Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye 2009

As 2009 moves into the history books I can wave good-bye and reflect on its passing.
Like all years it had both good and bad events but in general it was a good year for me and mine.
We entered the year with a really bad economy but it has improved. There is still a ways to go though. Personally my finical condition has improved. Except for the mortgage I owe NO debt.
Cloud Nine
The Ice storm and wind storm knocked out our power for extended periods of time and created havoc in the City of Bellemeade Kentucky where I am mayor. For some reason everyone here expect the mayor to be able to do something about that. Actually I did! I worked with the electric company to make improvements in the lines so that fewer neighbors would be with out power when a line went down. On a personal basis I shopped for a generator that would power the  house automatically fueled by natural gas. It was turned on for the first time yesterday and it works so we are ready for winter outages now.
I spent much of 2009 preaching for Crestwood Christian Church while they looked for a new pastor. In April they asked me to preach for a few weeks and I preached until the last Sunday in November. I am now totally retired again.
I started a new volunteer ministry as a chaplain for the Lyndon Fire and Rescue district and wound up working a nasty fire on Christmas morning where two young boys were killed.
My darling youngest daughter - the opera singer - came for Christmas and sang for both Christmas Eve services at Hurstborne Christian Church where we are members and made us very proud. She has such a lovely voice.
Cloud Nine
All in all it has been a good year for us.Angel

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2010 ???

Christmas morning I sat looking at the pile of Christmas presents we had received and thought I really don’t need any of this stuff. Oh some of it was wonderful but it really was excess in our home. I thought about all the presents we purchased and mailed to family and friends and concluded that they did not really need what we sent them. Considering how much my family spent for presents and shipping we were sure helping to pull the economy out of the recession.
In thinking about Christmas 2010 I am wondering about changing the habits of my family in giving gifts. I believe giving Christmas presents is good in many ways but I would like more significance in the gifts for next year. If all I do is add to the over-abundance in their lives and they do the same for me what does it really mean?
I know that in this present economic condition that there are a lot of people who have nothing for Christmas and for that matter all year. I doubt that we are giving much of a gift to ourselves and the next generation by our current habits and it does little good for others. My project for this year is to convince my family that adults exchange cards and make donations to charitable causes in honor of the birth of Christ in our family’s names. Children should continue to be blessed with the love of gifts.
Cloud Nine

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Trusted Friend

There are times in everyone’s life when something hurts deep inside. It may be a lost love, something stolen, a house fire, or the loss of a job and what you need most is “A Trusted Friend” who will listen to your tale of woe when you need to vent. Sometimes you need to be that trusted loving friend who listens and doesn’t say much. You are just a friend and not a trained counselor so how do you best be that listening ear to your traumatized friend?
A trusted friend keeps personal information confidential and honors what ever lines are drawn between you.
The trusted friend listens with undivided attention and helps to clarify statements but does not react in a negative way no matter how illogical the distressed friend might be.
A trusted friend knows that this is not a time for advice or trite clich├ęs like, “I know how you feel.” Nor do you say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” God may not but once in a while the world does.

Re-Givting ???


Christmas is over and we still have our Christmas gifts lined up under the tree so thank you notes can be written. As we look at the treasure some thought come to mind. First thought is how thankful we are for family and friends who took the time to select and mail them to us. Second thought is “What were they thinking?”
Some of the stuff sold for Christmas presents is – well – not useful or tasteful. One item is for sure next years “White Elephant gift” and will be put in a box for that purpose. Then there is the problem of too much stuff already. By this time in our lives we have all we really need and want. Some of the gifts are really nice but will only take up space. What shall we do?
Roll Eyes
Re-Gifting is a much practiced tradition with excess gifts. Keep it in its box and use other occasions to give it away. Many of us feel odd about re-gifting but it makes sense. When you receive three Christmas gifts that are just alike and you only need one then two of them can be re-gifted. Make a note as to who gave you the item so you don’t send it back.
What do you think about Re-Gifting?