Who felt all human woe,
O Savior, king of glory,
Who triumphed o'er our foe:
Bring us at length, we pray,
To the bright courts of heaven
And into endless day.
Final verse of 'Low, How a Rose is Growing'
Dear Friends & Family,
Christmas is almost upon us, but I'm finding it hard to get in the mood, with so much craziness going on in the world. But then I have Christmas greetings from some of you, and realize that I'd best get on with it. I looked at my 2011 Christmas greeting and discovered that it could almost have been written this year - except for no major trips this year. But the issues are all about the same, so you might want to look at last year's greeting to see what I've been up to.
Now violence has intruded itself into our holiday season, and we are led to wonder what prompts such vicious behavior. All sorts of causes are cited, but some important ones are overlooked or ignored.
As I said above my life continues much the same - teaching occasional classes on nutrition or gardening, church council, farm club, etc. It was a challenging year for gardening, with minimal rain all summer, but my Gold Rush apple tree had a bumper crop, and now, December 19, there are still lots of greens in the garden - 3 kinds of kale, chard, Asian greens, parsley, collards. I've enjoyed Monday morning Bible study with our young pastor. His first comment after one of us reads the Gospel reading for the next Sunday is "What jumps out at you?" That gets us going on some interesting discussions.
I've made many trips to Lansing this fall helping Dot get resettled in her house, which she had neglected when she was helping a family with several foster children. She keeps very busy with her little accounting business. It has been a busy year for Mark & Jeanne, as both her folks have been living with them and her dad finally sold their house, with much help from Jeanne & Mark. They had a major scare when Will suffered a concussion playing hockey, which kept him out of school for several weeks. I was absolutely delighted when Emily chose my alma mater, St. Olaf College, where she is happily finishing her freshman first semester. You can see her (atwww.StOlaf.edu) singing with the Manitou Singers at the Family Weekend Concert, September 23. Pete and Caryn enjoyed finally getting some landscaping done around their house. It was 5 years ago December 13 that Caryn had her terrible accident. She's doing well, but still has trouble climbing stairs. I am most grateful for a wonderful family!
We had an interesting discussion in Bible study on what it means to be Blessed, noting that some folks feel blessed in spite of great difficulties. We realized it is a spirit of joy the comes from the Lord. Quoting from Psalm 107, "Give thanks to the Lord God, for the Lord is good, and God's mercy endures forever."
And finally I'd like to close with a quote from Jurriaan Kamp, Editor of The Intelligent Optimist
CHANGE. We long for PEACE. So let's think PEACE. Let's dream PEACE. Let's do PEACE. Every day. Let's feed our minds and souls with possibility.
This very touching poem by by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA, exemplifies the possibilities - Prayer for Newtown
May you all have aJoyous Christmas
and a Blessed New Year!
P.S. Anyone experiencing persistent puzzling symptoms should read Could It Be B12? Our nation could save millions of dollars if this deficiency were correctly identified and treated! We need to educate our docs.
And if you and your doctor are still worried about cholesterol be sure to read this!