Wednesday, December 12, 2007



Today is the last day of Hanukkah, which this year is celebrated from the 4th to the 12th of December.  As a young girl I celebrated Hanukkah with my friend Madie.  She also would come to my house to celebrate Christmas with me.

The story of Hanukkah does not start with the miracle of the lights.  It starts much, much earlier with the oppression of the Jewish people by the Syrians.

It was a terrible time for the Jews.  Little by little the kings of Syria condemned everything the Jews held holy.  Practice of their religion was reason to be put to death.  The king, Antiochus IV outlawed all Jewish traditions and tortured and killed those who would not obey him.  I've read a story of Hannah (Chanah) and her seven sons during the period of martyrdom. 

At last when Antiochus' men arrived in the village of Modin where the old High Priest Mattityahu told them that he and his sons would remain true to the Laws of God.  Then when one of the Jews, fearing his life, started to approach to the Syrians' altar, Mattityahu grabbed a sword and killed him.  His sons rose up against the Syrians, killing many while the remaining few ran away. 

From there, Jewish men, led by the Maccabees gathered together to make strikes against the Syrians.  As Antiochus sent his men out, theywere defeated.  Finally, he sent 40,000 men.  The old prophet Samuel prayed for the battle and the Syrians were defeated.

The Maccabees returned to Jerusalem to recapture their temple.  When they had, they entered the temple to rededicate it.  After clearing it of idols and building a new alter, they made a new Menorah.  They searched for oil, but found only 1 cruse of pure olive oil ~ enough for only 1 day.  However, God gave them a miracle . . . the oil burned for 8 days until new oil could be obtained. 

This is not just a tale of war and lights, it is rich and beautiful, the story of God's protection of His chosen people.

Bless all who are celebrating the last night of Chanukah tonight and all who are reading tonight. 


If you want to learn more about Hanukkah, go here or here.    Thank you Sugar, for the graphics

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wonderful, Counsellor . . . Prince of peace


Many years ago, before Jesus was born people wrote prophecies about Him.   The scripture above is one of them.  We have heard it sung powerfully in one part of Handel's Messiah.

The Jewish nation was waiting for Him.  They wanted a powerful king to save them from bondage to the Romans.  They could not believe that this man, gentle and kind was their deliverer.  I don't know if I blame them.  They wanted a KING, a strong man who had an army of men who would come in and end their suffering once and for all. 

Born he was, to Mary and Joseph.  In humble surroundings.  Shepherds came to worship Him, and wise men -Kings - from afar.  Herod was afraid of Him, sought to kill Him.  Yet He lives.  He is the King of Christendom.  And this month, I will joyfully celebrate His birth.  He is what Christmas is all about for me.

. . . however we celebrate in another way this month.  We give gifts to each other.  Watch tear-jerker movies about the Christmas season and spirit.  We laugh at the Grinch, Frosty and Rudolph.  We see the spirit of celebration and joy in stores.  Happy Kwanza!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Holidays!

Don't you feel it?  I do.  I'm not doing any more shopping, so I don't feel the stress.  If you are stressing over the holidays, come on by, sit and have tea, coffee or chocolate.  Tell me all about it.  I care.  I really do.        


Saturday, December 1, 2007


            1st day of Advent - Read Romans 13:11-14*  Krissy knows so much about Advent, the wreath and candles, and the church's traditions during Advent.  I will be posting scriptures that I found on the internet.

I just got the picture below this morning.  If you want to speak of joy, wonderful joy, here it is:

      From left to right the girls: Paige, Kailani, Heather & Ashley ~ the boys: Zachariah & Isaiah (Jason behind camera) Don't they look great?  I can't believe how grown-up my grandchildren are.  Paige has been accepted into Chino State University!  Kailani and Ashley are out on their own.  Ashley spent spent a year with us in Mexico when she was 8.  She learned Spanish quickly and it was great watching her grow.  Kailani also came down to Mexico for a year, but had to leave because of vision problems.  Paige came for a year, but only stayed a couple of months.  It's hard adjusting to life in a children's home.  Isaiah was in Mexico for 3 months.  He was still an infant (and an adorable tiger).  I have other grandchildren, but these 5 (I'm so proud of their Mom!) I know better than the others.  I haven't seen Athena since she was 4 months old.  Son Robert's kids I haven't seen in eons.  Actually about 11 years.  Wow!  I didn't realize it had been that long.  My greatest wish would be to see them all together at the same time.  Maybe in a year or two.

Today we have very high winds here in Ventura.  Did I ever tell you that the real name of this city is San Buenaventura, given by Father Junipero Serra as he traveled the state building missions.  The mission was the 9th and last mission (1782) that he built before he died in 1784.  It's still an active Parish.         Amazing, yes?  I always wanted to live in a distinctive place.  My mother took me to see as many of the 21 California missions as she could when I was young.  There is a lot of history in our missions.

Rob and I are sitting in the living room watching the USC/UCLA game while eating pecan pie.  One of the players is down with a head or neck injury.  He got kneed in the helmet.  Wow!  He's walking off the field.  His number?  #1  For me, college ball is more interesting than pro.  Maybe because they are not jaded yet by high salaries and sponsors.  Many of them are there for the joy of playing the game.

That's why I am here today.  Just for the sheer joy of writing, remembering and sharing.  God has filled my heart with joy even in the toughest of times.  Grieving? I had such joy knowing this person.  And I can wipe away most of my negatives with joy.  Truth is, without joy, life would be boring, painful and probably friendless.  Why don't we all jump for joy right now??  If you can't jump, make the kids or the dog jump.  Make your spouse jump for joy!  We'll all be joyful, smiling or laughing and stress-free for at least a little while.  Whew!  I'm exhausted now.

With all that my friends. please know that I think of you often, pray for you daily and miss you when I can't get on the 'puter.  Blessings to you all, 


*(Rom 13:11) And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Rom 13:12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  (Rom 13:13) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

(Rom 13:14) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.