They carved a life out of a wild frontier.
And later generations called them pioneers.
They had a vision and a courage rare.
I know for sure that feats like theirs I wouldn’t dare.
While moving west, then even farther west,
Faced plains and desserts, deadly mountains — brutal tests.
In covered wagons bearing all they owned,
Though losing some along the way, they still pressed on.
Their enemies converged from every side:
The burning sun, the frigid nights, no place to hide;
With Indian tribes who feared the loss of lands
In grievious battles to the death they made a stand.
The loss, when counted up, was grave indeed.
But those who paid the price lived by a special creed.
The prize outweighed the cost; that was the key.
They tamed the wild and built a nation sea to sea.
“Hello, little flower,” said the frog. “My, you look so forlorn. Where are all the other flowers?”
“None of the others have come up from the ground yet,” said the flower. “But I’m not forlorn at all.”
“You’re not? But you’re just standing there all alone. And it’s raining on you.”
“Ah, but that’s a blessing really. I’ve just come up to my full height, and I need the moisture to grow strong and beautiful. And, besides, it doesn’t matter if I’m the only flower in the garden right now. In fact, it makes me pretty important.”
“How do you figure that?” asked her visitor.
“Well, you see, when a person comes along who needs a happy thought or a little cheering up, I’m here to do that. Just seeing me helps a lot of people throughout the day. And if I’m the only flower here, then I’m the one who gets to make them happy. It’s a very satisfying thing to do.”
“You know, I actually do feel better after seeing you and talking with you,” said the frog. “I’m glad you’re the only flower in the garden right now. If there were a lot of you, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to stop and talk. So thank you for being happy to be what you are.”
I’m sooooo enjoying Christmas this year — celebrating the birth of Jesus — and the reason He was born. His birth was the most extravagant gift ever given because He was not born for Himself — to just live His own life on this earth in any way He pleased. He came for a specific purpose: to live a perfect life for me — which I could not live for myself, to die on my behalf (for my sin and rebellion), to be resurrected on my behalf, and to ascend back to His throne in Heaven, from where He gives me victory for my life here and the guarantee of continued life with Him for eternity.
And since I celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, I will continue to enjoy it all the way through to Epiphany, which is January 6. Epiphany means a revelation or showing forth of something that has not been seen or understood previously. And I celebrate the revelation to my heart of the truth that Jesus has done everything He’s done for me. His life, death, and resurrection have made me right with God, and I now reign with Him.
I hope you know Jesus personally. So that you can enjoy that revelation as well — and His extravagant gift. And if you don’t, this season is a perfect time to get to know Him. He loves every one of us — no matter who we are, what we are, or what we’ve done. And His love is big enough to overcome every sad, painful, evil thing in us and in our lives. So if you don’t know Him yet, just call out to Him today. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you fully and to come in and take over your life. It will be the beginning of the best year of your life — and what’s more — that new life will continue throughout eternity.
Jewels sparkle, chemically whitened teeth sparkle, and champagne sparkles. But the most beautiful sparkle of all is that created by nature when beauty touches beauty in just the right time and place. The following photos captured some of those events. Two are courtesy of Terry Valley (Visons Seen Photography), and the rest are mine. I was amazed that the camera actually captured the sparkles in the snow.
Do not be faint of heart, my dear.
There’s really nought you need to fear.
For venturing into love is sweet;
Could be your destiny you’ll meet.
Do take the chance — it comes so rare —
And don’t be over-fraught with care.
For even if that love’s untrue,
It still can bless and prosper you.
We’re better souls for having loved;
It’s of His nature from above.
For loving gives and gives again,
And it’s by giving that we gain.
So don’t be faint of heart to move
Into the bless-ed world of love.
Orange is the only color I don’t like.
I’m not exactly sure why that should be.
I love the color red, and that is pretty close.
And often something pink will pleasure me.
But orange — well it somehow seems to agitate.
It makes me restless and so out-of-sorts.
And I feel bad, because it isn’t orange’s fault,
So I do orange occasionally just to be a sport.
But there are some orange things of which I am a fan:
The round, ripe, juicy fruit that we pluck from a tree,
The brightly orange-wrapped Reese’s peanut butter cups,
And candy corn eaten by the handfuls pleasure me.
Just for the sake of full disclosure, I’ll add that I do love oranges (the fruit) as well.