Family

Granny Pam

It is fascinating to hear the names selected by grandparents today. Traditional choices of grandmother, grandfather and grandma and grandpa are still used. From that foundation our labels go off in many directions. You know who you are; enjoy your new identity.

Both sets of my grandparents were grandma and grandpa; so we also used last names when referring to them. I never thought much about choosing a classification when I would one day become a grandparent.      

When our two children were small we lived about fourteen miles from my husband’s home town. His family still lived there and we got together often. His grandparents were called Grand Ma’ and Grand Pa’ Davis, and Granny and Grand Daddy LeMasters. Our children spent quite a bit of time with their Great Granny and Grand Daddy. Though in her 60’s Granny played right along with our children. She got down on a quilt pallet and wrestled, using the pre-school version of course. Her pleasure resulted in heart-felt laughter. Granny became a role model to me for grand-parenting. Twenty years later when the blessings of grandchildren arrived, I became Granny Pam. My husband gladly accepted his role as Grand Daddy. If the name fits, wear it.

Christian Growth, Poems

The Tapestry

GUEST WRITER: Victor Jasti

God said let their be light,

Dividing light from darkness, called He night.

World, He created, in an orderly fashion,

Like a master craftsman, weaving a tapestry.

Every seed, plant followed by flowers and fruit,

Animals and birds, fish and all that breathes,

Created He, just the way He wanted,

Like a master craftsman, weaving a tapestry.

Pinnacle of creation, man and woman,

Created He in His own image, valuable in His sight,

For no other part of creation can claim that privilege,

Like a master craftsman, weaving a tapestry.

Life is like a richly woven tapestry,

God the master weaver, deep in work,

Thread, different colors and hues, varied textures,

Interwoven to provide a dramatic design.

God the master weaver, created tapestry,

For us to fit in, in intricate ways,

For without us, the tapestry is not complete,

He in His glory sees which we cannot.

For the tapestry to be complete fully,

We should allow Him to do His work,

Instead of complaining of the thread,

About its color, texture and the design.

For we spoil the good work of our Lord,

By complaining of our friends and family,

In our work place and in the church,

For it is He, who weaves, the tapestry.

Allowing Him to complete the tapestry,

We give us, ourselves, a role to play,

For us to fit in, in His grand plan,

Of making the world a better place to live in.

Christian Growth, Devotionals

The Family Resemblance

GUEST WRITER:Emily Swanson

In my quiet time of worship I said to God, “I want to enter your presence with praise. Sometimes I long to know what you look like. I know you are holy and attended by angels; but I long to know you!”

My Father replied, “I sent my Son that you might know me. ‘He who has seen the Son has seen the Father’, and you can see my character in My Son. Remember His commitment in the temple as a little boy; His commitment as a man when He ‘set His face toward Jerusalem and the cross’. Also remember His communion with others; His disciples, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, the wedding feast, Nicodemus, the many people who stopped Him along the way to talk. He was never too busy; neither am I.”

Healing is another attribute of God as expressed by Jesus on many occasions. The gentleness of those strong hands that made a “mud-pack’ with clay and spittle and applied it to the eyes of a blind man. See his compassion for the woman in adultery as she was dragged before Him. I see His forgiveness even to the cross as He looked upon His accusers and His own disciples who had forsaken Him. He knows rejection…the families and friends of Nazareth rejected Him; there was a moment on the cross when He felt rejection of the Father as He took on the sin of the world. Still He is rejected of men even after His sacrifice. He is the ultimate of love (AGAPE). He laid down His life willingly. He is patient and longsuffering. I see Him teaching His disciples and yet see their misunderstanding of what He was really about. (They squabbled over first place in the kingdom like children squabbling over “who’s first at bat”.)

He was gentle and kind as He took the little children to Him and as He fed the hungry multitudes. He was powerful as He called Lazarus forth from the grave and when He calmed the story sea. He cast demons out which recognized Him as the Son of God. He was concerned as He gave His mother over to John’s care at His death on the cross. He was sorrowful and compassionate…He wept. He showed righteous anger as He ran off the moneychangers from the temple. He showed grace even on the soldier whose ear was cut off by Peter. He was totally unprejudiced. He ate with publicans and sinners; communed with Sadducees and Pharisees, Roman Soldiers, Jews and Greeks. He was merciful…see the widow whom Jesus gave back her son. He was faithful to keep His promises,

The Father said, you have seen My Face in the person of Jesus. My Character is there in My Son. See ‘Family Resemblance”.

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Rainy Days

 

Rainy days get a bad rap. Just the sound of those words often paints a picture of gloom. In days gone by, before clothes dryers, rainy days were a source of real frustration. Large families with piles of dirty laundry would have to postpone wash day. For children it meant being shut in the house, restless, with their nose pressed up against the window pane. A farmer knows he needs to be out in the field; nervously he keeps checking the latest forecasts. Yes, I can see why a rainy day is not always desirable. Even then it gives you a good excuse to curl up with a favorite book.

At times a rainy day is a source of jubilation, when your area is experiencing drought. Rain becomes the motivation for prayers of gratefulness. There will be rainy days, just as those with sunshine. We need both. What was that old saying, something about into every life some rain must fall? See Matthew 7:24-27. When the rain becomes a storm, having torrential rains and flooding, accompanied by damaging winds, then we have cause for alarm. Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson, about the foundation we choose to build our lives upon. If we construct upon temporary things, we will collapse, like the house built on sand.

 If our decision for the foundation is Rock, the Rock of Ages, we will stand firmly in life’s storms. One very important fact found in this scripture is a real eye opener. We all go through storms. They are not just a punishment for the wicked, though at times they face God’s judgment. We as believers are strengthened through our storms, just as the eagle flies best when fighting the winds. The next time the forecast predicts rain don’t repeat the words of Karen Carpenter, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Instead borrow the phrase from another old song, Let a smile be your umbrella!

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Easter Egg Happening”

Easter egg decorating is fun for toddlers and a challenge for moms.  Easter egg dye can be pretty messy and getting it on the eggs instead of the children, is a balancing act. Easter eggs are not only for children. Artists create masterpieces on fragile empty shells after carefully blowing out the contents of the egg through a pin point hole. Beautiful pastel colors and intricate designs are breath taking. An Easter tree makes a beautiful center-piece and brings sunshine to a dreary home, following a long winter.  

Do you want to be a designer Easter egg? You can, you know. Pretend you are an egg, grouped with eleven other eggs in a box, all in neat little rows. The box represents your closest relationships, including both family and friends. Easter time comes and every egg desires to change from a sunny side up breakfast to an Easter egg. You are chosen for boiling by the cook. Wow, this water will scald me! I don’t know how much more I can take! You are relieved when that is over. Wait a minute, now I am in cold running water! Talk about extremes, this is ridiculous!  What is that terrible smell? Oh, I see; that is the coloring dye I have heard about.  I am getting sea sick, twirling around and around in this solution! Stop the world; I want to get off! I wish I could find a mirror; I wonder what I look like…Good, I see my reflection in that toaster on the counter. I am beautiful! I have been transformed!

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please? If you trust Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord you can be His very special Easter egg, every day of the year. The boiling process involves the trials you are faced to endure. They are painful; but they are temporary, resulting in a surface with great strength. Your life even has more weight- God’s glory. Why the cold water? Life is filled with extremes; one moment you have mountain top faith and the next you are hurled into the valley of despair. Don’t try to escape; there are others who need your strength and comfort. God will lift you out soon; “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (1 Peter 5:10 NAS).”           

The dye may be compared to the circumstances we individually go through, each unique and varied, to suit us best. These are not crisis times, just daily routines and relationships that at times keep us stressed, feeling tossed around like a ship at sea. They help to shape our lives, giving us the personality we are gifted with. The final result is a transformed life, a beautiful creation made by the Masters hands. He will not use you as a centerpiece; He will put you back in the box, to influence the eggs around you. You can prepare them for the time God will reach in, take them out, and create another very special Easter egg.

 

 

 

 

               

 

Christian Growth, Devotionals, Family

Grandpa’s Magnifying Glass

I never grew out of my childhood name of Pammy Sue to Grandpa Ford.  I remember happily bouncing on his knee as  He sang, Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy, Jig! Grandpa delighted in checker games with all of his grandchildren.  He used his talents as a craftsman, weaving cain seats in chairs, and constructing wood crafts, such as a rooster weather vane. Honey, fresh from the honeycomb gave him great pleasure.

I saw devotion to Grandma, his bride of sixty five years, at the time of her death. Grandpa enjoyed the peaceful times of rocking in a favorite chair on the back porch.  A cherished memory I now recall is of Grandpa sitting in his favorite living room chair, reading his Bible. He could no longer read the small print. So, he read the scriptures with a large magnifying glass. In my family photos I have a snapshot of him with Bible and magnifying glass.  It is also in safe deposit, hidden in my mind with other cherished memories. My desire is to always be as dedicated to Gods’ word. Open my eyes, Lord. (Psalms 119:18)

Family, Friends

This Old House

As children our surroundings seem bigger than life. Things tower above us.  My memories hold many of those shadowy giants.  Each time I have the opportunity to return to my old neighborhood it’s such a revelation, to see how small everything actually is.  I’m surprised to see the houses and especially our front yard.

A very special old house stood at the head of the road.  It had been the home place of my Dad, his parents, and older brothers.  Dad grew up there, when it served as a working farm.  He told me stories of Grandma fixing big meals for them and their hired hands. In my earliest memories I visited Grandma and Grandpa in the big old house.  Shortly after, they moved from there to live with my aunt and uncle in a smaller house on the corner.  The old house featured very large rooms, both upstairs and down, and wonderful porches.  An open porch wrapped all around the front and one side of the house.  A big screened sun porch faced the highway from upstairs.      

If this were the end of my attraction to this big house it would still be special, but the story continues.  My best childhood friend made the old house her home on a couple of occasions.  Her family owned the local gas station and at times she lived in a smaller home at the side of the service station. The years she spent in the big house were exciting. We played in the large closets and slept on the sun porch during hot summer nights.  Her parents even transformed an old hen house into a playhouse. Together we walked the long upstairs hallway. The long stairs felt the pitter-patter of our feet.  

Years passed and new owners turned the structure into an apartment house.  I would visit the newest occupants in this strangely familiar setting.  Under new paint and paneling, there stood that same old home place.  I married and moved out of the state. During returning trips to visit my parents I felt the warmth of that old house again.  My younger sister married and lived in one of the apartments with her husband and little boy.  My feet again walked the floors of this historic house. 

 My latest update on the big old house brings sadness.  On vacation last summer we drove through my old stomping ground.  When we viewed the house it almost took my breath away.  Signs indicated it might be close to destruction.  It looked very much like homes all across America, neglected, run down, and no longer safe.  So, the next time I drive through that area I am prepared to see a vacant lot, or maybe a newly constructed house. Things change and people change, but they can’t take away my memories. We have all heard the expression, if those walls could talk… I wonder what stories that old house could have shared.  Maybe it would reveal stories of my Dad’s childhood pranks and laughter, or secrets of two school girl chums.