Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

The King is Coming

Here it is Christmas eve and I haven't done any of my usual blogging about this wonderful time of year. I have shared plenty of delightful activities with my family as the season approached, but haven't blogged as I am just having a difficult time focusing on tasks at the present time.

Two activities I will particularly remember

The first was spending last weekend with my Daughter and her Family for the occasion of our Grandsons taking part in the children's activities at their church. The did a grand job.

Secondly all this week my eldest son has been in town celebrating his birthday (see story from last year) and preparing for the big Christmas event. Yesterday he, my wife, and I spent making much delayed Christmas cookies. I don't get to spend much time with him as he lives on the East Coast, so I really enjoyed his help and his company.

In order to accommodate everyone's schedules we will be having our Family Christmas gathering on Saturday, so tomorrow (Christmas day) we will have an extra day to finish everything up, then kick back. Our church is decorated with poinsettias during the advent season with each member given the opportunity to pay for one or more. Each year we purchase four of them. Two in memory of our parents and the others in memory of two of Donna's friends.

And so now here it is Christmas Eve. Rather than trying to throw something together at the last minute the following is part of a blog entry from last year which I have reworked. This is my all-time favorite Christmas song. If your browser is unable to properly display the scrolling text and/or play the audio clip here is a link to last years unadorned version. You might consider getting and using one of the free Mozilla based browsers such as Firefox which do a superior job of interpreting code correctly.

How Should a King Come

"How should a King come."

Even a child knows the answer of course,

In a coach of gold with a pure white horse.

In the beautiful city in the prime of the day,

And the trumpets should cry and the crowds make way.

And the flags fly high in the morning sun,

And the people all cheer for the sovereign one.

And everyone knows that's the way that it's done.

That's the way that a King should come.

How should a King come.

Even a commoner understands,

He should come for His treasures,

And His houses and lands.

He should dine upon summer strawberries and milk,

And sleep upon bedclothes of satin and silk.

And high on a hill His castle should glow,

With the lights of the city like jewels below.

And everyone knows that's the way that it's done,

That's the way that a King should come.

How should a King come.

On a star filled night into Bethlehem,

Rode a weary woman and a worried man.

And the only sound in the cobblestone street,

Was the shuffle and the ring of their donkey's feet.

And a King lay hid in a virgin's womb,

And there were no crowds to see Him come.

At last in a barn in a manger of hay,

He came,

and God incarnate lay.

And the angels cried "Glory,Glory to God".

Earth was silent so heaven rang,

"Glory, Glory to God."

Men were dumb so the angels sang,

"Glory, Glory to God",

Peace on earth good will to men,

"Glory, Glory to God".

"Christ is born in Bethlehem"

"Glory to God".

"Glory in the Highest"

"Glory to God".

"Glory in the Highest"


(Carol and Jimmy Owens)

Welcome to our Savior

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Spring What??

It’s been a very long time since I have created a new post. Many wonderful and exciting things have transpired, but I just could not get myself on task to write about them. So today I want to relive a Christmas Memory that is of particular meaning to me. I have many more memories that I will attempt to share in the coming months.

When I was just becoming of school age our home was located beside that of my Aunt Bessie and Uncle Hal. My father was the last of 14 children and Uncle Hal was the eldest. Due to the age difference, and our proximity to them, they were pressed into service in the role of the Grandparents that we never knew. I have fond memories of the Springerle Christmas cookies Aunt Bessie would make each year in her Germanic tradition.

One year I was reminiscing about this to my Mom who then mentioned it to Aunt Bessie. Soon afterward her cookie molds arrived in my mail. Aunt Bessie is now gone. In many recent years I have enjoyed attempting to use her molds with mixed success. I have added to the two molds which I received from her. Sadly the vast majority of the
very poor quality flat and rolling pin style molds now available either have been produced for the mass market with little or no craftsmanship, or they are cast replicas of authentic molds from the period when they were made by local craftsmen. A few years back I found this wonderful source of Springerle cookie information and high quality molds individually made in the old tradition but using modern tools. I am delighted to be able to use them and hope that someone in the family will carry on this tradition when I am no longer able to.

My Favorite stamps are the 12 days of Christmas which I have both as a set and as individual stamps.

In the traditional church “Christmas” refers to a 12-day period that starts with Christmas day. This is the story of the origin of the lyrics of The Twelve Days of Christmas

The world celebrates Christmas for twelve hours, but the Church celebrates it for twelve days because the gift of Christ is with us for twelve months of the year. When most people hear of “The 12 days of Christmas” they think of the song. The song had its origins as a teaching tool to instruct young people in the meaning and content of the Christian faith.

From 1558 to 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not able to practice their faith openly so they had to find other ways to pass on their beliefs. They were prohibited from any practice of their faith by law – private or public. It was a crime to be a Catholic. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written in England as one of the “catechism songs” to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith – a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in “writing” indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could get you imprisoned… or worse.

The song’s GIFTS are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith: The “true love” doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but rather refers to God Himself. The “me” who receives the presents refers to a Christian.

1. The “partridge in a pear tree” is Jesus Christ, who died on a tree as a gift from God.

2. The “two turtle doves” - the Old and New Testaments, another gift from God.

3. The “three French hens” - faith, hope and love – the three gifts of the Spirit that abide
(I Corinthians 13).

4. The “four calling birds” - the four Gospels that sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

5. The “five golden rings” - the first 5 books of the Bible, the “Books of Moses.”

6. The “six geese a-laying” - the six days of creation.

7. The “seven swans a-swimming” - “seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
(I Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, I Peter 4:10-11)

8. The “eight maids a-milking” - the eight beatitudes.

9. The “nine ladies dancing” - nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)

10. The “ten lords a-leaping” - the Ten Commandments.

11. The “eleven pipers piping” - the eleven faithful disciples.

12. The “twelve drummers drumming” - the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed