Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Well done, good and faithful servant."

Thank you! Thank you, very much! Completing this article will mean that I accomplished one of the goals I set for myself this year. I mangaged to post 52 blogs, one for each week of 2013. It's taken me a couple of years to achieve that number, but I finally did it.
Goals are essential for a meandering soul like me. I tend to just live my life, from crisis to crisis, just doing what comes naturally. That does not mean, however, that I am not a hard worker. I work pretty darn hard. It's just that I have found myself in a "survival" mode for a couple of years. And, since I'm still living and breathing, you will have to admit, I've been pretty successful at that.
But, striving to achieve designated goals keeps you moving forward.
I actually met some other goals this year. I found a really great job. Actually, I found two, but ended up settling on just one.  (There's nothing like gainful employment to make you feel successful.)
And, I made some awesome new friends. I've really cherished these new contacts. Learning and caring about new lives has enriched my own existence. I connected with some old friends, too. That song about "one is silver and the other gold", rings true.
Lastly, I became a Notary Public. The process was a little complicated and time consuming, but after I complete the last task of being sworn in, at the Clay County Courthouse, I will be an Official Certified Notary.
Becoming a Notary, must make one "Notorious", which Webster says is "well known or famous especially for something bad". Add Notorious to my favorite self-describer, "Infamous", which means MORE than famous, and you have a whole lot of Nansense.
Happy New Year, 2014.

Great Almighty Lord. We look forward to this new year, full of hope and joy. We are continually humbled by the wonder of life and we are blessed with our bounty of  riches. Help us to be forever grateful, giving and forgiving.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


It appears that I will be ringing out the old year with a full blown head cold. It was bound to happen. No amount of hand sanitizer, Air Borne or Lysol can keep the germs away forever. My spouse and grand kids have been passing around a similar illness for the last two weeks. They have been coughing and sniffling for days.
Whenever I catch a cold, however, my voice just goes away. Today, I cannot say a single word, above a raspy whisper. I catch colds like this because I talk too much and this is God's way of occasionally putting me in my place. That's my personal theory, but dozens of fine folks would agree with me.
It's so hard for me to keep quiet. I am a vocal person. My current job has me answering the phone, for Pete's Sake. I couldn't do that at all, yesterday. It's difficult for a teacher and receptionist to loose her voice. I have so much to say to so many people.

Great and powerful God. You have my attention. I am slowing down, keeping quiet and catching my breath. You have made your presence known and I am thankful for your healing power and grace. Remind me that I am not nearly as important as I often think I am. Remind me that I am just one of your beloved children. For that and many things, too numerous to mention, I am eternally thankful.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"We need a Little Christmas, Now"

Just name one person who doesn't get just a little sad during the holiday season. As we get older, the holidays become bittersweet, don't they? We remember Christmases from years gone by. For many of us our parents and maybe some of our siblings have passed on. We remember celebrating with them and we can no longer do that.
Even the Jolly Old Elf, Santa Claus, must shed a few tears every Christmas.
That's the bitter.
But, Christmas is still a great time. The joy of the holiday remains. For those of us who don't have our parents, we have our children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Life continues.
The music is beautiful, the lights are bright and Christ has come again. That's the sweet.

Dear and Glorious Lord: We think of your birth at this time of year. We remember the presents you received and the miracle of your creation.
Help us to keep the Holiday Spirit, all throughout the year.
We are thankful for your coming.

Friday, December 13, 2013


The giant tree has gone undecorated for several weeks now. It has been sitting, sort of naked looking,  in the two story lobby of our brand new building. Yesterday, was the day that my co-worker had set aside for finally hanging the balls, tinsel and garlands on the tree. Many of us were looking forward to seeing the tree in all of its glory.
But, of course, "the best laid plans...". You know the saying. 
Well, the pre-lit tree wasn't lighting. Just part of it was working. To quote the Grinch, she had more than "one light that won't light on one side." The whole top third was lightless!
So, she went to the giant box store and purchased more lights. Then, she had to climb the ladder, numerous times, to get them looking just right. Her two hour project turned into three, and it was time to go home before she got it finished.
So, she'll do the final trimming today, and we will all finally get to enjoy her "toil and trouble" this holiday season. Better late than never.

Dear Lord: Sometimes we get to feeling like our lives are one long cliche. Our big time ideas never seem to work out the way we plan them. When will we learn that we are not in charge?
Give us the patience to go with the flow. Grant us courage to face what we don't want to face and the wisdom of acceptance.
Dear Lord: You are in charge. We don't need to be.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

"Merry Christmas, Carol"

Walking out of the office last Friday, I was heralded by a familiar Christmas Tune, "The Twelve Days Of Christmas." I've heard that song every holiday season for the last 55 years or so. I've sung it, and listened to it being sung many, many times. It's really long....twelve verses. And, although it's on the Hit Parade of Holiday Classics, I will never remember how many Leaping Lords or Ladies Dancing there are supposed to be. The only phrase I always get right is the Five Gold Rings verse. Actually, past five and I'm lost.
The song has a bit of history. It's been around since the 1700s, in one form or another, but it is not a 16th century secret catechism lesson. Someone in the early 1990's started that Internet Legend.  And, there is no factual theological symbolism in the numbers. However, if you want to believe the Three French Hens are really Faith, Hope and Charity, then go right ahead.
The 12 Days of Christmas actually begin on Christmas Day, not twelve days before. They end on Twelfth Night (January 5th). Centuries ago, gifts were exchanged on St. Stephen's Day, December 16th, Twelfth Night and some of the days in-between. Today, of course, we give the whole wad on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning.
By Epiphany (ETA of the Magi, and the beginning of the Gift Giving tradition), January 6th, when the Twelve Days are officially over, most of us have all of our wreaths and trees stored away until next year. We are already looking ahead to St.Valentine's Day!
However, if you feel the need to get your math-juices flowing this Yuletide Season, try adding up all of the gifts in all of the verses. There are quite a few.Then add one more gift. The final gift of Jesus. What number do you come up with?
Think about the meaning of that one!

Oh, my Lord: We get so caught up with this season of giving and receiving. We fuss and worry about buying the right present for everyone on our list. We try to make the holidays bigger and better, every year. More of this and more of that.
Help us to remember the real reason for the season. There is only one gift that matters.
Thank you for coming to us as a tiny child.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Beam me up, Scottie.

In order to access some pertinent electronic data,  most efficiently and easily, my new employers asked that I update my antiququated cell phone. I hadn't realized that my phone was an antique, until I noticed that all of the other folks, in the office, were using items they all called "Smart Phones". Their phones did all kinds of stuff and my simple phone could only receive and make phone calls. After all, it was a telephone!
So, I ventured out, one Sunday afternoon, to a nice retail venue, to purchase a new device. Device is the word the salesman used for what would become my new phone. The salesman started his pitch by trying to sell me a tablet AND a phone. It could have been my blank stare or my raised eyebrows, but he quickly moved on describing my singular phone choices.
We settled on a simple "I Phone". He was the one who described it as simple. I would now be able to have 4 Gs, or maybe it was 40 Gs, I can't remember what the number was. I must have been dazzled by the flashing whistles and bells, as he kept moving from screen to screen, because I walked out of the store with the phone, a snazzy cover (new phones are more easily broken than the older models), a charger, ear buds (something about I tunes), and a half-dozen other items that he had placed in a nice shopping bag.
Back home, I looked at the stuff and browsed through the User's Manual. What had seemed so simple in the store, was now way beyond my 20th Century mind.
My colleagues at work were quite impressed by my purchase. I had gotten a really good deal, they informed me. This new device could do anything. They all wanted to try it out.
It has taken me a couple of weeks now, but guess what? I can make and receive calls on my new phone. But, I haven't been able to figure out any other APPs (whatever that means). As soon as I run into a clever 9 or 10 year old, I am going to ask him/her to set up the other options on my device and explain them to me. Maybe then, I will finally be able to access that pertinent data from cyber space.

Lord: Sometimes we feel totally inadequate. Our lives are so complicated and confusing. We find ourselves longing for a simpler time. We reach out to You for help and guidance. Surround us with your counsel and peace.
As we wander through life, we know that Your love surpasses all of our weaknesses. Show us how to live our lives in the very best way possible, always keeping You, Lord, as our Guide and Redeemer.