Sunday, December 9, 2018

Christmas 2018 Blog Post #4

(In case you’ve missed a few posts, I am spending the month of December blogging about various Bible verses which remind us of the first Christmas and what the birth of Jesus really means to us. I’m also sharing random pictures of Christmases past.)

   While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house. Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. But Martha was busy with all the work to be done. She went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me.”
   But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 (New Century Version)

Doesn’t that say it all! How many of us are on a frantic rush to get everything done by Christmas? But here Jesus reminds us of the only thing that is important – spending time with Him.  
My mother's tabletop tree from 2011. If only we would have known God's plans for her, we would have spent more time with her instead of being busy all the time. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Christmas 2018 Blog Post #3

 (In case you’ve missed a few posts, I am spending the month of December blogging about various Bible verses which remind us of the first Christmas and what the birth of Jesus really means to us. I’m also sharing random pictures of Christmases past.)

 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (Living Bible)

God has lots of plans. Plans which we cannot even fathom. Plans we don’t even see coming. One of His plans was to send His Son as a human baby to save us from our sins. What a fantastic future and awesome hope that gives us! 
With my mom, brother and sister, on Christmas Eve 2004. Mom always hated getting her picture taken, but it looks like my brother and I don't like it any better. We know that someday in the future, we will take better pictures. That is our hope. And  we trust that we will be with Mom again someday, and our hope for that is that she's not too mad at me for sharing her picture!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Christmas 2018 Blog Post #2

In case you missed Sunday’s post, I am spending the month of December blogging about various Bible verses which remind us of the first Christmas and what the birth of Jesus really means to us. I’m sure they aren’t going to be in chronological order, but I thought I would start out that way.

“And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 (New International Version)

Whether or not you know your Bible stories very well, you surely have heard about the serpent tricking Adam and Eve into eating the fruit in the garden. In today’s verse, God has just discovered their sin and begins carrying out judgement. First He speaks to the serpent, telling him what his future fate will be. The serpent, of course, is Satan, and the offspring of the woman, centuries later, is Jesus. Satan may strike Jesus first by putting Him on the cross, but Jesus has ultimate victory.

Amazing how the third chapter of the entire Bible foretells those events.     
Picture from Christmas 2010, the wall honoring our pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Christmas 2018 blog post #1

For a while now – okay, probably since last Christmas – I’ve been thinking about the theme I should write about during this month. Over the years, I’ve done carols, cookies, cards (that be the big three, I guess), the first Christmas, Christmas past, Christmas gifts. I won’t admit that I’ve run out of themes, but I still need to come up with something original.

A couple weeks ago, on the Christian radio station I listen to, they were talking about Advent calendars. You know, where each day you open a door in this calendar and there is a little gift inside. Then there’s the reverse calendar, where every day you do something good for someone, or maybe donate a different food item to the local food pantry. I was driving to work that morning, when the DJs were talking about this, so I may have totally gotten this wrong, but one of them said something about thinking of something each day which is about the true meaning of Christmas. Which you would think, from the Christian standpoint, would be only one thing, and not 24.

Baby Jesus, the Son of God, was born on the first Christmas Eve, so that He could grow up and die to save us all from our sins. Seems pretty clear-cut, but I’ve been thinking about it. 

Then the other day, when I realized that I better get working on this if I am going to roll out a whole series of blog posts, I also realized what really is important this time of year. Yes, first and foremost, it’s about that Baby in the manger. But I looked at my calendar for the month of December and it is already just about full, not even counting the shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, baking, mailing, and working.

That’s when I really came up with the theme for this year’s Christmas blogs. Three days a week until the end of the year, I’ll post a well-known Bible verse along with just a few words of why it reminds me of Christmas.

 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2 King James Version)

If only because we might as well start at the beginning. The beginning of this Earth we inhabit and the beginning of the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And just like the earth was without form when it started out, we are without form without Jesus in our life.   
Christmas 2003, Val with her dog Pepper and Nick with his dog Shadow. My plan was to share a past Christmas picture on each post, but when I was looking back, I couldn't find any from 04, 05 or 06. I think those were the years just before digital but right after I stopped keeping pictures in photo albums, so their whereabouts are anybody's guess. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Wabasha, MN

     If you read Wednesday’s blog, you may recall that I took a road trip to Minnesota with a friend last weekend. Though we checked out a few other towns along the Mississippi, Wabasha was actually our destination.
 Our accommodation for the night was the Americinn. I would highly recommend it.
 Wabasha is a darling little town, but might be most famous for the Grumpy Old Men movies, though very little was shot in or even around the town.
 For dinner, we ran to the even smaller berg of Kellogg for fish fry at the Town and Country.
 And I don’t even know what to say about this. I am just posting it for the entertainment of my kids.
 I’m posting this one for my friend Denise. She should know why. “Do you have a picture of this?”
 So many historic buildings downtown Wabasha.
 Of course, the best shopping was in the Chocolate Escape. Check their Facebook page for our picture. 
 Barton’s Brickhouse Boutique.
 Anderson House Hotel.
 The National Eagle Center. My hubby and I took a tour of it in 2009; Julie and I didn’t have time on this quick trip.
 This is Chief Wapasha II, holding a cedar sprig and an eagle feather staff. The city of Wabasha is named after him. And, yes, there was a Chief Wapasha I and III.
When is the next trip going to be?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Red Wing, Minnesota

    It’s easy to become overwhelmed when one has traveled the same roads on very different trips within one month.

The end of October I was in the same area along the Mississippi River as I was this past weekend. I wanted to organize the pictures and the stories to blend together. I’m afraid that’s not going to happen, at least not seamlessly.
The trip in October, for a wedding, took us from our very cheap motel in Red Wing, Minnesota, to the historic St. James Hotel.
 The original front desk.
 The library just off of the historic lobby.
 An old piece of furniture in the historic lobby.
 A really old safe in the basement.
 Views from outside.

 This past weekend, my friend and I stopped in to explore the Pottery Place mall on our way through Red Wing.
 Many times over the years, I’ve visited the various shops inside the old pottery factory.
 I wish we would have had more time to wander around the two levels of antiques, but we had more towns to visit along the River. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

God and Google

Come back to the Lord your God.
    He is kind and shows mercy.
He doesn’t become angry quickly.
    He has great love.
    He would rather forgive than punish.
(from Joel 2:13 International Children’s Bible)

Do you ever get this feeling of despair for absolutely no reason? Or for such a stupid reason, that you try telling yourself to knock it off, stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop worrying about something that will probably not happen, but your mood just continues to spiral downward?

The last couple of days have been really good to me; I should have nothing in my heart but joy and thankfulness. Instead – well, I do have some stuff going on, but really? Is it really anything to bring me down? No, not at all.

I tried typing a few thoughts into my Bible Gateway search engine, but nothing said, “Ta-da, here’s your answer.” So instead I typed “what Bible verse do I need right now” into Google. Crazy how God has a direct tie to Google. Coz the above verse was the second one which came up.  

Lord, God, what would I ever do without You? Thank You for being my constant Friend and Provider. Amen.