I’m getting this posted at lunch time because my brain was tired last night and I couldn’t think of how to start out the day when all I could think about at the time was to getting to bed and to sleep. I’m glad I waited. Moose and I have been getting out the house while it still dark out and going for a little morning walk. He has a great L.E.D. light up blue collar so he can be seen in the dark – imagine a disembodied blue light floating along in the dark – and I carry my flashlight. The neighborhood is waking up at that time of the morning. I can hear cars as they leave their driveways, and see people through their windows drinking their coffee. Seriously, don’t open your blinds when it’s dark out – someone really could be watching! Geez! Anyway, we had our quiet morning walk, followed by my drive to work. This morning it was extremely foggy out. Foggy to the point of nerve wracking in places, being unable to see more than 2 car lengths ahead makes it a little scary. Will a kid be crossing the road to catch the school bus? Is a dog or a deer going to be in the road? Or a stalled car? Anything could be hiding ahead in the mist, couldn’t it? When it’s foggy though, we slow down, keep driving and praying for the best, and eventually we burst out of the fog and into the bright, clear morning light. For me this morning, it was into the lavender/pink hues of clouds being lit up as the sun came over the horizon. Faith is like that, isn’t it? We don’t know what is ahead of us, but we white knuckle our way through it, praying for the best, assuming that the road is under us, the path ahead clear. We burst out of the unknown future into the now, knowing God brought us here and to this moment in time safely, with a plan in mind. Have faith . . . the sun will be there when we emerge from the fog.
Verse of the Day
October 30, 2018
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Don’t you love gifts! Especially when they’re truly given, with no strings attached, all we have to do is receive them. The greatest gift we’ve ever received has nothing to do with our efforts. It is a gift from God. We didn’t earn it, deserve it, or purchase it. God gave it through his sacrificial gift, so our salvation would not be our boast, but his kindness.
Food for Thought
History of Halloween Continued:
In Irish folk tales there was a popular character called Stingy Jack, who was known for being a cheapskate who avoided losing his soul to the devil by tricking him, often on All Hallows’ Eve. In one story he convinced Satan to climb up a tree to get some apples, then cut crosses all around the trunk so the devil could not come down. The devil promised to leave Jack alone if he would let him come down out of the tree. When Jack did die eventually, Heaven wouldn’t take him because he lived a sinful life, but because they made a deal, the devil wouldn’t take him either. Jack was cursed to travel forever as a spirit, always to be in limbo. When Jack turned away from the gates of Hell, the Devil threw an ember to him to light his way. Jack put the ember in a hollowed-out turnip and wandered off into the world. The Irish legend says that you might see Jack’s spirit on All Hallows’ Eve, carrying his turnip lantern in the darkness. The Irish, when they immigrated to the Americas, brought the tradition with them, but began using the pumpkin instead, since they were very plentiful, and were much easier to carve. Being larger they were also fun to carve faces and other designs into. Instead of lighting the way for Jack, they were meant as a way to keep him, and other dead souls, away. Of course, they were also used as representations of the souls of the dead.
Checklist Day – I love lists. I list everything I need to do. Chores, plans for projects, groceries . . . everything. There is something so satisfying about crossing a completed project off the list and moving on to the next item. Today is Checklist Day, set to remind you to check your lists. So, historically speaking, how important are checklists? Variations of them have been used for centuries, but the first documented, widespread use of a checklist came about due to a tragic aviation mishap. On October 30, 1935, a prototype for the familiar Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber crashed during takeoff because the crew had forgotten to disengage a gust lock. As a result of that accident, a group of pilots instituted a series of checklists for takeoff, flight and landing that helped to prevent future accidents, and they were able to deliver their next batch of 12 B-17s without any further problems. In commemoration of the accident that led to a more widespread use of checklists, October 30th of every year is Checklist Day. Do you have your list made for today?
Create a Great Funeral Day – This one probably won’t have anyone jumping for joy, but it is one that is very important. About 10 years ago Create a Great Funeral Day was registered as official holiday by Stephanie West Allen as a way of relieving the pressure of having to decide what a loved one would want for their funeral. It was the hope that this would encourage people to get a plan together for their loved ones, letting them know what they want at their funeral. This would take so much stress on the family left behind, and keep them from trying to make such important decisions while dealing with their grief. Love your family enough to record your wishes somewhere, and make a financial arrangement to put them in motion. It’s hard enough losing someone you love, but trying to make all these decisions when numbed by sadness and loss is just too much to deal with. Plan your funeral today – it’s one of the most loving things you can do for your family – and pray you won’t need those plans for a long, long time.
Devil’s Night or Mischief Night – I had never heard of this one until a couple of years ago. Have you? Tonight is Mischief Night! Traditionally it is an evening when people participate in harmless (emphasis on HARMLESS – as in DO NO HARM!) mischief. Also, keep in mind that even harmless mischief can cause problems, so choose your tricks carefully. This celebration is discouraged by law enforcement organizations, for obvious reasons, because many times people who are choosing to celebrate something like this do things that are not only less than funny, but they can lead to vandalism or be destructive. So what types of mischief have been traditional on days such as this? Well, here are a few that I found listed:
- Soaping windows
- Egging houses and cars
- Tossing a few rotten tomatoes
- Toilet papering house trees, etc.
- Knocking on doors, then running away
Honestly, the only one I see on here that doesn’t mess something up for someone is the knocking and running! OK, I have to say, I agree with law enforcement on this one.
Haunted Refrigerator Night – The folks at wellcat.com came up with this one, and I have to agree with them. There can be something completely frightening about the evil that lurks in the refrigerators all over the place. It is time to be VERY afraid! Gather together, since there is safety in numbers, open up the fridge and creep into the frightening realm of the bottom shelf, all the way to the back. Sometimes the “things” hanging out in the containers are scarier than the traditional monsters who are lurking this time of year.
Food Celebration of the Day –
Buy a Doughnut Day – Today is a day that was very likely brought about by the by the doughnut (donut) shops of the world, but I can’t say that for POSITIVE because I can’t find the origin of this holiday. It sounds like a delicious one, doesn’t it? I could seriously do some damage to a fresh, gooey maple bar, but I won’t. I will be good and stay behaved and just say no. However, if you decide to also resist, there are some great recipes for making donuts at home – whether you bake them or fry them – that would most likely be much healthier than buying one . . . it won’t likely have that great airy texture that the bakery would have, but a cake donut is better than no donut at all.
National Candy Corn Day – Candy Corn isn’t one of my favorite candies. I have no trouble leaving it alone, but apparently Americans buy nearly 20 million pounds of candy corn each year, and only 75 percent of that is around Halloween. (I couldn’t stand it, I had to find out how many candy corns that was . . . there are approximately 265 Candy Corns in a pound – do the math! That’s a LOT of Candy Corn!) It was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger and first manufactured by the Wunderle Candy Company. The Goelitz Candy Company was the first to manufacture mass quantities at the turn of the century. Candy Corn consists mainly of corn syrup, honey and sugar. Jones Soda Company came out with a Candy Corn flavored soda and my goodness that sounds just WAY too cloyingly sweet to me!
Be safe today, no matter where your day leads. Keep the faith! The sun will be there when you come through whatever heads your way. God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.
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Celebration list sources: