Entries related to: seasonal

Falling Away to God

Image: pexels. I have always loved autumn. Here in the temperate Midwest, the deciduous trees put on a cloak of many colors that rivals Joseph’s. The maples flame in brilliant reds, the sycamores and poplars turn to burnished gold, and the oaks offer a stunning rainbow of hues.
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The Tale of a Classic Christmas Song

Although the names of Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne may not be familiar, they composed many popular songs together, including “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” recorded by Bobby Vinton. Their masterpiece, however, is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Many people mistakenly assume this Christmas classic has been around for years and that it is of European origin. But it was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a powerful plea for peace by a man who had experienced the horrors of war. The song’s message of peace is as desperately needed today as it was then.
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What Are Your Blessings?

Image: Benjamin Combs. This past summer, my kids and I decided to grow a garden. We planned on growing pumpkins, zucchini, corn, sunflowers and carrots—planned being the key word. By the end of August, our garden consisted of a few carrots, some dead zucchini and pumpkin plants, no corn and some gigantic sunflowers. The carrots never quite made it to maturity because the kids kept feeding them to their rabbits. I forgot to plant the corn at the appropriate time. And the other plants fell victim to a heat wave and my brother-in-law’s puppy.
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Be Thankful Beyond Thanksgiving

Sometimes it’s easier to think of all the bad things—bombings, murders, illness, misfortune—in the world than the good things. But we must realize that there are good things, even in difficult times, for which we can give thanks. For example, Anne Frank, the young girl whose diary put a face on the Holocaust, demonstrated her ability to give thanks for the simplest of things: “I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy.”
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Christmas Countdown

113 days. That's how long we have until Christmas. And while it may seem far off, as we all know, it will creep up on us faster than we expected. Every year I tell myself that I'm going to be more proactive and start my shopping earlier than I did last year in hopes of avoiding the stress of years past. But I usually fail, and find myself grabbing whatever I think will fit the bill. My hopes of thoughtful gifts with a little more substance and thought to it go out the door.
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