Archive | July 2013

at all times

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A friend loves at all times…
Proverbs 17: 17

Photo courtesy of the Curtiss Family Album

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blessings

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“When we consider the blessings of God—the gifts that add beauty and joy to our lives, that enable us to keep going through stretches of boredom and even suffering – friendship is very near the top.” —Donald W. McCullough

Photo courtesy of the Curtiss Family Album

friendship week

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Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10
It’s Friendship week here at About These Things; a time to reflect on those people who make our lives so much more wonderful just by being in them. A time to give thanks to God for the gift of friendship. We hope you will enjoy our old family photos and the poems, recipes and Bible verses we have put together to convey the joy of friendship.

Photo courtesy of the Curtiss Family Album

Recipe for Friendship. Click on photo to enlarge. Enjoy!
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now thank we all our God

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Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who from our mothers’ arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us still in grace,
and guide us when perplexed;
and free us from all ills,
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given;
the Son, and him who reigns
with them in highest heaven;
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heaven adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Text: Martin Rinkart; Trans. by Catherine Winkworth
Music: Johann Cruger; Harm. by Felix Mendelssohn

Photo by Cheryl Cook

anguish to joy

Anguish

You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. Psalm 30:11

I witnessed the face of anguish the other day while at the Cracker Barrel, of all places. One of my favorite things about eating at Cracker Barrel is taking time to look through the store afterwards. They always have unique, seasonal, and old fashioned items for sale. The store is set up with many nooks and crannies so you really have to wander around for a bit to see it all. On this particular day we had finished our meal and I was just starting to poke around the store when a young mother with a frantic look in her eye started calling for her son. At first she was fairly calm as she went around looking for him calling his name but as time went by with no response from the boy she became more and more panicked. The mother began to call his name over and over in the restaurant, throughout the store area and into the bathrooms but there was no response. She started crying and asking us one by one if we had seen a little blonde boy wearing blue shorts. Everyone said they had not noticed him but many of us joined the search. We fanned out around the store to help look. We peeked under racks of clothing and behind revolving displays. The staff joined the search and even called his name on the intercom asking him to come to the register. Two of the staff member ran out into the parking lot to look for him. They came back in a short time later shaking their heads to indicate that he was not out there. The search did not go on for a long time but I believe it seemed like an eternity to this mother. This young woman went from calm, to nervous, to crying, to hysterical all before my eyes. For a few minutes the boy was nowhere to be found and I’m sure she thought the worst: that he had been snatched. Luckily as it turned out he was hiding in a bathroom stall. A gentleman worker went in the men’s room and found him as the mother was on her way outside with her cell phone to call the police. A waitress ran outside to share the happy news. I got tears in my eyes as the mother hurried in and ran over to hug her son. The boy appeared to be about 4 years old. Apparently while looking at the toys he had gone to the bathroom without telling anyone. When people called his name he got scared and hid in a stall. I guess when he realized people were looking for him he thought he would be in trouble for wandering off. It took the gentle hand of the worker to guide him out to the safety of his loving mother. The mother could not stop crying or hugging him for several minutes. It was just wonderful to see that face of pain and anguish give way to relief and joy. I did not know the mother or the boy yet I rejoiced. One who was lost was found. It was a great scene to witness.

This little episode made me think of God, our Father and how he longs for us to come back when we wander off. I thought of God’s love for each one of us and how much pain and anguish he must feel when we make bad choices. I saw a picture of how God must feel when we turn a deaf ear to his calls? As the mother did not give up, God does not give up but keeps calling out to us. I thought of how God uses other people in our lives and how at times the gentle hand of a stranger can help us find our way. As a bystander I rejoiced and even shed a few tears of joy and that reminded me of the angels rejoicing in heaven when one who is lost is saved. Life lessons are everywhere, even at the Cracker Barrel.

By Marge McCoy