Showing posts from December, 2017

The James Challenge

Last June I started memorizing the Book of James—I wanted to challenge my six-decade-old brain and see if it could do it. I’m just a bit shy of my year-end goal.
Why James? Because each chapter had something I really needed to remember. It begins by telling me to have joy when I am struggling. Why joy? Because I will get stronger from the adversity—and hopefully wiser.

Then in chapter two, I’m told not to discriminate. Do I? How about those times when I get uptight if someone doesn’t do things my way, or if someone thinks differently than I do? According to James, discrimination hurts those God loves. Then James tells me it’s not enough to talk about helping others, I need to actually do something.
Chapter Three had me tongue tied—and for good reason. Saying the wrong thing is easy. How many hurt feelings have been caused by my careless words?
Chapter Four dealt with conflicts. Had any quarrels lately? James places the blame on our egos. Guilty again. In a world where it’s easy to criti…

The Christmas Boxers

It started innocently enough. Mom bought thirteen-year old Harold some Christmas boxers. As if getting the hideous looking underpants wasn’t bad enough, getting them as a Christmas present was worse. 
His four older brothers laughed hysterically. Harold’s face was as red as the shorts. He shoved them in the back of his dresser and never wore them.
The following Christmas his brother Chuck opened Harold’s gift and was shocked to see the Christmas boxers folded neatly in the box. Everyone laughed. A tradition was born. 
Among the family menfolk, it was anyone’s guess who’d get the Christmas boxers next. It became the annual gift-giving highlight.

However, a bonus was added: when the beloved pair of Christmas boxers was unwrapped, the new recipient also got the honor of doing the Christmas dinner dishes.

Welcome, Stranger

The young widow had faced many hardships, but when her house burned down, the rural community thought she might be forced to move. 
She did. 
She moved her seven children into the unheated granary on her farm, bundling them up every night against the chill. Even though she had precious little to offer, anytime someone needed some food or a helping hand, she gave.