Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bring the books

Do you remember the growup feeling of holding a book at arm's length and reading. Even simple words like see, come, go, hat and cat were delightful for a first grader to read. And then we advanced to big words like "something" and"everything".
We snuggled against a mother while she read to us. "How can she remember to tell the story exactly the same every time?" we wondered. When we could read for ourselves, the appeal of books was a compelling force. Transported into other worlds, we found there was much to learn, see, do and imagine as we devoured many good books during childhood. Whether twirling on a backyard swing or drying dishes, a book became a familiar companion. We read while we brushed our teeth or buried our heads under the blankets to read with a small flashlight at night. Even through the teen years my mother continued to read wholesome, uplifting books to us in an effort to strengthen our faith.
The pleasure of books has not faded as youthful energy wanes. Life may be full of things to do, and places to go. But there is always a book waiting on the shelf beckoning. In the farm house, we had a bookcse in nearly every room of the house. Now, in our current home, we have a room our daughter-in-law named the "Library".
Yet, with all the books we possess, none compares to the Book of books! It is the greatest Book ever written! The Bible is God's way of revealing Himself to man. Many good books have been written under God's divine guidance, but no other book can claim God as the author, except the Bible! Various human writers were so completely directed by God that every word is His inspired writing. Napoleon said, "The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature with a power that conquers all who oppose it."
No other book can bring comfort, healing, hope, courage, guidance, challenge, conviction and faith like God's unchanging Word. Take away all the other books if you will, let the Bible remain!
The Apostle Paul said, "When thou comest, bring with thee...the books, but especially the parchments." 2 Timothy 4:13
Sometimes people are in awe when they meet a "real author" like my sister who has written about half a dozen books . Have you met the Bible's Author yet? Don't put it off! It is a life changing experience!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Changing seasons

I have felt for many years that like the Jews we should celebrate New Year in September. It is the month when schools are opening for a new term, the summer weather and holidays are behind us and we settle into new fall schedules. The garden is beginning to look bare and even the trees are dropping a few leaves. The birds are gathering with all their friends and relations for the long trek south for the winter season.
Today Joyce Bupp's column in the Lancaster Farming took the words out of my mouth on the subject of changing seasons and the "September" New Year.
My Resolution #1- Get back in the exercise program and practise more portion control at the table.
#2- Clean out the attic. It got dusty, dirty and disorganized while Karen's attic room was taking shape this year. Although it seemed like an impossible task , it did not go away.
So I started this week. My attic is not one of these "under the eaves" cubby holes. It has space under the eaves, but there is a "room" in the middle. At this point Karen has one side of the attic. That leaves the whole west end of the attic for my things... that means a lot of space to collect "stuff". Our collection is no match for the Landis Valley Museum. This was the week to discard some of the historic items up there.
Why do we need the huge Dell box that the computer was packed in when it was new? The computer specialitst told me last week that my PC is bordering on antiquity. We won't be needing that box to return components that are under warranty.
My favorite Farmer keeps a pair of old shoes for a spare when his work shoes need repair. But three "hole in the toes" pairs of shoes? He chose the "best" of the worn out pairs and fed the rest to the outdoor furnace.
Then there was the baby crib that has not been used for 25 years. I kept it hoping to have space to set it up for visiting grandchildren. We never had the space and the youngest grandchild (at this point) is heading for his 4th birthday. Besides, it is out-of-code and illegal to sell. When we are great-grandparents, we may too feeble to babysit anyway. See what I mean about changing seasons. Even life has it's seasons. We made room for a crib in our bedroom for most of 20 years. But that season is past and the crib is reduced to ashes.
I have not yet tackled the box of Christmas decorations. Then there is the box of empty boxes that are saved for sending a package to our son's family who live along the Pacific or for gift boxes at Christmas. I think some of them should go the way of all flesh too.
Some of the boxes hold letters from another season in life. Maybe I should read all the letters from my long ago North Carolina penpal and return them to her for her posterity.
Marvin remembers the winter day when his Dad built a little barn for him from orange crate lumber complete with a little barn hill. No one has used it for 50 years, but it is there and will remain for a start on our Landis Family Museum.
Then there is the stash of family genealogy books that did not get sold. Hah! that family has a reunion coming up...maybe we can give them away for prizes.
We don't need the plastic gallon jars that were saved to send veggies to a distant mission. Since we have less garden and less energy, I suppose that season is over. And then there was the big box of plastic milk jugs and several boxes of glass vingar jugs saved to make cider...and we have no more apple trees?
There is little monetary value in the things in our attic. The wall paper hanging tools might get used again some day. The bag of poly fill and muslim fabric scraps might turn into Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls someday.
And the other fabric scraps just might get used for comfort or quilt tops...... if God allows yet another season of life.