Christmas Eve 1942

Darin Lenon's photo.

It was Christmas Eve 1942. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the riflethat I’d wanted for Christmas.

We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Daddy wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Daddy to get down the old Bible.

I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Daddy didn’t get the Bible instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon he came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now he was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew he was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my coat. Mommy gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what..

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Daddy was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Daddy pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed.

“I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

Then Daddy went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. I asked, “what are you doing?” You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. Mrs.Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what?

Yeah,” I said, “Why?”

“I rode by just today,” he said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, he called a halt to our loading then we went to the smoke house and he took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.

“What’s in the little sack?” I asked. Shoes, they’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”

We rode the two miles to Mrs.Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Daddy was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was he buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”

Mrs.Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Mrs.Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Daddy said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then he handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at my Daddy like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” he said. Then turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Daddy handed them each a piece of candy and Mrs.Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of my Daddy in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Daddy had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Mommy and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Daddy insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. My Daddy took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Daddy and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door he turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Mrs.Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will.”

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Daddy turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your Mother and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Mom and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Daddy had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. He had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Mrs. Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside of my Daddy that night. He had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life..

Author Matt Miles

Shared by Darin Lenon on Facebook

Election 2016- Candidate Review: Donald Trump

Candidate # 3 Review by Austin Coons. – Donald trump
Do you agree?

Inspirational Christian Blogs

I hope you all had a great Christmas! This is part 3 of my review of the major presidential candidates. This time I’d like to talk about the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump. RealClearPolitics has Trump with a 35.6-18.6 lead over second place Ted Cruz. As always, I want to be fair, but I’ll obviously still share where I stand with the candidate. Let’s start with economics.

Economics:

Donald Trump is a very successful businessman. That much cannot be refuted. He’s made billions of dollars. He also likes to make sure we know he’s made billions of dollars. Anyway, he’s clearly been successful with his businesses. He’s said that America needs a businessman to bring us back from a $19 trillion debt. He may not be entirely wrong when he says that. The questions is, is he the right one? Trump wants to cut the military budget. I’m not opposed to…

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Bringing them Home – Angel Flight

 
THIS PLANE BRINGS DEAD SERVICE MEMBERS HOME.
 
IT RELEASES A FAKE MISSILE AND THE SMOKE, ETC, FORMS AN ANGEL SHAPE.
 
This video is about a song called “Angel Flight”… The plane in the video is called
 
Angel because when the plane releases its decoy missiles, as is shown in several
 
Of the pictures, it creates an angel shape in the smoke. Listen to the words of the
 
Pilot and the tower, and be sure you listen to the very end. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did,
This is beautiful. God bless our Veterans!

 

 

 

Lord, we ask in Jesus Name that You hide our soldiers both near and far beneath Your wings and keep them safe. Be with their families Lord and bless them for their sacrifices are important, too. Thank you Lord for those who have given all for our freedom. Fill their loved ones with your comfort and peace. May you bless mightily the brave pilots who bring our hero’s home and keep them safe. Surround them with your angels and guide them home. In Jesus Name. Amen

 

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Happy New Year.

Did you Know…

The Song, “Twelve Days of Christmas.” 

The Partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stand for faith, hope, and love.

The four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping are the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed. 

cc_cmas_tree_green_fb

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The Little Orphan Boy

Picture it. 1937. A skinny little boy with big brown eyes lying on his bed wheezing. His father gently picks him up and rushes him to the hospital. He has pneumonia. In those days the treatment for pneumonia was to remove a rib. Yes, you heard right. The little boy undergoes surgery and is finally going to go home.

When it’s time to be discharged the doctors and nurses are puzzled. Where is the little boys father? No sign of his mother either. No-one has even visited. Having no other choice they call child services and he is placed in a Christian orphanage.

I can’t imagine how he felt. The confusion of why his parents didn’t come to see him or why they didn’t come to take him home. “Where’s my Daddy?” must have haunted his thoughts daily. The fear he must have felt in being in a strange place and only four years old must have been terrifying.

The staff at the orphanage wasn’t even sure of his real name so they gave him a name that was similar to what they thought his name might have been. His dad’s penmanship was greatly lacking. They assigned him a date of birth, too. Little “Claudie” went about trying to adjust. Christmas and birthdays were the hardest. The local community would bring gifts for the children but the gifts were for all the children to share. One boys bike, a red wagon, game boards were for everyone. There were no individual gifts. He never mentioned his birthdays or how they were. I didn’t ask.

One day “Claudie” was asked to follow the lady to her office. There was someone who wanted to see him. Claudie’s heart jumped and almost beat out of his chest.”My Daddy has come to get me,” he excitedly thought. But he hadn’t. It was a couple who had been told they couldn’t have children and wanted to adopt him. A nice couple they seemed to be. Claudie was with them for four years and adjusted well. He felt loved and cared for and finally seemed to settle in.

It was during world war two and times were tough for families. His new mother learned she was pregnant. “We can’t afford two children” his new parents explained and returned him to the orphanage. Hurt, anger, confusion, and feelings of bitterness and being abandoned again caused Claudie many problems. He lashed out in his anger, he fought with other children. He stopped trusting. His heart was broken and no one could fix it.

He remained in the orphanage until he was seventeen and with the staff’s permission he enlisted in the Air Force. It was good for him but I can’t imagine how he felt being stationed in Korea during the Korean War and everyone receiving mail but him. Not one letter. Not one card, not one “We miss you and hope you are safe” did he receive in five years. It would break anyone’s heart. Did he walk away and leave the mail call far enough away that he couldn’t hear the names being called? How hard was it to shove down the hurt as he tried to avoid not hearing his name called? He never said how he handled that. He didn’t like to talk about it.

He didn’t turn to drugs when he was discharged. He didn’t become an alcoholic or anything like that. He did get in an ocassional fight but nothing serious. He soon married a sweet young thing. Big mistake. She had a violent temper and he never knew when she would blow. They were married for five years and she said she was going to visit a relative and disappeared. He never heard from her or ever saw her again. Abandoned again with no idea why.

That didn’t stop Claudie. His favorite saying was, “I’m just a poor orphan boy who came to the big city to seek my fortune.” It wasn’t far from the truth back then. He enrolled in night school and worked his tail off and passed the law exam on the first try. He received his law degree but he didn’t become a lawyer to practice law and make the big bucks. He used it in his law enforcement carrier. He was a Deputy Marshal and worked his way up to second in command.

Twelve years after his wife disappeared he married again and this time he got a winner. Oh, she had her own issues to deal with but they were a perfect match. Like Claudie she had known betrayal. She knew what it was like to not feel loved. She, too had previously had a violent partner. She worshipped the ground Claudie walked on, so to speak. He loved her, too. They traveled, they had fun together, they laughed, loved and seldom argued.

When they got married, for his wedding gift she gave him his very own bike with a small license plate with his name on it. Oh, how he loved that bike! “It’s mine? All mine?” He grinned from ear to ear.

Al & his bike

When Christmas came around she’d buy a package of socks and wrap each pair individually so he’d have lots of presents under the Christmas tree. The same with under wear or anything that could be divided up. She made sure there were plenty of gifts with his name on the tag. Claudie loved Christmas and he’d sit ripping open several packages laughing like a young child. She loved watching him and seeing the joy and sparkle in his eyes as he’d grab another gift and rip into it. She did the same for his birthdays, with a cake and candles. It didn’t make up for years past but it filled him with a sense of joy and love like he’d never felt as a child.

Looking her husband square in the eyes while placing his wedding ring back on his finger she would say, “With this ring I thee wed – until death do us part.” She’d quote that every time after a major surgery or some procedure the doctors said he had to remove his ring for. For five years, day in and day out, she cared for him during his debilitating illness. He had taught her what true love is. She wasn’t about to abandon the man God gave her as His special gift and she made darn sure he knew it! She was by Claudie’s side as he entered heavens gates and was greeted by the Savior.

The orphanage got his first name right as it turned out, Claude, but his birthday wasn’t what they told him. For years he had lived life with the wrong name and wrong date of birth. He just figured it was all part of life and moved on. He had stopped trying to find his relatives years before after so much disappointment and hopes dashed but he did finally find his original birth certificate – Claude Albert Cass – my beloved husband of eighteen years.

I hope they celebrate Christmas in heaven.

Merry Christmas

~~~~

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Nuggets – Seducing Spirits

It is easy to open demonic doors without realizing it.

ChristianBlessings

Seducing Spirits
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)

This very cogent warning by the Holy Spirit, spoken “expressly” (or “with special clarity”) for those living in the latter days, predicts an unusual outbreak of seductive demonism—not just in pagan, idol-worshipping, or animistic cultures, but in “Christian” nations, where they can lead many to “depart from the faith” which their forefathers once professed. Christians, therefore, should not be taken by surprise at the vast eruption of witchcraft, New Age mysticism, Eastern occultism, rock-music demonism, drug-induced fantasies, altered states of consciousness, and even overt Satan-worshipping cults that have suddenly proliferated in our supposedly scientific and naturalistic society. Behind it all are the “seducing spirits” and “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12).

It…

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