Archive for November, 2014

Thanksgiving Letter from Ryan

Today we received a very special letter in the mail from our grandson. As a happy grandma, I just have to share it-just as he wrote it.

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(This picture is from the memory he refers to in his letter. His face is just glowing with pride!)

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November 24, 2014

Dear Grandma,

At school we’re writing a letter to someone we’re thankful for and I chose you. I want to thank you for teaching me on how to drive the golf cart. I enjoyed it so much I wrote about it for “The First Time I” story. I also remember the time you made the storage room into a room that I felt very comfortable in.

This year Thanksgiving is going to be partly Christmas to me because the other half of my family is having Christmas at my house. I can’t wait for spring break to come, so Karla and I could possibly stay a week at your house. (Not like last time.)

Grandma, How’s the store going? Are you selling a lot?

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Dear Grandpa,

At school we’re writing a letter to someone we’re thankful for and I chose you.

I want to thank you for when you took me on a tractor ride in the morning. Also when we were on the hay ride and we saw the new born calf. (At least we thought.)

Scan-Ryan (2)

Grandpa, how’s the farm going? Are the cows going well?

Sincerely,

Ryan Hostetter

Light One Star

“High on my list of favorite things is lighting the nativity star on our farm the day after Thanksgiving.

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The star used to be one of the most popular Christian Christmas symbols.  As a star shines light on a dark night, the nativity star represents the light of Jesus in a dark world. Since the beginning of time stars have been used for navigation.  Over 2,000 years ago, one particular star guided the wise men (astrologers) to the promised Messiah.  When they entered the house where the young child lived, they fell to their knees in holy awe and worshipped the Son of God. (Matthew 2).

There is nothing glamorous about the nativity star, but it radiates a silent holiness as it shines forth a message of remembrance, of hope and of promise.  Sadly, it has been removed from most Christmas decorations. It no longer has the place of honor on top of Christmas trees or shines from rooftops.  Santa has not stolen it’s glory, nor has it’s meaning been distorted; it has just simply, quietly, disappeared. The last several years I have looked for stars as we travel during the month of December.  You can travel hundreds of miles and see just a handful.

I am reminded of the song “Light One Candle” written by Peter Yarrow and sung by Peter, Paul and Mary in the turbulent 60’s. It was written as a protest song but I found myself singing the chorus this week.

Light One Candle

Chorus

Don’t let the light go out

It’s lasted for so many years

Don’t let the light go out

Let it shine through our love and our tears.

I have lit my star.

May I challenge you to light one star?

If every Christian in America lit a star there would be millions of glowing, radiant stars giving testimony to the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ.

I am the light of the world.

If you follow me, you will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

Jesus

(John 8:12)

Don’t let the light go out!

 

Other Christmas blog posts:

The Magi’s Star

The Star

The Day Jesus Came

Like A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

white water raftin

Today a friend called and we exchanged the normal “how are you today” greetings. Then she said, “do you really want to know how I am?”  She dared to give me a glimpse into her soul and what she is dealing with.

Just this past week I had stumbled across a note written in my Bible. “Faith is not a bridge over troubled waters but a path through it.” For the last week I have been mulling this over in my brain.  In 1970 my high school graduating class choose “Bridge Over Trouble Waters” by Paul Simon as our class theme song.

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side
Oh when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

 As I have matured and struggled along the path of life’s journey I have come to realize that this may be a nice sounding song but the reality is there is usually no mystical bridge over troubled times in our life where all my dreams come true and the stars are shining. Neither can I lay myself down so that a “silver girl can sail on by”.  No, we each have to brave the current, wade into the deep and take the path that goes directly through the frothy, white water rapids.  It may be the ride of our life with the boat careening out of control and banging into rocks. There may be times when we wonder if we will make it through or become trapped under our capsized canoe.  We may feel helpless, lonely, discouraged and fearful.  Maybe we need a friend who doesn’t sail behind us but walks beside, shining a little light on our path; praying, encouraging, helping and cheering.

I love the words to the popular song by Casting Crowns which so much so poignantly speaks to God’s presence our lives in the midst of the storm.

Praise You in This Storm

I was sure by now God,

You would have reached down

And wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day

But once again, I say, “Amen” and it’s still raining.

But as the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls I’ll raise my hands

And praise the God who gives and takes away.

 

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands

For You are who You are no matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand

You never left my side and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm.

I remember when I stumbled in the wind You heard my cry,

You raised me up again

But my strength is almost gone

How can I carry on if I can’t find You

 

But as the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain, “I’m with you”

And as You mercy falls I’ll raise my hands

And praise the God who gives and takes away.

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands

For You are who You are no matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in Your hand You never left my side and though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth.

And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands

For You are who You are no matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand

You never left my side and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

Faith grows when we go through something.  Faith happens when I release my inability to control to my Heavenly Father.  God promises His presence and in His presence I find strength, peace and security.

  • Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you. be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will hold you with My righteous right hand.
  • Isaiah 43:1b-2  Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
  • Psalms 23:4 When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.

Faith is the hope that I will make it through. Faith is trusting in the promises of God-the evidence of things I can not see. Faith is the path through troubled waters. (Hebrews 11)

 

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