Category Archives: HOLIDAYS

Stories and posts which revolve around a certain holiday.

The Price for Freedom-Video Five

“Remembering our fallen heroes, their family and friends, who bear the burdens of  of great sorrow and pain.”

I discovered some of the videos in this series while I was researching for a “Memorial Day” video to share, so this is why the Memorial Day theme is prominent in some of  them.

Our original title for the series was “Memorial Day … Every Day.”

Our fifth video in the series features more images, some of them featured before, and some seen for the first time here. In either case, the images are to continue to remind us all that …

“The price for this freedom has been high …”

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Special Video: “Early Pitch” for Father’s Day

The original story was called, “First Pitch Ends in Big Surprise for Soldier’s Daughter.”
From Channel 10 (WTSP) News in Tampa Bay/Sarasota, Florida, we share this:

“Sometimes words cannot convey the emotions of a story. Sometimes … you just gotta watch it”

Let’s watch:

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EMAIL CLASSIC: THE BEAUTY OF A WOMAN

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears,
The figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen from her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
The place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
The passion that she shows.
The beauty of a woman
With passing years — only grows.

An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing,” on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.
The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”
The women wrote: “Woman! Without her, man is nothing.”

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE ~ My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE ~ My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE ~ My Mother doesn’t really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE ~ Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that, either.
16 YEARS OF AGE ~ Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE ~ That old woman? She’s way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE ~ Well, she might know a little bit about it.
35 YEARS OF AGE ~ Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE ~ Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE ~ Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

Modern-Day Psalm Classic: “You’re My Yuletide Carol”

Hi Friends:
Just thought I’d share both the “Full Version” and the
“Christmas Carol” Version of this song, along with the Introductions to both, which I included in the book.

Merry Christmas!
R.V.R.

You’re My Yuletide Carol
Introduction

People find it hard to believe, but it’s true: I wrote this Christmas song before I had ever met Carol. I had spoken with her often on the telephone, but we had never met. The first time we met was at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, when she was visiting Georgia to attend a concert given every year by mutual friends of ours. I’ve often written of how “I just knew” that Carol was the one I was to spend the rest of my life with.

Carol arrived on a Wednesday night, and the concert was Saturday. She helped me make changes to the work, and our friends hurriedly put the music together, and played this as a special song at the concert. I’ve always envisioned this as a new Christmas classic, sung by someone like Tony Bennett.

I got the idea a few days before Christmas, as I was getting ready for Carol’s visit. I was playing a favorite Christmas album (yes, I still play albums), and, from out of nowhere, the phrase “Yuletide Carols” just seemed to freeze in mid-air. So, I grabbed it, and wrote this in advance of Carol’s visit.

I was asked to include the song in this volume, and I hope it shows some variety in my work. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this song with you. I hope you enjoy it. And, again, I remind you that it’s ok to love your wife! And, to say you do.

You’re My Yuletide Carol
(Full Version)

You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
I just want you to know

My Christmas wish comes true
As your plane touches down
I can’t wait, my dear
To show you the town
You’ve been so long in the frozen north
The stairs unfold as my holiday bursts forth

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
And my heart’s all aglow

As I catch my first glimpse of you
At the gate
I know in an instant
That it was worth the wait
As your smile melted the icicles
From around my heart
I just can’t wait
For my holidays to start

My hopes and my dreams
Won’t be dashed through the snow
Cause you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so

The nights are no more silent
My heart’s all aglow
And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And you’re as lovely as a bow

Oh! The sights that we will see
All over Christmas town
I’m so thankful that in your arms
This Yuletide spirit I’ve found
Your love is enough
To last the year round

So much to see
So much to do
A few days left
And the holidays are through
You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
So soon you’ll be gone
Just like the snow

Christmas bells are all ringing
And the skies are so clear
A warm fire is burning
As I hold you near
The light in your eyes sparkle
Like the new fallen snow
The season soon over
Where, oh where, did it go?

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
I just want you to know
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Do you really have to go?
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Let’s just stay under the mistletoe

Time goes by so very fast
If only I could make
Something so wonderful last
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Do you really have to go?
You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
Yes, you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I, yes I, love you so

You’re My Yuletide Carol (Christmas Carol Version)
Introduction

Remember, the “reason” that Carol had come to Georgia, that December, was to witness the Christmas concert, and, certainly, for no other reason, such as to meet me.

So, in advance of the concert, Carol and I got together and shortened the original, to a “Christmas Carol” version of the song, which was performed on stage that following Saturday night.

I still envision Tony Bennett singing the Christmas Carol version of the song …

It just begs of being sung …

“And you’re my yuletide Carol
And I love you so”

You’re My Yuletide Carol
(Christmas Carol Version)

You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
I just want you to know

Christmas bells are all ringing
And the skies are so clear
A warm fire is burning
As I hold you near

The light in your eyes sparkle
Like the new fallen snow
The nights are no more silent
You’ve got my heart all aglow

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
You’re my Yuletide Carol
Let’s just stay
Under the mistletoe

In your arms, this Yuletide
Spirit I’ve found
Your love is enough
To last the year round

Time goes by so very, very fast
If only I could make something
So wonderful last

You’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so
My hopes and my dreams
Won’t be dashed through the snow

And you’re my Yuletide Carol
And I love you so

Merry Christmas!
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Christmas 2016 and What I Can “Do More” in 2017

This past year, as never before, I have felt the calling to pray for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters around the globe. And, not just pray for them … but, to also learn more about them. To find out where they are, and what they are going through. Plus, to not only “pray for the persecuted,” but to pray for “the persecutors.” To learn about them. Time after time, as I read the stories of those suffering, read about the tremendous hardships and tragedies they must endure, every day, the same request rings true:
“Pray for the persecutors.
Pray for the persecutors.”

I think about the statement I read from Pastor Rick Warren … that prayer is like a guided missile … which can be launched from anywhere on earth … and, reach the heart of anyone on earth … regardless of where they are located, and, regardless of “who” they are.

This time of year, the emphasis is always on how thankful we should be for the blessings we have, for being thankful for “all we have.” I hope we can apply this same spirit of thanksgiving to every day of the year. We shouldn’t only take time to think about our blessings at a particular time of year, but, it should be something that is part of our daily existence, part of our daily prayers, every day of the year. The plight of those “less fortunate” is also something we seem to focus more on, during “this time,” than at other times. Same rule should apply: The plight of those “less fortunate” should also be part of our daily existence, our daily prayers, every day of the year.

What good is what we have, if we can’t share it?
There is no “greater good” than the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is no greater purpose in life than to share this Gospel, and to support those who share it.

We often share materials we have received from “The Voice of the Martyrs.” Yes, there are many organizations which support persecuted Christians, and I’m thankful for that. Here I am, sitting downstairs, in front of the pellet stove, in a warm home, at the end of a tough work week.
I don’t know what “tough” is. My home isn’t war-ravaged, my neighborhood isn’t in shambles, and I haven’t been forced to move … just because I’m a Christian.
Tough week?
I don’t know what tough is. Here I am, debating over the “agony” of having to bring out the snow-blower … I don’t know what “tough” is. The losses so many have suffered. The pain and agony my fellow believers live through, every day. I’m surrounded by clean laundry (making use of the pellet stove), and I don’t have a clue what it’s like to be displaced from my home, fleeing with only what I can carry, only to live in a distant “camp,” in a tent … I don’t know what it’s like … I don’t have a clue … seeing family murdered … children murdered … only because “word got out” they had accepted Jesus …

Children … Children … Children …

Yes, we support the work of organizations like “The Voice of the Martyrs”
I don’t mind that there are a couple of common themes throughout my writing, and that I write of them often:
Pray every day.
Study your Bible every day.
Pray for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters every day.
Be thankful for the blessings you already have, every day.
If that’s all you “get” from my writing, I’m ok with that.

It is so important to pray and read the Bible every day. To set aside a time for this, every day.
Often, I’ve written about how important it is to have Scriptural messages, verses, posted around your home (and, even on the visor of your truck) to remind you of great Scriptural truths … things you can’t help but see every day …
It is … after all … about “every day” …

I don’t have a clue about how tough it is for Christians around the world, living in hostile and “restricted” nations.
But … I want to learn more.
I want to learn more.

There are a couple of resources, offered at a minimal price, through “The Voice of the Martyrs,” which I plan to use-every day-of the next year.
I want to learn more, and I’ve already learned so much about what’s going on “over there” through materials I’ve already received from them. I’d just like to share a couple of those with you, a couple of resources I am planning to use, in the year ahead.
I will include a link at the bottom of this post.

One is a “Prayer Calendar.” I love the 2016 calendar I have (which I think was bought at Walmart, on sale), which includes verses and quotes, so often helping me in exactly what I am going through at that particular time.

But … maybe it’s time to not think about me when I look at a calendar … maybe it’s time to think about others …

I will be using their 2017 Prayer Calendar, and here’s why, as I use text from the VOM website:
I will “be guided to pray throughout the year, with a new prayer request for each day of every month. The calendar includes prayer requests for the specific needs of Christians living in hostile and restricted nations as well as prayer requests for their persecutors, that God would change their hearts. When VOM staff travel to meet Christians in hostile and restricted nations, we often ask how American Christians can help them. Their first answer is always ‘Pray for us.’
By giving your Christian friends VOM’s 2017 Prayer Calendar, you will be helping to fulfill the request of our persecuted brothers and sisters every day in 2017. Specific prayer requests are provided for each day of the calendar year, including reminders to pray for the persecutors as Scripture instructs.”

The other resource I will be using is a Daily Devotional called “Extreme Devotion.” Talk about something I can use every day:
“This engaging devotional includes 365 stories of persecuted Christians along with devotionals based on each person’s life. You will be encouraged in your daily walk with Christ through the examples of believers from around the world who have shown extreme devotion in sharing their faith with others.”

Prayer and Bible study.
Remembering our Christian Brothers and Sisters.
Every day.
Every day.

I want to pray more.
I want to study more.
I want to learn more.
I want to remember them more.
I want to do more.
Here’s the link to help you do that:

The Voice of the Martyrs

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At the ATM, It Happened Again: “Triple Debit Indebtedness”

Not too long ago, I wrote about how, in just over a month, I had found 2 Bank Debit/Credit cards, and how it made me realize how blessed I was to be “raised right.” To do the right thing.
That particular writing was called “Double Debit Indebtedness,” and told the story of how I had found the cards, well over 100 miles apart: One in August, and one over the Labor Day Weekend.
Well … this past weekend was Thanksgiving Holiday weekend …

It is a weekend I look forward to, all year. 4 days off, and, yes … lots of football. So much to be thankful for, and the joy I take in hearing others just talk about what they are thankful for.
The word “Veteran” came up a lot, and, on Thanksgiving Day alone … I heard our National Anthem on 3 separate occasions, from 3 separate states.

We have so much to be thankful for.
Among our greatest blessings has to be the examples we’ve had, starting with our parents, and continuing throughout our lives, with great examples we’ve been exposed to, that God has brought into our lives.

So … back to the weekend. True to my word, I didn’t leave the house until early Saturday morning, to trek to the grocery store (something I’m also thankful for). Seemed that most of the population was still exhausted from Friday (which is called “Black,” yes, like the Plague), so not many people were out.

Back to work on Monday, and I had to stop by the local bank’s ATM to pick up some cash, to have for the next day, for a collection they are taking up for, at School. Since I don’t carry cash, I never have money to give on the “same-day.”
Anyway, it was Monday, after School, and I was exhausted. I drove up to the ATM, put my card in … and, you guessed it … it wouldn’t go in. There was another Bank card in the machine, left by the previous visitor. I first thought was, “No, can’t be. Not the third time in 3 months.” But, there it was. I took it out, looked at the name, which was hard to see in the twilight. Man! It gets dark early up here!
Plus, even my eyes were exhausted. It never occurred to me that the bank was open, and I could have just pulled around, walked in, to give them the card. Or just pull up to the drive-through. I guess my only thought was getting home to the recliner, and my much-anticipated nap. I did call the bank, first thing, and, yes, they did ask if I could bring the card in. I explained I was already home (hoping they could sense the exhaustion in my voice), and would bring the card in the next day. They said that was ok, just deliver it through the drive-through, which I did, immediately after School the next day.

Once again, it made me realize how thankful I am, to have been raised to be honest. As I write this, it strikes me that I am also thankful that I had 20.00 left in the bank … after the Holiday!
And, as much as I may disagree with some of their policies, I am thankful that we do have banks. And, that we can bank, can do business with, any bank or financial institution we choose. This is another one of those “freedoms” we have, which we take for granted so often. I am also grateful for many of the services they offer, like the ATM, and the technology which exists, which allows us to “use our debit card just like a credit card” (sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it?).

I’m thankful I could write this in the earlier post:
“I was so glad I was “raised right.”
Raised to be honest.
And, that I was taught the difference between right and wrong.
And, yes, taught to work hard.
By the living examples of those who raised me, who were as hard-working as they were honest.
I may have strayed, but they never did.”

Let’s see … A found card over Summer Holiday, a found card over the Labor Day Holiday, a found card over the Thanksgiving Holiday … guess I’ll have to go back to the ATM over Christmas …

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here’s the link to Double Debit Indebtedness

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So Thankful: Yet, so Failing, so Often, to “Get the Word Out”

Hi Friends:

So often, we think, and write, about how thankful we are for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Blessings we enjoy every day. Every day.

And, that, so many of the blessings we enjoy here in the United States are a direct result of … just where we live … in the United States.

Especially in this past year, God has really placed it on my heart to learn about, and to pray for, our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who, simply, just don’t have these freedoms and blessings we so easily take for granted “over here.” And, I mean the basest, the most elemental things we take for granted. Like this word “freedom” we so easily toss around, not realizing how “strange/foreign” this word is, to so many.

Let’s not forget-ever-why we have these freedoms … the sacrifices made, and being made, in order for us to, just, “be free.”
But, let us also not forget those who don’t enjoy these freedoms. Just because of their belief, they are persecuted. Yes, we may all have an idea of what “persecution” is … but, I’ll admit … I don’t … I don’t know what it’s like to live in constant danger, every day … just because I am a Christian. Just because I am a Christian. I don’t pray enough … I don’t give enough … I don’t think enough … about my Brothers and Sisters in Christ … who, plain and simple … may not live to see tomorrow … just because “word has gotten out” that they are a Christian.

This makes me think about the way I act. The way I talk. The things I do. Based on my actions … my actions alone … Has “word gotten out” that I am a Christian?

Based on what others see in me … will they report that I am a Christian? Yes, I’ve heard the question, and it’s still a good one:
“If I was on trial for being a Christian … would there be enough proof to convict me?”

Funny … just thinking about that … I already feel “convicted,” but in a different way.

The thought occurs to me now that, if I truly am a Christian, one of the things I must do, I have to do … I must be compelled to do … is to “remember those in bonds, as if I were there with them.”

Let me say again, that, if I really am “what I say I am,” I must not forget to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. These are men, women, and children … yes, so many children … who, while inside, they know what “being free” really is … do not know what “freedom” in their world, outside, looks or feels like. Every day brings new challenges, just to stay alive. They’ve had to move, or be moved, relocated … because they “refused to move.” Men, women, and children … murdered … yes, murdered … just because “word got out” they chose to follow Christ.

I’m writing this on Black Friday. I won’t go out. I think about what others are thinking about today. Maybe “praying” for a good parking spot. Maybe “praying” they won’t run out of money.

I’d like to just think today about those whose time has “run out” because “word got out” that they were the “real deal.”
The “real deal.”
What a thought for this weekend. A “real deal.”

Let me write again: As a professing Christian, has “word gotten out” that we, yes I, that we, are “the real deal?”

If they begin to round up the “real Christians,” would my name be on the list?

I just walked onto the front deck. I live out of “town,” in what’s called the “Swedish Village.” It was quiet, as a looked around, through the falling snow (yes, we’ve got snow on the ground), and
it was so peaceful. Passing in front of me, walking down the street, no cares in the world, was a deer. He looked so peaceful. Just strolling down the street, a deer walking down the road of a quiet, peaceful village. I thought about so many of our Brothers and Sisters, whose village has been decimated, whose village is no longer a “village,” but a war zone. I didn’t have to worry about ducking down, afraid I’d be seen. I didn’t worry about binoculars focused on me … following my every move. I didn’t have to worry about neighbors, watching … watching … waiting for an opportunity to “strike.” Watching, and reporting, my every move. That deer … strolling down the street … without fear …

Well, I sat down to write something totally different.

Let’s remember those whose lives are so “totally different” from ours. Who can’t just walk outside, without danger. I pray that, while our lives, and circumstances, are totally different, our faith won’t be different.

Let’s pray that our faith won’t be different.

Let’s remember that we have others to think about. To pray about. And, to support.

While this freedom we enjoy gives us the chance to act, and live, pretty much any way we want, we have the freedom, and I’ll say it … we have the freedom to live any lifestyle we choose, even lifestyles that, not so long ago were abhorred, not glorified … included in that freedom is to “get the word out,” and the freedom for “the word being gotten out” about us.

When Jesus returns (and He will), I don’t want to be “left out.”
Lord, please help me to “get the word out.”
To be “one of the ones” about whom “the word has gotten out.”

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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