Saturday, November 30, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Imagine how difficult it was to keep my eyes shut tight waiting for Santa to deliver his treasures. He was so close. If I didn't get to sleep soon it would have been an unmitigated disaster. There I was waiting for Santa and waiting for sleep.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Its Thanksgiving Day 2011. My Thanksgiving celebrations have changed remarkably since childhood. Today I am in Tennessee with family. Several rose at dawn and participated in a 5K Turkey Trot. Me, I opted for a few more moments of shut eye.
My granddaughter, Peighton is celebrating her first Thanksgiving in this world. So begins her annual tradition of Thanksgiving memories. My childhood memories and traditions continue to be a source of joy as I get older. I pray they will for her as well.
As I think on Thanksgivings past I remember the feelings of anticipation and expectancy. They began early in the week with early dismissal at school and reached a crescendo on Thanksgiving morning as my brother and I waited for the arrival of our grandparents and great aunt.
While we waited by the television watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, mom labored tirelessly in the kitchen preparing the food. Dad would help as instructed. However his focus was on the football games scheduled for the day.
When our guests arrived chaos reigned as we greeted and talked and hugged and all that “stuff.” My grandmother specifically wanted to know what was going on in our school studies. Although her education was quite limited she was always drilling the importance of education. She was gifted in telling stories and and making up songs. There was a song she “composed” and taught us about getting a high school diploma, a college degree, and a masters degree. I don’t remember the words or the tune, however I will never forget the priority she placed on education.
While we were all socializing, mom continued to labor in the kitchen. At last the meal was ready. Often the timing of the meal had to be coordinated with the football schedule of the day.
However, the feast was sumptuous and colorful. The table was set with my great grandmother's linen tablecloth and the the “good” dishes. The menu as best I remember consisted of Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, turnip, pumpkin, cranberry sauce, tiny pearl onions in cream sauce, corn, broccoli, and gravy. For dessert there was chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue pie, mince meat pie, and a variety of cookies, and cakes.
A tradition at our family meals was the discussion of politics at the table, usually over dessert and coffee. The discussion was always lively and the topics varied as was everyone's perspective. We shared polarizing opinions and voices would rise, yet I never remember anyone getting irate or being insulted.
When my aunt Frances would share the day with us, we would gather at the piano after dinner and after the football game to sing. The songs we sang, in ragtime tempo, were not necessarily Thanksgiving type songs. Mostly they were WW 2 era songs and sung with great gusto. I must admit at the time I didn't always understand the tale of the song. When I asked what certain words meant, they just laughed and went on...
When the day ended we were full, satisfied, and content.
Although I spent much of my childhood looking forward to being older, the older I get the more I appreciate being younger. I sure do miss those days and those folks.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Thursday is Thanksgiving. Being thankful should not be reserved for one day of the year. Which begs the question, Do you think you could go 24 hours without complaining?
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of "Words That Hurt, Words That Heal", often lectures on the impact of words. He asks audiences if they can go twenty-four hours without saying any unkind words about another person or to another person. Invariably, a small number of listeners raise their hands, signifying yes. Others laugh, and quite a large number call out, “No!”
Telushkin says, “Those of you who can’t answer yes must recognize that you have a serious problem. If you cannot go twenty-four hours without drinking liquor, you are addicted to alcohol. If you cannot go twenty-four hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine. Similarly, if you cannot go twenty-four hours without saying unkind words about others, then you have lost control over your tongue.”
—Rick Ezell, One-Minute Uplift (July 21, 2006) /Larson, C. B., & Ten Elshof, P. (2008). 1001 illustrations that connect (487). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Friday, November 18, 2011
The end of the year is fast approaching. In fact, it is later than you think. The new Christian church year begins November 27th with the season of Advent. So the last Sunday of the year is actually this Sunday, November 20th. It is referred to as Christ the King Sunday. Sunday completes the Christian journey through the life of Jesus Christ on earth and in heaven which began with the preparation for the birth of Jesus in Advent.
Kings are absolute rulers: they attain power by raising and leading armies into war against other countries. Jesus' war was not against people or against a country, but against sin, death, and the power of the evil one! By his death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus won the war against evil.
The good news of the gospel is that we are to accept that Jesus fought and won the war over evil and sin through the cross. We are to accept Jesus as the only means of forgiveness of sin and recognize him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
On Christ the King Sunday, Christians recognize and worship Christ as king of heaven and earth for all time without challenge and without end. AMEN! Most often, Christ the King Sunday falls just before Thanksgiving and our attention is focused on gratitude over “kingliness”.
Join us this Sunday morning as we celebrate and proclaim “Christ the King”.
Then, return Sunday evening as we observe together, in thanksgiving, the Lord’s Supper. And yes, You will have opportunity to give evidence of your Thanksgiving.