Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mom's 90th Birthday and Thanksgiving Reunion

Last June, I began to hatch an almost impossible plot. 

Mission:  to surprise my mom on her 90th birthday.

Her big day occurs in late November, so I began to contact family members months in advance to see if I could get commitments from everyone to attend.  This was, for many, no small thing.  I planned to have the party at our home in Knoxville, but niece Wendy lives in Austin, Texas.  Daughters Debbie and Diane live in Enfield, Connecticut and Augusta, Georgia, respectively. 

We had other family members from North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee.

I think God wanted us to have this big party because, miraculously, everyone made plans to be here and He allowed us to have a wonderful reunion and birthday celebration together.

The planning for the event was constant up until the guests began to arrive on November 21.  Cindy worked tirelessly to cook ahead of time and clean, paint and organize.  I shared ideas with her for making the event fun for everyone.  It was a huge success.  When everyone had left for home, we both sat down and thanked God for the wonderful lifetime memories we all share.

The Birthday Girl
Brother Dave
Wendi and Cindy
Diane and Debbie
Deb and Me
Dave and Jan
Dave, Richard and Fred
Cindy Serves the Cake to Mom (Yes, There Are 90 Candles!)
Canyon, Lucinda and Mom
Mom Recites Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat" for the Group
Wendi Entertains

Actin' Silly

Lucinda, Debbie and Diane
All the Different Places Represented
TOP L---R  Richard, Catherine, David, Debbie, Eileen, Fred, Lucinda, Tracy, Clint, Patti, Cindy  ROW 2 Seated L---R  Diane, Clinton, Jan, Wendi  BOTTOM ROW  L---R  Tyler, Canyon

Friday, November 9, 2012

Psalms in the Still of the Night.......

I try to read the bible every day.  Occasionally I miss a day, and I always feel like I really missed something when I do.  Lately I've been reading the Psalms.  They are sensational, lyrical scripture that make me pause in meditation.

I have found a most magic time to read these thoughts, songs and prayers---between the hours of midnight and 5:00 AM.  If I can't sleep, I just get up and spend an hour or so reading.  There is a quiet stillness that is not present during the day, and I am able to focus solely on the messages of scripture.

Last night was such a night.  After reading a few chapters, it occurred to me that we live in a world that was inconceivable just a couple of decades ago.  I mean, we have more wealth in this country than any nation in the history of the world.  We have material possessions beyond reason.  We have instant communication with each other.  If we want to learn just about anything, we can Google it and voila!---we have our answer. 

Given all that, we should by all factors be the happiest nation on the happiest planet in the universe.

But we are not---not even close.  As a nation, we are bitterly divided over many important issues.  Race, welfare, foreign relations, health care, the role of government, etc, etc, etc.  There is an air of hatred in our relationships when it comes to politics.

In our world, there is religious intolerance and hatred.

How can this be if we have so much in technology and materialism?

The answer lies in the truth.  And the truth is, as is pointed out so often in Psalms and the rest of the bible, nothing on this earth will ever make us happy or fulfilled except that which comes from God.  We have pretty much rejected Him in the year 2012, and we continue to move away from Him.  We are less and less fulfilled and more and more conflicted.  The bible points out time after time that He is watching.  His judgement will be very painful.