Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Caneyhead Christmas

  No, we didn't have snow for Christmas.  I just wanted to use this pretty picture before the season had passed.  We had a warming trend.  Nights in the 50's.  Days near or in the 70's.  But Christmas was still good!

Christmas morning Pete got us all up before dawn to open presents together.   The kids seemed pleased with what they got.  Bug did get her beds for her animals.  And a new keyboard with microphone.  So she has been serenading us frequently.

We played a trick on Bubba for his present.  Pete wanted to get him a really nice watch.  When I looked at the watches there were just too many types and styles to choose from and I was sure I'd never choose the best one.

So, I told Bubba I thought I'd get a watch for Daddy for Christmas, but needed his help picking it out.  He went with me and told me the best brands.  I said, "You have great taste in things like this....so just choose something you would wear and I'm sure he'll like it."  So, he did.  I brought it home....took the watch out of it's box, put a heavy metal washer in it's place, wrapped it and put it under the tree labeled for Pete.  Then I took the watch and placed it in an oblong box and wrapped it up to Bubba.

When he unwrapped his box he was pleased with the watch, but kept rather quiet as he thought I'd bought him one just like daddy's and didn't want to spoil Pete's surprise.  When we were all through and the little watch box had not been opened, we told the truth of our sneaky plan.  Think he was surprised parents could be so conniving?!

After gifts, Pete and Bubba went hunting.  I cooked our Christmas dinner for us to eat together upon their return.

The day after was spent at my sister's house with her girls and their families.  Good food, good family fellowship. 

And yesterday Pete finally got himself a deer!!  The biggest buck I have ever seen out of these woods.  With Bubba's three kills that means we got four.  Never had a season like that before!  So we are sharing with family and neighbors and Pete is planning a lot of sausage making. 

I have to go off and get ready for work now.  My job situation is sort of a muddle at this time.  Will try to update on that later, but suffice it to say I'll be working everyday.  So this will definitely be a one or two entry a week journal. 

 

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Bug's Letter to Santa

Christmas Eve is here!  And as I reflect upon this holiday, family and friends I can come up with no words or expressions better than those Bug wrote in her letter to Santa this past week.Picture from Hometown

Yes there are a couple of toys she wants.  And she asked Santa for beds for her puppy and her cat, to keep them warm.

Then she closed her letter with,   "What I really want most for Christmas is Love for every one."

Picture from Hometown Yep, baby, that sums it up real well!  Seems that was what God had in mind when He sent His Son as a baby into this world.

Picture from Hometown MERRCHRISTMAS !!

 

Saturday, December 17, 2005

More Excuses: Temptations

Here's number two on Bro. Hayes' list of excuses for not excepting Christ.  Temptations.  (Not the group!)......those desires and earnings we know are not right or best for us, yet we tend to bend, follow, embrace them anyhow.

People can feel like there is no way they could live the Christian life after they accept Christ, as they don't believe they could ever overcome temptations.

2 Corinthians 6:17, " When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside.  He is not the same any more.  A new life has begun!"  A new person.  One who sees things differently.  One who doesn't find the same things attractive anymore.  For some it is immediate, for others a process.  As Christ's new life in you changes you, your wants, desires and needs change.

Galations 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me."  I praise God that he chose Paul as the replacement of Judas!  Paul who watched them crucify Christ.  Paul who hunted down Christians.  If Christ can give this man new life, He can certainly give new life to you!

 "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control;..." Galatians 5:22.  Everyone who believes in Christ and accepts Him as his Savior receives the Holy Spirit as a guide, teacher, friend.  This Spirit, when we following His leading to read the scriptures, pray and fellowship with other Christians will grow this new good fruit in our lives. 

"And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns."  Phillippians 1:6.  See, it is God doing the work!  NOT us.  If it were us, we'd have no chance.  He is faithful and he will continue up until the return of Christ!  This shows He does not expect us to be "perfect and finished" now, but on our way towards the time at Christ's return when we will be.

Hebrews 7:22, 1 Peter 1:3 both serve to remind us that it is Christ and His victory that keeps us from and thru temptation.  We are actually adopted into the family of God!

And then in closing, the beautiful promise of 1 John 4:4:  "Dear young friends, you belong to God and have already won your fight with those who are against Christ, because there is someone in your hearts who is stronger than any evil teacher in this wicked world."  Tempted?  Whisper "Jesus!"  He walked this earth in flesh to endure every temptation and lust we can come across....yet He never gave in!!  He understands completely what we face and He knows how to help each one of us rise above it.

                                      

If you are afraid to come to Christ as your Savior because you think you'll never overcome temptation, remember that He forgives and cleanses completely.  He can forgive any sin except the one of rejecting him.  To think you can do something he cannot forgive denies Him as Savior.  To think that He cannot understand your temptations and help you to rise above them is denying His Lordship.  Apart from Him you can't and you never will.  But in Him all things are possible and HIs Will will be accomplished.

Monday, December 12, 2005

CHRISTMAS

 

Christmas - Christ = a mess!

 

                          

Sunday, December 11, 2005

57 Cents

 

                                              

A pretty little tale to warm your soul as Christmas approaches. 

GOD AND 57 CENTS

   A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was too crowded. "I can't go to Sunday school," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.   Seeing her shabby, unkempt, appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday School class.  The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who had no place to learn about Jesus.

   Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kind-hearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found that seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting that read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School."  For two years she had saved for this offering of love.   When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.  He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.   But the story doesn't end there!  A newspaper learned of the story and published it.  A realtor who read it offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.  When told that the church could not pay that amount, he offered it for a total of 57 cents. Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide.  Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--A huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century).  Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

  When you're in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300, and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained.   Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building that houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.   In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, sosacrificially saved, made such remarkable history.  Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, Acres of Diamonds.

  Goes to show what God can do with unselfish love for others and 57 cents.

  Author Unknown  

 Based in truth, this "story" is actually rooted in a sermon that Russell H. Conwell delivered to his Grace Baptist (Temple) church congregation in 1912.   It is still just as amazing in it's truth.  Please go to THE HISTORY OF FIFTY-SEVEN CENTS for the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey says.  You can also see the little girl's, Hattie, portrait there.

   I know that God can use such simple beginning to accomplish so much.  In a smaller scale, at my former church, the organ up and died.  My dear friend and sister in the Lord played the organ there.  Our worship didn't seem full without the strains of the organ.  I put one dollar bill in an offering envelope, marked it Organ Fund.  At business meeting for months, there was that $1 contribution listed as a line item in the budget.  Then suddenly it began to grow!  Eventually the church did have enough money in that fund to purchase the new organ.  I, personally never contributed another dime.  Times were tight.  It was all I could do to tithe.  But God used my concern and my dollar bill as seed money.  

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Lights... fights...fever!

Don't know about ya'll but things have been rather strange around here.  Sick kids, pout hubby. 

Thursday, I didn't have to work.  Thought it would be the perfect day for me and the kids to put up the tree.   I vacuumed good that am.  The kids got in from school early, as it was an early release day.  They enjoyed a snack, then we got started.

We always put our lights on first.  The wonderful string with all the settings I have used the past several years wouldn't work all the way down...even though they are supposed to no matter what.  Bubba knows all about the bulbs and fuses, so he tried his best but could not get them to work right.  So we thought we'd use two small strands he had in his room.  He connected them together using some connections that came with some speakers.  But when you did that they became way too dim.  Wouldn't plug into our rotating stand if we strung them separately.  So I go off to Family Dollar to purchase some nice shiny new ones.

I get home, we put them on the tree and voila'.......half of one string won't work!  Bubba tries hard to make it work.  But they are ever so different than any we have around the house and he just can't. 

Buy this time, Bug has ants in her pants wanting to get on with the show.  It is fast getting dark outside.  Bubba and I are totally frustrated.  So we use the one good new string and one of his old little strings to make just barely enough to go around the tree from top to bottom.

We place hangers in all the balls.  I hang the smaller ones on the top half of the tree....Bug the bigger ones on the bottom. 

Now the fights begin!  We have a box full of "keep sake" and sentimental ornaments and the kids were disagreeing over which ones to use and who would hang which one.  I really had no choice or say so in the matter.  Do whatever you want.....just please be quiet!   

In amongst all of this Pete comes in from work and has Bubba running around helping him find something.  Needless to say, we started this tree around 2:45 in the afternoon and finished it at around 8:30 at night!!!  This should have been a two hour operation, but it turned into a 6 hour job!!

Oh, well.....I think?!....that's over.  Now warm up some leftovers for everyone and get off to bed.  Bug had been complaining of her throat hurting, but acting just as lively as ever.  I thought it was just a little irritation from sinus drainage.  But when I bent over to kiss her forehead when she came into the kitchen, I found a hot little girl.  Once I took her temperature, I saw she actually had a fever.  (100.7)

Oh, boy!  Now what.  Bubba says a little girl from her school that rides their bus has been out with strep throat.  Oh great.

Friday am rolls around.  Bug is still hot! (101.6)  Send Pete off to work and Bubba to school, but I keep her home with me.  Call my boss lady, Karrie, and tell her the sad news of why I won't be in to work.  Was the day of our Christmas Steak dinner too!  Geez, louise! 

I got Bug in to see her doctor.  He did a test.  Thankfully, it was not strep.  He said it was one of several hundred other things.  Nice. 

So now it is Saturday.  My guys ran off to the deer camp around two.  Bug has been watching cartoons and playing "camp" in the living room.  She stretches a blanket across some chairs and makes a tent.  No fever today.

For me it has been laundry and dishes.  And finally a little time for my own enjoyment before Bug and I bake some chocolate chip cookies!  Girls night.  That is if my shortening ever softens in this cold old kitchen and if we don't eat all the raw cookie dough!  lol 

Enjoy your weekend everyone.....at least what is left of it.

Barbara 

 

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Why Wait?

Well, I am very glad to report that my busy 40 hour week at work is over!  And little Bug is over the "bug" she had all week!  I've been beginning to unearth the house from the piles of junk and chaos everywhere.  I may actually have a tree up before the week is over! 

I have been rheuminating on life, how brief it can be.  Young folks gone in the blink of an eye.  Older folks battling diseases, hoping for a few more years, days, moments.  We recently had a young cousin of Pete's killed in a car wreck on his way to work one morning.  Nice, happy young man.  Did he know Christ as his Savior?  No one knows.  I hear and see pleas from all around to please pray for this loved one or that friend who knows not Christ and is ill or battling addiction or in despair.  And I see others happily going along their way in a messy mockery of life and real living, totally unaware of all they are missing.  All that is real. 

A number of years ago, I was fortunate enough to sit under a study led by a dear missionary to Mexico.....Bro. Bill Hayes.  Brother Hayes had developed a walk through the scripture to answer all the "reasons, excuses, rationalizations, etc." that people offer when confronted with the opportunity to receive Christ as their savior.

I want to walk through these scriptures here.  Topic by topic.  Excuse by excuse in hopes that someone will see themselves and be aware for the first time how they are deceiving themselves.  (Or being deceived by the Father of Lies.)  And also I want to share this so that maybe all of us who know Christ will be encouraged to try to push on through the flimsy excuses our loved ones and friends offer whenever we try to bridge the subject of where they will spend eternity.

The first excuse is to WAIT.  Why hurry?  I have all my life ahead of me.  I am busy.  There are things I still want to do that I don't need God involved in.  There are things I just have to give up before I can contemplate serving the Lord.  God is love.  He'll always be there. 

So what does God say about waiting in His own Word?  Starting with Luke 12:20.  The rich man was busy planning how to expand his barns to hold all his fertile fields had produced.  "But God said to him,`Fool! Tonight you die.  Then who will get it all?`"  So busy accumulating things.  Planning for a future in this world.  We are only visitors passing through this world, yet we plan and work for our stay here like we were homesteaders.  Wouldn't a prudent person look toward the Final Destination?  Plan for eternity!

Jesus had been speaking of himself as the Bread of Life.  The Jews in the area where having trouble grasping this concept.  After all, wasn't this merely Joseph's son?  "For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him to me, and at the Last Day I will cause all such to rise again from the dead." answered Jesus.  God woo one and then another to come to Him thru Christ.  Better heed that intense, personal feeling like you need to do something!  I might be the Holy Spirit.  He won't always be there striving with you.  Your opportunity is there when you feel it.  When you understand it is there. 

Paul himself pleaded that all would not toss aside this message of God's great kindness.  "For God says, `Your cry came to me at a favorable time, when the doors of welcome were wide open.  I helped you on a day when salvation was being offered.`  Right now God is ready to welcome you.  Today he is ready to save you."  You've been questioning, seeking, looking for answers......God knows.  He heard and he is ready to answer your hearts cry by welcoming you to Himself.  If you have heard the plan of salvation, then the welcome mat is out!

Over  in Hebrews Paul puts it this way:  "Beware then of your own hearts, dear brothers, lest you find that they, too, are evil and unbelieving and are leading you away from the living God.  Speak to each other about these things every day while there is still time, so that none of you will become hardened against God, being blinded by the deceitfulness of sin."  Your heart is tender and ready today.  But tomorrow it may be jaded and hardened by the hard knocks of this life.  Satan may have the volume turned up so loudly on his sound track of lies that you cannot hear the gentle call of the Spirit.

James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us all how brief life is "Look here, you people who say, `Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business.`  How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow?  For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog -- now you see it; soon it is gone."  We all seem to always think that we are going to live to 80, 90, or more.  Even though we see children die, young men drop dead we still somehow think that it can't happen to us.  This if folly.  It's down right denial of what we see everyday.  None of us knows if we will draw our next breath or not.  You say the odds are in your favor that you will?  Are you so much a gambler as to risk your very soul?

The last passage is in Revelations.  Much like the motto on the Statue of Liberty, chapter 22, verse 17 says,  "The Spirit and the bride say, `Come.`  Let each one who hears them say the same, `Come.`  Let the thirsty one come--anyone who wants to; let him come and drink the Water of Life without charge."  There you have it.  An invitation.  An invitation to every thirsty soul. 

Don't wait to live abundantly.  Don't wait to feel free of guilt and shame.  Don't wait to know your future is secure no matter what happens.  Now is the time!  It always has been.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow is unknown.  Today, this moment, is all that is real and certain.

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