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.
I feel sure that we, in the Pacific Northwest, don’t often pray for rain, but this year we have had quite a shortage of rain. My ferns are have trouble standing up and I’m beginning to think yellow is the regular color of lawns and green lawns look strange.
However, I will tell you a story I read somewhere that made me sit up and take notice, The story was about a man whose name was Homi. He lived in Israel quite a long time before Jesus was born. The prophets had all died and the people were living without God most of the time. It had not rained for a long time and people were worried, Homi was considered an odd fellow who still believed in God. He came into the town one day and said, “I will pray to our Father God for rain”.
He sat down in the dirt and started drawing circles around himself and said,”I will stay here in this circle until it rains.” and he started to pray.
The people were laughing and making fun of him but after awhile it began to rain. Everyone was dancing around and the kids were screeching and hollering around him. but Homi only prayed for more rain. The rain came hard and full. People were beginning to worry about flash flooding but Homi continued his prayer, “We need a softer rain. One that feels good on our skin and will soak into the ground.”
The rain changed to a steady soft shower and Homi got up from his circle of prayer and went home, but the people always remembered him and God too.
Perhaps we, too, should remember that all things are in his control and maybe we should begin praying, not only for rain but for everything. How about it?
I lost my two boys, one who lived about an hour but was a healthy looking boy of over seven pounds, and the other was born at eight months and I had carried him dead almost a month. I still remember their birthdays, one is coming up on August 8. My brother in – law was a carpenter and he had some mahogany boards in his shop so he made two little coffins. They were buried in the same cemetery lot a year apart. My dad, who is a pastor, and my husband were the only ones at the burials. Later we bought and placed a little stone lamb on the site.
Now, granted, I didn’t have an abortion, but I didn’t see either of those boys when they were born, but I grieved them just the same. I believe those mothers who, for some reason or another, aborted their babies, grieved too, and wondered what their babies would become. I figured out a way, not only to end abortion but to give the mother a time to grieve. At the same time it would end that awful thing of selling the poor babies parts.
Here is my solution! I think, after the abortion, the mother should be given the baby to bury him or her the way she wants. Those who hope to make much money selling the baby’s parts would end, and the mother, after seeing the little box, would cry for awhile and would never have an abortion again! After all, the baby is hers and she should have the ownership of it.
My solution might seem a little extreme, but if every mother was given a little box where her baby lies, I think abortion would end. It certainly would end that new business of selling the babies parts! I suppose the solution would be considered too extreme in this day where right seems wrong and wrong seems right, huh?
Did you have a good fourth of July? I did. I thought It would be a quiet one. One family was at Lake Tahoe, I was pretty sure another family was at a dog show somewhere and the other family lives at Rio Rancho, New Mexico so I was pretty sure they wouldn’t be here. And the weather was hot! So I put on my coolest clothes that still covered me up. I didn’t want my 80+ figure to show too much! I began to watch the Hallmark Christmas movies and expected that to be the exciting fourth of July!
My son, who lives with me said, “I’m going to grill some brats around five o’clock if it isn’t too hot out there.”
I thought that was fine, but in late afternoon my dog show family turned up and in early evening we had a full fledged barbecue in our back yard. They had brought chicken to grill and potato salad plus quit a few pieces of firework for later.My son make a great salad and we had the brats and buns and drinks.
After the barbecue we sat around my pond and talked. That was nice because they are always at dog shows with their three dogs whenever my daughter isn’t at work and my two grandchildren aren’t at school so I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. When it got dark enough we all headed for a safe place to set off our fireworks. I hadn’t monkeyed around with them since one of those “snakes,”I think they call them, took a run after me and hit me right between my legs! The crotch of both my slacks and my panties were burned, to say nothing about my skin! But I was game to try it again.
There is nothing so beautiful as watching my grandchild running and jumping with sparklers in hand! Her eyes were sparkling as much as the sparklers. My daughter said I looked as happy as a child. In fact, she told her daughter to take my picture. I really enjoyed the beautiful lights she put into the sky. It was almost 11 o’clock when it was time to clean up the mess we had made.
We broke up our party around midnight and, although I was very tired, I thought it was the best fourth of July ever. Now is the time we must save our country. Let’s all wake up and work together on bringing back the country we once had. The freedoms we once enjoyed are quickly disappearing, Maybe our fourth of July or even Christmas will soon be illegal. Wouldn’t that be terrible?