years and again this last week, I am deeply saddened by America and the disconnect people have with one another in today’s world and how intensely scary it must be to young people.

I am reminded of those simpler years and how blessed I was to grow up then. We didn’t have fancy homes or much money during the 1930s depression years, but we had each other. The love of family was the most important thing in our world. We ate together, talked together; played games together, worked in the garden together, took walks in the evening together, went to church together, and cried together. It was an unselfish time, a time filled with absolutes and God was the supreme authority. Right and wrong were determined by what God said.

When the school bell sounded we sat down in our classroom and listened to the morning announcements over the PA system. The principal started the school day with a prayer, all heads bowed. Next, we stood with our hands over our hearts and repeated:

I Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

And we understood God was watching.

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) were posted in every class room. When a child misbehaved at my school the teacher directed him to figure out which Commandment he broke, and then they talked about it. If the child was unrepentant he ended up in the principal’s office, and an attitude adjustment was rendered. The parents were always notified and that was scary because we knew our parents would reinforce the principal’s action when we got home. Most parents supported the school.

Absolutes, black and white, right and wrong, children knew exactly where they stood. If you broke the rules you were in trouble.

The boundaries started changing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s removal of prayer from our nation’s schools. On June 25, 1962, thirty-nine million students were forbidden to do what they and their predecessors had been doing since the founding of our nation, publicly calling upon the name of the Lord at the beginning of each school day. The boundaries continued changing in 1980 when the Supreme Court ruled against the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools.

Hindsight is amazing in its ability to clarify. Looking backward, it is easy to see that the value system of America started changing the instant prayer was taken out of schools. The downward spiral accelerated when the Ten Commandments were removed and a hole was forged in the soul of America as we lost our firm foundation. We all have a basic need to know where we stand and what we stand on is solid.

Oh, yes, the children of the 30s, 40s, and 50s rebelled against rules and restrictions. We challenged them just as the children of today do. It was all part of growing up, pushing the limits, testing the waters. But when problems came, we liked the boundaries of home, family, and God although we never admitted it. They surrounded, protected, and made us safe.

I look around at the world today and it appears we have traded family and our Lord for the love of self and “Me, Myself and I,” all wrapped up in uncontrolled anger and pain. Billy Graham once said, “Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God’s word.”

In this world of changing values, a world where nothing remains the same, where history books are being altered to reflect political correctness, how comforting it is to open the Bible and know that God doesn’t alter His Word to fit this world. His Word is absolute, carved in stone.

We can read His Word and know where we stand and what we stand upon. These boundaries show us a God who loves us, who wants to save and protect us and who sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay for our sins, and who desires for us to love Him back and respect His infinite authority. These boundaries reach deep into our soul and offer us sanctuary in a world that has very little security.

If we listen very carefully, we can hear God’s voice echoing across the centuries as He assures us His Word is unchanging and eternal; His Word stands firm in the heavens, and His faithfulness continues through all generations.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the Word of God stands forever.” -Isaiah 40:8.

Right is still right and wrong is still wrong!
And God is still watching…

 

Note: Picture at the top: Betty around 1-1/2 years at her great grandmother’s home in Blue Ridge, Texas.
Note:  Parts of this story were first written in 2015.
Posted in America, Changes, General, prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Kansas City … and All that Jazz

 

 

 

 

 

This morning I was listening to Blues singer Etta James singing Trust in Me and my years in Kansas City come alive. Moving to Kansas City in the mid-1950s was a real eye-opener for a Texas girl who grew up with ranch style houses, the Grand Ole Opry, Minnie Pearl, and two or three days of snow every few years.

It was definitely not Texas!

Bill and I married the first week of January moved to Kansas City a few days later, it was colder than anything I had ever experienced and the first thing I did was buy a REAL winter coat and fur-lined boots. Then we started looking for a place to live, he was in the military and we were required to live within so many driving minutes of his base. In this part of town the buildings were mostly dark brownstone, very old, very dismal, and covered in black soot from the steel mills. What I really wanted was a place that was painted white and not covered in soot! We went east on Truman Road to Independence and found a tiny white duplex and moved in, emphasis on tiny! Time passed and we moved to a much larger apartment in one of those soot-covered brownstone buildings. Once you got inside it was fine and I loved, really loved, the basement, the floor in our apartment was always warm.

After the initial surprise of everything being so different I loved my years in Kansas City, particularly the music—definitely not the snow and soot! New Orleans is said to be the birthplace of jazz, but it’s also said America’s music grew up in Kansas City. KC jazz is a style of jazz that developed in the 1930s when the transition was made from big band to the musical improvisation style of Bebop. The Kansas City sound was largely instrumental, but it showcased the blues vocal traditions of New Orleans and became known as the Kansas City Blues.

There was a saying among the Army guys where my husband was stationed, “All roads lead to Kansas City Jazz Clubs,” so when Bill had time off we would head for 18th and Vine streets in the heart of downtown KC. This was home to many blues and jazz clubs and all were great. Jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker, Big Joe turner, Ella Fitzgerald, and Orin “Hot Lips” Page are forever linked to this neighborhood.

The Blue Room exists today and is chock-full of jazz artifacts, vintage photographs and memorabilia. The club is part of the American Jazz Museum which celebrates the careers and legacies of Charlie “Bird” Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and other jazz greats.

A few years ago I was blessed to go on a trip with my two daughters and show them around Kansas City and Independence. We went to the Blue Room and had a wonderful (very nostalgic for me) night of Kansas City Blues music. Earlier that evening we enjoyed a delicious KC steak at the Golden Ox Restaurant in the stockyards where Bill and I loved to go. Special memories for me of the 1950s before my daughters were born, and now, special memories of the time when the three of us visited the places their dad and I loved.

Memories, they have a way of sneaking up on you and holding you captive. Today has been one of those days when my mind has been filled with our years in Kansas City, so many life-changing experiences, so many stories. Today, it was the Jazz clubs….

So here’s to my Bill and the life we shared,
I still miss you after 41 years,
A part of me will always be there … holding hands with my love,
In our favorite jazz club,
Sipping a vodka gimlet,
And listening to the soulful music of The Temptations!

Posted in General, Kansas City, Memories, Moving, music | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Today’s Our Day…Memories, we all have them

The doorbell rang early the morning of January 7, 1956. Mother came running to my room and woke me up saying, “You need to go to the front door.”

Half asleep, I wrapped a robe around me and stumbled to the door. A woman smiled and said “I’ve been told to tell you Today’s our day.” And then she handed me an armful of yellow roses and a handwritten note.

I was wide awake now. I put the roses down and opened the note,
Today’s our day…
Yellow roses are for remembrance and fidelity
We have to make each day a day to remember…

Sixty-two years ago today I married my love, the young man I met seven years before in ninth grade. This day is engraved on my heart and mind. The armful of yellow roses was the beginning and a single yellow rose showed up many times during our twenty-one years together, a date night dinner, the births of our daughters, a new home, and many times for no reason at all.

One of the last yellow roses showed up in Bill’s hand in Paris, France. He had gone ahead of me on business and I stayed home to go to our daughters’ dance recital. I flew to Paris the day after the recital. The plane landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport and when I looked out the window Bill was standing there with a yellow rose in his hand. “Remember…” he said as he handed the rose to me.

Memories—we all have them, some good and some not, but all are precious. They fill our life and make us who we are. Throughout the years Bill would occasionally ask “What do we remember about today?” My love died young at forty-two years. His last word to me was Remember…

So each January 7, I look through our wedding pictures and I remember…

I remember eating the top layer of our wedding cake in bed the morning after our wedding!
I remember our first little home in Independence, Missouri.
I remember the stories he shared with me about the military.
I remember the births of our daughters.
I remember him hanging diapers out to dry.
I remember the stories he made up for our daughters.
I remember him playing the guitar and singing Moon River and Scarlet Ribbons.
I remember costume parties (and that’s another story for another time!)
I remember his humor and dry wit.
I remember his love of food and coconut pies.
I remember our date nights and fancy dress -up parties.
I remember the picnics in the den and cooking hot dogs in the fireplace.
I remember playing poker with our daughters on the beach and using sea shells for poker chips.
I remember making a gallon of ice cream and taking it to the drive in theater with our daughters.

I am thankful for love and laughter and our time together.
The tears fade, days and years pass, but the joy of memories holds fast.

And I remember the roses …

 

Picture:  In the picture Bill and I have left the church and are on our way to our wedding reception and the wind was blowing hard!

Posted in Anniversary, General, Memories, Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Every Christmas has a Story … This one is for my daughter


‘Twas the Night before Christmas
When all through the house,
Family was gathered, gifts under the tree,
Dinner was ready, how delicious it smells,
When what to our wandering minds should occur,
But the birth of a child,
She was coming today!

About twenty people were crowded in a tiny four-room house, all gathered to celebrate Christmas. The floor around the tree was stacked high with red and green wrapped packages, many of the gifts were homemade. It was a cold and exciting Christmas Eve, and what a feast the family had brought to the house on Avenue A in Denton, Texas.

Every surface in the little kitchen was filled with the special foods of Christmas, baked ham and roasted chicken, scalloped potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, baked corn, vegetables of every kind, Mamma Hays’ homemade rolls, all bringing the wonderful aromas of dinner cooking.

And no one could ever skip the desserts, my Aunt Gladys’ famous divinity cake with lemon filling, Aunt Pricy’s coconut mound pies and fried Apricot pies, my mother’s burnt sugar cake and fried chocolate tarts, and Aunt Johnnie’s pecan pies. And if you were still hungry you could sample the homemade cookies, fudge, pralines, divinity, and date loaf candy. Oh, what blessed memories of family and food and laughter.

Bill and I moved back to Texas in September when he left the military and were excited to celebrate Christmas with family. Bill was enrolled at North Texas University finishing up his degree; he was also working for the Denton Record Chronicle reporting the local farm news, which was quite a learning experience for a city boy. We had left Kansas City and Army G-2 life behind us and were settling in for long-awaited visits with the family we had missed for several years.

So why am I sitting in a rocking chair in a robe, you might ask.

And why are twenty people packed in a little four-room house when my parents had a larger home in Dallas?

Good questions!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and I was in labor, we were having a baby! Plans changed earlier that day, instead of Bill and I going to Dallas for Christmas, everyone loaded up the food and came to Denton. Our baby was coming and on the predicted date! And if you know her, she is never late!

It was quite a day, the family started arriving early afternoon, and at six o’clock everyone watched me slide in the car and leave for the hospital. The doctor arrived in a flurry of activity all dressed up in a suit and sporting a Christmas tie. He examined me then sent me home saying the baby would not be born until Christmas Day, I think he just wanted to go back to his party! So we returned to the house where everyone was waiting.

I sat in the rocking chair (it had arms to help me up), Bill knelt behind the rocker with his arm around me and staring at me like I might explode any minute! As labor became more intense and closer together, presents with my name were dug out from under the tree. I rapidly opened baby gifts in both blues and pinks. Back then there were no sonograms and we didn’t know if a son or daughter was on the way. At eight o’clock Bill took me to the hospital again and this time a caravan of cars followed us. This baby was not waiting until Christmas Day!

I’m not sure Flow Memorial Hospital in Denton will ever be quite the same; my noisy family filled the waiting area near the delivery room and was singing Christmas carols. I could still hear them when at 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve my first child, my daughter Kimberly was born!

I really don’t know what happened to that wonderful dinner that filled the kitchen in my home or to all the wrapped presents. I was told that lights burned bright in that house and there was a celebration that lasted until Christmas morning!

I saw a movie earlier this season entitled “Every Christmas Has a Story.” That title caused me to think about the many Christmases of the past, and I realized that every year a new story unfolds for each of us. I remember the excitement and anticipation when I was a child. I remember the celebrations at my grandparents and other family homes. I remember fifty years of celebrating Christmas in my home in Irving, some all-nighters putting toys together, some sad ones when a loved one was gone, some catastrophes such as water pipes bursting under the house, some exhausting, and some perfect and glorious but I don’t think any ever topped the Christmas Eve Kimberly was born. As I age, I cherish each and every one of them— oh yes, every Christmas has a story and every story is special…and I remember.

I was recently asked what I think the spirit of Christmas means, and I answered quickly it was not Hallmark movies even though I do love to watch them. Then I had to stop and think. I thought about what it is not, it’s not the frantic shopping trips or the decorations; it’s not the wonderful meals and presents; it’s certainly not all the hustle and bustle of the season.

For me, Christmas is a celebration of love. It signifies a time of rebirth, a time to pause and cease striving, to put worldly conflicts aside, and just love the ones the Lord has put in my life. But it is not only dear memories of my loved ones, it goes deeper than that. It is a holy time, the original Christmas story happened 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ was born, when our Lord came to earth in human form to save his beloved people.

Through the years I have thought about Mary and the birth of Jesus on Christmas. I remember when I first looked at my tiny baby girl that Christmas Eve; it was the most incredible love I had ever felt. And I knew how Mary looked at her Baby Boy.

Perhaps the spirit of Christmas is the incredible love that God felt for His people and the love that we feel for Him and for our families. I think how blessed I am to have daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I think how blessed I am to have a stepdaughter and stepson. I think how blessed I am to have friends, both old and new, and the many friends where I live today.

‘Twas on the night before Christmas that I learned what love truly is. That same love fills my heart today when I look at this daughter who was born on that unforgettable Christmas Eve—she will always and forever be my baby girl.

So with a heart filled with love and joy

 I wish my first-born daughter Kimberly
A very, very happy birthday!

and

I wish all my family and friends
A very, very merry Christmas!

P.S.  How about sharing a story with me in the comment section below!

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Last of the Fun & Games for 2017 !

LAST of the FUN & GAMES!

Let’s see how much you know about Christmas trivia!

15. The poem commonly known as The Night Before Christmas was originally titled?
a) Santa’s Secret Visit
b) A Visit from Nicholas
c) The Night Before Christmas
d) The Midnight Guest

16.In the 1969 cartoon classic Frosty the Snowman how high could Frosty count?
a) 3
b) 8
c) 5
d) 6

17. In the original Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, how many “drummers drumming” did my true love give to me?
a) Eight
b) Nine
c) Eleven
d) Twelve

18. In the 1983 movie A Christmas Story,what gift does Ralphie want most?
a) A football
b) A Red Rider BB gun
c) Bunny Pajamas
d) A pet dog

19. Joel Poinsett brought the poinsettia, a traditional Christmas flower to America in 1829 from what country?
a) Canada
b) China
c) Mexico
d) Spain

20. Settlers of what nationality used the first Christmas trees in the United States in the early 1800s?
a) French
b) English
c) German
d) Scandinavian

21. The words and music of the famous carol Silent Night wee written and composed by Joseph Mohr on this day in 1818?
a) Christmas Eve
b) Christmas
c) January 1
d) His birthday

22. The first commercial Christmas card was created in 1843 by John Horsley and contained the message?
a) Merry Christmas to your Family
b) Happy Holidays
c) Seasons Greetings
d) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

 

Here’s the answers to questions 8-14:

8.C…In Syria Christmas gifts are distributed by The Wise Men’s Camel.
9.C…The real St. Nicholas lived in Turkey.
10.B…In The Nutcracker ballet, the nutcracker’s main enemy is King of the Mice.
11.D…It’s customary to exchange kisses beneath the Mistletoe.
12.A…One of Michigan’s towns is called Christmas.
13.C…The Christmas song which was originally written for Thanksgiving is Jingle Bells.
14.A…The name of the Grinch’s dog was Max.

How did you do?

 

Here’s the answers to #15-22.

15.B…The poem known as The Night Before Christmas was originally titled A Visit from St. Nicholas.
16.C…Frosty could count to FIVE.
17.B…My true love gave me NINE “drummers drumming.”
18.B…Ralphie most wanted a Red Rider BB Gun.
19.C…The poinsettia came from Mexico.
20.C…The first Christmas tree in the United States was used by German settlers.
21.A…Silent Night was written and composed on Christmas Eve 1818.
22.D…The first commercial Christmas card created said
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You

 

I hope you had a little fun

 and maybe found a game to play with your family at Christmas!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Posted in Christmas, General | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Time for More Fun & Games

TIME FOR MORE FUN & GAMES!

Let’s see how much you know about Christmas trivia!

8. In Syria, Christmas gifts are distributed by?
a) The Three Kings
b) Tom O’Bedlam
c) One of the Wise Men’s camels
d) Father Christmas

9. The real St. Nicholas lived?
a) At the North Pole
b) On the island of Malt
c) In Turkey
d) In Holland

10. In Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker,
 The nutcracker’s main enemy is…?
a) A girl called Clara
b) The King of the Mice
c) Almond
d) Dosselmeyer the magician

11. At Christmas it is customary to exchange kisses beneath a sprig of which plant?
a) Ivy
b) Yew
c) Holly
d) Mistletoe

12. Believe it or not, one Michigan town is called …?
a) Christmas
b) Wenceslas
c) Noel
d) Santa Claus

13. Which popular Christmas song was actually first written for Thanksgiving?
a) Away in a Manager
b) Frosty the Snowman
c) Jingle Bells
d) Joy to the World

14. In Dr. Seuss’ book How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the name of the Grinch’s dog was …?
a) Max
b) Cerberus
c) Rudolph
d) Ginger

Here’s the answers to questions 1-7:

  1. CThe carol “Silent Night” was first played on the Guitar.
  2. BElectric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895.
  3. D…The name of Scrooge’s deceased business partner in Charles Dickens’
    A Christmas Carol was Jacob Marley
    4.C…In North America children put stockings out at Christmas time.
    The Dutch children use stockings.
    5..C…Which name does NOT belong to one of Santa’s reindeer—Klaxon.
    6. B…In Guatemala Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25.
    7.
    C…Good King Wenceslas was king of Bohemia.

How did you do?
For more trivia and the answers to #8-14,
check the new post on Thursday!

 MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Posted in Christmas, General | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Time for Fun & Games!

 TIME FOR FUN & GAMES!

Let’s see how much you know about Christmas trivia!

1. The carol “Silent Night” was first played on what instrument?
a) A harp
b) A pipe organ
c) A Guitar
d) A kazoo

2. Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in?
a) 1944
b) 1895
c) 1976
d) 1492

3. The name of Scrooge’s deceased business partner in Charles Dickens’  A Christmas Carol was …?
a) Bob Crachit
b) Jerry Cornelius
c) Bill Sykes
d) Jacob Marley

4. In North America children put stockings out at Christmas time.  What do the Dutch children use
a) Old hats
b) Beer mugs
c) Shoes
d) Stockings, just like everybody else!

5. Which name does NOT belong to one of Santa’s reindeer?
a) Comet
b) Prancer
c) Klaxon
d) Blitzen

6. In Guatemala, Christmas Day is celebrated on?
a) January 6
b) December 25
c) October 31
d) Never

7. Good King Wenceslas was king of which country?
a) Abyssinia
b) England
c) Bohemia
d) Gondor

How did you do?

For more trivia and the answers to #1-7,

check the new post on Tuesday!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted in Christmas, General | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

So who’s Calling the Shots…?

 

 

Do you ever turn on the news or read a newspaper or article and wonder who is calling the shots?

I remember a time when I heard or read the news and I didn’t feel sad or mad or depressed. It was long ago when the world was a gentler place and people respected others. And now I am wondering what happened to that world. Where did the hate come from? Will my grandchildren and their children grow up in a world filled with hate and strife?

The words “who is calling the shots” kept invading my mind until I finally paid attention to what was running through my head. Some of you understand what I’m talking about because I have shared that I don’t plan stories, they find me and demand to get out of my head. They won’t hush and I can’t think of anything else until I let them out. This is one such story …

The other words that invaded the peace of my day are “divide and conquer.” Combine the two and I’m guessing some of you know where this is going. The more I thought about it the more is realized it is not the government, it is not the covert groups that are prevalent in America today, it is not the hate groups or the people who blindly follow them, and it is not the Russians or the Koreans or any other country.

I look around and see no true remembrance of the past, no honest recollection of the hearts of the men who formed America with the desire to create freedom, respect, and integrity for all men. I see history being altered in the name of political correctness, but the reality is the past is cast in stone and it cannot be changed.

And then I remembered King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible saying “All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” And I realized this is nothing new. The battle of good and evil was going on in King Solomon’s time and it is still going on today.

It is not a battle between people today; they are being used and deceived by the greatest enemy of all time. The one who was around in King Solomon’s day, the one who wanted to be like Almighty God, the most beautiful angel God ever made, the angel who fell from heaven and made earth his domain.

So who is calling the shots?

Who is trying to divide and conquer our world? Who wants to take our attention away from the most important thing in this world? It is the same enemy who roamed the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve lived there. It is the enemy who enticed Eve to test God and eat from the forbidden tree. He put a doubt in Eve’s mind and she and Adam ate the forbidden fruit and were sent out of their perfect dwelling place. And he is still putting doubts in our minds. He is Satan, the serpent cursed by God.

Satan, everybody’s enemy, is alive and working overtime to deceive you and me, to divide and conquer our world, and to destroy America.  He is the one calling the shots.

So what can we do in the face of great evil? How do we defeat this invisible enemy? We cannot, but Almighty God had a plan. He sent His Son to live as a man and do what you and I cannot. Jesus defeated Satan when He died on the Cross and He rose from the dead. Jesus has paid the price and invited all those who hear His voice to become His brother or sister. He made the way easy for you and me.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
That whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal live.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
But to save the world through Him.    — John 3:16

This is what American has forgotten. We have left Almighty God out; we have forgotten that Jesus Christ died on that terrible cross for us. We have left Him out of our hearts and our lives. And He is waiting to be asked back in, to be a part of our lives.

The angel who tried to be like God, the great serpent, the ultimate deceiver, Satan himself sees this and has moved in to occupy the space meant for God in people’s hearts. His greatest weapon is still deception which divides and conquers people.

BUT, there is a bright side. There is one more powerful than Satan—the one who will call the final shot is Almighty God and Jesus Christ. There is a plan and we are seeing it happen in the world today.

Jesus said ‘Watch out that no one deceives you…
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.
These are the beginning of birth pains.
You must be on your guard.   — Mark 13:5, 8-9

So who is calling the shots?  Almighty God and He is raising His voice.

He is calling us to know and believe in His Son Jesus Christ who came and lived on earth and died for us. Jesus promised us His peace, not as the world knows peace, but the blessed peace of knowing we are assured of eternal life and a forever home in Heaven with God where there will be no hate or strife or bigotry or pain or death, and where joy will reign forever.

But that’s in the future, I thought, and I’m not young, I can’t rally or protest or run for office. There is nothing I can do about the condition of the world today.

And then I thought again…Jesus prayed and I can pray.
So I’m asking you …

Pray for America to return to Almighty God.

Almighty God is waiting to hear from each of us …
He is the one calling the shots!

 

Picture credit:  A Cloudy Day in Irving, TX by BKG

Posted in America, General, God, Jesus Christ | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments