Story Time ~ Happy Birthday America!

Written by
Katherine Hinchee Purdy

It’s that time of year again! The time to look back, reflect and thank God for our wonderful country. Thankful for freedom! Happy Independence Day weekend!

Photo used with permission.
Photo used with permission.

“Isabel Greene, if you don’t stand still you will get stuck with a pin,” Mama said as she pinned the blue fabric with straight pins from her mouth.

“But I like to swish!”

“That’s fine,” Mama said as she removed another pin from her mouth and turned the child around to get to the back of the dress. “You may swish all you want – after I finish hemming your dress.”

“Yes Mama,” Isabel said quietly but swished her skirt as Mama bent over to retrieve the pins she had just dropped.

“Baby Maggie didn’t have to stand up to get her dress hemmed,” Isabel said as she looked at her little sister sitting in the high chair nibbling on a piece of crust.

“Baby Maggie doesn’t know how to stand yet. Now carefully step down from the stool and look at your dress in the mirror.”

“Oh Mama, it’s beautiful.” Isabel said as she swished from side to side. Ouch! It bit me!”

“That was just a pin dear. Now turn around slowly,” Mama said as she stood back to get a better view. “Isabel, you will look like a doll on the fourth of July! Just like a little sailor girl.”

Just then the screen door clapped loudly and Mama turned to see Isabel’s two older brothers racing to the ice box. “Just a glass of milk boys, lunch will be ready soon!”

“Mama,” Eugene said as he glanced at Isabel swishing in her new blue dress trimmed in red and white. “Do we hav’ta wear those silly costumes to the parade and picnic tomorrow?”

“Yeah,” five-year-old Curtis chimed in. “Those look too sissy!”

“No, they do not look sissy and yes, you must wear the sailor suits I made for you. It’s perfect for the occasion.”

“The other boys will laugh!” Eugene plopped into the kitchen chair and reached for the cookie jar.”

“If anyone laughs at a sailor suit, they should be ashamed of themselves.” Mama took the cookie jar and placed it into a cupboard. “Besides, your nephews will be wearing the same thing. After all, your half-brother Jim is in the army and Fred is in the navy. You are wearing the suits to honor them. They are fighting for freedom. Don’t ever forget that,” Mama said softly as she placed her sewing notions into her basket and put it away.  “Isabel,” Mama said as she reached for the child. Carefully take off that dress and put your play dress back on. Here, let me help you. We’ll get you changed in your room while the boys finish their milk.”

~*~

     The next morning, Isabel awoke to the sound of Papa whistling a new song they had heard on Grandpa’s radio. Over There by Mr. George M. Cohen. “Catchy tune, aint it?” Papa said as Isabel entered the room wearing her new dress. “Well, don’t you look pretty?”

“Thank you, Papa.”

“Oh dear,” Mama said. “It’s too soon to wear your new dress; it will get dirty. We’ll get you all prettied up when it’s almost time to go.”

“Yeah,” Eugene said, “Don’t want to spill milk on it” and stopped short; whispering in Curtis’ ear.”

“Boys,” Mama said sternly, “if you mess up your suits before we go, I will insist that you wear the sailor hat Jim sent you.”

Eugene and Curtis looked at each other and then quickly shoveled oatmeal with their heads bent over the bowl.

“Mama, we could make bows for their hair just like the ones you made for Maggie and me.” Isabel said with a twinkle in her eyes.

“No way!” Curtis shouted and looked at Papa for help.

“Better do as your Mama says boys, I wouldn’t want to see my boys running around with a girls bow in their hair!” Papa looked at Isabel and winked.

~*~

     “Are we there yet?” Isabel asked from the back of the buckboard.

“We’ll be there in three shakes of a lambs tail,” Papa said with an edge of impatience in his voice.

Isabel closed her eyes and imagined a fluffy white lamb shaking its little tail three times. “It shook three times. Are we there yet?”

Papa turned to Mama. “She can count?”

“She can count to ten!” Mama said proudly, “By next month, she may be able to…” Music, clapping, chatter and laughter filled the air with excitement.

“Papa, they’re playing the song you were whistling this morning,” Eugene said and began singing along with the music.

“And we’ll all be glad when it’s over-over there!”

“I hope we didn’t miss the parade,” Curtis said as he cast a sidelong look at Mama who, in his estimation, took too much time packing lunch and dressing the girls.

“Nope, the parade doesn’t start until two so that everyone will have time to eat lunch. I would like to catch some of the baseball game. How about I take the boys over to the stands? The game will begin after the band plays a couple of songs.”

“That’s fine,” Mama said, “but don’t buy any hotdogs or peanuts! We have better ways to spend our money.”

Papa made quick work unloading the buckboard and herded the boys towards the baseball stands.

~*~

     “Lizzie! Isabel! Over here!”

Mama placed baby Maggie into the pram and reached for Isabel’s hand as they followed Lindy’s voice.

“Hello little sister,” Lindy said as she picked up Maggie and spun her around. “Why, Isabel! You look like a china doll in that lovely sailor dress.”

“Oh look, little Maggie is wearing one too. Where did you buy them?”

Mama beamed at her two little girls and addressed her step-daughters and daughters-in-law. “I made them. The boys are wearing sailor suits too although it was like pulling teeth to get the boys to wear them!” Laughter filled the air as relatives welcomed them to the Fair Grounds.

“Don’t unpack your food yet,” Aunt Jenny said as she turned and reached for Baby Maggie. Cleo is checking with the vendors to see how much the hot dogs cost. They smell too good to pass up! Oh good. There she is now.”

“I can’t believe it!” Cleo said as she reached the group. “The prices are actually reasonable. You can buy two hotdogs for a nickel or a big hamburger for a nickel. Peanuts are only 2 cents per bag. What do you think? Shall we feed our gang with Fair grounds food?”

Isabel chimed in with the other children. “We want hotdogs, we want hotdogs! Pleassssssssssssssssseeeeee?”

Mama opened her coin purse and smiled. “I think we have enough – this time. What shall we do until lunch time?”

“The swings are free. Why don’t we take the children over there. They can play in the sandbox too.” Lena said as she picked up her baby Grace, soothed her and placed her back into the baby carriage. “We have so much to talk about. The game will be over before you know it!”

     Isabel ran to catch up with her nieces and younger nephews. “Isabel,” Mama’s voice rang loud and clear. “Don’t get your dress dirty!”

Just as Mama finished speaking, Isabel tripped on a tree root and skinned her knee. Tears filled her eyes as she looked down at dirt covering her new dress and a large red spot on her white, torn stockings. “I’m sorry Mama. I’m so sorry,” Isabel repeated as Mama stooped down to assess the damage.

“Oh, you’ve skinned your knee!” Mama reached into her pocket and pulled out a small container of water and her handkerchief. “It will be okay. It’s not a deep cut but it may be sore for a while.”

“But I got my dress dirty.” Isabel’s blue eyes filled with tears as she looked up at Mama’s compassionate face.

     “That’s alright dear. The dirt brushes away and we’ll just slip those stockings off and no one will know the difference. Besides, do you know why we are here today?”

“There’s a parade and a picnic and a-a-fire?”

“Fireworks. Beautiful but loud streams of light fill the sky in a beautiful show!” Mom said as she finished cleaning the scratch and blew a kiss over the spot to make it heal more quickly. “Tender loving care always helps,” Mama said with a smile. “Now about the special day. Did you know that a long time ago our land was owned by a king far, far away? The king had never been to America but he claimed it anyway by sending ships of soldiers to make sure we obeyed his rules and paid high taxes. We sent letters to the king. We sent men to the king to tell him he was being unfair; that we could work something out but the king was selfish. He wanted the land and people to do his will. Well, the reason people came here so long ago was to be free of the king and his unreasonable rules. Did you know that America was the only place people could go in order to worship God and The Lord Jesus Christ without people trying to stop them?”

Isabel shook her head and listen wide-eyed.  “Well,” Mama said as she reached for her grandchildren who gathered around, “people prayed for a solution. They prayed for the king to change his mind.”

“Did he?” a little boy spoke up. Isabel suddenly realized they were surrounded by children she had never seen before and the swings were empty.

“No, sad to say, he didn’t.” Mama said softly. “He made it harder for our people. They had to pay taxes on just about everything. Finally, some men in Boston – up north- had enough. They couldn’t take it anymore. Back then, Americans liked to drink English tea instead of coffee. Fabric from clothes were brought on English ships. Just about everything we needed came from there but we decided we would make our own fabric. We had sheep and goats to sheer and spin the fibers into wool for knitting and weaving. We called it homespun.”

“Homespun!” a little girl spoke up. “My grandma made that!”

Mama nodded with a smile and continued. “One night when the supply ship was in Boston harbor, some of the men dressed up like Indians and sneaked aboard the ship and threw all the barrels of tea into the water. To this day, we call it The Boston Tea Party.”

“Wow!” A little boy exclaimed and leaned in closer. “What happened next?”

An older boy stood up. “It started a war didn’t it?”

“Yes it did.” Mama said and took a deep breath. The king was so angry, he sent thousands of soldiers, wearing fancy red coats with lots of guns and swords. They thought our men were not very smart and wouldn’t know how to fight so they expected the war to end quickly. But they were wrong. Oh, we didn’t have fancy uniforms – except for the officers. George Washington led our men. We had “militia” which meant they were farmers, black smiths, wheelwright’s, merchants, regular men who volunteered to protect our land.

Our men fought to protect their wives, their children, their parents and their land. They fought in the fields. They fought behind trees and fought in ways the British soldiers were not used to. Very important, smart men; the Continental Congress worked together in secret so that the kings soldiers wouldn’t know what they were doing. John Adams persuaded a plantation owner  from Virginia named Thomas Jefferson to write a declaration of independence. In fact, that’s just what it is called. The Declaration of Independence. It declared we were free from British rule and were a country now with 13 separate states working together for our freedom.  The Declaration of Independence was signed by some very famous men including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock. Each man who signed represented their state. Isn’t that wonderful?

Isabel watched boys and girls nodding their heads and nodded with them. Another child stood and cleared his voice to get Mama’s attention. “Ma’am we won that war, didn’t we?”

Mama’s smile lit her face. Yes indeed we won that war and became a free nation under God. The Declaration of Independence was accepted by all of the men on July 4, 1776. Today is July 4, 1917. We are celebrating today because today is the birthday of our great nation – The United States of America!

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~*~

     Isabel watched in wonder as the band played songs that night and men in the same uniforms her older half-brothers wore marched to the bandstand. One man in each different uniform carried a flag and one held a large red, white and blue flag with white stars in the top corner. Everyone stood. Man raised their hand to their forehead in a salute, other men, women and children stood too. Mama showed Isabel how to place her hand on her heart and whispered in Isabel’s ear, “To honor men who fought for our freedom, to honor men like your brothers who are fighting today for freedom and to show that we love our wonderful country, the beautiful United States of America!”

Suddenly, there were loud blasts causing Isabel to jump and baby Maggie to cry. Papa picked up Isabel and put her on his shoulders. The sky was filled with beautiful colors and shapes. “Fireworks,” Papa said.

“Like birthday candles?”

Papa chuckled. “Well, it’s our country’s birthday so I guess so.”

Little Isabel thought about the story Mama had told her earlier; that men died so that we could live free. “Happy Birthday, America, Happy Birthday!” she shouted.  “Thank you God for giving us a free country – like Mama said!”

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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Mom is 82 years old today. It is hard to imagine her at that age. She still sounds the same and if she still had her sight, I am sure she would be very active and making every occasion special. Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to Roanoke this weekend or today to see her. Her birthday visit will be a week late. This is her first birthday to celebrate without Dad. My sister who is taking care of her now is having a dinner for Mom. I’m sure the table will be filled with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I would love to be there to give her a big hug and sing through the hymnal with her on the porch swing. Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

She always made birthdays special for us. Even as adults, she would show up on our birthday with a cake and gifts or my favorite – gift baskets! Yet, she always downplayed her own special day; telling us, “I don’t need anything.”

~*~

Birthdays. Every family celebrates them differently.

In my family, birthdays were a big event. Extended family members came over for dinner and of course, a beautifully decorated homemade cake of the birthday child’s choosing.

Mine was always white cake, seven-minute frosting with coconut sprinkled on it like snow; graced with a candy “Happy Birthday” along with birthday candles. They were very popular when I was a child.

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Betty Crocker Vintage Birthday Cake Decorations found on Pinterest.

Of course, I always wanted the pink one with little flowers for the candles.

It is usually Mothers who make birthdays special. She bakes the cake, makes sure the freezer is stocked with ice cream, cooks the meal, buys and wraps the gift. My Mom loved making birthdays special. She was the best at wrapping gifts. They were always too pretty to unwrap!

It was Dad Hinchee who took snapshots and taped the special occasion with his Super-eight movie camera. I have a DVD with several years of birthdays and other special moments. unfortunately, he often panned the room too fast and some scenes are just a blur. My baby sister’s first birthday was great! Dinner in our backyard with family and after dinner, cake and gifts were opened, we all went to the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Va. I especially remember the gorgeous peacocks. Such a pretty blue! Needless to say, was a memorable event.

This is Mom.

 

 

I would love to give her a special birthday party. I have tried twice to at least take dinner and her gifts but she is hesitant to let anyone come over. She claims the house is dirty and she has nothing to wear. You see, she has always wanted everything to be “perfect.”

We gave her a party on her seventy-fifth birthday. Her sister and brother-in-law came from Richmond. Our Hinchee relatives came to make the day special too.

Mom's 75th Birthday

We had a beautiful cake made by Ashley Schnarr Easter, fresh fruit, finger sandwiches and I actually discovered blooms on the lilac tree! She received wonderful gifts and cards that played music!

 

She was amazed that everyone came and loved having my Aunt and Uncle spend the night with them. She let me know later that she doesn’t want to remember that she is “getting older.” We have gifts for her and I still hope we will be able to take dinner to Mom and Dad.

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There is one gift I can’t wait to give her. She can’t see it but that’s okay. I found on Etsy the fragrance she used to wear when I was a small child. Persian Wood isn’t available in perfume but I found the original Avon Persian Wood Perfumed Talc. I am sure it has lost its fragrance over time but hopefully, there is enough of the fragrance to bring back wonderful memories and just for a moment, she will feel “young” again.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps we will sit on the porch swing and sing Hymns of the Faith just as we used to.

Happy Birthday, Mom. We love you!

Little Things That Mean So Much

 

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Compassion can take many forms we often overlook. Sometimes it’s the “little things” that are often overlooked in our day to day activities. I was reminded yesterday of an act of compassion my late stepfather brought to my life.

Yesterday, I awoke with a sore throat to go with the cold that doesn’t want to go away.  John had to go to Church alone – again! He stopped at Hardees and bought lunch which was such a blessing. I don’t think I could have stood long enough to prepare sandwiches.

John at the Liberty Station in Bedford, Va

That’s my guy!

After lunch, he went to the grocery store for cold pills and brought home a box of popsicles. A kindness or act of compassion which began with my stepfather.  I was seven-years-old when Mom married Jerry and we became a family.  That first year, I had chronic ear infections and tonsillitis resulting in having surgery over Christmas break from school.

The first time I had a sore throat, Dad Hinchee went to the store and bought a bag of banana popsicles, which were my favorite. I still remember how the cool treat felt as it slid down my throat giving relief and enjoyment. From that time on, if he heard me say that my throat hurt, he would disappear for a few minutes and return with that cool treat. Even when I was home from college. He even continued the tradition for many years until I married and moved away.

Dad Hinchee went home to be with the Lord in November. He is where there is no more sorrow, no more pain and no more popsicles for this kid’s sore throat. But my husband remembered. What a sweet reminder that God never forgets!

Tomorrow, April 10th would have been Mom and Jerry’s 54th Anniversary. I know it will be sad for her. I want to be there for her but am afraid that she will catch my cold. I am praying that some small act of kindness will comfort her.  I love you, Mom!

Easter 1964

Easter, 1964. Our first Easter as a family.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

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Mom and Dad Hinchee several years ago. I always think of them just like this!

Fruit of the Spirit Eggs and So Much More! Katherine H. Purdy©

                    Years ago when I taught preschool, Sunday School and spoke in AWANA, I always used a tool as I taught the Bible lesson so that the children would remember. That tool may be flashcards, flannel graph, or something the children could participate in. 

This especially worked for the older children. For example, at Easter, I used “Gospel Eggs” with correlating scripture cards. The children took turns opening the egg and the one with the corresponding card stood and read the scripture. Now you can buy Gospel Eggs at the Christian bookstore. (I always included Bible verse cards printed on business card paper so that they would remember the lesson.) To make sure I used as many senses as possible, candy or some treat was included. 

Earlier tonight, I was thinking about the children who came to our home each day for childcare. One Friday before Easter, I had planned to have an Easter Egg hunt but everything that could happen did happen. The Eggs weren’t ready and it was raining outside. Did I say rain? I meant pouring rain! 

While the children were napping, I made colorful eggs out of an old wallpaper sample book and hid them all around the playroom and den. The children were so happy! One would think they were chocolate covered eggs but I think it was the thrill of the search! Sugar from their Easter party might have attributed to their excitement.As I remembered the good old days with “my kiddos” and worked on the Easter blog, the thought came to me that it would be interesting to go beyond “Easter eggs” and emphasize how we change when we receive Christ as our Savior

 

 

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I know this is a little crude but I think it gives you an idea of what I had in mind. We could also add the attributes of God. Of course, We could also include the Passover, Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ but they are taught with the Gospel eggs. We could add the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ too. Just a new way to present the Gospel and growing in the grace and knowledge of The Lord Jesus Christ. Painted wooden shaped eggs with the messages on them and hanging on a tree would be a good example of growing as we trust Him and read God’s Word.

 

Fruit of the Spirit Eggs would be for older children but it would be fun to make some as a reminder of how we can be like Him. If anyone uses this illustration, I would love to hear about it or see pictures! 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Corresponding Verses:

  • LOVE – (Unselfish care for others) 

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

  • JOY

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

  • PEACE

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”

John 14:27

  • LONGSUFFERING (Patience)

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”

Colossians 1:11-12

  • GENTLENESS (Kindness and Humility)

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ,”

2 Corinthians 10:1

  • GOODNESS

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10-11

  • FAITH (Adhering to, Relying on, and completely trusting)

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1 (The Faith Chapter!)

  • GRACE – (Receiving that which we do not deserve.Unmerited favor by God.)

When I was a teen at Colonial Baptist Church in Blue Ridge, VA. I heard this definition of Grace and it has stuck with me. I have quoted it often when teaching children. I think it may have been Dr. B.R. Lakin or Pastor Elbert M. Yeatts but I am not sure. They are both with the Lord now. It goes something like this: “If a little boy comes into the kitchen as Mama takes bread out of the oven and he asks for a slice and she cuts the bread and then hands it to him; that’s Mercy. However, if she first slathers that hot bread with butter and jam – that’s Grace!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

MEEKNESS – (Humility, lowliness, kindness)

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”  I Peter 3:15-18

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

What shall we then say to these things? If be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:31-39

Easter Joy

Easter!

1604442_552440884874398_674899506_nMadison Easter Egg Hunt Kathie Trent Kingrey

Photo used with permission

 

It’s not about eggs, candy or new dresses. It’s not about hats and gloves; but about what the precious Son of God has done for you and for me.

Isaiah 53

Who hath believed our report?
and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death;
because he had done no violence,
neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Transgressor. That’s me. That’s you and every human who has drawn breath for the Bible says”

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12

Did you notice the middle of the verse, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”  Unlike children searching diligently for brightly colored eggs to fill their pretty baskets, in our sin, we think only of our self. We don’t naturally seek after God. We think we are “good” and don’t understand that we are sinners who need the Lord. We go our own way. We do whatever pleases us. We live for self.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

He lived for us! He died for us to cover our sin debt.

“As is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:11-12

We are sinners seeking after things that will make us happy; not understanding that there is a penalty for our sin. God is a Holy God. He cannot look on sin. He loved us so much that He made a way to cover our sin debt so that we may have a relationship with Him. That we may have eternal life by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; receiving the (free) gift of salvation. (Atonement, Redemption – He bought us with a terrible price; the death of His only begotten (perfect, unblemished, sinless) son of God!

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18

Have you received Christ as your Savior? He loves you so much that He willing gave His life for you – even though He never sinned. He is the perfect, spotless Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. The sacrificial Lamb of God died for you and arose from the dead on the Third day; just as He promised. Won’t you trust Him today?

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Rising He Justified, freely forever. One Day He’s Coming, Oh, Glorious Day!

Just as children get new clothing for Easter Sunday and fill their pretty baskets with colorful eggs, candy and toys, we who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior become a new creation in Christ. Our spiritual basket is filled with wonderful things as we read His Word (Seeking Him) and apply His Word in our daily life; we grow and are filled with wonderful things through Him. Besides Salvation and the Assurance that when we die, we will go to Heaven, what else do we gain?

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We are bought with a price. Redeemed and set free!

Click on the link below to see where Jesus walked and talked with His disciples. Where He was buried and arose from the dead. See the road to Emmaus where Jesus talked with two of his disciples after His resurrection.  Go to Jerusalem with Franklin Graham.

7 Days in the Holy Land with Franklin Graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Giveth More Grace

I posted this last year and I am thankful for God’s grace which sustains me day by day. This week (March 10, 2018) I have tried to get back on the elliptical trainer in hopes that it would help me have more energy and to be able to do more. The first day went well. Today, not so much. I just couldn’t catch my breath. I will not be discouraged, however.

I am sharing this with you because the Lord impressed upon my heart that someone needs encouragement tonight. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to doubt. He knows and is willing and able to carry you through this trying time with grace and peace that only He can give.  For more encouragement, look to the Apostle Paul and see the trials and tribulations (including a “thorn in the flesh; which he asked the Lord three times to remove.) with grace and mercy. Paul and Saul even sang through it. Sometimes, our sufferings are meant to teach us how to comfort others.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforted us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. II Corinthians 1:3-4 and following verses too.

 

He Giveth More Grace by Annie Johnson Flint is one of my theme songs. The other is Ron Hamiltons Rejoice in the Lord.

 

Today, a friend posted in her blog, Chronically Content about Chronic Illness Flares.

Her post hit home. My friends and family know that I also struggle with chronic illness. I have an inner-ear disorder called Bilateral Menieres which affects my balance, causes constant ringing in the ears, motion sickness and most notably, vertigo.  And then there are Migraines with Aura. Either of these “thorns in the flesh” as the Apostle Paul called his illness, can knock me out of doing daily tasks and driving.

My friend, Lisa, wrote about dirty dishes in the sink, laundry in the hampers and not being able to do anything on bad days. Like Lisa, I am sorry to say is the same here.

We both have three wonderful things in common.

  • A loving husband who understands and helps around the house. My hubby is especially good at doing the laundry (I fold), running the vacuum cleaner and buying dinner and bringing it home.
  • Timberlake Baptist Church, friends and family who pray for us, offer rides to the doctor and give encouragement.
  • Love of the Lord who is with us each minute; step by step, day by day.

 

As I read her post, the Lord prompted me to write this comment:

Lisa, I know just what you mean. As I was reading this, the words to He Giveth More Grace by Annie Johnson Flint came to mind. Especially this verse.

“When we have exhausted our store of endurance;
when our strength has failed, ere the day is half done.
When we’ve reached the end of our hoarded resources;
our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

She wrote these words out of physical pain. I came across this article about her and her testimony.http://www.homecomingmagazine.com/article/he-giveth-more-grace/

 

To hear He Giveth More Grace, click below.

Gaither Music/ He Giveth More Grace

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When the Flowers Fade

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Flowers are a special gift that lifts our spirits and make our day. The only thing sweeter is candy; especially on Valentines Day! My husband always sends red roses. Birthday, Anniversary, and especially on Valentines Day. The roses in my post are from my birthday.

Roses are so beautiful when they arrive, I always want to make them last as long as possible. So I change the water. Add a drop of bleach or a packet of preservative and then snip the end of the stems at an angle so that they will absorb the water better. I can usually count on my roses lasting ten days to two weeks.

But what to do when they begin to droop and dry out?

 

 

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I remove the flowers that are still alive and put them into a smaller vase. This year, it was vases. Okay, bottles. My husband buys a probiotic which comes in a cobalt blue glass bottle. Normally, I throw medicine, vitamin, and probiotic plastic bottles away but when I saw they were beautiful blue glass bottles, I told John that I would find a use for them. So I washed them, removed the labels and run them through the dishwasher cycle for good measure. He thought I was nuts! Every month, I add a new bottle to my collection in the cabinet which houses my blue and white dishes. I wasn’t sure what I would do with them but that they will come in handy for some craft.

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I thought one rose per bottle would be nice but they were large enough to hold two roses and baby’s breath as well. These small arrangements lasted three more days.

Then I remembered the card. One must always save the card!

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Next, I decided they needed a pretty tray to place them on and I saw my husband’s Grandmother Long’s crystal dessert plates. Perfect!

There are many ways to preserve flowers. The first time I dried flowers was in college. I learned a new tradition from other girls in the dorm. After the banquet was over, we removed the corsage given by our date (usually carnations) and pinned it to our curtain in the dorm room.

Elonna and Kathy on evening of Candlelight Carols 1977 (2014_02_18 18_15_37 UTC)

I know my roommate, Elonna and I each have a corsage on the curtain but we seem to have blocked them out in this picture but you get the idea.

For years, I dried my flowers. I attached them to a clothes hanger and hung them in a seldom-used closet. After they completely dried, I made sachets and potpourri.

The link below is a great resource for making sachets. In this case, she made hers with lavender.

Lavendar Sachets

One Good Thing by Jillee

Pressed Flowers

Another great way to save your flowers is to press them in a book or in a Flower Press. I have been doing this for years with the flowers that I plant each year. Of course, women have been pressing flowers for centuries. Some women even pressed flowers from someone special or a special occasion in the large family Bible. Until I found a flower press at Michael’s several years ago, I used my heavy Bible commentator. With the flowers laid carefully in a folded paper towel and then pressed between the pages of the book at least three weeks before removing them to use on stationary.

 

 

 

In the 1990’s using dried flowers in making stationary was quite popular. However, the paper was thick and difficult to write on but it made a pretty card. Click the link below for instructions in paper making. In this video they are adding plants but flowers work well too!

Paper Making Video

Preserving Flowers to be Soft

Preserving flowers in wax

I found this YouTube video which is very helpful!

Michael Gaffney on Secrets of Preserving Flowers

However you decide to preserve your flowers, remember.  The flowers may fade and wither but the sweet thought and the love remains.  It also reminds me of one of my favorite verses. Isaiah 40:8

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Happy Valentines Day. You Are Loved!

 

“Charity (Love) suffereth long, (Patience) and is kind;”

I Corinthians 13:4a

Happy Valentines Day to all of my family and friends! I am recycling my post this due to some health issues; it’s that time of the year! However, I did want to give a greeting to all of our loved ones.

As many of you know, my stepfather, Jerry Hinchee passed from death into life in glory before Thanksgiving. Last night, I remembered that for many years when I lived at home, Dad bought a big pretty box of chocolates for Mom and also bought (less frilly) boxes of chocolates for each of us. For years, I kept those empty boxes because they were pretty and were great for storing greeting cards and mementos. So I just want to thank the Lord for that sweet memory! Dads, you have a great impact on your little girls. Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates mean a lot to little girls. It’s not just candy; it’s the lovely thought.

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     Do you remember when you were child how exciting Valentine’s Day was? We got to make beautiful decorated boxes or as we got older, a white paper bag decorated with hearts was taped to the front of our desks.

In the lower grades, we always made or addressed a pre-made card for every child in the room and of course, a special card for our teacher. Cookies and Kool-Aid provided by our Room Mothers made the last few minutes of class very special.

Sometimes, there was a special card from the little boy across the room who always worked the water fountain for you whenever you got a drink of water. Little boys may have received a special handmade card from the girl who had a crush on him.

It was always exciting if your box contained candy. Small, red heart-shaped boxes of chocolate or the box of conversation hearts. It was fun to read each message on the heart before popping it in your mouth. I preferred the conversation hearts.

Conversation Hearts`

 

What about the shy child who didn’t have many friends? Perhaps her classmates snickered when she was brave enough to raise her hand to answer a question only to “freeze” as the teacher called her name. The answer was lost in fear. Do you remember that child? Perhaps this was you? I remember that happening to me more than once.

This is the child who was afraid to look into her (or his) bag for fear that she had been forgotten or worse; left out by her classmates. She didn’t open her bag. Butterflies filled her tummy as she peeked into her bag. Did someone really give her a special card or did someone send an unkind message instead? Or would they laugh at the cards she gave them?

Imagine the joy when she opened her bag later in the privacy of her room to find her Valentines’ from almost everyone in the class. The candy was sweeter than anything she had ever eaten!   c278afe1f682e546d1f5e25c27d4b709Found on forum.krstarica.com kitty valentines

Sometimes we are like that shy child. Instead of reading God’s Word and knowing that Jesus loves her so much that He gave His life for her. She misses the joy of that perfect verse read at just the appropriate time when she needed encouragement. She may be afraid to lift her voice in prayer because she doesn’t know just what to say or how to express her praise and needs to our Heavenly Father. She misses out on so many blessings! She misses out on the joy of sharing His love for others and being a blessing to someone because of fear.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect (mature) in love. We love Him because He first loved us!”  I John 4:18-19

So this Valentine’s day, remember. You are loved!

Have a blessed Valentines Day!

Love,

Kathy

 

Little Isabel~ Story Time

Christmas story time.

Katherine H. Purdy

Little Kristen set aside her book and followed a voice coming from the kitchen.

“Joy to the World, the Lord has come…” Nannie put a pie in the oven and wiped her hands on her festive apron and turned to her small granddaughter. “I thought you were playing,” Nannie said as she cleaned flour from the kitchen counter before picking up the child.

“Nannie, I’m bored.”

“Bored? How can you be bored when there is some much work to do before Christmas? With all of your toys, it’s hard to imagine being bored.

“Will you tell me a story? Please?”

“Of course I will tell you a story. What kind of story do you want to hear?”

“My favorite – tell me about when you were a little girl!”

“Well,” Nannie said as she lifted Kristen onto her lap, “that was a long time ago. Do you want to hear…

View original post 350 more words

Empty Place at the Table

I was going through some old photos this week and I must admit this picture of Mom’s beautifully set table brought tears. As you see, one chair in missing.

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That’s Dad’s place. He always sat at the head of the table. I can still see him now standing at the head of the table on Christmas day with Bible in hand, reading Luke 2 while we lined up around the room and listened to his voice as he read the Christmas story and then asked a blessing on our Christmas dinner.

This year, Jerry Hinchee will celebrate Christmas with the Savior. He will not be at his place at the family table this year but he will be rejoicing.  He went to be with the Lord the Monday before Thanksgiving. Quietly. Peacefully. He was at home with Mom when he closed his eyes and was in the presence of the Lord.

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“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”

Psalms 116:15

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Please pray for Mom as she continues on without her Sweetheart. Mom lost her sight almost ten years ago and Dad always took care of her. He wouldn’t let her do anything on her own. When Dad had a stroke a few months ago, we were ready to make the difficult decision to move them into assisted living but they had refused. He had said that he wanted to die at home. I am so thankful that my sister-in-law, Noelle was there and knew what to do. It had been my fear that something would happen and Mom would panic or that she wouldn’t know. Thank you, Noelle (in the background) for being there. And for my Aunt Sandra who talks to Mom any time, day or night on the phone and helps to keep her calm.

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My sweet sister has stepped into the role of caretaker even though she has two daughters and has a job. We love you, Melissa!

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We don’t know what the future holds but we know who holds the future and are trusting in Him.

So if you are having Christmas dinner this year with an empty place at the table, the Lord will be with you. He heals the brokenhearted and gives peace that passes our understanding.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Love always,

Kathy

Unlocking Family Stories

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meet Junie. June Ratcliffe McReynolds to be more specific. The grandmother I never had the privilege of meeting. Wasn’t she an adorable baby? I think so. I love this picture of her.  I am especially curious about the little girl hiding behind her. She must have been playing hide and seek from the camera.

I never met “Junie” (the name she chose for her grandchildren to call her) but I did get to read a book about her family’s heritage in 1975. When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.  She didn’t just list names, birth and death dates but stories about her family and what their homes looked like.  How did she remember everything in such detail?  Her ancestors came to life as she put pen to paper. This personality makes all the difference! How did she do it?

Junie, the young lady in the center front, listened.

She listened and took notes. Somewhere, there is a box containing small sheets of paper with notes Junie began taking as she listened to her “elders” tell about the good old days.  She collected notes for years and put them in her memory box to be used later as a reference for her book.

I wish I had taken notes! For as long as I can remember, I listened to Mom’s family and visualized the events until I thought I knew the mannerisms and how “Mama” and “Papa” reacted to each other and to the children. This was the basis for The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. I wrote my story as fiction inspired by a true story because I didn’t have the foresight to take notes.

Her son, my Daddy, Charles McReynolds remembers her telling him and his older sister, Bobby stories about their heritage and it ingrained a love of history in my Dad too. He put his memories in a book called Memories of an Old Geezer. If you love stories of the good old days and especially if you like cars, you’ll love this book! (It is available on Amazon.com)

So, listen carefully, ask questions and take notes!

Many thanks to Daddy and my sister, Judi for providing a copy of Junie’s book and some of her belongings.  A big thank you to my grandmother June Ratcliffe McReynolds for her foresight and hard work. She made this granddaughter feel right at home!

Sharpen those pencils and get out your notebook. Your family memories could be a book in the making. Listen to their testimony and how the Lord led the family through difficult times and filled them with the joy of His love.When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.

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Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7