Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Face book Dilemma

So, more and more of our friends and family are on facebook, which has led to a dilemma for Rhonda & I. We aren't.

Here's the problem: We have family and friends in several states who publish photos & updates online on their facebook pages which we can't view because we aren't "friends" with them (oooph!)

Some of them only rarely check their emails anymore because they do all that through their facebook page. So we don't hear back when we email them to keep in touch.

Yet, we don't want to spend all that time on facebook, I personally probably wouldn't update my page very often at all - I lead a pretty boring life.

Second, I have some friends that I wouldn't want to "friend" because they send me all kinds of email forwards now that I don't want on a facebook page.

Third, I don't have time to go to a lot of facebook pages each week and check out what everyone is up to, and comment on it.

Fourth, isn't facebook getting hacked into all the time?

Finally, I really do want to connect with my friends and family, but just facebooking together doesn't really seem like personal contact, does it?

HELP! I need some advice.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fill 'er up with premium, please

Poem: Three Dollars Worth of God:

I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk
or a snooze in the sunshine.
I don’t want enough of God to make me love a black man
or pick beets with a migrant.
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
— Wilbur Rees

Monday, December 28, 2009

7 Reasons I'm going to spend more time in the Bible this year.

1. The Bible is the primary way I get to know our loving Father and wonderful savior. I really want to know God intimately.

2. When I am in a desperate situation, I won’t be able to find the help that I need in the Bible just by chance. Temptation, suffering, loss, fear, lonliness, and much more have answers in God’s word, but if I wait to search for those answers until I am in distress, it’s much harder to find them.

3. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. If we just get one sermon a week, and if each sermon covers a whole chapter, and if no sermons ever repeated a chapter, and if we never missed a week of church – it would take us almost 23 YEARS just to get through the Bible once.

4. I really do want to be in God’s word – it moves me, feeds me, and helps me become more than what I am.

5. It will help protect me from going astray. False teachers, bad theology, ungodly lifestyles, etc. can only be spotted as I know the truths found in God’s word. It helps me overcome sin.

6. It enhances my worship on Sundays when I am in God’s word during the week. God wants me to worship in spirit and in truth, and the truth is found in the Bible.

7. It helps me understand the world around me and know how to interact with people. Prophesy, the nature of mankind, the ways of the world, all help me have better human relationships.


Friday, December 11, 2009

December 20th 1943

Somewhere in England
20 December 1943

My Loved Ones,
Here it is the twentieth day of December, it doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is just five days away. It seems as if it should just be in the late autumn. Today was the first day we have had sunshine all day and about only the second time we have seen the sun since being here. My, it was so pretty, all the hills were so pretty and green. All looked as if all the world should be at peace

I’m wondering if you have the tree all fixed by now. Gee, I sure would like to see it, I hope you take some pictures of it and send some to me. Have you taken any more pictures? I wish you would send me a lot of pictures. Mother, you remember the picture wallet you got me just before I came to the Army? I wish you would send it to me when you send the next box. I forgot it when I left home from my furlough. I’ve meant to ask you before, I would sure like to have it now.
Madelyne, I wish you would send me a box of candy or nuts, whatever you can get. As Christmas grows nearer I realize more and more how lonely it is going to be here this Christmas. I will sure be thinking of you all at home, wondering what you are doing. I hope it will be different this next year.

I haven’t heard anymore from you except the two letters I received the other day from Madelyne & Genevieve. I’m very lucky though, some fellows haven’t had even one letter. I also heard from Mario DeNicholas, it was sure a good letter & I was so glad to get it.

Robert Stewart is still here and I see him often. He came over last night (Sunday) and we talked for just about four hours. We were talking all about school and the good times we have had. We were going to church Sunday, but we were both put on guard Saturday night and when we got off Sunday evening, all the passes were taken for Sunday evening so we didn’t get to go to church at all. We had a nice time together, though. We are going to try to go to Oxford or someplace like that Christmas day. Don’t know if we will be able to, but we’re going to try.
Genevieve, do you write to Bernice much? I have been thinking of her so much lately. Wish you would send me her address. As for myself, I would sure like to be home when she comes there next summer, for more reasons than that, though.
Good night my dear ones. Pray for me and remember I love you with all my heart.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Nativity Set

Last Christmas I was throwing the ball in the house for Cindi and when she tried to catch it she knocked it into our Nativity Set. (Yeah, my mom told me not to throw balls in the house, too, but she's not here, is she?)

Wouldn't you know it, the only figure broken was the baby Jesus. Now, I don't know how you feel, but to me a Nativity without a baby Jesus is just a farm scene. I was pretty disappointed, I really liked that set.So I got out the super glue and started to glue him back together.

That's when it hit me, Jesus came to earth to be broken for our sins. And even though he has risen from the grave and lives today, he will always bear the marks of the cross, just like my little porcelain Jesus will always bear the scars of his breaking.

Now I love my Nativity set more than ever, and I still throw the ball in the house - just not at Christmastime.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

God’s gift to me this Year

In “The Grinch” little Cindy Lou sings “Where are you Christmas?” She has become disillusioned with Christmas in her town. Somehow the meaning for her has been lost.

Many people can relate to her for so many reasons. Depression during the Holiday Season is becoming more and more prevalent in our culture. Unfulfilled dreams, great loss, painful memories. I believe it begins with a great loss of hope or disillusionment. You “wake up” one year around November and get that strange disoriented sense that you’ve lost your way on the road to winter wonderlands and candy cane forests. Perhaps the death of a loved one leaves your traditions painful or empty. Maybe the loss of a job puts a dark cloud of anxiety over you and you can’t even think of buying Christmas presents and decorations when you’re not sure you can pay the light bill. Or maybe you’ve still got your job but many around you have lost theirs and you see the writing on the wall and you just want to hunker down and weather the storm.

Family strife can bring on Holiday depression too. Most families have it in one way or another. Someone in the family has died, moved far away or abandoned you. Maybe it’s just conflict that the family has learned to live with for awhile now but the holidays bring up all the pain. One person’s absence at the Christmas dinner table or around the tree brings feelings and thoughts of anger, shame, regret or grieving for the closeness you’ve lost,. You can find yourself rehearsing in your mind the conversations that you’ve had or you wish you’d had or think you should have had. Maybe your heart breaks for the pain that others in your family are feeling and you feel helpless to fix it. Sometimes we have loved ones that are on a path of destruction either literal or emotional and you feel compelled to help them, warn them or stop them but you know that your efforts will again be met with angry resistance.

And in all this battle of “what to do” going on in your mind you think “don’t start that at Christmas time – just get through it” The joy of the season is replaced with anxiety or just helplessness that melts into depression. Yet the holidays bring memories of our child hood – You always hear certain Christmas carols like “away in the manger” in the little voice of your younger sibling and in every little Christmas pageant with cute little kids in their Christmas best bring the memories of Christmas’ past when life was so much simpler and “magical”.

The hardest thing of all about family strife can be when someone you love hurts you. It’s seldom easy to just “write them off”. You think “ I don’t know why I can’t stay angry. I’m hurt but I can’t let them go, I can’t forsake them. I can’t stop myself from feeling desperate to save them from the web of guilt and regret”. You can’t deny your heart. You lay awake thinking about it and the next morning drive to work in the cold gray morning with Christmas carols playing on the radio and houses decorated with lights glowing against the fog or sparkling through the rain. It’s another day at Christmas time and you try to muster up some Christmas spirit. But one of those sad songs come on – you know that ones I mean, the ones that used to irritate you when all was still fine or at least easier to cover with lights, fake snow and Christmas decorations. You face the reality that you are now a member of that club of sad people at Christmas.

Where did Christmas go?

I’ve come to realize that it’s right where it always has been for centuries. Quietly arriving like snow falling during the night unnoticed by a sleeping world. The truth of Christmas is there in our pain and sadness. A helpless baby that is really God, limiting himself to be with us. Choosing us to be in His family. Loving us so passionately that even though we’ve hurt him deeply he can’t let us go, he can’t deny his heart so he pursues us going as far as anyone could go to win our hearts. He came to save the world yes, but he came to be with us. “God with us”

All the sadness of this season, the broken hearts, shattered dreams, deep pain is a part of the Christmas message. This is the broken world of people that He desperately wants to “BE with” to love, comfort and heal. Christmas would not be Christmas if there was no sadness and pain. The Christmas that the shopping malls and TV are selling is not the real Christmas - it’s missing the pain. The pain is what makes the love so great. It’s why He went to such great lengths to “Be with us” He understands that we need him. Christmas lights are not pretty in the light of day but in the blackness of night they are a wonder to look at, they can fill our heart with joy and warmth. My Christmas’ will never be the perfect wonder filled ones that are etched in my memory of childhood because this world is full of pain that layers itself within all the memories of human life on earth. But this year it has become richer because I looked at the pain. I have a deeper understanding of “God with us”…”God with me”.