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Family Reunion


The back side of our family reunion T-shirts.

The back side of our family reunion T-shirts.

For three years I anticipated this family reunion that brings 6 siblings and their families back together to get to know each other. It is our effort to keep us together even though we are physically spread out all over the country and sometimes the world. Our parents are no longer alive so the natural bond is gone. It takes a real effort to stay connected.

This year one brother and his family were missing due to job changes. But for the first time all my children and their families were together. It was absolutely awesome. I did not witness any family squabbles, which is a real accomplishment.

The trip to the reunion was not without incident. On our part there was a closed down interstate due to a truck fire, and the fun of navigating around it. There was a dog bite to my face from my sister’s aged and handicapped Sheltie. The air conditioning in the truck quit blowing cold and when we thought it was fixed the problem got worse. Then a three-hour stay over at a dodge dealer for repairs slowed our arrival. But we were troopers and did not let it or the cost of repairs dampen our spirits. Then more truck issues which did not get fixed even though another mechanic tried to help. Thank God those issues did not stop the truck permanently. One of my nieces had her car break down also and had to be towed.

But we all made it to the reunion and enjoyed our time together. The day trips to the Water Park and St. Louis Zoo were great. The talent show was amazing. I did not know that there was so much talent in the family.  Can you believe that my puppet Orange’, my daughter-in-laws, son-in-law and I only got 4th place? Of course Grandma Kitty was a hit with her balloon creations. All the kids kept coming back for more after they burst.

This is what family is all about, enjoying time together and getting to know each other. Some families live close to each other and this is an automatic process, but when you live miles apart you have to plan and work hard to make it happen. We are already working on the plans for the next reunion three years from now.

In Christianity we also have to plan and make an effort to stay close to God and those in the family of God. It takes commitment and planning to have time to build these relationships. This daily commitment to a lifestyle of serving God and our fellow-man with an attitude of gratitude no matter what comes our way does not come naturally. It can only be accomplished with the supernatural assistance of the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy your week and spend some time enjoying and appreciating you family.

Transformation


The following is a fictional story based on a true story. The main character’s identity has been changed and pictures altered to protect his privacy.

Handknitted Socks

Image via Wikipedia

Pressed into service at a young age, Crew was a tight-knit fellow. He had always wondered about his first job. He and the “crew guys” were very close; in fact they were never apart in their young days. Suddenly relocated, they left the wrappings of their youth and embraced their exciting future.

Crew’s first day of work had finally arrived. Paired with his best friend Crew Two, Crew felt the sudden pressure of being stretched like never before. He knew he was made for this, but the stretching was such a different sensation. Then when he was feeling ok and fully conformed to his master, it began. The day full of pounding, no one had told him about the smashing of every fiber of his being. He hadn’t been warned about the sharp nails slowly cutting through his head.

The end of his first day finally came.  Removed from his master he felt his original shape coming back. He was a little dirty and stinky, but feeling pretty good. Put with other dirty clothes he relaxed because the pounding and stretching were over. A few days later he was sorted into a pile and thrown into a big machine. Suddenly there was water and soap sloshing around him and the other laundry. Wet and cold, he was taken from that machine and put into another. He tumbled around aimlessly until he became very warm and dried out. Feeling almost as good as when he was first made, he was paired with another of the “crew guys” and put into the quiet sleeping spot.

The cycle started all over again with the stretching and wearing on his fibers. Week after week the routine was the same. Then he noticed a thinning in his head. He had heard about this from others. He was about to go through the change. A few weeks later, when he was coming out of the wash he was put to the side while the rest of the “crew guys” were put away in the sleeping spot.

Fear and panic raced through his fibers. Is this the end?  Is my usefulness over? Am I to be thrown away? He had heard that the change was the end for socks. Scared and confused he was carried into a sewing room, where he was sewn together and given eyes, a nose and a mouth. He was changing into something wonderful, a sock puppet. His life was not over, it was just beginning. Now there was no more pounding, just some slight stretching and a lot of laughter. Crew was a new creation. He had a new life and new purpose in his old shape.

sock puppet

Image via Wikipedia

We experience a lot of stretching and pounding in our lives, just like Crew. Then we get with others who are in the same dirty state. Through the Word of God, together we experience the wash and dry cycle of repentance and forgiveness, which leave us clean and ready to start over. This cycle repeats for years and years, until we can start to feel worn out, broken down and used up. That is when God will mend us and give us a new purpose.

We aren’t meant to be thrown away, we are meant to Glorify God. So when you are ready, when you feel worn out reach out to the One who can mend you and change your life for His glory. I pray that you enjoy your week and that you find your new purpose. I’ll be back next week with more.

Puppets, Pickles and underWear


Sometimes life gives you lemons. This week I have dealt with a tree-load of lemons. So I have spent my week trying to make lemonade. Since I was busy my puppet ORANGE’ volunteered to write my blog for me. I hope you enjoy it.

Hi. My name is Orange’. I am a puppet, yes that is right a P U P P E T. I have some secrets to share with you. Please don’t tell anyone. I know you will keep this to yourself. Ok.

Secret #1: Puppets have food issues.

Mrs Whyte's Kosher Dill Pickle

Image via Wikipedia

This is shocking but true. We puppets have a natural eating disorder–no organs, no teeth, no working tongue, no saliva, etc…. I didn’t always understand this. I was at a family gathering one time and decided to take a bite from a delicious looking pickle. That was a bad idea, have you ever tried to get dill pickle smell off your face? I’ll never do that again. Another time I decided to join in a watermelon seed spitting contest—-this does not work without spit!!!! I did win the cracker-whistle contest though. I don’t understand why it is hard for people to chew up a cracker and then whistle!!!

Gloves for Service Men

Image by staceyboo2 via Flickr

Secret #2: Puppets don’t wear underwear.

This one is kind of embarrassing and I hope you don’t tell anyone. I never leave the house wearing clean underwear in case of an accident. Shocking right!! In fact for many years I didn’t have legs. This is appalling but true. And even after I got legs, I still didn’t wear underwear. I know what you are thinking. How can you go out in public without underwear? It is easy; I make my puppeteer wear underwear for me. That’s right, I make my puppeteer put on a glove and I call it puppet underwear. Pretty ingenious isn’t it?

Secret #3: Puppets need people.

Wow it feels good to get that off my chest. You see puppets don’t actually move without help. We need a “hand” from people to come alive. I know this is hard to understand, but believe me it is true. We are a very needy group of individuals. It is hard to believe we are so funny and so helpless at the same time. When I think about it, I realize that people are like puppets. Puppets rely on people for life and people rely on God for life.

Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (NKJV)

So next time you see a puppet remember how much we rely on you and how much you rely on God for life. Well, that’s all I have to say. Ms. Kitty will be back next week with more. I hope you enjoy your week.

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