Christmas Prayers from the past

December 19, 2011

We have just recently re-discovered these three little prayer books in a box of books in the attic.

The one on the left is missing the first few pages so we don’t have a copyright date, but it definitely appears to be the oldest.  It is obviously a book of prayers for children.  But I find it surprising that the language definitely isn’t changed much if at all to make it easier for children to read.  That makes me think that it really wasn’t meant to be read by children, but read to children so that they could memorize the prayers.

Its prayers are all short and include these two pages of Christmas prayers.

The red book was given to an unknown  couple on their 50th wedding anniversary in approximately 1951. (That’s our guess because that is the copyright year.)

It is my favorite.  It has prayers for every instance imaginable.

It includes this Christmas prayer that I think is lovely and we will probably use on Christmas day.

The blue book was a gift to Hubby from the Pastor when he was confirmed in 1959.  I know that Hubby and his family dearly loved Pastor L, but its prayers tend to be long and kind of dry.  I wonder if a simpler version might have had a better chance of actually being used by eighth graders!

We have started using prayers from the middle book during our bible studies.  The wording used is so elegant and conveys the thoughts in such beautiful ways. They are a pleasure to read, pray and think on.

I think “Anna B.” who signed her name and wrote her congratulations in that little red book of prayers to give to a couple celebrating a long marriage, would probably be happy to know that it is being used all these years later.

What a special little treasure of books we’ve found.  And especially in regard to the red book, we are using it regularly right now.  And even though Hubby and I weren’t the ones who received it originally, it has definitely turned into a gift for us.

A good life.

October 10, 2010

The post begins, “I think that the greatest gift I can give my husband is a good life.
My good life.”

I have two friends who have recently suffered the loss of their beloved husbands.

Maybe it’s no accident that not too long ago I found the blog The Good Cook.  She has also just lost her husband.  And she has written eloquently about her grief.

Today I read this post by The Good Cook that is especially inspiring, so I’m pointing it out here for you, Barb and Mary, and anyone else who has lost the love of their life.  May it aid your healing, friends.

A Boatload of Good Advice

August 30, 2010

Noah’s Ark

Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah’s Ark.
ONE: Don’t miss the boat.

TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat!

THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

FOUR: Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

FIVE: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

SIX: Build your future on high ground.

SEVEN: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

EIGHT: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

NINE: When you’re stressed, float awhile.

TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

Book Review: A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind

August 19, 2010

This book has made a significant impression on me and my way of thinking about my eating, thinking and how I see myself, so I wanted to recommend it to you.

My sister-in-law brought it over for me to read when she returned a book I had loaned her.  Mainly because of  my SIL’s recommendation, but also because I was intrigued by its catchy title, I promised myself I would at least read some of it.  Well, I read it cover to cover and now I’ve ordered my own copy!  When I get my copy I plan to read it again and spend more time on the questions at the end of each chapter.

One of the things that Karen Scalf Linamen says that just struck me as so true and such an original thought was this:

I wouldn’t do something horrible to a friend just to solve a problem … I wouldn’t ask a friend who wasn’t hungry to eat a dozen donuts just to entertain me because I felt bored or restless … I definitely wouldn’t ask a friend to compromise her health so I could feel safe.  I wouldn’t ask her to gain fifty pounds and have acid reflux and high blood pressure just to save me the trouble of installing locks on my doors or taking a self-defense course or even going to counseling.

I love and respect my friends.  I would never ask them to suffer just to spare me the work of finding a real solution to whatever dilemmas I may be facing.  So why do I think it’s okay to ask my body to pay that same price?

Besides having wonderful insights into what makes us do self-destructive things like overeating, Karen is just plain funny!  As attested to by the titles of some of her other books (which I have also ordered):  Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight, Due to Rising Energy Costs, the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Turned Off and Sometimes I Wake Up Grumpy and Sometimes I Let Him Sleep.  How can you not want to read books with those titles?

I’ve only read this one book so far by Ms. Linamen, but if the others are half as good as this one, I think I have a new favorite author!

Death of a Witness

July 23, 2010

About four years ago I ran into a woman I knew but didn’t see very often. Her husband had been the chaplain at the jail for a few years.  They were such a neat couple, and great witnesses to their faith.  (He told the story many times about his conversion to Christianity beginning in a jail cell in California when he was a troubled young man, and he happened to find a Christian tract on the floor.)

Anyway, when I saw this wonderful woman in the grocery store, it was impossible to miss the fact that instead of her trademark long brown hair, she was bald.  She had always been a beautiful woman and she was still beautiful with her huge, expressive blue eyes all the more emphasized by her baldness.

She told me she had had cancer for five years and had just finished a round of chemo that appeared to be successful.

But as we stood there, she told me in words and through those huge, sincere eyes that she knew the chance the cancer would return, but  whatever tomorrow brought, she wasn’t afraid because she knew when the end came she would be in Heaven with Christ.  We parted ways with a hug and my thanks for such inspiring words.

Fast forward to a few days ago.  I heard that she is now at death’s door.  She has battled cancer for almost 10 years, but the end is finally near.  But, you know, this wonderful witness for Christ will never be totally gone because her witness to her faith will linger in the hearts and minds of many with whom she has had contact.

And when she arrives at Heaven’s door, I picture Christ opening the door Himself, smiling when He sees His faithful servant Marilyn, and then taking her hand in welcome and saying, “Well done, O good and faithful servant.”  Then I picture Him leading her by the hand into Eternity.

Well done, my friend.  I look forward to seeing you again in Eternity.

A voice of experience

July 17, 2010

First, let me just say this.  If you are one of my wonderful male readers, I want you to know that I know this isn’t about you.  I just don’t think men who are “middle age crazy” would be comfortable enough with who they are to spend any of their time reading a blog with a title about humor and faith.  My thought is that if you turn into a sleaze bag, you probably then have to work at being that 24/7!

My friend, C, at Stickhorse Cowgirls is a long-time divorce attorney.  She also happens to be a recent divorcee because her husband of over 30 years suddenly experienced this middle-age craziness and left her for a young woman who already had two children by men she was never married to, and they have since had a baby between them (how mind-boggling is that — he’s now 60 years old with a new baby!).

So, when I read C’s post here about Mel Gibson and the fact that his girlfriend recorded some of his rants, and is now being criticized for it, I knew for a fact that she definitely knows what she is talking about.

I wanted to share this excellent post because if there is anyone (woman OR man) reading this who is in an abusive relationship (and as C says, it isn’t just about hitting) or knows someone who is, I hope that C’s post will give you some insights and practical advice.

To me, this is what is the best about the blogging world — sharing of valuable insights and advice like this.  Thank you, C.

An update on Cooper

June 21, 2010

I am passing along the most recent post from Cooper’s mommy.

Happy Father’s Day to all you Wonderful Dad’s out there. We hope you got a chance to relax and enjoy your day with your family or perhaps just having some much needed quiet time. We enjoyed a very relaxing day. It started with some of our close friends, the Thompsons, celebrating the Baptism of their beautiful baby boy Grady. What a special moment for all of us! After that, Cooper and I went out for a steamer and coffees for Dad and Mom and then back to the house for a home cooked breakfast. The morning went fast and before we could blink, it was nap time for Cooper, while Grace and Daddy made snow cones – what a great treat on a hot day. The rest of afternoon was spent with Justin and Grace swimming and me making a strawberry fluff pie and cleaning up from the weekend. Once Coop was awake, we ate dinner that a wonderful neighborhood family brought, gave Cooper his medicine, and then headed out for yogurt. The kids were exhausted and after many hugs, kisses, and a few books, their innocent little minds went to rest on their pillows. Our hearts melt as we watch them sleep with not a care or worry, all that you wish for as a parent. What a wonderful day just enjoying one another with laughs, cooking, games, swimming and nothing more!

As you know from our last update, Cooper had another MRI last week. Unfortunately, our little soldier got another ding in his armor with the latest results. In just a short 5 week period, there is regrowth in the location that was recently resected in the third ventricle back on the 27th. We have struggled with this news and have needed time to absorb it. The shock of such a quick recurrence has made it hard to put this into words in an update. We have spent the week talking to our Medical Team trying to better understand why this happened and what to do next. We are continuing with Coop’s chemo and will stay the course until his next MRI in 4 weeks as it is too early to make big changes, but it has truly been a blow and created a great deal of worry and fear. We continue to pray that the tumor will shrink or at the least stabilize and that Coop remains strong and tolerating the chemotherapy. He really is an amazing little boy…his bald little head accentuates his big brown eyes and sheepish smile, as the simplest things just tickle him and in turn warm our hearts.

I have included two poems that touched me and therefore I thought I would share them with you. Bless you all and have a great week ahead.

Daddy can you guess who I am?
You cried when I was as small
As a pebble in the sand.
I was a beautiful baby, I might add,
But that is because Mommy said
I looked like you, Dad.
Singing and dancing,
I love putting on shows too.
You use to read to me, Daddy,
But now I am reading to you.
I am getting big, Daddy,
I am now in first grade.
And I am looking forward to our dance, Daddy, that will be our special day.
Even though you can’t do my hair
Or give me a curl,
I will always be
Your favorite little girl.

Daddy can you guess who I am?
You cried when you found out
You were having a little man.
I haven’t told Mommy
About us sneaking any snacks,
But I look forward to the times
We get to do just that.
We dream of building forts
In our back yard.
But for now we will ride the mower
And use our tools to fix the car.
You introduced me to Coca Cola,
So please smile when I have
Your last can;
Playing games with you, Daddy,
Is my everyday plan.
I may be your clown,
You laugh at what I do;
But when I grow up, Daddy,
I want to be just like you.

Honey you have helped mold me
Into who I am.
We were so young,
But we did the best we can.
We started out
With a simple little kiss…
Who would have thought
It would end up as sweet as this?
You have made my dreams come true,
Making me a Mom

Ticket for Life:
Bandage scraped knees. Kiss away fears.
Watch their heartbreak and dry their tears.
Teach them to know what’s right and what’s wrong.
Show them how to be gentle and when to be strong.
Tell them you love them, and then let it show.
That’s the easiest part of helping them grow.
There needs to be discipline, but don’t over do it.
Praise and encouragement strengthens their spirit.
Show them respect for their feelings and thoughts.
They should know their important, self worth can’t be bought.
Show them some patience and always be kind.
Developing minds make mistakes time to time.
Teach them to be the best they can be.
When they’re happy within,

What an inspiration this whole family is.

Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Would I care this much?

May 31, 2010

In honor of Memorial Day, a very patriotic businessman we know sent all of his clients a letter that shared this story from John McCain.  I had heard it before, but it never fails to move me.

As you may know, I spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.  In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell.  In 1971, the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men in a room.  This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.

Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama.  He didn’t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old.  At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy.  He later earned a commission by going to Offi-cer Training School.  Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.  Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country—and our mili-tary—provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home.  In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves, and other items of clothing.  Mike got himself a bamboo needle.  Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed it into the inside of his shirt.

Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike’s shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.  I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed an impor-tant and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, discovered Mike’s shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.  That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of us all, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours.  Then they opened the door of the cell and threw him in.  We cleaned him up as well as we could.

The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept.  Four na-ked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.  After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath one of those dim light bulbs with a piece of red cloth, another shirt, and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian.  He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag.

He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better.  He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to pledge allegiance to our flag and our country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage of thousands of Americans to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.  You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands—one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

If I, or you, were going to be beaten for displaying our country’s flag, would we be brave enough to do it anyway?  I hope so.

But today we remember and honor those who fought and died for our freedom so that we might never have to find out.

Know where you are going!

October 4, 2009


Sometimes I receive a forward on the internet whose title intrigues me enough to read it.  This is one of those that I would like to share:

Billy Graham’s Suit

In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte , North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor.  Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggled with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, ‘We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.’ 

So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the podium, looked at the crowd, and spoke,

“I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century.

“Einstein was once traveling on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket but couldn’t find his ticket.  So, he reached in his trouser pockets.  It wasn’t there either, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it.  Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

“The conductor said, ‘Dr Einstein, I know who you are.  We all know who you are.  I’m sure you bought a ticket.  Don’t worry about it.’

“Einstein nodded appreciatively and the conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets.

“As he was ready to move to the next car, the conductor turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are.  No problem.  You don’t need a ticket.  I’m sure you bought one.’

“Einstein looked at him and said, ‘Young man, I too, know who I am.  What I don’t know is where I’m going.'”

Having said that Billy Graham continued,

“See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit.  My family are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age.  I used to be a bit more fastidious.  So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion.

You know what that other occasion is?  This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. 

But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing.  I want you to remember this:

I not only know who I am … I also know where I’m going.”

Billy Graham was a truly great man who was a powerful example of how a godly life should be lived.  And then, as he aged, a wonderful example of what our attitude should be when we are looking toward the end of our life.

On this Sunday, I wish for you the peace that Dr. Graham had of knowing where you are going.

Fighting Our Battles

June 28, 2009


 Chronicles 5:20  They cried out to God during the battle and He answered their prayer because they trusted Him.

Whatever our battle is — physical, mental, spiritual — God will help us with it if we just ask and trust.