A few weeks ago we started to decorate the church for Christmas. The tree was taken out of the box. All of the wreaths and bows were fluffed. The garland was hung out on the porch columns and railings. Everyone there made sure all of the ornaments were in good shape and hung them all in just the right places. We only encountered a couple of problems with the lights before they all started to work.
Many years ago now a pastor friend of mine in a neighboring church arrived at his office one morning in 32-degree weather. He parked in his usual spot. For some unknown reason, instead of going straight into his office he took a detour by the manger scene placed in front of the sanctuary each Christmas season.
During the month of November many families give thanks and praise for the blessings they received throughout the year. This year, consider beginning a new yearlong tradition: giving thanks and praise to your children. Parents often underestimate the importance of using praise with their young children.
Most beef farms in this area are what we call cow-calf operations. That means that the bull gets together with about 25 cows, the cows have calves, and the calves are sold after they are weaned. One of the critical cogs in this system is making sure that the bull is up to his task of siring the calves. The best method of ensuring that the bull can do his job is to have him checked out by a veterinarian in a test we call the breeding soundness exam.
This entire year has been one of transitions for me. On New Year’s Day I visited, prayed with and said goodbye to my grandmother, knowing I would not see her again in this life. She went home to be with the Lord one week later.
One of my favorite books in the bible is the book of Job. Largely because when I go through trials it helped me to understand that suffering is an everyday occurrence, but as long as God is in the trial, the test is easier to bear.
A new 4-H year began in October, which gives us time to reflect on the giant successes of the 4-H youth development program here in Vance County. Over the past year we have served more than 500 youth through summer fun activities, school curriculums, afterschool curriculums and various other 4-H activities. Our youth continue to demonstrate that goodness does grow in Vance County.
Like many people my age, I have vivid memories of the events from the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Just 10 days after those horrific attacks, I got on a plane with my wife and children and moved to the Philippines. For the next 12 years we served there as missionaries, only returning to the U.S. for short visits over the years. We kept up with the news and knew about things happening back here in our home country, but it wasn't the same as living here.
It’s a wonderful thing to own land, whether an acre or a thousand. And it’s easy to imagine the potential of all that productive soil just sitting there, waiting to spring forth with a bounty of money-making crops.
In our home if “High Noon” is on the television then it doesn’t matter what else is on! It is one of my favorite westerns that the rest of the family also loves, or so they pretend! Why is this movie such a classic? Is it the Oscar winning performance? Is it the real-time cinematography? I think the real answer lies in the noble ideals in the storyline such as justice, honor, duty, conviction and courage — qualities that symbolize the American spirit.