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.
The house looks great, inside and out. The cookies are all baked and ready to go. The shopping is finally done and even the presents are wrapped. The Christmas cards have all been sent except that one I received today. How did I happen to miss her? Yes, it looks like I’m all ready for Christmas. Are you?
Do you look for that one last thing? Or Maybe that it would snow for Christmas! Just a little bit, so everyone can still get around. Yes, that would make it a real Christmas!
Maybe it would be good to go to church, they always have it decorated so nice. However, the decorations you worked so hard for, the beautifully frosted cookies are all in the tummies of those you gave them to. The shopping is done, the gifts have been given and yet you are still looking.
Could it be that you are looking for that baby whose birthday we are celebrating? Is there an empty spot in your heart? I am so sorry that Christmas has become just a holiday for so many folks. It is a time we put up decorations, bake those cookies and shop for those gifts. AlL in celebration of a baby who was born in a barn. Who Was raised in Nazareth, and died a horrible death for every one of us. Even the worst criminal you can think of. Our past, present, and future sins are gone. All we have to do is accept that baby into our hearts. He is our Savior, the Son of God, and, we must confess that we are so unworthy to accept such a great gift. That is why so many of us are looking for that empty spot in our hearts to be filled. Is that you? fill it up today!
When I was a little tyke I thought the day was great! In school we made lots of jack-o-lanterns out of the pumpkins a farmer or two brought a day or so before, and we made ghosts and goblins out of construction paper. In the evening,we had a party with games and doing what I liked the best, bobbing for apples. I still believe Halloween is really for kids, except for the teenage boys who tipped over the backhouses! People say,”The boys didn’t really do that, did they? Oh boy, I’ll say they did! In our little town you could see fathers out trying to make right, the wrongs the boys did on Halloween night.
Halloween has changed though, and I’m not at all sure the change was good. I am not sure when “trick or treat” began, but I joined in with the other mothers, making outfits out of old clothes and then letting them go out and get candy which was not at all good for the teeth! That custom seems to be going away though. It just isn’t safe for children to be running around after dark these days!
What I’m really upset about is the cost. Little kids aren’t satisfied unless they can get a new outfit every year! And the merchants are anxious to help them. The kids shop right along with the adults, who are looking to find the right thing to wear to the grown up parties held on Halloween night. And grown up parties are taking the place of the simple things children used to do.
Maybe we should be remembering that October 30th is the day Martin Luther posted the 98th thesis on the door of the Church 500 years ago. Everything has changed since then. The Catholics have changed much of their former doctrine and the whole Evangelical movement has grown up to believe the way God intended, Faith, not works, should be the norm for all of us. Wouldn’t that be a holiday? It wouldn’t cost very much either, the change would be on the inside rather than our outside costumes. Happy Martin Luther Day, everyone!
When I was about ten years old, I had an enemy. I didn’t know why she was my enemy, but she was. She made fun of my clothes. My clothes were generally my aunt’s dresses which my mother made over for me. I knew they weren’t as nice as the other girl’s dresses but a preacher’s daughter couldn’t have new clothes in those days. Some pastors today are the richest people in town. I don’t understand that either.
This girl, her name was Donna, would try to destroy any papers that I was working on by marking them with a big black X, and I would have to do the paper over again before it could be handed in. She tried to get the other girls against me, but, for the most part, I guess they knew her too. I always got better grades and I thought maybe that was why Donna was my enemy, but she didn’t care that much about grades so I was pretty sure that was not it.
In Sunday School one Sunday, I read: “If thine enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head”. (Romans 12-20KJ) I didn’t want heaps of coals of fire heaped on her head but I got from that verse I should be kind to her even though she was not kind to me. But how could I do that? I wondered. I realized then that I was always shooting words back at anything she said! I was as bad as she!
If I respond to her in anger, we will never have peace between us. However. if I continue to treat her with kindness and pray for her, I will find that peace will prevail. I was not a bit sure it would work like the Bible verse said, but I decided to give it a whirl anyhow. I started praying for her, Praying that she would be happy and find that friend that I had, Jesus. I treated her well too, doing little things for her and not answering when she said something nasty to me. One day she asked me if she could go with me to Sunday School! I, of course said yes.
We started going to Sunday School together regularly and she finally gave her life to Jesus. She even gave me two dresses that didn’t fit her anymore. I found that I was no longer only making peace between us, but I was making a friend. Donna and I friends? Yes, we were truly that and much more. Why don’t you give that a try if you have a person who does mean things to you. It works! and it should, because it came from God’s Holy Word. And His word is true!
What is happening to our young people? I have heard the study made that shows more drugs are taken by young people and young adults than ever before. And that American young people are taking drugs more than any other country! Why do they do that? Could it be that we have ignored the teachings of the Bible to our kids? I think we have watered down what the Bible teaches far too much.
I’ve been writing a book about a twelve year old girl in the middle eighties. This has taken me much research and I have read that young people were open to talking about God and Jesus. The stories that Jesus told were the basis of their lives. Now, all they do is swear by God’s name. Yet drugs and alcohol were available even at that time and I suppose there were those who used them. After all, there are always a few rotten apples in the basket.
Now I’ll give you my theory: The generation of the late eighties taught their children the way to live. Christianity was alive and kicking then. The parents of the early nineties spent nearly all their time in Church with their kids and their kids really loved it. There they met their friends and it was playtime around the church! The study time was taken seriously too. I am a member of that time so I don’t need any research on that!
The parents of the next generation made the decision not to attend church as often as their parents. I was a Parish Worker, which is really a pastors assistant, remember that I had men of the church pick up children who wanted to go to Sunday School. I think I had three cars go every Sunday. The kids really wanted to go, but their parents wanted to sleep an extra hour or two. Anyhow, things broke down a bit during that time. Also, Sunday School was held before the worship service so the children went to the service with their parents.
Now, the Church’s message has been watered down in some of our Christian churches. It seems there’s not much to believe in. So, the parents stay home and many of the kids have gone to Independent churches. The rest wander around and often get into bad company. And that’s what makes the study. We, the modern parents are guilty and we seem, to get worse every generation, don’t we?
What do we do about it? I really don’t know. I watch parents play with their children. This was much like in the eighties but not like the other generations until today’s. I think there is hope. We were told we must stand up for our country. Well I think we should stand up for Christianity now. It is constantly being persecuted. Many are killed. Yesterday, 45 Christians were killed while celebrating their Palm Sunday service in Egypt. Let’s be real Christians, teach our children too. And be proud that we are Christians! Maybe that will bring at least our Christian kids back to the fold.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was fine. I wish we had taken more time to Thank God. Otherwise, I was so proud of my daughter. She handled everything so nice. Even when two people and their baby came invited by my grandson who had forgotten to tell my daughter, she brought in another table and placed it by our big table just as if she had planned it that way.
I will be writing my blog about Christmases from the earliest one I remember to the latest on the weeks before Christmas..We didn’t have electricity yet in my little northern Minnesota town. The church had a big tree every year and I waited eagerly for the candles to be lit. We had a pageant complete with Mary,Joseph, baby, shepherds, wisemen and angels. I was an angel. I thought I had never seen anything so beautiful as that lighted tree. I stared at it until the men used a tall basket to put the candles out.
We lived next door to the church. They called our house a parsonage because my dad was the pastor. We had a Christmas tree but not one like the church. We had no candles in the tree, but Mama had two tall candle holders that she placed on each side of the tree. The next year Mama and Daddy told us to stay in the kitchen with the door closed. My brother, sister and I stayed as close to the door as we could. It seemed like a long time before we heard Daddy’s voice calling us to come in. Each of us tried to be first so we just tumbled over each other, but we finally made it and we stood, not talking at all, just looking at our tree covered with red, green, blue and yellow lights. We couldn’t believe it! Even though we had seen electricians drilling holes in our walls! I thought we must be very rich to have lights on our tree. We didn’t have electric lights in our house yet, just our oil lamps but Daddy talked to the electrician and he put one extension cord in our house just so his kids could be surprised by having lights on our tree!
I write most of all today about lights on the Christmas Tree, but our Christmas was more than that. A few days before Christmas Day a group of people came into our house dressed like scary folks. They came every year after that first year I remember and they called themselves Yul’e Boks. (I’m not sure I spelled that right). All I remember was how scared I was! I ran and somehow got under Mama’s dress. They brought a food basket which was full of good things to eat. I enjoyed them in other years but that was a tradition in our town. Of course we had Christmas programs in school and church but it was much more simple way back then. Everyone celebrated the birth of Jesus. I don’t remember any talk about Santa Claus at all. Boy! how things have changed! One thing we did have was plenty of snow and we kids had fun making tunnels and snow people. Our moms made lots of things before Christmas, such as lefse, cookies, cakes and lots of bread things. I don’t know where the money came from. It must have been saved penny by penny until they had enough. But I remember Christmas as being fun and inspirational way back then.