Yes, the child was born in a barn, the star shone brightly, angels sang and the poor (shepherds) and rich (wisemen) came to worship him, but it took a lot of living before the church was really born. The baby grew up and except when his age was twelve, and he talked with the teachers in the temple, we know nothing about him. However, he grew up to the age of thirty and for three years he walked around the country, speaking to many who followed him and healing those who were sick.
I don’t think the church was even born when he was tortured and died hanging on that cross because many who followed him still yelled, “crucify him” on that horrible day. They didn’t believe that he rose from the dead either, but those twelve men, his mother and a few friends did. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until the promise of God will be confirmed. The Holy Spirit came on the tenth day of their wait. Tongues of fire were on their heads and they spoke in different languages than they knew. People were there from different countries attending the Passover and when they heard their own language being spoken by those few people, they were surprised and 3000 joined those twelve men and their friends. Of course, they each went home and told their story.
The Church was born that day. When that rough fisherman, Peter, preached that first sermon many believed that Jesus had died for all of their sins and rose again to live with his Father, God. But those 12 men could have avoided all the torture and imprisonments they endured if they had just said “No” instead of traveling all over the globe by feet and being tortured for it! The church grew though and here we are today.
Are we able to take persecution? We didn’t, you know, when the world said prayer and all reference to God should be taken away, even though our country was formed on Christian beliefs. We even followed the world saying,”Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Shouldn’t we be stronger than that? Shouldn’t we join together in one large body. Why, we would be larger and stronger than the other side! Our America would be back and I think there are twelve Christian men who would do what those men, so long ago, did. However, each of us could do something if we believe that Jesus died to take our sins away and He rose to be with his Father so that we too can be with the Father.
My dog, Sonny, left this life on Thursday. It was a hard thing to do. I knew it wouldn’t be long until I would have to put him down, but I hated to do it. He was with me nearly 16 years! I don’t know if my years have something to do with my mourning, I am 91 years old, but I really miss him terribly. He stayed by my side all the time, especially when I was ill.
One day, my husband took him out for a walk. He slipped on the wet pavement and fell just behind a car that was backing out of a driveway. Sonny ran, his leash dragging behind him, to the front of the car. He was barking all the time. The driver of the car stopped and got out of the car and helped my husband out from under the car and took him and Sonny home. I guess that shows what a caring dog Sonny was. Yesterday, I got a card from the folks at the Hazel Dell Animal Hospital. the verse they sent meant a lot to me so I thought it might help those of you who have lost a dog, so, here it is:
They will not go quietly, the pets who’ve shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives.
Old habits still can make us think we hear them at the door
Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts belong to Sonny…..and always will.
I woke up on Monday morning to a beautiful scene. As I pulled open my drapes and looked outside, I saw that it had snowed just a little. It looked like God had put a white frosting on each evergreen branch. Now, I live in the woods where there are lots of evergreen trees and know that when it snows, which isn’t very often in our part of the country, the branches are heavy with snow. Some of them fall, broken from their weight. It is still beautiful, but not like this time. The branches looked delicate and not turned down at all!
When I went into the kitchen, I looked out the window which had trees that had dropped it’s leaves in the fall, and God had frosted each bare branch, with white frosting, all the way around. The trees never looked so beautiful! I wish everybody could have had the opportunity I had on Monday morning.
And then I thought, “I must look like that to God, because He says in the Bible that when we repent if our sins and turn to Him, our sins, which were dark, became white as snow,” So, we have God’s white frosting all over us!
We can all have that you know. All it takes is to know that Jesus died for your sins, turn away from them and follow His leading, and your sins, which are dark, will take your sins and make them white as snow. Isn’t that a good idea?
I watched as a boy was riding his bicycle near my home. My neighbor had put up a wooden hill so the kids could learn to ride their bikes up the hill and jump off to the other side.This boy started off fast, but when he got near the hill he slammed on his brakes. He tried this several times but never made a successful jump!
My thoughts went many years later to another 12-year-old boy. He lived with his mother, Mary, and his earthly father, Joseph. He also had brothers and sisters and they played together with the other kids in their neighborhood. One day the family and many other families living in their town went to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem, The boy, whose name was Jesus, did not want to play with the other kids but wanted to be alone. He watched as people brought their animals to be slaughtered and burned at the altar for their sins. He also went into where the scribes and teachers were and talked with them.
The scribes and teachers were very surprised that Jesus answered every question put to him and they talked for quite awhile. Meantime, his parents were worried about him and it was time to go home. They found him there with all the scribes and teachers and when they asked him he said, “Don’t you know I must be here in my Father’s house?” He did go home with his family and the Bible tells us he was helpful and obedient to his parents.
Isn’t it strange that story is the only one telling about his childhood? I believe he knew that day at the temple, what he would have to do. Before that, he was just a little boy playing games with the neighborhood kids. Now, he would wait until his Father told him to enter his ministry. And, that he would die for all the people’s sins, in place of all the animals he had watched slaughtered at the temple. That story was the only one needed to be included in the Bible. Anyhow, I am glad that story was written, aren’t you?
I am having loads of trouble with my dog lately. My dog, Sonny, has arthritis in his back legs and he can’t walk very well. He is nearly deaf and can’t see very well either. He has trouble finding his way back from where he started out. that indicates to me that he has a form of Alzheimer’s disease. But I love him.
He used to sleep on my bed with me and I didn’t mind that a bit. Now he still wants to somehow get up on my bed to sleep but he can’t make it. I, at age 91,I can’t pick him up either. He isn’t a big dog but he does weigh 32 pounds! I guess that’s on me feeding him too much, but I think it’s because he can’t move around like he did. I bought a cage and am trying to train him to use it, at least at night, but he would rather cry and whine on the floor beside my bed. And he has to go outside at least twice every night.
You can easily see that I don’t get enough sleep! But I love him. Love is on our minds in February because of Valentine’s Day. If you watch even a little television you will find you not only love candy and flowers, which is something you give to someone you love, but you should consider everything from cars to ladies underwear.
Let me tell you what the Bible says in 1 John chapter4(NIV)” Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” We must love our neighbor, our Church family, our real family members and God. Of course, we love that special one as well. In another verse, Jesus said we are to love our enemies and pray for them. In today’s world, there are so many enemies, so many really bad people, it’s hard to do that.
I still love my dog and I wonder how I can get a little more sleep. Do you have any ideas?
In bed, I felt warm and comfortable. I thought, why should I get up, there is nothing to get up for. I will just watch television or the dumb stuff on my tablet. My back and legs hurt, I’m no good for anyone so I’ll just stay here in bed.
That’s exactly how I felt this morning. Then I sat up, throwing my blankets away from me, and I said out loud, “What’s the matter with me? God gave me this day! Maybe He will give me no more days but He gives me this one and not one to waste either! I should thank Him and get out of bed.”
I felt much better and began thinking about what I would do with this gift. I knew I wouldn’t waste this day. I poured myself a cup of coffee that my son had started the percolator for me before he went to work. Thank you, Ron! Then I started writing my blog, thinking, maybe someone will read this and be blessed. We do need to think of each day as a gift.
My son, In New Mexico, got his new artificial leg and I watched him walk for the first time in a long time. He was smiling as he took those first, hurting steps. But I know him. He doesn’t wake up like I did. Every time his doctor gave him a speck of good news, he called me, and was so excited! You too, know someone who smiles through the shadows. Let them tell you that each day is a gift from God. You will feel better and not waste your gift.
I recently returned from attending a Memorial Service honoring the life and faith of Marv Martin. It was a beautiful service with the overhead pictures showing how he lived, a man who liked to have fun but had a serious side too. He was a man who cared for everyone and everyone was his friend.
I looked over the crowd gathered in the church and I thought, There are people here from every age including little children who, I imagine, have good memories like my own did when they were little. He did love children. He had only two of them, Debbie, with his first wife Faythe, and Mark, with his second wife, Ardis. He has also welcomed grandchildren and of course every child he met.
There were 15 people at that service, that I counted anyway, that knew and loved Marv from way back in Wisconsin when he was married to his first wife. Most of them called him “Uncle Marv.” I called him my brother-in-law because Faythe was my sister. He cared for all of us and it didn’t matter whether we were related or not.
I remember when he taught my little son to walk. He would hold something in his hand. Like a toy or some sweet thing he could eat, and he’d say, “You walk over to me and I’ll give you this, Ronnie”. Ronnie took one or two steps and then got down on all fours and creep over to Marv. After all, that was faster. Marv would say, “No, you can’t have this until you walk to me.” He did this several times and finally walked all the way. That was Marv. He took all the time needed even if he had other things to do.
Maybe we should learn something from this man, Marvin Martin.