12.28.18 When God Created Woman

When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day…….
An angel came by and asked. “Why spend so much time on her?”
The lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?
She must function in all kinds of situations,
She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time,
Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart,
She must do all this with only two hands,
She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day.”
THE ANGEL was impressed “Just two hands…..impossible! And this is the standard model?”
The Angel came closer and touched the woman
“But you have made her so soft, Lord.”
“She is soft,” said the Lord,
“But I have made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome.”
“Can she think?” The Angel asked…
The Lord answered. “Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate.”
The Angel touched her cheeks….
“Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her.”
“She is not leaking…it is a tear” The Lord corrected the Angel…
“What’s it for?” asked the Angel.
The Lord said, “Tears are her way of expressing her grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.”
This made a big impression on the Angel,
“Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything.
A woman is indeed marvelous.”
The Lord said, “Indeed she is.
She has strength that amazes a man.
She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.
She holds happiness, love and opinions.
She smiles when she feels like screaming.
She sings when she feels like crying, cries when happy and laughs when afraid.
She fights for what she believes in.
Her love is unconditional.
Her heart is broken when a next-of-kin or a friend dies but she finds strength to get on with life.”
The Angel asked: “So she is a perfect being?”
The Lord replied: “No. She has just one drawback
She often forgets what she is worth.”

To all the beautiful women I’ve known in my life!  May God Bless You All!

12.24.18 Cajun Night Before Christmas, by Trosclair

CAJUN NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Trosclair, illustrated by James Rice and narrated by Tommy Joe Breaux

Click the picture below to hear this most wonderful Cajun Night Before Christmas!

Artist James Rice spent much of 1973 trying to find someone to publish his children’s illustrations. In that year, the Bergeron Plymouth company of New Orleans released an original Christmas advertisement: a Cajun take on Clement Moore’s popular Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” but what was special about this was it’s South Louisiana dialect.

Pelican Publishing’s Milburn Calhoun heard the re-interpretation — penned by J.B. Kling Jr., writing as “Trosclair,” a Cajun spokesman for Bergeron Plymouth in its radio ads — and decided to get it published. He enlisted Rice to provide the colorful illustrations, including the sight of St. Nick on a skiff drawn by eight magic alligators, and “Cajun Night Before Christmas” was born.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE CAJUN CHAUVIN FAMILY!

12.25.18 Wacky Wonderful Christmas – Happy Birthday Jesus

FROM THE CHAUVIN FAMILY TO YOUR FAMILY, A MOST MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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THE GREATEST MAN IN HISTORY IS JESUS.

He had no servants, yet they called him Master.

He had no degree, yet they called him Teacher.

He had no medicines, yet they called him Healer.

He had no army, yet they feared Him.

He won no military battles, yet he conquered the World.

He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He Lives Today!

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BORN UNTO US! by Eberhard Arnold

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11) .

There is no event in the history of salvation that so expressly calls forth joy as does the experience of Christmas. Into the world of fear and worry, right into the midst of all our troubles, comes the proclamation of great joy, “Today a Savior has been born to you!

The coming of the deliverer among people who groan under their need in loneliness and death must truly be a source of abundant joy. One is born who brings us the greatest thing of all: fellowship with the living God! Here is One who through his life and death brings God to all those who are willing to accept him.

Christ’s birth was a prelude to his death. The lowliness of his birth, the immediate persecution by Herod, and the terrible massacre at Bethlehem – these are the signs over the manger signifying the life that awaited him; they are the sign of the cross. But they are also the sign that the broken bond between us and God will be restored.

The angel does not merely say that Christ is born; he says, “for you,” for you he is born. He does not say, “I bring news of great joy”; he says, “to you, I bring news of great joy.”

This brings us great joy! Here is someone who will sacrifice everything in order to free us and redeem us. This little child is our Savior because he is born to redeem us from our sins. His life and death, the action of his spirit, proves that he is the Son of the living God. This is the gospel: what was promised through the prophets is the Son who in the flesh is born of the seed of David and whose power is proven as Son in the Spirit.

This living, risen Son can only be known by faith. “The real, blessed faith that God’s word and work demands,” Martin Luther says, “is the firm faith that Christ is born for you and that his birth is yours, that it took place for your sake; for the gospel teaches that Christ was born for our sake and that he died and suffered all things for our sake. The angel does not merely say that Christ is born; he says, ‘for you,’ for you he is born. He does not say, ‘I bring news of great joy’; he says, ‘to you, I bring news of great joy.’”

The birth of Jesus took place under the sign of light. If we want to become united with the One who was born, we will give ourselves wholly to him – with all our sins! For, as Luther reminds us in the old words of the mystic Angelus Silesius, “Were Christ born a thousand times in Bethlehem and not in you, you would still be eternally lost.”

For Luther the Redeemer is identified with the sinner. “See, Christ takes our birth from us to himself and immerses it in his birth and gives us his, so that in it we might become pure and new, as if it were our own. Thus every Christian may rejoice and glory in this birth, as if he, like Christ, were born of Mary.” Therefore, Christ must become ours and we his. To us a child is born, to us a son is given. Born to us, to us, to us!

 

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HONORING OUR CAJUN LOUISIANA CHRISTMAS!  NOTMC_25105-1

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Whether or not the following inspirational short Christmas story is true, it’s a wonderfully inspiring story for people of any faith. In this season of love, may we all remember the beautiful love of a small child. Have a meaningful and love-filled Christmas season and New Year ahead. May your days be filled with love, joy, growth, and inspiration.

The Gold Wrapping Paper – An Inspirational Short Christmas Story
Written by Fred Burks

Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.

Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.

But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

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WALNUTS AND POPCORN: PRIORITIES DURING THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON,
Written by

Walnuts and Popcorn: Priorities During This Christmas Season

While I was growing up, every Christmas Eve, my parents would bring out the walnuts and popcorn jar. At that time, I didn’t quite understand the meaning behind this activity, but now I completely get it. I appreciate my parents for showing us the true meaning of this time of year, but I think it can be for the entire year.

You see, it was a simple glass jar full of popcorn and walnuts. They would bring out the jar and a big bowl. My dad would empty the jar into the bowl and start talking to us about Christmas. He started to talk about all of the things that we do at Christmas time. We would talk about things like buying gifts, going caroling, eating candy canes, and seeing Christmas lights. He would fill up the jar with the popcorn. Then he would lead our conversation to the more important things about Christmas: Jesus coming to earth, being with family, and reading the Bible story about Christmas. He would put in a walnut for each important thing about Christmas. To our surprise, they wouldn’t fit in the jar. Impossible! We just saw them all in the jar just a minute ago!

He would then go about telling us that when we fill up our time with the unimportant things first, we don’t have time for the most important things. Then he would empty the jar again. He would then start filling the jar with the walnuts first…the important things…then he would pour the popcorn over it and it all fit! When we remember and do what is important first, then there will still be time for the other things. Not that the unimportant things are bad, they aren’t! They just have their place and we need to remember that.

Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Keep Christ first and all else will follow.

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THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

fav 1Let's not forget our feathered friends. Wonderful idea for an edible bird house

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Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s

12.16.18 A Quiet Thought, December 16, by Rev. Bob Adams

Related imageA quiet thought for this Sunday, December 16th, by Rev. Bob Adams

Rescuing a climber trapped on the face of a towering cliff. Descending to a diver in trouble on the floor of the ocean. Digging out a child covered in the rubble of an earthquake. Stories of heroic rescues rivet our attention for, deep in our souls, all of us sense we are trapped and helpless, caught in the chaos around us and the rubble inside us.

Christmas is the ultimate rescue.

We were caught in the grip of unbreakable darkness with no power to bring ourselves to the light. But God, right on time, came to our rescue! He did the unbelievable, the unthinkable. He sent Himself in the form of His Son out of the glory of heaven and into the pit of our darkness. Through His own death and resurrection the Son tore a gaping, forever hole in the darkness, vaporized the darkness with the light of His glory. He then invited us to fall into His arms and allow Him to carry us through that great opening in the darkness into life and light in the Father’s love and presence.

This is the true Christmas story.

Let us worship with joy and reverence.

Thank you Bro. Bob for all the time you spent with us at Trinity preparing us for our new pastor. Your genuine Christian love and guidance is very much appreciated.  Merry CHRISTmas to you and Ms. Janice!

12.11.18 FRIENDS, by Michael J. Smith

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 – A few years ago a young girl at our church sang this song titled FRIENDS.  It was the first time I heard it and somehow I know she sang it because a friend of hers moved away.  I do not remember who she is but the song meant something to me when I heard her sing it and today when I saw Michael J. Smith sing it in this video I felt I should share it.

Here’s the song and the lyrics in case you want to sing along.  The words that speak to me the most are: “And friends are friends forever, If the Lord’s the Lord of them.”  My Christian friends will truly be friends forever even in to eternity where we will live in Heaven together with our Lord.  I am thankful I have that reassurance.  I hope you do as well. If you don’t our Lord is just a prayer away!

 

“FRIENDS” LYRICS
Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends
With the faith and love God’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that now you show
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends
No, a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends
Songwriters: Majid Hasan / Sean L. Foote / Barry Eugene White / Robert Taylor / Mary J. Blige / Tom Brock
Friends lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Capitol Christian Music Group
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
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OUR CLASS A 2005 FLEETWOOD EXCURSION MOTOR HOME – IS NO LONGER FOR SALE

Our motor home, known throughout this country as “DORA”, is FOR SALE.  Dora is a 39 foot Class A 2005 Fleetwood Excursion Motor Home with 54,000 miles for sale at $77,000.  We are in Amite, Louisiana if you would like to come tour her in person. Contact us at rosalyn@selu.edu if you are interested or have any questions. Photos are at the bottom.  Click HERE if you want to go there first.

Motor Home Description

-Luxury abounds in this beautiful motor home. This coach is powered by a 350 H.P. Caterpillar Diesel Engine that delivers plenty of power. The Spartan Chassis with an air ride suspension will give you a very stable and smooth ride. The Caterpillar Engine brake allows you to stop with confidence.

-Driving is enjoyable with oversized heated powered ultra-leather seats. Tilt and telescoping steering wheel let you find ‘your own’ exact fit while the oversize windshield lets you enjoy a panoramic view of the scenery ahead while the backup camera allows you to see directly behind you. Your passenger will be relaxed in a luxurious reclining heated ultra-leather seat with power foot rest.

-Setting up camp is simple with automatic hydraulic jacks that level the motor home with the touch of a single button. You can open up the living area with the touch of another button. You’ll be amazed of its huge size as the walls extend out. In the master bedroom, touch another button and watch the queen size sleep number bed slide out giving you even more room there. Combined with the 84′ ceiling height you’ll feel like you’re in the Superdome! Linens are included for all beds.

-The ultra-leather couch folds out into a full size bed while the adjacent sofa converts into a Double sofa J-Bed. Enjoy your favorite movie or program on the 40′ H.D. TV with your choice of Antenna, Dish Hopper DVR Satellite, Cable or Blu-Ray/DVD with surround sound that will make you feel like you’re part of the action.

-The kitchen area is a Chefs’ delight! It’s equipped with a Convection microwave, a 3 burner gas stove, an oven, deep double sinks, side by side refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, large Corian counter tops, and plenty of cabinets!

-Without starting the generator, the 2000-watt inverter allows your family to watch a movie from any one of the three TV’s onboard. You can also use the microwave, a few outlets, brew a cup of coffee and use your laptop.

-If full power is needed at a remote campsite the 7500-watt Onan quiet diesel generator will light up the whole coach including both thermostat controlled air conditioners.

-Do a load of laundry with the built in washer/dryer. Yes it actual washes and then dries all on its own!

-There is a huge closet in the bedroom to hang up all your clothes. Combined with all the cabinet space and basement compartments there is ample room to bring lots of your favorite things.

-If the weather is right, head outside and set up your lounge chair, swivel the outside TV in your direction, and relax your cares away. If the sun gets too hot, or the rain starts to come down, push another button and watch as the awning automatically extends overhead.

Automotive Features
Transmission: Automatic
Cruise Control: Yes
Power Steering: Yes
Engine: Caterpillar C7 350 HP
Fuel Consumption: 7 miles per gallons

Tanks
Fresh Water Tank: 86 gallons
Fuel Tank 100 gallons
Propane 38 gallons
Gray Water 50 gallons
Black Tank – Sewage 50 gallons

Amenities
In Dash Air Conditioning
Two Roof Air Conditioners
Dometic Refrigerator
Double Kitchen Sink
Gas Range (Stove)
Microwave/Convection
Shower
Toilet
Hot and Cold Water Supply
Bathroom and bedroom Sink
To expand the dining area to accommodate 6 people there are 2 wooden folding chairs, table extension located in the closet
Folding coffee table located in closet
Two ultra-leather couches
Built in vacuum system with vacuum hose and accessories
Sleep Number Queen Bed with sheets and bedspread
Three Televisions
AM/FM Radio and CD Player
Blue Ray / DVD Player
Rear Vision Color Camera
3 Slide Outs
Fire Extinguisher
Onan 7500 Watt Quiet Diesel Generator
2000-watt Inverter
4 – 6 volt House Batteries
2 – 12 volt Chassis Batteries
Automatic Generator Start system
Automatic drawer locks when engine is on
Brand new  main awning
New tires in 2018
Built in washer/dryer

What’s included at no extra cost?
• 9’ X12’ Fleur de Lis Outdoor Mat with 4 hold-down stakes
• Optional outside entry step ladder
• 3 X10’ Rhino Extreme sewer hoses
• 1 X 5’ Rhino Extreme sewer hose
• 1 X10’ red sewer hose
• 1 Dominator, 20′ Extension sewer hose
• All sewer adapters necessary to connect to campground
• Sewer Hose Supports – 2 solid and 1 expandable
• 2 X 25’ Fresh Water hoses and high flow water pressure regulator
• 30 amp male to 50 amp female power cord adapter
• 4 jack leveling pads
• Spare Tire

PHOTOS

AERIAL PHOTOS

EXTERIOR PHOTOS

This photo shows the exhaust extender on the driver’s side.  The exhaust extender comes with the motorhome but is only used when the generator is providing electricity so that exhaust fumes do not affect you or the people around.  It stays stored under the motorhome in a storage bin when not in use.

The outside television one of the storage bins on the passenger side.

The outside television pulled out from inside the storage bin. It is movable to be viewed from various directions.

CLICK ON PHOTOS OF FLOOR PLAN AND SPECS BELOW TO ENLARGE

ENTERING FROM THE FRONT DOOR

  DRIVERS DASHBOARD AND SEAT WITH HEATED LUMBAR SUPPORT

COLOR BACK UP CAMERA WITH VOICE TRANSMISSION FROM EXTERIOR TO THE DRIVER

THE CONTROL PANEL WHERE ALL SYSTEMS ARE MONITORED AND CONTROLLED

LIVING ROOM

SOFA ON DRIVERS SIDE FOLDS OUT TO A J-BED, ACCOMODATING TWO FOR SLEEP

SOFA FOLDS OUT INTO A FULL SIZE SOFA BED – SHEETS AND PILLOW CASE ARE INCLUDED.  THE COFFEE TABLE FOLDS UP AND IS INCLUDED.

DINING AREA SEATS 4 AS IS, THERE IS AN EXTENSION AND TWO CHAIRS STORED IN THE CLOSET TO EXPAND SEATING TO 6. TWO HUGE STORAGE DOORS UNDER EACH BENCH PROVIDE EVEN MORE STORAGE.

KITCHEN AREA – FULL KITCHEN WITH CORIAN COUNTER TOPS, FULL SIZE REFRIGERATOR, MICROWAVE/CONVECTION OVEN, GAS OVEN AND COOK TOP, DOUBLE SINKS AND PLENTY OF DRAWERS AND CABINETS.  

REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER WITH ICE MAKER

LEAVING THE LIVING AREA GOING INTO THE HALL BATH AREA THERE IS A DOOR THAT WILL PROVIDE PRIVACY WHEN CLOSED. THERE IS ALSO A DOOR TO THE BEDROOM THAT SLIDES OUT TO CLOSE.

BATHROOM AREA

SHOWER ON ONE SIDE OF THE HALL IS VERY ROOMY, HAS A SKY LIGHT AND SHAMPOO DISPENSER. THE BAMBOO EMBOSSED GLASS SEEN ON THE SHOWER DOOR CARRIES THROUGH TO VARIOUS OTHER AREAS OF THE MOTOR HOME.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HALL IS THE TOILET, SINK, MEDICINE CABINET & TWO STORAGE CABINETS, ONE OVER THE TOILET AND ONE UNDER THE SINK

BEDROOM

QUEEN SIZE SLEEP NUMBER BED WITH CONTROLS, SPLENDIDE WASHER/DRYER, TELEVISION IN STORAGE COMPARTMENT OVER WASHER/DRYER, LARGE CLOSET SPACE WITH SIDE RACKS AND RACKS OVER CLOTHING BAR, BEDROOM SINK AND PLENTY OF STORAGE DRAWERS AND CABINETS AT FOOT OF BED AND ON THE CEILING OVER THE BED.  UNDER BED STORAGE IS EXTENSIVE. IT IS ALSO WHERE YOU CAN KEEP THE BUILT IN VACUUM HOSES.

 

 

INTERIOR PHOTOS INSIDE SOME CABINETS AND DRAWERS

This is the cabinet over the toilet used for bathroom storage

This is the cabinet over the washer/dryer.  The bedroom television is on the left and storage including laundry detergent specific to the washer/dryer.

Drawers and cabinet at the foot of the bed.

Under the bed storage is extensive. This photo also shows the bedroom television pulled out for use.

The closet is quite large for an RV.  The bucket in the closet is the rest of the laundry detergent for the washer/dryer.  This will probably last 5 years!

 

THAT’S IT FOR THE PHOTO TOUR OF DORA OUR 2005 FLEETWOOD EXCURSION 39S.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING PLEASE SEND THEM TO ROSALYN@SELU.EDU

 

ABOUT THE OWNERS

Roy and Rosalyn are a retired married couple of 46 years with 2 grown children and 6 grandchildren. We are a Christian family in our mid 60s who have lived on the road in our motor home for the last 5 years having adventure after adventure. We hope you and your family will get to enjoy the wonders of traveling in our beautiful motor home, known throughout the country as Dora. We have been Dora’s explorers and you can be her explorers too while exploring this beautiful country with your family and friends. Long lasting memories are created during adventures on the road, start making yours now!

 

 

11.30.18 Teach the Children, by unknown author

In the celebration of Christmas, a white-haired, white-bearded man in a red and white fur suit–Santa Claus by name–figures prominently. Is he what Christmas means?

Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired but content, into my easy chair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn’t help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn’t long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn’t alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the “jolly old elf” of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed, and there were tears in his eyes.

“Santa, what’s wrong?” I asked, “Why are you crying?”

“It’s the children,” Santa replied sadly.

“But Santa, the children love you,” I said.

“Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them,” Santa said, “but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It’s not their fault. It’s just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children.”

“Teach them what?” I asked.

Santa’s kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. “Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent.”

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle. “Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind’s thoughts should turn heavenward as well.”

Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. “The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him.”

“Red,” said Santa, “is the first color of Christmas.” He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. “Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God’s greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed His blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red, it should remind them of that most wonderful Gift.”

Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. “Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep.”

Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. “The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God’s Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ’s foot steps… to go about doing good. Teach them to let their light so shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God’s precious children, their light shining for all to see.”

Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly. “The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy: white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God’s promises. The candy cane is in the form of a ‘J’ to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd’s crook, which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life.”

“Teach these things to the children.”

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright red bow. “The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ’s love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children.”

I asked, “But where does that leave you, Santa?”

The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa’s face. “Why bless you, my dear,” he laughed, “I’m only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I’ll ever be forgotten.”

“I think I’m beginning to understand.”

“That’s why I came,” said Santa. “You’re an adult. If you don’t teach the children these things, then who will?”

(Author Unknown)

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.28.18 Dear Grandma, by Terry Cooper

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 – Almost 20 years ago I met a special guy named Terry Cooper.  Terry worked at Southeastern and was the person who taught me web page creation.  Terry wouldn’t teach me the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) easy web creation method, but insisted I learn html coding.  I was not happy at the time because that was not easy. Since then I have been so thankful that Terry made me learn it the hard way since I’ve used that in all the years I’ve done web creation.  If the easy way didn’t produce what I wanted, I was able to go into the html coding and find the problem, thanks to Terry!  Even here on WordPress I still go into the coding to make things work like I want them too, thanks to Terry’s teaching! There’s a lot more I could share about what a special man Terry is but what I’m sharing today is the letter he posted recently on his facebook page a letter to his grandmother about his mother (her daughter) turning 100 years old.  You will feel you know this sweet lady after reading this and I hope it puts a smile on your face and your heart as you read this.  Thanks Terry for being who you are and for allowing me to share this with others!

Dear Grandma,

It was a hundred years ago, November 20, 1918, that you gave birth to your seventh and last child, Lura Edith Shelton. Nice name (after your sister?) but throughout her life people would insist on inserting an “a” after the “L” which she would correct politely but with a hint of irritation.

Eighteen years later she would marry Henry Charles Cooper and they would have four boys of which I am the oldest.

Here it is a hundred years later, November 20, 2018, and your little girl is still going strong in spite of some maladies she developed in her 90s: macular degeneration, 40% hearing loss, and dementia. With all that, though, she still does light housework like folding clothes (from the dryer), putting up dishes (from the dishwasher), cleaning the stove (after I make a mess), sweeping the porch, ramp, and sidewalk, and whatever else strikes her fancy.

Two weeks ago she voted in our mid-term elections.

She still does her own personal maintenance with a bit of help from me.

She became an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in the 1950s when her children were old enough to allow her to attend classes. She liked nursing and was a conscientious worker. She was highly regarded by the doctors and RNs with whom she worked and was loved and appreciated by the patients.

She drove till she was ninety-one when her macular degeneration forced her to quit. She continued living alone for a while, then gradually began staying with me. I think she’s been with me full time now for seven years.

It never occurred to me that I would ever have to do something like this or that I would even be able to, but here I am.

And I must say, it is NOT a burden. Quite the contrary, she has been a blessing. It is a privilege and honor to be able to care for her, and if I should live a dozen lifetimes I could never repay her for all she’s done for me.

Six years ago (she was 94 at the time) she broke the large bone in her left leg in 4 places. I remember thinking, trying to hold back tears as they put her in the ambulance, that she wouldn’t come home, that she would not survive. But she did! They put a steel rod in her leg. The next day they got her up and walked her around the bed. The next day she walked (with help) to the door of the room and back. The following day she walked out in the hall.

She continued progressing, went through rehab, and now she pushes a shopping cart through a super market and does light housework.

Repeat: She was 94 at the time. I don’t believe a teenager could have healed faster.

Many afternoons, weather permitting, I put her in a wheelchair and push her downtown, to the park, through the neighborhood, or around the university campus (which is 4 blocks from the house.)

While she can walk around the block or through the house or push a shopping cart through a supermarket, she couldn’t sustain a two-hour walk, hence the wheelchair which, by the way, belonged to her sister, your fifth child, Grace. Thanks to Aunt Grace’s son, Fred Eastman, for lending it to his Aunt Lura.

Usually our excursions last two to three hours. She comments on things she sees: squirrels scampering across the path, a girl sitting on a bench studying for her finals, contrails, phases of the moon, large oaks, people walking their dogs or jogging or running for exercise, parents pushing their toddlers in strollers, and so forth.

For her hundredth birthday her family and friends gathered for a wonderful celebration day before yesterday. It was held Sunday in order to allow those who work or go to school to attend.

Well, Grandma, it’s been half a century since you “shuffled off this mortal coil.” I don’t know where heaven is or what it’s like, but there are people who have touched that “celestial shore” who have been allowed to come back and continue living their lives. Many of them tell us that it’s more beautiful than they can describe.

Your little girl — our mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother, matron to a large and close-knit family — has graced this world and our lives with her presence for a whole century. Thank you and Grandpa for such a precious gift. Indeed, thank you for your family: Mom’s sisters and brothers, my aunts and uncles and their families. What a blessing.

Love,
Terry

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

 

 

11.23.18 Why Jesus is Better than Santa Claus!

Friday, November 23, 2018 – Back when I was teaching 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School I found this and read it each year to the children.  It is definitely a thought provoker and the children just absorbed it just like do everything at that age!  The title “Why Jesus is better than Santa Claus” evokes a natural response of “Well, Duh, Yes!” but reading it makes you think of why this is so important!

Santa lives at the North Pole • JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh • JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year • JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies •. JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited • JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa • JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap • JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl,what’s your name?” • JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly • JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO • JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says ”You better not cry” • JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Santa’s little helpers make toys • JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but • JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree • JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.

It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.

Yes, Jesus is better, He is even better than Santa Claus!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!