JREnsey blog December 2019

Welcome to the December 2019 blog. Enjoy some “feel good” words and scenes.

 

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The Word for Today

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement[h] quietly.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,[i] for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,[j]
    which means ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:18-23 NLT)

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I acquiesce to others

Most of this blog will not be written by me. I have called on others to say what was once on their minds as they contemplated the season we still celebrate as Christmas—Christ’s birthday. Oh, we know it might not be the very month and day on which He was born, but somehow it feels right to acknowledge in this way that a Savior came from Heaven to earth to save us sinners. So cut me some slack and bear with an old Christmas lover while enjoying the thoughts of others during this special time of year.

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Home For Christmas

Christmas is the time to go home again
Seeking holidays of the past
And all we hold dear.
The lights bring warmth
As we drive into the yard.

We remember deeply
All that was good,

The hustle and bustle,
Helping Dad chop wood.

The fireplace glow was brighter

When we were small.
Mom’s kitchen aroma
Could be smelled by all.

And with all these memories
Celebrating the day (the birth of our King),
We sing as the angels did;
More so now than when a kid.
We celebrate the birth of our King!

                          -Carol Dee Meeks

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War hero comes home

Speaking of home, family and familiar surroundings…it is a comforting feeling to return to the environs where you spent your youth, the familiar places and faces remind you of that simpler time—a kinder, gentler time.

It must have felt that way to war hero Audie Murphy when he returned home from the battlefields of Europe with more medals on his chest than any American soldier in history. Here were his thoughts at that time included in an article written by correspondent William Barmard:

THIRTEEN U.S. generals flew in from Europe that summer day of 1945, landing at San Antonio, Texas. The whole line of them descended from the C-54 transport into the warm ranks of a reception committee. Then, right behind the generals came this freckle-faced kid, fresh from European battlefields, limping down the ramp because of wounds in both legs and his hip. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 134 pounds. He was twenty but he looked seventeen or less. He was so shy he didn’t give his name to a single member of the welcoming committee.

Won every medal

But reporters recognized him and promptly forgot the thirteen generals they had come to interview. For this was Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier in United States history. He had won every combat decoration the United States offers, including the Silver Star twice. This was Murphy who won the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, with a lone, victorious stand on a blazing tank destroyer against 250 German infantrymen and six German tanks.

Here was Murphy and he didn’t smoke, drink or cuss. He looked like an Eagle Scout. San Antonio went wild when it found Murphy was back in Texas. So did Dallas. Officials chartered a plane to fly him to Dallas the next morning and parade him to his Farmersville home where fire trucks would be waiting to lead the welcome. It was a royal homecoming for a green-eyed kid who had to start earning his living at twelve.

He gets a lift

I had been to Farmersville and had met his older sister and his two younger sisters and his little brother, so I got him aside and told him news of his family. He was hungry for this news. “I’ll see you at Farmersville tomorrow,” I told Audie.

“How are you travelin’?”

“I have a car and plan to leave at 6 A.M.”

“Pick me up at 6:05,” said Murphy. “I’ll be on the corner across the street from the hotel.”

“You can’t do that,” I said. “All sorts of plans are in the works for you.”

The missing hero

“I’ll tell ’em I have changed the plans,” Murphy said firmly.

“See you at 6:05.”

He was there, all right, and we started out for the northern Texas agricultural community of Farmersville, three hundred miles away. Two hours later Murphy humorously confessed he hadn’t called anyone to report his change in plans. When I finally got to a phone, I found there was considerable concern about the disappearance of the war hero.

But Murphy was thoroughly relaxed. As we drove along, his vision followed the passing scene, green rows of corn, gentle hills, fat cattle in the soft tree shade of a meadow.

“This is what I came home to see,” Murphy said. “You can’t realize how swell this is. Over there it was a helluva thing. There were times our outfit was in battle seventy to eighty days without relief. You got mad and disgusted and you didn’t care what happened to you. This was the way I felt on that tank destroyer.”

He stopped talking, to watch a tractor running down the rows of a cotton field.

Bravery defined

“They talk about bravery,” he resumed. “Well, I’ll tell you what bravery really is. Bravery is just determination to do a job that you know has to be done. If you throw in discomforts and lack of sleep and anger, it is easier to be brave. Just wanting to be back in a country like this can make a man brave. I have seen many a doughfoot do many a brave thing because he wanted to get the war over with in a hurry and go home. Many a guy who wanted to come home worse than anything else in the world will stay over there forever. They are the fellows I want the honors to go to, not to me.”

Murphy pointed across a sunny field. “This is enough for me,” he said. [end]

[I have visited the site where Murphy made his stand atop a burning tank destroyer. He saw several German tanks and hundreds of enemy soldiers approaching the position of his battered and exhausted company. They had no hope of turning them back with no available armor or heavy weapons. The Germans had knocked out their only tank destroyer and it was on fire. Murphy climbed upon the flaming vehicle and turned the .50 calibre machine gun toward the Germans and opened fire. He was wounded but still manned the gun. The intense and accurate firing by Murphy made the Germans believe there were more GIs and guns than they could see. They retreated and Murphy’s company was spared.)

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Your best gift this Christmas

Life’s Mirror

There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,
There are souls that are pure and true;
Then give to the world the best that you have,
And the best will come back to you.

Give love, and love to your life will flow,
A strength in your utmost need;
Have faith, and a score of hearts will show
Their faith in your work and deed.

Give truth, and your gift will be paid in kind,
And honor will honor meet;
And the smile which is sweet will surely find
A smile that is just as sweet.

Give sorrow and pity to those who mourn;
You will gather in flowers again
The scattered seeds from your thought outborne
Though the sowing seemed but vain.

For life is the mirror of king and slave,
‘Tis just what we are and do;
Then give to the world the best that you have
And the best will come back to you.

– Madeline Bridges

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JEST ’FORE CHRISTMAS

By Eugene Field

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,

Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!

Mighty glad I ain’t a girl—ruther be a boy

Without them sashes, curls and things that’s worn by Fauntleroy!

Love to chunk green applies and go swimmin’ in the lake,

Hate to take the castor oil they give for belly-ache!

Most all the time the whole year roun’,  there ain’t no flies on me,

But jest ’fore Christmas I’m as good as good can be.

Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat,

First thing she knows, she don’t know where she’s at!

Got a clipper sled, and when us kids go out to slide,

’Long comes the grocery cart and we all hook a ride!

But sometimes when the grocery man is worried an’ cross,

He rushes at us with his whip and larrups up his hoss.

An’ then I laff and’ holler, “Oh, ye never teched me! ”

Grandma says she hopes that, when I git to be a man,

I’ll be a missionary like her oldest brother Dan

As wuz et up by the cannibuls that lives in Clyton’s Isle,

Where every prospect pleases and only man is vile.

But Grandma she has never been to see a Wild West show

Or read the life of Daniel Boone or else I guess she’d know

That Buff’lo Bill and cowboys is good enough for me.

‘Cept jest ‘fore Christmas when I’m as good as good kin be.

And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemn like an’ still,

His eyes they seem a-sayin’, “What’s the matter, little Bill?”

The old cat sneaks down off her perch an’ wonders what’s become

Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things burn!

But I am so polite an’ tend so earnestly to biz,

That Mother says to Father: “How improved our Willie is!”

But Father, havin’ been a boy hisself, suspicions me

When, jest ’fore Christmas, I’m as good as I kin be!

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The Little Things

It’s the little things we do and say

That mean so much as we go our way;

A kindly deed can lift a load

From weary shoulders on the road,

Or a gentle word, like summer rain,

May soothe some heart and banish pain,

What joy and sadness often springs

From just the simple little things.

–    Willa Hoey

Man

At ten, a child, twenty wild,

At thirty tame, if ever;

At forty, wise, at fifty rich,

At sixty, good or never.

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May the blessings of peace, the beauty of hope, the spirit of love, and the comfort of faith be yours this Christmas.

I am glad Christmas is not in July—sweating in the sun rather than warming by a fire! We need it to be when it is too cold to be doing unnecessary things, enjoying a good hot meal with friends rather than pouring another ice cold tea under a fan. December is made for Christmas, regardless of whether we know the exact date. Who cares? Just so we know He came, was one of us, and loved us.

I couldn’t give you a list of things I got as gifts when I was a child, but certain memories do stand out. Most often, they are togetherness moments, memories of fun shared and things done together.

Merry Christmas to teachers!

Read and touch one, write and touch many. But teach and you touch the world. You don’t just teach, you inspire. You lift the spirit in man year ‘round. You generate desire, not only to gain knowledge, but to keep wanting to learn. God bless all our teachers—those in public and private schools, in colleges, in churches and in the home. You are making a difference. Merry Christmas to you all!

Christmas is a time for fun, for anticipation, for good food, family and friends. Celebrate it with those you love.

There may be many gifts under the Christmas tree, but the best one is the gift of your friendship. We thank all of our friends who send good tidings our way. Our friends and family are our most cherished gifts. Thank each of you for being there for us. May this be your very best Christmas ever!

Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus. – Neal Maxwell

Better celebrate Christmas now, while you can. Unless America changes course, in ten years we might be celebrating Lenin’s birthday. Let’s appeal to all businesses, including Chick-Fil-A (it may be too late for them), not to cave in to the demands of the left as they did to those agenda-driven liberals who want to force you to stop giving to anyone they don’t agree with. 

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Couldn’t pass these up

Uncle Joe makes me feel young!

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The Last Words

We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. – Ronald Reagan

Words are little things, and a small drop of ink,

Falling like dew upon a thought, produces

That which makes thousands, perhaps millions,

Think.

Let’s make 2020 the year of recovery and renewal of our family focus, our faithfulness to church, and our personal faith in God.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Published in: on December 1, 2019 at 1:39 AM  Leave a Comment  

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