Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Trees in Heaven

If there were Christmas trees in Heaven . . .

The thought came to me by accident.
I had sent a quick message to a cousin for an address
and ended up chatting with her a few times.
And then a little later I needed another address,
so sent another text to a different cousin...
but forgot to change the names.

I asked for her Mom's address
and received a quick reply
that I had perhaps sent the message to the wrong person
but she was pretty sure her Mom's address was Heaven,
the same as my Mom's!

And that got me to thinking.
Just what if Aunt Barb & Mom were up there
getting ready for Christmas! 
My mind exploded with ideas of what their tree
might look like.

I think it would be white as the driven snow-
just like our hearts are white, without the stain of sin!
And there were be glittery ornaments hung on each branch,
sparkling with diamond dust
and studded with pearls.
Maybe there would be crosses made of gold,
with the tips accented in red,
reminding us of the sacrifice that our Saviour paid.
Heavenly little angels would dance on the branches,
ready to dash to earth in a twinkle of the eye,
keeping guard on each human in their care.
Strands of snowy garland would be draped around the tree,
holding in the prayers that have been sent ahead of us.
Silver horns would be scattered throughout
ready to sound out that Jesus is Lord!
Ornaments of emeralds shine with the words
engraving upon them...Joy-Joy-Joy!
And the star on the very top would shine on it's own.
Surrounding the tree would be choirs of angels
singing "Glory to God in the Highest".

And then I come out of my day dreaming
to realize they have no need of a Christmas Tree in Heaven
as the Gift of Eternity with Jesus
has already brought them there.

But just if there is a Christmas Tree in Heaven,
I'm sure it is more beautiful and exquisite
 than we could ever imagine!
And I'm quite sure our Mom's had a hand in the decorating.
I wish we could see them!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Elvis Has Left the Building. . .

 This is a re-post of a blog I wrote on January 8, 2010.  Telling a little on ourselves. . .

Mr You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog himself!

This is a re-post for my favorite son-in-law who just happens to be an Elvis nut! It is beyond my understanding why someone born decades after me...grew up in a different era...but loves The King of Rock 'n Roll! I've decided I'm not going to change him, so might as well let him enjoy the music of the past. I must admit...I still love that voice!
And have you discovered XM Satellite Radio Channel 18? It's Elvis all the time!
Okay...here are my memories. . .
Post from August, 2008

Jonathan definitely has an interest in the Elvis of my time, to put it mildly. He even just happened to "have" to go to Memphis last week on a very important trip, on the anniversary of Mr. P's passing. Hummmmm...

Well, that triggered old memories, so after Jonathan was a safe distance away, I went to my secret hiding place of those things I don't want him to get his hands on! And look what I found!!!

In 1971, we were still living in Overland Park. Bob worked for Rock Island Railroad on the midnight shift and I worked for Montgomery Wards as a Bill Collector. (Wonderful career...)

Anyway, one early morning WHB, the World's Happiest Broadcaster, (if you aren't from the K.C. area, you won't get it...) announced that Elvis was coming to Municipal Auditorium! Bob got off work at 8a.m. and rushed downtown, in his '62 Chevy I might add!, and got in line for tickets. The tickets were $7.50 each, making it a date night of $15.00 which might have been a little steep in 1971, seeing as we both were making less than $4.00 an hour! But it was worth it--at least we thought so. The tickets were sold out in less than one hour.

The ticket stub says the concert was on a Monday evening, November 15, 1971. That meant that as soon as it was over, we had to head home so Bob could clock in at midnight!

I don't remember much about the event. Except that it was very, very exciting! The Sweet Inspirations and The Stamps Quartet were his back up groups and they were in place and ready for a show.

Then the lights in the huge auditorium went totally dark, and the now familiar theme song "Space Odyssey began to play. Someone with a famously deep voice, who we thought was Colonal Parker, announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Elvis Presley"! Well, I about got light headed right there in my nose bleed seat!

The lights came on, strobe lights beating, music thumping loudly, and the girls screaming at the top of their lungs! I must admit, it was very impressive and both Bob and I were quickly caught up in the excitement of the crowd.

Elvis sang his heart out. He knew how to work the crowd, how to sing to the young screaming girls who were near the stage, yet were never allowed to touch him. (At least not that I remember...) He wore the white studded outfit with the cape that had red lining. It didn't take him long to warm up enough to shed the cape and drape the long scarves around his neck. With these, he wiped the sweat from his face and toss the scarves to the crowd, seemingly sometimes to a certain girl that had caught his eye. He sang and sang and sang. Some songs were more on the wild side than I preferred, then he would sit down and softly sing a beautiful love song. I definitely remember him singing a couple of gospel numbers along with "Look Away Dixieland".

You have to remember that this was back in 1971 when our culture was just beginning to go crazy. Bob and I were 22 and 23 years old, not attending church very faithfully, and "doing our own thing". But you know, I never ever felt sorry that I went to that concert. Unless you saw him in action, there is no way to realize the energy he put out. After a performance like that, he had to have been completely exhausted. I'm not trying to idolize the man in any way. But he was a part of our lives, even before we were teenagers. Everyone knew who he was.

And yes...as he finished the last song, the lights went out again, and that voice boomed out loudly, "Elvis has left the building!".

Hey...I think I remembered a little more than I realized! Reminiscing brings back the memories...try it sometime!

Time for me to go hide my treasurers away for another day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Birthday Story. . .


Life wasn't easy back in the early 1920's.
Opportunity to work in the sawmills had come along,
so the Brown family had loaded up to make the move
from central Missouri to Oklahoma.
The influenza epidemic had hit the family hard
and two little girls had been taken from them.
Hardship was a familiar visitor.

But they were building a new life in that sawmill camp.
Fern, the teen aged daughter noticed a change in her mother.
She told of asking her mom..."are you in the family way?",
to which Mom replied..."we don't talk about those things".

It was Easter, April 20th , 1924.
There in the tent where the family lived,
a blonde haired baby boy was born,
giving reason for the family to rejoice
on that Sunday in Oklahoma.

Years passed.
The family returned to Missouri.
Baby Duane grew up with his Mom seeing that
he attended Sunday School.
He left school after the 8th grade to work on the farmlands
in the Missouri River bottoms near New Franklin,
helping support his parents during the hard times of the depression.
Time went on & he went to serve his country,
becoming a military policeman in the Army/Air Force.
WWII ended & he returned home,
met & married the love of his life,
& moved to the little town of Hallsville.
I was born to them in 1949,
along with two more children later on.

There was a group of people wanting to start a new church
in that little town, so they rented an old bank building
and scheduled revival services.
Mom had started attending earlier & wanted Dad to go with her.
It was Easter Sunday, 1952
and Dad had no excuse to stay home.
So they dressed in their finest & went to the services
where Dad's heart was greatly touched
and he surrendered that day to Jesus.

We faithfully attended the little white block building
that housed the Church of God (Holiness).
I was 3 years old when Dad & Mom were saved
so my memories have always been of going to church.
It was never questioned.
If the church doors were open, we went.

And I vividly remember, when the opportunity for testimonies was given,
Dad would stand to his feet & tell of his two Easter births.
The first on that Easter Sunday morning,
in a camp tent in the Oklahoma sawmills.

The second his "re-birth" in Christ on the Easter Sunday morning
so very long ago.
I can still hear his baritone voice bellowing out
"Up From the Grave He Arose",
and can still imagine the tears of joy trickling down his cheek
as we joined in song, singing those special Easter hymns,
"I Serve A Risen Savior
...He Lives"!!!

This would have been Dad's 90th birthday.
If he would have been sitting beside me at church this morning,
he would have no doubt stood to his feet
and told of his two Easter birthdays.
No matter where we were, I knew he would tell of
how he was born twice on Easter...
one by his birth mother,
the other by his Heavenly Father.
Given the opportunity,
he always testified of his salvation
on Easter Sunday.

Happy birthday, dear Dad!