Monthly Archives: November 2018

VOTE – OR NOT!

The first time I remember voting I was in my daddy’s arms. I think it was at the Youth Building, but memories get mixed up in those back-storage files, so it is hard to tell. At first, I remember standing on tip-toes trying to see what he was doing. Then he lifted me up and told me which circle I could color. I’m sure he probably broke the protocol for such things – maybe even the law, but I never forgot.

Mom took me another time. I was a little older, and I think it might have been at the Fire Department. She told me we were going to vote, and that I had to be quiet because it was very important. For some reason, I remember looking at my black patent leather shoes and seeing my mother’s face reflected in one of them as she concentrated on her choices.

Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that voting was pretty important to our family. There were always political buttons being passed out at the Loudonville Fair, being worn on clothes until the first Tuesday in November, and later when they landed in the sewing baskets, I could play with them and put them on my dollies.

President Eisenhower was the first president I remember. When President Kennedy was running for office, it was huge. There were lots of discussions at home about voting. After all, being the first Catholic person to run for president was a big deal, and everyone had an opinion on it – even in our small village. I listened to a lot of it. Yawned through even more of it. But it sunk in – voting was important.

When mom decided to run for village clerk after driving the dry cleaning truck around town for several years, that was also a big deal. Dad and I would go to meetings with her. Help her practice her speeches. Walk around town to hang up posters. Ride around in a car with a great big sign on it. On on that first Tuesday in November, I got to see first hand how important voting could be. Mom won and worked harder than I ever saw anyone ever work.

Someday, I will have to write something “profound” on how that job changed our lives, but tonight’s focus needs to remain on this – voting is important. The last two rounds of campaigns have been ugly. But from what I have read in history and through biographies, this has been true ever since President Washington gave his farewell address.

Today, I was reading lots of history trying to decide what books I would be using in my library class. Our character word for the month is “gratitude”. Makes a lot of sense since we have Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day coming up. 6 Nations prayers and stories [Iroquois]. Pilgrims first few years. Magna Carta. Plymouth Rock. Crispus Attucks. Moina Belle Michael. George Washington. Then got a little sidetracked by a stack of fiction books all piled in a corner waiting to be catalogued.

That’s what happens when you work with a bunch of books – ya get sidetracked.

Luckily, I know a Father who doesn’t get side-tracked ever. Ever since we walked in a garden and got lost, He has kept His focus on opening a narrow pathway back to Him. As I read several Native American stories today, I couldn’t help but marvel at how similar stories always seem to be pointing at a pathway – a pathway leading home. Be it the Great Spirit or the Wise One, GOD speaks to all of us in language that we can understand because He wants us to “come home”. We have that freedom to walk the path – or not.

Today, we had the freedom to vote – or not. We had the freedom to pray for our choices – or not. We had the freedom to post positive memes – or not. We had the choice to listen to the Spirit speak to hearts – or not. While the seen and unseen principalities are always warring with each other, we always have the choice to believe – or not. Voting is important. But faith? Faith is beyond important.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.d 16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”~Ep 6:12-19 

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GUITAR PICKIN’ HOME

I can think of no better way to start a Sabbath than listening to some awesome bluegrass, guitar-pickin’ gospel songs. Probably, because there used to be no better way to fall asleep than listening to my dad, mom and assorted friends sing those same songs. It can pull me into the presence of GOD faster than those fingers can fly over the strings. It also can bring me to tears even faster.
 
Today was one such day. Blessings at every turn. A daughter beside me in church. Grands (albeit a little grumpy at being separated from their friends more than they like) listening to me talk on and on about the Veterans displays spread around our church campus. Another daughter’s excited voice describing life in the monster city of New York. A nighttime prayer in our quiet neighborhood as I take our “girls” out for one last time.
 
“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”~Ps 69:30
 
Election day is just a two days away. Veterans Day is a week away. Two important days in our nation.
I take a deep breath and pray for both groups of people.
I will go and vote.
I will honor those who sacrifice every day for my freedom to vote.
I offer thankful prayers for both, and feel blessed to have been born for this special time and place.
 
Despite all the chaos that seems to circle everywhere this year, I continue learn from both of these special days. It is one of those rare gifts of freedom that comes with faith. The faith to believe that despite the outward appearance, there is a Hand that continues to bless us when we humble ourselves and remember. I read somewhere this week that there is another way to look at “chaos”:
C – Christ
H – has
A – all
O – our
S – solutions
 
“Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.”~1 Chron 29:11b-13
 
As SSS (Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle) kitten sits on my lap, and I yawn for the umpteenth time, I’m thinking that I’m glad I got that extra hour of sleep last night. The allergies are still keeping me busy blowing my nose, and the flu shot added an extra dimension of coughing, and yet – I totally feel peaceful about tomorrow, the next day and the day after that and the day after that and the day….(I know you get the idea). The peace of God is way beyond my understanding, but today as I listened to those old, time gospel songs and listened to my daughter’s voice in my ear, I felt the peace of Home – where my parents are still singing and a Father holds out His favorite cloak to wrap around my shoulders. Best of all, I have kept “Home” with me all day.
 
Blessings!Be! Sweet Dreams! And may His will be accomplished “…on earth as it is in Heaven…”
 

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which will through us produce thanksgiving to God.” ~2 Corinthians 9:11 ESV 

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FANTASTIC GIFTS OF FALL

“Pastor Phil had a farm…”

Yesterday was just what I needed. A day on the farm. The smell of freshly baled hay. Two hayrides out into open fields with parents, teachers, and students. A petting barn full of animals. Dogs, goats, horse, however the cows, chickens and quinea hens were a little stand offish – especially with all the excited kidlets running around, so I couldn’t quite pet them all. (Goats are still my favorite – even if there weren’t any Nubians.)

It was a true “harvest” festival. Pumpkins got decorated. Stories were mixed with songs. Long tables set with picnic lunches. Laughter and smiles on every face – except maybe for Pastor Phil when his tractor got a flat during the hayride. All in all – a day to give “Thank you, GOD, for everything praise in our loudest voices.”

“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.”~Heb 6:7

It reminded me how much I miss being on a farm. Born and bred as a “townie“, I was surprised at how well I took to farm life. My in-laws were the perfect mentors for me. Mom K. took me under her wing and taught me to feed chickens, gather eggs, cook, can and freeze. Pop K took me to the barn and taught me to feed the cows, throw hale bales (if they weren’t the huge ones) and stack them in the back of the wagon. I even learned to milk the cows – although, I was never good at it. My one claim to fame was milking out a cow with mastitis when everyone was sick. Pop would laugh every time he told that story, but his voice told me how proud he was that I did it well.

OK – I think I got a little side-tracked into my treasure chest of memories in that last paragraph. What I really wanted to talk about was that being on the farm reminded me of how close it always makes me feel to Our Father. It is one of my “happy” places – a gem in a treasure chest. A place where I sang Pop’s favorite hymns and songs as I cleaned the milk tank. A place where I walked in the cow pasture or the hay field to sit under a tree just to watch the cows, write or pray. There is just something about a farm that opens up my eyes to how blessed it is to be truly known and truly loved by Our Father.

Yesterday, was our own version of Sukkot and full of “Fantastic Gifts of Fall”. it was a blessing to all who were able to be there to enjoy the hayrides, stories, songs, food, fellowship that filled our harvest cornucopia. Throw in the sounds of a few animals, the laughter of children and adults, and it is as close to perfect as you can make it on this earth. 

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 
‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. 
In quietness and confidence is your strength.’ “~ Is 30:14-15

#fivedaystoelection #Godisgood#prayforournation