Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving - Coming to a Theatre Near You

No, there is no release of such a film anytime soon, but perhaps it's time for one. It seems to me that the meaning of Thanksgiving is being forgotten, undermined, and slowly buried. Here are five ways this is happening:

1. The recent appearance of "Thanksgivingclapback" memes. I think these memes are divisive and instead of getting people thinking about the true meaning of Thanksgiving, they subtly encourage people to think negatively of others. I get it, maybe your family is full of nosy, overbearing jerks and you're not looking forward to the cruel comments they have for you. However, instead of thinking about how to score one on these jerks: think about what you have to be grateful for instead. And if you really have a problem with someone, take them aside and address it.

2.  Gluttony. Nothing wrong with enjoying a good meal. However, there's been an undertone ever since I can remember that this is national pig-out day, mainly heard in conversation from the adults around me and phrases like, "gobble til you wobble."

3. "Happy Turkey Day." This phrase take the emphasis off from the real purpose of the holiday (to give thanks) and shifts it too the eating of turkey. (A "poulty" thing to celebrate in comparison.)

4. Black Friday. I don't think Black Friday is necessarily a bad thing. It brings many businesses back into the black, plus people are able to buy more for their dollar on that day. However, it's being done wrong by many. Some stores start their sales on Thanksgiving and many people turn ugly on Black Friday in total contrast to the day of thankfulness beforehand. It's sad that our country has a holiday that is supposed to be about giving thanks that is followed by a day where people get trampled to death for materialism. How does that reflect on our nation?

5. Early Christmas decorating, music, and sale of Christmas items. I don't want to emphasis Thanksgiving over remembering the birth of Jesus, but the pre-thanksgiving Christmas push is more about making a profit. Plus, is it getting people thinking about the birth of Christ and why he came to this earth? Probably not... Thanksgiving gets glossed over in the Christmas hype and the real meaning of two holidays are lost in consumerism.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Balloon Bouquet

I let my imagination run away with me...

The Balloon Bouquet

Once I was a little girl standing in my minty frock and in my hand I held a balloon bouquet. They were all the colors of the rainbow. Red, yellow, green, and purple, blue, and gold; orange, pink, and fuscia. Translucent balloons with an iredescent sheen, and tied with white string. There were so many: I thought these dreams would carry me away. The future seemed so fun and light.
But one by one, I found, as time dragged on, they slowly slipped my grip and floated away.
Others withered as I grew older still. And one or two I released to fly unattainably high in the pale blue sky.
Yet other balloons came my way. Some bright, but more of sombre hues like velvety mists: green, blue, burgundy. My pack was thinning still, and still, these drifted away.
Yet I chose some silver balloons, and some of lighter and darker grays. Then one came. A pink floating heart. With an outstretched white hand, I grasped its string. It came to me so easily. I loved that dream, and yet it slowly faded into gray. Sometimes it would glimmer with pink hue and golden sheen and I would live again those darling memories of you and I and our first times of fun together when we were wondering if we could love each other. I clung to the thread to keep that shadow of what might have been, but that dream too, floated away into a dreary sky, gray on gray, while I cried no tears because I'd cried them already.
And alone I stood with no more. All dreams were gone.
There was no more balloon bouquet.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Twenty-Seven

Today is my twenty-seventh birthday. And so, I leave you with John Watson's encouraging reflection upon this age.

"She must be seven-and-twenty now,—a  sweet  age,  when  youth  has  lost  its  self-consciousness and become a little sobered by experience." -Dr. John Watson, reflecting on Mary Morstan (The Sign of Four).

Friday, November 4, 2016

Reflections on being a single during the holidays




Christmas and Birthdays can be hard. 

Birthdays were a day of celebration, now they can be a time of regret, a time where you remember that you’re still waiting for the big things in life, you’re still just as confused about life and love as last year…and you’re still celebrating this birthday alone. 
I try to forget about my age and I think of it as try to grasp the excitement of this being my own personal holiday to celebrate me. Yet, I still find myself blinking away tears.

Now for Christmas, I think there are many reasons
      1. The winter holidays don’t have the magic they used to have. Christmas is not as exciting when you can buy yourself what you want when you want (within reason.)
2. Times change. People change. People pass away. Those Christmases of the golden dawn of youth when your grandparents were still young and also still with you can never return. 
 3. You don’t have your own family. No children to train in decorating or making Christmas cookies. No little eyes to watch light up as they open they unload their stockings and open the presents you selected for them. No one other half to kiss under the mistletoe or buy presents for. Just a nomad. You don’t really fit in.
4. Like Birthdays, it’s another time of year where you wonder what you did wrong again.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When you end up crying in the arms of a stranger at the grocery store...Another Glimmer

Here's a glimmer from 2014. (See previous post for what a Glimmer is.)

It was a Sunday. I'd been in that lonesome Meijer all day, surrounded by people who didn't want to hear about whisks. I didn't want to be there. I wasn't near my quota but I was on the verge of tears. I'd been doing direct-marketing for several months now and occasionally I'd have a Sunday off and I'd go to church. On this particular day I was feeling guilty because I felt like I should have requested a Sunday off, just so I could go to church. I didn't think he was asking me to take all Sundays off, but I thought I should go to church more often. I let the fear of asking for time off stop me. I knew my priorities were out of line. So, that day I felt that I had "let God down."

But God didn't let go of me and here's how He showed me:

I had just done a show to a small crowd and no one wanted these whisks. I stepped behind my display booth and banner as I was no longer just on the verge of tears...

Then one of the people got my attention and had some questions about the product. Trying to stifle my tears I spoke with them. They stepped away, but this girl about my age came up to red-eyed me and said, "I can see you're experiencing a lot of turmoil."

She told me she was a Christian and I told her I was too. She wrapped her arms around me in a hug and as I cried in her arms, she said, "He's got you."

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, no angels, nor principalities, not things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

***Not related to the glimmer but just to save my professional dignity a little bit, I did go on to sell the most whisks in the nation for 4 days in a row.****

The Power of Exhoration...A Glimmer

What's a glimmer? It's what I call a moment in which a much larger law of the universe is represented. In these moments, that serve as a metaphor or a microcosm, a truth that has been accepted in the mind becomes known in the heart.

Here's the glimmer I had tonight...

I've known that two people are stronger than one, it's kind of obvious and there are a lot of verses pointing to this: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Proverbs 27:17. And in addition to the principle, we're told to support and exhort others : Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 10:24-25. But, tonight these truths sunk into my heart.

At Krav Maga class, we were holding plank position. My back hurt and my abs hurt and I arched my back which really isn't plank position. It hurt so much I was seething my breath in and out through my teeth, even emitting soft cries, and whimpering although I refused to drop a knee. Then I heard the matter-of-fact voice of a class mate (also holding plank, I might add.) "Put your butt down." I struggled to flatten my back. He continued to talk me through it, "That's better. Come on, you got this. Put your butt down. Better. More." I felt relief as he continued to talk to me, giving me something to focus on other than the pain, plus knowing that he and the others were experiencing the same thing helped too. Gratefully I listened. If I had been left with no exhortation, I very well may have caved and dropped a knee, or continued with an arched back instead of pushing myself to do the drill properly.  His words let me know I was not alone, and gave me the encouragement to try harder and push myself to the limits and to not give in.

Hardly a flattering moment for me, but still a moment of triumph and a new understanding of what these verses mean.

It even gave me a knew understanding of Christ and what He did for us!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

What does St. Patrick's Day mean to me?

I'm an Evangelical Christian. If you are too, then this post is for you.

What does St. Patrick's Day mean to me?

For me, it's not a day for drinking. Drunkenness is a sin (although drinking is not, and is a matter of personal conviction.) For more on drunkenness in The Bible: Ephesians 5:18, Romans 13:13, 1 Peter 4:3.

For me, it's a day to remember Patrick and his life. He was a Briton captured by the Irish and forced into slavery. Eventually he returned to Britain, became a Christian and then returned to Ireland to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ the Son of God. He was a missionary. I remember him for living out the words of Jesus, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-19, NASB)

He lived out his Faith, and in turn it inspires me. "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews  12:1-3 NASB)
 
One final thought: I said I was an Evangelical Christian. For me, St. Patrick's Day is not a day to pray to a Saint. I only pray to God as I don't see anywhere in The Bible that we are to pray to anyone but God.

Previous St. Patrick's Day posts:
Personal Reflections on St. Patrick's Day
Happy St. Patrick's Day - Bad situations with good results


Note:
NASB = New American Standard Bible