A Day That Went Down in Infamy

On February 2, 1941 was a normal day in the USA and a wonderful day for my parents. It was the birth of their 1st child, a sweet girl who grew to learn the salesman’s techniques so well she could have sold a freezer to someone living in an igloo.

me chropped
Coolest bed ever to keep mosquitoes out

Ten  months after her birth, on December 7, the USA was rocked by the devastation of greed and destruction from another country who thought this was their path for world power. Why does anyone think this is a good choice to prove their dominance by killing many innocent people.

WWII
Such a waste

We as a nation, honor this Day of Remembrance, those servicemen and women and all current military for the protecting our country. We have many remembrances of this day still sitting on the bottom of the bay floor.

aseawreck
Evidence of horrific times

If all people of the world would realize the beauty of all of life, of all people and how we could all work together accepting each others differences and how to use them to make this a better world….wow. What a wonderful world this would be. Maybe someday…

Until then, I salute all of our military personal from the USA in hopes that they know how much they are appreciated and hoping that as this season approaches, many of them get the opportunity to get home, if just for the holiday.

flag

And for other countries military personnel, may you all be safe this holiday season also with a chance to be with family.

If I could have my one wish for Christmas it would be the classic beauty pageant request for world peace, where we all live in love, gentleness and profound kindness. I  am reminded of the wonderful concept of  “RACK” – Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

racks

 

As you go through the season remember this concept and make someone smile.

Do You Read The Study Notes? #1LinerWeds

Do you ever really wonder what the Bible is? Where did it come from? Is it real, is it true? I have very strong, foot standing my ground beliefs to all of these questions and I think all of us need to think on these questions to figure out where we stand individually on these questions as it balances us on where our priorities lay.

aopen bible

My answers are – The bible is the very word of God, given to His prophets by God and the disciples to tell the world who He is, what His plans are, the history of His people Israel and how to prepare the entire world for His abundant love.

The month of December I am reading through the book of Luke and trying to stay to one chapter per night as there are 24 chapters which carries you to Christmas eve. On Christmas eve we as a family always read Luke chapter 2 to praise the birth of Jesus.

To help me not read too far ahead, I also add on the study notes at the bottom of the pages as they give you a way to wrap your head around what was happening then and how I can apply it to today. I use the NIV study bible, studying first the word and then referencing the study notes to help me understand what I am reading. And for me, each time I read the same passages I have read many times before, I get different insights depending on what is going on in my life at the time. The bible is a living document, ever teaching and ever loving.

Chapter 5:36-39 of Luke has the parable of the old wine skins verses the new wine skins and while I vaguely understood what they were saying I went to the study notes to see what they could explain to help me correlate to today. What the parable tells us is not to put new wine in old wineskins as they will burst spilling you wine onto the ground. We all understand that things get worn out but lets study that for a second. Wineskins were goat skins where the edges were tightly sewn together to create watertight bags. As the bag ages, the skin becomes hardened and less pliable. The aging process of new wine requires expansion from the gases created so you need a pliable bag, therefore, you need a new bag. If you put new wine in old bag, it will be stiff leaving no access or room for expansion and the bag will split spilling it contents.

What Jesus was teaching with this parable was the comparison of the Pharisees being too rigid to accept His new teachings of Christianity. The old teachers of the Law could not turn lose their traditions and rules to be able to accept the new approaches and structures Jesus was explaining to the people. How does that apply to us today? Well, we as Christians must always follow the word and be careful that our hearts don’t get so hard and rigid with our traditions that it prevents us from from accepting the new way of thinking that Christ brings. We need to keep our hearts soft and pliable, always ready to accept His teachings of life changing messages. You can never tell when he may drop an opportunity to share Him in  your lap. Use wisdom, discernment and love in applying His truths so that others may want to come and learn.

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that God’s love and showing of His love to all is compared in my mind like sweet succulent grapes hanging from the vine for all to enjoy and share with others  – the Fruits of the Spirit. The top of the list is of course Love. Why love? Because God is love. My favorite of the fruits is kindness. To me you cant give kindness without love, so I always close with encouragements of kindness – for those needing it and for others to remember to share it.

kindness4
Kindness can be a small as a smile

Fruits of the Spirit = Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control

And thanks to Linda G Hill in allowing us to share fun, wisdom, peace and love through One Liner Wednesdays.

Mischievous Ole Elf

OK, its time for some Christmas humor. Most everybody loves Christmas decorations, except for the Grinch and Scrooge. Hope you are not one of those ass I have been blasting my love of decorations here since November. For those who may not know, I am healing from foot surgery and am currently not able to walk. I don’t sit well without something to do and as much as I love the Hallmark channel, there is only so much of that I can watch. So I pulled out the possible Christmas projects and wreaths to see what I and the glue gun could come up with. Also for those who may not know I also am a face painting clown – real clown – not circus clown but Christian clown using this medium to help spread cheer and the love of Christ. I explain all of this so you can understand my mental age is …12… on a good day. It will help you appreciate where I came from on this project. I saw the cutest thing on Pinterest with a small wreath and the letter J and Y – to make a JOY wreath. I painted the J red and the Y green and the O is a straw wreath. The I saw a small house like my  village houses and thought I could make a cute scene inside the O.

IMG_20181203_173600

So the plan was going great until assembly time. That’s when the mischievous Elf show up. This is what he did to my JOY wreath. I call it now “The Elf of No Help” wreath.

IMG_20181203_203321
Thanks for the help Elf.

Combined with the beauty of Christmas lights, we must never forget the laughter and JOY of the season. Sorry for my beat up door – Mimi is very protective.

As you spread the JOY of Christmas, remember the kindness a hug can bring. The gentleness of love and kindness during his season can brighten anyone’s day.

Do You Have a Favorite Ornament?

We have now crossed over to December so it is a perfect time to add more pictures of my over zealous indoor Christmas. I do hope it is not a total bore to you. Since I knew my surgery would prohibit me from decorating in December, I got to get ready by the second week of November. So I have been enjoying my 3 trees already along with my village and other Christmas cheer. I will display some that you may have seen and some new.

The first pic is my tree on the dining room table with my 40+ piece village beneath the tree. The second pic is the tree in my bedroom bump out window. Santa and Chris Moose had different opinions on how to hang lights on the tree. The last one is the tree in the living room.  So you see I have lots of enjoyment surrounding me. Next week I may be walking(sort of) and I will get that small trees up in the kitchen and bathrooms – no room left unattended.  But with all this decoration, is there a favorite? I dunno – maybe each tree has one, but not really. I do know some are favorites as they bring special memories to mind. For instance, my bedroom tree is the fun tree which holds my silly ornaments and ornaments my children made when they were young. Of those my favorite is the clothes pen angel my oldest made when he was 3. (He turned 40 this year) And of course this tree has all the S’more ornaments, over 30 of those. You can see the angel S’more behind Jimmy’s angel.

IMG_20181203_152848
The first ornament placed on this tree 

The other 2 trees are harder to find a favorite as they are all wonderful. Each year I  try to find 1 or 2 special ornaments that are different or extra special. So I will give you a few samples from each of the other trees. The tree on the dining room table is all white, glass or silver.

The tree that is in the living room is the so-called formal tree but my idea of formal probably differs from other ideas of formality as I am a pretty laid back type person. Since I was an art major in college, some of that bleeds through on this tree.

As the month goes onward, I will also share my nativity scenes. Yes, there are more than one, not including all the nativity type ornaments hanging on the tree that represent the true reason for the season.

IMG_20181118_144005.jpg
Even Santa knows that true love comes from the manger

In the gentle  mindset of the holiday season remember the value of being kind. Even Charlie Brown understands the gift of kindness.

CB Christmas

If you have a favorite ornament or like sharing the Christmas decor from your house, do share. I so enjoy looking to see how others decorate. Have a marvelous week.

 

Beauty in Nature, #1LinerWednesday

There are many beauties we see daily in nature that give us a glimpse of what Eden must have looked like. Adam, as he named all the creatures, seeing that some were more beautiful but realizing each specie had it purpose in creation that blended with the circle of life as intended for all to be harmonious with each other. Working together as a unit of divine creation and then….man ruined it. I read an article recently listing the most dangerous creatures in the world and man was listed as one of the worst. How could we,  the beautiful creation that representing God himself, strayed so far from His purpose. But this story is not about what man has done but to refocus back on the beauty of creation itself. Specifically, birds. Since I am somewhat temporarily disabled, my mobility is challenged and I have really become very fond of the birds that visit my feeder.

Yes, even the pesky squirrel is part of nature although neither I nor the birds appreciate his appearance. But the few that I admire the most are the woodpeckers and the red cardinals. With the ground now covered in snow, their bright red feathers really are beautiful.

IMG_20181128_105026
Dad and Mom

I had remembered my sister saying that cardinals represented loved ones recently lost but I don’t really buy into that but in research I did find some interesting facts. With cardinals, they are mates for life. They don’t mind the cold weather so that is why their bright red plumage shows up so well against the snow covered trees.

In many cultures they are thought to be messengers from the spirit world. Their bright red feathers represent love, boldness and passion. Their resilience of harsh weather can bring hope for hard times. Cardinals are appreciated as good fortune bearers and they remind the followers of Christ of His red blood that was shed for us. They are also symbols of Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s birth. They bring joy, song, harmony and happiness to people’s homes and lives. I have one that sits on my tree in the living room.

IMG_20181128_200655
The cardinal

As you go out in the world, open your eyes to the beauty of creation. Even the tiniest of flowers can bring a smile knowing that God placed it there for you to enjoy.

flower train
Single daisy

And always remember the value of kindness. Like a single bloom that makes you smile, a single act of kindness can bring sunshine to someone’s gray day.

.kindness3

 

In following along with Linda G Hills One Liner Wednesday, we add the cute monkey that represents Peace, Love and One Liner Wednesday.

And Startup for Christmas Begins

Christmas is filled with religious meanings and family traditions that echo our love toward the season and mankind. There are many stories or ideals we all share that originally came from myth or folklore and then get sprinkled with embellishments that make us love the story or the tradition even more. One of these for me is the candy cane.

candy canes
peppermint candy canes

There are so  many stories about their origin of this coming from a Christian perspective but they always seem to get debunked as untruths. Lets go through a few of these myths and at least enjoy them for the tale that they are.

In Germany over 250 years ago a white straight stick of candy was created for the supposed holiday season. There was some stories that were told the the white symbolized the purity of Christ but that evidently can not be substantiated. Then in 1670, in the USA, in the state of Indiana, a choirmaster made similar candy using the same symbol of white for purity but he added a “J” shape to the cane to represent the staff of a shepherd and the “J” of Jesus’ name. His thought was to give the children something to remember about Christ and to help keep them quiet during the nativity play.

It was not until the 1900’s that the stripes and the peppermint were added and the Christian meanings/myths were increased and are believed as true.

The white represents the purity of Christ. The “J” still represents the shepherd staff for us lost lambs and for his name as well. There are two types of stripes on the candy cane, a large thick stripe and three small thin stripes. The small stripes represent His scourging for by His stripes we are healed. The large stripe represents His blood that was shed on the cross for us. The peppermint represents hyssop which was used as purity in biblical times.

I don’t understand why someone wants to worry so  much about proving the factual truth of a wonderful story concerning Christmas instead of enjoying the beauty it represents today. At the end of the day it is a candy cane. Especially when people use this to look for extra reason to show their love of Christ or find was to energize the imagination of a child to help them understand the intricate details of the meaning of Christmas. It a joyous time of year. Have a candy cane.

And remember this season of thankfulness as it springboards us in the joyous season of Christmas. Its a time of year where we can share extra doses of kindness to all creation. Remember that no act of kindness is ever wasted but can create a ripple effect that spread across the world.

 

Angels on High, Reflections of Christmas

“And the angel answered him saying ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and I was sent to speak to you about the good news’.” Luke 1:19

IMG_20181119_160738
Gabriel

Gabriel was the main messenger angel that is mentioned several times to tell the world the good news of the coming Christ. Angels are personal creations of God that serve Him and carry out His purposes.

I believe angels are around us today and that sometimes we engage with them, not realizing it, until after the fact, as somethings the outcome can be explained no other way. I have had one major event in my life that can be explained no other way but I am sure there are others that I did not recognize. I am also sure and for certain that my oldest son’s guarding angle worked overtime when he was young and very possibly my youngest as well. Boys!

We see a lot about angels at this time of year as we reflect on the scriptures, Luke 2:9-14 telling the story of the angel of the Lord announcing to the shepherds of the birth of Christ and the sky being filled with heavenly hosts singing and praising God. Debbie Smyth posted a magnificent article of the Angels in London. If you have not see it, please go review. It is truly marvelous.

I am a major collector of angels and some of these creations stay out year round to remind me of their love of God, their love of me and their focus on the purpose of God’s ways.

Some people like stars on their tree top as the reminder of the star over Bethlehem but I like angels. I have several that I use, some are beautiful and ethereal but I like the one I call Gabriel with his robe flowing around him. Some have told me I should call him Michael but Michael is an archangel. An archangel is a leader of angels and Michael is listed as a warrior archangel and is his story is told during battles with satan and during the end times of Revelation. Gabriel not an archangel, he is a messenger angel and very prominent in the birth of Christ. Therefore…

My children know of my love for angels and have given me several over the years. My oldest made me one when in high school, art class.

The picture of the three at the top were given to me by my youngest representing his love for me as he thought I was his angel during a very hard time when they were young. It shows angels with all three of my children, the oldest son, the girl in the middle and the baby boy. That group stays out year round. Below are other pictures of my angels that I thought you may enjoy. Later I will share all of my nativity scenes….yes I have lots of Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of year.

Baby Angels…..

Kissing Angels…these were my moms, so they hold an extra memory.

IMG_20181119_162120

Table Top Angels….

Ornaments…too many to show but here are a couple. Several styles of hand blown glass.

 

And as always I throw out my encouraging thought on being kind. Instead of the hustle and bustle of the holidays control your energy, let kindness be a large part of it. It will make the holidays seem brighter. Follow suit and be part of being RACK.

arack