Over the last couple of months I’ve been working with some friends from high school in planning our 25th reunion. Hard to believe it’s been that long. It was a lot of work in planning but in the end it was worth it. I got to see a lot of friends that I haven’t seen in years, some even since graduation. Yea I get to see what they’ve been up to through Facebook. But there is still as lot that you don’t get to see and know until you get to sit down with them and really talk to them.
One thing I got to experience was getting to know friends that I barely knew while in high school. You always see different cliques when in school. You see this group and that group and they don’t really mix. It was good to get to know people that I didn’t really know in school. I realized that I missed out on getting to know good friends before now.
It wasn’t easy planning the reunion. Well I ever do it again? I doubt it but I never going to rule it out. I’ll for sure help someone that wants to plan the next one.
RAMBLE ALERT – Just a warning. My rambling is ahead.
First of all I just wanted to say thanks for everyone that has been praying for my mom the last couple of days. She is feeling much better but still needs to get more of her strength back before she can head home. Being in the hospital over Christmas is no fun. I know, I did it back in college after having an appendicitis attack. That was not fun at all. In the hospital about 3 days before Christmas and out a couple of days after New Years.
With mom in the hospital, Christmas sure has been different this year. Lots of changes. New job. New church. Just lots of changes. But the biggest has been Christmas Eve. We usually have my family over for appetizers and gift exchange. Nothing major, but its something we all love. In fact, Zach mentioned in a journal that Christmas Eve is usually his favorite part of Christmas. This year? It was lunch with my dad and my brother and his family at a restaurant near the hospital and then over to the hospital to see mom. Then on to church and back home where we had a small dinner with some snacks.
It’s just hard to get into the Christmas mood when the days leading up to it is spent running back and forth to the hospital. It’s hard to get into the Christmas mood just weeks after 20 kids are shot down in their school. Now I hear that 5 are dead in an accident near my hometown.
But I know the reason for season and I know that we celebrate Christmas to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I ran across this poem and the picture at the top of the post on a website and thought I would share it.
On Christmas Eve the other night
I saw the most amazing sight,
for there beneath the Christmas tree
was Santa kneeling on his knee.
His countenance was different than
that all-familiar, jolly grin;
his head was bowed, and hand to breast,
and slightly tucked into his vest.
For there in a Nativity
was Jesus and His family,
and as I heard him start to pray,
I listened close to what he’d say.
“Lord, You know that You’re the reason
I take pleasure in this season.
I don’t want to take Your place,
but just reflect Your wondrous grace.
I hope You’ll help them understand
I’m just an ordinary man,
who found a way to do Your will
by finding kids with needs to fill.
But all those centuries ago,
There was no way for me to know,
that they would make so much of me,
and all the gifts beneath the tree.
They think I have some hidden power
granted at the midnight hour.
But it is my love for You
Inspiring all the things I do.
And they give You all the Glory,
For, ‘You’re the One True Christmas Story.”
The end of my rambling.
Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!! 🙂
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Matthew 25:31-40 (NLT)
Christmas Eve. Growing up that always meant an evening at my grandparents’ house where we would open up gifts from aunts, uncles and grandparents. I always looked forward to that evening. As a kid of course that meant gifts for me.
Two things I always will remember from those nights. 1. That my grandfather would always open his gifts with a pocket knife and was always careful to not rip the paper. All of the grandkids would be yelling to just rip it open. But that was how he was, always keeping stuff he thought he could use again. I guess growing up in the depression will do that to you. 2. He would always get something to do with nuts, either a bag of them or a way to open them. He loved walnuts and peanuts. He always had some in the house somewhere. I can still in my mind remember him yelling for me to come into his room and he would give me some. I guess that is where my love of peanuts comes from.
Now what is one thing you notice I didn’t mention? Think about it, I will wait. If you can’t figure it out just read on.
I don’t remember what I got. I don’t think I could tell you one thing I got during all of those Christmas Eves. Of course I was pretty young but you would think I would remember something. What did I remember? Family. I remember how fun it was to be there with my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I’m sure if I thought hard and long enough, I could remember the greatest Christmas gift I have ever received. We just take it for granted that we are going to get something and it just becomes second nature. I’m sure you are that way too.
But there are people in the world who are not.
There are children all over the world that just wants clean water to drink. They want good clothes and shoes they can wear. They just want people that will take care of them in their lives. They want to be in a family. Sadly, this is the world we live in. So, what does giving mean to you. To us now it means sponsoring a child through Compassion. It means sponsoring a child in an orphanage in India through our church. This is 2 kids that we hope we can help impact their lives in a positive way from half way across the world.
The Bible teaches us that when we see “The least of these”, what we do for them is really doing the same for Jesus. If we ignore them, then we are ignoring Jesus. If we take care of them, then we are taking care of Him. Now of course we can’t really take care of Jesus but He is saying that those that are in need are loved by him and that we need to take care of them for him. Just think about it in terms if it was your child in need. If your child was in need and someone passed by and didn’t take care of that need, wouldn’t you feel like that person ignored you? Same thing.
Compassion International is in the middle of 20 days of Giving leading up to Christmas. Yes I am a bit behind in my blog post. Would you consider helping send a small gift to a child this Christmas? Doesn’t have to be much. Just a small gift to help buy some clothes for the new year so they won’t have to go to school in torn and worn clothes. For only $20 you can protect five children from parasites. For $10 you can provide garden seeds for a family in Africa. For $40 you can replace household items such as clothes and school supplies. It doesn’t have to be a lot. If several people would do this then children all over the world will fill the impact and have better Christmas. You can go here to donate. Please pray about it.
Did you know that if you are eligible to vote in a general election but not for the primary you can still vote in the primary? At least that was the law back in 1988. That was the year I was first able to vote in an election and that was also a Presidential election year. I was able to vote in the primary in that year and I remember doing my research on the candidates. Who I liked and who I didn’t. I made my choices and when it came time to vote, I voted. Over the years I have always knows who was running and what they stood for. I knew what was on the ballot and how I wanted to vote. I have every year.
At least up to this year. I was caught off guard when I got to vote and seen a constitutional amendment and had no clue it was on the ballot much less what it was for. Turns out it was pretty simple. Just gives the citizens of Kentucky the right to hunt. I had no idea it was even on the ballot. The measure past easily. I couldn’t believe it. I heard something about it on the radio as I was walking into the polling place. I was like, what did he say. I got inside and seen the ballot and thought, oh that was what he said.
After voting I went to work and went straight to the internet and start looking it up. What did it mean and why was it on there? I was taught that if something was on the ballot and you don’t know what it was then vote no. That’s what I did. And I didn’t like how I voted after I realized what it was. I wished I had been ready for it, but I wasn’t. Even when we moved to Nicholasville and the first city elections were coming up, I dug through online stories of the local paper trying to find out about the people running wanting to know more about them. I dropped the ball this year but not anymore. I will do my research.
If you know Zach any at all then you know how much of a momma’s boy he is. He says always makes comments about how much he loves Misty more than me. But you know, it’s all talk. He makes this comment and that comment but if you pay attention then you know he loves us both. The boys’ school after each 9 weeks has an assembly called a HOPE Assembly. They present awards to the students that have earned them during the previous 9 week grading period. Well this year the school is being renovated and Zach and Gabe are in a different building Colby. The school had said at the beginning of the year that all HOPE Assemblies would be at the main building. Well I had it listed that it would be at the primary center, the building where Zach and Gabe go but they thought it was also at the main building.
Well I called the school and found out that it will be at the primary center. Right before I left to go to the assembly I get a call from the administrative assistant at the primary center saying that Zach wanted her to call me and let me know that it was in fact at the primary center and he was concerned that I would be going to the wrong building. When I got there she told me that he was worried that I was going to go to the wrong building.
Just goes to show how important it is to stay involved in your children’s lives. Even though he acts like he doesn’t care his actions show otherwise. I try to stay involved as much as I can. For Colby I have been one of his scout leaders and for the twins I helped coach one year of t-ball and then moved down to be their scout leader when they started last year. That’s been one of my main priorities is to be involved as much as I can. I know as they get older it will be more of a challenge but the more I get involved now the easier it will be later. At least I hope so.
God I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks for giving me the opportunity to help Mikaela. I hope that not only can we help him but at the same time I can teach my boys something about giving and the needs of others. It has given us chances to talk to them about what life is like outside not only our home but our country. It has given us a chance to talk to them about giving and helping others.
I just can’t believe how things are in other parts of this world. I just can’t understand how I can complain about what I have to eat when Mikaela probably just feel lucky to eat. I complain about when something goes wrong here at the house when Mikaela probably just wants a warm place to sleep at night. I complain when my car starts having problems when children like Mikaela has to walk miles just for a clean drink of water.
You have blessed this country greatly and have protected us. Yet other parts of the world have almost nothing. Thank you for allowing me to live in this country. Yet I know with this honor comes responsibility. I know that you give to me in hopes that I will give to others that don’t have.
I only hope my help makes a difference. I can only hope that my boys learn from this. I want them to learn that what they have is not a right but a responsibility. A responsibility to help others when they can. I want to help Mikaela grow up into the man you want him to be. The man that his country needs him to be.
Thanks God for this opportunity. Amen .
ps. would you consider praying for a child today? Please go here and just pick a child out and pray for them today.
By now you probably know that we sponsor a child through Compassion International. We started this as a way for our boys to give back with their allowance and be able to help someone at the same time. Why Compassion? I felt like they were really trying to change the world, one child at a time. And it’s just not when they are a child. It changes their life forever. When we decided on this, we went to their sponsorship page where we were able to select the child we wanted to sponsor. Since giving to Compassion was I think Zach’s pick, we let him pick the child and we were able to pick someone close to his age.
Our child writes letters and draws pictures and sends to us every so often. This lets the boys know how he is doing and what the living conditions they are living in. We can see the differences we are making in his life. We sent an extra donation for his birthday and he sent us a letter back letting us know what he was able to get, extra clothes for school and play. The boys are also allowed to send him letters. Letting him know that they are praying for him by name and letting him know what they are doing.
What does the money go towards you ask? Glad you did. Here is a small list from the Compassion website:
Please consider sponsoring a child today. I know not everyone can. Even if you can’t, please go find a child and pray for them. Just go here and look through the children that need to be sponsored and pick one and pray for them.
Oh and want to see the impact you can have on a child? Watch the video below.
A while back we made some changes in how we give the boys their allowance. The change gave them more over the course of the month but in turn for that they had to do a couple of things. One they had to pick up more chores around the house. Two, they had to put some back for savings. And three they had to give some of it away. One of the things we chose was to sponsor a child through Compassion International. I got an email from them the other day asking for bloggers to write about different aspects of Compassion and what they do. They want to bring more attention to the environments they kids live in.
So I thought I can do this. So I signed up and started looking over some of the things others have wrote about. Compassion will send me a topic each month to write about to help me get started for that month. I went back and looked at last month’s assignment,Can You Survive on $1.25? Well can you? Most families in third world countries have to live on about $1.25 a day. They have to make decision on like do I send my daughter to work at a factory that pays good? Sounds like an easy answer doesn’t it. Good money, sure sign her up. But then you hear a rumor that the factory is linked to the sex trafficking. How easy is the answer now? Do I drink dirty water or do I take my son out of school every three days to get the family clean drinking water?
An organization called 58:, a global initiative to end extreme poverty by living out Isaiah 58. They have created an online game to see how far you can make it through a month before you run out of money. I made it to day 19. You can try your luck here.
September is also blog month at Compassion. So this month instead of once a month, there will be one a week. They are trying to get more kids sponsored this September than any other September. That number by the way is 3,108. So look for a post next week on this and please think about sponsoring a child.
ps try the Survive 125 game and post how far you make it in the comments below. See if you can beat 19. 🙂