‘Twas The Week Before Christmas

As I sat down the other day and glanced at our Christmas tree, I was a little disappointed.  It had been so beautiful.  But the unthinkable happened.  It crashed a week earlier.  Ornaments shattered and spilled everywhere.  We redecorated it, but it just isn’t quite the same.   While I looked at it, I also saw the nativity on the hearth nearby.  Seeing them together I was prompted to pick up my pen and write a poem.  I haven’t written a poem in years, but the words flowed effortlessly from my pen.  I want to share them with you.  So, please enjoy the words and receive them as a Christmas gift from the One who has given the best gift of all.

Merry Christmas! 

 

 

“Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house,

you couldn’t find anything, not even a mouse.

The paper and packages were strewn everywhere.

Yep! Good old Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were bouncing off tables and walls,

not able to handle the suspense of it all.

With Daddy working late, wrapping presents I sat

just wishing I could take a quick half hour nap.

When down the stairway I heard such a clatter,

I jumped from my chair to see what was the matter.

Quick, down the staircase I flew like a flash!

I cried when I saw it – our poor tree had crashed!

The remnants and shards that surrounded the tree,

and the lights, and the tinsel were a poor sight to see.

Then I caught just a glimpse of that small wooden barn

filled with shepherds and wise men who came from afar.

And suddenly everything else melted away

as I gazed on the baby asleep on the hay.

Then I thought of the story described in the scene,

and I asked myself, once again, “What does this mean?”

The presents! Ornaments! The tinsel and lights!

The carols! The packages! The scrumptious delights!

From the largest of gifts to the details so small,

I stood there just trying to make sense of it all.

As icicles hung from the rooftops will drop

when the sun shines brightly and just doesn’t stop,

so it was with the blinders preventing my sight

when they fell from my heart that cold, winter night.

And then, in that moment, as I sat on the ground,

thoughts of Jesus, the Savior, in my mind did abound.

Thoughts of God’s Son, who, in heaven did reign,

and had given up everything – with nothing to gain.

He laid aside His robes for a manger filled with hay,

to live for a cross, and for my sin pay.

A carpenter adopted Him – His earthly dad,

and a teenage mother was all that He had.

His parents had known Him right from the start,

and they treasured the happenings deep in their hearts.

As He became older He started to teach,

but the rulers didn’t like the Message He preached.

He spoke very clearly. His words, they were wise.

He made the lame walk and healed blind eyes.

His heart was of love and He brought peace to men.

And I cried when I thought of this story again.

This Jesus, he came, as the Savior for all

to rescue God’s children from the curse of sin’s fall.

He gave up His life as a King – then a man –

so we could all go with Him to heav’ns bright land.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to the cross,

and gave up His Spirit for the sake of the lost.

And then, after spending three days in the grave,

by the Power of God, from the dead He was raised!

The best Gift of all – the best Gift ever given

was the Gift of a Babe so men could be forgiven.

So I will exclaim till the ending of strife,

“Happy CHRISTmas to all! Here’s His gift: eternal life!”

 

© 2010 Dawn McCrory

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What We Want

After listening to so many talking heads regarding this election, I have come to the conclusion that both the media and Washington have misunderstood what WE THE PEOPLE are asking for. (Not including those who just want to have everything given to them without responsibility or accountability because they just “deserve” it.) They keep talking about “issues” when what I believe WE THE PEOPLE want are strong, consistent, guiding principles. When we adhere to the strength of those principles, the solutions to the issues will be a natural result. So here is my explanation to the media and those currently seated in positions of leadership in our nation.. Please stop analyzing and listen.

WE THE PEOPLE…want to be governed -not ruled or controlled- by a leadership – of people worthy of leading – who set an example of moral (yes, moral, as in no lying, cheating, killing, stealing, etc.) responsibility that encourages people to be the best that God has given them the ability to be.

WE THE PEOPLE…believe the U.S. Constitution represents the best governing document ever written. It was not meant to be subjectively “interpreted” to float about with the changes of every political whim. But was designed to be an anchor in the midst of all types of political climates so that our nation would remain steadfast and strong.

WE THE PEOPLE…believe the constitutional separation of powers did not give the judicial branch the right to change or make laws; only the power to determine if the laws are in accordance with our governing documents.

WE THE PEOPLE…value the gift of life and respect all people regardless of their ability to contribute to society or their “inconvenient“ timing or potential “costs“. The devaluation of life leads to the destruction of a people.

WE THE PEOPLE…do not believe the government should enable people to live irresponsible lives. Individuals are not “entitled” to anything. Hard work provides for needs – not the government. And the gracious hearts of good people will care for the needs of those who are unable to care for themselves.

WE THE PEOPLE…welcome peoples from all over the world but won’t change our nation to be like theirs – they aren’t coming to Europe or India or Mexico or Uzbekistan – they are coming to the United States of America to live the “American Dream.” We will embrace them. We will respect them and their cultural differences. We will remember that most of our ancestors were also immigrants. But, we won’t change our laws or language, and they must come according to the laws of this country. We will not welcome those who will not honor the laws of our great nation.

WE THE PEOPLE…are not afraid to say we are “proud to be American.” We understand nothing comes without a price – especially freedom. We will support those who sacrifice to protect and defend our liberty at home and around the world.

WE THE PEOPLE…understand that this is not a democracy but a republic, and our elected leaders are supposed to be our voice, not the voice of their party. It is time for leaders to speak the truth and recognize that we don’t want empty promises or politically correct speeches so they can be re-elected.

WE THE PEOPLE…have learned that money doesn’t grow on trees and living beyond our means is an unacceptable, irresponsible recipe for disaster. Stop spending money we do not have! Give up the personal jets, black-tie affairs, personal decorators, and anything else not vital to the governing of our nation that you pay for with money from our pockets and the pockets of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. Remember your role is that of “public servant.”

WE THE PEOPLE…do not believe that the most advanced health care in the world is an inalienable right. It is a privilege. The ridiculous cost of healthcare is not a government issue. It is a result of the law of supply and demand. We demand the best; but don’t want to pay for it. This is a problem the intelligent people of this nation will solve. To govern does not mean to provide for the health care or financial well-being of the governed.

WE THE PEOPLE…realize that excessive taxation without adequate representation led not only to the founding of our nation, but can also lead to the destruction of it. Stop spending! Stop taxing! Enough said.

WE THE PEOPLE…are descendants of, or have ourselves, fought, bled, and died for our Constitution and what it represents in this great nation. We will not hesitate to do so again.

WE THE PEOPLE…embrace and welcome political debate and differences of opinion. Great solutions are often the result of “thinking outside of the box.” We understand that everyone will need to give concessions to meet the demands of the global changes and crises with which we are faced. But we will NOT – so do not ask us to – compromise our integrity or the principles upon which we, as a nation, were founded.

If after reading this statement, you can agree with the message it sends, please post a comment and share this with your family and friends.  If enough people respond, I will make sure that both the media and our governing leaders receive a copy.

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It’s Just a Weed!

I find weeds quite fascinating. Frustrating and irritating, but also fascinating. When they are small, unless they are where they shouldn’t be, it’s hard for me to even tell whether they are weeds or plants. Then there are those that I find attractive when they flower. I would never have known they were weeds if someone didn’t tell me. Of course, it goes without saying, I despise the thistles and nettles. Ouch!

As I was contemplating weeds, (yes, I was actually spending mental energy considering weeds) I began to see a strong correlation between weeds and sin. Sin, just like a weed, when it is seemingly small and insignificant, is often hard to recognize. And just like a weed, if you don’t eradicate sin in the beginning when it is small and stands alone, can grow and spread – eventually causing a complete take-over. Then, the weeds that have attractive flowers are similar to the sin that so easily entangles us because it looks so beautiful and we can’t see the destruction it is causing. I need to learn to recognize sin, and ask God to help me see my sin for what it is so that I can repent (pull the weed) and the Fruit of the Spirit can grow freely in the garden of my heart.

Another thing I have learned in my gardening venture is weeds make great compost! After annihilating the little pests, I toss them in my compost bin and they slowly break down into a nutrient-rich compost that fertilizes my garden. Sin works a little like that as well. The stuff I have gotten rid of is part of the past. The sin is no longer growing, but it’s death gives wisdom and knowledge which enrich the soil of my heart.

One more thought: Dandelions. Most people think they are weeds. They are actually herbs. Herbs that are very good for you. For years, they were even used as a spring tonic – enriching the body with all of the nutrients lacking through the winter months. So, how did something so nutritious and healthy come to be thought of as an annoying weed? My opinion: too much of anything – even a good thing – proves undesirable.

Now what? Roll-up your sleeves. It’s time to pull some weeds!

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From 0 to 60 in 4.5 Days! (the end -NO- The Beginning!)

Launching "The Ice Cream Float" Now open for business

Saturday:

Open for Business. Saturday dawned bright sunny. Allie woke us up at 7:00a.m. but I managed to stay in bed until 8:30a.m. Greg loaded the freezer system on the boat, and did the decorating while I ran back to Fort Wayne to buy a business membership (which required over an hour of paperwork and waiting) at our local warehouse shopping store and to buy the ice cream we needed. I also bought two additional coolers to transport the novelties in. (The outside temperature was already approaching 80° , and was expected to be 90° . Not friendly temperatures for transporting ice cream 40 minutes to the lake.)

We missed our goal of being open and on the water by 11:30a.m., but at 3:00p.m. the boat was loaded, and The Ice Cream Float started her maiden voyage. We did it! In four and one half days, we went from idea to “open for business”.

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From 0 to 60 in 4.5 Days! (part 4)

Friday:

Our final preparation day. At 12:30a.m. with help from my sister, Kami, the logo and sign design were complete. We electronically sent it to Kinkos for our banners that would serve as our advertisement. Then we crawled into bed for a few hours of sleep. Greg took the day off to help with all of the final preparations. I started the packing and meal preparation for the weekend while Greg and the girls went to proof the signs. After the signs were given the thumbs-up, Greg came back to get me so we could meet the pontoon hauler back at Sylvan Lake at noon.

By this time, we realized we had another dilemma; we were unable to secure enough dry ice for the weekend. Plan B failed. Plan C? Thankfully, the pontoon hauler had mentioned using an inverter with a deep cycle marine battery as a back-up power source. That triggered a memory for me of ice cream freezers that ran from the power generated by a battery and inverter. So, after finishing our packing and loading, we headed to our local home improvement store to purchase a new chest freezer, deep cycle battery, an inverter, and a battery charger.

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From 0 to 60 in 4.5 Days! (part 3)

Thursday:

Another whirlwind day. In addition to babysitting all day, I started the day learning that it would be Friday night at the earliest for the boat owner to get the boat in the lake so we could test the motor, and it had not been started since last fall. I spent several hours on the phone and the internet looking for other options. They were extremely limited. We would be able to get a boat. But, it would probably be much older and in need of major TLC, or much smaller which would not give us the space we needed, or much newer and consequently, more expensive than we felt would fit our budget. Was this the door slam?

In the meantime, the kids and I made the fifty-minute trek to Sylvan Lake to meet with the Board of Health. She gave the green light to move ahead. She didn’t see any problems with the premises and also said we were clear to use dry ice for the weekend. Plan B moving forward. I then rushed to the Town Hall and purchased my vendor’s permit. Whew! The legalities were covered.

After the Board of Health gave approval, Greg and I talked, and made the decision to buy the pink pontoon as a “pig in a poke” without testing the motor. We were a little leery since our ability to make the business work was completely dependent on the boat and motor. However, since we knew the owner and our options had been reduced to nearly zero, we made the verbal commitment to purchase and made arrangements to meet back at the lake where the boat was located at 8:30p.m. to complete the transaction. The pontoon hauler would meet us then as well, take the boat back with him, do a tune-up on the motor Friday morning, then deliver it to us at noon on Friday. Next, we headed to the credit union to gather the funds needed to pay for the boat and to have starting cash for the weekend. After that, it was time to purchase our inventory – everything except the ice cream. Then at 8:30p.m. we became the proud owners of a ‘97 pink Manitou pontoon. The girls were loving it!

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From 0 to 60 in 4.5 Days! (part 2)

Holding our bannerWednesday:

 I had a previous commitment to talk about adoption in the Health classes at one of the local high schools. (That was an awesome experience I can blog about later.) It was an all day commitment, so I didn’t make much progress on the business idea. I did confirm things with the Health Department, and arranged to meet her Thursday for a preliminary inspection of the premises where all of our product would be stored when we were closed. I learned I would need a vendor’s permit, but it would not be issued until I had Board of Health approval.

Next up; insurance. I hadn’t been thinking about the liability aspect of this business. When I called our agent, the answer was no. Our insurance company is very black and white. I needed to shop around. I don’t even remember how much time I spent trying to get someone to write the policy. I could find coverage for the concession, but not on the water. I could find coverage for the boat, but not for the concessions. My head was starting to swim. We had decided that if we couldn’t have liability insurance, we would not have the business. Was this the door slam? Finally, at 4:59p.m. I got the ok from my parents’ insurance agent. We could get coverage at an affordable price. Open door again.

Wednesday evening, we drove an hour to look at a pontoon boat. It was not in the water so we couldn’t test the motor. However, I learned the boat actually belonged to the father of the children I baby-sit for during the week. Coincidence? When we saw it, we thought it would be perfect. It was maroon, pink, and tan. Our plans were to use a “Neapolitan” ice cream color scheme, and this boat fit the bill. Before going to bed, I sent an e-mail to the owner asking when he would be available to start the motor for us. Then sent a message to a pontoon hauler to see if he could deliver from the lake where the boat was located to the lake where we would need it. To bed late.

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