Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The reason I celebrate Christ's coming to earth

The below was written by a man named Gregory of Nazianzus who lived about 329-390 A.D. THIS is why I celebrate Christmas. THIS is why I praise Him. THIS is why He deserves my worship, my love, my life, my all. By the way, I did not find this myself. I read it on a blog that I read regularly. May it cause you to worship and adore Christ, our Savior, this Christmas season.

“He was baptized as man, but He destroyed sins as God; He Himself was not in need of purifying rites, but [He was baptized/He came] that He might sanctify the waters. He was tempted as man, but He conquered as God; not only this but He even encouraged [us] to be courageous, since He had conquered the world. He was hungry, but He fed thousands; not only this but He is indeed life-giving and heavenly bread. He was thirsty, but He shouted, “If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink”; not only this but He also promised that those who believe would gush forth [with water]. He was tired, but for those who are tired and heavy laden He is rest. He was heavy with sleep, but He is light upon the sea; not only this but He even rebukes winds; not only this but he even makes Peter light when he is sinking. He pays tax, but [he does so] from a fish; not only this but He is even king of those demanding [the tax]. He hears Himself called a Samaritan and demon-possessed, but He saves the one who went down from Jerusalem and fell among robbers; not only this but He is even recognized by demons and drives out demons, and He sinks a legion of spirits and sees the ruler of demons falling like lightning. He is stoned, but He is not caught. He prays, but He hears [prayers]. He weeps, but He causes tears to cease. He asks where Lazarus [is laid], for He was man, but He raises Lazarus, for He was God. He is sold, and very cheaply, for [it was] for thirty silver coins, but He buys back the world, and [it was] for a great price, for [it was] for His own blood. He was led as a sheep to slaughter, but He shepherds Israel, and now, indeed, the whole inhabited world. [He is] silent like a lamb, but He is the Word, being proclaimed by a voice of one shouting in the desert. He has been weakened, wounded, but He heals every disease and every infirmity. He is lifted up upon the tree, He is fixed [to it], but He restores by the tree of life; not only this but He saves even a robber crucified with [Him]; not only this but He darkens everything that is seen. He is given cheap wine to drink, He is fed bile. Who? The one who changed the water into wine, the destroyer of the bitter taste, the [one who is] sweetness and all desire. He hands over his life, but He has authority to take it again; not only this but the curtain is torn apart; for the things above are exhibited; not only this but rocks are split; not only this but dead are raised beforehand. He dies, but He makes alive, and by death He destroys death. He is buried, but He rises. He goes down into Hades, but He brings up souls; not only this but He goes up into heaven; not only this but He will come to judge the living and the dead . . . ” (Gregory of Nazianzus)

Monday, December 20, 2010

I found this poem in an old Ideals magazine, just like the one's my mom used to get. She may have even had this one. Don't remember. Explains exactly how I feel about words.

by Alice B. Dorland

I like a noun,
A good substantial word . . .
It brings to mind the things I've seen
And those I've heard.

Like spring and deer,
The melody of thrush,
Tree toads in the marsh,
Partridge in the brush . . .

The song of rain,
The campfire's crackle,
Hawk, duck, and great blue heron
And the conversation of the purple grackle.

I like an adjective.
It's like an April day.
It gives a noun its color and its form
In quite a charming way.

Vivid, melodic, brilliant,
Passive, raucous, plain,
Fresh, honest, youthful,
Innocent or vain.

Delicious and delightful,
Colorful and blest,
Or gray and dull and sorrowful,
The worst, also the best.

But oh, the verbs, those virile words,
They bring the nouns to life!
They may be words of action or of being,
Of peace or strife.

Like sing and run,
Laugh and cry,
Like dive or swim,
Or cast a fly,

Or write or read or trust,
Travel or rest,
To honor or to love,
Or fight with zest.

And as the noun, the adjective, the verb,
Is each dependent on the other,
So we, though we may stand alone,
Are ever needful of each other.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


My mother-in-love is married to a wonderful man. He had colon cancer right before they got married almost 10 years ago. Just this past summer, we found out that the cancer had returned and spread to the liver. The first round of chemo seemed to be shrinking the tumors, but after the second round, it was discovered that they were growing. The week of Thanksgiving something happened and he began to lose his ability to speak properly (sort of like a stroke victim). Our family traveled home on Thanksgiving Day and were able to see him and visit. On Friday, he made the decision not to seek any more treatment for his cancer. He is in hospice care at his home. As of this morning (11/28/10) he was unable to get out of bed. He is dying and it's going more quickly than any of us expected.

He is not afraid to die. He knows he is going to be with Jesus when he breathes his last breath here on earth. However, I know he would love more time here on earth with his wife and family. They only had a few short years together. His grandson is getting married in May. All reasons for wanting to stay here.

As you can probably tell, I process by writing. As I was thinking about how quickly he is passing, the Lord gave me this poem yesterday. I shared it at church this morning at our Thanksgiving testimony service.


Thankful for my "family"
At the corner of Engler and 41
Thankful for the bond we share
Through Jesus Christ, the Son

Thankful for your heartfelt prayers
For a couple you hardly know
Thankful for this body of Christ
That supports each other so

Thankful for the comfort that comes
From knowing that you prayed
Thankful Jesus rose again
Of death we needn't be afraid

Thankful that neither death nor life
Nor anything else in all the world
Is able to separate us from the love of God
That is in Jesus Christ our Lord

Thankful to boldly come to the Throne
And receive grace in our time of need
Thankful for the Spirit of God
Who comforts us in our grief

Thankful when Howard breathes his last
He'll finally be "safely home"
Thankful for God's promise that Mavis
Will never be alone

Thankful for the peace that comes
From knowing where he'll be
Thankful he'll be completely healed
Enjoying eternity

Thankful for we know that our
Goodbyes are not the end
Thankful for the hope we have
Of being together again

Thankful one day the trumpet will sound
Together we'll meet in the air
Thankful to be reunited at last
Forever to be with God there

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Overwhelmed by God's provision

The Man of the Place is a hunter. Has been since he was a young boy. Probably will be until he's too old to see well enough and too feeble to hold the gun steady enough. So, when the first weekend of November comes around, I become a "deer widow" for a few days. This year was no different. He normally hunts "back home," around the area where he grew up. His nephew is now old enough to hunt and the two of them made plans to hunt together.

The five beautiful princesses and I did not go home to Grandma's with him like we usually do. Grandpa has been really sick and I had to do the "put-away-the-summer-clothes-and-take-out-the-winter-ones" job. So, all day Saturday I waited for the phone to ring with the news that he'd gotten one. When we talked Saturday evening, no such luck.

Sunday afternoon I went on Facebook and his sister had posted only moments before that there had been success. Two deer had been shot, one by her son and one by The Man of the Place. I immediately dialed his cell phone and spoke to a very happy hunter. As we spoke, he told me that his neice had also gotten one. TOTAL DEER - 3

The Man of the Place does not hunt just for fun. He hunts to put food on the table. He does all the butchering himself and I grind the meat into venison hamburger and wrap the steaks and roasts that he cuts out. I also can cubed meat and boil the bones off to make venison broth which we can and use all year for soup and stew. When I add up all that we get off one deer after paying only $27 for the license, it's almost like eating for free.

This year was even better. The Man came home with his nice 8-point buck and the two doe from his neice and nephew. He had his work cut out for him for the next two days. Then, on Tuesday morning at 6:30, the Carver County Police called saying that they had a deer for us (killed in a car/deer accident) if we wanted it. The Man went to get it and came home with not one, but two. Another one had been hit as he was picking up the first one. TOTAL DEER - 5

As you can imagine, Tuesday was a busy day. At 7:00 that night, the phone rings and it's the police again saying, "We've got another one for you if you want it." Yes, we did. TOTAL DEER - 6.

God sometimes blows me away. Not only did He give us what we needed, but two extra which we were able to give to friends who needed meat. I remember saying to The Man at 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, "I'm a little overwhelmed by God's provision." :-)

Why am I always amazed and surprised when God does things like this? Doesn't He promise to supply all of our needs out of His riches in glory? Doesn't He promise to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think? Doesn't He delight in giving good things to His children? Why am I always surprised by it? It's just God being who He says He is and doing what He said He would do. How these experiences build my faith and make me trust Him more. He does own the "deer" on a thousand hills. I guess He's just managing His herd by blessing our family and my friend's family with so many.

Friday, October 8, 2010


October's Bright Blue Weather

Sun and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fingers tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

Helen Hunt Jackson

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Prayer at Summer's End

As I was cleaning out my "teacher" files, I came across this poem. ENJOY!

A Prayer At Summer's End
(A Farm Wife's Litany)

By Ruby Jones

For fruit warm ripe in summer's sun,
For love and work and wholesome fun,
For raindrops on the windowpanes,
For walks down grassy country lanes,
For sunshine bright,
For moonlight's glow,
For cornstalks marching row on row,
For baby pigs, for laughter gay,
For fragrant smell fo new-mown hay,
For food and music, birdsongs sweet,
For restful, healing nighttime sleep,
For home with its familiar joys,
For carefree shouts of girls and boys,
For safe returns, for loving care,
For all the bliss of answered prayer,
For dancing stars, for firelight's glean,
Fulfillment of a cherished dream,
For books and friends, a faith that sings,
For happiness homecoming brings,
For hope renewed, for courage born,
For breathless hush of early morn,
For this--a blessed interlude--
Dear God, accept my gratitude.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Blow to My Confidence

I have been canning since I was about 12. At first it was applesauce, peaches and pears. Then we moved and Mom planted a big garden. Then it was beans, beets, corn, and tomatoes.

When The Man About the Place and I moved to our house, we planted a garden. That was 12 years ago. And every year we've canned. Just like I was taught, just like I've always done.

This past Friday, The Man pulled all the beets. Two five-gallon buckets and half of another one full of beautiful beets. Two were as big as softballs.

Saturday morning I began the process. Wash the beets, boil for about 15-25 minutes, plunge into cold water, slip off the skins, dice, fill clean quart jar, add 1 teaspoon salt, cover with water, put on lid and ring. When there are 7 full jars, place in pressure canner, and process for 35 minutes. Remove from canner (once the pressure has dropped) and wait for the "sound" (the lid sealing).

First canner full came out just fine. Second canner full - in three of the seven jars, the beets turned a disgusting shade of poop brown. Interesting, I thought. Last canner full - all seven of the jars turned a disgusting shade of poop brown.

At this point, I began to question my canning ability. This had never happened before. I did everything just like I've done for years. Why this, why now? This doesn't bode well for the rest of the canning season.

I looked on the internet, talked to my canning sister, emailed my brother in China and none of them had any ideas why this would happen. The only thing I could figure out was that there was some kind of reaction between the beets and "something." What that something is, I have no idea.

My brave Man of the Place opened a jar, tasted them and said that they tasted different, not bad, just different. He said the texture was different too.

Yesterday, he opened all the other jars and dumped them in the composter. I couldn't bring myself to save them. My stomach turned just looking at them. Half of my hard work, rotting in the garden.

My canning confidence has taken a blow. I hope the rest of the season is not like this or we'll be hungry this winter.