New Tradition

For the past ten years or so Christmas Eve has been a very busy time. A normal Christmas Eve for me has been going to work from 4a.m. until 2 p.m. or so, rushing home and getting ready to head to Columbus to spend time with the kids by 4:30 or so. After eating pizza and opening gifts we would rush to Church for a candle light service then back to Ricky’s house.  Hilary’s Mom and Dad and others would join us and the grandchildren would put on a skit and Ricky would read a Bible story about he birth of Christ. A few more snacks then get the kids to bed then help put out Santa. Finally, at 10p.m. or later head to bed ourselves.

This year we have decided to start a new family tradition.  Because of all the rush on Christmas Eve, trying to get off work in time to spend time with family we went down Saturday and spent about four hours just family time. It was very nice.
This year the “hit” gift was a Hannah Montana plastic guitar we gave Tennyson.  All at once all three became stars. Moreland said she was Hannah, T.K. was Miley and Eli just joined right in. They put on quite a show and we all had a good time laughing and taking pictures. T.K. would tell Morley “let us go practice”, so off to the other room they would go. When they came back in I had to introduce them “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention? Give a big hand for Hannah and Miley!” Everyone would clap as they came back into the room. They would sing and Baby Eli would dance around, always with some toy in his hands.

The Bible tells us that we should behave ourselves Christlike or become more like Him. The more that the girls played Hannah the more that wanted to look and act like their “star.”  The longer we walk with the Lord the more like the Lord we should become.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

It seems strange that Paul had to beg (beseech) Christians to at like Christ, which is a reasonable thing to expect. The more we act like Christ the greater the impact we have on those around us.
Acts 11: 26And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

If these children can be transformed into Hannah Montana with a plastic guitar, how much more should we be transformed in His image with a Bible and fellow believers.

End of The Road, Deloris Collum

My oldest sister, Betty, always lived out in the country. To get to their house you would go past the country into the sticks, then turn off the dirt road to the pig trail and they lived at the end of the road. They had a hard time making ends meet and did good just to feed their children. There were seven children and like most big families the kids missed out on a lot of events and too much love. Deloris was kind of the black sheep of the family. I always felt sorry for her the way her Dad would talk to her and call her all kinds of names. Because of that kind of treatment, she did every little thing to make herself likable. By the time she was twelve she was shipped off to a State Home, where she stayed until she turned eighteen. It was there she was raped and had a baby that was given up for adoption, she never saw the baby after that and was not allowed to know who had him. After leaving the Home she was a loner and bitter, she tried marriage, it failed. Desperate for love she decided that she would become homosexual, gay. She became the part, short hair, men’s clothes ruffer talk. The tuff outward appearance and gay life style gave her the shield that she was looking for. For some reason she always trusted me and Arlene, and we would invite her over for Christmas. In those early years of her gayness she kept her “friend” away, which was good, other wise I too would had become a stumbling stone for her. I had two little boys that did not need to see wrong being seen as right in mommy and daddy’s eyes. I would never allow that open sin in my home. Before you think I am being judgmental, I am not. The Bible calls sodomy sin and so do I. It would be no different if someone wanted to bring booze into my house. No way!

As the years passed by we saw less of Deloris, only at summer family reunions. Her friend would often come and everyone was friendly at arm’s distance. Deloris would call our house several times through out the year to check on everyone and see if anyone died.

About ten years ago she called I answered the phone. “Hello, Uncle David, guess what I did today?’ “I don’t know, Deloris. What did you do?” I asked, almost afraid of the answer. “I got saved!” she said. “Are you proud of me?” “Yes I am” I could hardly believe the news. After a few minutes we hung up and I was hoping that now she would be at peace but I had some doubts.

A few weeks later the phone rang, it was Deloris, ” Hello, Uncle David, I got baptized this morning, aren’t you proud of me!”? “Yes I am.” I said as my eyes watered up. “Keep up the good work.” She did.

A few weeks later the phone rang, it was Deloris, ” Hello, Uncle David, you know about my friend?” “Yes” I said wondering where this was headed, I ‘ve done many wedding in our family. “Well at Church this morning God told me that I could not live like that if I was going to Heaven, I told Him I was going to Heaven because He saved me.” ” That’s right.” I said wondering where this was leading. “Well I don’t have a room mate anymore, and feel good about it.” Deloris declared. “I bet you are proud of that ain’t you Uncle David?” “I sure am.”

That was years ago and Deloris has been faithful to God and her Church ever since, even singing specials. What a difference the Lord makes instead of just joining the Church.

She never lost all that ruff acting, but now it was used to tell people that they needed to be saved. She always wanted to tell people what Jesus had done for her.

A few months ago i got a phone call, it was Deloris, “Hello, Uncle David, I have cancer.” “I am sorry to hear that.” I said with a lump in my voice. “Will you and Aunt Arlene pray for me?” she said pleadingly. “We will” Over the phone we had prayer, that was one of many prayers we had with Deloris in the last couple of months. About four weeks ago she called and said she felt bad because she had missed a Sunday at Church, I assured her that God understood. She said she loved her Church and hated to miss, but knew that it would not be long before she would get to go to Church with her mother and other loved ones, in Heaven.

On Tuesday I got a phone call, it was not Deloris, but family calling to let us know that she had died. Now she can go to Church with all the loved ones that have gone on before.

Deloris’ life did make a difference.

Little Brave Eli and The Big Black Bear

Once upon a time there lived a little warrior named Little Brave Eli. Many people didn’t know Little Brave Eli is a warrior he is only fourteen months old and is thin and has blonde hair. But Little Brave Eli was very brave he would climb up on his wild wooden rocking horse and laugh. Often he would run fearlessly down the hall and jump in his tent. He would bravely climb high onto book shelve, it seemed that Little Brave Eli was afraid of nothing.
But one day Little Brave Eli went on a long journey to Palmetto. This was not his first trip to this place but he knew that in Palmetto there lived a big black bear. He had seen the big black bear on other hunting trips but always fear overcame him and he would tremble and cry.  Once he was standing in the long hall that led to the big black bear’s house and out from the door came running the big black bear and jumped on him, the big black bear was taller than Little Brave Eli. As the wagon pulled into Nana’s General Store and Eatery, Little Brave Eli’s hands got a little sweaty. He looked around to see if the big black bear was near. The coast was clear with the help of his trusted crew he safely made it into Nana’s General store and Eatery.  Something smells good he thought as he came into the main room it must be time for supper. Everything looked normal there was the big soft chair and warm playing rug on the floor, no big black bear.  Everyone wanted to hear all the stories of Little Brave Eli’s brave adventures before you knew it hours had passed.  Then the old grumpy papa asked about the big black bear, you could see the fear come on Little Brave Eli’s face, his lip would tremble.  “No! No!” Said Little Brave Eli. It seemed that he still was afraid of the big black bear. “Do not worry.” said his crew, “we will not let anything hurt you.” Little Brave Eli clapped and smiled he was safe.  There would be another time that Little Brave Eli and the big black bear would meet, but not today.

This is just a story Little Brave Eli is my fourteen month old grandson and the big black bear is my wife’s little black poodle Oreo.  In a few more months Eli will be running and playing with Oreo and all fear will be gone.
Many Christians live their life in fear of unknown things and never ask their crew for help. The Bible tells us to pray for one another and to lift on another up in times of trouble.  Sadly some will never overcome the simple fears that we all have. They see them as a big black bear. As we grow in the Lord we start to see many of these fears as little dogs.  Song of Solomon 2:15, tells us that it is the little foxes that spoil.  We must be on guard not to let the little fears in our life spoil God’s big plan for us.

2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.