Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christmas Memories: Little Drummer Boy

When I was a snot nose brat, I had this Christmas album, aka a vinyl record, that had The Little Drummer Boy song as the first song on the album.  I think the song was by Harry Simeone Chorale.  Now a days the song can be found on the Time Life Treasury Of Christmas album, or a single download on iTunes or Amazon for all I know!


I remember one Christmas, I took the album to a friends house, then on the way home I slipped and dropped it.  The edge of the record chipped but it was still useable.  Unfortunately, the chipped edge was right on a good portion of my favourite song.  Well, back then it was my favourite but isn't anymore.  I still love the song and it's meaningful words.  I remember I was all distressed that I chipped the album.  Mom was upset too and I got punished for it but thankfully I still didn't receive coal from Santa!  Phew!

Whenever I hear this song, and especially when performed by Harry Simeone Chorale, my memories of childhood come rushing back to the time I chipped the record on that cold December afternoon.   

I have the song on my iPod now.  Yes, I am one of the few who listens to Christmas music periodically throughout November...but only AFTER Remembrance Day/Veterans Day. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Harvest Is Plenty

Our church held a Harvest Party on October 31st.  Yes that was Halloween night but what better time to harvest new followers to bring to Christ.

We spent Friday night decorating our church with Bible theme games that would entice kids to want to return at a later date and be part of our Oasis Kids Clubs that meet weekly on Friday evenings or to attend our church every Sunday for worship and study.  

 We decorated one room as a Noah's Ark and the game was set with two of a few animals that the child had to knock over in order to win a ticket.  Tickets were collected by the child and later redeemed for a prize at the prize counter.  All games were free of charge.  That photo shows a few of us after decorating on Friday night.  The blue whale was trying to eat us!  The photo angle didn't get the whales body and tail in though.  I'm the one in the back with the white shirt.

 Another room was decorated with an ocean theme and we had a small blow up pool with a bit of water in it and plastic fish.  Kids were to try to catch fish with the fishing rod and they'd get a ticket depending on how many fish they caught in one minute.  That was the Fishers Of Men.  The photo above shows two of our young helpers exhausted at the bottom of the sea.  Cute!

 On the night of the Harvest Party, we offered refreshments to folks who entered.  They were not given out by the door! We encouraged folks to come in, look around, play some games with their kids and have a snack.  There were cup cakes, muffins, cookies, fruit and cake....and candy too along with water, juice, coffee and tea.

 Every half hour, a show was performed inside the church auditorium.  There was a puppet show singing Why Not Today to the tune of YMCA that everyone enjoyed and there was singing too.  We had a lot of families enjoying the shows.  I hope they listened to the words because all songs gave praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  In the photo below you can see how families were enjoying the puppet show.

The games were a hit with the kids too! Photo below...the room was packed! Kids were lining up to fish.

 I got caught in that photo with my blue tee shirt all volunteers were wearing.  This was the Fisher of Men game. 

 Here kids lined up in the Noah's Ark game. The floor was taped to mark the distance depending on the child's age to keep it fair for all kids.  See Spider-Man, fireman and rainbow fairy waiting to play the Noah's Ark game.

 We did give out packs of candy as the kids left the church.  We didn't want this to be about just collecting candy then running off to the next house.  We wanted to reach out to our community and managed to talk to some of the parents and the kids did have fun.  I got caught in that photo too!  I was all over the place that night because this was the first year I volunteered for the Harvest Party and I was curious.

 That was out prize counter where kids exchanged tickets for prizes when they left.  We ran out of prizes just seconds before the end of the harvest party. The party was from 6-8pm.  We even had the Montreal Fire Department stop by and hand out candy to kids!  It was great... Big fire truck out front with lights and all, it really drew attention!  

 At the end of the night we closed with prayer. I'm back ther standing beside our Pastor who is hidden behind a volunteer.  We were thankful it turned out a huge success.  Hundreds of people passed through our church that night and to date, we got three new kids attending our kids cluc on Friday night so far, and I seen new faces this past Sunday at service so it was successful if even one life can be saved.  

The harvest is plenty, the workers are few.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thankful Thrusday: Family

I'm always late with blog hop link ups and that's because ..... I don't have an excuse right now so I'm thankful that I wasn't compelled to tell a lie.  


Welcome to Thankful Thursday, click or the image and it will link you up to our host Rebecca over at Knit By God's Hand.

I'm thankful for family.  

My family is dysfunctional, I'm the first to admit to it but they are my family and a family without dysfunction is missing a lot of fun.   

But seriously, my family, in many ways, good, bad and ugly, have helped shape me into who I am today.  Through our joys, laughter, tears and spats, one way or another I came out of it all with something that lightened my heart, toughened my spine and bent my pride.  

At one point I used to always say, 'Hey God, why did you put me with this family?'.  He answered one day by taking some of them from me for a while.  I felt hurt, lost and confused then I felt angry and annoyed, then I just let it go and let God know I understand that this was His way of answering my question, even though I always considered the question rhetorical!  

Yes, I prayed.
Yes, I spoke to God daily and still asked questions when I shouldn't have.
Yes, I gave it all to God.... finally!
Yes, I gave thanks even when I felt like I was thrown under a bus.

So eventually He gave them back to me, but I had already learned to lean on God more and to take all my joys, sorrows and frustrations to God.  

Our family experienced loss this week and it shook all of us to the core.  I won't go into details on that but all I can say is, yes a loss reconnects extended family members but don't wait until it does to reach out to them now.  

I'm thankful that my family knows God and I'm thankful that I have faith that God will get them through this difficult and heartbreaking time.  

I'm also thankful that I am re-connecting with family in hopes that relationships can be rebuilt and that our fond memories can be rekindled.  I'm reaching out to extended family members whom I may not have spoken with in years because we live in different cities or countries but thankfully, with the help of skype and other social media outlets, it can be done. Honestly, watching the next generation of family grow up, seeing our elders after years of no contact and now getting to know some more of our family history... sigh.... well that's just priceless I say.

I'm thankful I have the opportunity to let family into my life and thankful when they allow me into theirs.  

In all things, give thanks.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cheat Much?

I like to play candy crush because it's a challenging game once you get past level 100 or so.  I'm currently on level 350 or somewhere near there.

I've got issues with this game though.  I play it on the iPad app but I also play it on my laptop.  The facebook version on the laptop gives more power ups than the app. 

Cheat much!? 

So, since the game cheats, I figured out a way to cheat too.... Most of my facebook friends gave up playing candy crush either because it got too difficult or too boring.  Either way, without too many friends playing, it becomes difficult to get tickets to move on to the next section unless you pay a buck to the istore which I won't do.  So.... I take the iPad and disable the wifi and play what they call quests.  You get one quest a day and if you pass it, you wait 24 hours to get the next quest.  Complete three quests and you propell forward to the next section without needing tickets from friends. 

But who the heck wants to wait three days?  Not me!

I forward the date in the iPad settings by 24 hours.  Complete quest one then forward the time another 24 hours and am able to complete quest two, and then adjust the date again and complete the third and final quest.  Then once I'm propelled ahead, play and complete the next level then connect the wifi and sync the candy crush app to facebook...then delete the app, adjust the iPad date back to the current date and reinstall the candy crush app and let it sync to Facebook again.  Tada! Ya, adjusting the time ahead also gives you extra lives faster too then once you mess up the iPads date too much, sync, uninstall, adjust date then reinstall and re sync and there you go.

And that concludes today's cheat sheet.  Please forgive me.