2013 Archived articles for Anniston/Gadsden Christian Family Magazine

Dec. 2013 Issue Materialistic Christmas


It isn’t the children’s fault; sometimes, it’s not even the parents’, but our society has materialized Christmas so much that the story of Jesus’ birth often takes a backseat to Santa for children.  Although the following anecdote happened to a family who very much puts Jesus first, the idea of getting great gifts was still important to their young daughter.  This is what the mom posted on Facebook:“Tonight we’ve been talking about Christmas lists with Adison. She first told us that maybe Santa could bring them an iPad. Immediately Dustin and I both exclaimed, ‘Nope! Too much money!’” She then pointed out that since Santa made toys, we wouldn’t have to buy them. Hmmm….new tactic.

‘Well, Ad there are so many kids in the world, sometimes parents have to give Santa donations to help out with supplies so the elves can build the toys.’ (Score one for Mommy) Ad just looked at me like I was stupid.

‘Then I guess you should get some of that ribbon down that we haven’t used. Then I can leave it with the carrots for the reindeer. I can put an arrow and a note that says, ‘This ribbon is for any doll’s hair in case any little girls wanted a doll with a hair bow.’ There’s Santa some supplies and he can get us an iPad. Or a Nabi. Those are cool too.’ All Dustin and I could do is look at each other opened-mouthed. “

May we try to keep gift-giving (which I like too), in perspective to the greatest gift we have ever received – Jesus Christ.  We can do that for our children and grands with stories and songs.

Even the songs get a little scued at times.  Other friends told of how their children confused some Christmas carols and songs:

Poor Aadan. He’s getting the Christmas songs confused. He was singing, “The little Lord Jesus … Had a very shiny nose.” – a mix of Away in a Manger and Rudolph!

Another friend shared:” So we’re watching the Bible miniseries and at the birth of Jesus part. Rafe said, ‘It’s the star, like in We three kings of glory and dark.’”

Keep teaching them parents.  Even though they get a bit confused at times, sooner or later they will understand the true message.

 Matthew 2:1 -6

 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good bite (I mean night.)

November 2013  Falling for a Son-in-Law

Humor and laughter are vital elements to a happy life.  Humor is better than medicine – the bible says so:  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22; A cheerful heart is better than a face lift: A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: Proverbs 15:13; Humor is even helpful in working through grief: — weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5.

After the most difficult days of their lives, a young widow and her mother made a trek to the fresh grave of the widow’s husband. Not only had their hearts been darkened by this unexpected loss, but, also, the skies had been darkened by many rain clouds. The father-in-law of the deceased had been to the grave site to put down sod to keep the dirt from washing away.  After the two women arrived, they stood for some time in solemn remembrance of the young man.  As the rain started in again, they thought it best to go ahead and place the fresh flowers on the tombstone. The mother-in-law took the flowers, stepped on the new sod to reach the proper spot, and when she did, to both their surprise, her forward leg sunk down to the hip in the wet dirt. “I know it must have hit the vault,” she later reported. With great effort, she pulled her leg out, with the suction sound of a cow pulling its hoof out of mud, only to find her shoe was still in the hole.  Down she went again to retrieve her shoe.  By that time, both women were wet, not only with rain, but also with tears from laughter. The bizarre event evoked laughter for the first time in a week.  Since that time visits to the grave, remembering that event, induce tears of laughter, as well as of normal grief.  If this young man, who met an untimely death, could look down from Heaven, he would laugh longer and heartier than anyone else about his mother-in-law falling for him.

Contemporary research demonstrates humor as a coping strategy, as a sign of good mental health, and as a tool for healing grief. http://shop.pesi.com/product/the-use-of-humor-in-grief-recovery(6574)

As we make our list of things for which to give thanks this season, let’s put the ability to laugh high on the note.

October 2013

Halloween is almost upon us once again.  Through the years, this scary holiday has been celebrated in various ways.  When I was a small child, people would pull old stockings over their faces (couldn’t afford bought costumes), and, as a group,  go to friends’ houses and ‘dry-set’ them.  They would walk in the house, find places to sit, and never say a word.  After some time, they would get up and silently leave.  Thinking about our society today, I know people would never let masked people in their houses, fearing they were there to do them harm.

Trick or treating was the game of choice for many years until, it too, became dangerous for both the trick-or-treaters and home owners. . Too many adults started participating too to see what a store of candy they could get.  Now many churches do trunk or treats, handing out treats to children and inviting the adults to bring the family to church. Some do Judgment Houses

Teachers have always tried to turn holiday activities into learning experiences.  One early childhood educator taught about textures while carving a pumpkin for the class.  The children learned the outside was smooth.  She let each child feel the inside of the object and asked them what it felt like.  One child said, “It feels like the inside of a cow’s butt.” I dare not ask how that young-un’ knew what that might feel like.

Adults, let this be a lesson to you:  Be careful what you say around your little ones, for they WILL repeat it in the most inappropriate place.

I already knew I was too old for trick or treating; the following tidbit found on the internet confirmed that:

Top 10 Signs You Are Too Old to Be Trick or Treating:

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.
9. You have to have a kid chew the candy for you.
8. You ask for high fiber candy only.
7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.
6. People say, “Great Keith Richard’s mask!” and you’re not wearing a mask.
5. When the door opens you yell, “Trick or …” and can’t remember the rest.
4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.
3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won’t dislodge your hairpiece.
2. You’re the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.
1. You avoid going to nursing homes for fear they will keep you.

Regardless of how you might celebrate the holiday, Christians recognized it early on as a religious observance – All Hallows Eve.  Even in fun, we should do nothing unholy to celebrate it. In the Lord’s prayer, “Hallow” takes on the meaning of “holy”. Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

1 Peter 2:12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation. (Holman Translation)

September 2013 My Dad put the FUN in Funeral Planning

Rarely did my dad find a situation where he didn’t find some humor.  People who were too solemn or serious bothered him.  In one of his more serious moments though, he told my sister Sylvia and me that he wanted us to go with him and Mom to preplan their funerals.

They were in their eighties at the time and both in good health.  He said, “I don’t know when we will need it, but there’ll come a time when we will need this, and I think it would just be practical for us to take care of it now.”  Sylvia and I did not look forward to this trip, but we complied with our parents’ wishes.

As luck would have it, the employee at the local funeral home was young and fairly new to his job.  In selecting the caskets, filling out all the forms, and asking a plethora of questions, he assumed his funeral home posture and tone.  I sat there wondering how long it would be before Dad tired of that.

Sure enough, when the young man was completing the last forms, Dad said, “Now, son, don’t get us wrong.  We aren’t doing this because we think we are about to die.  As a matter of fact, I may slap you in the face with a shovel before it’s over (meaning that the young man might die before him.)”  The man stammered and seemed to be at a loss for words with that, but when my dad started his belly laugh, the young man got the point.

Dad took to heart the many times Jesus said, “Be of good cheer.”  I don’t believe Jesus liked the solemnity of funerals or illnesses either.  He seemed heal or raise those from the dead before a funeral was necessary:

In Matthew 9:2 he healed the paralytic. –Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”

Matthew 9:21-23 Jesus healed the woman who had had an issue of blood for years.   For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.

 Again when the disciples thought they were about to perish, Jesus saved them.

 Mark 6:49-51 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.

August 2013 Has Paw-Paw ever Seen You Naked

Recently, a friend had been working in her garden and yard.  When she came inside, her legs were itching from having been in tall grass. Her four-year-old granddaughter had already run water and gotten in the bath tub.  The friend just stripped her clothes off and stepped into the tub and splashed water up on her legs.

“Ooo,” exclaimed the granddaughter as she covered her mouth with her hand in disgust.

“I wasn’t that dirty,” replied my friend.

“No,” pointing at her grandmother’s naked body, she said, “That.  Has Paw Paw ever seen you naked?” commented the shocked child.

This incident reminded me of a time when a daughter and granddaughter went by the assisted living to pick up the ladies’ mom to take her to lunch. “Since you have a birthday coming up this week, Karen and I wanted to take you to lunch today.”

The older lady said, “That would be nice, but I’ll have to go into the bedroom and change my clothes.”

The granddaughter said, “Oh, you can do it in here, Grandma.  We promise not to laugh.”

Nakedness is looked upon differently in different cultures, but all seem to feel it necessary to cover some parts.  At one time, Adam and Eve felt neither shame nor remorse in their nakedness.

Genesis 2:25 says, And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

But after they sinned, their nakedness was a shame:

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. Genesis 3:7

Genesis 3:9 – 11 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

It only takes a weekend trip to Wal-Mart to remind us that more body parts need to be covered today.

July 2013 The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

At one time or another, most people feel they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I definitely felt that way recently when I decided to run our black car through the car wash before driving it to a funeral.  My husband Steve was helping to conduct this funeral, and I thought he would want the black car for the procession.  For once, I had given myself ample time because I knew the church would be packed because the deceased was a well-known young man. (My dad always said there were two factors in having a big funeral: 1. Die on a weekend so as to have the funeral on Sunday or 2. Die young.)

I drove up to our local car wash and was motioned in.  The water began to spray, and the car conveyor mechanism carried me forward just a bit.  Then it stopped, but the water continued spraying. I waited impatiently for several minutes, thinking someone would notice to no avail.  I, then, started blowing my horn to get the operator’s attention.  When he saw the situation, he went to work pushing buttons and doing whatever.  I still didn’t move.  After fifteen or twenty minutes, I saw my time wasting away.  I blew the horn again.  He motioned for me just to wait.  After several more minutes after he disappeared to some unknown place, I blew the horn again.  He appeared looking disturb at my impatience.  I motioned him to the window, because I couldn’t get out with the water spraying.  I explained that I had to get to the funeral to deliver the car for my husband.  “I’m working as fast as I can, Ma’am.  I may have to call someone to come repair it.”

“That just won’t do.” I explained my emergency and asked, “Can I just back out of here?”

Still showing disgust he replied, “Well I will have to get the vehicles waiting to enter to back up.”  That he did and added, “You will have to gun it to get over the stuck mechanisms.”

“Will it ruin my tires?”

“No, but it will give you a bounce.”

When I gunned it backward over the ‘sticky-uppies,’ the man announced, “That fixed it.  Now go on through.”

With fear and trepidation, I did.  I arrived in time to sit on the second row.  I motioned to my husband, who was standing by the casket, to come to me.  After relating my tale of terror, he said, “Barbara, there will be no procession.  He is being buried right here in the cemetery by the church.

That experience conjured up memories of when I was teaching middle school students.  In a teachers’ magazine, I read about an idea for making a human car wash.  Students would line up in two rows facing each other just outside the classroom door.  The student whose turn it was to go through the “car wash” that day would receive sincere compliments or words of encouragement form the other students, along with pats on the back.  The students loved it and would rush to class on time to be part of the car wash, especially if it was their day to go through it.  I soon realized how important words of encouragement were to these students.  Many came from homes where only insults were slung at them.

The scriptures teach us to encourage one another in love.  Kind words are richer and sweeter than chocolate.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 (HCSB)

June 2013 Laugh While You Work

Regardless of what your profession might be, I dare say you have experienced some funny things in your work place.  I recently talked with a dental hygienist who told me, “Several times we have had patients call to cancel their appointment. ‘My tooth hurts too bad for me to come in today.’  I want to ask if they think it is going to fix itself.”

A doctor friend told about one night when he had been called back to the hospital several times and when he had answered numerous calls from patients.  Just as he was back in bed and asleep, the phone rang and the lady on the other end was one of his long-time patients.  “Dr. Dempsey, please come out here.  I’m in a lot of pain.”  Normally, he would ask more details, but this time he merely pulled his pants on over his PJs and drove to the lady’s house. There he found her in a rocking chair with a heating pad to her cheek.

“What seems to be the problem, Mrs. Nancy?”

“I’ve got a terrible toothache,” the lady mumbled.

“Why didn’t you call Dr. Sims (the local dentist)?”

“Oh, I didn’t want to wake him up.”  Even though that wasn’t too funny to the tired Dr. at the moment, later, it was one of his funniest stories to recount.

Teaching for thirty-five years, I collected many funny stories.  The only problem is, some can’t be retold in a Christian publication.  One of the more innocent ones occurred when I was teaching seventh- grade English.  I had drilled the students for many days about the correct use of the nominative and objective pronouns.  I had listed on the board the places in a sentence where the nominative case would be used and the same for the objective.  I had listed many examples.  To check on how much the students remembered, the next day I asked, “Who can tell me when to use the nominative case pronoun?”  One little boy, who rarely got anything right, waved his hand excitedly.   I was just excited that he remembered.  “Okay, Tim.  Tell us.”

“Right now,” he proudly answered.  He heard the ‘when’ and thought that might be a good guess.  That wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I applauded his attempt.

My hairdresser told me a lady came in the shop wanting her to sign some papers for her.  Soon she realized the lady thought it was a lawyer’s office.  The lady was Hispanic and had limited English, but eventually the hairdresser communicated to her that the lawyer’s office was next door.

The bible encourages man to work.  God worked to create the earth and rested on the seventh day.  Therefore, when  men or women finds work they can do to support their families, they have a sense of accomplishment.  To keep your days from

Gal. 6:4 – 5 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For every man shall bear his own burden.

Isaiah 65:22

They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

May 2013 You’ll Split Hell Wide Open

Jesus really did die on the cross for our sins; it is not just a story told in plays and movies. It is not just a myth or fairy tale that naysayers would have us believe.

When depicted in a pageant at our church this past year, two children were distraught when they witnessed their family friend, who played Jesus, being beaten and hung on the cross.  The man had to call the young boys twice to convince them he really wasn’t hurt.

Nonetheless, this drove home the point to the older one just how much Jesus loved us to suffer like that.  He questioned his parents often about the crucifixion.  His dad, our minister of music, told about his very serious discussion with his son: “Was Jesus really beaten like that and nailed to the cross for us?”

“Yes, son, he suffered that and much more.” The child, soon after that, wanted to pray and give his heart to Jesus.  He was baptized and seemed to have a strong understanding about salvation.  Just as most of us experienced, when Jesus came into his heart, he had a strong desire to share this joy with others.

According to his mom, the three-year-old has been the most challenging of their three children because he is so strong-willed.  He became the logical choice for the new convert to evangelize.  “You need to get saved and be baptized, too,” the older told the younger.

“I don’t want to,” was the only way the younger knew to answer.

Having heard many evangelistic sermons, the older then borrowed a phrase from one of them.  “If you don’t, Brother, you will die and spilt Hell wide open.”

We may smile at the young convert’s fervor and understand that the three-year-old is safe in the arms of Jesus until He is old enough to understand, but his theology about the unsaved is so true.  Oh, that all Christians would be so compelled to share the joy of Jesus with the lost and to fear for their damnation if they don’t accept Him!

Several years ago, I wrote an editorial for a local paper about the movie The Passion of Christ. I began it, “Unworthy, unworthy – that was my reaction to the price Christ paid for my sins as depicted in The Passion of Christ.”  Some staff writer only read the first part and entitled the article, Passion of Christ – Unworthy of the Hype.”  Although that was certainly not the message I conveyed, the headline drew much attention to the article, especially  when people, who know me, saw my name connected to it.  God used the mistake to gain many readers.

At Easter every year, I am reminded of just how unworthy I am of the price Christ paid for me on the cross.  He did this for everyone who will, in faith, believe on him. How outraged we would feel if people we love refused a gift from us for which we had sacrificed; how much more is Jesus insulted when people refuse His gift of eternal life.

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. NIV

April 2013 On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand

How often do we sing songs without even considering the words?  “Here I raise my Ebenezer” are words from Come Thou Fount.  I had sung the hymn for many years before I even questioned what an Ebenezer was.  I didn’t know what I was raising.  Finally I researched it and found that it was a rock of remembrance. Literally it means “The Lord has helped us this far.” (I Samuel 7:12).

Building on that thought, I had participants of a prayer retreat I was leading to go out and find a stone.  After reading that scripture, I asked the ladies to tell of a time God had helped them through a rough spot.  They were to keep that rock as a remembrance of that time. I later did that with the young adult couples Sunday school class I taught.  Many of them are middle-aged now, and some tell me they still have their stone of remembrance on their dresser or in some other prominent place.

After my mom and dad retired and moved from the store to which their house was attached, they built their house out of the frame of an old chicken house.  Daddy wanted a big hearth rock for the fireplace they added. He found one on a creek bed close by.  My boys helped him bring it to the house by sitting on the front of the tractor with which he pulled the huge rock on a home-made slide.  Last year, we had to have the house taken down because it was dilapidated.  Our oldest son had bought the property and said the only thing he wanted from it was the hearth rock.  He had memories attached to that rock. 1. He remembered helping his grandfather bring the rock to the house. 2. When any of the grandchildren misbehaved there, they had to sit on the hearth rock to think about what they had done.

One day my niece Lee (about three at the time) called her mom a dumb-dumb.  Her mom told her to sit on the rock to think about what she had done wrong.  I walked by to hear Lee mutter under her breath, “She is a dumb-dumb, I know she’s a dumb-dumb.” I’m not sure she was very repentant at the time.

Since my son lives in Florida, I asked him what he wanted done with the rock and the ones from the chimney we also saved.  “Oh, I want them at your house,” he answered.  We live across the road from where my parents lived.  Now, those rocks remain in an unsightly pile in our front yard.  We have waited a year for the demolition man to fulfill his promise to move them to the back for a rock garden.  That’s okay though because those rocks ARE rocks of remembrance for me – remembrance of fun family times together at my parents’ home – a home where Christ was the solid foundation  rock.

March 2013 Good Deeds Go Bad

Most people desire to be known for their good deeds.  We begin early teaching our children to do good things for others.  The scriptures are replete with verses about this.  Here are just a few:

1 Peter 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us

 Titus 3:8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

 Titus 2:7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness—

One lady seriously followed these mandates and led her Girls Auxiliary (G.A.s) to do likewise as they visited the nursing home.  The only problem was every good deed they attempted went bad:

They sang a few songs in the first room they visited.  The leader went to the patient’s side, patted her arm, and cheerfully asked, “Did you enjoy the girls singing?”

The older lady patted her ears and replied, “I can’t hear anything; I’m deaf.”

Unabashed the group moved to the next room.  The leader took a pair of snuggly socks out of the gift bag and told one of the girls to give them to the gentleman.  When she handed him the socks, he said, “Thanks, but you might want to give them to someone else.  I don’t have legs.”

Even though the group was getting discouraged with their “good deed” efforts, they went into another lady’s room and offered her a nice ripe banana.  About that time, they noticed the lady was on a feeding tube.

The leader thought that was about enough of that experience for the day and headed the girls out toward the church van.  She said, “I’ll be there in just a minute.  I need to stop by one more room.  There is a lady from our church here that I need to speak to.” She went in the lady’s room but got no response from her.  She was upset to see her church member looking so pale.  A nurse was entering as she was leaving, so she thought she would mention it to her.  “Mrs. Thelma really looks bad today, doesn’t she?”

The nurse gave her a kind smile and said, “You do know she is dead, don’t you?  She expired just minutes ago.’

Even though that day’s good deeds turned out to be a comedy of errors, the girls will remember TRYING to do good and to follow James’ instructions to be doers of the word and not hearers only.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

February 2013 Humor Helps

Life is a maze.  Up and down its roads we experience many highs and often endure some bumps; we may even go over some cliffs.  I believe humor amplifies the good times and relieves stress during the bad.  I know Ecclesiastes says there is a time for all things – a time to laugh and a time to weep, but if you can enjoy a bit of humor even in the bad times, they seem to get somewhat better.  Research has proven that those who find humor get through the grief process sooner than those who don’t.

On this note, I recently responded to an authors’ blog.  She posed the question, “Do you believe that humor during times of tragedy is appropriate?”  I, along with many others, responded with similar posts agreeing that humor helps.  This was my post: When my mother-in-law died, I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was as a corpse. Her hair was done magnificently and her make-up, perfect (She didn’t normally wear make-up at all.)

After having had a stroke, broken hip, and a stay in the nursing home, her appearance had really deteriorated. She looked fifty years younger in the casket. The day of the funeral, I told my family I was going on ahead about an hour before we were to be there. “Why,” they asked. “I’m going to get that same funeral director to do my hair and make-up.”

That day we laughed about the absurdity of my comment, and it relieved much angst.  My husband told the funeral director what I had said.  He sent me a message that I would have to lie on a slab for him to do my make-up and hair.

Others posted humorous anecdotesFor some reason this post flashed me back to walking into a post-funeral dinner after my sister’s husband had died suddenly leaving her with a three month-old baby and hearing her yelling, in a little-girl voice, “Mom… Tim’s making dead guy jokes about my late husband.”
It sounded like healing.
Posted by Linton Robinson

When my husband died, we had just left the church and were sitting in the limo, awaiting our driver to take us to the cemetery. For some reason, my 5 yr. old granddaughter was sitting up front instead of back with the rest of us. After we’d sat there for a few minutes, she turned around and said, “Well, I hope you guys aren’t waiting for me to drive this thing!” It really relieved a lot of tension.
Posted by Millie Lill

 Another funeral story for you Barbara. My minister said that he was at his father’s visitation and was near exhaustion from his job and the stress of his father’s death. Someone came up to him and said, “You look just like your father!” Before he could stop himself, he said, “Oh, I sure hope not! He’s been dead for 3 days!”
Posted by Millie Lill

So whether your path is leading you up hill or down today, let me encourage you to find something to laugh about. The scriptures remind us of this:

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13

Perhaps you have experienced a humorous incident during an otherwise sad time that you would like me to add to my collection.  If so, email me at Barbara@barbaraeubanks.com .

January 2013 “Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt”-

So go the lyrics to an old Tennessee Ernie song.  For me it is another YEAR older and for our country, deeper in debt than our minds can comprehend.  I’ve never admitted really to being OLD, maybe middle-aged, but not OLD.  Recently people have been reminding me that I’m not middle-aged any longer (I only am if my life-span is to be 140.)  Getting older and our country’s debt would be enough to send some people into depression, but I refuse to let it get me down.  I remind myself daily of the Bible verse which says, “This is the day the Lord has made.  I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.” I also look for humor every day.

Sometimes we just have to laugh at life’s absurdities and at ourselves.  The doctor recently told me that some unfortunate things simply happen to our bodies as we get older.  The dentist said my gums were receding because I’m getting older.  Even my grandson, who loves me dearly, joined the bandwagon of reminders.  His maternal grandfather had died and Tyler’s mom asked if I could talk to him and see if I could help him find some peace.  She said, “He is so sensitive, he has just cried his eyes out.”

“Sure,” I said, “I will be glad to.” When I found him off to himself later that day, I began, “Tyler, I know you are sad about your grandfather, and it’s okay to cry.  Tears help wash away grief, but soon you will be thinking about the good times you had with your grandfather.  You know he is now happy in heaven in a new body and is no longer in the pain he was in.  Later that night after we had watched some TV, I started to get up to go to bed.  I was sitting in a low chair, and my OLD knees didn’t want to lift me.  I told Tyler to give his old grandmother a hand. “My knees are just worn out.”

In his sweet and sincere way, Tyler responded, “That’s okay, Gram.  It won’t be long until you will get new knees in Heaven.”  Even his mom laughed at that.

If all that had not made me feel decrepit, the Japanese restaurant cashier’s remark would have.  She tilted her head, looked me in the eyes and commented, “I’ll bet you were pretty when you were young.”

I simply refuse to mourn being another year older.  I merely thank God for letting me enjoy this many days.  When he calls me to Glory, I know I WILL get new knees and other body parts, but that will be the tip of the iceberg.  I have faith that Heaven will be so good, our earthly minds can’t comprehend it all.

About the fiscal situation, my mind can’t even wrap around one billion dollars, much less the trillions we owe.  I don’t know what day all this debt will make our nation cave in, but I DO know my security rests in HIM, not in dollars.  Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow.

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