Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Today we woke up with scents of breakfast casserole in the air...and tuned in to NBC to watch the Macy's Day Parade....

So far we have seen the Big Bird big balloon, Elmo and friends. The Chicken Little balloon, many people singing new and Christmas songs.

We've seen Sponge Bob, and many others....I wonder if we'll see Spider Man this year?

The floats are some of my favorites, but I must admit there is definitely something about all of those people who hold the balloons to keep them from flying away. Horses, singers, performers and so many other entertainers are some of the staples of the Holiday parade.

And who could forget the bands?! This tradition of watching the parade has been one that I remember doing when I was Jake's age. We would watch the parade and in the middle travel to see my cousins at one of their houses for the big Thanksgiving dinner.

On the way to my cousin's house we would listen to the first of the Christmas music on the radio and anticipate seeing our family. It was a neat experience to be together with everyone during the holidays. We would arrive just in time to catch the end of the parade and the arrival of the guest of honor this day...Santa...with his arrival you always knew the Christmas season had officially started. This is the time of Thanksgiving each year that makes me emotional. Maybe it's because I'm truly a kid at heart. Maybe it's because Jake gets so excited when he sees Santa come down the street riding on a swan-like sleigh. Or maybe I'm just wishing for times past.

Thanksgiving is a time I remember with fondness...a joy and happiness that is only surpassed by Christmas. We would gather around a big table filled with food, family and friends and share what we were thankful for. There seemed to be less (unless I didn't pay attention to it) product placement and commercialism to the season and things seemed to be more authentic then.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and that you take time to spend with family and friends.

May we all be counting the great ways in which God has blessed our lives. And may we, during this upcoming Advent season, spend time with God in prayer and thanksgiving for all the gifts in our lives.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thank you, Sue

I found out today that an Emmaus friend passed away this morning. I first saw Sue during my walk to Emmaus last Spring. I remember she light up the room when she entered, dressed as one of the clowns seeking to share the Gospel of Christ. I haven't known her that long, but her impact on me through her clowning made everything so real. Sue lived her life in faith...throughout her bout with cancer she kept her faith and rarely ceased to smile in spite of the outlook of her diagnosis. Today she met Jesus face to face as she entered into glory...a place with no pain, no sorrow and no cancer. I am sure that heaven is an even brighter place because of her presence and her smile there. Please pray for her family and friends in their loss of a true angel of faith. God has truly blessed my life through the witness and faith of Sue. Thank you, Sue...You will be missed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Giving Thanks

So many times we take things for granted. With the events of this past year I think it's even more important to be thankful for all that we have. I am thankful to God for the many blessings that we have in our lives. I'm thankful for family...for Jim and Jake and extended family. I'm thankful for friends...too many to list. I'm thankful for health and happiness. And I'm thankful for the home we live in. There are so many things we take for granted that it's good to pause and offer God praise and thanksgiving for all that God has given to us. Isn't it neat how our country is one whose roots is in offering thanks for our blessings.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Love Fall, Love My Yard, HATE the Leaves

We are so blessed to have a wonderful parsonage with a great back and front yard. The parsonage we lived in before had a very small front yard and a back yard that wasn't really conducive to playing. But this house has a nice sized front yard that is on a cul de sac and a fenced in large back yard where Jake can safely play.

The only issue...we have a HUGE pin oak tree in our back yard and a magnolia tree in the front yard. During the spring and summer these trees are wonderful...offering flowers and great shade on our deck in our back yard...and offering us a little bit of coolness in the summer heat.

But around this time of the year, I hate both of those trees...they're frustrating as they continue to lose leaves from sometimes mid to late October until after the first of the year. Raking, blowing and vacuuming up the leaves is not something that I enjoy seems like just when you think you might be done, the leaves pile up again.

But, I'll grin and bear it because I keep thinking of the spring and summer and the joy of being outside. Plus, I guess raking is good exercise, right?

Friday, November 11, 2005

We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

As is the tradition in our is the annual time for watching The Wizard of Oz in the McKay household. The Wizard of Oz is my favorite all time movie...I can't remember when I didn't watch it during the fall every year.

When I grew up I remember it being on around Thanksgiving. The witch scared me so much, but I always tuned in to watch anyway.

Now it is my turn to share my love of Dorothy and her friends with Jake. He has inherited a love of this movie too.

I just wish the amusement park was still open. I still remember when I was about 10 years old going to Boone, North Carolina to the Wizard of Oz theme park. After you entered, you went into Dorothy's house...which had landed on the was so cool. I wish it was still around because I'd love to take Jake.

But until another park opens up (if it ever does) we'll have to settle for the on screen version.

"....And this is my room. And you're all here. And I'm not going to leave here ever, ever again. And, Oh Auntie Em...there's no place like home."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!! The World Didn't End!!

Well, today is my birthday. I won't say which one, but it's today. The day went pretty well and I was stuffed with many different confections throughout the day. The best thing about today was that the world did not end.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the drug store and saw the Star Magazine with the cover: DOOMSDAY 11/9/05 in big bold letters. Well, since it predicted that the world was going to end on my birthday I just had to buy it.

Last week, as I last blogged, we were at my hometown where I preached at my home church. I used this illustration as I reflected upon the scripture of the 10 sleeping bridesmaids. I encouraged everyone to see Jesus throughout today and to look for him in their midst. I was sharing this idea with a friend and telling them that one of the funnier things I kept saying was, "My birthday is coming...and Jesus is going to be there." She asked if I had seen Jesus today...and I responded that I saw Jesus in everyone and in everything today. It's been a good day...and Jesus did come to celebrate my birthday with me...and he's with me every day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Jake and Klondike

This weekend, Jim, Jake and I went back home. I led worship on Sunday at my home church. But on Saturday we got the chance to go to the Ohio Northern game. The Polar Bears won a mere 63 - 0 over Wilmington. The game was also a time of sadness as the campus community remembered Coach Ron Bendekovic who died suddenly last Wednesday at the age of 34. The crowd paused for a moment of silence to remember the coach and on the field his name was written as a final tribute to this friend and coach.

Great game, great day, great weekend spent seeing everyone back home.

Jake had an extremely fun time as he got to again meet Klondike, the ONU mascot, have his picture made with him and watch as the big bear joined the cheerleaders in doing push-ups each time the Bears scored.

I think the highlight for Jake came, though, when he got his hair spray painted orange and got a paw print put on his cheek. Thank you Student Senate...I think we may have another potential Polar Bear in the making.

One more game of the regular season...against Marietta. Go Bears!