Friday, December 23, 2016

The Christmas Tree

Allow me to do some rambling and serving of memories. I do have an important point and will get to it eventually.

Recently I was flicking through some television channels when I came across a discussion about should Christians having Christmas trees. It caught my attention. I wondered why shouldn't Christians have Christmas trees. It is a time of celebration. A time to rejoice. A time to give thanks. A time to decorate for the most special birthday of all.

Some scholars/researchers refer to verses from Jeremiah to oppose Christmas trees. The problem with this is Christmas came about much, much later after the death of Jesus. So, there was not a birthday celebration for many years. Oh, and by the way, the Bible had already been written before anyone thought of a name like Christmas.

I can fondly remember my early childhood days of helping my Grandmother decorate a tree for Christmas. My Grandmother would certainly not have had a Christmas tree if the Bible stated not to. That just would not have happened.

I remember my Grandfather would go out, cut down a ever-green tree and bring it home and place it in the house. It had to be perfectly straight on its wooden base. Grandmother would bring out the decorations and we would start making the tree beautiful with all kinds of stuff.

On would go the lights. (Grandmother always placed the lights on the tree but she did allow me to help - some.) The colorful balls or ornaments were next. My biggest and most important job was throwing the tinsel on the tree. Bet some of you have no idea what I am talking about. Bet you don't even know that real candles were once used on Christmas trees. That didn't last long and you might can guess why. Plastic candles started to be used in place of the real ones.

A star or angel was always placed on the very top. I know now that the angel stood for the angel that spoke to the shepherds that were in their fields tending their herds. The star stands for the star that lead the wise men to the manger. The ever-green tree stands for Jesus.

Of course, now, we have a lot of artificial trees in use. I still like the real thing. (Don't forget to water.)

I see nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Jesus by using a beautifully decorated Christmas tree with colorful packages placed under it. Carefully selected gifts for family and friends that you pondered over before making a decision. Besides, the wise men brought gifts of gold, incense and myrrh for Jesus to honor and praise him.

My point: no matter how you celebrate this holiday, Christmas, remember there would be no holiday, no Christmas if it were not for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

So if you celebrate in any way you are acknowledging the birth of Jesus.

Lord, help us to remember that the Christmas tree stands for you. That the decorations are our gifts to you. To adorn and praise you. That the colorful wrapped packages are our Love gifts, in your name, to others.

Merry Christmas


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Where Will You Be?

As I sit here typing this post I am listening to old time Christmas music. I can't listen to Christmas music without singing along, moving with the music and feeling a bit
of nostalgic with memories of years past. Yes, I am taking a trip down my history's lane when Christmas was full of joy, family and friends. Giving and receiving the gifts and
love from everyone.

 No, I am not having a pity party. I am remembering with love and glee the times of my past during this, my favorite season of the year. No matter what, I love the Christmas season.
Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

No snow here but that's certainly okay by me. No drooping limbs from being covered with
snow.  No snowman being built. No snow balls being rolled and thrown at your mark.
No slink roads to try to maneuver. There will be lots of rain falling on the highways
so it still might be a little slower driving.

It has been a spiritually strengthening year for me. It has been difficult. I lost my uncle that I dearly loved.
We were close. I loved being with him and doing things with him. I also lost my favorite
great uncle.

Then, I lost my dad. My rock that always gave me support and encouragement to keep going
no matter what. To look at life with optimism and adventure. To be kind to everyone. So much
more especially how to accept others no matter who they were or what they did. He always
had my back.

So, where will you be? Will you be with family and friends. With family? With friends?
Or, will you be by yourself? What will you be doing on this most Holy day?

I will be celebrating the life that I was given. Yes, there may be some tears but they will
be tears of fond memories. They will be tears of loss and a smile that I have truly be blessed.

No matter how your year has gone. No matter where you will be. No matter who you will be
with, even if you are alone, remember that this day you are one of the most blessed people
on this earth.

Do you know why you are so blessed? Because this day is the birthday of Jesus, the son of God.
There would be no Christmas if it were not for the birth of Jesus. That is what and why
we celebrate this day. Do Him proud and love yourself and others. Show your love; it may be
the last chance you have to do so.

Think of those that are alone. In hospitals. In the armed services. The elderly. The child that is fighting a terrible illness. The homeless. Those that are hungry from lack of food and guidance. Remember those that have just recently lost a loved one. Pray that they have the courage, strength and peace to get through this day with love in their hearts.

It has been many months since I last wrote a post for this blog. I just didn't have it in me.
Today, after fighting the idea of doing this, I finally gave in and wrote this. It is to all
those that are willing to read and be encouraged from the mighty love and power of this day.

My the way, here is the Christmas music that I have been listening to:

Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see? A star dancing in the sky...
Do you know what I know?

May you be blessed this day and each and every day of your life.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What Is The National Day of Prayer? #nationprayer

Across this nation millions will join together May 7, 2015, to pray for our nation and our leaders.
There are many of us that distrust our leaders of government. Some of that distrust is
warranted. The only solution is that we pray that greed and injustice be removed and gratitude replace it.

There are sources that believe this our 64th day of prayer will be the biggest in history. Each day should be a day of prayer not just on our designated National Day of Prayer. Just maybe if this happened it would help to bring us closer to an understanding and end a lot of turmoil. 

 We are living during a time that most of us never thought would happen. For those of us growing up in the 50s and 60s we were thankful when all of the riots, burnings and killings seem to stop. Now we are having to relive those days. It makes me sad that we have gone backwards in this country. Our country's foundation is showing many cracks and it is up to each of us to seal and fix those cracks.

“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” – Psalms 11:3

We can be humble and righteous unto the Lord with our prays.

According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force this is a day to pray for our nation and its leaders.
I contend it is a day to pray not only for our leaders and nation but most importantly that we all
will seek to pray that we learn to live together as one nation in harmony with each other. The human being
at times is unable or unwilling to come to grips with life because of  bias, prejudice, mistrust, misjudgement and hatred. 

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” I Timothy 2:1-2

God is faithful to those that turn to Him.

The idea of having a time of prayer for our nation goes back to 1775 when the Continental Congress
declared that there will be a time for prayer in forming our nation. Presidents from Lincoln in 1863
called for a day of prayer for the citizens to pray for this country. President Truman signed the first bill into
law that began the National Day of Prayer. President Reagan changed the law in 1988 to designate
the first Thursday in May to be the day that all people of any faith should gather and pray for the nation
that we live in.

"To all of those who believe in the spiritual power of prayer as essential to the health of our nation;
to all who believe that the multiple faiths of our country can inspire compassionate spirits and wise actions;
to all of those who hope and pray and work for a better world; to all of those who are persuaded that
the practice of prayer can transform us in body, mind, and spirit to such a degree that we can be
peacemakers and justice-bearers for all of God's children who have the inalienable right to
"life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," go ahead and pray freely, openly, and from the heart.
And do so knowing that we simply don't need the government to tell us how, where, or when to do it."
  J. Andrew Daugherty:

"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:22

"The Almighty is waiting for Americans to turn back to Him in a posture of prayer and repentance. May we, this day, determine to surrender our ways to Him, giving God the honor He deserves so that, as Psalm 85 states, 'His glory may dwell in our land,'" said John Bornschein.

 May you be Blessed

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"A date which will live in infamy"

The title of this blog post is taken in part by a speech made by President Franklin Roosevelt following the attack by the Japan Imperial Navy on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

And, indeed it is a day that has been remembered by many. It is not a national holiday in this country. It is a day to remember those that gave their life and limbs fighting to keep the states from being attacked.

It is traditional to fly the American flag at half-staff during the day and moving it back up to full staff at sunset. The flag at half-staff is to honor all those that gave their life on this day 72 years ago.

More than 2,400 Americans were killed. Those wounded totaled over 1,100. Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk and four more were damaged. The attack also damaged or sank three cruisers, three destroyers, one minelayer and damaged 188 aircraft.

More than 60 Japanese servicemen were killed, injured or captured. The Japanese Navy also lost five midget submarines and 29 aircraft.

Memorials have been built to remember or to symbolize the day. 
USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial built over the sunken USS Arizona, which was dedicated in 1962. The memorial was designed by architect Alfred Preis, an Austrian-born resident who lived in Honolulu and was placed at a detainment camp after the Pearl Harbor attack as part of the internment policy of Japanese and German Americans at the time.

USS Utah Memorial

A memorial to honor the crew of the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship's wreck, in 1972. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989. It is also Utah’s official state ship. 

The events on December 7, 1941 will forever remain in our thoughts; especially for those of us that had family and friends that died or were wounded on that day. And, for those of us that had family members joining the war which was declared because of this attack. The U.S. had no intentions of joining the war in Europe until Japan saw fit to attack us.

It is fitting to remember those that lost their life protecting us. It will always be fitting and as President Roosevelt so rightly stated, "a date which will live in infamy."

Thank you




Monday, November 11, 2013

I Salute You

Veterans Day November 11, 2013

I could have used any video for this post but this one stands out among the many. Remember Me, is a video that was uploaded to Youtube in 2006. It was created by a young teen age girl. This has to have been a young lady that had the wisdom and feeling way beyond her years.

I salute all military service personnel that have served and are serving today including their families. We owe you so much that we can never repay. Just know that we do care.

Our military service of today are all volunteers. Years ago it wasn't like this - our family and friends were drafted. Does this make a difference? 

They all serve to keep us safe no matter how they entered the service. Even when we had a draft system in this country many volunteered to go off and fight, to put their life on the line, to serve our country. Many giving their life to keep us free. 

Never forget the great service that these men and women do for you and me. 

Show your appreciation. Just use one of the links below or use a site that you already know:

There are many sites to show our appreciation to our veterans and military service personnel. If you know of one not listed above please leave a comment below with the link of such a site. 

No matter what your feelings are about war, the men and woman serving this country are not the problem. Be sure you understand this and show your discontent to the responsible entity. Never take out your frustration and disdain on those that are doing their job for all of us. After all is said and done, our veterans of yesterday and today are what has kept us free from the tyranny we now see in so many other countries.

Thank you