Sunday, December 31, 2006

Resolutions? - Resolved!

                  

                      "You crown the year with Your goodness." - Psalm 65:11 NKJ

I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions.  It seems to me that as a need to adjust something in our life;  our doing, our thinking, our habits, etc., comes to light we should start right there at that point and time to facilitate a change.  Some adjustments come easy.  Some are a struggle.  Some we start, give up, back off, and circle back to at another point in time.
 
If one is to take on the task of resolutions for the New Year, I suggest we ask what they should be outside of our selves.  Not what we think, what we yearn for.  But rather what change or addition will please the Lord.  Certainly, this is a daily task as we endeavor to mirror Christ in our lives.  But all too often it gets pushed and shoved into a corner.  Forgotten and neglected.  Sometimes we purposefully avoid it like the plague, because we know there are changes that need to be made that we just aren't ready to make.  We get complacent and content.
 
Thankfully, we who have Christ don't have to wonder what we should resolve to do!  We have God's Word to learn and know His will.  We have the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us, show us where we need to apply it and how.
 
"And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power."  Col. 2:10 KJV
 
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned....But we have the mind of Christ."  1 Corinthians 2:14-16 NIV
 
The mind of Christ!!  We can look at things, people, thoughts, ideals, situations as Christ does.  You cannot see things as Christ views them and still deal with them, react to them, think of them the same as before.
 
Take the plunge!  Don't dawdle on resolutions.  Resolve to become the new creature He intends you to be!  How?  Would you have more of Christ?
 
"...Then learn to know him better and better.  For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life:  he even share his own glory and his own goodness with us!  And by that same mighty power he has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings he promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us his own character."  2 Peter 1:2&3  TLB
 
If you are a child of the King it is there for the asking!  Oh, it won't just fall on you.  You have to progress and grow.  But he helps us every step of the way!
 
"But to obtain these gifts you will need more than faith;"  -  Faith is essential.  It is the cornerstone.  Without it you cannot accept Christ as Savior.  Doesn't take a lot.  Grain of mustard seed size will do.  But it is a necessary ingredient.  No faith, no salvation.  No salvation, no indwelling Holy Spirit.  No Holy Spirit, no growth.....for all this is foolishness. 
 
"you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough."  -  Being good.  Good works.  A godly lifestyle.  Virtue and modesty. 
 
"For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do" - That love relationship with God.  Spending time in his Word.  Spending time with his people.  Spending time in prayer.  Spending time quiet and still enough to hear his reply.
 
"Next, learn to put aside your own desires..."  -  Self control.  Temperance.  Reigning in your emotions.  Thoughtfully and prayerfully responding instead of knee-jerk reacting.
 
"...so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you."  -  Self denial.  No longer all about Me.  Patience.  I can wait until God's perfect timing.  Sacrifice.  Me, my time, my desires, my talents and abilities are not mine...they are his.
 
"This will make possible the next step which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply." - It starts with simple kindness.  Courtesy.  And it grows until we begin to love others and see others as Christ loves and sees.
 
"The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ."  2 Peter 1:5-8 TLB -  Doing his will.  Making a difference.  A difference in lives around you.  Being a witness, a living testimony.  Bringing others to know the Lord.
 
Resolutions?  No.  Resolved?  YES! 
 
"I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world's delights.  Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight!  I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free!  Jesus, greatest highest I will come to thee.
 
I am resolved and who will go with me? Come friend without delay.  Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit, we'll walk the Heavenly way!"
 
              
 
 

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Present

Supper is simmering on the stove, Bug and I will be making some no bake fudge oatmeal cookies this evening.  So Santa can have a couple with some milk when he comes through.  Bubba and Pete are deer hunting.  Tonight I'll read the Christmas story out loud.  In the morning as soon as the kids awake we'll open presents.  Then the guys will probably go off a hunting again, while us girls prepare our Christmas meal.  We decided on some simple, country favorites this year:  Chicken 'n dumplings, cornbread dressing and ambrosia fruit salad.  Coconut pie, chocolate pie and banana pudding for deserts.  Will be us and whomever happens to drift through for a late Christmas meal. 
 
Yesterday, we went to my sister's house for her more or less traditional Christmas gumbo.  Yummy!  She makes it from scratch.  Had a wonderful little Cajun for a mother-in-law.  Her two grown daughters, spouses and their children were there.  Close as thing to a big family gathering to be had on our side anymore. 
 
Pete's siblings have grown or almost grown children, so since his parents are both gone, they pretty much just have Christmas to their selves with their kids and a sprinkling of grandchildren. 
 
So I suppose you could say we are in the mid-life of Christmas holidays.  No parents to visit, but not yet grandchildren to spoil.  We never had my parents as a married couple, but when Pete's were here and his Cousin Janie, our Christmas days passed in a blur of dashing from house to house, eating until we were stuffed.  Playing dominoes here and there.  Those days are gone.
 
I have been lagging behind in alerts and email.  Just realized today that I had been tagged to play a game by Kara! Seems everyone is saying three things they definitely don't want for Christmas and three things they would like to have for Christmas.  So, here goes...off the top of my head.
 
Three things I DON'T want for Christmas:
  • anything that sits around and collects dust/needs dusting.
  • snow, ice or other frozen liquid on Texas highways.
  • a fruit cake. 

Three things I DO want for Christmas: 

  • Happy, healthy kids.
  • My family, safe and sound together.
  • Warm, boot type houseshoes.        

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Very Special Message

   Today I want to share with you a message that is very special to me.  This was written by Bug, at school for an essay contest:

Why Christmas is Special to Me

Why Christmas is Special to Me.  Jesus was born on that day.  I do not like Christmas because of the toys.  It is Jesus' birthday!  That is almost the only reason I like Christmas.  I love Jesus.

Also, I like Christmas because we celebrate Christmas.  We sing Christmas carols.  I love Christmas.  I like it because we celebrate.  I love Christmas.

 

The most important part of about Christmas is the first six letters.

"...I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."

"...a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

                                                                   Luke 2: 10&11 NIV

                                           


Tags: ,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Past

                        

Things stay the same.  Yet, they change completely.  Christmas now is nothing like Christmases of the past, yet there is something very familiar in it.
 
I'm not speaking of the Spiritual side of Christmas.  Or even the historical side of Christmas.  I'm speaking of the personal, intra-family side of Christmas.
 
My earliest memories of Christmas start with Mama working to prepare the house, decorate for the holiday.  It didn't involve much shopping.  She'd cut sprigs of cedar, use pipe cleaners and small glass balls from the Five and Dime.  She'd make arrangements in a vase.  Stick springs in the shiplap on the front porch around the door frame and windows.  Then the old screw-in Christmas lights would be strung around the door. 
 
Our tree was always a real one.  Usually a small pine or pine top or a cedar.  Everything wasn't owned by the timber companies then.  There were plenty of places one could go and cut a tree, without anyone hollering or raising cane.  Seldom got it more than two weeks before Christmas, as keeping water in the stand could only keep the needles on the tree for about that long.  There would be more of those old large bulb lights strung on the tree.  Lots of different colored glass balls and ornaments.  Occasionally a paper chain I had made from construction paper.  Or sometimes we'd pop and string some popcorn.  And I loved to cover the finished tree in ice cycles.
 
For the most part, gifts weren't expensive.  Just something Mama thought the person might enjoy or need.  Usually one per person.  I remember Mama Ruth, mother's mother, would put a small envelope on the tree with the name of a grandchild on it.  Each envelope held only a dollar.  A dollar didn't do a lot, even in the late 60's or the 70's, but it was constant.  It was a sure bet, you'd have an envelope and there would be a dollar.  For most of the years of my memory, she was a widow on a fixed income.   Funny, it is only now that I'm older that I can realize how much love was in those envelopes and how hard even it must have been sometimes to have a dollar for each child.
 
Food preparations would start a few days in advance of the 25th.  That's because both my sisters were grown, married and started families of their own.  They would be at our house on Christmas day for dinner.  (Down here that's the noon meal.  The evening meal is supper.) Bowls of assorted nuts would appear along with the ones stacked with fresh oranges and apples. 
 
Anyway, Mama would start on her candies first.  Fudge, date rolls, etc.  Then there'd be flurry of pie baking.  Chocolate, buttermilk, sweet potatoe, pecan.  Some cookie baking too.  Chocolate chip was a standard. Sometimes tea cakes.  All these sweets were on hand to share over coffee with anyone who happened by.  But mostly, they'd be our desert on that special day. 
 
The day before was involved with a lot of work on her cornbread dressing.  The chicken had to be boiled, and deboned.  She had to make several bakers of her buttermilk cornbread.  (Note:  in the South anything that is good, can be better when you use buttermilk....cornbread, biscuits, pancakes, hushpuppies, etc.)  A whole lot of dicing of onion & celery.  Christmas morning she was at it by daylight.  Sometimes there was turkey.  Often ham, glazed with a brown sugar glaze.  Vegetables.  The putting together and baking of the dressing.  The making of her own Jello salad, with nuts, coconut and fruit cocktail.
 
Not long before noon, the family would be arriving.  Kids often tagging along their favorite toy Santa had left at their house.  My sisters, each bringing their own dishes to complement the meal Mama had made.  Brother-in-laws sometimes arriving at the last minute, fresh off the deer stand.  We'd have a merry old time opening and exchanging our gifts.  Gather around the table for grace as the smell of the rolls coming out of the oven filled the room. 
 
We'd all sit down together, eating, talking, visiting, laughing.  Then as the parades on TV gave way to football there'd be dishwashing, relaxing, playing, catnapping. And they'd start to migrate off to their homes or another destination.  The house would be rather still and silent again.  I'd cuddle with Daddy as he finished the football games.  Mama would often take a well deserved nap.  But a feeling of oneness, of love and tradition lingered like the scent of Daddy's aftershave.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Peace

I find it very interesting that I got two comments on my previous entry that was titled "Please ignore".  LOL  Just proves how dog gone curious we are I suppose.

This morning, I'm playing a little.  Went to visit Charley over at Courage and found him playing Blogthings again.  So, I played along.  This is the result I got:

You Are 71% Peaceful
You are a very peaceful person. All is good in your world, no matter what's going on.
Occasionally you let your problems get to you, but you generally remain upbeat.
Your inner strength is inspirational - much more so than you may realize.

 

 

"Glory to God in the highest Heaven,"  they sang, "and peace on earth for all those pleasing him."  Luke 2:14 TLB  

If you have not peace within, I implore you to look to the Gift of peace that was given to us in a manger and fulfilled on a hill.

 

tags:  BethlehemThe Living BibleGolgotha

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Story of the Holly Sprig

Hello, one and all!  That precious little poem reminds us we don't have to be big and special to make a lovely difference!

I want to ask that everyone will go and make a difference by signing the card the VFW is going to deliver to to the wounded troops recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.  They are short their goal of signatures by 4,884 and the deadline is December the 12th!  It's quick, easy and painless and will mean so much. Then, please share the link with others via email or your own journal. (The actual page to sign on is a secured sight and it seems AOL won't let me post that.  But if you click on the link above and look a little over half way down the page you can see a link to go and sign the card.)

Poem and beautiful graphics from Dover Publications.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Bubba's Coming to Town!!



Bubba Claus Is Coming To Town

A new contract for Santa has finally been negotiated....Please read the following carefully.......

I regret to inform you that, effective immediately, I will no longer be able to serve Southern United States on Christmas Eve. Due to the overwhelming current population of the earth, my contract was renegotiated by the North American Fairies and Elves Local 209. I now serve only certain areas of Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Montana and California. As part of the new and better contract I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies so keep that in mind.


However, I'm certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement who happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus. His side of the family is from the South Pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all the good boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us. Differences such as:

                                       

1. There is no danger of a Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba Claus. He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads: "These toys insured by Smith and Wesson."

2. Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers that children leave an RC cola and pork rinds [or a moon pie] on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn't smoke a pipe. He dips a little snuff though, so please have an empty spit can handy.


3. Bubba Claus' sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flyin' coon dogs instead of reindeer. I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer one time, and Blitzen now overlooks Bubba's fireplace.

4. You won't hear "On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen ..." when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead, you'll hear, "On Earnhardt, on Wallace, on Martin and Labonte. On Rudd, on Jarrett, on Elliott and Petty."

                                        

5. "Ho, ho, ho!" has been replaced by "Yee Haw!" And you also are likely to hear Bubba's elves respond, "I her'd dat!"

6. As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus' sleigh does have a Yosemite Sam safety triangle on the back with the words "Back off" The last I heard it also had other decorations on the sleigh back as well. One is Ford or Chevy logo with lights that race through the letters and the other is a caricature of me (Santa Claus) going wee wee on the Tooth Fairy.


7. The usual Christmas movie classics such as "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life" will not be shown in your negotiated viewing area. Instead, you'll see "Boss Hogg Saves Christmas" and "Smokey and the Bandit IV" featuring Burt Reynolds as Bubba Claus and dozens of state patrol cars crashing into each other.

8. Bubba Claus doesn't wear a belt. If I were you, I'd make sure you, the wife, and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put presents under the tree.

                                      

9. And finally, lovely Christmas songs have been sung about me like Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer" and Bing Crosby's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." This year songs about Bubba Claus will be played on all the AM radio stations in the South. Those song title will be Mark Chesnutt's "Bubba Claus Shot the Jukebox" and "Grandma Got Run'd Over by a Reindeer."

Sincerely Yours,

Santa Claus
(Member of North American Fairies and Elves Local 209)

 

That's the fun.  Now to pass on a little cheer and Christmas spirit:


De
liver a giant morale booster to wounded troops recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.
Sign the giant VFW 2006 Holiday Card

Send a card, courtesy of Xerox, to our troops serving now.

Let's say thanks

And offer your prayers and best wishes for the families of those who gave their all.

In Remembrance

Make a snowflake and contribute to the Salvation Army all at one time!

Popular Front: SnowDays

Now.....more laughter?  Visit the Redneck Nativity Scene.

 

That should keep y'all busy for awhile! 

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