Please Pray for Marjorie

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Hello Dear Readers of Marjorie’s Blog,

Our Mom has not been feeling well for some time now.  Several months ago, Marjorie came down with a severe bout of the flu and has had much difficulty recovering.  Mom is now 90 years of age and, until her recent illness, she had been working on many projects related to Christian Mother Goose and spreading God’s word through her blog and also through her speaking engagements.

This blog post is from Marjorie’s sons, and we are posting this in the hope that our Mom’s readers will pray her health and the continuation of her ministry.

Thank you in advance for your warms thoughts and sincere prayers.

Gratefully,

Glen, Brad, Kevin and Keith

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From Wibbleton to Wobbleton

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Summer is almost upon us, Dear Blog-Nog Friends,

Today’s old rhyme was actually one of numerous market day rhymes, where villagers set out off to buy pantry potpourri, from a pig to a plum bun and the miscellany of mankind.

My sister, Sadie, and I always went to the open-air market at Abergele, North Wales, whenever I went back home for a visit.  So, today, here in Oklahoma, the fine bone china egg cups (holding our fine local Fisher eggs), are happy reminders of those market days of fun and bargain hunting.

The words Wibbleton to Wobbleton roll off the tongue in playful fashion, so I rendered this old rhyme as a parable in the Christian Mother Goose series. Here it is with a telling question at the end.

The dawning of Wobbleton could fit very nicely in Genesis 3.  And it appears the town didn’t take long to arise.  Adam and Eve quickly became the first residents of Wobbleton when they wobbled in unbelief, choosing to believe the words of the tempter (Satan) instead of the words of The Lord God. (Unbelief always makes us wobble)  Paradise was lost, and Adam became Governor of Wobbleton instead.

Wobbleton sat perched on the edge of a great divide.  And so began the long line of citizen wobblers huddled there, afraid to cross the bridge The Lord God had mercifully provided.  “It might not hold,” they said, as they viewed the fairer hills and fields on the other side.  And as their doubt increased, so did their wobbling.

Nevertheless, a handful of men in Wobbleton began to call upon The Lord, and set out one day., albeit in fear and trembling to cross the bridge.  The canyon was terrifying, but the bridge held strong and secure.  Hallelujah!  The town of Wibbleton was born.

Then, from that day to this, the Wibbletonians cross the bridge to rally the Wobbleton wobblers and sing to them on their way out of Wobbleton and across the bridge to the joyous town of Wibbleton.

It was known thereafter as, “The City which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.”

At this point we join the 1981 Oscar-winning film, “Chariots of Fire.”  My son, Kevin and I watched it last week.  What a great movie featuring the true life story of the Scottish missionary/Olympian, Eric Liddell.  He was no wobbler! – on the mission field or the running track.

Eric was born in 1902 to veteran Scottish missionary parents, James and Mary Liddell in Tientsin, North China.  He was born to run!  A line from Chariots of Fire expressed this eloquently: “I believe God made me for a purpose.  He also made me fast!  And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

During his years at Edinburgh University, Scotland, he distinguished himself as Scotland’s  best sprinter, setting new records in spite of an unorthodox, awkward running style.  He was followed by adoring crowds who loved him not only for his “miracle” races, but also for his humility, sportsmanship and gentle nature.  On weekends he could be found sharing the Gospel of Christ with sports-loving men.

In 1924 the Olympics were to be held in Paris.  Eric Liddell set his sights to be on Great Britain’s Olympic team for the 100 and 200 meter race  events.  He won both races in the trials held in England; even setting a new British record that held for 35 years.

After the Olympic team was announced, newspapers all over Great Britain were filled with stories of Liddell as Britain’s best hope for the coveted 100-meter gold medal.

And here’s where the heart of the film, “Chariots of Fire,” comes in; as well as the test of “wobbling”for the heart of young Liddell.

All his life he believed and honored Sunday as a day of rest and a day to reverence fellowship with God.  The Scottish athletic community and his coach knew he did not run races on Sunday.  But the 100-meter Paris heat was set for a Sunday.  His heart sank, but he did not wobble.  He would not run for the prized Olympic gold on Sunday,

Despite British intervention, the Olympic rules stood firm – so did Eric in his Christian belief.  No wobbling here – no even in the face of harsh public condemnation for “letting his country down.”

Now in national rejection, Eric was asked if he would run the 400-meter race set for a Friday.  This race was certainly not Eric’s specialty, but he eagerly accepted and managed to inch into the finals.

At 7 p.m. Friday, the stadium was packed with an excited crowd there to see the American runner, Horatio Fitch, bring home the gold.  He held the new world record.  Six runners drew numbers for their lane position. Eric drew the undesirable number six outside lane, but in his pocket was a note from the British team masseur: “In the old Book it says:  ‘He who honours Me, I will honour.’  Wishing you the best of success.”

The runners took position.  The pistol fired.  Five of the world’s best quarter-milers shot forward, plus one untrained newcomer to that distance.  All eyes were on the deftly-styled Fitch, but it was the unorthodox-styled Eric Liddell who burst through the finish line to win, setting a new world record of 47.6 seconds, and leaving Fitch in a distant second place.  The crowd went wild!  Liddell had done it again!

They didn’t know that at the height of his running career, he would soon be dedicating the rest of his life as a missionary/teacher to China.  The greatest race of all was before him.

Eric Liddell died at age 43 in a Japanese internment camp in China, during World War II; beloved and greatly mourned by thousands of Chinese souls he had gently guided across the Jesus Bridge to that “City whose Builder and Maker is God.”  God was waiting to hand him the gold.

And for now, dear readers, whatever course may tempt us to wobble in this wobbly world, look up!  “God is our refuge and strength, a very  present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

Because Jesus is the “forever” Bridge over all troubled waters, let’s walk that way together in His blessings.

Cheerio for now,

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Christian Mother Goose®

God Bless Our Land

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Greetings My Dear Friends of the Blog,

Seven years ago, my beloved husband, Dale, bid us an earthly farewell.  While Kevin and I held him in our arms, he gave us the O.K. sign, with a finger and thumb together, and a faint smile as he stepped into Heaven.  It took a great effort on Dale’s part to use his last breath to complete his promise (made when he still could fully communicate) that, “As the evidence of my faith that Jesus is real and Heaven is real, I will smile and give you the O.K. sign as I leave.”  And he did indeed see the reality of Jesus and Heaven.  Praise The Lord for this gracious comfort.

I wrote Dale’s story of courage and endurance in a blog called “The Story behind the CMG Blog,” archived on January 24, 2009.  Since then, throughout these blogs, you may have come to know Dale as our own “Edison-inventor-Dad.”  But our four sons say they remember him best for showing them, “How a man should love his wife!”  What a lovely remembrance!

“Remembrance” will be the key word heard throughout this week as we approach America’s Memorial Day, or “Poppy Day,” as it is also known.  How much we owe to those who gave their lives in battle for the freedom of us all and the future of our children; such children as those in this rhyme from the Christian Mother Goose Prayers.

As radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham said Memorial week, “We need to fall in love with America all over again.”

As I stood in our flag garden today, I thought of the many times Dale and I talked together there, reminiscing about stories and scenes along life’s journey.  Some of those stories are what I call “Poppy Day” Pages.  And so for this upcoming Memorial Day blog, I share a few stories that wear a “remembrance poppy.”

In 1997 Dale and I were visiting the picturesque town of Canterbury, England.  There is an unfolding mystery there, involving Christian Mother Goose, that has drawn me to Canterbury several times.  I hope to tell you that tale some day.

This particular day, we were strolling around the magnificent, ancient Canterbury Cathedral, named Christ Church.  Its architecture is breathtaking, ornately embellishing its long history of being the site of Christian worship continuously since at least 602 A.D.

In one of the gardens I noticed a stone slab in a wall, etched with a soldier’s image and these words: “When you return, tell them of us and say: “‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’”

What a powerful message from the vast armada of men and women who gave their “today” for the rest of us to gain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Those words seemed a “remembrance poppy” of the shed blood of those we must never forget!

Poppy Day is now commemorated throughout the world in honor of fallen heroes.  It was an American lady, Moina Michael who, in 1918, caught the significance of a picture of red field poppies growing between a multitude of crosses in the battlefields of Flanders in France.  It was two days before the Armistice of November 11, 1918 – the end of World War I –

Moina vowed to always wear the red poppy of Flanders’s field as a sign “for keeping the faith of all who died.”  After tirelessly campaigning, this Christian lady finally saw Memorial Day established in honor of all who died defending America’s freedom.

On Poppy Day in England, the Girl Guides sold red silk poppies to raise funds for the benefit of disabled veterans.  I was a Guide, about twelve, at the time of my story and was given the post to sell poppies on the steps of the Liverpool Museum.  Now, it so happens that the museum was one of my supreme treats – I loved feasting on the fascinating treasures inside.  But I was standing outside, with four hours to wish I could be inside!

Then, like Adam’s Eve, a tempting thought occurred to me.  I could place my poppy tray and cylinder money-holder on the top step of the museum near the door.  (Surely, museum lovers were honest and patriotic.)  So I left my now-self-dispensing poppy stand and disappeared into a world of knights in armor, treasures of ancient Egypt, tropical birds and other wonders.

A sailing ship’s large log book had several pages of people listed as “Indentured Servants.”  They were sailing from Liverpool in the 17th century to far off America.  Little did I know that America lay in my own future!

About three hours later, my conscience prevailed, and I ran back to my previously deserted post.  To my relief, the money cylinder was still there, with many of the silk poppies gone!  I shook the cylinder and it gave a nice, full sound.  Ah! honesty and patriotic generosity had  reigned that Poppy Day, but my Girl Guide heart felt ashamed that I had left my post.

Thank God for those who didn’t leave their posts in battle, regardless of the high cost of courage.

My Grandmother Turton used to say, “War took all my sons.”  She had five sons and three daughters.  My mother, Sarah, was the youngest, and she would tell me stories of her soldier brothers.  David gassed in the Battle of Gallipoli; John killed on the Khyber Pass; handsome “Gentleman” Bill who, although being a conscientious objector, volunteered to serve his country by cooking for the soldiers on the frontline.  He was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.  Brother Thomas tried to find him – a soldier without a gun – one of 58,000 British troops who were lost the very first day of battle.  How Heaven must weep!

The Lord Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)  But in the greatest war of all, the war for the souls of lost earthlings, the Bible records in Romans 5:13 this marvel: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus never left His post; He willingly allowed Himself to be nailed to it – the Cross of Calvary – where His shed blood drenched the scene of the greatest battlefield of all time and eternity.  The scene of the great Conqueror of sin and death; The Son of God and Savior of the world; yet, also the Gentle Jesus Who said, “I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.  (John 10:11)

It was at the Last Supper that The Lord Jesus raised the cup and said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1.Corinthians 11:25)  Remembrance of His sacrifice for all of us, the price of our redemption.  All praise and honor to Him, The Prince of Peace!

May the Creator of the Memorial Day poppies soon return to bring this world true peace.

And a very special salute to all those brave service men and women who have defended our great country.

Blessings in Him,

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Christian Mother Goose®

Mistress Mary (Spring Sings)

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Hello once again dear friends of the Fellowship of the Blog, and Happy Mother’s Day!

As I look out of the window of my “Blog room” here at home, an exciting message greets my eyes – a profusion of white blossoms have burst forth saying: “Blackberries are coming!”  They also speak of the gentle hand of my beloved husband, Dale (now in Heaven), who planted this twenty-foot row of blackberry bushes along the back porch deck.

However, unlike Mistress Mary’s “all in a row” flowers, Dale’s blossoms have run wild.  I see happily waving branches coming up in the cracks between the wooden deck planks!  Ha ha – they are just like Dale’s occasional dance steps – all over the deck!  Yet, praise The Lord, the forthcoming giant blackberries will be enjoyed, with every one a sweet reminder of the loving care and joy Dale found in gardening.

Mistress Mary’s rhyme is one of the 38 rhymes included in the oldest known book of nursery rhymes: “Tommy Thumb‘s Pretty Song Book,” published in London about 1744.  It’s a tiny book, only three inches by one and three-quarter inches, and a treasured exhibit you can see in the British Museum.

The Christian Mother Goose version of this rhyme asks the same question:  “How does your garden grow?” – which opens up a whole world of God’s masterpiece of exquisite design and provision for everything that grows.  The Lord Jesus said, in Mathew 6: 28,29 – “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

We could say the same about the royal clothing found in King Tut‘s 3,500 year-old tomb.  This young Pharaoh of Egypt, was buried with millions of dollars in gold.  Yet, it was all a tomb of the dead, except for the humble seeds in which God had planted a germ of life.  I read where corn found in the tomb still germinated when planted – after 3,500 years.  Incredible!  What can compare with God’s rain and sun and friendly soil to bring even King Tut’s corn to its destiny: corn-on-the-cob!

I just took a walk outside to admire the miracle of growing things dressed up in their latest springtime fashions.  The gorgeous iris and red peonies are sporting wardrobes direct from God’s own salon – the earth!

I noticed fresh patches of clover, too, and thought back to the days when our son Bradley, at age six, would spend happy hours searching for four-leaf clovers.  He developed quite an expert eye on our acreage, with a collection of  hundreds of four, five, six and even one seven-leaf clover, by the time he was ten.  That seven leaf champion went down for the count, though, with a little brother plucking all seven rounds.  Thank goodness that bout was resolved by the phrase: “It’s just spare ribs” (Sometime, I’ll tell you what that phrase translates to in the Decker family).

To me, the abundant generosity of God’s nature was overwhelming when I  first opened a cantaloupe in America.  I had never seen this particular type of melon in England.  I was so impressed that I counted all the seeds.  There were 387!  Wow!  If they were planted and produced only 200 melons the first year, and then each of those 200 melons had 387 seeds to repeat the process the second year – what a harvest!  (Homeschoolers, do the math, please.)  What a lot we have to learn from our Heavenly Father’s storehouse of seeds.

George Washington Carver, a brilliant botanist and devout Christian, made a lifetime study of seeds, unveiling many of the mysteries and practical uses of the peanut to bless mankind.  Marjorie Decker didn’t make even one day’s study of apricot seeds.  Nevertheless, with one fling, I threw out a bowl full of apricot seeds from a batch of luscious apricots we had enjoyed.  Then, because of the power, purpose and life innate in all of God’s seeds, lo and behold, a grove of apricot trees began to grow! Fortunately, I used to play on a baseball team, and my apricot toss was far enough in the “outfield” to place them a safe distance from “home.”

After World War II, in London’s East End, some old rubble of derelict houses was finally removed.  Months later, many rare and beautiful flowers appeared.   Astonished naturalists came to document flowers that hadn’t been seen in London for over 100 years.  The seeds had been lying dormant under dingy housing, until rain and sunshine brought about their resurrection (a new Mistress Mary’s garden, indeed).  Or, perhaps, a parable of our own hearts which sometime need the refreshing rain and sunshine of God’s gentle touch to make us flower again into “…A sweet savor of Christ.”  He is the Divine Seed of eternal life, planted in the heart of all who will receive Him.  May He find many Blog-hearts ready for planting.

Many Blessings, Especially to All Moms Everywhere! Happy Mother’s Day!

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Christian Mother Goose®

Smile at Your Angel

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Greetings Blogland Readers,

I have a pot of hot tea ready.  Anyone for a scone today?  In this blog, you’ll discover a well-preserved scone, originating back to the days of the Biblical patriarch, Jacob!

This morning, I was reading about Jacob and his inspired dream of angels in an unexpected place, as recorded in Genesis 28:12-22.  Perhaps you too, like Jacob, have had an unexpected visitation from God in a most unexpected place?

To set the scene: when Jacob was younger, he bought his older brother’s birthrightEsau had carelessly sold it to him for a mere bowl of soup.  Later, having now received the birthright blessing from his aged father (Isaac), Jacob is on his way from his home in Beersheba, fleeing from the wrath of his brother, Esau, who now wants the birthright back.  Jacob is on a 450 mile trek to relatives in Haran for safety.  He has a long way to go.

About 60 miles from home, and 10 miles north of Jerusalem, the lonely Jacob beds down for the night in hard circumstances.  Very hard, since he used a stone for his pillow, never knowing what an uproar of mystery, intrigue and kingly conflict that

common stone would bring to England and Scotland thousands of years later.

Those thousands of years later, I personally visited Westminster Abbey in London to view the “Stone of Scone” housed in the Coronation Chair. This revered stone, also called Jacob’s Pillow, is said to have been the very stone Jacob anointed after his dream of angels and visitation from God.  The famous stone was also said to have later become the pedestal for the Ark of the Covenant in Solomon’s temple.

Finally, according to legend, the ancient stone was brought to Scotland via Spain and Ireland by exiled Jews.

Until 1296 A.D. it remained in Scone Palace, Scotland, where Scottish monarchs had always been crowned while seated on it.  At that time, the English King Edward I annexed Scotland, taking also the “Stone of Scone – Jacob’s Pillow.”  And from that time on, all British monarchs have been crowned with the venerated stone protected in a compartment under the seat of the gilded Coronation Chair.

Ever since, the Scots have been demanding their precious stone back, saying it was the heart of their sovereignty.  However, their patience finally wore thin.  On Christmas Day of 1950, they stole it!  Like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, the Coronation Chair was woefully bare!  Amazing!  Unbelievable!

Its disappearance sparked one of the most intensive hunts in Scotland Yard’s history.  How could that massive stone, tightly wedged in the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, be spirited away without detection?  No clues were found.  (Surely, Robert Burns would have written a gallant poem about it.)

An anonymous tip came to the rescue.  In the ruins of an ancient abbey in Forfarshire, Scotland, the best sleuths advanced to the abbey’s high altar in the Scottish mist.  The legendary Jacob’s Pillow, (Stone of Scone) lay there, draped with a Scottish flag.

Two years later in 1953, the present Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, properly seated with the elusive 336-pound Stone of Scone.  (That’s a big scone!)

But, hark!  With a 21-gun salute, Queen Elizabeth returned the Stone to Scotland in 1996, with bagpipes a-blowing.  Oh, what Jacob started!

Now, back to Genesis and angels.  Sleeping on that stone, Jacob dreamed the famous “Jacob’s Ladder” dream, where he saw a ladder stretching from earth to Heaven, with “the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

And…the Lord stood above it and said: ‘I am The Lord God of Abraham thy father, and The God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;… (Genesis 28: 12-13.)  Behold, I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest…’”  (Genesis  28:15.)

Jacob was in awe and was stunned with surprise when he awoke, saying, “Surely The Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.”  And, “….this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.” (Genesis 28: 16-17)  So great was the visitation of God’s presence in such harsh and stressful surroundings, it transformed Jacob’s next day into glory!

What a night!  And, confident that God was with him always, Jacob set up the stone pillow as a pillar, anointed it with oil, and called that place “Bethel,” meaning: “House of God.”  What an encouragement to the rest of God’s children!  No place is barred from His all-powerful Divine presence.

I recall such a scene of angelic help in time of great need.  My son, Kevin, and I had been to a meeting with World Bible Publishers in Iowa Falls, Iowa.  It was in the depths of winter.  Black ice and a pitch-black stormy night would face us on the 247-mile drive back to Kansas City.  I was to speak at a ladies conference the next morning, so it was essential to reach the airport that night to catch the early flight back to Tulsa.

Unfortunately, Kevin lost his night-driving glasses.  At 9:00 pm after a fruitless search, we drove cautiously to the last light at the edge of town.

No moon or stars were visible.  Our headlights could not penetrate the dense blackness and blizzard ahead.  Should we go or stay?  As we prayed for wisdom, a verse of Scripture came to me: “I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8)  Confidence in God’s presence to guide us safely flooded me, and Kevin agreed.  He inched carefully onto the highway.

Suddenly, a huge ball of light, as wide as the road, appeared out of nowhere, lighting our way.  In the center stood a large figure with arms outstretched.  We could hardly believe our eyes, asking each other, “What do you see?!”  Indeed, we both saw the same miracle and were amazed.

For over 200 miles, all the way to Kansas City, the great light guided our way.  There wasn’t another vehicle out on that solitary highway.  As we approached Kansas City, the ball of light lifted and disappeared over our car, vanishing back into the darkness.

Hebrews 1:14 says angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to the heirs of salvation.  Praise God for such Divine help.

Was the figure lighting our way an angel of God – one of those strong, gentle helpers of God’s children?

So I leave you, dear friends with this Christian Mother Goose rhyme to encourage us all:

Cheerio for now – and pass the scones, please!

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Christian Mother Goose®

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Virtue Comes in All Sizes

The other night, right in front of my eyes on our back porch, I saw
that virtue comes in all sizes: A racing line of ants was stampeding up one
of our 8-foot support columns. Nose to heel, in perfect formation, the ants
were disappearing into our roof!

Half-way up the column, a distinctly smaller ant was suddenly knocked out
of line. Instantly, the racing hoard closed ranks, leaving the poor, little, wounded
fellow off to the side.

A few seconds later one, and only one, of the ant battalion, broke ranks to
help his fellow ant. To my amazement, he carefully lifted the small ant’s front
legs, pulling them forward and upright. Then he moved to the back legs,
gently nudging the back legs forward. No results! But he didn’t give up. He
kept on, persevering with careful effort.

Suddenly, the injured little ant could stand! Then, waiting for a razor thin space, the
“ant of virtue” muscled the two of them back into the line and they were both
off to the races again!

What a lesson for us earthlings! It takes just one — one caring soul — to help
keep another earthling who’s been cast aside, in the race: A little lifting of
the legs, a little tug of encouragement, a word of comfort or confidence, and
a helping hand… we can move our fellow earthling forward again in hope and
expectancy toward a brighter future.

“Three cheers” for the lowly ant who showed me that
“virtue comes in all sizes!”

Until next time, blessings
to YOU.

Cheerio!
Marjorie

Easter Ring-A-Ring ‘O Roses

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Warm Greetings and Happy, Victorious Easter…HE IS RISEN!

Words cannot express the stunning, awe-inspiring Good News those three little words represent for mortal man.  Words that had waited to ring from Heaven since before the beginning of Time and Creation.  The triumphant Resurrection words of God The Father: “Come forth, My Son.  Arise to Me, My Son.”  The Lord Jesus Christ! – Conqueror of death, and the open “Door” to the presence of God and the glories of eternal life!

How Heaven must have cheered with angelic joy – those same angels who, hours before, had wept at the sight of Jesus, The Son of God, dying on an old rugged Cross.  How the Roman soldiers, the priests and scribes, those who had mocked the gentle Savior Christ Jesus, must have trembled with fear as the veil of the Temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom; and a mighty earthquake struck the moment Christ died.  How the little children must have wondered why the dark of night fell thick upon Jerusalem in the middle of an afternoon.

And who can tell what reverberations were felt within the uncountable millions of stars, suns, and galaxies, whose origin came from the Creator hand of The One upon the Cross.  Those brilliant jewels in the sky above us that are held in space by the Word of His power! (Hebrews 1:3)  And of which the Scripture says: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth, and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22).  Yes, all creation was impacted by the events of the Cross of Christ on Calvary.  And all creation in God’s vast universe is blessed by His Resurrection.

For years I have wondered if the Resurrection may have been understood in a vision or dream given to Joseph, the Old Testament patriarch and administrator of Pharaoh’s Egypt.  He was so emphatic regarding the ultimate resting place of his bones when he died.  Genesis 50:24 states Joseph said to his brethren:  “…I die, and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which He swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  Joseph even took an oath of the children of Israel that they would take his bones with them when they left for the Promised Land.

This was not a whim on Joseph’s part.  Hebrews 11, the great “faith chapter” of the Bible, tells us in verse 22 that it was “By faith…Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones.”  Two hundred years later, as Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt’s captivity and across the floor of the Red Sea, he did not forget to take Joseph’s bones with them. (Exodus 13:19)

So, by faith, Joseph was buried in the Promised Land.  The Land of the birth of God’s Son, Jesus; the Land of His miracles and ministry; the Land of His sacrificial death on Calvary and the Land of His mighty Resurrection!

So great was the Resurrection power of Christ, that when the earth shook, “…graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many.” (Mathew 27:52,53)  They were the “small sheaf” of the great harvest of the “Redeemed of The Lord!” that would follow later. Was Joseph in that “small sheaf?”  Did he have revelation knowledge that impelled him to be buried in the Land “for such a time as this?”  Personally, I’m all for Joseph being one of those saints who did walk out of their graves into Jerusalem, testifying that, “Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept.”  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

HE IS RISEN!”  That declaration split the history of this world in two: before the Cross and after.  Hallelujah!  Death is conquered, shattered and abolished once and for all by The victorious Christ Who rose from the dead that Easter morning.  He was …“declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”  (Romans 1:4)

It is the resurrection of Jesus that sets Christianity apart from all other religions.  Only Jesus leaves behind Him an empty tomb!  And with unassailable assurance Jesus tells all who believe in Him, and trust Him as their Savior, …“Because I live, ye shall live also.”  (John 14:9)

How easy it is for a child to grasp that truth.  I recall a wonderful demonstration of a child’s joyful response in the face of death.  It was around Easter time, and my husband Dale, Kevin, Keith and I were at the cemetery service of a dear Christian friend.  It was the closing minutes of quiet prayer.

Suddenly, a group of little children began plucking roses from the many wreaths around the grave.  Spontaneously, they began to skip and dance among the gravestones, singing, “Jesus loves me,” as they handed a rose with a smile to each adult.  What an act of worship!  Their roses became waving palm branches of the triumphant resurrection: “O, death where is thy sting?  O, grave where is thy victory?”  To such Kingdom of Heaven little citizens I dedicate my Christian Mother Goose version of “Ring-A-Ring O’ Roses.”

HE IS RISEN!  HE IS COMING BACK!  This was in the heart of those little dancing disciples with roses and smiles.

Yet, from the day of the resurrection of Jesus, when the two Marys ran the first resurrection “marathon” to tell the good news to His disciples that The Lord was risen – even until today – many attempts have been made to explain away the empty tomb and the many appearances of The Living Lord – all to no avail.

When will the poor, unbelieving heart realize (as a British Bible teacher once said) “Our arms are too short to box with God.”  How much better to believe that God really loves us and has shown it by the great salvation in Jesus, offered to all, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)

And so dear friends of the Fellowship of the Blog, we can see the testimony of the words, “Because He lives!” all around us.   The “Son of righteousness has risen with healing in His wings.”  Healing for all that is wounded in our lives.  His Resurrection brings us new life, bright new hope, new encouragement, new strength and new peace and joy.  Our Easter Champion, The Lord Jesus Christ, strongly reminds us, saying: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

So be of good cheer, fellow earthlings.  And as the early Church greeted one another with “HE IS RISEN!”…and their friends responded with, “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”…may we exchange that same joyful greeting this Easter.

Happy Easter and Many Blessings to You and Your Family,

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Christian Mother Goose®

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Bobby Shaftoe’s Gone to Sea

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Ahoy dear friends of the Fellowship of the Blog,

It’s the Fellowship of the Blog Ship!  I’m pulling alongside with warmest greetings and a ship-load of thanks for your friendly visits and welcome comments.

Looking at Bobby Shaftoe’s rhyme puts me in mind of the first time I left Liverpool, England, for America.  I was a young bride, filled with indescribable emotion as the ship pulled away from the shores of my native land.  Would I ever return to see my family again?  But, through her tears, my wise mother said, “Your place is with your husband, love, but never forget the land of your birth.”

The first test of that advice came the last night at sea, when the ship’s American orchestra gave a wonderful concert for the one thousand passengers.  Their final musical selection was the tune to the British National Anthem.  So, immediately, hundreds of Britishers rose to their feet, loudly singing “God Save The King!”  Surprisingly, it’s also the same tune to America’s “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” which brought hundreds of Americans to their feet singing their own patriotic song at the same time.  In spite of the vocal chaos, both sides hung on to their own rendition, right down to the last word, as the band played on!  The hilarious peals of laughter that followed brought both sides of the Atlantic to a happy truce.

I have sailed across the Atlantic several times since then.  And although I now travel back to Liverpool by air, I’ve always remained partial to the ships that sail the seas.

In 1761, a paraphrase of “Bobby Shaftoe’s” rhyme became popular as an election song.  Supporters of a Robert Shafto successfully sang him all the way into Parliament with its message.

In that same year of 1761, a little “Bobby Shaftoe” with a missionary message was born in England – William Carey, the man who would become known as the “Father of Modern Missions.”

Carey rose from a humble shoemaker to flourish under God’s gifting into a brilliant linguist and translator in India.  His burning passion was to “Go into all the world….” with the Gospel of Christ, even though Foreign missions were unheard of in his day.

Many other “Bobby Shaftoe’s” followed Carey’s brave and sacrificial example, including Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) who founded the China Inland Mission.  When Hudson was five he would often say, “When I am a man, I mean to be a missionary and go to China.” It was on a ship from Liverpool that Hudson Taylor, age 21, sailed for China and for Christ in 1853.

On the same trip home to Liverpool mentioned in the “Misty, Moisty Morning” Blog (Feb. archives), my brother, Jimmy, suggested taking Kevin, Keith and me to look at big ships in dry dock.  We drove past the landing stage where Hudson Taylor sailed away, then on up the Dock Road where a huge ship lay in dry dock.  It was a pleasant late afternoon when Jimmy parked his brand new Vauxhall car.  There wasn’t another car in sight.

My two young boys were fascinated looking down at a massive ship having barnacles scraped off.  Just as Jimmy was explaining how barnacles cling fast to the bottom of ocean-going ships, reducing the ships’ speed with their dead weight, a terrible crash grabbed our attention.  On that desolate road, a cyclist had come racing by, raking Jimmy’s new Vauxhall with a deep gouge from stem to stern!  The cyclist was badly cut but refused medical help.  So Jimmy kindly straightened the buckled wheels of the bike while I packed handkerchiefs around the cyclist’s bleeding neck.  Finally, with a “Thank you very much,” he wobbled away.

Then, oh no! Jimmy saw the damage to his car.  All he could say was, “To think I was run over by a rotten bicycle!”  We forgot the barnacles and went home.  Some consolation, however, was soon to come.

The next Monday, Jimmy arrived at his Prudential office to find a disconsolate fellow worker waiting to tell his sad story.  He had just bought a new Vauxhall, too, and parked it nearby on the Dale Street slope.  As he locked the car, an elderly woman with a push-cart full of fruit came racing out of control down the slope.  She crashed into the back of his car, shook her head sadly, and said, “I’m awfully sorry, love – but, here, have a bunch,” then handed him a bunch of grapes and rolled off down the street.

Well, what can two insurance men do?  There’s no coverage on bicycles or push carts!  Given a few days, all was reclaimed by a good laugh over tea.

The great faith chapter of Hebrews twelve says: “…Seeing we also are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight….”  So, whether bicycle bashes, push-cart smashes, or burdensome barnacles are hindering your mission, vision, or dream, there’s a gallery of cheerleaders – including Carey & Taylor

who know there’s victory in Jesus. Be encouraged in The Lord’s still waters today.

Smooth sailing!

Blessings and Cheerio! for now,

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Christian Mother Goose®

 

There Was an Old Woman

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Spring Greetings Dear Fellow Blog-Nogs,

Some time ago, I was a guest on a live, national television talk show.  I was invited to talk about the inspiration and adventures in the publishing of my Christian Mother Goose books.  It was a hosted half-hour show and I was prepared to be interviewed for a short segment of the program.  I had books in hand, and stories to tell of the trials and tribulations I found along the way to becoming an author.

Dressed in my costume, I waited in the wings, both surprised and pleased with the beautiful stage setting, a lovely garden of fresh flowers surrounding an enchanting, giant shoe-house.  Robin, the set designer, had thoughtfully built it, themed around the Christian Mother Goose rhyme: “There was an old Woman who lived in a Shoe.”

I was just thanking Robin for building the enchanting shoe-house when another surprise came.  I was told the host had suddenly left due to a family emergency and “would I please just carry the half-hour show alone?!”  Panic time!  911 prayer time!  S.O.S. “Help, Dear Lord!” (There must surely be a verse of Scripture for such a time as this).  Ah, a ray of comfort came from Mark 13:11, “….but whatever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye.…”

Then the pit orchestra struck the opening intro, and I was live on stage, on national television, with a half-hour program for The Lord to fill.

A group of young children sat close to a mound of marigolds, so I walked directly to them and addressed a little boy about five years of age.  “Isn’t this a beautiful shoe house?”  I asked him.  “Wouldn’t you like to live in it?”  “No!” he responded firmly.  “Why not?”  I challenged him.  “Because it might stink!” he exploded, with a close-up grimace for national TV.  And that was God’s answer to my prayer – a program framed around “fragrance and sweet savors,” inspired by a forthright little boy.

The Shoe House had been carefully built by Robin, as unto The Lord.  The Scripture tells us that God smells a “sweet savor” from that which is offered to Him from the heart of His children.  Therefore, Robin’s gift to Jesus could never “stink.”  Look at Genesis 8:21 for what God calls a “sweet savor.”

Here we find the account of the ending of the Great Flood.  The waters had abated and the earth was dry.  God instructs Noah to

leave the Ark of safety, along with a multitude of creatures.  A new world is in front of him.  But his first act on dry ground was to build an altar to present burned offerings unto The Lord in thanksgiving.  And yet, after over a year’s confinement in the Ark, with all the smells and animal refuse that normally would have gathered in that time, in spite of all this, the Bible sublimely states God’s response as…“The Lord smelled a sweet savor.…”

Surely this is an encouragement to us earthlings that our Heavenly Father sees beyond the trappings of apparent lowly, even “stinky” labors that are performed with thankful hearts to Him.  They are transformed by God’s loving understanding and assessment of value beyond this world’s lopsided scale.  “For man looketh on the outward appearance, but The Lord looketh on the heart.”  (I Samuel 16:7)  Yes, Heaven is handing out fragrant bouquets in the most unlikely places!

I think the old lady who lived in a shoe deserves a bouquet for the daily, loving care of so many children.  And that includes the many Moms today who know the truth of the old adage, “A mother’s work is never done.”  Proverbs 31:28 hands her roses with the message written: “Her children rise up and call her blessed.”

Recently I’ve been assessing the Old Woman in a Shoe’s habitat from a new perspective.  I saw a picturesque seven-story high shoe house on the cover of one of my all-time favorite magazines This England (Britain’s loveliest magazine). Perhaps this enterprising old lady found an entrepreneur’s novel solution to the poor housing situation in 1797, when we first find recorded the old rhyme, “There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe.”

She seems to belong to a bevy of older women cavorting about in old nursery rhymes, apparently refusing to retire to the rocking chair.  Here are two (out of the 18 known) “Old Woman”  rhymes I know of:

There was an Old Woman tossed up in a basket, nineteen times as high as the moon.”  What an incredible suggestion!  Was she the only volunteer for an 18th century pre-NASA moon-shot try?

There was an Old Woman sold puddings and pies.”  This was a small business effort, no doubt, and not easy to do in the 17th century.  My congratulations to her!

I actually knew such an old woman, only of the 20th century.  She lived in a quaint cobblestone court not far from my home in Liverpool.  To this day, I’ve never known anyone to rival her delicious rice pudding.  Her tiny house/shop was open only for one hour each noon, and she always sold out of her puddings and meat pies every day, Monday through Friday.

Sadly, her house, along with my birthplace and many other homes, was blown away in World War II.  Those were the days when, in spite of war, all the Ainsborough shoes were lined up each Saturday night for polishing and buffing.  My Dad commandeered this ritual on behalf of my Mother’s rule of conduct that, regardless of the war, we should always be ”well shod.”

And as we leave the Old Woman who lived in a shoe, it occurs to me that, in a way, we all live in a shoe – the ones we walk around in all day.  We put them on and our shoes go hither and thither along paths of our choosing.  May we be “well-shod” in these days of mounting Christian warfare, with our feet “shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.”  (Ephesians 6:15)

For now, Cheerio, and blessings as we follow the shoes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace!!

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Christian Mother Goose®

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For Christian Mother Goose® products and Gift Sets, please click on this link:

Lift Up Ye Gates

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Hello Dear Blog-Nog Friends from frozen Decker Hills,

Yes, January did indeed bring snow – record breaking snow and ice, and freezing temperatures that kept us marooned on our hill for over a week.  It was so cold that two bobcats (rarely seen) came roaming by.  But, today, Winter’s gate will be opening to let warmer weather in.  Hurray!

Perhaps many of you were also caught up in this Arctic Blast from the North Pole.  I felt that we were only a snowball’s throw away from a “Narnia” Winter.  It made me wish for one of those warm fur coats I saw hanging in the actual wardrobe that inspired C.S. Lewis’ classic tale, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

I had the delightful experience of re-enacting little Lucy’s inquisitive opening of the “gate” to Narnia in Lewis’ story, where she opened the wardrobe door, pushed aside the fur coats hanging in there, and discovered the land of Narnia.  Narnia where it is “Always winter and never Christmas.”

The occasion of my adventure was a visit with my son, Kevin, to the Marion Wade Center at Wheaton College (Kevin’s alma mater).  The Center houses the original works, letters and memorabilia of C.S. Lewis.

It was fascinating to read some of his handwritten manuscripts.  This was his method of writing – an amazing feat, when you consider the hundreds of pages in just his “Chronicles of Narnia” alone!

However, when I came face to face with the original wardrobe from Lewis’ boyhood home in Ireland, what could you expect from Christian Mother Goose?  Naturally, like Lucy, my curiosity opened the door, pushed aside the fur coats, and felt the wonder of Narnia’s atmosphere still there.

I’m sure Lewis’ grandfather, who handcrafted and beautifully carved the wardrobe, never dreamed of the “gate” he was preparing for the delight of millions of children around the world.  The gate through which they would find Jesus, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, reflected in Aslan, the lion of Narnia.  And so we come to the theme of today’s  blog: “Gates.”

A few miles down our country road is a lovely buffalo ranch.  The entrance is a stunning iron gate with a steel, painted buffalo mounted on it. The buffalo was crafted by a young Indian man. It is so real, it often fools those driving by.  We periodically buy choice, all-naturally-raised buffalo meat there.  And if you look at the health statistics of buffalo meat, you’ll see why.  It beats beef, pork and chicken in every category for being the lowest in fat, cholesterol and calories.

This handsome gate is an invitation to scenic beauty, health, and a chance to sing the cowboy song: “Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam…”

The importance and strength of gates in Scripture were representative of their power to guard the city.  They were also the most popular and busiest place in town.  Merchants were there by sunrise to set up shop, followed by city elders who would settle disputes, witness business transactions, and render important civic decisions.

The city of Gaza woke up one day to find their mighty gates had vanished overnight!  In an incredible feat of strength, recorded in Judges 16:3, Samson, (Israel’s Mr. Universe ) pulled up the gates of this enemy city at  midnight, and carried them away on his shoulders to Hebron. That’s a distance of over thirty miles!  Instantly, Samson became number one on the Philistine’s  most wanted list. On the other hand, he was Israel’s hero, and probably number one strong man for Israel in any forthcoming Olympics.

Just recently, I was reading a book on archeological evidence of Church life before Constantine, by Graydon  F. Snyder.  A  most illuminating entry about a gate was listed on a Roman Papyrus Document dated  February 5, 304, titled: “Declaration of Church Property.”

Under oath, a certain Aurelius Ammonius certified that his church owned nothing except a bronze gate!  It went on : “Neither gold nor silver nor money nor clothes nor beasts nor lands nor property either from grants or bequests.”  Simply one gate!  What food for thought!

This revelation led me to think of the significance of such a church statement: “One gate.”  Our Lord Jesus, by His own words, taught us He is the Gate, the only Gate to Heaven and eternal life.  Nothing else matters.  Nothing.  Salvation, peace and His loving arms of welcome are at that Gate.

This week a memory came to my mind of the fate of beautiful wrought-iron gates in World War II England.  Whatever those gates were built for, whatever they kept in or kept out, all individual purpose was now secondary to the defense and survival of a whole nation.  The gates were delivered to the furnace and melted down to become armaments for the winning of the war.

Today, as I think of those gates being sacrificed, I see the picture of Jesus hanging on the Cross, dying not for just one nation, but for the deliverance of the whole world from the great enemy of sin and death.  Jesus, the Beautiful Gate Who was delivered to the fires of judgment in our place; to pay the penalty of Heaven’s court that we couldn’t pay; Jesus, the Gate to eternal life, all because “God so loved the world….”

King David, writing Psalm 24:7-8, gives a resounding cry to his nation, which I apply, not only to Israel, but to the gates of the minds of God’s people everywhere. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  Who is this King of glory?  The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.”

May we enter this challenging year of 2015 with the gates of our minds open to let the King of glory in; rejoicing that, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4)

Thanks for visiting me at the gate today.  Warmest wishes for a blessed New Year!

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Christian Mother Goose®

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For Christian Mother Goose® products and Gift Sets, please visit this link: