25 Days of Christmas – December 1st

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(Each day from now through Christmas Day I will share a picture of something that brings me joy during this Christmas Season. I hope you will enjoy each one and share in the joy of the celebration of the coming of the Christ Child!)

December 1st

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! A simple green wreath with a red bow hung on a window is a warm welcome to the Christmas Season.

Right on time

Week before last I headed east for my annual trip to the excellent dog show in Jackson, Mississippi.  After a long day of driving I had been thinking that I was going to get to Jackson much later than I had planned.  Actually, I was right on time to see a lovely sunset over the Mississippi River in Vicksburg.  And, for a bonus, a river barge being pushed down the river slid by while I was making pictures.  I wasn’t late at all!

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An Overlooked Gift

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Yellow flowers are said to represent friendship

What did the television shows I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, Cheers, and Friends all have in common?  Easy, each was a show about friends and their adventures together. Who can forget Lucy and Ethel and their escapades or Seinfeld, the show about nothing, which still delights us today? We all have friends, some more than others, in many different areas of our life. Friends from work, friends in the neighborhood, friends near and far, friends from different social groups. Even in our families we have siblings, cousins, or a dear family member who is both a relative and a friend.

Friends are a basic need that we often overlook when we thank God for our blessings.  Like food and water we need interaction with other people.  No matter how much we may treasure our solitude we still need friendship and fellowship with others. All too often we don’t realize this need and don’t recognize it as a blessing.

Friends are a gift from God. I’m thankful for those people I can count on to be there for me when I need support or just need to blurt out what’s on my mind.  Thankful for friends to laugh with, too. Don’t take your friends for granted, but thank God for them as they are a blessing not to be overlooked!

Heavenly Father, I cannot imagine how storms can be navigated, burdens borne, and hardships handled without the company of a few good friends. I praise you today for the gift of friendship—for the joy, encouragement, and refreshment you give me through my friends. (Scotty Smith)

Independence

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Upon the approval of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 the document was rushed to the Philadephia print shop of John Dunlap. He quickly set the type and printed about 200″broadsides” (a page about the size of a full sheet of newsprint).

In December 2002 I was fortunate to get to see one of these  broadsides which is considered an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. Only a handful survive and this one was touring the United States. Visitors were given a copy of the document printed on very nice card stock (pictured above).

As I looked at the heavily guarded page I had to think of the hands that held that paper that day, the eyes that read the words, and wondered what did it mean to that person to be declaring independence.

As we celebrate as only Americans do, let’s remember how this nation was founded and the men and women who were determined to have freedom and a new nation. Little did they realize where they were headed…

Happy Independence Day – Let Freedom Ring!